Thursday, June 30, 2011

CSA Week #9

It's that time of the week again.  CSA Thursday!  Let's check out what we got this week...

  • Emiko Cabbage (similar to Napa Cabbage)
  • Sweet Onions
  • Blueberries
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Fennel 
  • Tomatoes
First tomatoes of the season!  They're plump and juicy - and I'm sure they're absolutely delicious!

Now let's check out some of our fellow bloggers' stash...

Lori from Fake Food Free sent in her garden haul.  She got all these beautiful goodies from her father's garden in Newburgh, Indiana!  Her dad has one serious green thumb - I just wish one of these years my garden produce would be as beautiful as all of this!  Be sure to check out Lori's blog for an awesome grilled green bean recipe!

Blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, green beans, yellow squash, potatoes and kale.

And Lyn from Life Lyn Style is back with 2 CSAs!

Lyn's Tuesday share included: tomatoes, strawberries, green onions, cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, yellow squash, zucchini, kohlrabi, carrots, and radishes!  Whoa that's a ton!

And Lyn's Thursday pickup from Fresh Fork CSA
  Thanks again Lori and Lyn for joining in the CSA round-up this week!  Everybody got some great stuff and I can't wait to see what you all come up with for your goodies! 

I know I'll be experimenting with unique slaws - I've been in a slaw mood lately!  So be sure to check back to see if I come up with anything crazy.

Anyway, I'm off for a run (I'm still at it - yay! I've got a consistent 9:13 mile, so I've shaved off 20 seconds from last week already - score!)  Be back tomorrow with something tasty - and a treat poll! 

***If you guys received a CSA this week, what did you end up getting?  I'd love to have a weekly round-up of your CSA goodies (if you participate in one), or even if you made a weekly visit to your Farmer's market (or even just picked from your own garden!) - I'd love to see the local produce everyone gets!  So feel free to e-mail a snapshot of your goods (as well as your name and blog title (and don't worry if you don't have a blog, your name will be just fine!) as well as a link to your blog) at mtlabor85 (at) yahoo (dot) com and I'll post them in next Thursday's CSA post!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chicken Sausage & Peach Tacos

Sometimes one has to stray away from the normal taco.  Sometimes, you just have to be daring.  Sometimes you just have to challenge the pairings of the Flavor Bible and come up with your own (after all - those pairings didn't just show up out of no where - there had to be a first attempt somewhere!).

What was originally a salad, but due to lack of enough lettuce (I know, lame right?), and over abundance of tortillas - soon became one of the most unique tacos I've ever come to know.  And whether it be fate or just pure luck... these things were delicious.


2 chicken sausages (ours were a sun-dried tomato & basil blend)
shredded lettuce
2 peaches, quartered
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
warm tortillas

In a small skillet, melt the butter under medium high heat.  Add peaches and top with brown sugar.  Cook until peaches are soft and slightly carmelized, "shaking" the pan every so often in order to mix the butter and brown sugar to provide a delicious coating for the peaches.

Ideally, I wanted to grill the sausages, but Mother Nature wasn't havin' it and decided to literally rain on my parade.  So just fry up the whole sausages in a skillet under high heat instead.  Heat until cooked throughout then let rest on a cutting board for about 2-3 minutes, then slice.

Assemble your tacos by placing a layer of lettuce in the middle of a tortilla.  Then top with a few slices of peaches and finally top with a few slices of sausage.  Fold and enjoy!

There was sweet.  There was savory.  And it was all purely delicious!  I can now mark chicken sausage and peaches as a match made in heaven for my Flavor Bible notes - so I dare ya to give it a go and tell me what you think!

And don't forget, I do a CSA round-up every Thursday afternoon - there's still time to submit your CSA/Farmer's Market/Garden pictures!  Just e-mail me at and I'll put them in the post tomorrow!  See you guys tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Great American Bake Sale 6-25-2011

A few months ago, I signed up to participate in a Louisville chapter of the Great American Bake Sale.  All proceeds go to the charity Share Our Strength which helps fight childhood hunger in America.  I was excited and nervous at the same time.  I joined just a random team, which included one other person, Eve.

