Tag Archives: cauliflower

What’s in the Box? #80

What's in the Box?

I think it’s safe to say, we are officially “OC” residents.  We have a library card (and have visited 3 times already!), spent an entire morning in line at the DMV in an attempt to get a new driver’s license (lost mine during our travels this summer) and Harper is enrolled in preschool.  Phew…it’s been quite a week, but everything is starting to fall into place.

Here is my little muffin on her first day at her new school… (in her chucks of course!)

Harper's First Day of Pre-School

(for the record, little miss came up with this pose all on her own.  I merely asked her to stand by the tree…)

And all the while, we have been enjoying our delicious and nutritious treats from our new CSA.  I have also been enjoying perusing over your CSA eats from last week.  We had 10 link ups and apparently it was all about the green.  Green beans, pesto, and green tomato bacon jam.  The perfect veggie color :)

Thanks to everyone who linked up and shared their awesome ideas with us.  Keep ’em coming!

As for me, this is what I will be working with this week…

What's in the Box? #80And before we go any further, I have to mention the 3 garlic cloves that I forgot to place in the box before the picture.  Didn’t realize it until all the produce was put away…darn.

I am most excited about the figs!  I have never received figs in my box before, nor have I ever even tried one.  Not sure why, I have just never come across them before.  Looking forward to whipping up a savory dish with them that the whole family will enjoy.  Which means the garlic will come in handy for that recipe as well.  And Freddie and Harper can’t wait for a side of my famous mashed potatoes.

Next, 3 cheers for Thai basil!  It has been a while since I have gotten some in my box and I am looking forward to cooking with it.  It has such a lovely aroma and the flavor bursts in your mouth.

The taco salad last week was a big hit so I plan on duplicating that again.  I will chop up some of the tomatoes to throw on top in addition to some of those sweet peppers.

I am happy to see another bundle of grapes.  Our last batch went pretty quickly so I am hoping to experiment some more with recipes this week.

For the carrots, I have a great chicken recipe that calls for roasted carrots.  It’s a recipe I have been dying to share with you, so hopefully this will stand as a reminder for me to post it ASAP.

Speaking of roasting…love me some roasted cauliflower.  I roasted some last week for Harper to throw in with her broccoli and she LOVED it!

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits into simple and delicious meals? Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.

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!

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What’s in the Box? #69

What's in the Box?

This coming weekend is very big deal for my family…my little brother is getting married.  I mean, he’s not actually little anymore.  In fact, he is a big, brave, soldier, brother, but no matter how tall or strong he gets, he will always be younger (age is really all I have on him anymore…).

And what is even more exciting about this weekend, is that I get to welcome to my family, another sister, Koko.  I couldn’t be more proud of Quincy’s choice of bride.  Beautiful, intelligent and just plain fun.  I have known Koko since we were younger and I have always been a fan (which to be honest, isn’t an easy feat with me.  I tend to be VERY overprotective of my bro, but Koko won me over immediately).  So having them make their union “official” is really just the icing on the cake.

Speaking of cake, did you check out the links from last week?  How I Ate My Box linked up a beautiful Flourless Beet Cake…sounds heavenly doesn’t it?!  Oh, and Farm Fresh Feasts made a killer CSA Grilled Cheese complete with pickled turnips, radishes and carrots.  And finally, if you are looking for some salad inspiration, Clean Eats, Fast Feets hooked us up with a roundup of some of her most beautiful lettuce creations.  Thanks to everyone who linked up.  I always appreciate you sharing your delicious veggie goodness with the rest of the party.

And really, what is a party without a box full of fresh fruits and veggies…

What's in the Box? #69 - In Her Chucks

You know you have been brainwashed by a member of your CSA for too long when you start getting excited about beets.  At the beginning of my CSA journey, I used to loathe beets.  But the truth is, I just didn’t know what to do with them.  Now, with a pretty extensive beet recipe repertoire, I can’t get enough of them.  The last few times I have gotten a bunch of fresh beets in my box, I have made this amazing Roasted Beets with Gorgonzola and Walnuts salad.  I was watching the Barefoot Contessa on TV the other day (the silver lining to having a sick baby…lots of down time), and she was whipping up a Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad that had me drooling.  But on the other hand, that Flourless Beet Cake has me intrigued as well.  Since when is there not enough beets to curb my cravings?  Official produce nerd :)

And then of course you have the asparagus, which is already gone.  We devoured it alongside homemade turkey meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner Tuesday night.  Comfort food at it’s finest.  And for dessert?  Fresh fruit.  Strawberries, kiwi and tangerines.  Sliced.  That’s it.  There really is nothing sweeter.

