Archive for May, 2012

May 29, 2012

Arugula and Garlic Scape Pesto

Since we are just getting into our CSA season, I will share with you another creation from our fabulous box from Red Wagon Farms. We got the idea for garlic scape pesto from their blog, but after tasting the garlic scapes, we thought they might be a bit too spicy on their own. Luckily, we also got some arugula in our box so I added a few handfuls to the pesto. We ended up with a fresh and bright pesto just perfect for spring.

Kelly & Mary

Arugula and Garlic Scape Pesto

5-10 fresh garlic scapes, roughly chopped

3-4 handfuls of arugula

1 cup Parmesan or other hard cheese, grated

1/4 – 1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2-1 cup olive oil

*Zest* and juice of 1 lemon

1 Tomato chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Add garlic scapes, arugula, cheese, *zest* and nuts to a food processor and begin to process. Add the oil and lemon juice gradually until you have the consistency you prefer, from very thick to rather thin. Adjust the amount of garlic scapes to your taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook pasta al dente and drain, reserving about a cup of pasta water. Toss pasta with pesto and chopped tomato, thinning with pasta water to evenly distribute. Top with shredded parmesan and fresh cracked black pepper.

May 27, 2012

CSA Soup

As we told you earlier this week, we got our first CSA box of the season! Participating in CSA is amazing for so many reasons: it means fresh local food all summer, you get to support local farmers, and you get a surprise in a box every week! Because we don’t know what is coming each week, it presents a challenge of creating something out of what you bring home. This week’s box included braising greens…LOTS of greens. I have wanted to make white bean and escarole soup for a while, so was born my CSA version. Fresh greens + spring onions + spring garlic + a few pantry items = healthy bean and veggie soup! Great for a cool spring evening. Add whatever veggies are your favorite for some variety. You can make this a day or two ahead and it makes great leftovers for lunch. J

Kelly

White Bean and Braising Greens Soup

Inspired by Bon Appétit via Epicurious

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 large carrots, cut into small dice

6 spring garlic bulbs, peeled, finely diced (or 5 cloves of garlic flattened to be removed after sauté)

4 cups (packed) 1-inch pieces braising greens

4 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth or low-salt chicken stock

2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained

1 14 1/2- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic and sauté until onion is golden and tender, about 7 minutes.

Add braising greens; stir 3 minutes.

Add 4 cups broth, beans and tomatoes and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until escarole is tender and flavors blend, about 20 minutes. Thin with more broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with an arugula salad dressed with lemon and enjoy!

May 23, 2012

First CSA of the Season!

Got our first CSA box of the season from our local Red Wagon Farms…

Hmm… what will we do with our broccoli rabe, garlic, walking onions, turnips, braising greens and arugula?

We’ll see and let you know. P.S. Any ideas?

~Mary

 

May 19, 2012

Another May Day, Another Birthday!

May is a busy month for us: we kick off the month with Dad’s birthday, then Ali’s birthday, and Mother’s Day not to mention the end of high school golf season (which I coach). Trying to come up with something new to make each day feel special is always a challenge. This year I found some inspiration on Pinterest for some adorable golf inspired cupcakes. Perfect for my sister (and my golf team)! If you have a golfer in your life, these are a great novelty. There wasn’t a recipe for these so I found recipes from some of my favorite places and Mary and I winged the decorations. The cake ended up more like a muffin which was a nice balance for the rich frosting. You could use any of your favorite components as the backdrop for these cupcakes. They are a bit labor intensive, but definitely worth the impact. Have fun with these!

Kelly


 

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Sprinkles Famous Dark Chocolate Frosting

 

After preparing the cupcakes and letting them cool, prepare the frosting according to directions. Frost the cupcakes generously. Finely crush 3 graham crackers and set aside. Use a small spoon to make a depression for the “sand trap.” Cover the frosting with green sugar sprinkles. Carefully fill the depression with the crushed graham crackers. Use a dragée as a golf ball and add the flags for the final touch! I ended up making flags with some toothpicks and file labels folded in half and trimmed. J

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day!

Wishing all of you mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day! We are Loving spending a family day together in honor of Mary. How are you honoring your mom today?

Kelly &
Ali

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May 7, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Springtime doesn’t exactly bring to mind spaghetti and meatballs, but if my dad had a favorite meal, it would involve “red sauce” every time. The last few years we have made a tradition of making his favorite for his birthday. Silky and rich marinara plus rich and homey meatballs make this the perfect family dinner. Also, just for my dad, every birthday means a pie. This year’s was a new one for us and a favorite for him: strawberry rhubarb. My dad’s grandpa used to always ask his grandma: “What kind of pie do you have?” and she always had one, every night. Gotta love life on a farm! This pie was super tasty, but as it was a memory recipe, I will have to develop a complete one to share with you. J

This ended up being a perfect homey birthday meal. Happy Birthday Dad!

Kelly

 

Birthday Spaghetti and Meatballs

Classic Marinara

From Lidia’s Italy

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 35-ounce can peeled Italian plum tomatoes, seeded and lightly crushed, with their liquid
kosher salt
peperoncino
10 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a 2 to 3-quart nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife, toss them into the oil, and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Carefully slide the tomatoes and their liquid into the oil. (My suggestion is to reduce the heat and then add the tomatoes and liquid all at once. If you add a bit at a time it will splatter EVERYWHERE, take my word for it!) Bring to a boil, and season lightly with salt and peperoncino. Lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, and cook, breaking up the tomatoes with a whisk (best tool ever for this job!), until the sauce is chunky and thick, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the basil about 5 minutes before the sauce is finished. Taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

**A couple notes: I use about half the amount of oil and it works out just fine (the photos above are for a recipe about 2.5x). I like to try to cut the fat down, just a bit. Don’t be afraid to adjust the seasonings as you like, I always make this just a little different. I find every can of tomatoes is just a little different and sometimes they need a little more acid (think sherry or red wine vinegar) and sometimes they need some more sweetness or spice. Just have fun with it!

Meatballs

Adapted From Rao’s

Makes about 28 meatballs

 

1 pound ground lean beef

½ pound ground veal

½ pound ground pork

2 large eggs

1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

2 cups lukewarm water

Salt & pepper to taste

Cooking Spray

 

Preheat oven to 350°. Tear good, fresh bread into a food processor and pulse until you have coarse bread crumbs.

Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add eggs, cheese, parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, blend ingredients together. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add water, ½ cup at a time, until the mixture is quite moist. Shape the meat mixture into balls (2½ to 3 inch balls). Place the meatballs on a baking sheet as you go, leaving a bit of space between each of the meatballs.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden and nearly done.

Lower cooked meatballs into simmering Marinara Sauce and cook for 15 minutes.

Serve with al dente spaghetti.

**Note: add the water slowly. I usually end up closer to 1-1 ½ cups and it is just perfect. Make the meatballs whatever size you prefer. I have made them on the small side as well as the 2 ½ inch size and both are wonderful. I bake these to save on the hassle (and fat) that comes with frying. They are still tender and delicious.

May 5, 2012

Instant Flower Arrangement

The end of the daffodils and beginning of the snowball presented an opportunity for a small arrangement.

In a clear vase, I wrapped a single daylily leaf twisted around the outside of the vase. Gently placed an upside down tri-bloom of a daffy and one double snowball on top!

And, yes, I did get my daffodils and daylily collection from White Flower Farms and they came out great in the yard.

Mary

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