Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Lunch

Here is our Easter Menu:

Carrot and Beet Salad
Green Beans
Bunny Pasta Salad
Fruit and Jello Parfaits

Carrot and Beet Salad

carrots and beets from the csa box

Comments: We threw stuff in as we had them, not paying much attention to the measurements. Still turned out great. My mom made the pasta salad, which was yummy, but I don't have a recipe for it. We had the light flesh beets, which are a bit sweeter and less "beety".

Verdict: ****

3 cups grated carrots
3 cups grated, uncooked beetroots
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
Tabasco sauce to taste
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Serves approximately 6

Trim, peel, and grate the carrots and beets. Place the rest of the main ingredients, from garlic to black pepper, in a large salad bowl, add the grated carrots and beets, and toss until well combined.

Taste, adjust the seasoning, and let stand for 30 minutes, if you can, before serving: the beets and carrots will render juices that will make the salad moister. You can add lemon juice to it at the end to make it more moist. :)

Easter Biscotti

Oranges from the csa box

Comments: My mom has been making this biscotti recipe for years. I think she said she got it from a Sunset Magazine, or Better Homes and Gardens, or something like that. Here is the recipe to the best of my knowledge. I recommend not using whole wheat flour and it is really dense and hard to eat.

Verdict: ****

3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated orange peel
3 cups flour (or a bit less)
2 tsp baking powder

Beat 2 eggs and 1 yolk. Reserve egg white for end. Beat in butter and add vanilla and orange peel. Slowly add in flour and baking powder. Add cinnamon and raisins as desired. Shape dough into a bunny, duck or egg shape on a greased cookie sheet. Add additional raisins, shape dough accents, or 'draw' with a fork/knife to decorate your shaped dough. Brush finished product with reserved egg white. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Break off pieces to enjoy with coffee, milk, or tea.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Burgers and Artichokes

Odd combination, I know, but that is what you get when you ask multiple people for the dinner suggestions.

Artichoke, mustard greens, parsley, and green onion from CSA box

Comments: Yum! I also made a butter, lemon, garlic dip for the artichokes that was good, just not the winning dip. :)

Verdict: *****


2 lbs ground beef
4 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

Burger toppings we used:
Sliced tomato
Mustard greens
Sliced cheese
grilled mushrooms
grilled onions

Broil 3-4 min each side until done.

Serve on a bun with your preferred toppings.



3 lemons
3 whole artichokes
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper


Fill a large pot with just 5 cups of water. Squeeze 2 fresh lemons into water. Bring to a full boil over high heat. While water is heating, trim and discard the stems and tough outer leaves of artichokes. Tuck slivers of butter and slices of garlic into artichoke leaves. Drizzle with fresh squeezed lemon.

When water is boiling, place steamer insert in pot and set artichokes in steamer, stem-side down. Cover pot with lid and allow artichokes to steam for approximately 30 minutes, or until tender- can easily pull off a leaf.

While artichokes are cooking, mix together mayo, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and pepper and set aside for dipping the leaves and heart. Enjoy!

Chard Tacos with Lime Cilantro Chicken

Cilantro, limes, chard from csa box
chicken from Sprouts

Comments: I would have made more chard for the tacos, or eaten my children's share. It was really good. We ate the tacos with black beans, guacamole, olives, and salsa. The chicken isn't in the recipe, just had it lying around and figured at least everyone would eat that if the tacos were a disaster. :) I added less red pepper flakes, but might full Tbsp next time

Verdict: ***1/2 All the adults ate it up and wanted seconds. The kids all said they didn't like it, but my 4 year old ate his without complaint (possibly just copying his brother in the protesting?) Also, additional star for my mom, who joined us for dinner.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

4 large chicken breasts
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
3 Tbsp garlic
Juice of 5 small limes
Salt and pepper

Mix together cilantro, oil, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add to chicken and marinate for approximately 5 hours.

Broil 4-5 min on each side or until done.

Let rest for 3 minutes and slice into strips. If desired, drizzle with fresh lime juice.

Chard Tacos


1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems removed and leaves cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch slices
1 pinch salt
12 corn tortillas
1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
3/4 cup salsa

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth, Swiss chard, and salt. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until chard is nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to medium, stirring until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat another skillet over medium-high heat. Warm the tortillas in the skillet for about 1 minute per side. Fill the warmed tortillas with the chard, and top with the queso fresco cheese and salsa.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Orecchiette with Broccoli Liscia

Broccoli Liscia and Unidentifiable greens from csa box
orecchiette - hard to find and unfortunately no whole wheat option

I got this recipe off the website for my local csa. I changed it a bit because I didn't feel like measuring. So, the recipe below is an approximation of what we actually ate.

