Showing posts with label garlic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garlic. Show all posts

Monday, June 13, 2016

How to Dehydrate Garlic in an Oven

Garlic is ripe all at once. Put up your crop by dehydrating in an oven, then use your minced garlic year round. This tutorial shows you how.

garlic and garlic scapes in a raised bed garden

 Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

I started this blog (and most of my posts are for) people like me who eat locally and seasonally from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Every once in a while, though, I've got posts for backyard gardeners. We're an intrepid bunch, looking to grow our favorites each year as well as try new things.

Many gardeners I've known start with tomatoes, because nothing beats a homegrown summer tomato. With tomatoes as the gateway vegetable I find that peas, peppers, squash and melons aren't far behind. Growing garlic is the next level up, and I've lost count how many folks I've encouraged to give it a whirl.

finely chopped garlic ready to go on parchment paper

Where I've grown garlic--places that have some snowfall--I've found if tulip and daffodil bulbs will grow, so will garlic. [Never mind if your local varmints eat your tulip bulbs. In my experience the varmints don't have a taste for garlic.] You plant garlic in the Fall, and--this is why I'm posting now--harvest it all at once in early summer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How to Make My Family's Favorite CSA Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce

Practical advice for how to save ripe summer farm share vegetables--by roasting--for use in a kid-friendly spaghetti sauce all year long.

The purpose and timing of this post reflects my mission for this blog: to provide practical support for local eating. We chose to get a large Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share not because I'm a masochist and like to torture myself with overwhelming quantities of vegetables for the kids and I to eat while my spouse is deployed because it's a good value and I know if I put up the produce properly, I'll be feeding my family from the farm share all year long. With a couple of tried-and-true techniques, including #4 from this post, and a substantial Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient filled with ideas for what's in the box, my goal is to help you feed your people from your farm share as well.

Let's talk fantasy versus reality, especially as it pertains to spaghetti sauce. In a fantasy world, I'd start with ingredients like this and spend a leisurely day chopping and simmering in my spotless kitchen [this is my fantasy, after all]. Tomatoes would always be ripening in m weed-free back yard [no need to watch where you step either], basil would be fresh for the plucking, and I'd have an interesting assortment of eggplant, peppers, fennel and squash to make flavorful sauce. [Oh, and plenty of freezer space while we're talking fantasies].

In reality, this is what the start of my spaghetti sauce often looks like. It's a bit beetier, no? I grab a bag of vegetables and a piece of Parm rind out of the freezer, a jar of tomatoes out of the pantry, and 30 minutes later I've got sauce. Homemade sauce in a half an hour is possible only because I did some prep work in the late summer, as in right about this time of year. Typically I roast my vegetable surplus and freeze it in bags as shown, but this year I'll be throwing the farm share on the grill.
When I have more propane.
Funny, how propane is a necessary ingredient when you have a gas grill. Sunday night I came back from sled hockey camp [my son plays, I'm a hockey mom] planning to Grill All The Things in the crispers. I'd forgotten I was almost out of propane when I made pizza last. I turned on the oven instead. Using my previous little grill, a tank lasted almost 2 years. Now it lasts about 4 months. Just like you need lids and jars when you're ready to get canning, or a fresh roll of bags when you're freezing produce (Amazon affiliate link), you need propane to grill. If you have a gas grill, that is. Lesson learned.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Green Garlic Hummus with Green Garbanzo Beans

Freshly harvested mild green garlic and green garbanzo beans make a colorful and flavorful dip.

We are all hungry. My spouse is bike commuting these days and comes home starved. My kids get home from these last weeks of school and are starved. I think about making dinner and get peckish. Having an easy appetizer on hand, one that is protein-packed like hummus, is such a time- and appetite-saver for us all. I'm not worried about mindless snacking when I know what went into the dip.

