Showing posts with label grilling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grilling. Show all posts

Monday, July 17, 2017

Smothered Pork Chops

This recipe for Smothered Pork Chops is a fast meal elegant enough for company but simple enough for a weeknight dinner.

close up image of a tray of creole style smothered pork chops

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I'm working with the Ohio Pork Council, focusing on everyday recipes using different cuts of pork to share the versatility of this protein. Over the coming year (which, like an academic year or the federal government's fiscal year has nothing to do with the calendar year) I'll be posting a number of recipes as part of this partnership. I'm clear on my purpose for this website, sharing practical support for local eaters, so you know I'll be bringing a local, seasonal perspective to my recipes. Next month I'll be sharing a recipe using ground pork and green tomatoes, then later in the year we'll explore bacon and leftover ham.

pic of a perfectly cooked pork chop showing a blush of pink

To kick off this series, the Ohio Pork Council invited me along to a farm dinner. "You want me to come out, get fed, then write about it? I'm in." I apologize for the quality of the location photos. While we were coordinating the date for this event, the military up and transferred my spouse to his new assignment in Minnesota so all of the images are mine. You can see his photographs of Oakview Farms in my post about my visit with the Runyan family, How to Grill the Perfect Pork Chop.

view of the country lane with cornfields on either side of the road
To set the stage, here's what I saw when I turned off the highway--a road curving off into the distance with healthy stands of corn on either side. I felt myself relaxing at that moment--the rush to finish up at work (I'd left a pot of cioppino to simmer and raced out the door) and worry about being late melted away. I'm guessing my instinctive reaction is due to my Dad growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. A rural lane surrounded by cornfields = happy childhood memories of visiting my grandparents imprinted onto my subconsciousness. Introspection aside, I was in the right frame of mind when I arrived at the Surber farm.

John and Connie Surber are the 5th of going on 7 generations of hog farmers in Sabina, Ohio. They started off making animal feed (10 to 12 different formulations just for young pigs alone if I got that right) and then later added a Mother Barn for momma pigs (sows) having babies (farrowing) up thru weaning (3 weeks for piglets vs 3 years for my daughter). [For a peek at how hogs are raised after weaning, please see Heather's visit to Uncle Squeals' operation.] The Mother Barn is biosecure--that means showering in and out to keep the hogs healthy and the pork free of antibiotics.

scenes from the farm dinner at the Surber family hog farm

The Surber family hosted this farm dinner, but it sure was a group effort. The event was coordinated by Heather, The Food Hussy, aka my pork pimp. I met two more fellow Ohio food bloggers, Nicole of Brown Sugar  along with her darling son and her mom, and Jill the Foodtastic Mom along with her enthusiastic kiddos. After John & Connie, and Neil Rhonemus (Uncle Squeals himself) talked about raising hogs, Chef Matt and Chef Jeff of Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices shared how to cook several cuts of pork.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Grilled Vegetable Enchiladas

These vegetarian enchiladas are stuffed with eggplant, peppers, and summer squash. Make dinner prep quick by using prepared sauce and previously grilled vegetables. While it's baking you can toss a salad and a healthy dinner is done.

close up photo of a serving of vegetarian enchiladas stuffed with grilled vegetables

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It's all about balance. Last week I shared a recipe for Salsa Verde Pork Tacos. Today I'm going to swing over to the other end of the Foucault pendulum and share a vegetarian recipe for grilled vegetable enchiladas. If I were an organized, Type A, person I'd keep track of the meals our family actually eats [vs a meal plan which I may or may not keep up with . . . . squirrel!]. I would bet that our meals these days are close to 60-40 in favor of vegetarian meals. With a spouse who will only eat meat if it's from small, local farms, it's easier to prepare one or two large batches of meat-containing meals (soup/stew, casserole, or meatballs & spaghetti sauce) and let the kids eat leftovers when they aren't interested in the vegetarian option.

ingredients used to make grilled vegetable enchiladas

I feel compelled to use the beginning of a new paragraph to point out that this meal is not finished on the grill. It starts on the grill to be sure, but one of my 5 tips & tricks for feeding my family from the farm share is to put up the abundance during the season. Grilling and freezing vegetables is one way I feed my family locally-grown foods year round, and if you've got the freezer space it's another tool in your kitchen repertoire.

These vegetarian enchiladas are stuffed with eggplant, peppers, and summer squash. Make dinner prep quick by using prepared sauce and previously grilled vegetables. While it's baking you can toss a salad and a healthy dinner is done.

