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CSA Pick Up # (I lost count)

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Here is this week’s CSA pick up.

What you see:

2 jalapeños

1 acorn squash

3 eggplant

1 bunch leeks

4 bell peppers

¾ pound green beans

½ pound mesclun mix

1 bunch cilantro

1 bok choy

1 head of garlic

2 habañero chiles

Last night for dinner I made Acorn Squash Macaroni and Cheese (click here for the recipe – it was SO good),  Spicy Hoisin Glazed Eggplant (click here for the recipe – thanks Caitlin!!) and Spicy Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce (click here for the recipe).  I used every single pot, pan, cutting board, measuring cup and wooden spoon in our apartment AND set off the fire alarm . . . but it was worth it.

Written by bevanddara

October 12, 2011 at 9:58 am

Posted in CSA

CSA Pick Up #5

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I missed my pick up last week due to the Outstanding in the Field event.  It was great to get back on track with it.  This is the pick up this week.

1 head green curly leaf lettuce

2 serrano peppers (spicy)

1 bunch cilantro

2 jalapeños

4 tomatoes

1 red cabbage

4 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)

6 1/3 ounces salad mix

1 large mild onion

1 bunch radish

1 sugar baby watermelon

The share was practically begging me to make last night Taco Tuesday, so that’s what I did.  Used the peppers, onions, cilantro for tacos, guac and pico de gallo.  You’ll see that there are no tomatoes in my picture.  They looked kind of weird so I decided to leave them for someone else and buy grape tomatoes for our pico.  I like them in pico better, anyway, makes it sweet.

I think I’m going to make some sort of Asian Chicken Salad with the salad mix and red cabbage.  Can’t wait to bite into that baby watermelon!

Tonight, though, after yoga I’ll be enjoying an omlete by myself because Mike will be going to this movie with Danny.  It opens tonight and he’s been DYING to see it.


Written by bevanddara

September 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Posted in CSA, Movies

Question: What is Purple, Green and Red All Over?

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Answer: My CSA pick up this week.

This week we have:

3/4 pound Velour stringless beans

2 large, white mild onions

1 pound edamame

1 bunch purple basil

1 bunch amaranth greens

1 bunch broccoli

2 medium eggplant

7 Italian plum tomatoes (for making sauce)

2 large slicing tomatoes

Purple seems to be the theme for this week.  I already used the eggplant and large slicing tomatoes (added in a few Jersey tomatoes from Vicki’s mom’s garden – OMG they were SOOO yummy) and made eggplant stacks for dinner last night.

The odd item of the week is the Velour Stringless Beans.

This is what the farm said about them, “This week’s purple velour filet beans are a “haricot vert”—a very slender, stringless bean that’s a favorite of chefs. We sautéed some as they came in from the field, and they are deliciously tender and flavorful when cooked for just a few minutes in a skillet over medium-high heat in some extra-virgin olive oil with a sprinkling of coarse or Kosher salt to finish. Sadly, as with so many purple varieties of produce, they will not hold their deep burgundy color once cooked. So if you want to showcase their color, serve raw in a salad or with a dip.”

Sounds good to me! 

They also included a way to cook the amaranth greens, “To cook the amaranth greens: Pluck the leaves from the stem, rinse and pat dry with a towel or spin dry in a salad spinner. (Discard the stems.) Mince 1 to 2 cloves of garlic. In a heavy-bottomed saute pan or a cast iron fry pan, heat a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, stirring, until fragrant. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the greens, and toss with tongues to coat the greens with the oil and mix them with the gar­lic. Continue to cook until the greens have lightly wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with Kosher salt to taste. If you wish, add a splash of balsamic vinegar or squeeze of lemon juice.”

And lastly, how to cook the edamame, “To cook: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add the edamame in their pods (no shelling necessary) so as not to splash yourself. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. To test for doneness run a cooked pod under cold water to cool slightly and then slip a bean out of the pod. The bean should be firm, yet give to the teeth. Mushy beans means that they are over cooked. Drain in a colander and let cool to room temperature, or refrigerate for a couple of hours to serve cold. Before serving, toss the pods with a generous pinch of Kosher salt. To eat, slip the beans out and into your mouth by pulling the pods between your teeth. Discard the pods.”

