Showing posts with label snack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snack. Show all posts

Monday, April 27, 2020

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar #MuffinMonday

Tender light muffins sweetened with wild violet syrup and sprinkled with wild violet sugar. Edible flowers baked into a Spring floral treat.

image of a plate of wild violet muffins topped with wild violet sugar

I'm reposting this recipe because the violets have appeared in the yard. Enjoy!

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About the only thing worth foraging in my yard these days are violets.

The garlic has woken up from it's deep winter slumber though it's nowhere near harvesting. The chives and raspberry canes are just beginning to stir. Some red leaf lettuce and celery from the compost miraculously survived the winter and is peeping up from a raised bed--though I suspect bunnies might nibble it off.

photo of a wild violet bloom
My spouse took this bug's view of a violet in our front yard yesterday.
I'm pretty much over playing with the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, and I'm sick of eating down the put up vegetables in the freezer and pantry before we move. I want to forage with something fresh.

Wild violets it is.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sugar Free Banana Pecan Muffins #MuffinMonday

A naturally sweetened whole grain muffin full of bananas, dates, and toasted pecans.

Image of a muffin pan filled with sugar free banana date pecan muffins

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Today's muffin is a a delicious blast from the past. As my daughter was revising my drop down recipe index during her Spring Break she commented, 'you have a lot of muffins'. Since she's been the beneficiary of most of those muffins, I rolled my eyes at her and went back to my book. However, it did remind me that I've been wanting to share this recipe for Muffin Monday.

This recipe does not use granulated sugar. Nor does it use any sugar substitute your grandma wouldn't recognize--unless your grandma lived in the 1800s in a northern climate away from rail transportation and never saw a banana. Most folks alive and reading this on a screen probably have grandmas who grew up with dates, too. These fruits are what I used to sweeten this muffin, on purpose, and I think they make an excellent combination.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Whole Grain Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins #MuffinMonday

Buttermilk-soaked rolled oats and whole wheat flour, combined with pumpkin puree and a handful of chocolate chips for flair, make these less-sugar muffins sweet yet wholesome.

photo of a plate of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

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As I think about my favorite recipes using farm fresh ingredients, I'm realizing how often I feed my family muffins.  Muffins for breakfast.  Muffins for after school snack.  With dinner.  Muffins to school or work or social functions.  Pretty much if there's an occasion to bring food, I've probably made muffins.  In addition to this recipe, you can find all my muffin recipes, from Apple Cider Forgot the Sugar to Zucchini Nutella,  to your right in desktop view, or  down below in mobile view----> in my Recipe Index by Category.

pic of a pile of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

I get this desire to feed the world muffins from my mom.  She has a couple of friends from school who made a muffin cookbook (Amazon affiliate link) that I refer to when I feel like making muffins but need inspiration. My current favorite muffin recipe, though, is cobbled together from my experiences making these waffles, these muffins, and always having buttermilk on hand. I love these muffins because they are whole grain, not too sweet, but have a little hit of chocolate that makes the kids think it's a treat. I've played with many iterations of this muffin base, using soaked oatmeal, but this recipe is the one that started it all. For Muffin Monday today, I've gone back to the beginning.

photo of a pile of pumpkins and winter squash

I know lately it seems that the switch has been flipped to All Things Pumpkin, and I am not usually one to jump on bandwagons, but my reason for using pumpkin is simple. I've got a lot of volunteer pumpkins on hand this Fall.  The garden has been crazy productive, thanks to the squirrels planting pumpkin seeds everywhere and my inability to deny food the right to grow wherever it shows up. Check here for how to Process a Pile of Pumpkins (and the mystery winterish squash in the background).

Monday, July 11, 2016

Peach Salsa with Golden Plums and Roasted Hatch Chiles (Canning recipe)

This thick blush-colored salsa is sweetly fruity from the peaches and plums, with a nice level of heat from the roasted chiles. It clings to the chip so you get all of the flavor while dipping.

an image of a tortilla chip laden with peach, golden plum, and Hatch chile salsa

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Most Saturdays in summer, I walk a dog or three down to the farmer's market to by fresh produce. Like a Summer Tomato Sandwich, fresh ripe peaches in summer are one of those tastes you just need to enjoy while you can because you cannot replicate the flavor with out of season produce other times of the year. So we gorge ourselves with fresh fruit, and I keep buying more because I know I've got to get it while the getting is good.