Sometimes I'm buying the giant vats of Sabra from Costco to get our hummus fix. Sometimes I'm looking around at the contents of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box for hummus ideas. I've done quite a few for the blog--here are some of them: Avocado Feta Hummus Kale & Sumac Hummus Sriracha Butternut Squash Hummus Garlic Scape Pistachio Pesto Hummus uffalo Butternut Squash Hummus Image Map

In the spring we sometimes get fresh green garlic in the farm share. I like to play with it and try new things--I grow my own garlic but I've never harvested it as green garlic. Susan of Luna Cafe has a Fresh Primer on Green Garlic and Garlic Scapes--check it out here. [The garlic scapes, however, are something very worth harvesting--here's what a brand new baby scape looked like on my tallest plant the other day].

This hummus marks my first foray into green garbanzo beans. I saw some at my local spice shop and couldn't resist. I had no clue that spice shops existed before I moved to Dayton, and now I'm aware of 3--although I primarily shop at Spice Paradise where I got these beans. You can also make this with regular dry or canned chick peas. Whatever's easiest.

Green garbanzo beans and green garlic seemed like a good idea--so I made a hummus. We enjoy hummus with carrots, pita chips, pretzel chips, and even piled up in a plate with other summer eats for an easy dinner.

For other recipes using garlic, please see my Garlic Recipe Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Want to know how to Use This Blog? Click here. For other vegetable appetizers, please see my Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks Pinterest board. To see what's up in the garden, feel free to check out my FB page. And, for more clickable collages of recipe suggestions like the hummus above, click here

Friday, June 6, 2014

Roasted Garlic & Pesto Buttermilk Pizza Dough--on Fathers and Gardening

A tender wheaty buttermilk pizza dough flavored with homegrown roasted garlic and prepared pesto

a slice of cheese pizza made with roasted garlic and pesto pizza dough

 Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

Part 1:  An Old Farmer's Advice on Gardening

My dad was a guerrilla gardener before it was hip. [Is it uncool to say hip? Is it uncool to say uncool?] If Johnny Appleseed was known for planting apple trees, then Freddy Daffodilbulb would be my dad's nickname.  It's kind of unwieldy, though, so I'll stick with Dad.  My dad has stealthily--or blatantly--planted daffodil bulbs from Delaware to Ohio.  That's a pretty cool legacy.

When I was a little kid, my parents worked to turn our suburban backyard into an edible landscape.  [Homesteaders before that was cool, too.] The old small inground pool was filled in and turned into a bed for rhubarb, herbs, and bulbs.  I remember being pretty little and getting to use a hammer (!) to break up the concrete patio which became a strawberry patch.  It seemed like every year the amount of grass got smaller and the land in food production enlarged. We had cherry and apple trees in addition to that strawberry patch, and 2 areas of vegetables. **

Monday, November 18, 2013

Roasted Winter Squash Tacos

Strips of winter squash, roasted with peppers and onions, for a seasonal, vegetarian twist on the classic Taco Night
Roasted Winter Squash Tacos | Farm Fresh Feasts

I wish I could be more precise about the kind of winter squash I used for these tacos.  It looked like a cross between a pie pumpkin and an acorn squash, so I am positive both of these types of squash will work.  Ditto butternut or delicata squash, as they'd roast up the same way (and you wouldn't need to peel the delicata). I just got a buttercup squash in the farm share but haven't taken time to play with it yet, so the jury is still out on that one.  If you have a spaghetti squash, I recommend you try Julie's Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Tacos, as that recipe inspired me to look at the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve with an eye to making a vegetarian/vegan and bean free taco night dinner.

This is a Play With Your Benriner meal.  After laboriously halving, deseeding (more fun in next year's compost!), and peeling the squash, I thinly sliced it with my Benriner (link to Alanna's tutorial, or use a mandoline, or a sharp knife).  I gave the ends to the worms in the worm bin in my son's closet, as the composting guinea pig is not a fan.  Nor do pigs like the onion I thinly sliced next.  However, guinea pigs do like peppers and cilantro, so this meal wasn't an entire waste in a composting pig's eye as those were used in abundance.  Putting your seasonal abundance to work, that's what I'm all about.