You know I couldn't let the run up to Cinco de Mayo go by without an enchilada recipe. I first tried homemade enchiladas at a baby shower in Illinois when I was new to the Air Force, and that opened my eyes to the realization that enchiladas are NOT just for restaurants. Once I got into making them, I realized that enchiladas are a terrific way to incorporate vegetables into my family's meals. I've got a Clickable Collage of Enchilada Recipes here.

Friday, November 25, 2016

How to Grill the Perfect Pork Chop with Oakview Farm

The secret recipe to a perfectly grilled pork chop from an Ohio hog farming family.

a panoramic view of Oakview farm

This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. They have compensated me for my time, arranged the visit I'm sharing today, enjoyed the delicious grilled pork chops, and supplied me with loads of pork products I'll be using in recipes to come.

photo of perfectly grilled pork chops on the grill

Want to win a Family 4 Pack of tickets to the 2017 Ohio State Fair PLUS coupons for 4 Free Meals at the Ohio Pork Council Food Stand in the Taste of Ohio Café? 

Scroll down to the bottom to enter!

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This time of year there's a buzz to shop locally and support small businesses.  I know that by choosing to spend my cash in a local business, nearly half of each dollar spent stays in my local economy. That money will keep on circulating around, supporting the people and places near me. That's why I buy local. Well, that and I think fresh food tastes better so I may as well enjoy it.

image showing recirculation of dollars spent at local businesses vs chain retailers

I want to challenge my readers to expand their support past a single day of the year, and commit to making one Saturday a month Small Business Saturday. I've got an idea for you--instead of just buying holiday gifts from small businesses once a year, what about staples? Can you think of an item you could source locally? How about food [this site is about food, after all]. Perhaps a condiment, spice rub, loaf of bread, honey, eggs or meat? Choose to buy that item exclusively from your local source for the next 4 months. What about gifts for other people--in the form of gift certificates to local businesses? Talk about a win-win situation!

shop small local businesses

I've been supporting my local farmers by participating in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share for over a decade. I started this website to help other folks like me make the most of the fresh produce both while it's seasonally abundant and by putting it by so I could keep on eating locally even in the winter months. Over the past couple years I'm learning how convenient it is to source my meats locally as well. Once my spouse decided to stop eating meat unless he knew where it came from, it became imperative for me to up my local meat game. When the Ohio Pork Council invited me to tour a local hog farm I immediately emailed my spouse and asked, "are you free next Monday to go visit a farm with me?" Many photos in this post where taken by him.

close up image of a perfectly grilled pork chop

Now, before I get to the farm visit, I'd like to share a little bit about Ohio Pork.  If you're buying pork at the farmer's market or at a farm store you can be reasonably sure it was locally produced. Did you know that by buying pork sold at grocery stores, like the Kroger down the road, you continue to support Ohio farm families? There are 3,500 farms in Ohio raising pork--for our region and for a lot of the East coast as well, as Ohio is one of the closest pork-producing states to one third of all Americans. Click here for more information about Ohio Pork.

Mark Runyan and I talking about something pork related.

Now I'll tell you a bit about the Ohio hog farmer I met, Mark Runyan of Oakview Farms, before getting to the title of this post--the Runyan family's secret to the perfect grilled pork chop.

the entrance sign to Oakview Farm Meats store

Oakview Farms is a 4th generation hog farm located in Urbana, Ohio. During our visit we met with Mark's parents, Bud and Ruth, as well as his son Myer. Bud and Ruth live next door to the store, Oakview Farm Meats, and we divided our visit between the 2 places. I learned so much and I am afraid I'll skip over some parts [I may know a tad more than a civilian about pork production thanks to my degree in Animal Science] and I don't know what you don't know, you know? For example, when you buy meat at Oakview Farm Meats, or at the farmer's market, that meat is frozen. Why? Just like Clarence Birdseye knew that freezing vegetables right after they are picked ensures the best quality product, freezing meat after it's harvested results in the best quality product. Yes, it makes me need to plan ahead to use move meat to the lower shelf of the fridge to thaw the day before, but it's worth it. You can't beat that kind of freshness.

