Sunday, August 19, 2012

CSA Challenge!

My goal this week is to use all of the vegetables we received in our Driftless Organics CSA box. For those not familiar with CSAs, it stands for "community supported agriculture" and every other week we get a box filled with fresh, organic, locally produced vegetables. We pay up front and receive 10 boxes over the course of the summer. Our insurance reimburses us for 2/3 of the cost, along with a note that thanks us for eating healthy! 

Click here to read all about this week's bounty.

So many delicious vegetables! It's a mighty goal and I'm up to the challenge. Tonight's dinner used two items from this week's box and two items from a previous box. I stole this idea from my MIL who made this for us the week we came home from the hospital with our little dude: salad Nicoise. 

Salad Nicoise (sans tuna)
The cucumber and grape tomatoes are from this week's box. The potatoes and green beans are from a previous box. The eggs are from the lovely ladies (chickens) next door and the olives, lettuce and artichoke hearts are from the Willy Street Co-op. 

Paired with crusty bread
I paired the salad with locally made crusty bread. My mister had a hankering for meat, so he paired his elegant salad with a hotdog. I'm not kidding.

Topped with homemade honey mustard vinaigrette 
I had an almost-empty bottle of mustard in the refrigerator, so I made the vinaigrette right in the bottle. I added honey, olive oil, brown rice vinegar, fresh chopped garlic, salt and various spices. It was easy to shake in a tightly sealed bottle and even easier to squirt on the salad. So good!

With a Lake Louie Coon Rock Cream Ale
I rounded out the meal with a tasty handcrafted brew. It was a great meal and I look forward to the others I will make this week!

Tomorrow morning: mellon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Babies and Mash

Hello out there! It's been far too long, I know.

See, I had a seriously cute baby and that's taken up some time.

Mister Dude

For a while I blogged over here: ... but that is really a pregnancy blog, so I decided to return to my original Pear Flavored Bean to start back up!

Today was a busy day, I took Mister Dude into work for a retirement party, we swung by the Co-op for some quick grocery shopping and then we went for a walk with Red, who is expecting her own little bundle of joy in January!

For dinner I made a dish I'd been dreaming about for days. I'm not sure if it's the excessive amount of British mysteries (Foyle's War, Inspector Lewis, Midsommer Murders, etc...) that I've been watching during my maternity leave or the Olympics, but I've had a serious hankering for bangers and mash. And tonight was the night to make that dream come true.

I started with the following: chicken apple sausage, potatoes, apples, onion, chicken stock, mustard, red wine, worcestershire sauce, olive oil, earth balance buttery spread and flour.

I browned the sausages in a skillet, in about 1 T of olive oil.

Then I added the sliced apples and another tablespoon of olive oil.

Then I added some chopped onion and a tablespoon of mustard.

This is where I forgot to take photos. I added about 3 Ts of flour and whisked in about a cup of chicken stock, a few splashes of worcestershire sauce and a about a quarter cup of wine. Then I simmered for a half an hour, while the potatoes boiled. I mashed the potatoes with earth balance because I'm staying away from dairy while I nurse.

I have a good little helper in the kitchen!

I paired the delicious meal with a locally brewed porter. It was so enjoyable!