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Thursday, July 28, 2011

CSA Recap

I have to say that the last few weeks have been hectic.  Earlier in the week, I mentioned that my husband has been out of town--he returns on Saturday after being gone six weeks!  The whole family will be so happy to have him back, and I'm hoping that once he returns, I'll be able to post more regularly again.  It's been a long month and a half...phew!

So, on to the CSA.  This week, we recieved:
  • Fingerling potatoes
  • Hothouse Tomatoes
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Okra
  • Sweet Onions
  • Basil
  • Shallots
I'm definitely going to be making some Okra Succotash so that the rest of the family can test drive it, and my husband has requested onion rings from the sweet onions.  I may just eat all of those yummy tomatoes like apples in my lunch!

What did you get in your CSA share this week?

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Asian Slaw

Over the last two weeks, I've received three heads of cabbage in my CSA share.  Unfortunately, because my husband and daughter have been out of town, it was up to me and my 14 month old to eat it all up!  (In case you're wondering, that's a LOT of cabbage for one person to eat!)  I also wanted to do something simple, light and cool with it--it's been upwards of 100 degrees or more here, and I wasn't in the mood for simmering or baking or roasting.

And luckily I stumbled across a recipe for Asian Slaw.  It fit the bill perfectly--just a few ingredients and no cooking!  I adjusted the original recipe's ratios a little.  Feel free to play with it, though, to suit your tastes.  Want it saltier?  Add some more soy sauce.  Want it tangier?  Add some more rice vinegar.  It's that simple.  This has been in my fridge for three days now, and although it's lost some of it's original crunch, it is still perfectly edible.

If you're lucky, I'll tell you what I served this with later in the week.  ;-)

Asian Slaw
Adapted from The Kitchn

1 small to medium head green cabbage, outer leaves removed, quartered and shredded finely
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped briefly in a food processor
1 bunch green onions, green and white parts thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp white pepper

1/2 cup canola oil
4 Tbl rice vinegar
1 Tbl + 1 tsp sugar
1 Tbl sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce

Toss the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl until emulsified.  Taste and adjust to your preferences.  (Add more sugar if you want it sweeter, more soy sauce if you want it saltier, more vinegar if you want it tangier, etc.)

Toss with the cabbage.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.  Taste again and adjust seasonings before serving.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

CSA Recap

This week we got a ton of stuff...and some fruit!  :-)  The picture above is missing about half of the cherry tomatoes and the pound of regular tomatoes we received.  By the time I remembered to take a picture, I had already made an insalata caprese with half of the cherry tomatoes, and I had already put all of the vegetables away!  The regular tomatoes didn't make it into the picture because I just plain forgot.  Oh well...pretend they're there.

This week we received:
  • Carrots
  • Haricots verts
  • Green cabbage
  • Bell pepper
  • Okra
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Raspberries!
What did you get in your CSA this week?  

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Creamed Kale with Thyme

I love kale.  I had never had it until I moved to Kentucky, but the minute it passed my lips, I was in love.  The rigid leaves and the bold earthy flavor combine to make a perfect leafy green for me.  Unlike other greens, such as spinach, the leaves hold up to cooking.  They're perfect for a quick sautee, but also to add to soups.  And to top it off, they're packed with all sorts of things that are good for you: Vitamins K, A, and C as well as a decent amount of fiber.  And it's super low in calories.

Unfortunately, my family doesn't quite agree with my kale taste assessment.  Neither my husband nor my daughter really enjoy kale as much as I do, so when I found myself with a bunch of lacinato kale and my husband and daughter out of town, I cooked it up the way I thought I'd like it--creamed.  This turned out better than I expected!  The kale still had quite a bit of texture to it, which I like, but if you prefer yours cooked down a bit more, add another 1/2 cup of chicken stock and cook it just a bit longer before you add the cream.

Creamed Kale

1 bunch kale, stems trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 Tbl unsalted butter
1 tsp fresh thyme, rinsed and minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Red pepper flakes

In a large saute pan or medium pot, add the kale, chicken stock, salt, and a few grinds of pepper.  Cover and cook on medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken stock is almost absorbed. 

Add the butter, thyme, cream, nutmeg and red pepper flakes and cook on medium-low, uncovered, until the cream is thickened and coats the kale, about 5 minutes.  Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve hot.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The World in My Kitchen as Featured on Bourbon & Beans!

