22 09 2010

Today in our CSA box we got eggs, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, basil, parsley, potatoes, tomatillos, zucchini, and nectarines*.

For dinner we made an eggplant and basil stirfry with chicken and udon noodles:

We took a recipe for eggplant low mein and pretty much paid no attention to the actual recipe at all.

*Behold! The cojoined nectarine twins aka nect-testicals!


Finishing Things

13 09 2010

We have a mantra-ish word in our house pertaining to food.  We are: finishers.

Leftover chicken and potatoes?  Soup.  Tons of zucchini hanging out in the crisper?  Tea bread.  Hundreds of cookies post cookie project?  Upset tummy.

Speaking of the cookie project – there is a giant bag of zested oranges left over from the cookie dough making extravaganza.

And there is only so much orange juice this little family can drink.  So! I scoured the internets, the interweb, a series of tubes, looking for recipes that use up orange juice in fun new-to-us ways.  One that looks very promising is a pork loin roast marinated in orange juice and lots of Cuban flavors.  And the one that I’ve been working on making today: a black bean soup, modified from a recipe in a Moosewood cookbook.

  • 2 cups black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 10-15 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped and divided in half
  • 2 Tbs ground cumin
  • 1-2 Tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 small red peppers (sweet gypsy peppers from this week’s CSA), seeded and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • salt – 3 Tbs or so (to taste but don’t be stingy)
  • pepper to taste

Rinse the soaked beans and cover with water enough to fill the pot 2 inches above the beans; bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for an hour and a half, or until the beans are tender.  In the last 15 minutes of the bean cook time, heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the onions, half of the garlic and a pinch of salt.  After the onions have softened a bit, move them to one side of the pan and add the coriander, ground cumin, and cumin seeds on the open area of the pan for 30 seconds before stirring in with the onion and garlic.  Immediately add the carrots and saute for another 5 minutes or so.  Add the chopped pepper and the remaining garlic, plus another pinch of salt, and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, until you have a deliciously fragrant veggie mush.  Add the mush and the diced tomatoes to the bean pot (you can always turn the beans off if they are done and the veggies aren’t ready to go).  Pour half of the orange juice into the used saute pan and scrape up the good bits left before putting that plus the rest of the juice into the bean pot.  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup a bit, leaving some chunks.  Add more salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 15 to 20 more minutes – stirring often – to let the flavors meld.  Serve with sour cream and tomatillo salsa on top.

Tomatillo Salsa

13 09 2010

We planted 2 tomatillo plants this year and they were very fun to watch grow. So far we have received 1 full fruit.  1:

And our heirloom purple tomatillo plant from Baker Creek died in the extreme summer weather. Sad.

Luckily! The CSA box this week included a bag of tomatillos.

So I’ll be making salsa.

Take the tomatillos out of their paper skins and slice in half.  Place on a baking sheet with a little olive oil, a jalapeno pepper or two, a white or red onion sliced into quarters, maybe some garlic, and any random tomatoes you are trying to use up.  Roast until it all looks mushy and good.  Puree in a food processor with salt, cilantro if you’d like, and refrigerate before enjoying with chips, in huevos rancheros, or as enchilada sauce.

The Cookie Project

12 09 2010

This weekend I was lucky enough to be accepted to be a vendor at ForageSF‘s Underground Farmers Market to sell my friend-famous orange and pecan chocolate chip cookie dough.  The catch to making it all happen? I am only a week out from my knee surgery…  I thought very seriously about canceling but some of my AMAZING friends came through and volunteered to make the cookie dough, help me package it, drive me to and from the market, and help me sell it.  So basically, I was just along for the ride.

How does one start a massive cookie making project? With lots and lots of butter.

We were making 30 full batches (to be divided into 100 8-packs to sell and hundreds of cookies as samples) so we started with 30 sticks of unsalted butter.  Butter was our barometer of how far we had come (and was it time for cocktails yet) and how far we had to go.

Sparks (please note the matching apron and sneakers) and V did all the dough making work – assisted by Sir Mix a Lot and Pedro, the 2 Kitchen Aid stand mixers at hand – and I sat at the kitchen cart with my leg up, measuring out and packaging up the dough.

5 hours later, our freezer (and the freezer of nearby friend) looked like this:

Sadly, the market was a bit of a bust on the making money front.  Much thanks to the friends that came out and bought cookie dough – you’re awesome! We were told that the market was much slower than usual (normally 1000 to 2000 people) and the likely culprits were the sunny weather and the SF Power to the Peaceful event that had the same core audience.  I still had loads of fun hanging at the market with Moonpie.  And swapping cookie dough for other vendor treats, like fresh ricotta cheese, was a morale boosting end to the day.

Anyone want some cookie dough?

Day in the Life: Home Alone Post Knee Surgery

7 09 2010

Wake up. Crutch groggily into the bathroom. Sponge bath, brush teeth, get dressed, hobble into kitchen.

Hubby left coffee fixins out. Grab kettle. Fill. Lean way over to put on stove without crutching over. Grind coffee and put in filter. Realize the stove isn’t on. Turn on stove. Look over at the cereal box. Lean over as far as possible. Still can’t reach. Crutch across and get cereal box and bring it back to the counter. Pour cereal. Pour milk. Realize I can’t carry cereal with crutches. Eat cereal at counter balancing on one leg. Water boils and I make coffee. Realize I can’t carry coffee to couch. Put coffee mug on the floor as far away as I can reach. Crutch forward. Lean back to pick up coffee and put as far in front of me as possible. Repeat last 2 until at the couch. Sit. Breath. Set crutches to the side and hook up Iceman and ice knee while drinking coffee.

Watch Hoarders. Aaaaaaaa!

I need water. Hold empty coffee cup under chin and crutch to kitchen. Fill cantene – brilliant! Hold with one finger and crutch over to couch. Realize I need to pee. Crutch to bathroom.

Pee and go to wash hands. My shirt is inside out. Fix. Crutch back out to couch.

Pet dog while she runs in her sleep. Figit trying to find a good place for my leg. Figitfigitfigit.

Hubby calls to check on me. 🙂 Cute.

Watch more Hoarders. Aaaaaa!

Damn it! Now I’m hungry.