For the gorgeous head of lettuce I am going to draw from some of Meghan’s delicious ideas.  And to add to the fun, I am sure some of those carrots will end up in my salad somehow too.

It has been a while since I have roasted cauliflower.  It really is my favorite way to prepare it.  So simple but totally irresistible.

And finally, spring onions.  Nothing fancy I’m sure.  But Freddie will love me if I sneak them into his eggs.  Such a good wife am I :)

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!

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What’s in the Box? #46

Every week I get a bit too excited about my produce box.  But this week my excitement is inflated to the umpteenth power.  Why?  Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words…

My amazing husband hooked it up big time for my 30th birthday and surprised me with a new juicer.  The man knows the way to my heart…through produce :)

This juicer has taken my fruit and veg consumption to a whole new level.  No need to worry about cooking up all my produce anymore (although I still plan on incorporating them in my daily meals).  Any and all leftovers can now be thrown into the juicer and made into a delicious and vitamin packed beverage any time of the day.  Yay!  I am officially in veggie heaven.

Speaking of veggie heaven, last week we had a total of 34 link ups!  That’s a whole lot of CSA goodness.  And from the looks of the links, autumn weather is rolling in.  There was a great variety of soups and stews this week.  Everything from good old Chicken Soup and Chicken Chili to Sagey Butternut Squash Soup and Roasted Garlic Beet Soup.  And who can forget that Eggplant and Lamb Stew?  Nothing like some delicious comfort food to warm your soul and please your tummy :)  Thank you to everyone who participated.  I appreciate your enthusiasm about this party and your ongoing support.  Hooray for veggies!

Now let’s take a look at my veggies…

The first item to catch my eye was that butternut squash.  Oh, how I love butternut squash.  Sure I like to fancy it up and make it the star of the show, but simply roasting it with some cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt and pepper is enough to make my taste buds sing.  Mmmmm.

You know what else makes my taste buds sing?  Cilantro.  Is there any flavor more bright and refreshing?  Unless of course you are part of the small group of people who find the taste and smell of cilantro reminiscent of soap and thus find this lovely herb to be repulsive.  According to Wikipedia, the reason for this strong aversion to cilantro is “likely genetic, with some people having no response to the aromatic chemical that most find pleasant, while simultaneously being sensitive to certain [offensive fragrances]”.  Interesting right?  Well, either way, the possibilities for this cilantro are endless.  Green rice anyone?

Speaking of bright and refreshing, that pretty much sums up my feelings for this grapefruit.  I love eating my grapefruit for breakfast in the morning with a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds sprinkled on top.  Talk about a breakfast of champions :)  As for the rest of the fruit…it already has a nice sized dent in it.  We have been snacking on the plums and apples all day.  I am hoping to get some sort of apple dessert made this weekend.  After all, what is fall without a warm apple treat topped with some vanilla ice cream *drool*.

Being that we were gone for most of the week, I wasn’t able to use up all of my spinach from last week’s haul.  Part of me wants to throw it in the juicer (which would be amazing!) but the other part of me wants to add it to this bunch, sauté it with some onion/garlic/shallot or all of the above and call it a day.  It makes such a lovely side dish.

Cauliflower makes for a pretty great side dish too.  Especially when you steam it using the new rice cooker that your brother and sister-in-law gave you, and then throw it into the new ricer your Uncle Joe got for you and top it with a slab of butter and a dusting of salt and pepper for some seasoning.  Why eat potatoes when you can enjoy faux-tatoes?  (ps: loving all my new birthday gifts…)

And then of course there is the mother of all sides…the side salad.  Guess whose mother makes the best salads around?  Yep, my mom!  Who also happens to be in town for a few weeks.  So in an effort to eat every last leaf of this lovely head of lettuce, I am going to have to ask my mom to whip up one of her magical side salads.

Finally, it’s all about those bright red tomatoes and peppers.  I have yet to make a batch of homemade tomato sauce this season and these tomatoes would be perfect for it.  I am also interested in trying some sort of roasted pepper sauce.  Tossing both with my new favorite obsession, quinoa pasta, topped with freshly grated parmesan.  Yum!