Last summer my friend Jen posted a photo of her canning efforts on FB, saying that her son polished off an entire jar of peach salsa in one sitting. Intrigued, I asked her for the recipe. She told me it's straight outta Food In Jars (Amazon affiliate link), Marisa McClellan's eponymous (ooh!) first book from her terrific blog.

a close up of a jar of peach salsa with golden plums and roasted Hatch chiles

I knew from the start that I was going to change up the recipe because I've become smitten with the flavor of roasted Hatch chiles. Each August my local grocery store fires up a chile roaster in the parking lot (a round cage like contraption with a flame shooting into it) and I can walk a dog (or three) down to pick up a quart of freshly roasted chiles. [Like my local farmer's market, the grocery store provides water for dogs.] These roasted chiles freeze well, and I buy several quarts for a year's worth of roasted chile needs. If you don't have a local source of roasted Hatch chiles, roast the hot peppers you've got, or pick up a can of roasted green chiles at the grocery store in the Hispanic foods aisle.

a photo of the ingredients for peach salsa, showing orange-purple peppers, red onions, and roasted Hatch chiles with a box of Ball jar lids

I was thinking about the color of the finished jars when I chose the orange-purple peppers at my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share pick up. The final piece for this recipe came when my favorite fruit vendor had yellow plums at the farmer's market. The plums were so ripe they weren't exactly the best looking fruit, and we had a conversation about how good looking produce has no correlation with good tasting produce. With the combination of ripe local peaches, plums, and orange-purple peppers, as well as roasted Hatch chiles, I was set to get my salsa on.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Trail Mix with Leftover Halloween Candy for #Choctoberfest

Got leftover Halloween candy? Mix it up and stretch it out with fruit and nuts for a {Leftover} Halloween Candy Trail Mix.

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Do you buy the Halloween candy that you like, or do you buy the Halloween candy that will not tempt you? [Does anyone actually like Bit-o-Honey?]

When I moved to Ohio I realized that, unlike the 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas or New Year's, the day that Halloween is celebrated is not set in stone. Around here, some towns have their kids trick or treat on the weekend before October 31st for reasons that have escaped me. [Let's celebrate Thanksgiving on a Sunday, hmm? That actually makes sense, so you're not working all day long and then pulling the best American meal of the year out of your ear 24 hrs later.]

Our town always celebrates on the 31st, which means that many years our flat, well-lit, sidewalked town with houses close together is overrun with 'people from off' coming to double dip on their trick or treating. I am quite curious this year, as Halloween falls on a Saturday, to see what reasons folks will invent to come trick or treat in our town. It's possible folks will keep to their own towns, and in that case I'll need to change up my game. See, I usually buy candy I DON'T want to have leftovers of, so I am not tempted into additional snackage.

Using an overgrown volunteer zucchini and other squash for our jack-o-lanterns.
Using an overgrown volunteer zucchini and other squash for our jack-o-lanterns.

As a side note, I've got kids with peanut and dairy allergies on my block, so I always have 2 bowls of candy: one that only contains nut- and dairy-free packages (i.e., pure packets of sugary goodness) and one that may have nuts and/or dairy. I've got signs on each bowl, and often kids thank me. Consider doing that yourself.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Finnish Pulla {Cardamom Coffee Braid}

This is a recipe for Finnish Pulla, a cardamom-spiced lightly sweet braided bread. It is delicious plain or with butter, served alongside tea or coffee, or as an after school snack. The recipe makes three loaves which is terrific for gift giving during the holidays. 

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Baking: art or science? Discuss.

When I first saw this bread being made it was all art: building the fire in the wood stove, mixing the ingredients until the dough looked right then braiding, decorating, and finally baking the bread. To my young, fresh-out-of-college eyes Eila Akkanen's ability to create this bread was purely magic. [Looking back on that summer, Eila was doing her weekly baking in the the farmhouse kitchen where she'd raised her family and had probably performed that 'magic' thousands of times.]