I chose to roast the squash slices because I wanted a fajita strip shape (since I was using a bag of fajita size tortillas) and it was fun to layer the jalapeño, onion, sage and peppers on top of the squash to finish the whole thing under the broiler.  Only one pan to clean up, which I appreciate!

Roasted Winter Squash Tacos | Farm Fresh Feasts
Roasted Winter Squash Tacos | Farm Fresh Feasts

NOTE:  I created this recipe to be gluten free through my choice of ingredients. Check labels to confirm that your products are also gluten free. Good sources for determining that your products are gluten free can be found here:

Roasted Winter Squash Tacos

3 small winter squash, peeled, gutted, and sliced ~ 1/8 inch thick (about 7 to 8 cups loosely packed)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin (depending on how spicy you like things)
1/2 to 1teaspoon ground coriander (ditto)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (as above)

1 onion, peeled (skins to the soup pack!)
1 Tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, sliced into ribbons
2 cups sliced bell pepper, colors of your choice
Arizona Dreaming or other taco seasoning, a few shakes worth (probably 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon)

1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
shredded Mexican blend cheese
sour cream
salsa verde

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss squash slices with seasonings, then spread out on a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until soft and tender.  Add onion, jalapeño, sage and pepper strips on top of squash.  Shake a bit of seasoning (Arizona dreaming, or a taco seasoning) on top of the onion and peppers.  Turn on broiler, and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, about 4 inches from the heat, until the vegetables get some color.  Gently combine all vegetables in bowl to distribute the seasonings evenly.

One of the things I like about Taco Night is how everyone can customize their meal.  I liked to spread the tortilla with guacamole, then layer the roasted vegetables, cilantro, cheese and sour cream.  My spouse preferred to add salsa verde on his roasted vegetables for more spicy flavor.  The kids had some squash with their cheese and sour cream.  How would you top your taco?

Roasted Winter Squash Tacos | Farm Fresh Feasts

This post is shared on the Clever Chicks Blog HopTasty TuesdaysWhat's Cookin' Wednesday, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, From the Farm Blog Hop

I'm sorry, comments are closed on this post due to excessive spam.  If you're a real person, not a spam bot, I'd love to hear from you. If you'd like to share your thoughts, please go to my FB page.  Thanks!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Green Tomato, Pork, and White Bean Chili in a Slow Cooker

Green Tomato, Pork, and White Bean Chili in a Slow Cooker | Farm Fresh Feasts

Hello, my name is Kirsten and I have a problem.

(Hello, Kirsten.)

I like to make chili using not-the-usual vegetable suspects.  It all started with this Green Tomato Garlic chili recipe a year ago.  I liked it so much I put up a couple of quarts of chopped green tomatoes in the freezer for winter chili.  Instead of making more green tomato chili, however, I veered off in a squash and beet direction with Acorn Squash, Beet, and Sweet Potato chili.  Then I used a quart of the green tomatoes for Green Tomato Bacon Jam.

This chili has cubes of pork, Great Northern beans, and my put up salsa verde.  I wanted a thick chili, so I added some grits and wow--that did it for me.  We liked this chili with a swirl of sour cream stirred into each bowl.  I bet my corn cheddar bacon muffins would be great with it.  If you're having a chili cook off, this would be a little something different.  It's easy to fix (the slow cooker does most of the work) and the flavor is wonderful.  This is also great for a work day meal--brown the pork the night before while the kitchen is still active with dinner, chill it overnight, and dump all the ingredients into the slow cooker the next morning.

Note to self--this fall, put up more quarts of chopped green tomatoes!  In fact, I think I'll put the word out with my neighbors that if they don't want their tomatoes still on the vine when the first frost is predicted, I'll be happy to come harvest.  The cool thing about green tomatoes is that they can hang out on your counter for a few days until you can process them.  What's the worst that can happen--they start to ripen?  Oh, the horrors.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sun Gold Tomato Pesto Pizza

A vegan, nut-, and gluten free Sun Gold cherry tomato pesto sauce that is great as an appetizer or dip, a pizza sauce, or pasta sauce.  It freezes well, too.

