Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday Fun #44 - Tomato Turn-ons

We just picked our first (three) cherry tomatoes of the year yesterday, and I know Pusher recently enjoyed her first garden tomato, too. Granted, not everybody here likes tomatoes (Right, AKJ?!), but for those of you who do,

What's your favorite thing to do with / way to eat fresh tomatoes?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tomato Bruschetta

Yesterday I was SO HUNGRY for tomato-covered bruschetta. The tomatoes, and basil, and garlic....yum! We'd gotten a large bunch of basil from our CSA the week before, so I'd thought to pick up some tomatoes...

I sort of made this recipe, which I'd gotten at a cooking class (with Chef Jeff). Didn't measure a thing, used regular tomatoes instead of Roma and a fresh CSA onion instead of the red onion, didn't toast the bread....

But it didn't matter. Because what I ended up with was absolutely, positively what I was hungry for. I'd made some dough from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day earlier in the afternoon, so I baked up a loaf of that, and for supper, all I had was fresh, homemade bread mounded with tomato-y goodness.

It was summertime heaven.

Tomato Bruschetta
(makes 3-4 appetizer servings)

6 Roma tomatoes
1/4 c. diced red onion
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh chopped basil (oh, just use LOTS)
3 Tbl. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
3-4 1/2"-1" slices of fresh Boule bread (French bread may be substituted)

  1. Remove the stem ends of the tomatoes; cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
  2. Dice the tomatoes and place them in a 3-quart mixing bowl. (I'd only use pottery or other non-reactive material because I think the acidic tomato tastes funny otherwise.)
  3. Add onions, garlic, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper; mix well.
  4. Serve at room temperature.
  5. Brush both sides of the bread lightly with olive oil and place on a 1/2 size sheet tray (or cookie sheet.)
  6. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until slightly golden in color. Repeat procedure so that both sides are lightly toasted.
  7. Remove from broiler, top with tomato mixture and serve.

Friday, July 25, 2008

CSA Week 7

We're excited to see some new stuff, like carrots!, in our box this week. Yum! This Sunday is a potluck picnic at "our" farm, so we might go to that, even though it looks to be about an hour drive.

I have to say that kohlrabi is fine... but I wouldn't plant it myself. Getting a little tired of it already. Maybe that's because the girls don't care for it, and it's not really a freezable thing, so it's just Mr. Kluges and I eating it up. This week the newsletter suggests making kohlrabi slaw out of it, so maybe we'll give that a try.

P.S. This week was also a mushroom share week, so we've got a pound of nice looking button mushrooms, but I forgot to include them in the picture since, as a separate share, they were in their own bag & not in the big CSA box.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New meal planning site

We've really been in a rut lately, so I am trying out this new meal planning website and thought I would mention it here.
It's called You've got supper and it's FREE!
They send you a weekly menu with 5 entrees and two sides, plus a grocery list.

This Week's Menu:
Entree 1 Honey Chicken Kebabs
Entree 2 Beef and Rice Burritos
Entree 3 Salmon Baked with Tomatoes, Lemon & Herbs
Entree 4 Tarragon Chicken Salad
Entree 5 Pizza Margherita
Side 1 Baked Summer Veggies
Side 2 Cool Lime Pie

(the website has all the above recipes listed)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday Fun #43 - Fridge Findings

Ok, I don't think I've done this one yet, so here we go...

Name three (or more) things in your refrigerator.

Bonus points if they relate in some way, shape, or form.

And as an extra bonus WF item... here's a quiz from Blogthings.

What Do the Contents of Your Fridge Say about You?

Here's what mine says:
What Your Fridge Says About You

You like to be surrounded by things you love. You aren't exactly greedy, but you can be materialistic at times.

You tend to be a fairly thrifty person. You splurge occasionally, but you're mostly a saver.

You are a very adventurous person. You love to try new things, and you get bored very easily.