Bourbon & Beans Blog, a blog focused on Kentucky chefs and foodies, featured little ol' moi on their blog today.  Go check it out to find out what my first kitchen appliance was among other interesting facts!  :-)

Also, I'm only 14 fans away from 200 on Facebook.  If you're not a fan, head on over to get me over the hump...and if you are, suggest me to your friends!  Thanks!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Okra Succotash

Over the last couple of years, our CSA has offered okra regularly.  It's interesting because many of the CSAers haven't wanted to take the okra, and since my daughter loves it (especially raw as a snack), I always grab handfuls of the traditionally southern vegetable.  The biggest complaint about okra is its sliminess.  That particular feature doesn't really bother me, so I eat it any way I can get it because I love the taste.  But this recipe is perfect for those who just can't handle the slimy feel of cooked okra.  For some reason, frying it cooks the slime right out--great for oka skeptics.  :-)

I served this as a simple side, but it would be great over some nice southern cheese grits--a whole meal in itself.  Enjoy!

Okra Succotash
Adapted from Fresh Tart

1/4 cup bacon, chopped (about 3 slices)
2 cups okra, stems trimmed and sliced into 1/2" pieces
Olive oil
1 small leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned, halved and sliced (or about 1/4 onion, chopped)
1/4 tsp salt
Pepper, to taste
1/2 lb tomatoes (fresh from the garden are best here!)
1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel, reserving the grease in the pan.  Over medium heat, saute the okra, stirring frequently, in the bacon grease for 7-10 minutes, or until the okra starts to brown a little.  If the pan gets too dry, add a little olive oil.  Add the leeks, salt and pepper and saute until the leeks start to get tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes are just warm.  Add the lemon juice and season again if necessary.  Top with the bacon.

Serve warm alone as a side or on top of cheese grits.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

CSA Recap

I love this time of the summer with my CSA.  Plants are flourishing, so we usually get an overabundance of veggies!  I'm home alone with my one year old this week and next, so I'll have to freeze some of this bounty so that it doesn't go to waste.  (Is there a vegetable or fruit that you'd like to know how to freeze?  I'm happy to take requests for my How To posts!)

This week we got:
  • Carrots
  • Rainbow chard
  • Red potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • A choice between zucchini and okra (I chose okra.)
I also was lucky enough to get some leeks.  I've been helping Rolling Fork Farm with their recipes section on their website, and in return, I get some extra veggies--the perfect arrangement!  If you happen to have a recipe you'd like to share with this CSA, please let me know...I'd be happy to add it!  :-)

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Austrian Goodies Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to the winner of my Austrian Goodies Giveaway--commenter #8, Julie McAllister, who said the following:
My favorite recipe comes from Germany but we've had it throughout Austria: Kartoffelsalat! I know this dish has many variations...I am still in search of the version that is light and vinegar-y and served warm as part of a house side salad plate. After the salat, I'd love a recipe for Gluhwein! Tschuss!
I do have a recipe for German kartoffelsalat (potato salad) on this blog, but it's not the one that Julie mentions above.  I'll have to try some different versions out and get back to you!  And I'll definitely work on a Gluhwein (mulled wine) recipe this winter.  :-)

Thanks for all of those who participated in the giveaway.  I'd love to try out all of your suggestions, so I may try to get to them in the near future.  :-)

As Julie says, tschüs!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Beet Risotto: Kid and Adult Friendly!

If you were to ask my five-year-old daughter what her favorite vegetable is, she would respond with "Beets."  Beets for a five year old???  Yes, my daughter loves all of the "strange" vegetables that kids don't normally like: beets, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, okra.  You name a vegetable, she'll like it.  (Although strangely enough, she is middling on potatoes.)

So when we got beets a couple of weeks ago from our CSA, she did a happy dance.  She's happy to eat them roasted and plain or in a salad, but I wanted something a little different.  And then I stumbled across this recipe on Tastespotting.  The vibrant color mesmerized me, and when I was able to shake the stupor off, I realized that I had every ingredient I needed already in my kitchen!  It's an incredibly easy recipe, and my daughter oohed and aahed over the brilliant ruby color.  This is one way to get your kids to eat their veggies and enjoy them for yourself too!

I halved the recipe since it was only my daughter and I, and there wasn't a morsel left.  (The recipe below is the original amount.)  I also roasted the beets a couple of days before, which saved a ton of time when it came to making the risotto.

Red Beet Risotto
from bella eats

3/4 lbs beets (1 small bunch)
Olive oil

6-7 cups chicken stock
2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbl flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Roasting the beets:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the beets in a small baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil.  Roll the beets around until they are completely coated in oil.  Cover tightly with foil.  Roast for about 20 minutes or until they are easily pierced with a fork.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.  Peel the beets--the skins should slide off easily.  Dice.

Making the risotto:
Place the chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and stir occasionally until the onion soften, about 3 minutes.  Add the rice and garlic, stirring constantly until the rice is completely covered in oil and starts to crackle, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and stir constantly until the wine has been almost completely absorbed.  Add a ladleful of stock and continue to stir until it has been almost completely absorbed.  Add another ladleful, and continue doing this for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the diced beets.  Add more stock, and continue as before for another 10-15 minutes or until the rice is finished.  The rice should not be mushy, but should also not be hard in the middle.  When the rice is finished, add the Parmesan cheese and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  The rice should be creamy--if not, add another ladleful of stock.