I already, sadly, killed the purple basil so I will never know how that tastes. 😦

Mike is in Atlanta until tonight and then we’re leaving for Jamestown after work tomorrow so it looks like I’ll be bringing everything with me up to Jamestown.  I’m sure we’ll come up with a nice feast for Lauren’s b-day.

As far as French Laundry goes . . . I don’t want to make the meals . . . I want Thomas Keller to make them for me.  🙂  Oh well, it will remain on my bucket list!

I like the quilt, its cute.  Can you stitch blocks maybe?

Written by bevanddara

August 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

Posted in CSA

CSA Pick Up # 4

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I had my fourth CSA pick up yesterday.

This is what you see: 

1 red tomato

1 yellow tomato

1 bunch amaranth greens

1 bunch basil

6 1/3 ounces arugula

2 jalapenos

1 bunch beets

1 bunch Swiss chard

2 sweet bulb onions (1 red, 1 white)

1 large eggplant

6 ears sweet corn

No eggs this time . . . the hens are starting to die from heat.  😦  So sad!

“Amaranth greens, also called Chinese spinach, …are a common leaf vegetable throughout the tropics and in many warm temperate regions. It is very popular in India. They are a very good source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and folate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Because of its valuable nutrition, some farmers grow amaranth today.”

Mike and I are making pizza with chicken sausage, tomatoes, basil, arugula and onion (and cheese of course!) tonight.  Mike is heading to Jamestown on Thurs night so I’ll most likely just bring everything else to Jamestown so we can use the grill. 


Written by bevanddara

August 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

Posted in CSA

CSA Pick Up # 3

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Had my third CSA pick up yesterday.  They didn’t send out an email this time so I have to guess what I got.  This is what I think:

Two cucumbers

One squash




Swiss chard


Salad Mix

Some sort of weird yellow string bean

Dozen eggs

I already got creative with the squash, onion and basil last night . . . shredding all of those ingredients . . . browning them in a frying pan and putting them in an omlete (with a little cheese and turkey bacon) for dinner.  Mike actually LOVED it and asked to keep in the rotation. 🙂

I’m going to saute with garlic the swiss chard, kale and beet greens for dinner tonight (along with chicken and cous cous).  I may attempt to cook the yellow beans too and have two veggies.

I’m going to probably make cucumber and onion salad and blance the beets and add them to the salad mix with some goat cheese and candied walnuts for later this week. 

I’m getting good at this!

Written by bevanddara

July 20, 2011 at 10:18 am

Posted in CSA

CSA Pick Up – #2

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Yesterday was my second CSA pick up.  In this picture (taken by Mike :)) you see:

2 purple kohlrabi

1 head fresh garlic

1 bunch young leeks

1 bunch parsley

6 1/3 ounces salad mix

1 bunch swiss chard

1 bok choy

4 Zucchini, mix of golden and green

1 bunch kale

1 bunch basil

A dozen eggs

What is purple kohlrabi? It is a type of cabbage that looks like a root vegetable but actually grows above ground. Kohlrabi has a crisp, juicy texture and the earthy sweetness of a combination of broccoli and cabbage. Kohlrabi is delicious paired with fresh herbs like chives, cilantro or parsley, radishes, carrots and apples, as well as with seasonings like horseradish, sesame, ginger, and mustard. Slice it into batons and snack on it with a creamy dip or dressing in the afternoon or before serving dinner. Thinly sliced, it can also be added to a salad. A popular way to prepare kohlrabi is as a slaw. Kohlrabi is also tasty sautéed or roasted (cut them into thin slices or bite-size wedges first) or added to a braise or stew. You can also boil the bulbs until tender and mash them.

Using the zucchini and some of the basil I made Shrimp and Zucchini with Bowties for dinner last night (and leftover for lunch today).

As far as the other items . . . I may just saute the swiss chard and kale and roast the kohlrabi and make that for dinner with chicken.  One night can be Salmon with Carmelized Leeks . . . and another night Bok Choy Salad topped with grilled chicken. 

Speaking of dinner . . . look at this article that was in the NYT’s today.

The New York Times
July 5, 2011
How 10,000 People Keep a Secret

THERE are picnics, and then there are picnics.

