Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Salads

As I'm crunching away on my lunch a l'ete I realize that I'm not the only one who makes up a different salad for every day of the week. This morning is a romaine, green bean, curry tuna with red grapes... last week was arugula with green beans, fresh peas from the garden, bacon and God's gift to store bought dressing.

And while crunching I find: the NYT's answer to my summer-winding-down, lack of creativity.


Monday, July 20, 2009

First Fruits

Don't Aberdonian-soon-to-be-American kids need hidden squash in their chocolate breakfast bread? I'm off tomorrow to play with the newly come to this side of the pond, family. What a relief. Dad's doctorate finished and now the 2 1/2 and 1 year old niece and nephew return! And no, sadly, they did not acquire accents. No shortage of cuteness here though.

Auntie's zuc-choco bread (makes 2 loaves)
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 1/2 c sugar
blend together
In a separate bowl whisk:
4 c flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
2 1/2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
Slowly blend in the flour mix to your wets. Spoon in 3 c zucchini, finely shredded and 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips. Bake for 1 hour at 350.
== Healthy, happy kids

Plus it's official: my first bounty from Chicago Ave garden. Partnering with a brilliant non-profit, 4 years ago we started a community garden. And today was finally the first day of delicious green things to bring home. Zucchini went home with another, who wasn't long 3 zucchinis from Green City last week (hence inspiration for the zuc/choco bread).
Next up: LOADS of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, more chard, more beans, more peas, more zucchs.
Ps. fascinating article in Newsweek to the right...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The giving tree

A lovely ‘sharer’ popped into my life lately.  And I don’t mean you know, the occasional drive by who shares a snippet of something fabulous, then disapearing for months on end.  No no my friend.  We’re talking, “I’m on the same flight as your husband coming into Midway (who brilliantly carried ON luggage) and you offer to wait for our 1 hour delayed luggage to drive my silly self home at 11 o’clock on a Sunday night in the pouring rain,” and “take my delightfully Euro-trend-tastic  manual drive wheels whenever I’m out of town” and now this?!?!  Honestly, it’s the last straw. is the gift of the week.  CrystalMeth is flying out of town for meetings in NY and accidentaly ordered her first shipment to be delivered while she is away!  “Sure!” says I. “I’ll gladly take a box chocked full of incredible fresh produce off your hands."

About Freshpicks:  If you have commitment issues (yes, I do) then we have the solution for you!!  Rather than subsribe to a CSA, pick and choose the box of goodies you’d like and they’ll deliver straight to your door.  One off, fresh, local, organic, sustainable food just for you. 

A new challenge staring me square in the eyes to be sure.  Kale?  Onions? Fresh garlic? Oh!  Plus please make it portable so the poor dear slaving all day down on Michigan and Oak has a refreshing picnic dinner before studying computer programming all evening...and Kefta-Kale-Couscous is created.  Kale inspired by Bonappetit and Tukish keftas that were made in the Alaskan wilderness one backpacking trip, years ago...
For the Kefta:  I took 3/4 lbs ground beef, 1T curry, 1t cumin, salt, pepper and 1/3 c chopped onions...mix it with your hands and shape into patties. Fry stove-top for about 4 minutes a side and presto.  Keftas.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Experiment with Swiss Chard

Chalk it up to Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" for introducing me to swiss chard (I swear this book is the gift that keeps on giving). But after making eggs in a nest so many times, I had to come up with something new... here goes...

Swiss Chard Tomato Sauce
Heat 2 tbs oil piping hot in a large saucepan
Toss in about 4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
Toss until browned and removed from pan, leaving oil
Chop garlic chips
Sauté 1/2 a zuccini, sliced thinly and halved, and one whole bunch of swiss chard, chopped into 1 inch strips until the chard turns bright green but isn't yet wilting
Pour in 1-14oz can of diced, Italian spiced tomatoes, chopped garlic chips, 1 1/2 c chicken stock and a handful of minced cremini mushrooms
Simmer for about 10-15 minutes
Add a bit of sugar to taste (about 2tsp)
Serve over cheese tortelini