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.  Thanks!

PS:  Don’t forget to double your dose of fresh fruits and veggies by visiting this week’s Fresh Foods Link Up from Gastronomical Sovereignty

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What’s in the Box? #34

No matter how busy my life gets, Wednesdays always seem to get me focused and back on track.  Blame it on the fruits and veggies, but when hump day rolls around the fog seems to clear and things start to fall into place.  Having a CSA box to look forward to keeps me motivated to cook and always makes for some exciting menus.  And with all of the delicious recipes and ideas that have come through this link party, our family meals have been elevated to a whole new level :)

Our party continues to grow and I couldn’t be more grateful.  Last week we had a total of 56 link ups!  I appreciate all my loyal party goers and welcome those who are linking up for the first time.  When it comes to recipes and ideas on how to use your produce, we got you covered.  From breakfast, to lunch, to happy hour and beyond, there is no limit to how your CSA can feed you :)  So thanks everyone for keeping the inspiration flowing and making our tummies happy!

On to this week’s goodies…

Call me crazy, but I might be just a little too excited about this head of lettuce.  I usually pass over it and rarely give my lettuce the time of day.  But this head of lettuce is too pretty to ignore.  I wish I knew what kind it was because I plan on seeking this variety out in the future (maybe even growing a few heads in my garden).  It makes me want to have a fancy dinner party and invite all of my close friends over to enjoy a crisp salad dressed with a homemade vinaigrette.  Chilled salad forks included :)

And although I have been known to throw some grated carrots into my salads as well, I am still on my roasted carrot kick.  I also love my cauliflower roasted.  But then again, it seems as though I love ALL my veggies roasted :)

I was surprised at how fragrant my leeks were this week.  It was the first aroma that hit me when I opened up my box.  I was expecting onions with how strong the smell was, but I was excited to find leeks instead because I have had a taste for another homemade quiche.

With the holy trinity of summer fruit, I might be inspired to create something beautiful.  I plan on keeping it simple because enjoying the fruit “as is” happens to be my favorite part of summer.  The strawberries and nectarines will definitely be making an appearance in this week’s Sweets for a Saturday.  Which, by the way I was featured in last week…yay Gooey Cookies ‘n Cream Bars!  I will have to search through some of my plum recipes to see what pops out at me this week.  And while I am on the subject, here is the plum recipe I promised you last time.  I was hoping to post it on the blog, but was unable to snap a pic before dinner was demolished.  I always have good intentions, but it can be hard to juggle blog life with real life…real life always wins :)

Those little cucumbers are absolutely adorable.  After reading through some of your posts, it looks like most of you are pickling these kind of cucumbers.  I have never embarked on a pickling journey, but you all have inspired me.  I am not the biggest pickle fan myself, but I have friends who would appreciate some homemade pickles.  And what about relish…could I make relish?

And finally, dino kale.  At the start of my CSA journey, I would have cringed at the sight of kale.  But now I jump for joy.  After nearly two years into my CSA love affair I have collected some pretty awesome recipes.  Not to mention all the delicious ideas you all have shared with us.  Now, I can’t seem to think of a reason not to love kale!

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.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? #26

As much as I love spring for all the beautiful, bountiful produce that is available, it’s hard to ignore the effect this season has on my allergies.  For some reason, this past week has been pretty brutal.  Runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing…constantly.  It’s been a bit unpleasant to say the least.  But when Wednesday comes along, and I open my box to find another round of fresh, local, and organic goodness, it tends to make up for all the temporary discomfort.

You know what else helps to take my mind off these stinkin’ allergies?  Our weekly link party!  And it continues to grow every week :)  Last week we had 23 link ups!  Make sure you check them out.  They are flooded with delicious recipes, killer cocktails and smart storage tips.  Thank you to everyone who has participated.  You are true produce rock stars!

For those of you linking up for the first time, click here for some info on party etiquette.  And welcome!  We are glad to have you :)

Looks like it’s my turn…

Yes!  Cherries!!!  Do you know how happy this bag of cherries made me?  How about happy enough to devour each and every one…immediately :)  Cherries are in my top favorite fruits and I wait patiently every year for my first delivery of cherries.  Glorious!