Three weeks ago, in the golden light of an early-summer evening, thousands of Parisians dressed entirely in white converged on two of the city’s most picturesque locations — 4,400 of them in the plaza at the cathedral of Notre Dame; 6,200 in a courtyard of the Louvre — for a feast that was neither advertised nor publicly heralded. They had brought along not only their own epicurean repasts but also their own tables, chairs, glasses, silver and napery.

At midnight, after dining and dancing, they packed up their dishes, stowed their empty Champagne bottles in trash bags brought for that purpose, stooped to pick up their cigarette butts from the cobbles and departed. The landmarks were left immaculate, with no traces of the revelry of the previous three hours.

This annual event, called the Dîner en Blanc — the “dinner in white” — is like a gustatory Brigadoon, equal parts mystery, anachronism and caprice. Now attended by thousands at some of the best-known Parisian spaces, it began humbly in 1988. That year, François Pasquier, now 67, returned to Paris after a few years abroad and held a dinner party to reconnect with friends. So many wanted to come that he asked them to convene at the Bois de Boulogne and to dress in white, so they could find each other.

But while in certain circles in Paris, everybody knows about the Dîner, many Parisians have never heard of it. And despite the precision that goes into its planning, it retains an air of surprise.

For the first time, New York will have its own Dîner en Blanc, on Aug. 25, rain or shine. A thousand people — half invited, the others drawn from an online waiting list ( — will participate in this refined flash-mob feast, at an as-yet undisclosed location in Manhattan.

The New York event is being spearheaded by Mr. Pasquier’s son, Aymeric, who lives in Montreal, where he inaugurated the Canadian version of the Dîner en Blanc in 2009. But can brawny Manhattan, with skyscrapers from top to bottom, innumerable regulations and a dearth of public spaces on a Parisian scale, possibly approximate the romance of the French pique-nique? The New York organizers, Daniel Laporte and Alexandra Simoes, are hopeful.

“The emphasis is on spontaneity, but we are making absolutely sure to be completely in accordance with all city rules,” said Ms. Simoes, an elementary school director at the Lyceum Kennedy, who volunteered for the Dîner organizing job. “But we don’t want the guests to be impacted by our concerns. The guests should only be concerned about the dress code, and the tables they’ll carry, and what kind of food they will prepare.”

Mr. Laporte, a Canadian-born architect whom Aymeric Pasquier asked to participate, said: “Everything is extremely carefully organized, because to seat a thousand people at the same moment you need a lot of planning. But the most important thing is for everyone to have the best memory of the night.”

In New York, as in Montreal, the Dîner en Blanc is being conducted openly, facilitated by Facebook and Twitter and other online aids, and coordinated with municipal authorities. But in Paris, despite the tacit approval of government officials, the Dîner is private — a massive demonstration of the power of word of mouth, and the strength of social connections. The guest list is made up entirely of friends, and friends of friends. And despite the dinner’s vast and visible attendance, it has remained discreetly under the radar. Paris is still a class-stratified society — “It’s horizontal, whereas Montreal is vertical,” Aymeric Pasquier explained — so unwritten rules of privilege have allowed secrecy to surround the event. Nobody is sure who decides, year in, year out, which people are invited to create tables for the evening.

François Pasquier calls the party-list formation a “pyramide amicale,” a friendly pyramid; trusted friends invite their own trusted friends. The event’s exclusivity was evident just before the Dîner en Blanc in Paris on June 16. As I hurried with my dinner companions along a bridge to Notre Dame last month, passersby stopped us.

“What’s going on?” a man asked. “Haven’t you heard?” joked my friend Aristide Luneau (who had invited me). “It’s the end of the world.”

One tourist asked, “Do they do this every night?” If only.

At 8 o’clock, clusters of diners emerged from the Metro or chartered buses to gather at rallying points, where they had been instructed to meet their “heads of table,” the organizers who had invited them. The site is revealed at the last moment, both to avoid gate-crashing and to preserve instantaneousness. The guests, decked out in white suits, dresses, skirts, feather boas and even wings, carried heavy picnic gear and delicacies like pâté de foie gras, poached salmon and fine cheeses — each table brings its own meal.

At about 9, with the sky still light, the site was announced. Guests hurried across bridges and side streets to reach their destination. By 9:30, all the tables had been deployed in orderly rows, according to diagrams in the possession of the heads of table, with men all along one side, women along the other. The guests quickly covered their tables with white cloths; laid out the crystal for Champagne, wine and water; the plates for hors d’oeuvres, main course and dessert; and began tucking in. 