Mark Runyan and I with a bountiful basket of pork products

I was expecting to see some pigs on this tour, but I didn't and I'll tell you why: biosecurity. The Runyans care more about the health of their livestock than they do about my desire to take a picture with a pig, and that is how it should be. We all carry germs with us, and if my germs were to get a pig sick, they'd need antibiotics. To avoid needing to give hogs antibiotics it's just easier to make the barn a secure facility. So, no piggie pictures. Check out this barn quilt, instead!

the Oakview Farm Barn Quilt--on a silo

In addition to routine antibiotics, do you know what else these pigs don't get? Hormones! Hormones are not permitted for use in growing pigs. Period. This is a federal regulation. Pork producers don't use hormones. End of story. What about GMOs? There are no genetically modified food animals on the market. What about hogs being indoors vs out of doors? The answer to this question makes sense to me--as pigs have skin similar to ours, pork producers do their best to keep their livestock comfortable. That means keeping hogs cool in the summer and warm in the winter. That way, the pig's energy is used towards growing, not to regulate its temperature based on changing conditions. After all, the most efficient way to get the pig to a market weight is the most cost effective for a pork producer, and we're all looking for value.

a wall of plaques won by Oakview Farms

Each time I talk with farmers I come away impressed with the breadth and depth of knowledge in their chosen fields and amazed at how small our planet is. Earlier this year I visited with John Ludy, a cheesemaker in Wisconsin (and my Dad's high school classmate) who has travelled to Eastern Europe and South America sharing new ideas in cheesemaking. Mark's been to Sweden, Mexico and China in efforts to produce a quality pork product from the ground up, so to speak. You see, when folks began breeding hogs to be more lean and muscular, that carried with it a piece of DNA known as a stress gene--the animals didn't fare well when handled. When Mark Runyan shared how his family emptied their farm and started from scratch with Swedish hogs 20 years ago it just reinforced the fact that farmers are constantly trying to improve using the best research available. By starting over with the Swedish hogs, which do not have the stress gene, Mark is helping pork producers improve throughout the world. His son Myer is a recent graduate of OSU so I'm interested to see what the future brings.  From the DNA of the animals to their living conditions, care is taken by the Runyan family to produce the best pork that they can at Oakview Farms.

chatting with Mark Runyan and Pam Bowshier of Hippie and the Farmer

Mark's newest venture is with Pam Bowshier, of Cosmic Charlie Breads and Threads. I first saw Mark & Pam two years ago at the Montgomery County Food Summit, where they spoke about their virtual farmer's market (I wrote about it here). Together they've formed Hippie and the Farmer. This started when Pam was selling her vegan breads and Mark was offering samples of grilled Oakview Farm meats. They put their products together [like peanut butter and chocolate in a Reese's cup] and the result is a savory success. In the summer months they offer a Harvest Moon subscription box with produce, meats and breads. In the winter they offer a Cucina Rustica box--farm fresh frozen dinners. That's a great way to make eating locally-sourced food accessible to a wide variety of folks.

the Ohio Porkette Cookbook
Stay tuned, I've got a bunch of recipe ideas from this gem!

In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing another one of the Runyan family's favorite ways to enjoy pork, Ruth's Sweet Sausage Bread, but for now I wanted to share what we ate for lunch. Bud grilled up these absolutely perfect pork chops, and Ruth supplied delicious side dishes (as well as breakfast at the beginning of the visit--bacon inside the cinnamon rolls? You bet!). When I asked for a favorite recipe to share, all three generations suggested these pork chops. We certainly enjoyed them, and I hope you do as well!

the Runyan family's supper spread.

Secrets of perfectly grilled pork chops from Ohio farm families.

1 ribeye pork chop, about ¾ to 1 inch thick
Lawry's seasoned salt


  • Preheat grill to direct medium heat, about 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sprinkle Lawry's seasoned salt on both sides of the chop.
  • Grill for about 5 to 8 minutes, then flip to the other side.
  • Continue grilling until the internal temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit, another 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Serve, and if you're lucky enough to have some of Ruth's hash brown potato casserole and sweet sausage bread (recipe here) you're lucky, indeed.

  • For more information on Oakview farm, including hours and location, please click here. For more information on cooking pork, please click here. For more information on Ohio Pork, please click here.

    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?

    Secrets for grilling the perfect pork chop from an Ohio farm family.

    Friday, August 26, 2016

    Grilled Sausage and Peppers Pizza

    This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. I bought my ingredients then created this recipe, the Ohio Pork Council paid me for my time.

    a close up image of a slice of grilled sausage and peppers pizza

    Grilled Italian pork sausages, bell peppers, and onions top this pizza with plenty of cheese from both provolone and mozzarella. Since everything is cooked on the grill, your house stays cool while you enjoy the flavor of a sausage and pepper hoagie in pizza form.

    a close up image of a slice of grilled pizza topped with grilled sausage and grilled peppers and onions

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    The purpose of this post is to get my readers to take a short survey about Ohio pork (you don’t have to be an Ohio resident to respond). When you take this survey, you’ll be entered into a Le Creuset Dutch oven giveaway. Since it’s free for you to be here there’s not even any purchase necessary to enter. You’ve got nothing to lose! Why not? Go take the survey now, I’ll be waiting with the pizza when you get back. 

