Tag Archives: cherry tomatoes

What’s in the Box? Best of 2012

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It’s hard to believe that 2012 has come and gone.  It was a wonderful year filled with birthday parties, special memories and of course lots of fruit and veggies.  The What’s in the Box? Link Party was born in 2012 and has been rocking ever since.  I am so grateful to all the participants that have shared their delicious goodies with the rest of us.  It’s been a blast to swap recipes with you and drool over your fresh produce.

Speaking of drooling, I am totally salivating over last week’s party.  With so many people’s CSA seasons ending, we only had 4 participants, so the party was small, but boy was it mighty.  Everything from mashed root veggies, to cranberry nut bread, to homemade pizza with spinach crust and a killer party dip.  Thank you ladies for making our new year bright :)

Now on to my favorite boxes of 2012.  To be honest, it was hard to pick a top 5 because they are all pretty awesome.  But after spending hours looking through the pics and checking to see what came of the produce, I was finally able to narrow it down.  So without further ado, here are the What’s in the Box? Top 5 of 2012…

#5: What’s in the Box? #22

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So many of my favorite fruits and veggies in one place, including the star of the show…blueberries!  But really, this week it was all about Mashed Red Potatoes.  They are the best you will ever have.  And when you serve them with a side of steamed broccoli tossed with lemon juice and a small portion of protein, you have yourself the perfect meal.

#4: Whats in the Box? #36

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Summer is my favorite time of year.  I love all the delicious fruits that come my way.  Nectarines, plums, berries.  They just make me happy.  I usually eat them for a snack, but after weeks and weeks of plums and pluots, I had to throw together a few Pluot Crumbles.  It is a great dish to whip up for a summer barbecue and is sure to impress your family and friends.

#3: What’s in the Box? #34

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I don’t think I have ever seen such a beautiful head of lettuce.  It was so gorgeous it made me want to throw it in a vase and display it on my table as a centerpiece.  However, after a few days of marveling its beauty I caved and made a huge Strawberry Salad.  One of my favorite afternoon treats by far.  Throw in some grilled chicken and you are good to go!

#2: What’s in the Box? #31

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One word…apricots!!  I can’t get enough of them.  I think I might be able to live on apricots alone.  Well, apricots and some Braised Pork with Fennel and Pork.  I am so grateful that getting a delivery of fennel helped me to think outside the box.  I would have never purchased fennel at the store but after some creative experimentation, I found one of my favorite recipes of all time.  Try it…I promise you will become a fennel lover too :)

#1: What’s in the Box? #45

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One of the highlights of receiving fresh produce every week, is that I get to share my love for fruits and veggies with my family.  It makes me happy when Harper dives right into the broccoli without any begging, coercing or bribing.  I also love that I can whip up a healthy and yummy meal in no time.  This Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce is so easy to make and delicious to eat you will want it on your table at least once a week.  That is, as long as you have some fresh cherry tomatoes sitting around.

So those are my Top 5 boxes of 2012.  Can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for me.  I am counting down the days until my first box arrives.  T minus 6 folks…

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite boxes of 2012?  Feel free to add the links to the deliveries you loved the most.  Let’s take a walk down CSA memory lane shall we?

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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Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce

Last weekend, Freddie and I had our first date night out since Harper was born.  It had been over a year and a half since we got some good quality time together, and I’ll be the first to admit, it was way overdue.  So when my mom came in town to visit, the first thing she did was offer to watch Harper while we took a few hours to ourselves, uninterrupted, to just enjoy each others company.  And that is exactly what we did.  But don’t worry, we were home before 7 to put Harper to bed.  Baby steps…(And I am not referring to the 19 month old toddler, I am referring to her parents).

Luckily, over the last year and a half, Freddie and I have gotten very creative with our stay-at-home date nights.  We will snuggle up on the couch and watch a few episodes of our favorite reality shows, break out a board game and do our best not to get competitive, or enjoy a home cooked meal, just the two of us.  It has helped us to stay connected.

This recipe is a perfect stay-at-home date night kind of meal.  It’s simple and easy to prepare (only takes 30 minutes) but is fancy enough (thanks to the awesome pan sauce) to make it feel restaurant quality.  Plus, it only serves 2, which always brings me back to our newlywed days.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups cherry tomatoes (11-12 ounces)

Preparation

In a small bowl, mash butter, garlic, oregano and paprika together.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat oven to lowest possible temperature.  Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Measure the flour onto a plate.  Working with one breast at a time, press both sides into the flour.  Shake gently to remove excess flour and repeat with remaining breast.

Melt 1 tablespoon of oregano butter with the 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet set over high heat.  Reduce to medium-high when the butter stops foaming.  Lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and sauté until browned on one side, about 4 minutes.  Flip and continue cooking 3-4 minutes.  Transfer to a small pan or oven-safe plate and keep warm in oven while preparing sauce.

Increase heat to high and add tomatoes to the skillet.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes.  Add remaining butter.  Crush tomatoes slightly to release their juices and continue stirring until butter has melted.  Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen the browned bits.  Remove chicken from oven and add any juices that may have accumulated to the pan.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2011 via Cook Like a Champion

This dish is all about the sauce…and the butter, which is the base of the sauce.  It’s delicious on the chicken, but it is even more yummy drizzled over a side of rice or couscous.  This time around I served my chicken with farro and steamed broccoli.  The nuttiness of the farro was the perfect complement to the sweetness of the tomatoes and was also very helpful in sopping up the remaining sauce.

Your turn What is your favorite way to spend a date night in?  Any special recipes you like to prepare for your mate?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

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What’s in the Box? #36

Hello last Wednesday in July…where has the summer gone?  But looking back on the last few months, I feel like I have made the best of my summer days.  Between blueberry picking, trips to the beach, park play dates and outdoor grilling, I have savored each moment of this lovely warm weather.  And as far as my fresh farm produce goes, I am enjoying every bite.  Especially all the delicious fruits.  They keep getting better.  And this week is no exception.  But before I get into everything I love about my current haul, let’s look back at the highlights of last week’s party.

A big thank you to the 63 link ups from What’s in the Box? #35.  Each one tickled my fancy.  I learned so much last week.  From how to freeze blackberries, to how to save a stalk of broccoli, to what in the heck is an Armenian cucumber?, my CSA knowledge continues to grow.  Who knew a link party could satisfy mind, body and soul?  Guess that’s the magic of fruits and veggies :)

And now on to MY fruits and veggies…

This week it is all about the nectarines.  Being reminded that the summer is coming to an end, each bite of these delicious gems will be celebrated and appreciated.  Yeah, that’s how much I love me some nectarines…to the last drop.  I am also excited that the pixie tangerines are back.  They are such a refreshing snack on these warm summer days.
Looking forward to a family gathering this weekend, I can’t help but bust out a crumble with these plums.  It is slowly becoming my signature dish and I love sharing its yummy goodness with others.  I will also be preparing a veggie platter with my spinach dip.  So the cherry tomatoes and carrots will work great as potential dippers.  And as beautiful as this fresh bunch of spinach looks, I will save that for dinner tomorrow night.  A quick sauté with some cloves of that garlic will be the perfect side dish.
I am loving this huge bunch of basil…with roots!  Which means it is the gift that keeps on giving.  Now to decide whether to plant it by my front door or down at the garden.  This could be the start of a small homegrown herb garden.  Pesto for days!
This lettuce is pretty darn fancy.  I attempted to use a few leaves on turkey burgers tonight and realized that they would work better as a salad.  Very curly and crispy which would work great tossed in a quick homemade vinaigrette.

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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