Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 5 - the meals

Funny how I chose the warmest days so far to make soup. Oh well. Soup cravings wait for no weather. These are my two all-time favorites.

Russian Borscht - this soup has been near to my heart since I visited Ukraine twice on short term mission trips. Instead of beef broth I used chicken broth from last week's roasted chicken. Instead of cabbage, I used young potatoes, and liberally added some dried dill for seasoning. Russian/Ukrainian food is incomplete without cabbage or potatoes and dill, those are in everything over there! Just the smell of dill takes me back to my time in that country. Baked kale chips and homemade bread finished out the meal... love me some crusty artisan sourdough!

Next I made Italian Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup. Perfectly savory and meaty.

My last featured meal was pot roast with roasted rainbow carrots, new potatoes and garlic, topped with a flavorful carrot top/basil pesto. Really yummy, except I think that next time I would use more basil and less carrot top than the recipe calls for.

So here was week 5's CSA share. So yummy and interesting!

How I used all the veggies:

Swiss chard - smoothies
Baby potatoes - borscht and roasted veggies
Kohlrabi - fries (Yes I know, again. Could eat these every day ;)), sauteed the greens in butter
Zucchini - zucchini chips
Salad mix - lots of fresh green salads, on sandwiches
Rainbow carrots - roasted veggies, pesto
Fresh garlic - roasted veggies, soups

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sausage and Feta Ravioli

The filling: start with one cup of ricotta (here we have homemade goat milk ricotta... so, so yummy)

Then add one egg...
And 4 oz. grated parmesan (here I actually used Kerrygold Dubliner)

Once filling is all mixed together, and sausage cooked, it is time for the noodles.
 Prepare according to this pasta recipe, and you end up with a sheet that looks kind of like this...
 Place filling on one side of the rectangle, like thus...
 Fold over other side and pinch between filling (I wet the edges of the dough with a small brush and water, to help it stick better)...
 Cut them into individual squares...
 Plop in a pot of gently boiling, salted water, and cook for between 5-8 minutes (smaller ravioli will cook faster, etc.).
 Make a browned butter sauce with herbs to pour over ravioli.


Week 5 - More Raspberries!

A fun week! Up at my folks' farm we helped weed, mulch, stack hay, and in turn brought home some wonderful fresh raspberries and late strawberries. Yum.

A couple days later, my Babe also helped me pick another flat of raspberries at a local u-pick farm - not only very sexy, but he was also motivated by the thought of a bowl of Tillamook Dutch Chocolate ice cream with fresh raspberries sprinkled on top. Pretty much a to-die-for combination ;)

Plus, I love it when my man has a 3 day weekend in the middle of the week and he gets to come into my world a little bit :)

This week's gatherings:

5 jars goat milk - $25
CSA share - $25
1 flat of raspberries - $12
1 quart strawberries - free
Beet greens, kale, green onions, lettuce, basil and cilantro - free

Total for week 5: $62

Week 4 - the meals

Another fun (and delicious) week of meals.

If you can't tell already, we eat a lot of food. Large portions and often seconds. In my defense, I am tall, chasing after two little ones constantly and nursing a busy toddler. 'Nuff said.

I am posting more links to the recipes I have been using, so be sure to check them out!

Thursday - sausage, fresh sauerkraut made with the cabbage from an earlier CSA box, the rest of the butternut squash fries and fava beans sauteed in butter... oh my, I am falling in love with this vegetable. Fava beans have a meaty feel and nutty taste and are very satisfying. We went through the whole quart in less than 24 hours.

Friday - another favorite: pulled pork enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce, rice, beans, cheese, olives, fresh cilantro from last week's CSA, and finished off with a sprinkle of lime juice. One of my husband's most often requested meals.

Saturday - I roasted a whole chicken and made gravy, butter braised new turnips with turnip greens (and discovered a fellow blogger doing a similar challenge!) and a simple lettuce and radicchio salad.

Sunday - my lunch was so yummy - can't go wrong with chicken and cranberries! I shredded a whole head of buttercrunch lettuce, added a crunch of bacon and made Ree Drummond's creamy ranch dressing recipe. It was incredible, so glad I finally discovered an easy ranch that I can whip up whenever needed!

Sunday dinner - a super easy comfort food, ground beef, zucchini, onion and garlic sauteed in a pan, sprinkle with grated cheese and devour.
Monday -  Quiche with kale and green onions from my garden, garlic scapes, eggs from our layers, bacon, and a delightfully textured flaky butter crust. Needless to say, two adults and two toddlers polished the entire quiche in one meal.