One of the near-guarantees, if you're in a summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or farm share subscription, is a lot of tomatoes.  Quite possibly more than you can cope with in a week.  This week, for example, I got four quarts of tomatoes.  Four!  I had a quart of cherry tomatoes, 2 quarts of slicing tomatoes, and a quart of heirloom tomatoes.  (And I'm the only human around who likes to eat raw tomatoes.)
However, I'm not the only household member who's thrilled that Sun Gold season is upon us.
Some people like to gobble up cherry tomatoes like candy.  Others like their tomatoes cooked, never raw.  Still others grow into almost liking tomatoes.  I recall I first tried a summer tomato sandwich, as a non-raw-tomato-eating adult, thanks to a food writer at The Washington Post--her description of the flavors sounded so good that, even though I wasn't a fan of raw tomatoes, I toasted some bread, grabbed the mayo, salt and pepper, sliced a tomato from the garden and discovered a wonderful taste sensation.  That still remains my favorite way to enjoy tomatoes in the summertime.

What choice do I have other than to Deal With All these quarts of tomatoes?  Next week will bring a new box, and sooner or later my own tomatoes will ripen.  I've got to get these tomatoes put up.  
If you're curious, I slow-roasted most of the slicing tomatoes overnight, following Alanna's excellent tutorial, and I put up 4 half pints of heirloom tomato & cashew pesto in the freezer, then I gave a couple of slicers to my neighbor, and the pigs and I snacked on the rest of the cherry tomatoes.  I'm all set.  This week.  I'm lucky they'll just keep coming until frost.
Since I used primarily slicing tomatoes when I made and put up Heather's Fresh Tomato Pesto, I decided to use the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and my kitchen scale to provide a metric weight-based recipe for this delicious sauce.  I noticed that I needed less oil for these juicy summer tomatoes than I needed for the late season tomatoes.  I threw the sauce on a pizza, so I could get this ever-so-seasonal post up for Friday Night Pizza Night. For real--the dishes are still in the sink, this recipe is that fresh!  You'll be reading it while I'm still cleaning up the mess and the kids are fighting over the leftovers.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Basic Kale Pizza Dough (Pizza Night!)

The first weeks of a seasonal summer CSA farm share are like the Spanish Inquisition:  no one ever expects it, and by it I mean all the greens.  You sign up for a summer share and you're thinking tomatoes, corn,  cucumbers, zucchini.  Those crops are all heat-loving summer crops.  What is ripe in August is not what is ripe in June.  In June, because what is ready was started weeks/months before in the cool spring, so you get greens.  Arugula, beet greens, cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, salad greens, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and kale, kale, kale. (See the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient for ideas!)

It took me a while to embrace the greens, I admit.  Oh, not the salad mix, or spinach, those are pretty easy to love.  And Swiss chard is home and mother to me as I grew up eating it from our backyard garden.  My trouble with spring greens is this:  while I like cooked greens, by May/June I'm craving light, fresh fare, not long-simmered flavorful "pots of greens" goodness.

Yes, I could put the greens up to enjoy in winter soups.  But it's not even summer yet, and I'll be getting more greens at the end of the CSA season as the weather turns to fall.  I needed to find ways to enjoy my spring greens NOW.
My current obsession is sautéed beet greens and spring onions seasoned with sherry vinegar and topped with a sunny side up egg.  On rainy days, and we've had a few, we're enjoying a Finnish summer soup with kale.  In the meantime, however, it's time for a Friday Night Pizza Night and this time, I bring you a basic kale pizza dough. [Does my use of the term basic mean that in the future there will be another type of kale pizza dough (link to Spicy Kale Pizza Dough)?  Why yes, yes it does. Clever reader, you.]
Not interested in kale on a pizza?  Try my Visual Pizza Recipe Index for other ideas!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fresh Tomato Pesto: How to Make, Put Up, and Use It

I hate to waste food, and I'm pretty sure that you hate to waste food, too.

As I get to know the people who grow my food, I also hate to waste their time and the literal fruits of their labors.  When I decided to start a blog, I did so because I'd had success figuring out ways to take the farm share produce (that came into my house between May and November) and feed it to my family during the off season as well.

Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

Tomatoes processed with nuts, herbs, garlic & oil. This recipe can be frozen, and is great with a wide variety of tomatoes.

I know you like to eat tasty food (you're reading a food blog, so this is a guess, I'm not stalking you or anything) but it's just common sense not to enjoy composting or throwing away something you paid for that could have benefited you, your family, or hungry folks in your community had it been consumed in time.

So I need to share today a lesson in putting up a food which you may think couldn't ever be wasted:  a garden fresh tomato.

yellow tomatoes used to make fresh tomato pesto
As soon as you have fresh (yours or someone's garden, CSA farm share, or farmer's market--not grocery store) tomatoes, please make this.  You'll thank me!  I've been thanking Heather! Not Simon, who photobombed the shot.

I know you're thinking "What, is she crazy?  I look forward to tomatoes from my garden all winter long!  I start them too early in the Spring because I can. not. wait. to eat fresh tomatoes!"

Sure, sure. You're saying this in May.  In June.  But what are you saying in September? October?

The fresh picked tomato has less of an appeal then.  That's the time I am canning tomatoes, slow roasting tomatoes, doing anything but simply enjoying the fresh flavor of a tomato allowed to ripen naturally and picked at its peak of flavor.

Why am I nattering on about this?  To put you in my mindset last fall when Heather posted her Cherry Tomato Pesto recipe. I had all the ingredients so I thought I'd give it a whirl (pun totally intended), but I was not expecting my reaction to my first taste of it.

It's broke da mouth good.

I was licking the bowl of the food processor when my spouse walked into the kitchen.  I sheepishly gave him a taste, and then he understood why.  Not content to make the recipe once (and in the interests of science and/or this blog), I made it multiple times, shown here.  I've used your basic red tomato, yellow taxi tomatoes, indigo rose tomatoes.  I've used cashews and almonds, and Leanne suggests it's great with macadamia nuts for a more dairy feel--without dairy.  I've used fresh basil, fresh parsley, and, when the fresh stuff ran out, I've made it with put up Arugula Pesto and Basil pesto right from the freezer.  I froze a bunch of tomato pesto in November, and thawed the final bag in April (shown above, after I learned to take a slightly better photo of it, even though the dog photobombed me).  I'll go so far as to say that you could make this pesto with any kind of tomato, nearly any kind of nut you have available, and nearly any kind of flavorful leafy green or herb you have available and it will taste great.

For other recipes using yellow or red (or orange, or purple--the variety of tomatoes in the farm share continues to astound me), please see my Tomato Recipes Collection. [I have a separate one for recipes made with Green Tomatoes]. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

a collage of the different combinations of tomatoes and nuts used to make fresh tomato pesto

a collage of the steps involved making fresh tomato pesto

Fresh Tomato Pesto Sauce 

(very slightly adapted from Heather's Cherry Tomato Pesto)


  • 4 medium or 2 large tomatoes (tops to the composting pigs!)
  • 1/2 cup packed basil, parsley, or arugula leaves
  • 1/3 cup salted cashews, almonds, or macadamia nuts
  • 1 clove garlic (or use some roasted garlic, if you like)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Throw everything in the food processor.  Pulse a few times to chunk it up, then puree on high several seconds until smooth.  
  2. Scrape down sides and puree a couple moments more to get that last pesky piece of cashew incorporated.  
  3. Store in the fridge a few days, or in the freezer at least up to 6 months.
  4. This makes enough for 2 pizzas plus an appetizer for a hungry spouse who walks into the kitchen while you're licking the bowl because it tastes so amazing. We enjoyed this on pita chips, tortilla chips, carrot slices, baguettes, and pasta.

