Tuesday, August 4, 2009

CSA Weeks #9 & #10

I was so swamped catching up on just about everything last week that I didn't get the posts up for week #9 or even take pics for week #10.

Week #9 brought more of the same summer veggies we've been getting:

New potates (red & yukon gold)
Green Beans
Green Onions
Sweet Corn (Bodacious)
Carrots (orange, white, and purple)

I've been making hand cut potato chips with the new potatoes, though this isn't quite enough to keep up! I think there will be potato salad sometime in the near future. The sweet corn was pretty good - growing up on a farm, my family and I are pretty picky about corn varieties - this one was very similar the the Early Sun Glow we used to grow back in the day.

Week #10 saw the first appearance of tomatoes and other goodies:

Tomatoes (red in baskets, green avail on request)
Onions (Cippolini)
Green Beans
New Potatoes
Sweet Corn
Summer Rambo Apples

I made a small batch of apple butter with the apples and we've been putting vegetables in just about everything this week.

BBA Challenge & more!

The last part of July was hectic, alas, I was not able to participate in this month's Daring Bakers or Daring Cooks challenges. This month I'll have more time, and the challenges are too tempting to pass on!

One thing I was able to squeeze in this month was Greek Celebration Bread the next recipe in the BBA Challenge. I admit, I always admired this bread each time I pulled the book of the shelf, but never had any motivation to try it, as too many other breads are on my list of 'regulars'.

I loved the feel of the dough, though it was a little more wet than I expected it to be. The addition of the spices really made me look forward to the final product! I added bourbon soaked golden raisins and cranberries. Because I didn't think to set aside a portion of the dough for the decorative element of the Christomophos, I formed the dough into a boule.

I have to admit, the bread smelled AWESOME, it looked AWESOME. The taste and texture where disappointing. The aroma of the spices was misleading, there wasn't a lot of flavor to the bread. The bread was surprisingly dry - even with butter or jam spread on slices, it seemed like eating cardboard.

This is the first recipe of PH's that I've not liked.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CSA Week #8

I've been a slacker, I should have posted this a few days ago! Week #8's CSA basket was overflowing this week:

New potatoes
Green beans
Green Onions
Sweet Corn (white)

I made delicious stuffed zucchini with it this week - made a quinoa and turkey sausage stuffing that was pretty good on its own. The hubs said it was the best dinner he had in a while since it was both incredibly tasty AND healthy lol). The chard, cukes and radishes have been great in salads. I also somehow took the time to hand-cut a dozen of the new potatoes into potato chips.

Monday, July 13, 2009

CSA Week #7

This week's basket was overflowing with more summer vegetables!  Included was:

Sugar Snap Peas
Rainbow Chard
New Potatoes
Green Beans
Sweet Annie
Homemade Gooseberry Jam

The peas have been great chopped up in salads, I am sad these are the last we'll get of the growing season.   I made potato and leek soup with the last batch of new potatoes, I am still thinking about what I'll make this time.  The Sweet Annie was amazingly fragrant and very relaxing.  I had never heard of it before this week, its like a cross between french lavender and eucalyptus!

Monday, July 6, 2009

BBA Challenge - Anadama Bread

One of my favorite cooking books is Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  I recently discovered a group who was baking their way through this amazing compilation of bread and decided to give it a try!  The BBA Challenge was brought to us by Nicole of Pinch My Salt.  

Anadama Bread is the first recipe of the book.  It's an old New England Bread that appears in many books on bread.  I've tried it in the past and didn't care for the consistency or taste, so passed on making this when I initially bought The BBA.  I believe that previous attempts with different recipes went south because the soaker of corn meal was only a few hours and/or an overwhelming amount of molasses was used.  After letting the soaker rest overnight, the cornmeal had an appealing fragrance and was fluffy.  

The recipe was very easy and straight forward, no unusual ingredients or instruments needed to make this.  The dough was amazing, supple and easy to knead by hand (since the hubs has yet to come through on his "I'll buy you a new KA mixer" proclamation which convinced me to sell my trusty mixer back in AK, LOL).

Since I couldn't find my normal sized bread pans, I split the dough into 5 small loafs.  The finished bread definitely turned my opinion of this bread around.  It wasn't dense, dry, or overpowered by the molasses.  

My only complaint was that I couldn't remember what the heck I did with my stupid bread pans so that we could enjoy this with the BLTs we made for dinner last night!