    The link to the survey is here. Enter to win!

    a close up image of a whole grilled pizza topped with grilled sausage and peppers

    I’m supposed to share what I love about Ohio pork today, and since we’re talking about love that means talking about my spouse. He returned from his 5th deployment a different man. I'm not talking about the time he went on his 4th deployment, and he went online and fell in love. Instead, my spouse now prefers to know more about the protein he eats than just “it was marked down at the grocery store”. For him, it’s a natural evolution from knowing who grows our produce—by joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share—to knowing more about the proteins we choose to eat by sourcing them locally as well. Since I want to keep my time in the kitchen simple and fix one entree for the family, I needed to find new sources of protein.

    buying Ohio pork sausage from Jean Mattis of KJB Farms at the 2nd Street Farmer's Market in Dayton
    My spouse took this photo (cuz that's me on the right).

    Friday, July 15, 2016

    Grilled Korean-seasoned Chicken, Eggplant, and Pepper Rice Bowls

    A summer dish made on the grill--Korean spiced chicken thighs grilled with farm share eggplant and peppers, topped with a fried egg and served in a rice bowl.

    a close up of soy sauce being poured atop a fried egg with Korean-seasoned grilled chicken, eggplant, and peppers in a rice bowl

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    I love an easy supper that can be--mostly--pulled off the grill and onto a bowl of rice. There's something very satisfying about eating from a bowl, and in the summer when it's hot it's rather nice to simply fire up the grill [and the rice cooker] and enjoy a complete meal.

    a typical summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box

    When I came up with the idea for these bowls I already had chicken marinating in the fridge for my Korean-seasoned Grilled Chicken Thighs. I'd doubled the amount of chicken (on sale + on clearance) and skipped the marinated bag of veggies. But I had plenty of eggplant and bell peppers from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, so I wanted to use them in a way the family would enjoy.

    I was thinking of Bi Bim Bap, the Korean dish cooked/served in hot stoneware bowls with seasoned meats and veggies and an egg to finish. I decided to make do with what we had, and to make it on the grill. I opened against digging out the stoneware bowl I'd gotten for my spouse. Someday I'll  do him up a proper dish worthy of the bowl. I also opted against picking up some kimchi or making some Spicy Asian-inspired Pickled Kohlrabi because . . . summer heat sapped my oomph.

    Friday, July 8, 2016

    Heirloom Tomato and Mascarpone Pizza

    This grilled pizza is a gourmet version of the cheese and tomato classic.  Flavorful heirloom tomatoes on a mascarpone-spread crust topped with feta, fontina, and mozzarella cheeses. Simple is good when you start with fresh, amazing, local flavor.

    close up title image of an heirloom tomato and mascarpone cheese pizza

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    Sometimes it's good to keep things simple on a pizza. Just some cheese and tomatoes.  You could order in a plain cheese pizza or you could make it yourself, a variety of ways. You could pick up a box on the shelf of the grocery store, grab a fork, and have a simple cheese and tomato sauce pizza.
    You could pick up a bag of dough, a jar of sauce, and a wedge of cheese and get busy. Or you could get an heirloom tomato in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share and decide to go gourmet, like I did.

    One of the reasons I like to eat locally grown produce is because it tastes better than something trucked in from off. That flavor discrepancy is never more pronounced than in a tomato. There's something about a fresh tomato, picked at the height of it's ripeness, that cannot be matched by anything trucked into a grocery store.

    an heirloom tomato and a tub of mascarpone cheese

    When tomato season starts, I make it a point to enjoy a fresh tomato sandwich every week. That sounds easy, now, in the beginning of the season. Let me tell you--it can be a drag come September. But I do it anyway--changing it up with bacon, avocado, whatever looks good that day to me.

    I also like to put fresh tomatoes on pizza. The trick to keep your pizza from getting soggy is to slice your tomatoes a good 30 minutes to an hour before you put them on a pizza, like I share in my Tomato Basil Pizza recipe. If I'm using my oven, I'll have my pizza dough sitting on the counter for a couple of hours before I plan to bake, just to get up to room temperature so I can work with it. I'll slice my tomatoes and leave them on a cutting board to drain, then turn on the oven to preheat my pizza stone for an hour. By the time the dough has relaxed and the stone has warmed up, the tomatoes have given up a fair amount of juice. I can tip that off the cutting board and I am good to go.

