Canning peppers

31 08 2010

Inspired by The Dr., I canned the ancho and misc red peppers from our CSA last week. Fantastico!


I’m on the Weather Channel!

30 08 2010

Well…not me, exactly.  Hurricane Earl V

Hang onto your hats, East Coasters.

Quick. Zucchini soup!

29 08 2010

We just got back from a super fun, albeit brief, vacation up in Seattle with our dear friends The Dr & Heimer.  In addition to drinking more than I probably should have, I ate waaaay too much salami.  Well.  Not really.  I mean, I wouldn’t give any of it back.  But my tummy is definitely wanting other, more…high residue, food stuffs.

Zucchini soup!

Pictures of soup are never that appetizing so I thought I’d include a peek at the multi-grain bread and butter that accompanied this fine improvised meal.

Emma’s Post Salami Hog-fest Zucchini Soup

  • 3 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery rib, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small head of garlic (head, not clove), peeled, chopped, and 1 Tbs of garlic set aside
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs chopped basil
  • 4 cups stock
  • 1Tbs + 1tsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • parmesan cheese rind
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a large pot and soften the onions (I always add a little salt to my onions while the are softening).  Meanwhile, heat up the stock in a separate pot.  Push the onions to the side of the pot and add the carrots and celery, cooking for about 3 minutes before stirring in with the onions and pushing to the side.  Add in the garlic (minus that 1 Tbs) and let cook for about 30 seconds.  Add in the zucchini and stir all the ingredients together. Let cook for about 4-5 minutes and then toss in your cheese rind and bay leaf, and pour in the hot stock (we had chicken stock on hand but any stock would do).  Simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors blend, tasting and adding pepper and salt as necessary; be careful with the salt as the parmesan will add quite a bit of that to the soup.  Pull out the cheese rind and chop it up, returning it to the pot (or, as Lidia Bastianich likes to say – eat it as the cook’s treat), and then add the zest, basil, 1 tsp olive oil (I use a nice one for this) and the Tbs of garlic that you set aside for the last couple minutes of cooking time.  Serve with hearty bread and butter.

A wonderful fruit

25 08 2010

Look how gorgeous these are:

Oh, tomatoes.  I remember the first time I ever tasted a tomato and liked it. I had grown up with mealy store bought tomatoes and even though I lived in California, they were not good.  The texture was gross and squishy with a too tight skin (like a plum, but that’s another fruit I take issue with) and no flavor.  And then I had an Early Girl tomato at the farmer’s market in an arugula and corn salad with a basic balsamic vinaigrette. Light bulbs.  Aha! This is why people love raw tomatoes so much (I was already a big fan of tomato sauces). And I ate them on sourdough bread with goat cheese for weeks.

I still really only like late summer tomatoes.

And that’s one of the things I love most about our CSA.  Lots and lots of tomatoes.

And this week: loads of tomatoes, peppers, an eggplant, eggs, plums (bleh), strawberries, zucchini, parsley, onions and cucumber.

Organization rocks

24 08 2010

I have a way that I like my desk to be set up for maximum productivity – organized piles of things that need to be addressed, lists and sub-lists, file folders for frequently needed items, general reference on my bulletin board, etc.  I recently had to add a printer to the mix and it displaced a set of file folders that, when moved over, blocked my view of my Chart of Accounts, making bill reconciliation more difficult than it needed to be.  And then IT set me up with a laptop to replace my desktop and it usurped another 1.5 sq feet of previously usable desk space.  So today I reorganized my space.

Just imagine how much more productive I am going to be! I am almost giddy.


22 08 2010


What do you do with zucchini?

22 08 2010

I bake it into delectable loaves for munching (recipe below):

I also have some enchiladas in the oven that are filled with chicken, cheese & shredded zucchini, and topped with the tomatillo sauce I made on Friday, thinned with a little chicken stock.  They aren’t out of the oven yet but I’m going to go out on a limb and say they are going to be delicious.

Oh – and completely unrelated, I made this loaf of multi-grain bread using a no-knead recipe from Mother Earth News.

Zucchini bread:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cups flax meal
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (or 1/2 tsp vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup broken walnut halves

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 2 loaf pans.  Combine eggs, zucchini, sugar, syrup, oil, applesauce, flax meal and extract. Whisk all other ingredients except the walnuts and then mix in with the wet ingredients.  Add the walnuts and divide between loaf pans.  Bake until the loaves are dark brown and pass the clean toothpick test (or clean skewer test), about 50 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!  They also freeze extremely well.