As night fell on Notre Dame, a clergyman appeared and blessed the throng, and church bells rang out overhead; at the Louvre, opera singers serenaded the diners. At 11 in both places, diners stood on chairs and waved sparklers — signaling the end of dinner and the beginning of the dancing (to D.J.’ed music at Notre Dame, and to a brass band at the Louvre). An hour later, the frolickers switched off the merriment and packed up their tables to depart, like Cinderella, on the stroke of midnight.  

Needless to say, New York presents its own challenges. As in France, the organizers have created a fleet of “heads of table” who will collect picnickers at various meeting points around the city and shepherd them to the location. But some differences will apply. For one thing, it’s likely that Champagne will not be permitted, if the Dîner is held in a public location. For another, the proceedings are expected to end at 11.

“Even if we can’t have Champagne, it will be nice still,” Ms. Simoes said.

Mr. Laporte said, “After this year, the city will know the beauty of the Dîner,” adding, “We can show them that a big group can be very respectful.”

As in Paris, guests in New York will have a strong incentive to uphold the code of conduct. If they misbehave — for example, by bringing uninvited guests, getting too rowdy or not showing up or helping to clean —  they will receive a punishment worse than any police fine: being barred from future dinners.

“Any guest who doesn’t respect the rules of behavior will be put on a blacklist and never invited back again,” Aymeric Pasquier said.

Initially, Mr. Laporte and Ms. Simoes worried that New Yorkers would find these rules too demanding.

“But the more we talked to our New York friends,” Ms. Simoes said, “the more we realized that they were fascinated by the idea that it was difficult and special, and that you have to build your own dinner and bring your own table.”

Mr. Laporte added: “Our first impulse was to rent tables for the event, so people wouldn’t have to carry them.  But we realized that would change the spirit of the dinner too much. Part of the event is the journey there.  To think ahead, to get ready, to get the table, to prepare your picnic, to choose your outfit.  Not making it easy is part of the allure.”





Written by bevanddara

July 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

Posted in CSA, Food

CSA Pick Up #1

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Yesterday was my first CSA pick up . . .

This is what you see:

¾ pound garlic scapes
1 bunch red Russian kale
Salad Mix
1 bunch baby turnips with greens
1 bunch beets
Swiss Chard

I know, turnips, your favorite!  Have you ever heard of garlic scapes? They’re a flowering shoot that gets snapped off the garlic plant shortly after they appear so that the plant’s energy stays focused on developing a large, healthy bulb underground. Use them chopped or minced in whatever you’d normally use garlic.

The CSA weekly newsletter always comes with a recipe (usually for the most unusual item in the pick up).  The recipe in this newsletter is for Garlic Scape Pesto, which I will probably make.  We have a birthday party in Long Island this weekend (at Craig and Holly’s – VT wedding) that I think I may bring it to as a gift.  Holly loves that kind of stuff.

Garlic Scape Pesto

 1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices

1/3 cup walnuts

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: To bring out the flavor of the walnuts, gently toast them over medium-low heat in a skillet until fragrant. Remove from the skillet immediately. Let cool before processing. Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until blended. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper to taste.

 Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for one week. Or freeze in a thin layer in a sealed freezer bag. Break off a portion of the frozen pesto to use as needed—to flavor pastas or soups or spread on a sandwich.

As for the other items . . . I made kale chips last night (YUM).

For the turnip I think I’ll make Turnip Mashed Potatoes (substituting a few things since this is a Paula Deen recipe. :))

For the swiss chard & turnip greens I’ll make Garlicky Sauteed Swiss Chard.  (with the turnip mashed potatoes and grilled chicken on Friday night)

For the escarole I think I may make Pasta with Escarole, White Beans and Chicken Sausage. (Sunday night)

Tonight for dinner I’ll be solo (Mike is in Toronto) so I’m going to use the salad mix, hard boil an egg, cut up a beets and a leftover avocado from mexican monday, throw on a few nuts, olive oil and vinegar and make myself a salad for dinner and lunch tomorrow.


Written by bevanddara

June 22, 2011 at 9:07 am

Posted in CSA, Food