    Monday, June 27, 2016

    Grilled Cherry Muffins #Muffin Monday

    Grilled cherries and greek yogurt flavor this sweetly wholesome breakfast treat.

    a portrait image of a plate of grilled cherry muffins

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    The first bag of cherries to enter our house gets demolished in a matter of hours. My daughter and I  have had pit spitting contests, the kitchen trash becomes a spittoon, and my spouse always seems to step on the sole stem that ends up on the floor.

    a landscape image of a plate of grilled cherry muffins

    Our whole family enjoys fresh cherries, so when they go on sale at the local grocery store I buy them. And buy them, and buy them, and buy them. After a few bags, I'll looking for other ways to enjoy fresh cherries. I've chopped them up with peaches to make a fresh (i.e., not canned) Cherry Peach Salsa.  I've tossed them in smoothies. Most of the time, though, I pop them in my mouth, one after another.

    a close up image of a grilled cherry muffin

    Last summer, while having a blast with our new grill, I grilled cherries. Game changer! If you haven't grilled cherries, you should. They are totally tasty and exceptionally easy. Rinse whole cherries (stem and all), toss into a bowl, splash with a bit of cooking oil to coat . . . and they are ready to go on the grill. How easy is that? I used my grill basket, and had my gas grill preheated to medium heat. Stirring occasionally, my cherries were grilled in 8 to 10 minutes.

    at the grill, making grilled cherries

    After you take the cherries off the grill, pick up the stem end and pop the (slightly cooled) cherry in your mouth. Yum! Spit out the pit (heck, you're probably outside already) and enjoy that buttery goodness a moment longer. It's not exactly like a bite of cherry pie filling, but it's on the spectrum.

    Monday, June 20, 2016

    Grill the farm share vegetables. It's what's for dinner.

    Got a lot of vegetables in the crisper? Next farm share due soon? Throw the veggies on the grill.

    If I'm unsure what to have for dinner, I'll start with what vegetables are on hand.  One of the lovely benefits of participating in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share is that we always have vegetables on hand.

    Grilled butternut squash, grilled napa cabbage, and grilled asparagus in a collage

    In the Fall/winter, that means I gather vegetables from the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in the basement, turn on the oven, then start peeling and chopping while I figure out what will go alongside a pan of roasted vegetables.  Examples of a Roasted Farm Share Dinner and Roasted Potatoes with Squash and Peppers are two recipes I've shared using this technique.

    In the summer, I swap out roasting in the oven for throwing the farm share on the grill.  I use the same preparation as if I'm roasting, and the results are equally flavorful.  Examples of grilled vegetable recipes I've shared on the blog are Grilled Garlic Scape Pesto Smashed Potatoes, Grilled Green Beans, Grilled Mushrooms, and Grilled Butternut Squash and Peppers.

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    There's no limit to what you can grill. In addition to the usual suspects above, I've grilled Bok Choy, Kohlrabi leaves, and Napa Cabbage. I've grilled naan bread for pizzas. I've grilled pineapple for pasta salad and next week I'll be sharing a recipe for Grilled Cherry Muffins.

    Grilled vegetables can be used as is, or put up for later meals by freezing. I use grilled vegetables in salads, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, and on pizza. I'll toss them with pasta served in both warm and cold preparations. Having a pile of mixed grilled vegetables is an excellent building block in your What To Eat For Dinner arsenal.

    Grilled peppers, grilled summer squash, grilled green beans and grilled eggplant in a collage.

    I have no official recipe, just a technique.  I try and make the pieces as uniform in size as possible. I toss them with cooking oil (vegetable or olive) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I've got a basket and a perforated pan for vegetables that are too small to lay across the grill grates.

    Typically I've got the grill set at medium heat and covered during grilling.  After about 5 minutes I'll check on the vegetables and flip or stir them. Small items in a basket, like peppers and cubes of squash, will get multiple stirs. Larger pieces like eggplant and zucchini will only get turned once.

    Grilled summer squash, grilled salad turnips, grilled naan bread and grilled green beans in a collage.

    After the vegetables are tender, browned, and/or crisp I'll toss them with additional flavors. I really enjoy a dressing made from Garlic Scape Pesto thinned with olive oil. Depending on the eventual use of the vegetables, tossing the grilled vegetables with soy sauce or balsamic vinegar adds an additional layer of flavor over the salt and pepper.

