Friday, September 30, 2011

Middle Eastern Style Carrot Dill Salad

Simple, Colorful Carrot Dill Salad

Recipe by Bruce

Recently we were trying to use up all the perishable veggies in the refrigerator before going away for a bit. We’d accumulated a substantial amount of carrots for our CSA share, but those would last until we got back home. However, the plump bunch of dill would not. My husband suggested a simple carrot-dill salad. “Tell me more,” I said. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rustic Applesauce

small bowl of rustic applesauce

Recipe by Robin

At our house, early apples fall before they’re fully ripe, and can be a bit buggy. But why waste less than perfect organic apples? My husband gathered them up, cutting out the cores and bug damage, added a squeeze of lemon juice, and left them in the fridge for us to snack on. But less than ripe apples had limited "a-peel." So, the next load of windfall apples, the volume of which required both of us to cut out bugs and cores, became rustic applesauce. Unlike my Mom’s applesauce, it contains apple skins, and is chunky rather than smooth, since it's not run through a food mill.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Roasted Squash or Pumpkin Seeds

Small Cup of Roasted Seeds
Roasted Seeds from One Butternut Squash

Recipe by Robin and Mom

Here’s a simple recipe for roasting the seeds from my last post’s baked squash. I’ve seen recipes that use oil or cooking spray, but without oil the seeds get crisp and cook faster. I use sea salt, but you can eliminate the salt if you prefer. You can bake them in the oven along with the squash if you like.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Baked Winter Squash

Serving of Baked Butternut with Maple Syrup, Butter, and Pumpkin Pie Spice
Baked Butternut with Spices

Recipe by Robin

Happy Equinox to all! I just learned today that the length of day and night is not exactly 12 hours throughout the world (that’s equilux, different at every latitude). But metaphorically we can think of this day as a period of balance of light and dark, as the sun crosses the equator from north to south. While friends in Zimbabwe and Australia celebrate vernal equinox today, here in the US we’re celebrating the beginning of autumn. Both spring and fall are transitional seasons where winds kick up and life begins or ends for the year.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Orange Basil Chocolate Truffles

Plate of Truffles Garnished with Basil Leaves
Orange Basil Chocolate Truffles

Recipe by Robin

Three years ago today I was married after an 11-year courtship. But something even more amazing happened that day. Kelly, my maid of honor, brought 250 truffles that she had made herself to the wedding. Her husband James assembled the commemorative boxes and they packed up one raspberry and one coffee truffle for each guest. She offered to make them along with her other maid of honor tasks like organizing the shower, shopping for dresses, finding cheap flower source, giving the toast, and being my go-to person for staying somewhat sane while planning all the details.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Amen Farms Apple Cake

Slice of Cake with Whipped Cream and Apple Slice Garnish
Apple Cake with Apples and Whipped Cream

Recipe from Cooking by the Seasons by Karri Ann Allrich

I’ve been trying for several years to recreate my grandmother’s apple cake, a yellow cake with sliced apples and cinnamon on top. By the time I thought to ask her for a recipe, she was in her 80s and had started using a packaged cake mix with her apple topping. I’ve been trying to get the cake right for about 30 years. Luckily, our apple tree is giving me plenty of raw material to work with. In the meantime, I tried this fabulous and easy recipe for inspiration. [Update 2012: success! Gram’s Apple Cake here.]

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week 24 Veggie List & Menu

Large Farmer's Bin of Heirloom and Early Girl Tomatoes
35 lbs. of Tomatoes from Live Earth Farm
Tomorrow Seasonal Eating will be 6 months old! I’ve decided to simplify my format by writing one post per week with both my veggie list and menus, instead of a post for each. Fall will arrive this week, with a whole new season of autumn veggies!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Preserving Basil 101

Basil Leaves in Colander
Basil Ready for Drying

Recipes for Freezing and Drying

No matter what I do, I can’t outsmart a basil plant. I’ve tried pinching back the flowers, keeping it in a warm, sunny area, planting at the end of summer instead of the beginning. But even in our mild coastal California climate, basil knows it’s an annual, and its time is summer, not winter. Many herbs can be babied through the winter, but basil will have none of that. It will die come late fall, period. And so, since we have so much basil right now, I’m going to preserve some for winter.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Late Summer Pasta with Sweet Pepper, Zucchini, and Tomato Sauce

Plate of Rigatoni Topped with Sauce
Homemade Tomato Sauce on Rigatoni

Recipe by Robin

At this time of year, we get three lbs. of tomatoes or more from our CSA Farm every week. And many northern hemisphere gardeners have even bigger tomato harvests now. Homemade tomato sauces not only put the tomato bounty to good use, but also taste infinitely fresher and sweeter than their canned bretheren.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Late Summer Pasta with Leek, Pepper, and Tomato Sauce

Plate of Pasta and Sauce
Top with Cheese, or Not!

