Oh, HI!!!

I’ve admittedly been slacking on this blog.  We recently found out that we are expecting another baby!! We are absolutely thrilled with this news, but with this news also comes a nice dose of morning (or all-day in my case!) sickness.   My desire to cook, or even to be IN my kitchen has been close to nothing.  I’ve been exhausted and nauseous and so the cooking has fallen on my amazing husband.  The good news is that I have been chopping and freezing like a mad-woman in hopes to keep this blog going through the winter months. I have so many veggies that will need to be used up, so that is something to look forward to!

A few weeks ago, we had some family pictures taken at The Farm. I wanted to share them with my readers here.  We thought The Farm would make a great setting for this family photo shoot and we were right! It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time!

Click here to see the pictures!

I will be back on Thursday with another post.  We have 2 weeks to go in the season, and we are getting a lot of squash and other fun, fall veggies. Stay tuned!!

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Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce

This recipe is also from the Trillium Yahoo! group.  I can’t seem to get enough of the recipes that are shared by the community.  Most of them have been fabulous and I like to use recipes given to me via word of mouth. I figure someone must like it!!

This recipe is perfect for freezing and also helped me use up all of those delicious Roma tomatoes from last weeks U-pick.

Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce

1 onion
1 full head of garlic
1 green (or red) sweet pepper
8-10 good sized, ripe sauce (Roma) tomatoes
1/2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped**
1/4 C. fresh oregano, chopped**
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped

Cut ends of onion and garlic, leave skins on; core tomatoes, leave whole; core
pepper, leave whole or cut in half is large. Place in 9×13 roast pan. Add salt
and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil and roast in oven @ 200
degrees 8 hrs or overnight.

Cool. Remove skins of onion and garlic and process in blender or food processor. (I used a food mill to separate the skins and the seeds)

Add herbs. Place in ziplock bags and freeze.

**I didn’t have fresh oregano or fresh parsley. I used 2 tablespoons of good quality dried instead.
I measured 2 cups per quart size bag and was able to get 3 bags.  I froze them flat and stashed them in my deep freezer!

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Headed into the oven! (I used a red pepper instead of a green one. Can you spot it’s halves??)

Post-food mill, pre-herbs.  Looks and smells delicious!!

All ready for freezing!

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Pickup Day Week 16

It was muggy and 80 degrees when I picked up my veggies yesterday.  I couldn’t believe it! The first day of Fall felt a lot more like Summer. We are still reaping bits of Summer from the farm, but you can tell that the air is changing.  We look forward to enjoying what the cooler weather brings.

From left to right:

Winter Radishes! (and a “what?” I really have no idea what we’ll be doing with these guys!)

Beets

Radishes

Kale

Swiss chard

Kohlrabi

Basil

Assorted squash, peppers and tomatoes

Cabbage

And look at that fabulous pile of Roma tomatoes!! Picked by yours truly :)   I will be making another batch of sauce with these beauties.  I even purchased a food mill to help with the peels and seeds! Stay tuned for that recipe.

I’m also going to try a Chard and Chickpea Soup that sounds absolutely delicious!

I just heard it’s supposed to be 60 degrees tomorrow.  Yay, FALL!! Enjoy the new season!

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Hearty Moussaka with Low-fat White Sauce

This is another recipe that I got from the Trillium Haven Yahoo! group.  I’d bookmarked it awhile back and was waiting for another eggplant pickup to try it out.  I took a few pictures of this wonderful dish, but not a single one turned out.  My camera lens has something wrong with it right now, and every single one was fuzzy :(   I wanted to share anyway, and I’m hoping to try it again and then maybe post the picture.  I know how much we all love pictures!

While this recipe seems very “involved” it really didn’t take that much time to prepare.  I was able to get the white sauce and the beef browned in the time it took for the veggies to roast.

Hearty Moussaka with Low-fat White Sauce

from Gourmet –1998

Loaded with vegetables and topped with Parmesan cheese, this will satisfy the
biggest hunger on the coldest winter night.

Yield: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

Nonstick olive oil spray
2 12-ounce eggplants, peeled, each cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise
into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 pound red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 pound lean ground beef sirloin or ground round
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup plain dry white breadcrumbs
2 large egg whites, beaten to blend
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Low-fat White Sauce

6 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups low-fat (1%) milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 teaspoon butter

Preparation for white sauce:

Whisk flour in heavy medium saucepan to remove any lumps. Gradually add 1 cup
milk, whisking until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups milk and nutmeg; whisk over
medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 10 minutes. Remove from
heat. Whisk in Parmesan, egg and butter. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be
made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat until heated
through before using; do not boil.)

Preparation for Moussaka:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with olive oil spray. Arrange
eggplant slices and half of zucchini rounds, overlapping slightly, on 1 baking
sheet. Arrange potato rounds and remaining zucchini, overlapping slightly, on
second baking sheet. Spray vegetables generously with olive oil spray. Sprinkle
with salt and pepper. Bake until tender and beginning to brown, about 40
minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and
garlic; sauté until onion is tender, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons water if mixture
seems dry, about 7 minutes. Stir in oregano. Add beef; sauté until brown,
breaking up with back of spoon. Add tomatoes with their juices and tomato paste,
breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly,
about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Mix in
1/4 cup breadcrumbs, egg whites and cinnamon.

Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with olive oil spray. Sprinkle 1/4 cup
breadcrumbs over bottom of dish. Arrange potatoes in prepared dish. Spoon half
of beef mixture over. Arrange eggplant slices over. Spoon remaining beef mixture
over. Top with all of zucchini, overlapping slightly if necessary.

Pour warm Low-Fat White Sauce over moussaka. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over.
Bake until top is golden brown, about 55 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. Cut into
squares and serve.

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This was an absolute hit in our house.  I’ve been trying to win myself over with the eggplant, and I think I did with this dish.   I had the leftovers for lunch today and again, they were DELICIOUS.  This is definitely comfort food, and a dish that I will prepare on a cold Winter night for sure!! Enjoy!

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Pickup Day Week 15

The season is starting to wind down, but the bounty is still plenty.  This week, I headed into the fields to pick 2 quarts of green beans as well as some basil.  I was supposed to pick a pile of tomatoes too, but it had rained and they didn’t want us pulling the tomatoes off the wet plants.

Here we go!

1 bunch of celery

1 bunch of chives

1 kohlrabi

1 bunch Swiss chard

2 red sweet peppers

1 bunch radishes

1 small squash/zucchini

1 eggplant

some carrots

tomatoes

lots of mixed greens

Below is a picture of this weeks U-pick: 2 quarts of beans + as much basil as I could grab! (I already made a big batch of pesto this weekend!)

This is a picture of the 4 different “kinds” of beans that I picked.  The speckled one is called a “Purple Dragon Tongue.” The “dragon tongue” has become a favorite of mine, almost tasting like a cross between a snap pea, and a green bean.

I have a Moussaka recipe that I will be sharing this week.  It’s perfect for the cooler weather!

Much of this weeks pickup is going into the freezer. With the warm days dwindling, I’m taking advantage of all that I can to ensure that my freezer will be worth raiding come mid-January!

Enjoy the final week of summer!

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    I'm a self-professed rookie in the kitchen who has opposed vegetables for much of my life. After having my son in 2008, and losing 40 pounds in 2010, I joined a CSA to broaden my knowledge of sustainable agriculture and to learn to cook with the bounties of a local farm. Follow me in my quest as I channel my inner locavore, continue my weight loss journey, and learn new ways to cook for my small family.

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