    If you've got a grill, try throwing the farm share on it this summer!

    Friday, June 3, 2016

    Grilled Ciabatta Pizza with Chicken and Vegetables

    Skip messing with raw dough and use ciabatta bread for this grilled pizza. Topped with grilled chicken, eggplant, peppers and zucchini, this flavorful pizza comes together quickly and keeps your kitchen cool.

    Skip messing with raw dough and use ciabatta bread for this grilled pizza. Topped with grilled chicken, eggplant, peppers and zucchini, this flavorful pizza comes together quickly and keeps your kitchen cool.

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    This pizza is an easy one to throw together during the summer. It uses previously grilled zucchini, peppers, eggplant, and chicken. These are combined with feta cheese and mozzarella, then used to top a grilled ciabatta loaf. I topped it with fresh basil for a real summer treat.

    Skip messing with raw dough and use ciabatta bread for this grilled pizza. Topped with grilled chicken, eggplant, peppers and zucchini, this flavorful pizza comes together quickly and keeps your kitchen cool.

    It's a common theme, for me, to use what I've got on hand for our meals. During the growing season I am using what I've got from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. During the colder months I'm using whatever I've put up--by freezing, dehydrating, or canning--combined with whatever looks good on sale at the grocery store.

    Friday, May 27, 2016

    Grilled Asparagus and Salmon with Dill Butter

    Use the right tools for the job to grill a Father's day meal of Grilled Asparagus and Salmon with Dill Butter.

    Use the right tools for the job to grill a Father's day meal of Grilled Asparagus and Salmon with Dill Butter.

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    Why do Father's Day foods have to be all red meat? Dads may enjoy a nice piece of fish for a change.  A healthier swap--especially with so much flavor--is a welcome addition to a summertime table. Plenty of vegetables never hurt anyone, so sharing the limelight with a fresh seasonal vegetable makes good sense and is good for you as well.

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Grilled Greens Salad with Couscous

    A concept recipe for using Spring farm share greens in a hearty main dish salad. Grill greens, a protein, and some other vegetables, then toss with a grain and some cheese for a simple salad supper.

    A concept recipe for using Spring farm share greens in a hearty main dish salad. Grill a protein, some vegetables, and a green, then toss with a grain and some cheese for a simple salad supper.

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    This time of year I'm often out grilling in my driveway. My neighbor comes over to see what I'm grilling, and I check in to see what he's grilling. Since I started throwing the farm share on the grill, my grill plan starts with vegetables. There's nothing like the flavor of meat cooked over flame . . . but don't forget about the effect that fire has on vegetables!

    A concept recipe for using Spring farm share greens in a hearty main dish salad. Grill a protein, some vegetables, and a green, then toss with a grain and some cheese for a simple salad supper.

    Today's recipe is another concept recipe for using whatever cooking greens appear in your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. I've used Napa cabbage, Bok choy, and pak choi in this type of recipe, but I am sure that Romaine and radicchio would also work. I know that grilling radicchio won't fly with my kids so I'll save that for another salad.

    A concept recipe for using Spring farm share greens in a hearty main dish salad. Grill a protein, some vegetables, and a green, then toss with a grain and some cheese for a simple salad supper.

    Inside the house, make a pot of couscous or another quick cooking grain (Trader Joes has some terrific 10 minute farro and barley bags, or if you've got more time how about wild rice, or jasmine rice, or bulgur wheat--there are endless possibilities). Once the grain is about done, head out to the grill.

    A concept recipe for using Spring farm share greens in a hearty main dish salad. Grill a protein, some vegetables, and a green, then toss with a grain and some cheese for a simple salad supper.

    You're simply going to take your greens, slice them in half, brush with cooking oil, and give them a few minutes on a medium grill. Easy.  While you're at it, grab some additional vegetables (peppers, onions, radishes, peas, and/or green beans) and give them the same treatment. Add a protein. I raided my freezer and grabbed a package of smoked sausage which added additional flavor.

    A concept recipe for using Spring farm share greens in a hearty main dish salad. Grill a protein, some vegetables, and a green, then toss with a grain and some cheese for a simple salad supper.

    Once all of the vegetables and protein are finished on the grill, chop them into small pieces and toss everything together with your grain. I do this in a large bowl. I drizzle a bit of olive oil over top, and toss again. Add a little drizzle of acid (half a lemon squeezed over the bowl, or a splash of balsamic vinegar) and toss again. A bit of cheese, another toss. Finally some salt and pepper--and the big bowl is ready to dig in.