I think baking used to be considered an art, or perhaps more accurate, a series of crafts. Building a fire to the proper baking temperature is as much a learned skill as kneading dough or even beading bracelets. Nowadays I don't need to know much about building a baking fire--I use the keypad on the oven to type in the precise temperature I'd like, and double check it with my oven thermometer. I could re-learn the chemical equations which describe the reactions of a pile of ingredients turning into a loaf of bread, but I don't need to know how it works--just that it does.
I braid one side towards the middle, then the other, then finish by pinching the end pieces together.

My approach to this recipe is a mixture of science and art. Because my kitchen temperature averages 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, I use my bread machine to mix the dough [don't worry if you don't have a freezing kitchen and a bread machine, I'll provide directions for mixing the dough]. When the machine is finished, though, my experienced eye takes over and shapes the dough until it looks right.

The inspiring recipe came from Beatrice Ojakangas' book Fantastically Finnish. Instead of starting with whole cardamom pods I use the ground spice, and because I first had this while working on a dairy farm I like to use a richer milk. I have made this bread using all cream--very rich dough, very tender crumb, great way to use up 2 cups of heavy cream--as well as half & half and even 2% milk. Normally I'll say 'use what you have on hand' but if you've only got fat free milk please go grab a pint of half & half before making this. It is the holidays after all. 

Speaking of holidays, I'll be sharing sweet recipes each day during #ChristmasWeek. Tuesday I'll be sharing 3 lessons learned making Pecan Brownie Bites for a Cookie Drive, Wednesday it's back to Scandinavia for Fruit Soup, Thursday we're keeping things simple with Toffee Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Friday I finish getting my ethnic on with My Mother's Norwegian Lefse
If you're not into sweets, check out my Visual Recipe Index for more savory ideas for what to do with the produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, farmer's market, and garden.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wild Violet Granola (On Mothers and Mentors)

Nutty crunchy granola, sweetened with wild violet sugar and wild violet syrup, is a tasty breakfast or bedtime snack.  The mothering/mentoring part is just bonus.

Nutty crunchy granola, sweetened with wild violet sugar and wild violet syrup, is a tasty breakfast or bedtime snack.

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Mentors are a lot like Mothers.

Both mentors and mothers nurture their protégées.  They provide support--practical, physical, and emotional support.  They want to see their charges succeed.  Mentors gently correct mistakes and provide honest feedback.  Mothers do as well [even if it exasperates us to provide the same feed back again and again].  While I don't think I am exactly friends with my own children, I do consider my mentors to be my friends.

My friend and mentor Meghan is to blame responsible for this recipe.  She handed me a bag of her Basic Granola when we met.  I brought it home and was blown away by the chunks, the tender nuts, and the amazing flavor. [And I'd been pretty happy with the Trader Joes granola I'd eat with kefir whenever the mood struck.]
Granola and kefir?  I got into that tasty combination after spending a lovely weekend with my mom and her college buddies and their daughters. The weekend was hosted by my friend and mentor Alanna, and I hope we honored her mom's memory. We sure did it up right.
My own mom continues to be an excellent mentor.  My attitude towards leftovers I learned from her.  Not being afraid of canning the summer harvest? Learned at my mom's shoulder.  Now she's showing me how to age gracefully. Watching my folks pro-actively move to a more supported living arrangement is something I've observed since they moved out of the big suburban house into a city condo the summer I graduated from high school.

Nutty crunchy granola, sweetened with wild violet sugar and wild violet syrup, is a tasty breakfast or bedtime snack.

What do these three women have to do with the recipe I'm sharing today? Let me braid the strands together. Meghan got me interested in making homemade granola.  My mom taught me to use what I had on hand to create new meals. Alanna has been mentoring my blogging since I first emailed her saying 'I'm thinking of starting a CSA blog' . . . later she told me about the 30 Days to Better Food Photography course I finished a year ago which has helped me improve my images.
We eat first with our eyes, if we are fortunate enough to see, and since I can't have you reach through the screen to sample this granola the least I can do is make it look appealing.

For other recipes using wild violets, please see my Wild Violet Recipes Collection. It's a part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the front yard, 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?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Grilled Cheese with Guacamole and Corn Salsa

Guacamole, hummus, and corn & black bean salsa nestled into the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich.  A delicious leftover repurposed into a snack.

Guacamole, hummus, and corn & black bean salsa nestled into the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich.  A delicious leftover repurposed into a snack.