I've used it on a few pizzas, too:
Not-So-Simple Cheese Pizza
Five Cheese Pizza with Indigo Rose Tomato and Almond Pesto on a Butternut Squash Crust
Broccoli Rabe, Mushroom, and Roasted Garlic with Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Tomato Pesto
Beef, Mushroom, and Fresh Tomato Pesto FFF-boli
Buttermilk Crust Pizza with Pepperoni and Fresh Tomato Sauce

This post is bopping around to What's Cookin' Wednesday, waving "hi!" to Heather, who first shared this recipe, at What's In The Box,  the From The Farm Blog Hop the Clever Chicks Blog Hop , Tasty Tuesdays, and the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, Real Food Fridays.

an assortment of freezer bags filled with fresh tomato pesto

Monday, May 13, 2013

Very Veggie Sloppy Joes for a Crowd

Sloppy joes are a kid-friendly meal. Add finely shredded vegetables to the beef and you'll be boosting the nutrition of this crowd favorite!
Lesson #4 in action.

I went through a long stretch of adulthood without eating sloppy joes.  All Lunch Lady joking aside, I have no idea why that was.  I like my joes.  That long stretch was finally broken one lunchtime when a bunch of moms gathered with their kids at my friend Miho's house.  She served a big pot of sloppy joes and all of a sudden I remembered loving them as a kid.  My kids tried them for the first time and thought they were pretty tasty.  I started making them for my family, and I'm pleased I can stretch a pound of ground meat into multiple meals.

When I signed up to bring lunch at the thrift shop, I wanted to make something that would appeal to a variety of meat eaters (I knew there were no vegetarians that day).  I also wanted something with veggies, and something that could sit in a crock pot unattended all morning while I was busy out front.  Very Veggie Sloppy Joes fit the bill.  I fixed this the afternoon before and brought my crock pot and rice cooker in to the store to provide everyone with options*.
*I am all about the options, I realize.  Even the composting pigs get a choice of sleeping compartment each night when we put the Pigloo, the Woodland Hideaway, and the SnackShack into their cage.  Two pigs, three bedrooms.  Back to the topic at hand.

My friend Cathy mentioned that her family enjoys the Pioneer Woman's sloppy joe recipe, so I used that as a jumping off point for this recipe, but added more veggies since I've put them up from my CSA farm share.  We like our first round of joes on buns, with a slice of cheese and a squirt of yellow mustard.  The leftovers get served over rice, with an optional cheese slice sandwiched between the joe and the rice.  My kids enjoy this in a thermos at school, or come home for lunch and eat it here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Leftover Remake: Ham and Bean Soup--No Salt Added + Slow Cooker option (Leftover Ham Week)
My spouse took this photo.  This flower that has sprouted in a seam between the tiles on the roof of the Believer's Palace in Baghdad, which was actually a decoy building to hide a bunker that was built underneath the palace.  On my FB page I've shared what it looked like just to the right of the photo.
Bloom where you are planted.
To me, this quote exemplifies the best of military spouses.  Due to our spouses' careers, we often find ourselves re-creating our lives every few years as we move across the globe.  So many military spouses I know are enthusiastic, energetic people genuinely interested in exploring what makes this new location different than the last home.

It was with this spirit of adventure that I joined the local military spouse group for a tour of Dorothy Lane Market.  DLM is an amazing grocery store less than one mile (according to Map My Walk) from my home.  You may know of Wegman's--the Northeast US chain of grocery stores known for amazing customer service, happy employees, and terrific products.  DLM is a 3 store midwestern version.  During our tour of DLM, the thing that struck me was how similar to my kitchen the store is run.
Stores, they're just like us.
I make no secret that I'm partial to marked down produce, day old bread, and discounted meat and dairy products.  I'd noticed that I never saw magical markdown stickers at DLM, and during the tour I learned why.  Primarily, most of the baked goods and dairy products are picked up by different shelters each day.  But the rest of the stuff?  Tom told us it gets made into soups for the hot foods area, into salads, and into prepared foods sold in the ready-to-eat section.  Have you ever looked at your fridge and thought, "well, I need to use up that half onion, that baked potato, that bit of chard, that ham . . ."?  Can you imagine having an entire produce section/meat department/dairy department at your disposal?  Wowza.