Recipe by Robin

In late summer we are blessed with lots of tomatoes and basil, and this pasta dish features both. We also had a large leek and lots of scallions, but you could substitute any kind of onions. Similar to my Pasta with Onion-Garlic Red Sauce and Veggie Crumbles and Early Summer Pasta with Red and Green Sauce, this recipe can be adapted to include other late summer veggies like zucchini or summer squash.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Week 23 Menu Plan

Basket with Five Gala Apples
First Five Galas of the Year

Featuring tomatoes, greens, strawberries, green beans, and apples

We’ve been eating homemade tomato sauce with pasta for days, and plan a similar use of the Early Girl tomatoes this week. Seems like no matter how few veggies get added, homemade sauce is always delicious. End-of-season strawberries won’t last long, so we need to eat them pronto. We got our first heirloom tomatoes of the year this week, so will be enjoying them with the leftover basil soon. Speaking of basil, I didn’t get to the basil-orange chocolate truffles last week, and they are just too intriguing not to make! Soon.

Week 23 Veggie List & Ideas

Basket of Three Red and Green Tomatoes
Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes
September is here, warm and golden. At last the weather on the central CA coast is warm…for a few weeks, we hope. The first of our CSA’s Gala apples are in, and they taste like sweet ambrosia. Our own apple tree is producing tart apples of an unknown variety (we’ve only been here since last Nov.) I’d like to try to duplicate my long-deceased grandmother’s apple cake, and looks like there will be plenty of apples to try with different recipes. Bumper crop of tomatoes (finally ripe after a cool summer) is perfect for pasta sauce variations. Recipes to be posted soon!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sustainable Seabass with Orange Ponzu Sauce

Plate of Bass, Sauce, and Side of Greens
White Seabass, Orange Ponzu, and Greens

Recipe adapted from If it Makes You Healthy by Sheryl Crow

I was surprised to find out that some species of seabass are now sustainably fished. The term seabass is commonly used to refer to several species besides true seabass, so sorting out sustainability information can be confusing.

Both US east coast black seabass (a true seabass) and US west coast white seabass (really a croaker) populations have largely recovered from overfishing, so are environmentally friendly choices now.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blackberry or Triple Berry Pie

Blackberry Pie with Lattice Top
Wild Blackberry Pie

Recipe by Debbie from Live Earth Farm

In the US, we’re celebrating Labor Day today, honoring all workers for their economic and social contributions to our country, and unofficially marking the end of summer and beginning of classes for students. It’s the end of blackberry season here in California too. No more berries at the farmers markets, but they’re still ripening along fences and in fields here and there. They’re fewer blackberries than in July, but most berry pickers have forgotten about them. So it’s the perfect time for the last blackberry pie of the year. You can also combine any proportion of raspberries, strawberries, and/or blueberries with the blackberries in this recipe.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mashed Potatoes Florentine

Plated Mashed Potatoes with Spinach and Leeks
Recipe with Yellow Finn Potatoes

Recipe from Live Earth Farm, 1999

 We were perusing our CSA’s website to find recipes that use the maximum number of the veggies that we received this week. A bounty of yellow finn potatoes led us to this unusual mashed potato recipe, which also incorporated the large bunch of spinach we received. These potatoes were a perfect accompaniment to the exotic salmon sausages that our local natural foods store makes.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Week 22 Menu Plan

Summer and Winter Squashes

Featuring tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes, basil, and fennel

It’s the everything-with-tomatoes time of year, and luckily we’ve got fennel, sweet peppers, leeks, and basil, which will combine with them beautifully. I bought my first-of-the-season winter squash though I might just admire it for a week before cooking it. I’d like to experiment with some sweets to share this week. Our CSA recipe maven posted an intriguing recipe for vegan basil-orange chocolate truffles. I’m going to wander through the usual haunts for the last of this year’s blackberries, and perhaps make a pie. And I hope to finally make those intriguing carrot pancakes for a breakfast treat on Labor Day.