Monday, March 5, 2018

Mediterranean Shrimp Salad for Two

Shrimp tossed with a spiced Greek yogurt & feta sauce, served 2 ways--spread on toast or layered with preserved and fresh vegetables in a salad.

Shrimp tossed with a spiced Greek yogurt & feta sauce, served 2 ways--spread on toast or layered with preserved and fresh vegetables in a salad.

Everybody dies famous in a small town.

I'm usually more pop music or classical than country music, but I've been humming Miranda Lambert's song for the past few days. Our little town* has a weekly newspaper and this blog was profiled. On the front page. Above the fold. I'm very pleased with the article and doubly glad that I don't need to clean my house to have you come and read this blog post. [Mom & Dad, I've already mailed a copy of the paper to you and when I did the gal at the UPS store said 'you were in the paper, weren't you? I read about you while eating dinner last night'.]

You can read the article here, and if you did--thanks for stopping by!

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image of a bowl of Mediterranean shrimp salad with spiced Greek yogurt, served over lettuce with olives and feta

As high falutin' as it may seem to be on the front page, that doesn't alter the reality that I spent part of the morning scooping the back yard. Let me tell you, replacing 8 pound Wee Oliver Picklepants (there is no replacement) with 40 something pound Robert Barker is NOT easier in that regard. However, once the back yard was cleaned up I did manage to have a pretty glamorous lunch.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Cocoa Beet Chocolate Chip Muffins (#MuffinMonday)

Shredded beets combined with cocoa powder and chocolate chips in a buttermilk-soaked oatmeal muffin. Farm share beets become a sweet treat!

photo of muffin pan with cocoa beet chocolate chip muffins

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This recipe is a fine example of how I put up my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetables during the season to feed my family all year long. I've fixed these muffins for folks to enjoy at the first CSA pick up of the season as well as in the middle of winter for a pink Valentine's day treat.

pic of a plate of cocoa beet chocolate chip muffins

I'm sharing them now because beets are one of the handful of items still left in my freezer, and because my half bath is painted a vibrant color--although not as vibrant as these beets. The swatch said Sun-kissed Apricot but we've renamed it Nuclear Sun-kissed Apricot. With the light on and the door open in the half bath an orange glow covers the foyer.  It's creepily bright.

image of an antique bathroom mirror in a bathroom with 'sun kissed apricot' painted walls
We found the mirror at an antique store--it's narrow, like the pedestal sink it sits above.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Asian Maple Sausage Meatballs (Gluten Free)

Sweet and heat combined into a gluten free Asian flavored meatball made with maple pork sausage and extra maple syrup. These little gems make a terrific appetizer or entree. Serve over rice or in lettuce cups.

photo of a dish of Gluten Free Asian Maple Sausage Meatballs served over rice

This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. Recently I lunched with several Ohio farmers and bloggers at Bob Evans Farms corporate HQ. In addition to an easy recipe, I'm going to share my thoughts on the visit. First, it was very special to know that Bob Evans uses Ohio grown pork in their products, so some of the food we enjoyed could have come from animals raised by the farmers in the room. I like to support my local farmers and meet the folks who grow the food I feed my family.

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What struck me most about the day was the intersection of science and art that goes into our food. No, I'm not talking about molecular gastronomy (I'm not 100% sure what that even means). I'm referring to engineers working to produce soybeans that efficiently turn a piglet into my bacon. Sounds like magic, but it's science. Because of science, farmers like Phil Hord and Tom Graham can raise pigs to their mature weight of 270 pounds within 6 months. Tom feeds his hogs up to 6 times a day, and since he's showering in and out of the barn that means Tom's winter skin is chapped but his hogs are healthy and we're enjoying antibiotic free pork.  Raising pigs more efficiently means folks like Nathan Schroeder, a 4th generation Ohio hog farmer, can come back to the family farm and make a living without needing an off farm job.

scenes from a tour of the Bob Evans Farms corporate HQ
Do you see all of those microwaves? When they say "Test Kitchen" they really mean testing! The side dishes and entrees are tested in a variety of microwaves to ensure the directions work for most machines.

At the luncheon I learned more about the international work our Ohio hog farmers are doing. I knew from my visit with Mark Runyan of Oakview Farm Meats that Ohio hog farmers work with pork producers around the world. My first degree was in Animal Science, so when Rich Deaton mentions "genetic material" I know he's talking about frozen straws used for artificial insemination. That genetic material can travel all over the world. I didn't know that Tom exports young female pigs overseas. Ohio born hogs are creating dynasties to feed folks throughout the world. That's some pretty impressive science!