Tuesday - leftovers
Wednesday - a repeat dinner of steak, roasted red potatoes with the remaining garlic scapes, and sauteed bok choy greens.

And a parting shot of the wonderful cherries we have been snacking on all week :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015


...this incredible vegetable deserves it's own post.

I still cannot believe I spent the first 20 years of my life ignorant about kale. I always assumed it was nasty and only for die-hard health nuts.

Even when I started buying it because I knew it was good for me, I just tried it in sour kefir smoothies and did not know I was supposed to remove the stem. So it still tasted somewhat nasty.

But no more.

Homegrown tastes even better, as you can pick the leaves when they are young and tender and use them within a day or two for optimum freshness.

Now I can eat a grocery bag full in one sitting, as kale chips.

Super simple.

Here is the recipe I use:

Kale Chips

1. Take a large bunch of kale and de-stem
2. Tear leaves into little pieces and spread onto a baking sheet
3. Sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt
4. Put baking tray into the oven and turn it on to 350 degrees F.
5. Bake for 12 minutes, and then check every minute or so until desired doneness.

Kale chips will be crispy when done, but still nice and green. If underdone the leaves will still look soggy and more like steamed greens.

Other ways I love to include kale is in smoothies (de-stemmed and in moderation), fresh salads, in place of spinach in recipes, sauteed and in egg dishes such as omelets and quiches, in soups (such as sausage, kale, and white bean soup)...

...but mostly just kale chips ;)

Week 4 - Cherry Thyme

Life is just a bowl of cherries...

Beef bones

Homemade lacto-fermented ketchup

This week's gatherings:

3 jars goat milk - $17
22 lbs cherries - $20
CSA share - $25
40 lb grass-fed beef bones - $40
1 lb smoked salmon - $18
1 lb coffee beans - $9
3 tubs of Tillamook ice cream - $12
1 gallon storebought milk - $3
100 lbs chicken feed - $25

Week 4 total: $169

Weeks 1-4 = $355

This was a bit of a cheat week, but we did try to stay as local as possible, even down to the smoked salmon from a Garibaldi fish shop, Tillamook ice cream from our local dairies to celebrate Father's Day, and coffee beans from a local coffee shop. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Week 3 - the meals

Here is what was included in my CSA share this week! I was very excited to see kohlrabi and garlic scapes, my favorites from last week ;)

I made a potato hash with sauteed onions, some leftover sweet peppers that were wilting in my fridge, garlic scapes, fresh young garlic, sausage, roasted red potatoes and garnished with italian parsley sprigs from my garden. It was delicious, both as dinner and with breakfast the next morning.

 Lots of fresh green salads this week! Pictured is a mixed salad of lettuce, radicchio, and beet greens. I added the last of my storebought feta, cranberries, sunflower seeds and fresh peas.

This was a winning recipe - balsamic pot roast with onions. So yummy. With it I steamed the young broccoli florets and sauteed the leaves in butter until wilted and slightly crunchy around the edges. I also baked up the last of the frozen butternut squash fries (they weren't yet done when I took this photo, I was impatient to dive into the pot roast so popped them back in the oven after snapping the picture ;)). The garden fresh broccoli was AH-MA-ZING. I knew it would be, but it was incredibly flavorful and the stems were a rich dark green, unlike bland and bleached storebought broccoli. Can't wait to get some more in a later CSA share!

This. Make this. An omelet with sauteed sweet peppers, garlic scapes, wilted kale, and bacon. Sprinkle on some cheese and it literally is so tasty I could eat it every day. I don't know why I hadn't tried kale in an omelet until now... such a versatile vegetable! I am freezing bags full to add to dishes later this summer when there aren't many greens in season.

I turned the leftover pot roast into roast beef sandwiches, kale chips and leftover smoked salmon dip and the last of the goat chevre with rice crackers.

Final dinner - chopped salad with carrots, beets, and peas. Spaghetti sauce with the last of the young garlic, garlic scapes, and garnished with fresh basil. Great flavor!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Week 3 - Lavendar and the first Raspberries

These are the season's new arrivals!

Gorgeous raspberries...

 Aromatic lavendar...

 Sweet and crunchy snap peas...