    It's a relaxed meal because there are no hard and fast rules of what needs to go into it, and you taste as you go. My kids like the chunks of meat, my spouse likes the filling-ness of the grain, and I like that leftovers can be served cold or at room temperature.

    Friday, May 6, 2016

    Grilled Mozzarella Stick Pizza with Pickled Peppers

    This pizza has mozzarella sticks and pickled peppers for a gooey cheesy pie with a bit of a kick. Throw a few handy toppings on a pizza, then throw it on the grill for a fast, easy, and cheesy meal.

    This pizza has mozzarella sticks and pickled peppers for a gooey cheesy pie with a bit of a kick. Throw a few handy toppings on a pizza, then throw it on the grill for a fast, easy, and cheesy meal.

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    I don't wish to give the impression that everything I make is healthy. What is "healthy" anyway? Different people define it in different ways, and I'm sure not about to tell you how you should define healthy. I'm here to offer choices in how you can eat the foods produced in your local area, and if that means putting them on a pizza--I'm all for that.

    This pizza has mozzarella sticks and pickled peppers for a gooey cheesy pie with a bit of a kick. Throw a few handy toppings on a pizza, then throw it on the grill for a fast, easy, and cheesy meal.

    My family loves to eat pizzas and watch a movie on Friday nights. Most of the time I make the pizza, as I can fire up the grill, stretch out the dough, make the pizzas, and be finished within 30 minutes. And I'm slow in the kitchen! No need to call for delivery if I've got all the supplies at home. Unless, of course, my kitchen has been taken over with the 4 hour installation of a new dishwasher, as happened recently. I shared the photo on my Instagram feed, in lieu of an 'as it happens' pizza photo/video. In that circumstance I called for delivery and tossed the boxes in the oven. When the dishwasher was finally set up, we sat down to pizza.

    This pizza has mozzarella sticks and pickled peppers for a gooey cheesy pie with a bit of a kick. Throw a few handy toppings on a pizza, then throw it on the grill for a fast, easy, and cheesy meal.

    This pizza came about because my daughter and I went shopping when we were hungry. We bought a giant box of mozzarella sticks. I do not believe there were hundreds of sticks but at one point it seemed like it.  If mozzarella is good on a pizza, why not a mozzarella stick?

    Friday, March 11, 2016

    Cheesy Roasted Potato and Egg Pizza

    This grilled pizza recipe combines fresh eggs with roasted potatoes and a thick layer of creamy gouda cheese.

    This grilled pizza recipe combines fresh eggs with roasted potatoes and a thick layer of creamy gouda cheese.

     Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

    In addition to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, potatoes are one of the longest-storing vegetables from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. During the late winter I've got a few carrots in the crisper, lots of vegetables put up in the freezer, as well as potatoes and winter squash in the basement Strategic Winter Squash Reserve. One of the ways I'm feeding my family locally-grown produce year round, even while we live in an Ohio that doesn't know if it's winter or Spring this week.

    When I roast potatoes I always roast a bunch more than I think we'll eat. It's part of the whole 'cook once eat twice' routine. My daughter will eat leftover roasted potatoes for breakfast or snack (sometimes after checking to see if I planned to use them for a dish, sometimes not bothering to check). When I put leftover roasted potatoes on a pizza I want to make sure I'm cooking the pizza fast so the potatoes don't dry out. Tossing the potatoes with olive oil and covering them with cheese helps. Heck, covering many things with cheese helps. Perhaps not the dust & dog hair bunnies . . .

    This grilled pizza recipe combines fresh eggs with roasted potatoes and a thick layer of creamy gouda cheese.

    I chose to share this pizza now because the eggs made me think of Easter. I like seeing photos of Facebook of my friend's new chicks--they are so interesting and cute and varied looking, it's no wonder their eggs will all end up varied and interesting looking as well.

    For more recipes using potatoes, please see my Potato Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating seasonally (and no, that doesn't mean just Cadbury Creme Eggs) from the farm share, the farmer's market, garden & grocery abundance. I'm sharing more pizzas on my Visual Pizza Recipe Index, and this will go in the Vegetarian Pizzas category. If you're into Pinterest, I pin interesting pizzas to 2 boards, so follow me on Pinterest. I'm sharing articles and recipes on my FB page, follow me there. And I just learned of the hashtag #dailypizza so I may try that out on Instagram, but for behind the scenes photos follow me on IG. Want to know How To Use This Blog?