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Leftover guacamole is like a Christmas tree on the lot on December 26th.  No one wants it.  Sure, you can cover it with plastic wrap . . . or water (check out these terrific kitchen hacks) . . . to help with the oxidation, but the fact is it's a has-been.

Or is it?

I turned some game day leftovers into a yummy grilled cheese sandwich, and before Grilled Cheese month [who thinks of these things? Zucchini bread day?Apple turnover week?] ends I wanted to share it with you.

Guacamole, hummus, and corn & black bean salsa nestled into the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich.  A delicious leftover repurposed into a snack.

I'm glad to even the score between vegetarian grilled cheese sandwiches and those containing meat on this blog, as I think grilled cheese (and tomato soup) is one of those combinations that appeal to a wide variety of eaters.
Earlier this month we stopped for grilled cheese on the way home from a Spring break trip to have my phone stolen at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. [Am I the only one who is scouting the opposite side of the road for places to eat on the way home when we've just barely embarked on a trip?]  We were surrounded by multigenerational families, couples, and individuals all enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich. [We stopped at Fair Oaks Farms and bought gooey grilled cheese sandwiches on bread that managed to be both soft and chewy--must investigate different kinds of bread for my sandwiches.]
Guacamole, hummus, and corn & black bean salsa nestled into the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich.  A delicious leftover repurposed into a snack.

I think I ranted enough about using your leftovers the other day with my Taco Rice Tortilla Pizza post.  Today I'd just like you to enjoy a tasty, if a bit messy, sandwich.  And rest assured I've got some other grilled cheese ideas kicking around for next April!

For more recipes using Avocados, please see my Avocado Recipes Collection. For more recipes using beans, please see my Beans/Legumes Recipes Collection. For more recipes using corn, please see my Recipes Using Corn Collection. 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, repurposed leftovers, 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?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Radish Sandwich Spread

Shredded radishes mixed with cream and goat cheeses for a zesty sandwich spread

Radish Sandwich Spread | Farm Fresh Feasts

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I'm a tea drinker.

While in college, cola was my caffeine source of choice.  I tried coffee, but the taste never lived up to the smell and I couldn't get past the first two sips (one more to confirm the first sip).  My first job after college involved going to neighboring farms for coffee after morning milking which was fun--except the whole 'coffee=ugh' thing.  Instead I figured out that if I filled up my cup with milk and added a splash of tea for color I could choke it down politely. Ish. Therefore, I became a tea drinker.

I am partial to the restorative powers of afternoon tea.  I think of it as after school snack for grown ups.  The amazing thing about tea is the variety of foods you can consume with a nice cuppa.  Muffins are a favorite of mine [there's a whole category of muffins in that recipe index on my right sidebar]. This sandwich spread is equally at home in an afternoon tea setting or a lunch plate.  The spicy bite of the radishes and mustard is tempered by the cheeses for a lovely nibble.  This was good spread on celery pieces and would probably be good on crackers.

Shredded radishes mixed with cream and goat cheeses for a zesty sandwich spread.

For more recipes using radishes, please see my Radish Recipes Collection. It's 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?

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:

Radish Sandwich Spread (makes 4 sandwiches)


  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup shredded radish
  • ¼-½ teaspoon salt, I use kosher
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper (about)
  • bread of your choice, or use vegetables or crackers


  1. Combine in a food processor until well blended.  
  2. Chill for an hour, or up to 4 hours.  Spread on thin sandwich bread or crackers or vegetables, or use as a dip.
  3. Note:  while this spread should chill for a while before serving, it only keeps about a day.  After that it gets kinda weepy, so I recommend making just what you are planning to use that day.

Shredded radishes mixed with cream and goat cheeses for a zesty sandwich spread.

This post is shared with What's Cookin' Wednesday, Fresh Foods WednesdayFrom the Farm Blog Hop, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Tasty TuesdaysFood on Friday

Friday, February 14, 2014

Quick Pickled Beet and Herring Salad

A quick side dish or simple lunch of roasted beets tossed with picked herring in wine sauce. Two ingredients and a few minutes to throw it together and you have a vibrant bowl of flavor.

