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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.

 

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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.

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!

Tomatoes. One of my first veggies, but I guess its technically a fruit? Oh well.

Little tomatoes, dried in a low oven for 3 hours with olive oil, salt and pepper. Their concentrated flavor is delicious. Plus, they keep in the fridge for a long time in oil. I’m planning to mix them with some pearl couscous and chicken.

I also made some sauce out of the BIG tomatoes.

I even peeled and seeded them! Its my ‘I’m not lazy’ sauce.

Into the pot, then into my dish. I also made some turkey meatballs with lots parsley.

This is my kind of comfort food. It whole wheat pasta, too.

Tomato season has been the best part of the CSA so far!

C. and I got engaged in May of ’08. Seems like a really long time ago now!

It was such a happy time. Not only because I was marrying the person who loved me in a way that I wanted AND needed, but because I got to REGISTER. At Crate and Barrel. Oh yeah.

With C. in tow, my mom, sister and I ran to the nearest location in Raleigh, NC. We got the guns and started scanning. C. was SUCH a good sport, but eventually got really overwhelmed and freaked out about a cupcake carrier. (Which just happens to be in my kitchen right now, thanks to best bud).

Over the next year that first attempt was changed pretty regularly, with C.’s input, thanks to their online registry. He could participate without being overwhelmed by the store.

Everyone was so generous with us and as a result I have an amazingly well stocked kitchen. One of our first gifts (a shower gift) was a waffle iron. We registered for the model/type recommend by Alton Brown (Good Eats) and used his recipe the first Sunday we were back from the Honeymoon.

In fact, I keep a short hand form of this recipe under the wheat flour in my kitchen. It’s the only one I will ever use. Its perfection.

I often make a double batch and freeze them for to-go waffles all week!

Supplies: hot waffle iron (highest setting), batter, ice cream scoop and cooking spray.

All Done!

With black berries and cream…

Here is the recipe…I mean it…you will NEVER look back. I put some of my notes in there, too.

Basic Waffles

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005

Serves: approximately 6 (8-inch round) waffles
Ingredients

  • 4 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 1 cup
  • 4 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
  • Vegetable spray, for waffle iron

Directions

Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. (I put mine on the highest setting b/c I like darker waffles)

In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In another bowl beat together eggs and melted butter, and then add the buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!)

Ladle the recommended amount of waffle batter onto the iron according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. (I use an ice cream scooper and put in two level scoops). Close iron top and cook until the waffle is golden on both sides and is easily removed from iron. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

I had one of those mornings where I woke up just as the sun was rising and started thinking.

Well, not really thinking…worrying.

I lost a dear person in my life this week.  A sweet and wonderful lady, my step mother’s mother…one of the 4 grandmas I am lucky enough to have. It started me thinking about other people in my life and how important they are. And at dawn, those things seem scary and unmanageable.

So I got my butt out of bed and made some breakfast.

Having something to do lessened the blues. And of course, chopping stuff up is always therapeutic!

My eggs are on top (sans-chard), C.’s are on the bottom. Other ingredients (all from CSA) were garlic, red pepper, chives and a tomato.

Very good, but I may have made a little bit too much for that early in the morning! Oh well.

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!!

I’m planning a lot of good veggie cooking this weekend, but for a Friday, we need something…sweeter.

Like homemade ice cream, perhaps?

This recipe is perfect for blueberry shortcakes. It has buttermilk, whiskey and honey, along with the standard ice cream ingredients. Heavenly. The tang of the buttermilk was great with the sweetness of the blueberries.

The whiskey adds the perfect bite, and apparently helps the ice cream set up a bit more softly. Did I mention you don’t have to cook anything? Just mix ingredients and dump into the ice cream machine. We ate it as soft serve, but it did set up nicely for later.

And a little tip–cover the surface of your ice cream with plastic wrap and it prevents those pesky little ice crystals from forming!

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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