Friday, June 29, 2007

Garlic Scape Pesto and Bread

So, I made a pesto from the garlic scapes. I used all of them I had--probably 12? and put them in the food processor with some asiago cheese (I don't know how much, most of a block) and some olive oil. Really, I was just looking at consistency, not for any strict proportion. turned out fantastic. It is absolutely delicious!

I also made pesto bread from the pesto. I made my typical sourdough bread that I make every week, rolled it out, spread with pesto, then rolled into a loaf. I cannot begin to tell you how fantastic it smells and tastes!

Here is where I got my sourdough bread info to start with:

I did not use yeast for my starter, I just let it sit on my counter and gather the natural yeast in the air. I have had it going for a few months now and it still works wonderfully. I use honey rather than sugar in my recipe and look at how great it turns out!

I have made three loaves of the pesto bread so far and my family can't get enough of it.

CSA This week

Note the fabulous basil! I forgot to take pictures of anything I made this camera has been with Kimber at VBS so you'll just have to deal with my descriptions.

I made a chicken pot pie using the stir fry veggies and a carrot. I got the recipe from here:

Experimentation of taste

Chrispy’s Super Easy Pot Pie

1 large pie or 8-10 individual pies
2 ½ - 3 pie crusts – use your basic recipe with a little more butter or shortening.
2 T butter
Mixture of spices – these change with my mood, but just pick the spices you like.
2 C medium chopped vegetables ( I used 1 stalk of celery, 3 carrots and the stir fry mix)
2 C shredded cooked chicken (you can get a rotisserie or cook one yourself)
3 T all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
2 -14.5 oz cans of low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450 F with rack in the center.
Make pie crust mixture and cut into rounds to place in muffin tin, ramekins or pie pan. The individual pies will take up about 1 ½ pie crusts for the bases. Bake the crusts until browned, about 7-8 min. Remove. Reduce oven to 350 F.
While the pie crusts are baking, melt butter over medium heat. Add the vegetables and spices and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for about a minute until it is warm. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the flour is incorporated. Add the broth to the pan; increase the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly till the mixture thickens slightly, about a minute or two.
Pour the mixture into the just baked pie shells. Cover with remaining pie crusts, crimping the edges so they stick some. Make one slit into the top of each individual pie and several in a main pie.
Bake the pies on a baking sheet until golden brown and bubbly. 15-20 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven, let rest for 10 min, and then serve

Next time, I might consider making a roux first...this was a little runny but the leftovers were awesome.

I also made a quick pasta with mozzarella cheese, garlic, fresh basil, fresh tomato, and olive oil. It was fantastic with the pesto bread (more about that in the next post)

Friday, June 22, 2007

I figured it out!

I was perusing several CSA blogs that have recipes, and I discovered what the pointy things are--garlic scapes! Yay, how exciting that I know what they are. I found a bunch of recipes too, one of their main uses is in pesto.
I'll post the recipe and a picture when I make it. I need to get some cheese and some more olive oil.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Salad in a Bread Bowl

A number of years ago, I went to a Pampered Chef party where the demonstrator made a bread bowl for salad baked on their big stoneware bowl. I am not even sure they make that bowl anymore, and there was no way I was going to shell out the money for it, so I decided to try to make it on a large (4L) Pyrex bowl. It worked wonderfully. The recipe calls for a canned French Bread dough--like from Pillsbury--but it is a TON cheaper and probably a lot healthier to make my own. Here is the finished product. I brushed the outside with olive oil and sprinkled it with dry ranch dressing mix. I want to try to make my own dry ranch dressing mix the next time, but I still have some in my cupboard as of now. I'm going to fill it with salad greens/romaine, grilled shrimp, and fresh parmesan cheese.

Week 2 CSA

Sorry I have been tardy with my updating. First week with the kids home from school for the summer, it's been a bit crazy and difficult to get on a schedule. Next week is VBS, so our schedule will be even crazier.

This week we got eggs too, which is$3 extra, but totally worth it. Some monster carrots too! If anyone knows what that pointy green thing is in the front, could you let me know? It smells like an onion, but I have no idea what it is.

We had a few veggies left from last week, so I combined some together and made roasted veggies. They have lasted quite a few days, I made omelettes, put them in spaghetti sauce, and just eaten them plain as a side dish.