You are responsible, together, and mature. You act like an adult, even when you don't feel like it.

You are likely to be married - and very busy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Orange Butter Scones

I could have sworn I posted these before, or maybe emailed them to someone, but I can't find it anywhere, so I must just be remembering writing it down or something. One of Mr. Kluges's coworkers wanted this, so I figured if I was bothering to type it up anyway, I'd put it on here, so I could find it again.

This comes from The Ballymaloe Bread Book by Tim Allen. No, not the tool guy, but the husband of Irish food guru Darina. These measurements are primarily by weight, but I'll try to remember to make note of standard ones when I can... or even come back later and edit them in the next time I make it.

450 g./ 1 lb. plain white flour [about 4 cups]
3 rounded tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
25 g./1 oz. castor sugar (superfine sugar, but standard is ok or powdered)
85 g./ 3 oz. butter, chilled [3/4 stick; 6 Tbl.]
2 medium eggs
200-225 ml. / 7-8 fluid oz. fresh milk (The eggs plus the milk should total 10 fl. oz.)

Orange butter:
2 oranges, finely grated zest
85 g./ 3 oz. butter [3/4 stick; 6 Tbl.]
100 g. / 3 1/2 oz. icing sugar, sieved (powdered sugar)

Topping: (I never bother with the topping because 1) it's sweet enough without it & 2) I forget to do it.)
egg wash
50 g. / 2 oz. granulated sugar (standard)

Prepare the orange butter in advance. Cream the butter with the finely grated orange zest, add the sieved icing sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. (You could even do this a day ahead.)

Preheat the oven to 250C / 475F / regulo 9.

To make the scone dough, into a large, wide bowl, sieve the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the castor sugar. (I just mix them all right away.) Cut the chilled butter into cubes (or thin slices). Then rub the butter into the dry ingredients.** Make a well in the centre.

Break the eggs into a two cup measuring cup and whisk lightly. Add the milk, bringing the liquid up to the 300 ml / 10 fl. oz. mark. Pour nearly all of the milk and egg mixture into the flour. Using one hand with the fingers open and stuff, mix in a full circle drawing the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk and egg if necessary. Bring the ingredients gently together into a soft dough. (I just use a spoon. Much easier and less messy.)

Turn the dough out onto a very well-floured work surface. Knead lightly and briefly, just enough to bring it all together.

Now gently roll the scone dough into a rectangle about 2 cm / 3/4 in high and about 35x23cm (14x9"). Using a plastic spatula, spread the orange butter over the top surface of the dough. Gently roll up the dough as you would roll a Swiss roll.

With a sharp, metal dough butter lightly dusted with flour (or just a knife), cut the rolled scone dough into about 14 slices.

Place the scones cut side down on a 9x13" pan. The recipe actually calls for a baking sheet, but the 9x13 keeps the melted butter closer in to the scones so it soaks it back in instead of letting it burn around the edges.

First brush the scones with the egg wash, then sprinkle over the top with granulated sugar. (I skip this step almost always. It looks a tiny bit fancier, but tastes just as good without it.)

Put the scones into the preheated oven to bake for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat to 230C / 450C /regulo 8 and leave to bake for a further 10 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. Then tuck in!

** Yeah, basically you stick your hands in the floury stuff and rub the small pieces of butter into it until it gets kind of crumbly... the texture will be sort of like Bisquick? This takes a while, and you could possibly get a similar effect by just using a pastry cutter, but it wouldn't be as well-distributed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

CSA Week 6

Another week, more veg! We ate up the yummy green beans already last night, but I'd say it'll probably be salad tonight. Aren't those baby beets cute? And the basil smells divine!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

