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Sometimes things just go together–and in my book garlic and ginger is even better than PB &J .

Last night I made a common dish in our house, potstickers, rice and greens. I always have TJ potstickers in the freezer, they are easy, quick and delicious.

Normally, I improvise on the dipping sauce. But Good Eats recently had a tempura episode where Alton made an awesome looking soy ginger sauce.

C. set out to find the recipe online last night. Um, no luck. What? How does food network not have that posted? I broke out my computer too.

After about 10 minutes of VERY frustrated searching, I finally found a blog that had it posted. What a relief! (And C. says I’m a bad googler…well, who won this round? huh?)

Recipe!

Soy ginger sauce:

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce

Place ingredients in a jar. Shake to combine.

Empty Jar.

I could drink this stuff.

 

Back from a little hiatus, I’d like to admit that I have been eating not-so-great lately. We have been eating out of ton as a result of being on the road and catching up with friends over dinners.

BUT, we had a lovely weekend in NC and are now back to business. The CSA comes in tonight and we have some veggie eating to do. I’m most excited about a return of leafy salad greens and tons of butternut.

A quick recap of my lovely weekend visiting my sister for family weekend at NCSU:

There was BBQ (you just can’t get it like this anywhere in DC , period.)

There was a fall football game (that was sadly lost).

C. was SUCH a sport. He still wore his UNC hat and did not wear red, but was very supportive during the game.  He was not thrilled, however, that my loyalties are now split.

There was my sister is a red dress and cowboy boots (apprently a ‘thing’ among state girls)

There was pizza from my fav Apex pizza spot (you may think baked ziti pizza would be too much–you would be wrong)

And last but not least…There was my favorite food in the world…cliche as it may be…mom’s apple pie

My mom has a way with apples. This has been my favorite food for as long as I can remember. I get it piping hot and then cover it in cool milk. Oh goodness. I need more pie.

Sadly, I tried to make one once, but it just isn’t the same as when your mom makes it for you. I bet you know what I mean.

For the Top Chef DC finale I decided to pull a little fancy dinner of my own. And of course, I had just returned from the land of enchantment with lots of chili powder.

I made the sauce from the powder and one from sour cream and then stuffed CSA peppers with chicken and cheese.

I didn’t wipe my plate before I served, so sadly, I did not win Top Chef DC. I know, I know. Next season!

After the stuffed peppers, we enjoyed another treat from my trip, chocolate elixir from Kakawa Chocolate house. This is seriously one of the best tasting things I have ever had to drink. When I walked into this little chocolate house in Santa Fe they welcomed me with a taste of EVERY flavor. I brought home several of the dry wafers flavors to make at home…

To grate:

To whisk:

To enjoy:

This stuff is so intense and delicious. I don’t like coffee (as traditional supertasters go), so this can be my espresso. Thank you chocolate gods.

A perfect end to a perfect meal.

I come from a long line of folks who consider potatoes a vegetable.

Take for example, the beach this weekend. I had a cheesesteak, with a veggie side of fries! 🙂 And lettuce and ketchup, even. That’s three of my 5 vegetable servings for the day.

I kid. (Kinda)

We went down to Rehoboth Beach on Saturday and caught the most amazing weather. It wasn’t too hot or too cold.

We played arcade games on the boardwalk,  napped on the beach, rode rides and played mini golf in the evening. A better day could not have been had.

The next day was rainy, which was perfect. We slept in to the pitter-pat of raindrops ate breakfast and went to the Tanger Outlets on the way home. For 5 hours. I’ll leave it at that.

This leaves me with two conclusions about how things would be in my perfect world:

1. Every weekend would be a beach weekend. One day sunny, one day rainy.

2. Potatoes would be a veggie.

Last night we had a big ole pot of chili. And I forgot to take pictures. Mainly because C. made it while I was off at acupuncture.

I love chili. Nowadays.

I used to hate it because it had kidney beans in it and kidney beans have thick skins and a funny shape and were therefore scary. But then I learned you could make it with black beans. (duh). But now I like all kinds of beans, so I do mix it up a little sometimes.

Last night’s chili had plenty of CSA ingredients, too. I love how easy it is, and how  filling! Its also nice because you can throw what you have into it, resulting in many variations.

C’s Chili

2 small onions, chopped

1 yellow & 1 green bell pepper, also chopped

1 chipotle chili–this gives it a major kick!

2 cans of chili tomatoes

1 can of black beans

EDIT: It’s PERFECT that this post is called forgetful, because I forgot the POUND OF GROUND BEEF. Yeah, thats pretty important.

That’s it! Sautee the veggies, brown the beef, then add the canned goods. Cook for however long you want, but an hour is a good start. We topped with cheese, sour cream and chips. Yum-o.