During our tour we went from the top of the store to the basement, checking out different departments along the way and enjoying samples--including amazing fresh mozzarella made by the very talented Tracey.  Wow, that on a pizza, with some cherry tomato pesto and CSA farm share spinach?  We checked out the kitchens--does anyone other than Hobart make commercial dishwashers?  I really appreciated the chance to peek behind the scenes of a place I shop at frequently--all because of a curious military spouse's initiative.  Thanks, Aileen!

When we moved in to our home, our neighbors welcomed us with a box of cookies and Killer Brownies® and I was just blown away.  Seriously amazing goodies.  I'd known that we could walk down to Graeter's ice cream before we moved in, but this DLM store was new to me.

I was delighted when my daughter went Christmas shopping at Dorothy Lane Market.  No, she did not give me a Killer Brownie.  Instead, she gave me a container of beans + a recipe for Heavenly Ham® Bean Soup.  Recently she helped me make the soup--and her interpretation of the seasonings turned it into a delicious soup without any additional salt (the ham is salty enough, we think).

I used to buy the bags of Ham Been soup that contained such a pretty array of beans plus a seasoning packet.  I'd follow the recipe, using my leftover ham bone, and make a delicious soup.  Then I read the contents of that seasoning packet and resolved to make my soup without it, and it never really turned out right.  Something was just off.

I'm so glad I had my daughter help me make this recipe I'm sharing with you today.

There are 2 cool things about this recipe.  First, the recipe includes the amounts and kinds of dry beans*, so if I wanted to make up quart jars of my own pretty bean mix for gift giving I could.  Second, I got to use a jar of crushed tomatoes that I put up in the fall (which, come to think of it, would make a good pair of jars to give:  a jar of crushed tomatoes plus a jar of dried beans plus the recipe to use both to make soup).
*If you want to make your own pretty bean mix, here's what the recipe suggests:  1/2 cup (dry) each of lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, navy beans, black beans, red kidney beans and lima beans.  Four cups total of mixed beans.

Monday, March 11, 2013

(48.3% Meat)Loaf Stretching Meat Part 3
(I know this is not meatloaf.  This is the sweet and white potato mash with cottage cheese I plopped on Loaf #2)

You know I'm all about the Frugal Eco Farm Fresh Feasting, how I stretch meat by making tacos, and burgers.  I do not hide vegetables in other dishes.  I am completely aboveboard with my family when it comes to adding additional vegetables in traditionally non-additional-vegetable foods (like eggplant in the spaghetti sauce or spinach in the pizza crust).

Ok, I lied, in fact I've totally been known to slip a beet into a blueberry smoothie, though I try to own up to it if I'm asked a direct question involving specific vegetables.

But when I make meatloaf, the family totally knows that there's more than just meat in that loaf. When I saw ground pork marked down at the store, I knew it was time to make up a batch of meatloaf, Farm Fresh Feast style.

Today, we weighed the ingredients (and apparently didn't take photos), did the math, and in fact, this "meat" loaf contains 48.3% meat.  What's the rest?  I'm glad you asked. Meatloaf for me is more of a concept recipe, as Alanna of A Veggie Venture and Kitchen Parade would say.  I use a mix of meats (usually ground beef and pork), a bunch of veggies, something dry, and some sauce.  Sometimes I add an egg or two if it seems too loose.  Sometimes I add salt and pepper or other seasonings. I make this into 2 small loaves and freeze one uncooked for a later meal.  Luckily I took some photos of the second time 'round.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Deployment Pizza (Pizza Night!)

NOTE:  I don't usually feel qualified to offer wine pairings, but I will say that deployment goes well with Old Vine Zinfandel in a Bota box.