4-5 cups Rhubarb
½- 1 cup sugar
Yellow or white cake mix
Grease a 9 X 13-inch cake pan. Cut rhubarb into small pieces and put into bottom of cake pan. Fill until it is about ½ inch deep or more. (The more you put in the more you get for your cake. Remember it cooks down.) Sprinkle the rhubarb with sugar. If you like your rhubarb more tart add less sugar more if you like it sweeter. (I like it sweet so I put on a lot.) Mix cake mix according to the box. Pour on top of the rhubarb and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. You will see cake pull away from the sides of your pan when it is cooked enough. Serve cool with ice cream or Cool Whip.
You can also do about the same thing this way. Make the cake – pour in greased pan. Put 3-4 cups of rhubarb on top 1 cup sugar and 1 pint of whipping cream ( just a few extra calories). Then bake.. Cook about 1 hour at 350 degrees. (I made this one last night and it is GREAT!)

Salad - easy no prep

Just wanted to share a great salad we have been making this summer.

Buy a bag of Broccoli Slaw - Poppy Seed Dressing - Gorp (mix of dried fruits and nuts- no chocolate) - Mayo of your choice (I like Miracle Whip)

Mix together - eat!!

Tastes good the next day also.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday Fun #42 - So so summertime

We had BLTs for supper last night. (Well, actually, I had a BLT, Mr. Kluges had a BL, Pumpkin had toast and bacon and frozen peas, and Penguin had a bit of this and a bit of that.)

Anyway, it got me thinking about how much BLTs are a summer food to me. Sure, I could make one in December, but even if you set aside that the tomatoes would likely be crap, it still just wouldn't taste right. It's just not the right time for it. But summer? Mmmmmm, BLT!!!

What's a food that speaks "summer" to you?

Friday, July 11, 2008

CSA Week 5 & Asian-Style Sesame Saute

A big box this week! I think I might end up blanching and freezing some of the peas because there is so much to get through this week. We're also excited to have the first of our mushroom share - yum, portabellas! Already cooked up the Asian saute mix with a recipe from the farm's newsletter. Quick and easy and yummy enough to post, I'd say.

Asian-Style Sesame Saute
Serves 3-4 as a vegetable side.

1 bag (8 oz.) saute mix - I have NO idea what was all in here, but you could do spinach, bok choi, etc.
1/4 c. onion, diced (I skipped this since the girls aren't big on onions.)
2-3 garlic scapes, minced (You could sub a clove of garlic.)
1/8 c. toasted sesame seeds*
1 T. vinegar (I used seasoned rice vinegar.)
2 T. tamari (or other soy sauce)
freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet to moderate heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add the saute mix (or whatever greens you're using) and saute until just wilted. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar, tamari, and pepper. Add sesame seeds, toss, and serve. You may need to adjust the seasons to taste.

*To toast regular sesame seeds, heat a dry (no oil) pan, and cook the sesame seeds in it until light brown, shaking and/or stirring fairly often.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday Fun #41 - Holiday Report

Happy belated Independence Day! I know at least a few of you enjoyed grilling out and/or campfire cooking over the holiday weekend.

What's something you had recently that was cooked over fire?

Bonus points if it was something especially unusual or delicious! And yeah, I figure you probably ALL had s'mores! *grin*

Friday, July 4, 2008

CSA Week 4

No actual CSA post this week, since we're traveling this 4th of July. But through the miracles of blogger and being able to schedule posts, here's some CSA goodness for you this week anyway.

Over on The Wednesday Chef, Luisa writes about Why You Should Belong to a CSA and includes a photo of what she got in her New York CSA box. I love her writing, and she muses about what she's planning on doing with her veggie treasures. It makes me hungry just reading about it.

In case you're curious, here's the homepage for our CSA, which includes their newsletter, which should tell you what we WOULD have gotten this week, had we been around to pick it up.

(But don't worry, the veg won't go to waste - our neighbors are picking it up and get to enjoy it. Who knows - maybe they'll decide to join next year!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday Fun #40 - Brats, Brats, Brats

Independence Day is a great day for brats on the grill. Do you have any particular kind/brand that you love the most? Share your recommendation, please!