Quick Pickled Beet and Herring Salad | Farm Fresh Feasts

You didn't think I'd let a Valentine's day go by without beets, did you?

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There are many ways to show love.

Even though this is a food blog, I do other things besides cook to show my love.  Earlier this week I showed my love for my spouse by cleaning out the refrigerator.  True, I did get a side bonus by having a clean refrigerator, free of unknown items science experiments moldering about in the back.  But, if left to my own devices, I would have spent that time working on a different project.

I chose to show love instead.

Last year, while writing about the holiday of love, I encouraged you to show your love to  your family and friends by preparing a pizza for vegans, vegetarians, or omnivores.

On Monday, I asked you to show your love to hungry children you'll never meet by donating $10 to #feedsouthafrica.  If you didn't have a chance to donate, you can still do so here.  We're more than halfway to our goal of providing 100 kids lunch for an entire year, and if each of the participating food bloggers could get just one reader to donate--we'd be there!

Quick Pickled Beet and Herring Salad | Farm Fresh Feasts

Today, I want to talk about showing love to yourself.

I am the only one in my household who likes pickled herring and pickled beets.  Sure, my family will eat the herring with me on Christmas Eve, and they eat beets in a variety of dishes, but they don't like it like I do.  So I very rarely eat this, even though I enjoy it.

This dish is one way I treat myself, perhaps a winter version of my Sautéed Beet Greens and Spring Onions with a fried egg.  I can roast [technically, I'm oven steaming] a bunch of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share beets at once, freeze some for later use, and chop up one to make myself a bowl of this salad.  I like to eat it for breakfast, lunch, or a snack.  The rich red color delights me as much as the briny, tangy taste, and I thought it would be pretty for a Valentine's day recipe.

If you've never tried pickled herring in wine sauce--only buy a teeny tiny jar to start, or get a bit at a deli counter.  It's a taste I acquired after many years of starting our Christmas Eve smorgasbord glaring at the pieces of fish I'd been served, and daintily eating a bit of lettuce and some pickled onion while impatiently waiting to ditch the first plate and get to the good stuff--Swedish Meatballs.  My palate and I have matured, though, and now I buy giant jars of pickled herring at Costco and I treat myself to the whole jar--one bowl at a time.

Quick Pickled Beet and Herring Salad | Farm Fresh Feasts

For more recipes using beets, please see my Beet Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating seasonally from the farm share, the farmer's market, garden abundance and grocery store sales. For more recipe inspiration I'm pinning good stuff on Pinterest, follow me there. I'm sharing articles that catch my eye on Facebook, follow me there. I'm showing a carefully curated peek behind the scenes on my Instagram feed, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups

Corn, black beans, and pepper in a lime vinaigrette served in avocado cups.  Vegetable appetizers for game day snacking that's good for you

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts

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For my family, the Superbowl is usually an excuse to sit in front of the TV and eat crap snack foods.  Our list of snacks changes slightly year to year, but, like Thanksgiving, there are some standbys.  In addition to the recipes shown below, I've added a Game Day Snacks to my tags (right side bar) since we like to eat appetizers as well as sandwiches and quick snacks.  Check it out!
Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts

My son loves Buffalo Chicken dip.  Even though I wasn't planning to make it, he cobbled some together using thin sliced chicken lunchmeat, bits and pieces of cheeses, and salad dressings.  And Frank's Red Hot® sauce, of course. (There's no relationship to disclose--I buy it because I like it.)

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts

My daughter--well, I can't say she loves guacamole, though she certainly likes it.  Making the guacamole became her job after she needed to give a speech in Spanish class and decided to demo how to make guacamole.  Yes, the apples do not fall far from the tree. :)

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts

My spouse will eat anything, but he loves Slow Cooker Salmon Artichoke Dip and I love him, so I whipped him up a batch.  I had an ulterior motive, however--a big slab of salmon and a desire to have leftovers for this.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa in Avocado Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts
One problem with putting up your own corn? De-silking.  Must do better next season!

My new item was this Corn and Black Bean Salsa from Kate at Diethood.  I didn't have everything her recipe called for, but it was super easy to chop all the jalapeño, red onions, and cilantro for my daughter's guacamole and Kate's corn salsa at one time.  Since my New Year's Resolutions involve adding more avocado to my life, I served it in avocado halves and it was delicious.