Having your partner-in-life absent for long stretches of time is un-fun.  If he is where somebody's shooting at him, it just sucks.  Everything is on you.  The one you turn to when life gets rough is not only not there, but very probably dealing with his own stuff too.  More than likely, your partner is also not readily reachable to help you cope.

So what do you do?

For me, a few things keep me semi-sane, though I freely admit I live in a particular state of crazy during deployments or long stretches apart, despite my best efforts to stay sane.  I exercise, spend time with friends, try to eat semi-healthy foods, and have read-in nights/mornings with the kids.  These are all things I do for me.  Doing for me helps me do for the others in my life (you know, put your oxygen mask on first and all).

This pizza is just that--for me.  I developed it during one of my spouse's deployments and, to be honest, I kinda miss fixing it after he's been home for a long stretch.  Since I recently celebrated my birthday, I've made my Deployment Pizza and written it up for you.  It starts with a spinach crust, made in my old bread machine, followed by Trader Joe's Artichoke Antipasto (Costco's Artichoke Asiago jar also works, or some similar jarred mixture of artichokes and Other Things), anchovies, and Trader Joe's Quattro Formaggio over top.

I am sure you don't like anchovies.  So don't put them on your pizza.  This one is mine.  And other than sharing this recipe on my blog, I'm keeping it for myself!  Though if you ask nicely and don't mock the fish, I'd give ya a slice.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Red Russian Kale, Baby Bella, and Feta with Roasted Garlic Oil (Pizza Night)

Sautéed baby bella mushrooms and Red Russian kale on a roasted garlic oil-brushed pizza crust.

It's Pizza Night again!
This time I had a hankering for mushrooms, and conveniently found some baby bellas marked down at the grocery store.  There's frequently milk marked down there too, which is also convenient as my kids can drink a gallon in the time it takes me to dance around the kitchen Gangnam style.
Pay no attention to the bacon in the foreground.  Or do, your choice.

If you ever tried kale chips, you'll know that lovely frizzled kale melting on your tongue feeling that you can get eating some soon after they've come out of the oven.  This pizza tastes like that to me.  I also like the earthiness of the mushrooms combined with the garlic and kale.  Crazy good.
I posted about how I put up my garlic.  On the advice of my friend Heather, I used a clove of roasted garlic to flavor olive oil and tried that as the pizza sauce. Delicious!

For other ideas using Red Russian kale, please see my Kale Recipes Collection. For other recipes using mushrooms, please see my Mushroom Recipes Collection. These are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other pizza ideas, please see the Visual Pizza Recipe Index and my Friday Night Pizza Night! Pinterest board. Would you like to learn How to Use This Blog? Click here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Processing a Pile of Pesto before the Frost comes!

A tutorial for how to put up a large quantity of basil pesto. Remember this at the end of summer!

Forty-one degrees out this morning-not expecting that!  I figured I'd better harvest all the basil and put it up before it gets OBE (overcome by events).  Here's what I did.

To me, pesto is all about ratios.  If you have a ton of leaves, you will need 1/8 ton of toasted pine nuts, 1/4 ton of shredded parmesan cheese, 1/4 ton of olive oil.  Oh, and 2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Ish.
Even if this harvest is short of a ton, it's still a lot of leaves to get through.  I buy pine nuts and parmesan during the basil season just so I don't get caught short when I'm ready to make pesto.
Forgot the garlic. Again. And salt.

For other recipes using mass quantities of herbs, please see my Herb Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Wanna know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

All About Garlic

Garlic is one of those crops that is ready to harvest all at once.

While it is easy to store for long periods, if you're harvesting your year's supply of garlic in June, you may want to have some put by when you go to grab a clove in November and find nothing but shriveled, dry husks.

In my garden, I use one raised bed for my garlic and pesto harvests.  In the fall, I plant garlic (around the time you'd plant tulips). After harvest in early summer, I plant basil in the same space. I'll use the basil throughout the summer, then pull the plants and put up a pile of pesto (link to my tutorial) for winter. For a full explanation plus more photos, please see my guest post over at She Eats.

All About Garlic | Farm Fresh Feasts