Saturday, June 28, 2008

Garlic scape pesto

Ms. Huis Herself's CSA boxes made me remember and dig up this recipe I found a while back online. It's from Greensgal at The Omnivore's Solution. I went ahead and posted her comments at the top. This may be horrible Internet etiquette...

One of the most fantastic uses I know is in Garlic Scape Pesto. Our very favorite omelet is folded over a ribbon of this pesto – yum! We also eat it plain as a spread on crunchy bread or crackers. It can be used to season steamed vegetables, a topping for brown rice, or as an addition to potato salad for a mild garlic flavor. Stir some into vegetable soups as a garnish and flavor enhancer. This freezes amazingly well and keeps many months in the freezer.


1/2 lb. organic scapes, top bulbs removed (chopped into 1" sections)
1/2 C pine nuts
2 c. grated parmesan cheese (substitute romano or asiago)
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil (to achieve the correct texture)

Use only the tender parts of the scapes, peeling bottom ends if tough.
In a food processor, combine the scapes and pine nuts, pulse to chop into a rough paste. Add cheese and pulse. With processor running, drizzle in just enough olive oil to achieve a moist spreading consistency. Taste for salt and add some sea salt if necessary. It depends on the saltiness of the cheese.

Note: I substitute a “lesser” parmesan for economy sake. Using the finest parmesan doesn’t make a tremendous difference because of the strength of the garlic taste.

Possible additions: 1/2 C fresh herbs – parsley, dill, or cilantro
Place in processor with scapes and pine nuts.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rhubarb Bar

I know I am really slow at getting on and posting things. I love to cook and have lots of things already typed up on my computer. I am excited to now be able to post. I thought I remember someone looking for rhubarb things. This is just one of our many that our family makes. Enjoy!!

Rhubarb Bar
1 Cup Flour
5 TBL Powder Sugar
½ cup butter
Mix together press into a 9x9 and bake @ 350 degrees for 15 Minutes
(I doubled the whole recipe and put it into a large bar pan.)
2 beaten eggs
1 ½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
¾ tsp. Salt
2 cup finely chopped rhubarb
Spoon onto crust and bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Best if eaten the same day but we eat it for many days afterwards.

CSA Week 3

Our CSA box always includes a newsletter from the farm. This week they mention that cilantro is one of the few herbs that does not retain its flavor when dehydrated, but that you can freeze the fresh leaves in a ziploc. Just remove the air, seal the bag, and freeze. They point out that you shouldn't thaw them before use or they'll turn into a mushy green mess. Since we don't use cilantro very often, I think I'll give it a try.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday Fun #39 - Fast Food Fantasy

If you could make one item at one fast food chain magically have 0 calories, but still taste the same, etc., what would it be?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sesame Ginger Chicken

Got this recipe from one of Mr. Kluges's high school friends who is married to another one of his high school friends when they made it for us one time. She says it's from Jenny Craig. It's yummy. I've adapted it slightly.

1 1/2 Tbl. toasted sesame seeds*
1 Tbl. grated fresh ginger
3 Tbl. low-sodium (or regular) soy sauce
3 Tbl. honey
6 (4 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1) Combine first four ingredients.

2) Place chicken between plastic wrap and flatten to 1/4 inch thickness. (You might actually have a meat mallet. I use our marble rolling pin.)

3) Coat rimmed cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. You might need two, depending on how spread out your chicken breast ends up.

4) Brush half of sauce misture over chicken, coating both sides. Set them on the cookie sheet when coated.

5) Cook at 350F or broil about 8-10 minutes or until done through.
(You can baste during the baking/broiling if you'd like, but since it's in a cookie sheet, the sauce can't really escape. I think this direction is left over from being made in a broiler pan, but when I tried it that way, all the sauce just ran off and burnt in the bottom.)

I've never tried it, but I'd suspect you could do this stove-top as well.

*If you just have regular, put them in a dry (not greased) nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for a while until they brown a bit. It takes kind of a while, so start this right away, and don't be tempted to turn the heat up too high or they'll burn. Not that I know or anything.

Friday, June 20, 2008

CSA Week 2

We already ate up most of the peas (Yum! We all loved 'em. Pumpkin kept asking for more.) and we're definitely going to do the bok choi just like last week 'cuz it was so good. As you can see, we got strawberries this week! Penguin was reaching for them and making "gimme"-type noises as soon as she saw 'em in the box.

On another note, their newsletter said that normally we'd have kohlrabi by this week, which leads me to expect some next week. I have no idea what to do with kohlrabi. None. At all. So if you've got any tips or hints, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Fun #38 - Counter Space

I don't care how big your kitchen is, or how many square feet of counter space you've got, there's always the trade-off between leaving things out so they're handy, or putting them away so you can use your counters. What appliances and tools are out? Do you have your flour, etc. out in pretty countainers? A crock of utensils? A big ol' mixer? This week, I want to know...

What rates permanent counter space in your kitchen?

Friday, June 13, 2008

CSA Week 1

Hooray! We picked up our first CSA box last night. It was almost like getting a present. I think I was actually giddy when I was opening it up and pulling out all the treasures.