Grab the following ingredients, head over to Diethood, and make yourself another Awesome Veggie Appetizer (link to my Pinterest board).  Then enjoy the game--or the commercials, or both--with something delicious to munch on.
For other recipes using Avocados, please see my Avocado Recipes Collection. For other recipes using Beans, please see my Beans (Legumes) Recipes Collection. For other recipes using Corn, please see my Corn Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For ways to Use This Blog, please click here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pick a Veggie Sushi Rolls

This is the third time I've written today's post, and no matter if it's the charm or not I'm going with it.  First, I was going to share kohlrabi, egg, and Spam sushi rolls.  Then a post about gyro sushi rolls, then unagi, green onion, and salad mix rolls.  Finally I just decided to combine a bunch of sushi photo collages and call this Pick A Veggie From The CSA Farm Share Box and Roll Your Own Sushi.  However, many of the food porn photo sharing sites I submit to have character limits on post titles, so a bit of editing happened.

I started sharing sushi posts soon after I started this blog, with a smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber sushi.  Later I shared my #strangebutgood maple teriyaki salmon sushi.  Today I'm going to illustrate how I take a (usually leftover) protein and combine it with on-hand vegetables to make sushi.  Sushi makes a great portable lunch when you are outside enjoying nature during warm days.  It's a real treat to open up your lunchbox and pull out more than a squashed sandwich.  I love to send my kids a 'disposable lunch' on field trips (disposable required by the school) using up leftover containers filled with whatever I had on hand, rolled up sushi style.
If you're looking for recipes featuring sushi-grade raw fish, look at some of my links below--I'm in the middle of the country and cooking for my family--you will not find me buying blocks of sushi grade tuna, though if you'd like to send me where it is, I'd be delighted to eat it. :)

My daughter and I have enjoyed lunch together a lot.  When she was a preschooler, she'd have school a couple of mornings a week and come home for lunch/nap.  Later, it was lunch before getting on the bus for afternoon kindergarten.
We'll gloss over the crowded, noisy cafeteria and lunch starting at 10:40am in our last district.  Here in Ohio the kids get an hour(!) lunch break and my daughter usually comes home for lunch.  My son usually finds something worth staying for  at school.
 My favorite lunches-with-my-young-daughter were in Hawaii, picking up a to-go order at Aloha Sushi.  There, my daughter would get tekka maki and I'd have unagi hand rolls.  The warm grilled eel, warm sushi rice, and delicate nori wrapping utterly satisfied me in a way that no store-bought box of sushi can.
When my son asked for unagi sushi for his birthday supper, on a night coinciding with our first CSA farm share pick up, I knew I'd be rolling up some farm fresh produce with our eel.  I just didn't know what it would be until I got the box (I've mentioned I like the Iron Chef aspect of CSA subscriptions, yes?). My possibilities were varied--salad greens, kale, Swiss chard, asparagus, green onions, garlic and strawberries.  I opted for onions and salad mix.  My son thanked me for not getting too wild for his birthday dinner.
I got wild later.  Since I had roasted asparagus, leftover roast chicken, and all the sushi fixings out, I rolled up some Roast Chicken and Asparagus rolls.
Leftovers from Gyro night in a sushi roll?  Why not?  Drain the tzatziki sauce really well (overnight in the fridge) for best results.
These meals follow the Theorem of Cooking Once and getting 2 different meals with the result, just like with my Chicken Adobo Summer Rolls.  The Food Blogger Corollary is simple--you've got the camera out and your kitchen is already messy, so why not get 2 blog posts for 1 kitchen clean up?  When I made Spam Chirashi Sushi I saved some slices of meat in stick form to use in these sushi rolls.  My daughter brought them to school for a food sharing event in her social studies class.  If you've never made sushi, refer to this post for more step-by-step instructions.  It's really fun once you get the hang of it, and even your failures taste delicious.

