Monday, December 01, 2008

Okay, so I didn't post on my cooking day. But, I was running around crazy all day and didn't even start cooking until about 430. The turkey breast I made was absolutely delish. I left out the lemon because I'm not wild about that flavor w/a Thanksgiving meal. I highly recommend this recipe.

But, dear readers. Guess what I'm doing right now? I am sitting here smelling my turkey stock bubbling away on the stove. It should be done in about a half hour, then I can sleep. This is my first stock! I'm very excited to finally use the big stock pot I got as a gift. I hope to come home to meat jello in the fridge tomorrow. I will post pics if all goes well, or if it doesn't...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Superbowl for cooks

Really, is there any more exciting time for a cook than a few days before Thanksgiving? The menu is planned, you have all your ingredients, and now all you have to do is dream about the happiness you will feel as you sit down to eat your feast. Okay, maybe the happiest time for me is actually during the cooking of the meal. I love just being lost in the whole process, spending the whole day in the kitchen. I mean, a whole day that is pretty much completely about food. It doesn't get better than that.

I am making the traditional recipes this year, as usual. I actually only make a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey, because we don't eat the dark meat, so I don't want to put it to waste. Of course, a huge bowl of mashed potatoes, stuffing, the Sweet Potato Casserole recipe I got from the Restaurant Widow last year (AMAZING), Green Bean Casserole (can't help it, we love it), gravy (its practically a side dish), and cranberry sauce (this year I bought a cranberry relish by Yoder's). For dessert, a friend of mine is bringing pumpkin pie, and I'm also making Apple Crisp.

I might do a midday update on Friday (since that is the day I'm actually cooking, Thursday I go to my parents, where everyone else cooks). I'm making Mac 'n Cheese for that day.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! For all you cooks out there, I hope the food turns out delicious, and nothing burns!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quick Update

With mere weeks left until the end of the summer farmers markets, depression has set in. I know, I know, there is the Worthington Winter Market, which I will be trying this year, for sure. But, losing the abundance of fresh veggies every week from local farmers will be quite sad.

However, there is a great option for meat! I know, I can get local meat at the N. Market, and a few other sources that I haven't taken advantage of yet. But, nothing compares to the excitement I have about OMC's winter meat delivery program! Okay, I talked to them a few weeks ago and asked if they were going to be at the winter market. I was told no, but they do a home delivery service in the off season. Just go to their website, email your order to them, and meat comes!! Well, sort of. I signed up for their mailing list at their booth last weekend, and at one of the last few markets coming up they will be passing out magnets with the delivery dates on them. They deliver once a month, with a minimum order requirement of $25 and a $5 delivery fee.

This is great for planning ahead, and they have pretty darn good prices. My winter days might not be quite so dreary.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The last of summer bounty!

Aren't my tiny carrots so ugly and cute? I picked everything in the pics from my garden tonight.

I'll be making some salsa for canning tomorrow w/most of the tomatoes and some jalepenos. I also need to pull my herbs to dry and put in some jars.

I made a few batches of fresh pasta sauce a few weeks ago. Instead of canning, I just froze them. It was my first crack at making sauce from fresh tomatoes. I will say, peeling fresh tomatoes is not my thing. I did use the method of dropping them in boiling water for 30 seconds or so, then shocking them in ice water, so the skins did come right off easily. But, still. I can't imagine doing 30 lbs or more. I would go slightly insane. I guess the one silver lining is that my kitchen is open to the family room, so I can zone out and watch TV while peeling.

I have finally, FINALLY talked a friend of mine into going to the Worthington Market with me. She lives near Grove City, and has been going to their farmers market all summer. I have tried to get her to come w/me to Worthington quite a few times, because the variety there compared to Grove City is quite staggering. She likes the N. Market, too, but there are some vendors at Worthington that I'm quite attached to. OMC, for example. I am addicted to their ground chicken breast. I am using it in place of ground turkey breast in any recipe that calls for it. Plus, it's cheaper than ground turkey breast. Were you guys aware that OMC has a home delivery program in the off season? Check out their site for more info. I'm definitely going to try it out. That helps to ease the pain of the summer markets ending soon. I know there are places where I can buy local meat, but this is so much easier! Right to my door. And, their prices seem perfectly reasonable to me.

So, my point was...OH! That I'm thrilled to finally get her to the Worthington Market. Since I'm used to going to the markets alone, it should be nice to have some company!