Eve is a total creative genius when it comes to sugar cookies!  She's the brains behind Sugar Circus and man does she have talent!  She ships her cookies anywhere too, so if you're interested in some custom made cookies - drop her a line!

Anyway, we ended up raising almost $200 so I'd say it was a success!  So check out the goods...
Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches, Oreo Stuffed Brownies, & Homemade Granola Bars!

Mini Nutella Pies - the poll winner from last Friday's poll!  Scroll down for a quick recipe =)

Used our CSA blueberries to make mini blueberry pies too!

Eve's awesome Angry Birds sugar cookies!  She also had Robots, Ice Cream Cones, True Blood, and UK & UofL cookies too!  She's got mad skills yo!

It was so great to meet Eve and her wonderful family!  I know Sugar Circus will do well because she's got some serious talent!

The bake sale was a great opportunity to support a great cause - and I'm definitely excited to get into more events like this!  Oh - and I actually already have.  Lauren over @ KeepItSweet is holding a blogger Bake Sale to Beat Cancer that's open until midnight Wednesday 6-29!  And I've got my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie up for bid - so if you're in the U.S. and want a little taste of what I've got going on in my kitchen, place a bid - and help us beat cancer!  And even if you don't like my cookies - there's tons of other blogger goodies up for sale too so definitely check it out =)

Mini Nutella Pies

Mini Pie Crusts
Chopped Hazelnuts, optional

Okay, there's really not a very detailed recipe to this.  It could get crazy if you wanted to make your own pie crust, but sometimes a girl's gotta take some shortcuts! 

Preheat oven to 350F.  My crusts were ready to bake so there was no need to pre-bake them before filling.  Just check out the directions on the pie crust box before you continue.

Fill the pie crusts about 1/2 way with Nutella.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crust is golden.  Top pies with chopped hazelnuts.

Quick Nutella fix, right?  Right!

Anyway, I know it's late, so I won't keep ya.  Be back tomorrow - hopefully at an earlier time!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Restaurant Recreations: Granny's Apron

It's been a while since I've done a Restaurant Recreations post, so I figured I'd start the week with one!

Now, a while back, I posted on my Facebook page that I would be trekking around Louisville to find a hole-in-the-wall diner to try.  Upon just seeing the name of this place - Granny's Apron - we knew we had to give it a go.

The restaurant itself is pretty inconspicuous, it's basically a plain brick building - you wouldn't really know it's a restaurant unless you already knew it was there.

We walked in and were promptly seated.  The restaurant was about half full, so you know that something had to bring them there.  One look at the menu and it was a hard decision to pick what we wanted.  They have all your basic comfort foods, from country fried steak to meatloaf.  We decided to do two appetizers, the onion petals and some mozzarella cheese sticks.

The onion petals tasted like a spicy version of a bloomin' onion, and were served with a sauce very similar to bloomin' onion sauce.  They were tasty though.

The mozzarella cheesesticks wern't anything fancy - in fact, they probably came from a frozen package - but hey, we weren't anywhere fancy, so I didn't expect anything more.

For our entrees, Andy chose the fish sandwich and I chose the prime rib burger.

Now let's talk about this fish sandwich.  This thing was huge.  I mean - HUGE.  4 people could have eaten off of this.  And the kicker here?  The sandwich was like $6!  After the sheer shock factor of how big this thing was, Andy said the taste of the fish itself wasn't anything spectacular.

Seriously huge!
There was pretty much only one word for my burger - messy!  It was juicy though!  It had sauteed mushroom and onions on it, as well as some swiss cheese.  Then to top it all off, there was a boatload of gravy on top.  It was definitely way too messy.

Sorry about the blurry picture - but you can obviously see this thing was messy!
All in all, our meal was okay.  It wasn't anything spectacular, but for under $20, we got your typical diner food - and let's not even talk about the "entertainment" we received while people-watching.

Granny's Apron on Urbanspoon

So let's get to the recreation!

I liked the idea of my burger, loaded with goods, but the restaurant version was way too messy!  So I decided to "clean" it up a little bit and here's what I ended up with...


1 lb. lean ground beef
8 oz. portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
6 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 slices bacon, cooked and divided
Hamburger buns
Swiss cheese slices

Heat a large skillet under medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add mushrooms and onions and cook until softened and slightly caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, apple cider vinegar.  Chop up 2 slices of bacon and gently combine in the mix, as well.

Form mixture into 8 patties and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Heat a charcoal grill under medium high heat.  Grill patties for about 4 to 5 minutes per side (for a medium rare), or until at desired doneness.  About a minute before burgers are done, add cheese slices on top (if desired) and cook until melted.

Assemble burgers and top with onions, mushrooms, and leftover bacon slices. 

These were extremely juicy burgers!  I don't normally include a lot of acidity like orange juice or vinegar in burger mixtures, but it really worked here.  And you could taste a slight orange flavor in the meat which was a welcomed change!

The burgers were still slightly messy, but manageable, due to the fact that I decided to omit the gravy.

Give these burgers a try for your next grilling adventure and you won't be disappointed!

Have a great Monday guys!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Foodbuzz 24x24: A Book Club Dinner

"I could not stop talking because now I had started my story, it wanted to be finished. We cannot choose where to start and stop. Our stories are the tellers of us. " 
-Chris Cleave (Little Bee)
Every month, I randomly submit a proposal to Foodbuzz's 24x24.  And every month, with the exception of this one, I get an e-mail that says something along the lines of "thanks for submitting, but we've chosen someone else".  So I was completely surprised that this month, I got a "Congratulations!  You've been chosen..."  type of e-mail. 

My proposal?  Well, I'm in a book club.  There's 7 of us and we each take turns picking a book and picking a place to congregate.  Most of us will just pick a restaurant to meet at, but you know me - I'd rather just cook for them than go out for a meal!  So I proposed to a have a book club dinner!  

Originally when I submitted the proposal, I wanted to base some of the meals around food discussed in the book - Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  But that was before I even started reading our book!  So after reading the book and realizing that it barely talks about food at all, I was kind of thrown for a loop.

But then I thought about one of the main characters, Sarah.  She's an editor for a fashion magazine and so I wanted to create a meal that someone of her "stature" would eat.  And something that my book club girls would equally love, of course!

So let's get to it...

For an appetizer, I decided to pair feta cheese, watermelon, and basil together for a unique crostini.  My girls all thought that watermelon was an odd pairing with basil, at first... but after having a few crostinis, they were quickly convinced it was delicious!  

And for a main course, I did a bourbon BBQ grilled rib-eye over a cabbage, pea, & apple slaw.  I even made my own steak sauce (courtesy of inspiration from the latest Bon Appetit issue!)

For dessert, I had a few leftover treats from my bake sale that happened in the morning, so I just served those!  

Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal, and I even had a few people ask me about the steak sauce.  It was definitely a winner in my book.

And about the book... we all agreed that we weren't big fans of it.  To us, it basically didn't go anywhere.  There were so many things the author could have done with it, but just didn't.  I don't know, I need more action in my books!  But don't take my word for it, read it for yourself and decide - just like food, opinions on books differ from person to person too =)

Scroll down for some recipes from the book club dinner!

Feta, Watermelon, & Basil Crostinis:

Crostinis (yeah, I bought pre-made crostinis, but you could easily make your own with a baguette!)
Watermelon, sliced thinly into 1x1 inch squares
Feta crumbles
Basil, chopped

Place feta on top of crostinis.  Top with a slice of watermelon and garnish with basil.  Eat!

D.I.Y. Steak Sauce:
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
2 shallots, sliced
1 red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon porcini powder (I couldn't find this, so instead, I bought dried porcini mushroom and ground them with a spice grinder - then used 1 teaspoon of that)

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Place garlic and shallots in a make-shift aluminum foil bowl (pretty much just place the garlic on a flat sheet of foil and fold edges upward around them).  Drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven for about 20-25 minutes.

While the garlic is roasting, you can roast your Red Bell Pepper on the stove (assuming that you have a gas stovetop - if not, you can always fire up the grill - because you'll be grilling steaks anyway, right?)  Place over an open flame for about 15-20 minutes, or until charred on all sides (Mindy over at The World In My Kitchen has a GREAT how-to on this)  Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let cool for about 5 minutes, or until you're comfortable with handling them.  Scrape off the charred bits with a knife.  Chop the top of the pepper off and remove the seeds - and bam.  You've got a roasted red pepper.  Roughly chop.

Once the garlic and shallots are done roasting, let it rest until cool to the touch, about 5-7 minutes.
Pop the garlic out of it's casing and you're ready to use it!  Throw all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Strain - and bam! (why do I keep saying that?!) you've got a delicious steak sauce on your hands!

Bourbon BBQ Ribeye Marinade:

1 cup bourbon
8 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
4 bone-in ribeyes

In a medium bowl, combine bourbon, ketchup, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, Sriracha, and paprika.  Season slightly with salt and pepper. 

Place ribeyes in a deep tray and pour marinade over top.  Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours.

Heat a charcoal grill under medium high to high heat and grill ribeyes to desired doneness - about 10 minutes each side for a medium rare/medium. 

Let rest for about 5 minutes and slice against the grain.

Cabbage, Apple, and Pea Slaw:

1/2 green cabbage, shredded
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and julienned
1/2 lb. sugar snap peas, shelled
4 slices black forest bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup mayonaisse
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

In a small bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, and sugar until smooth. 

Place cabbage, apple, and peas into a large bowl and toss.  Pour the mayo mixture over top and mix well.  

Mix in bacon pieces and serve.

This was seriously one of the best coleslaws EVER.  I may never make coleslaw differently again.  Seriously.

And a big THANK YOU to the book club girls who were able to make it (we're minus 2 in this pic) - and check me out rockin' the Foodgawker t-shirt =)
So thank you so much to Foodbuzz for the opportunity to actually conduct a 24x24!  I always read about the fantastic dinners and ideas for dinners that the rest of the Featured Publishers have every month, and it's a great honor to be in a part of this group now! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

CSA Week #8 & A Tribute To Monet

It's Thursday, and we all know what that means - CSA roundup! 

But first, I'd like to talk about Monet.  If you don't visit Monet's blog, you are missing out.  When I first starting blogging (almost 2 years ago - can you believe it?!), Monet was one of the first people that I had connected with.  She's got a way with her words that strikes almost every emotion.  And through the past year or so, has gone through more hardship than some people go through their whole lives.   Lizzy & Kate wrangled up a group of bloggers to compile a book of comforting recipes to present to Monet.  I was surprised at the large group of bloggers that stepped up, and I'm proud to be a part of such a caring community!  You can check out the list of other bloggers that contributed here, and the recipe for Mushroom & Squash Enchiladas that I contributed here

So without further ado, let's check out what ended up in our CSA this week... (and I just got some new plug-ins for Photoshop, so I was playing around with them, hehe)

  •  Blueberries
  • New Potatoes
  • Sweet Onions
  • Beets
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Cabbage
  • Salad Mix
  • Head Lettuce
I actually really love beets!

First potatoes of the season - I definitely know we're in for a ton more!

And we've got two new bloggers participating in the CSA round up this week too (and they're not from Kentucky - not that I don't love seeing what my Kentucky bloggers get!)

First up, Karla from Karla's Veggies Noms

Red Beets, Sweet Peppers, Yellow Peaches, Muskmelon, Nantes Carrots, Celery and Fresh Tomatoes  
Looks like Karla got some great stuff - I'm definitely jealous of those peaches and fresh tomatoes!  By the way, Karla's from Mountain View, CA!  And do check out her blog today because she's got a fantastic tomato sauce w/ vegan gnocchi recipe up!

Next up we've got Lyn from Life Lyn Style.  Lyn hails from North East Ohio and her CSA is from Geauga Family Farms!

Kale, strawberries, tomatoes, eggs, garlic scapes, green onions, pickling cucumbers, and lettuce

Aren't those strawberries too cute?!  And nothing beats farm-fresh eggs!  So check out Lyn's blog for great workouts and to see what she'll be doing with this produce haul =)

What a great variety we had this week!  Glad we could see what some other states get this time of year!  Hopefully you guys will be back next week too (along with a few others, maybe?!)

***If you guys received a CSA this week, what did you end up getting?  I'd love to have a weekly round-up of your CSA goodies (if you participate in one), or even if you made a weekly visit to your Farmer's market (or even just picked from your own garden!) - I'd love to see the local produce everyone gets!  So feel free to e-mail a snapshot of your goods (as well as your name and blog title (and don't worry if you don't have a blog, your name will be just fine!) as well as a link to your blog) at mtlabor85 (at) yahoo (dot) com and I'll post them in next Thursday's CSA post!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Caramel Brownies

My dinner guests didn't seem to mind either =)
So I ran a mile yesterday.  At 12:30 in the afternoon.  It was 85 F.  Needless to say, it was pretty brutal.  I managed to finish it in 9:39, so I guess that's not bad for starters, right?  It's a tad bit cooler today so maybe I won't feel like death afterwards.

I feel like such a baby complaining about 1 measly mile!  I know a lot of you run on a constant basis and are probably laughing at my pathetic complaints, so I'll try to keep them at a minimum =)

Anyway, this isn't the best picture ever, but frankly.   I couldn't not share this with you.  I should have been more patient and let the brownies firm up a bit more in the fridge (so that they would actually be photogenic - but nothing a scoop of vanilla ice cream can't fix), but instead, they were a big gloopy mess.  The tastiest pile of gloop I've ever eaten.  So yeah, make the brownies, let them set in the fridge (or not), and come and thank me. 

The recipe is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe (who's picture is WAY better than mine - go ahead, go check it out!)

The only thing I changed about it was that I didn't use pecans.  Instead, I topped my brownies with rainbow sprinkles, crushed walnuts, and a mixture of white & dark chocolate chips.  I was feeling a little gluttonous with the toppings. 

But anyway, have a great Wednesday guys!  And don't forget, tomorrow is the CSA round-up so if you feel like joining in, e-mail me at!  Thanks again for stopping by =)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sauteed Bok Choy w/ Peanuts

My first day of my "stay"-cation resulted in mass amounts of cooking.  I ended up making some herbed butter, some chutney/marmalade, and some muffins.  Or well, let me rephrase that.  I attempted to make muffins.  I don't know if I'd just pushed my limits and simply forgot, or what.  But I made one of the biggest mistakes in baking - I forgot the sugar.

So my intended awesome blueberry muffins became blueberry biscuits instead.  And let me tell you, it just wasn't the same.  I tried to salvage the situation by making a quick icing glaze, but I was still just not satisfied with myself.  I mean, seriously... how could I forget the sugar?!

And Andy decided to pile a bunch of vanilla ice cream on top of them to help them out.  I give him an A for effort, hehe.

You ever have those days?  Where you just forget to add something in? 

How all of that has to do with this bok choy, I don't really know.  But I just had to vent about one of my idiot moments!

Now on to something that I didn't forget any of the ingredients in...


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup bok choy, chopped
dash of sesame oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup peanuts

In a medium skillet under medium high heat, add olive oil.  Add green onion, garlic, and ginger.  Stir until fragrant, about a minute or so.

Add bok choy and drizzle a little bit of sesame oil over top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and let steam/cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until bok choy is tender and bright green.

Stir in peanuts and serve.

This was a quick and easy side dish that I serve quite often.  I mean, it's ready in less than 10 minutes - why wouldn't I serve it often!  The peanuts give a nice textural contrast to the bok choy, as well!

Now I'm off for a quick 1 mile run.  I'm feeling good!  Have a great Tuesday guys!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pork Chops w/ Balsamic Blueberry Reduction

Happy Monday everybody!

How was everyone's weekend?  Ours was pretty busy!  Spent the day Saturday doing tons of errands.  Haircut and color (much-needed - and it looks hot!) was a major highlight.  Hehe, no pun intended.  But we also managed to snag lunch at the first ever Louisville Food Truckus Ruckus.  In a matter of just a few short months, Louisville's food truck scene has exploded.  There's at least 8 or so regulars around town now.  Pretty awesome right?  We got a chance to sample works from Busta Grill (one of the best Chicken Sausages ever - topped with a chimichurri coleslaw and tomato/basil pesto was seriously delicious!).  And then MozzaPi's Thai Pi was awesome too.  Curry, bean sprouts, cilantro, and peanuts made for one delicious pie.  And the truck itself was nothing short of amazing - they had a crazy cool wood-fire grill on the end of the truck to cook all of their pizzas to order!

Anyway... I never got around to posting any of those Red, White, & Blue Party recipes last week, did I?  Well, have no fear, I've got a mighty delicious one planned for today!

Adapted from Rock Recipes' Recipe

8 bone-in pork chops
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon thyme
pinch of nutmeg
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
juice from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to lowest temperature (mine was 170F).  Heat a large non-stick skillet (a cast iron works well here) under medium high heat and add olive oil. 

Season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides.  Add 2 pork chops at a time to the skillet and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.  Let pork chops keep warm in the preheated oven on a baking sheet.

To make reduction, combine garlic, white wine, thyme, nutmeg, balsamic vinegar, blueberries, and brown sugar under high heat in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened.  Stir in lemon juice and butter and simmer for a couple more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Top pork chops with blueberry reduction and dig in!

This is definitely one of those meals that is simple, but sure to impress!  I loved the combo of blueberries and pork, and if you haven't tried it... you need to!

Hope you all have a great Monday!  But for now... I'm off to start Day 1 of my half-marathon training.  Good thing it's only a Stretch & Strengthen Day.  Should be easy =)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sweet Potato Blondies

Happy Friday guys!  Boy am I glad!  Because after my 8-hour work shift tonight, I'll be on vacation for the next 9 days - and it's much needed!

It's another "stay"-cation, but I won't be working, so it'll be a stress relief, that's for sure.

In other good news, I signed up to do my first half-marathon at the end of October.  I'm setting my main goal to just finishing (with minimal/no walking), so I'm pretty sure I can do it.  Meaning, I'll probably be starting my training next week too.  I figure, if I can get into the hang of this running business early, I can amp myself up for later on.  Make sense?

Anyway, I figured since it was Friday, I might as well leave you all with a sweet treat.  As well as a sweet poll!  My Great American Bake Sale is next Saturday, so I need some inspiration for what to make - so pick a treat and I'll make sure to sell it!

Adapted from a Food Network recipe

3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 & 1/8 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanila
3/4 cup sweet potato puree
1/4 cup chocolate chips
10-12 large marshmallows, optional

Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a small (around 8x10 or so) baking dish with flour and butter.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and butter.  Beat until smooth.

In another medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

In bowl with sugar and butter, beat in eggs (one at a time) and vanilla.

Slowly add in flour mixture until a thick batter forms.  Fold in sweet potato puree and chocolate chips.

Pour batter into baking dish and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  If you wanted to kick it up a notch, like I did, you could top the batter with marshmallows about halfway through the baking time to get them all toasty.  After all, marshmallows and sweet potatoes were just meant for eachother!

Hope you guys have a great weekend!  Ours will be filled with sushi, Father's Day, and relaxing!  Oh... and a HAIRCUT!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

CSA Week #7

I know, another late post.  I've been pretty crazy busy the past couple of nights!  Anyway, check out what we got in our CSA this week...

  • Fresh garlic
  • Sweet Red Onions
  • Radishes
  • Salad Mix
  • Head Lettuce
  • Shell Peas
  • Fennel
  • Broccoli
  • Collards
  • Blueberries

Can't wait to use those blueberries - I'm thinking muffins are in order!

Currently in the process of roasting this bad boy to infuse some olive oil with it's goodness!

And check it out - we've got 2 blogger CSAs to look at this week!  Both from Kentucky!  I know the rest of you out there want to join in too - let's make this nationwide =)  Maybe next week!

Mindy from The World In My Kitchen looks like she's got a great haul this week!

Mindy got some broccoli, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, baby beets, shell peas, and parsley!

And here's Kate from produce from Dove's Landing - p.s. if you haven't checked out Kate's blog A Healthy Passion - please do, because she always has great healthy recipes posted and tons of nutritious tips!
Looks like Kate got a green tomato, broccoli, carrots, summer squash, zucchini, lettuce, kale, and potatoes!
***If you guys received a CSA this week, what did you end up getting?  I'd love to have a weekly round-up of your CSA goodies (if you participate in one), or even if you made a weekly visit to your Farmer's market (or even just picked from your own garden!) - I'd love to see the local produce everyone gets!  So feel free to e-mail a snapshot of your goods (as well as your name and blog title (and don't worry if you don't have a blog, your name will be just fine!) as well as a link to your blog) at mtlabor85 (at) yahoo (dot) com and I'll post them in next Thursday's CSA post!  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Banana Fritters

Phew!  It has been a day, let me tell you!  I worked until 4:30.  Picked up our CSA share.  Rushed home to take pictures of the haul and split it among it's recipients (we share our share with 2 other people).  And barely made it to my volleyball game at 6! 

Now it's nearly 9 and I still haven't finished today's post!  But don't you worry - I just couldn't resist sharing these fritters with you! 

Andy had a night class on Monday night and I was left bored and alone at home.  But I spotted some over-ripe bananas on the counter that begged to be used.  So perusing through one of my vintage cookbooks, I found the perfect fritter recipe that could satisfy my craving!

Adapted from the 1947 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book

3 over-ripe bananas
juice from 1 lemon
1 cup flour
1/2 traspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil, for frying
powdered sugar, optional

In a heavy-bottomed pan, add about an inch tall worth of vegetable oil.  Heat under medium high heat, until temperature is around 370 F.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, butter.  Stir in the flour and salt until batter is just combined.

Peel bananas and push through a metal sieve to rid of seeds.  If you don't care about the seeds, you could just go right ahead and mash the bananas if you wanted.  Stir mashed bananas with the lemon juice and mix well.

Add the mashed bananas to the batter and mix well.

Working in batches, spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter into the hot vegetable oil to make each fritter.  I did about 4 fritters per batch.  Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Top fritters with powdered sugar, if desired.

These were so good.  I could have taken the easy route and just sliced the bananas, dipped them in the batter, and fried them that way, but I didn't.  I love how the banana flavor is incorporated throughout the dough and it lends to a custard-like filling.  Andy came home that night and made work of a few of them too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sauteed Kale w/ Polenta

We've been getting a lot of kale in our CSA lately.  I love kale and usually end up putting it in a soup (it's stellar in soups!), but with the weather being so hot - I just haven't been in the mood for any kind of soup.  Simple and easy is the route I like to take.

And when I saw this recipe on Eats Well With Others, I just knew I had to make it - especially since I'd never cooked with polenta before either.  It just seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Adapted from Eats Well With Others' recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups kale, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup polenta
1/4 cup smoked gouda, shredded

In a large skillet, heat olive oil under medium high heat.  Add garlic and saute for about a minute or so, until fragrant.

Add the kale, salt, and pepper and saute for about 3-5 minutes, or until kale is slightly wilted, but still green.

Meanwhile, bring about 4 cups of salted water to a boil.  Slowly pour in polenta and stir constantly until thick - about 5 minutes or so.

Spoon some polenta on a plate and top with the kale.  Sprinkle some shredded gouda on top if you want too.

Joanne served this with some braised short ribs (which looks pretty darn awesome too!), but I found this a great dish all by itself.  It's elegant, easy, and super tasty!  And let's just say... this won't be the last time I cook with polenta, either!


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