Happy First Day of Spring everyone!! And to celebrate I bought you a few bouquets of flowers…
Tulips! My fav :)
Harper and I were walking out of Whole Foods yesterday and she said, “Look Mama, those beautiful flowers”. I stopped and turned and in front of me was a rainbow of budding blooms. I nestled my nose in the center of the silky petals, saturating my nostrils with the sweet scent. Indeed, spring has sprung.
And with warmer weather comes a whole new batch of delicious fruits and veggies. I can’t wait until the spring produce starts rolling in. It only gets better from here.
But in the meantime, we must continue to celebrate the goodies of winter harvest. And despite some cold temps in other parts of the country, everyone seems to be doing the best with what they have.
Last week we had 14 link ups! The most we have had in a while. And boy did they deliver. AnnieRe Unplugged hooked up us with a decadent Tuscan Bean Soup complete with thick cut bacon. How I Ate My Box shared a mouthwatering Chicken, Carrot and Leek Stew that I will be making ASAP despite my “no stews during warm weather” rule. And finally, Farm Fresh Feasts is busy hiding veggies in Meatloaf. Although I like to refer to it as “nutritionally enhanced” meatloaf :)
Thanks everyone for sharing your CSA goodies with the rest of the party. I appreciate your support and participation.
Now it’s time for me to reveal my Best Box Ever…
I am beyond giddy about this week’s haul. Summer is usually my favorite time of year for produce, but this box is definitely the best of the best as far as Spring goes! It has all my favorites in one place. Makes my heart (and tummy) happy :)
To start, I am jumping for joy over the 2 PINTS of strawberries! I kind of don’t know what to do with myself. Luckily, I recently pinned a strawberry cake that will be perfect for this abundance of berries. In most cases, I find using fresh fruits in baked goods a cardinal sin, because, let’s face it, they taste so good as is. But this recipe looks too good to pass up, and I just happen to have all the ingredients on hand. Can’t wait to share it with you.
Next, I feel the need to shout this out at the top of my lungs…ASPARAGUS! Ok, so it makes your pee smell (sorry…too crude for a food post?), but it might just be my favorite veggie. And like most of my favorite veggies, I like to keep it simple. Trim the stems (I always use this method), drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast (on 400 degrees F for about 8-10 minutes). So easy, and so good.
And with the roasted asparagus, I will no doubt be serving it with a side of the white sweet potatoes. Believe it or not, these things are so yummy, I used to eat them as a dessert. Plain. Just baked and then devoured. Although, now that I have mentioned dessert, I can’t get my mind of these little gems. Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Blondies anyone?
I have barely gotten through 3 pieces of produce and so far more than half of my meal ideas involve dessert. But it seems that I just have sweets are on my mind tonight (might be the Triple Berry Chocolate Bar I scarfed down while in the midst of writing this post…my new sinful indulgence). And I am slightly ashamed to say, it doesn’t stop there. I have a cookie recipe for the grapefruits that I am dying to try. I have a few bread recipes (here and here) as well as a scrumptious fish recipe I could use, but cookies sound so naughty…and yet, so right :)
Speaking of naughty, look who I found getting fresh in the CSA box…
A pair of spooning carrots. Something you will only find with farm fresh produce. Gotta love it.
And because the theme of this post is clearly “how to turn your healthy fresh fruits and veggies into decadent and delicious desserts”, I plan on turning these carrots into more cookies or cupcakes. Because with Easter around the corner, I like to make something fun and festive for the Easter Bunny to nosh on.
As for the rest of the box, I promise to behave. Steamed broccoli, celery sticks and tangerines for snacking and a batch of AnnieRe Unplugged‘s Tuscan Bean Soup with a lovely green salad on the side. I strive to achieve balance :)
Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown? Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share? Looking forward to reading your responses :)
Linking up for the first time? Click here for more info…and Welcome!
PS: Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog. Thanks!