This week's gatherings:

3 jars goat milk - $17
CSA - $25
3 dozen eggs - $3
1 bunch lavendar - free
3 pints raspberries - free (gift card)
Peas, kale, beet greens - free (garden)

Week 3 total: $45

Week 2 - the meals

Week 2 - a definite success!

I am finding new joy in cooking good food for my family, using unique veggies and unleashing my creative side in spicing up familiar dishes. I am excited and passionate like never before about this area of service as a wife and mother. We are all eating several servings of nutrient filled, dark green leafies each day and feeling great!

Favorite moments: walking out to my raised garden beds and munching a handful of oh-so-sweet pea pods each morning and evening while I am watering. Harvesting huge bunches of gorgeous dark green kale and eating trays of baked kale chips (and sharing with two little munchkins). My evening ritual of preparing green smoothies (berries, beet greens & yogurt) for my husband to take to work, and watching kiddos holding their smoothies and sipping from the straw like it was the best thing to happen to them.

The main meals:

Friday we had t-bone steak, baked chard and roasted potatoes with garlic scapes. So delicious! Garlic scapes are buttery and flavorful, simply devine sauteed in butter or olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

The colorful red and yellow chard stems are sitting on my counter in brine for a few days, naturally fermenting for a healthy snack.

Saturday was grilled hot dogs, homemade lacto-fermented ketchup, lettuce and radicchio salad with feta, cranberries, olives, and homemade balsamic dressing. The favorite component (voted to be better than french fries by my husband) was kohlrabi fries with garlic aeoli sauce for dipping.

Sunday - our classic tomato soup and grilled cheese, except I spiced the sandwiches up with sauteed garlic scapes and bacon. Yum. I also baked the kohlrabi leaves as a side, leaving nothing to waste.

Monday was my favorite meatloaf recipe with fermented ketchup, leftover roasted red potatoes with garlic scapes and fava beans sauteed with garlic in bacon fat.

Tuesday - taco salad (heavy on the lettuce)! The next day for lunch I added fresh squeezed lime juice and a bit of cilantro from my garden.
 Wednesday we finished up the last of the veggies with grilled bok choy, homemade sourdough bread with butter and fresh strawberry jam, and pulled pork with barbeque sauce.

Conclusion: although all the veggies had great flavor, here is how the veggies ranked on my family's 'yum' scale.

#1. Kohlrabi fries. Hands down. The best.
#2. Garlic scapes. I could literally eat them anywhere, in anything.
#3. Baby lettuce. Just so tender, never wilted like grocery store lettuce.
#4. Swiss chard. The pickled stems are addicting, I was surprised how much I like them!
#5. Fava beans. Meh, just prefer fresh snap peas and regular green beans :)
#6. Radicchio. So good for you, I don't mind the bitterness :)
#7. Bok choy. I have tried this vegetable stir fried and now grilled/sauteed. With a lot of salt it is edible but none of us really prefer the flavor to the other vegetables we have tried! Points to any of my readers who can provide a winning bok choy recipe :)

Thank you, Super Natural Farm, for introducing us to so many new and delicious veggies! You do a great job on quality, freshness, and presentation, which is what I was hoping to find this year in a CSA :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Week 2 - Strawberry Season!

Here is this week's gatherings!

I'm honestly kind of nervous about this week's CSA... the garlic scapes, radicchio, kohlrabi, and fava beans are totally new to me. It is fascinating, though, the variety that God has provided in nature and all the veggies I might never have tried had I not bought a CSA!
CSA share

Good food is so pretty

Kale and beet greens - unlimited supply from my garden

Free range eggs

Raw goat milk

Oregon Strawberries

Kombucha - 1st and 2nd ferment in process

Homemade sourdough bread

My grocery store cheat. Sour cream for tacos and plain yogurt for our green smoothies. Can't wait until my friend's cow freshens in July and I should have enough raw milk to make these items from scratch!

My breakfasts typically look like this, now I am able to add veggies in the scrambled eggs - yum!
Bone broth, scrambled eggs, sausage, strawberries, & sourdough bread with butter
Afternoon snacks look like this...

Lunches and Dinners featured in the next blog post as I find ways to use this week's CSA veggie selection!

3 jars goat milk - $17
3 dozen eggs - $3
20 lbs strawberries - $20
CSA share - $25
Yogurt/sour cream - $8
Total for week 2: $73

Parting shot... because those strawberries are just so, so good ;)