Can you believe I am also pretty psyched about that chard?  Thanks to the link party, I have an arsenal of delicious recipes that all include chard.  The hardest part is going to be deciding which one to try first…eeny, meeny, miny, moe!  (Am I the only one who uses this method to help make decisions?)

One thing I don’t have to think about this week is my lettuce.  There have been some pretty awesome salads linking up that are inspiring me to try new things.  One idea I love is to throw in some roasted veggies.  Those carrots will be the perfect addition.  And I am sure the avocados will make an appearance as well.  Maybe not in the same salad…but in one of my many versions of a salad.

Freddie is most excited about the chives.  Like I continue to mention week after week, that boy has lots of love for the entire onion family!  He enjoys them most when I mix them in with his morning eggs.  And do you know what else will go great with those morning eggs?  Some fresh squeezed citrus juice.  I have been mixing it up in the kitchen lately and have gone a little hog-wild with the juicing.  Last week I hand juiced all of the oranges and pixie tangerines.  I even added some grapefruit juice.  It made for a refreshing beverage.  So I am looking forward to a new rendition this week of pixie tangerines with a splash of lemon…yum!

For the cauliflower, it has been a while since I made a batch of Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes.  Talk about delicious!  I love to serve mine alongside a juicy steak.  They are a great substitute for potatoes.  And I might just have to experiment by adding some diced leeks.  Until I began my CSA subscription, I had never cooked with leeks, but now I like to throw them into everything.  The flavor is so mild but I find it can make a nice, sweet, difference.

Your turn:  Any new ideas of favorite recipes you want to share?  What would you do with this box of produce?  Looking forward to hearing what you have in mind :)

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What’s in the Box? #24

Happy May everyone!  Can you believe we are nearly halfway through 2012?  Crazy, huh?  Time is a tricky thing.  That is why I do my best to live in the moment, and enjoy where I am right now.  And Wednesdays are always good to me.  Nothing puts a smile on my face more than a fresh box of produce.  Because in case you haven’t noticed, I am a huge nerd when it comes to fruits and veggies, and yes, my day is made by the sight of this lovely goodness.

I want to thank all of my link party participants from last week :)  We had 11 bloggers join in.  That’s the most we have ever had.  I love how we are growing!  Let’s see if we can top that for #24 :)

New to the link party?  Check out the guidelines here.

Guess it’s my turn to gush…

A lovely rainbow of vitamins and nutrients.  Definitely most excited about the strawberries.  I have been on a recent kick of belgium waffles with homemade whipped cream topped with sliced strawberries for breakfast.  Don’t mind me while I indulge.  It’s a habit I picked up when I was little.  My family and I used to enjoy brunch on Sundays at a local beach club and this was by far my favorite item at the buffet.  And I have to say, Trader Joe’s makes a mean batch of frozen Belgium waffles.  Makes it an easy treat!  And while we are on the subject of breakfast, did you happen to see the size of those spring onions?  Biggest I have ever seen!  They smell delicious and will be the perfect addition to Freddie’s morning eggs.  Wouldn’t those pixie tangerines and star ruby grapefruits make a mean fresh juice to serve alongside our breakfast of champions?  Yeah, I think I just kicked it up a notch…

Mashed potatoes anyone?  I feel a delicious dinner coming on using those Yukon gold potatoes and that lovely rainbow chard and possibly the stir fry mix as well.  Now to figure out the protein.  I am still kind of loving the whole lamb idea.  I might just have to find a few more recipes to add to my repertoire.

And then there is our ever loyal lettuce.  As I mentioned before, sometimes salads can get old…quick.  So I am constantly thinking of new and creative ways to use my lettuce.  This week…I got nothing.  Although lettuce always works great for a garnish on a sandwich or burger.  Not the most fancy or exciting choice, but it will do.  Because just in case you didn’t know…lettuce doesn’t freeze well.  And yes, I tried it.  Back in college.  I was an amateur and was doing my best not to waste.  Just thought I would pass that bit of info along.  True story.

The cauliflower?  Already gone.  Demolished.  Loved it!  My new favorite way to eat it is to roast it.  And it turns out divine.  Wish it could have stuck around a little longer but my belly had other plans.  For dessert?  I am in the mood for some beet cake.  It has been too long since I reunited with my old friend.  And I think it is time that my beet cake makes a comeback.  Already drooling.

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipes, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to hearing your responses :)

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