The next thing I made was a green gratin. I took all of the greens from the past two weeks--beet greens, chrysanthemum greens, swiss chard, collard greens, and chopped them up. Put them in a baking dish with some parmesan, ricotta cheese, smashed crackers, and some garlic salt and baked them in the oven. Surprisingly, they were a HUGE hit with everyone in the family.

Speaking of greens, I found a great site that is helping me to identify some of the veggies we have been receiving (except for the pointy green ones) It is The Cook's Thesaurus

That's all for this post. I have another picture, but it's from another day and I wanted to make a separate post for it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Beets, Sage, and Stir Fry Veggies

Today I went "simple" with the veggies.

I started with roasting the baby beets in the oven, wrapped in foil, at 400 for about a half hour. I sliced them up, put them on top of spinach, sprinkled with blue cheese and a bit of balsamic vinegar dressing.

Next, I made a package of Annie's All Natural macaroni and cheese. Right at the end of the cooking time for the noodles, I mixed in half of my package of stir fry veggies. Drained, then mixed with the cheese. I was going to make homemade mac and cheese, but I totally ran out of time today. This was a huge hit...everyone ate tons and even the kids ate all of the veggies, didn't even pick them out.

Finally, I had some organic chicken breasts that I put in a 13 x 9 baking dish. I sliced up a lemon and put it in the bottom. Crushed two cloves of garlic with some olive oil and some sea salt (made a kind of aoli) and spread it over the chicken. Chopped up fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary and put it on top of all the rest. Then I baked it at 350 for 45 minutes. The first 30 minutes covered with foil, the last 15 without.

I got a yogurt making machine today, and I'm going to try for my first batch of yogurt tonight. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Green Garlic and Green Onions

Today I used the green onions in a salad and the green garlic and russet potatoes in soup. Both were pretty good. The salad needed a little "something" so I added some balsamic vinegar and that definitely helped. I sprinkled in a little raw sugar also, which gave another dimension to it.
Janet Fletcher, San Francisco Chronicle
Adapted from Richard Olney's leek and potato soup in ``Simple French Food.''

--1 pound green garlic-- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter-- 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes-- Salt and pepper to taste-- 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth

INSTRUCTIONS: Discard the dark green leafy parts of the green garlic, leaving the white and pale green parts. Cut each garlic in half lengthwise, then mince.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for about 5 minutes to soften. Add potatoes, season with salt and pepper, then add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender enough to mash with a wooden spoon, about 40=20 minutes

French Bean and Berries Salad

contributed by Chelsea Lincoln
2 cups cooked Kamut Berries Organic
2 cups cooked Flageolet Beans (I used Edamame here)
1 cup Green Onion, chopped
1 cup Tomatoes, diced
2 cups Spinach, chopped
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup Shallots, minced
1 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Tarragon
1 tsp. Parsley Flakes
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
Soak Flageolet Beans (about 1 cup) overnight. Drain water and rinse off beans. Place beans in pot covered with plenty of water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer, placing lid on pot. Cook until beans are soft, about 1 hour.Place Kamut Berries (about 1-1/2 cups) in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place a lid on the pot. Cook until berries are soft, about 1 hour.While beans and kamut are cooking, mix vinaigrette ingredients together in a large bowl. Slice veggies and place in the bowl.Drain beans and berries and rinse in cold water. Measure out 2 cups of both the beans and the kamut and add them to the other ingredients in the bowl. Blend together all ingredients with vinaigrette and chill for a few hours or overnight.Makes 10 servings.

Our CSA Adventure

This week was our first week being members of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Here are some pictures of our bounty of goods from our mini share that we received this week.
We got a bag of salad/mixed greens and edible flowers and her special homemade garlic basil dressing. Broccoli. Carrots. Green onions. Green garlic. Baby beets. Stir fry mix. Russet potatoes. Collard greens. Baby bok choi. Bag of mixed dark salad greens. Italian parsley. Sage.
I'll be posting pictures and recipes from what I make with the bounty!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Reviews and the rest of May's books

Newest reviews:

The 310: Life as a Poser


Royal Koi and Kindred Spirits

The rest of the books I read in May:

77. Only You by Deborah Bedford C
78. Abomination by Colleen Coble B-
79. Notes from a Spinning Planet: Mexico by Melody Carlson B-
80. Jacob's List by Stephanie Grace Whitson B-
81. Playing With Fire by Melody Carlson B
82. Trouble in Paradise by Robin Lee Hatcher C+


9. Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes B