October 11, 2006

Butternut Squash Soup

Had some soft carrots from last week (forgot to take the tops off) and also a butternut squash from last week so I decided to try some soup. This was the basic recipe I followed, although I used more squash and therefore more stock. I also didn't have celery so I chopped up a pepper and threw that in.

Butternut Squash Soup II
Submitted by: Princess Krista K
Photo by: Allrecipes
"This is a thick, rich soup with tons of flavor. Something I whipped up off the top of my head, with things I had on hand. Super easy, quick, and a great way to use squash. An instant hit at my house."
Original recipe yield: 4 servings.

Prep Time:
15 Minutes
Cook Time:
45 Minutes
Ready In:
1 Hour
4 (change)


* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 1 medium carrot, chopped
* 2 medium potatoes, cubed
* 1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed
* 1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken stock
* salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Melt the butter in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
2. Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

August 16, 2006

Boasting of my cabinet

In the last few weeks I've been canning with all of the pick-your-own from the CSA. I thought I'd tell you all what I've put up. I know Nancy's husband has done at least 8 quarts of tomato paste!

8 qts tomato sauce
~ 60 oz of blackberry jam
10 - 8 oz jars of Tomatillo Salsa

at least a quart of pesto in various jars, most were stuck in the freezer. It's been fun, and I'm so pleased when I see those jars sitting in the cabinet ready for the fall and winter.

Raspberries just came in this week. I have high hopes for more jam.

July 28, 2006

Eating local challenge

Since we haven't been keeping up to well with posting recipes (I'm number one guilty here gals!) I thought we could use some inspiration. And I found it! Someone started a local food challenge - cook one meal per week with only local foods for each of the 12 weeks of summer. Each week there are new recipes to look at for inspiration. It is arranged by area of the country, so the people posting from the Northeast should have ingredients similar to what we have here in Phoenixville. Here's a link to week four Oh, it is called One Local Summer.

June 24, 2006

Sausage N Cabbage #2

Except for the cheese, I used a recipe very similar to Kim's Sausage N Cabbage dinner also on June 20! It's from FROM ASPARAGUS TO ZUCCHINI. In addition is: 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1 onion finely chopped, tomato slices, salt, 2 carrots sliced, and 1 green pepper chopped.

Grated cabbage, carrots and pepper come after the onions, tomatoes, curry and salt have been sauteed first together in the sausage drippings for 2-3 minutes (Alvin's sausage rules!). Add 1/2 cup water with the second group of vegetables. Simmer and cover until liquid absorbed. Add back the sausage.

June 20, 2006

Sausage N Cabbage dinner

Sausage N Cabbage

1 head of cabbage, chopped
1 lb. of crumbled, browned sausage
2 c. shredded cheese

Brown Sausage, set aside. Saute chopped cabbage in sausage drippings until cooked to taste. Turn off heat, place sausage on top of cooked cabbage, and sprinkle cheese on top of all. Place lid on pot; viola, cheese melts. Delicious w/Alvin's sausage!

Italian Wedding Soup

If you haven't made it before this is a good soup that can be altered pretty liberally off the basic recipe. (You must have the carrots, the greens, the meatballs and the pasta.)

I put some stock (about 4 pints) in a large pot and start adding:
cut up carrots - about 3
finely cut kale or spinach or chard might work too - about 4 cups
little meatballs (make your own or use pre-made - cut in half or quarters if they seem too big)
leftover cut-up chicken pieces

Get it all boiling and when the kale and carrots are done add a cup or so of orzo or pastina (little pasta). Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top. Even my "I don't like spinach and kale" guy enjoyed this one.

Turnip Soup

It is getting a little too warm for soups. But, they are easy. Turnips are finished now (although we'll see some in the fall probably). This soup has just a few ingredients. The recipe is here. I added some garlic scapes while sauteeing the turnips and a couple tablespoons of miso with the stock. It was thumbs up all around.


June 18, 2006

Harvest Week #4 Sankanac

Wow! The harvest is exploding. Let's see whether I can remember the quantities!

1 head of cabbage (I took an extra head from the donation bin)
Asian Greens
Field Greens
6 sprigs of parsley
Swiss Chard
1 bunch of beets
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of red leaf lettuce
2 oz. ! of Broccoli (one tiny tree!)

The fruits of my research on storing veggies: I only researched freezing them, as I am not yet set up to can. I've wondered why veggies need to be blanched, as opposed to just chopped & frozen or even frozen whole.

From the 1984 edition of Putting Food By, Chapter 13, Freezing Vegetables:

"Blanching" - "Even after vegetables are picked, the enzymes in them make them lose flavor and color & sometimes make them tough, even at freezer temperatures. Therefore the enzymes must be stopped in their tracks by being heated for a few minutes (how many minutes depends on the size and texture of the vegetable) before the vegetables are cooled quickly and packed. This preheating is necessary for virtually all vegetables: Green (sweet) peppers are the notable exception."

The book continues, stating that steaming for blanching is an option.

I'm going to sample some of my frozen chard & see how tough it is. Personally, we may not notice any of the traits in the above paragraph, and it would cut down on my energy use and time if I didn't have to blanch, cool, then put into the 'fridge, then transfer to the freezer.

Unfortunately, it lists cabbage as a vegetable that doesn't freeze well because of its water content. I will plan to use it only in cooked dishes if I freeze it.

June 13, 2006

Herbs - Freeze or Dry?

The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden Cookbook recommends the following herb flavors are best retained by FREEZING:

And, the following have good flavor when dried:

And because this blog hasn't had any pictures yet. I give you "Kids and Chickens"

June 11, 2006

Harvest week #3 Sankanac CSA

This week my 1/2 share brought me:

1 head lettuce
1 lb. kale
9 oz. field greens
2 oz dill
swiss chard
1 turnip
1 kohlrabi
2 heads of broccoli/cauliflower combination
unlimited u-pick strawberries!

Garlic-Marinated Broccoli

In Season

Garlic-Marinated Broccoli - recipes from a kitchen garden

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsps soy sauce
fresh peper to taste
1 head broccoli, cut into florets

mix together marinade ingredients. steam florets until tender-crisp. drain, chill and toss with marinade. let stand at least 1/2 hour. serve chilled or room temp. 4 servings

June 8, 2006

Harvest week #3 Kimberton

On Tuesday we got:

2 heads lettuce
1 bunch tatsoi
1.5 pounds spinach
5 turnips
chard or perpetual spinach (it was in the take what you can use catagory)
various salad greens
broccoli teaser - a little more than a handful of broccoli
garlic scrapes(?)
you pick - snap peas, snow peas and strawberries, no limit on anything

Swiss Chard Italiane and Couscous

This recipe was adapted from Swiss Chard Italiane from the book Asparagus to Zucchini

Steam a bunch of chard (aka perpetual spinach) and chop it.
Saute some finely chopped onion (one small) in a few tablespoons of butter.
Throw in some pesto pre-make (basil, garlic and olive oil) or just some chopped basil. Be generous with this, especially if you like basil.
I also put some garlic things we got this week at the farm, they look like the early garlic from thining the patch.

Put the chopped chard into the saute along with about 3/4 cup (or equal amount to the chard) of chopped canned or fresh tomatoes. Get everything good and hot. Salt to taste.
Serve with couscous and slice some fresh mozzarella cheese on top. MMM. Really quite good.

June 3, 2006

Strawberry Jam

Per Nancy's request, my strawberry jam particulars.

This uses a boiling water canner. The low-sugar/no-sugar pectin can also be used to make freezer jam if you prefer to forgo the canning. It is not that hard however and it homemade anything is a quick and appreciated gift to almost anyone. Just add a label and a ribbon.

I heat up my jars by washing them in the dishwasher. If things are timed right, the jars and the jam are both hot at the same time. You should have your canner water heating when you start hulling the berries and also have a little saucepan with water on the stovetop heating with your jar lids in it.

I use Ball low-sugar/no-sugar pectin. It is the one in the pink box. Basic instructions are inside (and usually a coupon off your next box too.)

Hull 2 qts of strawberries
Crush them one layer at a time.
This should yield 5 cups of crushed strawberries.
Put these, along with 1 cup water into a large saucepan.
Heat to boiling.
Add 0 - 3 cups sugar. I add from 1/2 - 1 cup. This much enhances the flavor of the berries and brightens up the color a bit. I find that if I add more it just makes the jam taste like strawberry sugar. I want to really taste the berries.
Boil hard for one minute.
Skim off foam.

Set your jars (need 48 oz total for this recipe) on a dishtowel on the countertop.
Using a canning funnel, ladle the hot jam into the hot jars (fill to 1/2" from top). Using a canning spatula remove bubbles along the side of the jar. Wipe rim of jars with wet paper towel. Get hot lid from saucepan, place on top and put a ring band around. Place in canner. Repeat for all the jars.

When water is boiling in the canner, lower jars and process for 10 min.
Remove and place on counter. Don't fool with the lids or the ring bands.
Come back when they are cool and check that the lids are sealed. Remove ring bands, wipe off jar and place in cool dark place (or just your kitchen cabinet) and see how long you can wait before trying some!

June 2, 2006

Stir-Fry Kohlrabi and Pasta

In Season

Simple Stir-Fry Kohlrabi

from "From Asparagus to Zucchini"
for 2-4 servings

Grate 2 kohlrabi, place in colander and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, for 30 minutes to drain. Heat 4 tbsps. butter or oil over medium heat, add 1 diced medium onion and saute for a few minutes. Stir in kohlrabi, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tbsp fresh herbs (I used chives and sage).

I served over pasta and also scrambled Alvin's pork sausage as a topping to the whole entree. Delicious!

June 1, 2006

Harvest week #2 Kimberton

From Kimberton this week Nancy and I received:
1 tatsoi
5 turnips
2 purple kohrabi
2 heads of lettuce
1.5 pounds spinach
various salad greens
2 leeks
strawberries (u-pick)

Pesto pre-make

I made a garlic basil olive oil pre-pesto with the large handful of basil from this week's share. I add nuts and cheese as I need that way those ingredients stay fresh.

Pull basil leaves off of stem. Wash. Put in blender with amount of garlic cloves you like. Add some olive oil and process. Adjust amount of olive oil depending on amount of basil. You want just enough to process. Pour into 8 oz canning jars and let it settle. Add just a little olive oil on the top to seal it off. Screw on a lid and store in the fridge.

We used a little along with other chopped herbs and shredded carrots and radish mixed into cream cheese for sandwiches. I'll also use it for pasta sauce and on pizza with fresh sliced tomatoes and cheese.


Turnips and Kohlrabi with Greens and Raisins

This got rave reviews from the hubby, but each of the kids had a different complaint. One left behind the raisins, another the turnips/kohlrabi and another the greens! I thought it was good.

Cut 5 turnips and 2 kohlrabi (all peeled) into matchsticks.
Coarsley chop the greens from these vegetables along with spinach. Ratio of one green to the other depending on your tastes.

Saute the turnips and kohlrabi with a little olive oil and a few crushed garlic cloves. About 2 min. Add a handful of raisins. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice, cover and simmer for another 3 min. Add greens and saute just til wilted. Salt and pepper to taste and throw in a dash of nutmeg.

I served this with a garlic butter pastured chicken that had been cooking all day in the crockpot.

May 31, 2006

Miso Soup with Swiss Chard

I made my first Miso soup with some Swiss Chard. I put in one carrot cut into circles, and a handful of purple onion that I keep chopped in the freezer. Boil the onion and carrot for 10 minutes, then add 1 cup of chard or other seasonal greens. Boil 'til the chard is cooked, not too much longer. Remove some liquid and mix in 3-4 tbsp. of Miso. Remove pan from heat and stir Miso mix back into the soup. Viola! Done! Provides lots of good probiotics from the miso as long as you remember not to boil it.

May 30, 2006

How to Freeze Strawberries

maybe i figured out the problem ...by accident!?? I had written earlier:

I hull strawberries, put them on a cookie tray and into the freezer. Once individually frozen, into a freezer bag they go. great to pop them into the blender as many as you need for making yogurt shakes (with banana, maple syrup, 1 tbsp flax oil, 1 raw Alvin egg)

May 29, 2006

Spinach and Kohlrabi Quiche

Nancy inspired me to make a spinach quiche as well. This was my rough recipe:

6 pastured eggs
2 - 3 large handfuls of grated raw milk cheddar
dash of raw milk
lg bowl full of spinach, kohlrabi greens and turnip greens (de-stem and blanch before adding to egg and cheese)
2 kohlrabi, peeled and grated.
bunch of parsley (trimmed into the eggs with a scissors)

Bake til set at 400 degrees.

It got rave reviews. The kohlrabi added a little sweetness I think.

In-season: spinach, turnip greens, kohlrabi, kohlrabi greens, parsley
Yay! I just got an e-mail that our CSA is going to allow us to return the next morning for leftovers as well!

I can now pick 3 quarts of strawberries for our 1/2 share. Gotta get those quart baskets ready!

Additional harvest

Because of the way our CSA works, I was able to stop back on Saturday and pick up more food. This was nice because we were down to only salad greens. This was leftover from the Friday pick-up. I only took what I thought I would use and there was still mroe left. Also, the strawberries were now at no-limit so we were allowed to pick some more.

2 kohlrabi
5 turnips
2 pints strawberries (estimated)

Creamed Spinach

I made creamed spinach the other night. Two of three kids loved it. The other said he preferred a spinach quiche.

Make a roux of 3 tbs butter and 3 tbs flour in a saucepan over medium heat.
When blended together and slightly brown add 2 cups of warmed milk, a bit of coriander and a dash of sugar. Bring to boil.
Add 2 pounds of stemmed, washed fresh spinach that has been coarsely chopped. Add to cream sauce and reduce heat. Simmer for a few minutes until spinach is all limp and cooked. Add salt to taste.

In-season: spinach and Alvin's raw milk.

May 26, 2006

Kohlrabi, Carrot and Apple Slaw

Kohlrabi, Carrot and Apple Slaw

An idea from Moosewood Kitchen Garden Cookbook:

Mix grated (peeled first) kohlrabi, grated carrots, and a grated apple together (about equal amounts). Toss with a raspberry vinigrette dressing. I made my dressing: 1/3 cup oil, 3 tbs raspberry vinegar (or use balsamic or rice), little dijon, little yogurt or sour cream, salt.

Everyone liked it!

In-season: Kohlrabi from the CSA

Fresh Dill and Chive Salad Dressing

Fresh Dill and Chive Salad Dressing

I found this great fresh dill and chive dressing, the kids like it too!

1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbs vinegar (i used seasoned rice vinegar)
1/3 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 large sprig of tarragon, leaves chopped
1 1/2 tbs dijon mustard
a little salt and pepper

Just mix well with a fork or shake in a jar.

In-season notes: dill and chive from CSA, tarragon from my garden
Alright - here's what I got in a 1/2 share at Sankanac CSA:

1 head of lettuce
1.25 lbs. of Kale
.75 lbs. of Field Greens
1 Kohlrabi - choice between light green and red
3/4 lb. "pea greens"
1 bunch of lemon balm
1 1/2 pints u-pick strawberries (awaiting my pick)

Spinach Quiche

I made a delicious spinach quiche using Alvin's lard in the pie crust and honey mustard spread over it, then Alvin's eggs, milk, and cheddar cheese. No herbs this time, but could have. Also, we've enjoyed lively, tasty green salads and cooked grated kohlrabi with potatoes all mashed together. delicious!

Oh I almost forgot, the strawberries we ate with homemade ice cream made with Alvin's eggs, milk and cream. Heavenly.

First Fruits

Let's start with listing what we each received as our first weekly share this week:
Kimberton CSA:
2 heads lettuce
1.5 pounds spinach
2 kohlrabi
5 turnips
kale, endive, watercress, arugula and other greens as much as you will use
basil a small handful
1 pint pyo strawberries
bunch chives
bunch dill
parsley, oregano and sage as much as you will use

I was also able to go back after pick-up was over and get leftover kohlrabi(2), chives and dill.