And here is where I would normally insert the picture of cheesy chili goodness.  Sorry. Instead, check out this completely irrelevant picture of a cucumber:

Hope everyone had a good labor day!

It was a weekend of Latin-type food, both homemade and out. At home, I made salsa (one of my favorite things) with all CSA ingredients and ate it with nachos. I did not get a jalapeno at TJs because I thought one of the peppers in my CSA basket was a little spicy because it looked like the spicy ones my sister grew in her garden last year.

Sadly, I was wrong, so my salsa was a little flat. But an overnight rest in the fridge blended the flavors really nicely. I love things that are better the next day! Next time I will get cilantro, too. But this had such a clean, fresh and uncomplicated flavor. Very nice.

Tomatoes, onion and peppers into the processor…

Give it a whirl…

I’m really into TJ’s reduced fat Mexican blend cheese, even though it doesn’t melt very well. It still tastes good!

In other (big) news…C returned for good!!!! Its amazing to have him back. The house just feels like a home again. I spent Sunday afternoon on the couch watching him put his stuff away and chatting. Getting a kiss every once in awhile. Heaven.

We went out to a new neighborhood Latin restaurant last night that was just…eh. Its sad because its so close and my favorite genre of food. Maybe it will get better? I have hope!

This past week I dug into the freezer to make myself some lunches. I had frozen CSA carrots, peas, squash and zucchini. I also still had an onion, some garlic and eggs from the CSA.

And don’t forget the ginger from the grocery store. Oh, ginger. Oh.

Mix that with a little left over rice…

I got something that actually swayed me from walking to McDonald’s yesterday for McNuggets. (!!)

And I’m having it again today. The lunch countdown begins!

I’m excited to get more veggies tonight, especially after I got the newsletter today and everything in the bag is on the “Safe Vegetable” list. Nothing from the “Scary vegetable” list because they gave us another chard-break!

I think I’m going to trademark the term “chard-break.” You CSA subscribers know what I mean…

Before I left for my vacation, I had a backlog of veggies that I knew wouldn’t make it the week that I would be gone. I spent hours getting it all frozen and/or used in some way, and I ended up improvising something quite yummy that fed me a lunch and dinner before taking off for the cruise. All the ingredients used were from the CSA (except salt, pepper, stock, olive oil and Parmesan).

I started with an almost mirepox, almost soffritto (but no celery!). It was heavy on carrots because I had a lot of them and I love their sweetness. I grated the carrots and the onion and chopped the garlic.

I cooked these for about 10 minutes and then added those tomatoes back there and cooked for another 10 min with some chicken stock until things had broken down and gotten sauce-y.

At the last minute of cooking I added a hearty amount of CSA parsley and basil to keep those flavors fresh.

I put the sauce over some boiled potatoes with a little parsely…and magic…a lunch and a dinner!

It was carrot-y and the potatoes just soaked up that sauce. Very yummy!

Also, this dish was extremely safe for me. WELL within my comfort zone, which was…well, comforting!

My little sister came for a visit this weekend and it was just wonderful. My step dad was coming up to Maryland for work anyway, so he dropped her off on Saturday morning. I decided to treat them to a little local veggie goodness.

Not to mention that I was feeling a little overwhelmed with veggies and they both eat anything!

I decided on a panzanella, because bread makes everything better. I read some recipes, but ended up just winging it.

I used all CSA veggies. I sauteed two small sweet onions and 1 clove of garlic, then added my two tomatoes and one zucchini. I didn’t let them cook very long, just to get some of the juices out and warm it up a bit, but I didn’t want to lose the fresh flavor.

I toasted cubes of wheat bread with olive oil in the pan, then added them to the veggies. Then I added a lot of CSA basil and some red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

MixMixMix (that’s me, there!)

I sprinkled some parm on at the end and served with  rotisserie chicken.

The fam enjoying. Yum!

Some adjustments I will do if I make this again: Toast the bread cubes more…they got just a tad soggy. I would also cook the zucchini a little longer, it was a little hard. But overall, a very good lunch!!

Fennel. Fennel is number one on the scary list. Numero Uno.

The last time fennel bit me in the rear was when C. was visiting. We went to our super favorite restaurant, Montemarte. They had a cold sweet pea soup on the menu. I ordered it because C. didn’t want to share the salad special with me because he wanted escargot (see how this is his fault?).

I love peas, so when the soup came I fearlessly–overcoming all my super tasting tendencies–put a big ole spoonful in my mouth without the traditional pinky dip and taste.

Um.

Um.

AHHHH. FENNEL SNEAK ATTACK.

Not cool fennel. Ruined my soup. Made it inedible. Now why are you in my CSA bag? WHY?

Numero Uno…

The Story

I'm skeptical of vegetables and joined a CSA to see if I can make friends with them. This blog exists so that I can hold myself accountable to eating what I paid for and document what I can do with lots of local produce!

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