Serve hot.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

CSA Recap

One of the few things I missed while on vacation was my weekly CSA basket.  When I left, we were still getting spring veggies, but after just two weeks, we're in full summer swing!  This week we received:
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Beets
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Tomatoes (Yay!)
  • Basil
  • Choice of zucchini or okra (I chose okra--my daughter loves to munch on them raw as a snack.)
  • Choice of green beans, purple beans or a third kind (purple and green and flat)--I forget it's name.  (And luckily for you, I chose the last one!)  :-)
I was supposed to go grocery shopping after picking up my veggies this week, but the haul was so abundant that I decided not to go and to try to supplement these veggies with what I already have in the house.  Wish me luck!

What did you get in your CSA this week?

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Austrian Goodies: A Giveaway!


I love Vienna.  My husband introduced me to the city several years ago, and I've been lucky enough to spend about six weeks total in the lovely city.  It's beautiful, has a ton of cultural events/exhibits to offer, and has great food!  This time around in the city, I thought I'd gather a few Viennese foods (what little I could fit in my suitcase and what I could get back to the U.S. legally) to give away to a lucky reader!** 

I brought home some tarragon mustard (my favorite!), some Dragee Keksi (chocolate cookies), a handful of Mozart Kugeln (Mozart Balls), a Manner chocolate and hazelnut wafer bar, a small bottle of Manner liquor, a package of Gluhwein (mulled wine) teabags, and some packets of vanilla sugar.  The total worth of this little package is about $20.  If you'd like a chance to win, follow the directions below!

How to Enter

Just tell me about your favorite Austrian food and/or which Austrian food you might like for me to cook and post about here on The World in My Kitchen! You MUST leave a way for me to get in touch with you if you win.

For extra entries, you can do the following (Create a separate comment for each.):

1) "Like" The World in My Kitchen on Facebook and come back here to let me know. (If you are already a fan, just say so in the comments below.)

2)  Subscribe to The World in My Kitchen in an RSS feeder. (Make sure to come back here to let me know that you did this!)

3)  Link to this post in a Facebook update. (Make sure to come back here to let me know that you did this!)

4) Follow me on Twitter and retweet this post. (Make sure to come back here to let me know that you did this!)

That's a total of 5 possible entries! (Make sure to create a separate comment for each one below.) I will choose a winner with a random number generator. The giveaway will close on Wednesday, July 13th at 10:00pm EST.

**This contest is open to those with a U.S. address. 

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blueberrry Pancakes: A Nice Welcome Home

**Don't forget about my Austrian goodies giveaway!  The giveaway closes on July 13th at 10pm EST.**

After many flights (and rearranging of said flights), I am now back in the United States!  I miss Europe already, but luckily I know that I will return--being married to a German professor does have its perks!  :-)

It's hard to get back to blogging after a break in Budapest and Vienna.  And when I sat down to think about what I'd write about today, my mind immediately went to something European.  And then it drifted to the pancakes I served my daughter this morning.  And I thought, "Bingo!"  It's the perfect post for jetlag and post-travel blues. "Why?" you may ask.  (There's a lot of dialogue in this post...it must be the jetlag!)  Because I had some in the freezer.  Yes, in the freezer.  Whenever I make these pancakes, I make a double batch and then freeze them in single layers on parchment paper.  Then they go into an airtight container to await their fate: quick, homemade breakfasts for those busy weekdays.  I just reheat them in the microwave (30 seconds on 80% power on each side), and voilà...I'm the world's best mom...who doesn't have to get up a half an hour early to make fresh pancakes from scratch!

My family loves pancakes, and we actually have them for dinner more than we have them for breakfast.  I love making them from scratch--the flavor is so much better than the boxed kind and they're pretty easy to whip up.  My favorite recipe is from The New Basics Cookbook; it calls for lemon zest, which for me makes all the difference.  The lemon zest gives the pancakes a light, fresh taste that just can't be beat.

Blueberry Pancakes
From The New Basics Cookbook

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup half-and-half
6 Tbl milk
3 Tbl packed light brown sugar
2 Tbl unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In another bowl, stir the the half-and-half, milk, brown sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth.

Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients until almost smooth.  (There may be some lumps.)  Fold in the blueberries and let the batter stand, loosely covered, for about 20 minutes.

Heat a griddle over medium-high heat and butter or spray it lightly.  Drop the batter by 1/8-1/4 cupfuls and cook until the bottoms are golden and bubbles are popping on the surface.  Turn and cook on the other side until it is golden brown.  Repeat, using all of the batter. 

Slather with your favorite pancake topping(s)!

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