CSA

I haven’t participated in the CSA for two years in a row. First, my CSA in Palatine stopped home deliveries, and I knew it would be difficult for me to commit to Saturdays’ pickups for the whole season. And this year, I already knew I would be moving. 

Through summer, I bought fresh produce from several vendors at different farmer’s markets and asked everybody whether they were doing CSA. Several of them had a fall/winter CSA. I asked around and decided to try two. One of them, Nichol’s Orchard, had a short fall season with just seven weeks of deliveries, and another one, Urban Canopy, allowed to sign-up for a half-share (every other week, the total of four weeks. I think that this will help me to decide which one I will be doing next summer.

On Thursday, I had the first delivery from Nochol’s Orchard. I do not have a picture of the box because I had to be in the office on that day, and I asked Igor to wait for the box. Future deliveries will be documented :). 

Anyway, the box is here:). And what I love about CSA is that I am exposed to a variety of vegetables previously unknown to me, and I need to learn how to cook them. This delivery included spaghetti squash, which I know how to cook, but only because of the CSA:). The new vegetable for me was sunchoke, and I loved it! I made it roasted, and it was delicious! I gave some to Igor, and I ate the rest before I even noticed!

There was also some kohlrabi in this delivery; I always liked it, but this time I wanted to look up new recipes, and I found a salad with raw kohlrabi and apples, and it was great!

I can’t wait for the next one, and I am so happy that yet another piece of my life is back, or rather I found a new version of it 🙂

Nasturtium Salad

I didn’t make this salad for six years! But when I was shopping for my herbs, I saw nasturtiums, and I immediately knew I want them. All the childhood memories which I mentioned in this six-year-old post came to life:). Now that I had them for almost a month, I finally got a chance to harvest some and make a salad precisely like the one I mentioned in that old post. Just added almonds – I do not remember why I didn’t have any nuts in it six years ago, it’s not like me 🙂

“After The Holidays” Recipes

In December, whenever I would come across some interesting recipes, I would say to myself: after the holidays! Now, after the holidays is already here, and also, I had a lot of leftovers of the things which I bought “just for that recipe.” Here are several of my “after the holidays” creations.

I had half a package of ricotta left from my ricotta and merengue buns, and I had half a bag of spinach, which was left from the quiche, and I had some frozen puff pastry – here is a result:

It was fast and easy, and I really liked it!

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Summer Breakfasts Gallery

This summer and early fall, I had lots of breakfasts outside; and that’s one of my favorite things to do in summer. No other meal is as good outside as breakfast. And since some of my friends love these outside breakfasts as much as I, and always ask for the pictures, I decided to put together a breakfast retro; now that the outside breakfast season is over.

Enjoy 🙂

Nope, I do not eat acorns, they are just pretty:)

Stay At Home Meals

I like posting pictures of my meals – and I always liked it! I love it when my food looks pretty, even when I am the only person at the table (which is most of the time). Also, I do not like to spend a lot of time cooking, and I do not like recipes with many ingredients. Whatever appears at my food photographs, is always fast and easy to make.

90% of my food pictures show some breakfast food because that’s my favorite meal of the day. And my friends were keeping asking me why I never post any pictures of my dinners. Well … because by dinner time I always forget that I planned to show all my meal of the day:).

During these past two weeks, there were no changes to how I eat at home. I would still arrange everything nicely on the plate because I enjoy it. It does not take much time, and really improves your mood! These pictures are all from one day last week. Full disclosure: coffee, chocolates, and other sweets not included :).

Breakfast: egg whites with vegetables, mushrooms and two tablespoons of greek yogurt (microwaved)
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Yellow Beets and Blue Cheese Salad

I spotted yellow beets in the Eurofresh store last week. Previously, I only saw yellow beets in my CSA shares. Even though I didn’t plan to cook anything with beets that week, I bought a bunch.

I baked the beets in foil (40-50 min at 400F) and made this simple salad:

Baby kale, baked beets, blue cheese, pistachios. Dressing: one part of pistachio oil, to parts of Madera balsamic. It feels like a holiday meal :}

Beets and Goat Cheese Salad

Once again, this is something I hesitate to call a recipe. It’s just that a couple of years ago, I realized that those super-fancy salads with baked beets and goat cheese – I can easily make them at home. You need to bake beets just once – 40 min at 400F individually wrapped in aluminum foil, and then you can peel them and store in the container – for over a week.

New this year – I started to add some pomegranate seeds to this salad. So now I have:
baked beets, purple and yellow
spicy asian greens
crumbled goat cheese
chopped walnuts
pomegranate seeds
and this wonderful balsamic/oil combination from Vompass:

Proportions are entirely up to you, made in minutes, taste priceless 🙂

Breakfast is the Best Meal of the Day!

I still have lots of pictures from the Labor Day weekend, and here are some of them. Why this is about a Labor Day weekend? Because one of the nice things you can do over the long weekend is to make “Sunday breakfasts” every day:).

The plenty of veggies which are delivered daily presents me with a challenge of adding them to everything:

Chocolate goes for the second course:

Also, it’s blueberry season, time to make Finnish rye blueberry meal:

Food and Travel

There are a couple of places in Madison, which I always like to visit when I am in town. Unfortunately, two of them closed recently, but my second favorite store, vomFASS, is still there :).

I buy a majority of what I buy online because it saves time for the more interesting things, but sometimes buying in the brick and mortar store is a fun of its own, and shopping at vomFASS is undoubtfully a case.

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