    Friday, February 5, 2016

    Bacon, Egg, and Potato Pizza

    Breakfast for dinner on a pizza? This pie combines bacon, eggs, and potatoes with 2 kinds of cheese for a sensational savory breakfast pizza served any time of day.

    This pizza combines bacon, eggs, and potatoes with 2 kinds of cheese for a sensational savory breakfast pizza any time of day.

     Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

    If the internet is primarily a place to look at pictures of cats, then Instagram is the neighborhood with the zoning laws that allow backyard chickens. On my IG feed I watch a lot of videos of chickens--chickens strutting their stuff with brilliant plumage. Chickens taking baths in dust. A flock of chickens chasing after treats. My IG feed is delightful thanks to the chicken videos by Kris of Attainable Sustainable, Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily, and Kathy of The Chicken Chick.

    For the Basset Hound lovers out there (you know you're in this crowd, what's not to love if you're not the one washing dried drool off the walls?) I try and give back to the IG community with a video of the flying ears of Robert Barker walking on a windy day [turn off the sound].

    This pizza combines bacon, eggs, and potatoes with 2 kinds of cheese for a sensational savory breakfast pizza any time of day.

    Thanks to my local egg providers and IRL chicken-owning friend I've learned that egg production diminishes when it's cold out and days are shorter, and picks back up as we near Spring. This time of year, I bide my time, hoarding the local eggs I do have and using them when necessary. I don't go crazy throwing eggs on everything. There's a time and a place to throw eggs on everything.

    Like today, and like this pizza.

    Friday, August 21, 2015

    Onion Mascarpone Grilled Naan Pizza

    This easy yet elegant vegetarian pizza combines cream-tossed onions, feta and mascarpone cheese on a simple naan bread crust. Cooked quickly on the grill, you've got fancy flavors in a flash.

    For other recipes using onions, please see my Onion Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other vegetarian pizzas, please see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index or my Friday Night Pizza Night Pinterest board.

    While I am always inspired by the contents of my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box, the freezer, the fridge, and the pantry--sometimes I get additional inspiration for a recipe while I am in the shower. Sometimes I am inspired by my email inbox. Other times it is social media. When the Pizza Cipolla from Karen's Kitchen Stories came through my Facebook feed I was intrigued, and inspired.

    First, it caught my eye because it is a pizza, and I make pizza nearly every Friday night. [With a son in the high school marching band the 10-12 weeks of football season are a slight aberration.] Second, I happened to have 2 bags of onions lying around. It's August, I'm canning, and in a fit of 'what if I run out?' I sent said son to the grocery store for 'better make that 2 bags!' of red onions to supplement the pint in the farm share box. [Said son did not mind--he know he can buy a coffee with the change, and he's got plenty of room on his wheelchair for packages.] Third, I'd bought a bunch of heavy cream and mascarpone cheese to make this delightful Low Carb Mascarpone Mousse by Carolyn of All Day I Dream About Food. [It is delicious, even if you're NOT looking for a diabetic-friendly dessert for a luncheon honoring someone living with diabetes.] Since I had the right stuff for a good topping, I was all set.

    Except, as I mentioned, it's August. I'm canning tomatoes. [So far I've made crushed tomatoes, salsa, and pizza sauce. My plants are nearly dead--some weird brown leaf fungus this year--so I will end up bringing in the rest to ripen in the house and can later.] I had no desire to a) fuss with pizza dough or b) turn on the oven. Instead, I opened the freezer and fired up the grill. [Did you notice all the packages of naan in this photo of my freezer?] With an easy crust, I used Karen's pizza topping and added a bit more white stuff--mascarpone, feta, and shredded Italian blend cheese--to make a very easy, elegant, vegetarian pizza.

    One thing I probably should have done--grabbed some fresh thyme. I've got plenty in the garden but walking into my backyard these days is kind of a minefield. [Not the 'you've got 3 dogs minefield' or the 'we've marked the cleared path and don't recommend you step off the marked area, Lt' minefields, either.] It's more like the If You Give A Mouse A Cookie minefield. If I walk into the garden to get fresh thyme, I'm going to stop to check the progress of the volunteer squash vines taking over the patio. I'll notice a few baby zucchini and make a mental note to pick them later in the week. Then I'll see a bunch of peppers ready to be pickled and scoop up a handful. Even though my daughter harvested tomatoes the day before, there will be more to add to my arms. Walking back into the house to get a basket I'd trip over the now baseball bat-sized zucchini and smash my face into an impromptu salsa. I chose to use dried thyme to avoid that fate.