the last supper…before the dining hall reopens

While school doesn’t officially start until August 30, yesterday was my first day back to work, with dorm planning in the afternoon.  I’m realizing that going back to school is very similar as a teacher as it was when I was a student.  To some degree, I’m really bummed the summer is over.  I enjoy reading, crafting and baking.  On the other hand, this week I’m beginning to get bored being home all day.  Perhaps its because I planned my crafting well and all my major projects – fixing up the apartment, knitting baby presents, and working on my quilt – have now been completed, but Thursday I sort of just wandered around trying to figure out what I should do with myself.  I think I am putting pressure on myself to make this last week of break relaxing, but productive, while also fun.  It’s not really working out.

Last night, for my last hurrah before the dining hall reopens, life gets crazy, and I only bake for the boys on duty night, I decided to make a really tasty dinner with fresh tomato sauce using CSA tomatoes, meatballs, creamed corn, and a peach tart (Baking by Dorie Greenspan).  It was a little over three hours or prep, cooking, and dishes, but I loved every minute.  When the meatballs took slightly longer than I anticipated, I decided to cap the meal off by getting out our wedding China.  David wasn’t quite as excited about cooking for two hours when he got home from work, but he participated willingly, especially once he tasted dinner and then had leftover meatball sandwiches today.

Let’s just say it was a night well spent, capped off by watching the new British miniseries Sherlock on instant netflix.  If you like CSI or Castle then you should give this a try, it was really good, but the episodes are on the long side at 1.5 hours.

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weekly csa round up

wk 7 share: lettuce, tomatos, green pepper, garlic, onions, cantaloupe, oregano, parsley, watermelon, tomatoes, jalapenos, corn

This is probably the last week of real cooking and eating at home because school gets going next week.  Most of the ‘meals’ for this week are some version of a potluck, so next week’s list of recipes will be a lot of salads.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  As far as last week’s share we did pretty well this.  We had a few vegetables that we couldn’t quite finish, but we ate at least half of everything and often everything.  Here’s how it happened.

Tuesday: Ratatouille from an old edition of the William Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook
Veggies Eaten: Zucchini, Onion, Eggplant, Tomato, Thyme, Green Pepper
Comment: This would definitely be better as a side and not a main dish, we were left hungry.  We also confirmed our dislike of eggplant.

Thursday: Chicken Tostadas and Salsa
Veggies Eaten: Tomatoes, Radishes, Lettuce, Onions, Jalapeno
Comment: I have always loved this recipe.  This is probably the real recipe of the week, but I knew I liked it so I’m going to give it to something that was new this week.

Saturday: Arugula, Corn, and Bacon Pizza from the Minimalist Cooks at Dinner
Veggies Eaten: Arugula, Corn
Comment: This recipe has potential.  It would probably be better with cheese (either Parm or Moz) and the Arugula should be added after cooking rather than before as the recipe requires.

Sunday:  Vegetable Frittata with Asiago Cheese  
Veggies Eaten: Zucchini, Tomatoes
Comment: Really good.

Monday: Potato, Green Bean, and Pesto Pasta from the Minimalist Cooks Dinner 
Veggies Eaten: Green Beans, Potato, Garlic Scapes
Comment: This recipe may have been improved by using regular pesto and not the garlic scape pesto that I made weeks ago and froze, but even then it was pretty bland and needed both salt and cheese to be edible.

Recipe of the Week: Vegetable Frittata with Asiago Cheese

 

weekly csa round-up

wk 6 share: radishes, arugula, carrots, sungold tomatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, green beans, zucchini, jalapeno, eggplant, corn, green peppers, herbs

It’s getting easier and easier to eat vegetables.  Of course this week, we had my mom’s help and then took some with us down to Connecticut when we visited friends.

Tuesday: Steak, Beet Salad (from my friend Mia), and green salad
veggies eaten: beets, lettuce, cucumber, green pepper, carrots

Thursday: Stuffed Green Peppers (from The New Best Recipe), Green Salad
 veggies eaten: green pepper,  tomato, lettuce, corn, green pepper
comment: in theory these sound really good, but this recipe was a little bland.

Saturday: Zucchini, Tomato, and Mozzarella Sandwiches (created by my friend TJ), Fish Tacos, Corn, Salsa (created by my friend Hannah)
veggies eaten: zucchini, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, corn
comments: everything was delicious.  The sandwiches were grilled zucchini, with fresh sliced tomato, homemade pesto, mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, and toasted bread.  I really want to try to replicate this, especially for a weekend lunch.

Monday: Chicken, Potato Gruyere Gratin
veggies eaten: potatoes
comments: The potato gratin was great and fairly quick, but it was meant to go with this lamb dish, but our lamb went bad while we were out of town so we had to substitute chicken.

Recipe of the Week: TJ’s Zucchini and Tomato Sandwiches

weekly csa round-up

wk 5 share: tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, lettuce, cilantro, parsley,green pepper, corn, cucumber, onions, green beans, jalapenos, red potatoes

This is the first week that we have eaten almost all of the vegetables.  We only missed about a fourth of the spinach, half a tomato, and two potatoes.  It was amazing how much more vegetables we were able to eat when we had a third mouth helping us at lunch and dinner.

Tuesday: Hamburgers and Veggies saute
veggies eaten: zucchini, green beans, and carrots

Wednesday: spinach, potato, and salmon in parchment paper (from Martha Stewart Living: New Classics)
veggies eaten: spinach, potato
comment: tasted great and was really fast to make and clean-up

Thursday: Lasagna and a salad
 veggies eaten: tomato, spinach, lettuce, green pepper, carrot, cucumber, onion

Monday: Individual Chicken Pot Pies, a salad, strawberry cake
veggies eaten:  onions, carrots, green beans, lettuce, cucumber, green pepper
comment:  the pies were great, as suggested in a comment I used crescent rolls.  I could probably have just used one triangle instead of a whole square.  I also think it would be possible to add more vegetables like potatoes or peas.  The strawberry cake was incredible.  I had already made it once for a dinner and the group of six finished it.  When I saw a buy one get one container of strawberries I couldn’t resist.

Recipe of the Week: Individual Chicken Pot Pies 

weekly csa wrap-up

wk 4 share: cucumbers, onions, red potatoes, tomato, beets, green beans, green peppers, parsley, spinach, lettuce

While we didn’t eat all the veggies this week, we really did pretty good given that we were out of town two of the days and ate dinner at a friend’s house on a third night.  What I am realizing is that we find a lot of good recipes that include veggies for sides, but it is harder to incorporate a lot of veggies into a main dish.  It feels like we do a fair amount of chicken and side-dish of veggies.  Tuesday we were able to eat a lot of the veggies because they were incorporated into the main dish, so if you know any sources for summery (no stews or hot soups) and tasty veggie-ful main dishes, let me know.

Tuesday: falafel, tstziki sauce and baba ganhoush – both from The New Best Recipe cookbook — and store-bought hummus
       veggies eaten: cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, tomato, dill
       comment: everything was great!

Wednesday: baked ziti with spinach and tomatoes and a salad
      veggies eaten: salad greens, carrots, cucumber, spinach
      comment: tasted great, but next time could do less sausage and a lot more spinach

Monday: grilled chicken with veggetable saute
      veggies eaten: carrots, zucchini, green beans

Recipe of the Week: Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes

eating veggies is hard

wk 3 share: spinach, salad greens, eggplant, summer squash, lettuce, tomato, green beans, carrots, cucumber, basil, dill

So last week at this time, I was feeling pretty proud of David and I.  We ate an impressive amount veggies and found many tasty  ways of doing it.  I was all, this CSA thing is awesome and easy.  This week was slightly more challenging.  A lot of what we made we either didn’t like or I messed up the recipe.  So we ate part of each veggie, but ended up throwing out a lot of the leftovers.  This made me decide that I need to give a report on meals so that next year I know, which ones worked.

  • : Rosemary Chicken and Summer Squash
    veggies eaten: summer squash, salad greens
     report: too lemony for me, but it cooked up quick
  • Wednesday: Chicken Paillards with Green Bean Salad (Martha Stewart Magazine); Zucchini Bread (Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)
    veggies eaten: green beans, salad greens, zucchini 
    report
    : I really liked the salad and it was easy to make, I thought she called for too much ham I would half it or maybe quarter the amount
  • Thursday: Hamburgers with Fennel Cole Slaw and French Fries
    veggies eaten: fennel, carrots 
    report: David did a great job with the hamburgers, but I didn’t like the coleslaw, part of it was that the fennel smelled like black licorice when I cut it, which bothered me, I also really wanted the coleslaw Andy made when we were in Wichita and this just didn’t cut it
  • Friday: Citrus and Beet Salad
    veggies eaten: beets
    report: we took this to a dinner and people seemed to like it, but David and I weren’t crazy about it.  I was really wanting a dish I vaguely remember that Mia made when she had a crafting party and this wasn’t nearly as good as that
  • Sunday: Kale, Sausage and Lentil Supper Skillet
    veggies eaten: kale 
    report: This dish has real potential.  I misread the directions and accidentally simmered w/lid off rather than on so the lentils were really crunchy, the flavor was good
  • Monday: Leftovers

Recipe of the Week: Zucchini Bread from Magnolia’s Bakery Cookbook