Pick A Veggie From The CSA Farm Share Box and Roll Your Own Sushi

NOTE:  I created this recipe to be gluten free through my choice of ingredients (Spam is GF!). Check labels to confirm that your products (I'm talking about you, soy sauce) are also gluten free. Good sources for determining that your products are gluten free can be found here: 

Using the recipe in this post for the building blocks listed below, for each 8 piece roll, you will need

1 sheet sushi nori
1 cup cooked seasoned sushi rice (1 1/2 cups if you want double rice inside out rolls)
a thin schmear of mayonnaise
Protein (see NOTE below)
Vegetable (see NOTE below)

With damp fingers, spread the rice across the sheet of nori on an Old Bamboo or the rolling device of your choice (I've got a New Pink Plastic, and while it's easier to clean than my Old Bamboo I like the hand feel of the bamboo better).  Spread a thin schmear of mayonnaise across the rice.  Top with the rest of the components.  Use the Old Bamboo to roll tightly away from you, stopping after one complete revolution to lift the mat so it doesn't get rolled up with your sushi roll.  Squeeze tightly.  Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 8 pieces, wiping the knife with a damp towel in between cuts.
Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

NOTE:  Protein suggestions are 1/3 cup sliced Japanese Omelette (4 eggs, mixed with 1 teaspoon each sugar and salt, scrambled and chopped); 1/8 can of Spam, prepared per this post; 1/2 cup chopped roasted chicken, dribbled with teriyaki sauce; 2-3 slices prepared gyro meat, fried; 1/4 package marinated BBQ eel, or what else?  Vegetable suggestions are 1/3 cup finely shredded carrot, 1/3 cup peeled kohlrabi, sliced into sticks, 1/4 cup sliced spring onions, 2-3 pieces salad greens, 1/4 cup well-drained tzatziki sauce, or what else?

I've got some other ideas to tempt you:

California Roll at Just One Cook
Chirashi Sushi at Ninja Baking
Dragon Roll at Just One Cook
Festive Cucumber and Ginger Sushi at Ninja Baking
Ginger Cashew Nori Rolls at Spabettie
Jewshi with Caper Mayo at What Jew Wanna Eat

This post is shared on the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Tasty Tuesdays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up Pot Luck Party, What's Cookin' WednesdayWhat's In The Box, Food on Friday and the From The Farm Blog Hop.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Nutella Zucchini Muffins

I'd like to finally welcome Matt Damon to the stage. (Seriously, click on the link for an explanation in my Molasses Date Oatmeal muffin post.  Otherwise I'll just sound weird, OK?)

I realize this is the third zucchini recipe I've posted in a row.  I'm not apologizing, because my goal is to share something new for you to do with the glut of zucchini with which you may be blessed.  However, we're taking a break from zucchini after today's Monday Muffin recipe.  Wednesday I've got a fast fresh tomato sauce, and Friday I'll have a use for any regrown celery leaves you may have--Buffalo Chicken, Spring Onions, and Celery on a Buttermilk Pesto Pizza crust.

In the dog days of summer, when the squash just keep coming in the garden and the farm share, I shred a lot of zucchini.  Some of it gets mixed in with other veggies to help stretch meat for tacos or burgers.  The rest of it gets frozen all by itself, in 1 cup portions, for more zucchini-centric recipes.  Here's one way I'm feeding my family from the farm share all year 'round.

These muffins have a texture almost like a light chocolate cake.  They are delicious as an after-school snack, warm with a bit of butter or buttery spread.  You could easily go all whole wheat for the flour if you choose.
Yes, the bag says Squashzilla.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Open-faced Shaved Beet Sandwiches

I don't know why I'm spending my lunches waxing rhapsodically about beets and the farmers that grow them, but here I go again.  You know that when you get beets you should eat the greens pretty quickly, but the beets themselves will hang out in your fridge for a while.  You can shred and freeze them for later use, you can roast them and put them on or in a pizza, or you can make a tasty appetizer.  What I recently learned was that you can also love them raw.  All thanks to Martha.
Even though I work at a thrift shop, I'm still pretty frugal about shopping there.  I always check the clearance section when I get to work, and rarely scan the racks (oh who am I kidding--I check out the kitchen section all. the. time).  Whenever I see good magazines in the clearance rack, I snap them up.  I mean, it's the same thing year after year;  people always want to declutter their space and find new crock pot or grill recipes.  Only the trendy colors and vegetables (talking 'bout you, kale) change.