Here's what was in it. They say the first boxes tend to be lighter, of course, but I was pretty pleased with how much was there, especially since they had emailed 10 days ago to say that they might have to delay this first box for a week if not enough was ready.

I was most surprised by the popcorn! It was from last fall, but dried and stored until now. We're looking forward to making it. Pumpkin already said, "Oh! I didn't know popcorn grew on plants! I thought it grew on trees!" So our CSA share has been educational already.

The mushrooms and rhubarb were from other local farms, likely to pad out that first box. They won't usually be having mushrooms, unless there's enough interest to add in a "mushroom share" once or twice a month for $3.50/lb. Since we all four like mushrooms, we'll likely ask about that.

I even used up the baby bok choi last night already! I'd planned a main course (the pork chop recipe Allknowingjen just posted - and it was delish!), but figured on using something from the CSA box for the veg. So I washed 'em up, and just sauteed/stir-fried 'em in olive oil, throwing a splash each of sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, and soy sauce on them at the end. Yum!!!

While some sites also got strawberries, there weren't enough to go around this week. *pout* However, I'd certainly expect/hope for some next week!

Ok, so this week I'm cross-posting this on Recipeeps 4 Us and Musings & Mutterings, but in the future, I think it makes more sense to just post it over at Recipeeps, being food-related and all. So if you're curious, come take a look next Friday!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday Fun #37 - I Scream, You Scream...

It's getting hot out there. And Mr. Kluges made ice cream twice while his parents were here. Yay! Which leads me to wonder...

What're your favorite kinds of ice cream?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Boneless Pork Chops in a Shallot-Fig Reduction Sauce

Tastes fancy, but it's easy and fast enough for a weeknight dinner. I made it tonight an it was done in 20-30 minutes, and I already had most of the ingredients on hand. Super yummy!
I found this one at Noble Pig- and it's worth a visit just to see the pictures and step by step instructions. Also I am going to try the Chicken Nectarine Kabobs soon.

Boneless Pork Chops in a Shallot-Fig Reduction Sauce

1-1/2 to 2 lbs. Boneless Pork Loin Thin Sliced Chops
2 cups of beef broth or beef stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 large shallot, chopped
9 dried figs, diced (couldn't find figs, so I used dates instead)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
salt & pepper for seasoning

Preheat a nonstick skillet. Add olive oil and fry pork chops in batches, 2 minutes per side and remove from pan; keep warm. Add shallot to the pan and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add beef broth, balsamic vinegar and figs. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Add cornstarch, cook 1 minute.

Add chops back to the pan and cover. Simmer 2-3 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Remove the chops from the pan and pour sauce all over. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday Fun #36 - Campin' and Cook-outs

It's only 1 month until this year's Girls' Adventure Weekend, and the planning (yes, I'm doing some - really!) has got me thinking about camping food and its potentially large variety. So, our question this week is...

What the strangest / most unusual / most unexpected food you've ever had camping?

P.S. If you haven't RSVP'd about GAW, visit! If I've missed you, please please please let me know asap and I'll add you in ('cuz things like that can happen). And again, if the whole weekend won't work for you, you're more than welcome to come out just for a day, you know.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Apple-Rhubarb Crisp

This sounds crazy, but it's awesome and totally works. Meant to be done in Stoneware, and dutifully stolen from The Pampered Chef. Feel free to adjust at will.

Fruit Filling:
1 jar strawberry preserves (12 oz.)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 tbls. flour
3 Granny Smith apples
3 c. rhubarb cut into 1/2 in. slices

Streusel Topping:
1/3 c. butter
20 shortbread cookies
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

ice cream or whipped cream optional (but tasty!)

For filling, mix preserves, sugar, and flour together and set aside. Peel, core, and slice apples and combine with rhubarb. Add preserves mixture and toss gently. Spoon into deep dish stoneware.

For streusel topping, microwave butter on high 45-60 seconds or until melted. Chop cookies and almonds. Add cookies, almonds, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon to melted butter and mix well. Sprinkle evenly over fruit.

Microwave on high 13-15 minutes or until apples are tender, turning dish at 7 min. Let stand about 30 minutes (it will cook the rest of the way in the stoneware, I promise!). Serve warm.

Rhubarb Jam

My mom used to make this when I was little.

5 c rhubarb, chopped
3 c sugar
1, 6oz pkg strawberry (or cherry) Jello
1 T butter

Combine rhubarb with sugar and let sit overnight. Next day, add butter and cook mixture for 10 minutes on med to med-high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in Jello. Place in glass jelly jars. Refrigerate or freeze until you want to use.

Rhubarb Bread

Per Pusher's request. This one is tried and true. Hope you like it.

1 1/2 c brown sugar
2/3 c oil
1 egg
1 c buttermilk (or sour milk which is almost 1 c milk with 1 T of lemon juice)
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 1/2 c rhubarb, cut up
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c nuts (optional)

1 T butter
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine sugar and oil; add egg and sifted dry ingredients with buttermilk. Add rhubarb, vanilla and nuts. Pour batter into 2 large or 4 small pans. Top loaves with topping mix. Bake at 325 for 60 minutes, less for small loves. Freezes well.