Okay, now it's time to watch the Presidential Debate!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ohio Sweet Corn & Bacon Tortellini

This is a recipe I made about a month ago, and am just getting around to posting, as the corn season winds down. It is great served hot, cold or room temperature!

Ohio Sweet Corn & Bacon Tortellini

4 ears of sweet corn, blanched and cut off cob
4 slices bacon
1 package fresh tortellini (I'm not sure of the size, I used the cheese tortellini from Trader Joe's)
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp basil, chopped fine
extra virgin olive oil
freshly shaved parmesan

Cut bacon into pieces, cook in 12 inch skillet or saute pan until crisp, remove, leaving 1 tbsp of fat in skillet. While cooking bacon, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the tortellini.

Add onions to skillet and cook until translucent. Cook tortellini while onions are cooking.

Add corn to the skillet with onions, as well as the basil. Once the tortellini is done, drain and add to the skillet and toss.

Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly shaved parm. Even better, make some garlic bread on the side.
Okay, I know, I haven't updated in a loooooooong time. I have been cooking, I promise! And, attending the farmer's markets every weekend, of course. The past month has been so amazing at the markets! Anything I could want, for the most part, I can find. I didn't attend the winter market in Worthington last year, but I know I will be there all winter this year. From anyone who has attended, what should I expect?

Today I am home, as a result of the insane wind storms yesterday. We were pretty lucky, our power was out from about 4PM to 830PM. It came back on just as it was getting really dark. We have plenty of limbs and branches in our yard, including a big tree from our neighbors yard that has a huge limb hanging on some wires and into part of our yard. Our neighbor to the side had a gorgeous Cherry tree that would hang over into our yard (free cherries!) that completely snapped and will have to be totally removed. I'll take some pictures later and upload. My camera battery is currently charging.

Other than the tree debris, we have no other damage. All of my veggies are fine, and no shingles or siding came off the house. I hope everyone else is doing okay!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Covet Thy Neighbor's Bounty

My neighbors have a huge grapevine that is located right over my fence. I want to plant one!

Grapevine. Look at that nasty old rusted fence. We are supposed to be replacing it next year. I will be slightly sad, though. With the new privacy fence, I will no longer get to covet the grapes...

Yummy grapes. I seriously want to steal some. Just a quick reach over the fence...well, when they are ripe.
Garden Update!

Finally, everything in my garden is really started to come along. Better late than never!

Baby tomato!

Cucumber plants.


Bell Pepper

My garden. The peppers are on the left, tomatoes in the middle, herbs on the right. You can see my compost bin in the background, and my neighbor's grapevine, which I will be posting pics of soon. (jealousy)
Peach Crisp

Peach Raspberry Crisp
From the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

4 to 5 pounds firm, ripe peaches (10 to 12 large peaches)
1 orange, zested
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pint raspberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish.

Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl. Add the orange zest, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the raspberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the peaches into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of the peaches and raspberries. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until warm.

I made this with about 1.5 lbs of peaches that I bought at the N. Market (can't remember the farm), and no raspberries. I have made the recipe before with raspberries, and definitely prefer it without. I halved just about all the other amounts, including the topping, and it turned out perfectly. Serve with a scoop of ice cream while the crisp is stil warm, of course.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Farmer's Markets

This is gonna be a quick and picture-less update, as I am wiped out! At the N. Market, I ended up getting some zucchini for griling tomorrow, red potatoes, green beans, scallions, some peaches for a small crisp, some of the Blue Jacket Grillin' Cheese (my first one!), cucumbers, and a dozen ears of corn for $4.50 from Wishwell farms, I believe. Still a little pricey, but the cheapest I saw. If corn stays this expensive, I doubt I will be buying much of it this year.

Then I headed to Worthington, a little later than usual, and got there around 915ish. It was so packed, I literally drove for 10 minutes without finding a parking spot. I ended up just leaving. I was meeting a friend down at the Grove City market, and needed to be there by 10.

At this market, I got 10 banana peppers for $1 (gotta find a use for those! Any suggestions?), some tarragon infused white wine vinegar for my french potato salad, a few jalepenos for my chicken tortilla soup im making tonight, some shallots, and 2 jars of my favorite strawberry jam. I was planning on keeping it light today, but you can see I didn't really do that...I think I ended up spending about $40.

I am planning a feast tomorrow with a lot of the stuff I bought today, so I will try to remember to take some pictures and post.