This is why I bought a couple of old issues of Martha Stewart Living--I figured I could find an idea or two for seasonal foods.  Late one night, while reading the March 1998 issue in between an article about building your own stone wall and an article about ordering seeds and bulbs from foreign catalogs, I read about shaving raw beets and tossing them with a balsamic vinaigrette.  The next morning I dutifully carried down the March 2004 issue and prepared to follow the recipe.  (Did you notice it was a different issue?  You're doing better than me.  I thought I'd hallucinated the whole balsamic-marinated shaved beet thing. What, you don't hallucinate about shaving beets? What do you hallucinate about?)  Because I was feeling lazy, I didn't walk back upstairs to get the correct year, I just winged it.  Then I winged it again the next day since it was so good.

This is easy, this is delicious, this is raw . . . give it a try.  The worst that will happen is your kitchen will look like an abattoir.  I've got a dark counter so I have no idea how bad it really could look.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Maple Teriyaki Salmon Sushi w/ Apple and Carrot (Quick Take)

Sushi and summer rolls are a great way to take a small amount of leftover protein, some farm fresh veggies, and a carb like rice or rice noodles to make a quick, interestingly packaged snack or appetizer.  My family loves to eat something so visually appealing and it comes together super quickly if your pantry is stocked.
We eat rice a lot, so I always make a full pot in my 3 cup version of this rice cooker (the 3 cup size is great for our family, therefore 95% of my rice cooking needs.  It makes no sense to me to buy a giant rice cooker for the handful of times a year I need to cook more than for us).  We never finish the pot, however, so I wrap up the extra rice in single serving patties and save it in the freezer.  That way, I nearly always have cooked rice on hand.  With leftover rice, this rolls up fast and easy.  Get it?  Rolls up?  Back to the sushi, Kirsten.
I had a bit of salmon left over from this dip, and carrots, but right now I'm waiting for the CSA season to start and I had no cucumber or kohlrabi for crunch.  I like a bit of crunch to my sushi, don't you?  Looking through the crisper, I decided to try apple slices.  Why not?  I admit the thought crossed my mind that, if it worked, this could be a candidate for Laura at Sprint 2 the Table's weekly Strange But Good party.  I'd baked the salmon very plainly, with only a bit of Pampered Chef dill mix as seasoning.  That left it a blank canvas, so I mixed up a maple-teriyaki dressing which paired nicely with all 3 elements.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quick and Crunchy Multi Grain Pumpkin Muffins

The overnight soaked-oatmeal muffins only work if you remember to set them up overnight, or at least an hour before baking.  Somedays, though, you remember to thaw a cup of pumpkin puree but forget to soak the oats.  And forget to put a tea bag in your mug of hot water . . .

For those days, here's a quick and crunchy muffin with the same whole grain goodness in less time.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beet & Goat Cheese Spread
New photo, same delicious recipe!
I love beets but my family doesn't.  I continually look for new ways to present beets so that everyone will discover how good they are.  One of my favorite ways to eat beets is this soup.  The family will eat it, especially if I puree it, but they don't love it like I do. That's why I was delighted to get this recipe from a friend.  She got it from her CSA farmer!  The inspiring recipe was for crostini, but I use it on crackers, on bread in a sandwich--good with radishes, cucumbers, sliced cheese and lettuce, and as a dip for sliced veggies.  This keeps for at least a week in the fridge.

For other recipes featuring beets, please see my Beet Recipes Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Try New Things-Radish Sandwich (Quick Take)

One of the neat things of being in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm share is the seasonal influx of new-to-me veggies.  I'd known that radishes existed of course.  I'd seen them on salad bars or on salads I'd order in restaurants. I assumed, based on that brief taste, that I didn't care for radishes.  The first year we got radishes in a farm share, I gave all of the radishes to my dad.  The second year, at the spring "welcome to our CSA" gathering when we picked up the first box of the season, I sampled a French Breakfast radish dipped in salt.

Hello!  That's good eating. After that I started sharing the radishes with my dad.

My favorite way to eat a radish remains the simple radish sandwich.  Take a slice of good bread (La Brea Bakery Whole Grain loaf from the store or Costco remains my favorite).  Spread with butter or buttery spread.  Top with sliced radishes.  Sprinkle kosher salt over top.  Delicious!

I'm currently fermenting some shredded radishes into relish on my countertop.  What are you doing with radishes?