Verdict: ****** (my mom ate with us, hence the additional star)

Orecchiette with Broccoli Liscia

1 cup chicken stock
1 lb orecchiette
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb broccoli liscia
1 lb seasonal greens (perhaps chard or kale or collard)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage, cooked & crumbled
3 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated


  • Cook the orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain well. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. 
  • Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat until golden. Coarsely chop the greens. Add the greens, crushed red pepper and salt; cover and steam for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Stir in the chicken stock, sausage and butter and cook over high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the orecchiette to the skillet and toss gently. 
  • Sprinkle half the Parmigiano on top and toss again. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining cheese.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fontina, Fennel, and Onion Pizza

Fennel from csa box.

Comments: I changed up this recipe that is originally from Martha Stewart. I used a mixture of whole wheat and white flours, doubled the recipe and mixed up the toppings on our pizzas. All in all, I loved that I could make the dough and the onion/fennel earlier in the day and just had to put them together at dinnertime. Also, we did not grill the pizzas as recommended, although it would be even yummier if we had. We used a pizza stone in the oven. I preferred our second pizza, as the original recipe was a bit to bland for my liking. The carmelized onions and fennel were yummy and sweet, but it need a punch of something. I added in the sundried tomatoes but still not enough punch.

Verdict: *****

Fontina, Fennel, and Onion Pizza


Makes 2 18-inch pizzas

2 teaspoon sugar
2 packet (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces shredded fontina
fennel fronds
extra-virgin olive oil
Sundried tomatoes (not oil packed)
Sliced olives
Favorite pizza sauce


Step 1: Pizza Dough

  • Pour 1 cup warm water into a medium bowl; add sugar and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.
  • Whisk oil and 1 teaspoon salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until liquid is incorporated (dough will appear dry). 
  • Turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together in an elastic ball, 2 minutes. 
  • Transfer to an oiled medium bowl; brush lightly with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; set in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, 45 minutes. Punch down dough and cover; let rise another 30 minutes.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 2 equal pieces. (To store, refrigerate dough pieces, covered, up to 2 days, or freeze, up to 1 month.) Let rest 15 minutes before using.

Step 2: Caramelized Fennel and Onions

  • In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high. Add fennel and onion, and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 5 to 7 minutes. 
  • Uncover, add 1 tablespoon water, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and soft, 2 minutes. (To store, refrigerate, up to 3 days.)

Step 3: Make the Pizza

  • Heat oven and pizza stone to 425 degrees. Stretch 1/2 dough into long oval or other desired shape. Sprinkle stone with corn meal (if desired) and then place formed crust onto stone. Brush lightly with olive oil. 
  • Bake for 5-8 minutes until starting to brown. Add desired toppings. We used fontina, caramelized onions/fennel mixture, fennel fronds and sundried tomatoes on our first pizza. On our second pizza, we put a light coating of sauce, fontina, caramelized onions/fennel, fennel fronds, and mini pepperoni. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until done. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fennel and Potato Bake

Potatoes and fennel from csa box. Random cheese assortment that needed to be eaten from my fridge

Comments: I pretty much used the original recipe as a launching pad since I realize now, I really didn't follow it very well. It was quite tasty, so I am not complaining. Just wanted you to know that the original link below and what I actually made are not quite the same. I accidentally omitted the butter from the layers, but did add more cheese intentionally. I think it was all for the best. We are indeed a cheese family.

Verdict: Unclear.  We are not big potato people over here. I don't actually purposefully buy potatoes and never order them when we are out. So, a definite lack of exposure around here. Also, I am not sure if the boys were being truthful when they said they didn't like it. Sometimes they make decisions about things too early and don't change their minds, even after they finish it all. But, I would give it 2 stars if I could, so we'll just say:
   Verdict: ****

Fennel and Potato Bake
a la Martha Stewart


Serves 6

Butter for pan
2 medium fennel bulbs
5 large red potatoes, peeled
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup grated cheese (I used a mixture of Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Provolone)
1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
  2. Trim fennel bulbs; halve, and core. Slice bulbs and potatoes very thin (1/8 inch thick).
  3. Add potatoes to prepared dish in three layers, alternating with two layers of fennel; season each layer with salt and pepper, sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese.  Omit cheese from final layer as it will be added later.
  4. Pour cream over top. Bake until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grapefruit Upside-Down Cake

Grapefruit from CSA box

Verdict: **** (there were 7 of us, and we all liked the cake, but only 4 liked the grapefruit portion)

Comments: I think using another fruit would have made this better. We all loved the spice cake, even with it being whole wheat... but the grapefruit was a tad off-putting for some. I personally liked the combo. I guess it is all personal preference. :) The only modification I made was to exchange the white flour for whole wheat. Oh, and we don't have allspice for some reason, so I used nutmeg.

Grapefruit Upside-Down Cake
a la Martha Stewart
Serves 8

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 small pink grapefruit
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Whipped cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 4 tablespoons butter in a 9-inch round baking pan. Place the pan in the oven just long enough to melt the butter. Remove pan from oven; scatter 1/2 cup brown sugar evenly over the melted butter.
  2. With a sharp knife, peel the grapefruit, removing all pith, and slice. Arrange the slices to cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and allspice. 4. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter until creamy. Add granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar; beat until well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  4. Pour batter over grapefruit in pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; turn cake out onto serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired.