Anotheryarn Eats

September 21, 2009

the other peaches

Filed under: food preservation, thoughts — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 4:35 pm

Our 20 pound box of peaches came with two layers.  I forgot to count when we started grabbing peaches for baking, eating and cooking, but did remember to count once the first batch of salsa had been made.  The bottom layer had 24 peaches on it, so I figure we started out with 40-50 peaches (if each peach actually averaged 7 oz, based unscientifically on one weighed peach, we had about 45 peaches).

The peach preservation stats:
12- frozen
8- salsa
6- peach lavender jam
6 – cranberry-peach conserve

In addition to salsa, jam and frozen peaches we used some up right away.  I made peach muffins the morning after we got the box.  1 peach gave me 1 1/4 cups of roughly diced peach (though this did not hold true for the rest of my measuring).  And 4 peaches, cooked into 2 cups of very thick peach nectar.  I think I actually screwed the recipe up somehow since it measured peaches in quarts and I suspect was referring to the picking basket quart and not a volume quart.  With the peach nectar I made the Peach Iced Tea from Super Natural Foods.

4 – peach nectar for iced tea
1 – buttermilk peach muffins

That adds up to 37 peaches.  One had a bad spot that grew too much before I got around to using it (38 peaches) and the rest must have been eaten in hand, probably at least one peach per day during the duration of my canning craziness (that definitely gets us in the 45-50 count range).

And the results:

3 pints of salsa (the 4th was a hair shy of water-bath ready so we just enjoyed most of it that night with chips and then stuck the jar in the fridge)
9 half pints of peach lavender jam (the recipe was supposed to make 6 cups, I’m not sure what happened)
8 half pints + a couple leftover tablespoons of cranberry-peach conserve (again was supposed to yield 6 cups)

The lesson learned – always prep at least one extra jar, you might not use it but it is much better than scrambling to prep more jars when you still have hot jam in the pot and have filled all the jars. I prepped 5 pint jars for salsa and only used 4; I prepped 8 jars for the jam-round 1 and scrambled for a 9th, which didn’t even fit in my water-bath and so went straight to the fridge; I prepped 5 pint jars for salsa and only used 4; luckily I instinctively prepped 8 jars for jam-round 2. The extra jam also meant I had to go back to the store for a second box of half-pint jars, and I ended up with the regular mouth half-pints instead of the wide-mouth half-pints since the former was on sale while the latter was not. What are those four red filled jars on the left? That will be explained in the pickle post.


August 19, 2009

apparently I didn’t cook last week

Filed under: almost a recipe, thoughts — Tags: , , , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 4:25 pm

At least that is what my list and photographs tell me. But now as I recap for you, it sure seems like I did cook. Two meals on Tuesday, a simple meal on Thursday (pot of pinto beans), a summer feast on Sunday and desperation burritos on Monday (done by TheHusband since I was simply too famished to cook and he had happily munched on fruit all evening).

lunchTuesday, around lunch time, I didn’t want to cook (it was a trend) but needed to eat. So I decided to make make a quick bean salad. It started with a can of garbonzo beans, then I grabbed a small zucchini, make that two, that needed to be eaten – oh a quick saute in olive oil with some herbs (actually I’ve been using Penzey’s Mural of Flavor as my go-to lazy blend lately), then I decided to chuck in some kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes (see what did I tell you? boring to hmmm, this is pretty good). Hmm, I think this needs a little bit of tart, so I splashed the last of my red wine vinegar in the bowl and scooped myself up about half of it lest I loose control and eat the entire bowl. IM not generally accurate O this made two nice sized servings. I took the bowl and my laptop outside to enjoy the fabulous weather (high of 75) hoping it would inspire me to start writing – but it didn’t.

IMG_7144Tuesday night I decided that something must be done about our over-flowing fridge. I cleaned out all the icky leftovers (sigh, I hate when I don’t effectively manage our leftover consumption) and made a big mess of roasted vegetables as well as a potato-celeriac mash (woooo! that darn celeriac is finally gone). Does anyone happen to know if celeriac always floats when in water or was mine just really too old to cook? Trust me, you don’t really want a recipe for either of these things. This mess o’ roasted vegetables contained: summer squashes, onions, carrots, green beans and kohlrabi.

summerdinnerSkipping all the way to Sunday night, we made a very Summer Meal, if a bit on the yellow side. Corn on the cob (from the grocery store, because I was craving it), sauteed summer squash (yet again with that Mural of Flavor) and a big green salad (lettuce, cucumber, carrots, radishes all from the CSA and a tomato from the FM) topped with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. This time I didn’t follow a recipe, and just sort of chucked stuff in, only grabbing a small measuring cup to get more or less equal quantities of sour cream, mayo and buttermilk. It also had garlic, salt, a handful of chives, a handful of dried parsley (oops, forgot that at the store) and black pepper. I did end up adding a bit more buttermilk to get it to a thinner consistency. We should have had green beans too, but that would have required a third pot, which seemed like two pots too many for such a simple meal and TheHusband declared corn, squash and salad enough food.

Finally on Monday, we had a late dinner of burritos, using some leftover beans and my thankfully already cleaned lettuce (with the usual tortillas, cheese, salsa and sour cream). Photos were forgotten as I scarffed down the food. Besides, a photo of a burrito is generally not so hot – all that white on my white plates.

first week August condensed

Filed under: thoughts — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 2:24 pm

8/3: What did we eat?  I simply don’t remember, but I suspect it wasn’t at home since I have no pictures of food from that day

quiche8/4: Quiche with that chard, yup that chard that amazingly made it in my fridge for way longer than I expected.  I jazzed it up with the remaining feta and some oil-packed sun dried tomatoes – they might no longer be “in” with the foodie crowd but they sure can give a bit oomph to an otherwise drab dish and I consider them a posh pantry staple

indian8/4: Crazily, despite being a Tuesday (share night) and cooking one dish that could have been dinner, but was intended for lunches I had to go and make an indian “feast” (I joke about feast because I generally make one-pot type dinners and this required 1 pot, 2 pans and a few bowls).  If there had been anyway that I could have just had us eat quiche for dinner I would have, but I’d had ingredients for these two dishes sitting in my fridge for over a week and kept putting off cooking them due to the horrible heat.  That cauliflower wasn’t going to last forever, neither was the cabbage, and I’d already re-bought the potatoes once (after using the first round for the yummy green bean and potato salads that I made).  Anyway.  I cooked up a storm that Tuesday night and had the dishes to prove in on Wednesday morning (also, we ate after 10 pm – oops).  Smitten Kitchen’s Red Lentils with Cabbage (love, so making this again, but my version came out much soupier than her version), Aloo Gobi supposedly from Bend it Like Beckham; every transcription I’ve seen of this recipe seems to leave something out, whether a measurement or ingredient on the list, I think I looked at about half a dozen aloo gobi recipes before settling on following this one – but it turned out nicely in the end other than needing a longer cooking time that stated) and raita from The Moosewood Cookbook.  And of course garlic naan from TJs (basically I bribe TheHusband into eating indian spiced dishes by providing garlic naan).

8/6: Camping!  and eating the leftover crustless quiche, heated up by wrapping it in foil and leaving it on the grate over the campfire.  A nice crusty bread would have rounded out the meal nicely, but no such luck.

camping8/7: Camping!  And eating delicious grilled sausages (don’t have ketchup?  order some onion rings at a fast food place on the drive to the camp site), and super pretty veggie hobo packets.  Seriously, I should start looking for purple potatoes whenever camping is in plans.  These hobo packets are made like so, this time with red bell pepper, carrots, yellow squash (CSA!), potatoes and a couple garlic cloves per packet.  We are still figuring out campfire cooking and that sweet heat spot that allows for some char while not blackening one side of the food and leaving the other side raw – this night we settled for nicely steamed packets – no char but everything is cooked through.  Some campmates shared their baked beans, heated oh so classically in the can over the fire.  Sometimes I like to go all out coming up with new camping meals, other times it is nice to be able to fall back on the standards.

And recapping this week made me exhausted from thinking of that Tuesday cooking marathon.

August 18, 2009

end of july condensed

Filed under: thoughts — anotheryarn @ 10:44 pm
raspberriesIt was hot.  I didn’t want to cook.  In fact one day I opened the fridge and all I wanted to eat was a bowl of raspberries, so I did.  Then I wondered why raspberries felt so decadent, perhaps it is because when I bought them in the grocery store I had to wait for those itty bitty half-pint things to go on sale, while when I buy them at the Farmer’s Market as part of a half-flat I can get them for 2.50 a pint, which makes my bowl of raspberries come in at a whopping $1.25, I know I’ve made meals that cost more than that per serving.  Plus a little restrained decadence is good now & then.

tacos7/30: took advantage of the crockpot and made a pot of black beans which became tasty tasty tacos with finely shredded cabbage, cucumbers, cheese, cilantro, salsa and soft corn tortillas (it is after all well above 90 and the kitchen would become hellishly hot if we tried to fry the tortillas)

vb cucumbers7/31: frozen TJ’s veggie masala burger with cucumber slices and cheddar cheese – my toaster oven to the rescue.  I try to keep some frozen veggie burgers and pitas in the freezer to make quick lunches, and I should remember how great cucumber slices are as a side-dish

veggie pan8/2: While at the Farmer’s Market I decide to make veggie pan bagnat.  It turns out the veggie pan bagnat is/are much better on baguettes than foccocia

CFTB saladI also picked up a few tomatoes at the farmers market and finally was able to make the long awaited cucumber-feta-tomato-basil salad (with this version turning out much prettier than last year’s version)

zucchini feta8/3: Things are cooling down finally.  I make a batch of confused leftovers with sauteed green beans, eggplant, red bell pepper, green onions and curry powder (not worth recreating) for lunch and then we finally make zucchini-feta pancakes for dinner (with mint from my own mint plant) and plain yogurt along side.

I still didn’t manage to make my planned indian “feast” or the crustless quiche with the chard I prepped last week.  Oh well.

July 8, 2009

week 1 roundup

Filed under: almost a recipe, thoughts — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 3:41 pm

We successfully used up most of our veggies before yesterday’s pickup.  Except the lamb’s stuff which I learned was actually called lamb’s quarters.  TheHusband and I both nibbled on a leaf and went, “huh, doesn’t taste like much” so I’m not sure what to do, at least I have more info for research.

On Friday, as planned, I finally made our first CSA meal (opposed to using a single green onion and radish in some salad), and it turned out well enough, not amazing but with good potential.  Instead of following the recipe I just used it as a guideline.  It turns out that bulgar is a great grain for hot weather cooking if you have an electric kettle.  Just pour some boiling water over it and let it sit.  I only had 4 tiny beets (think the size of radishes) and about 1 1/2 oz of feta, so I diced both of those and added it to 1 cup of cooked bulgar (leaving another cup or so in the bowl for another use).  Finally I tossed the now pink bulgar with ribbons of swiss chard and gave a squeeze of lemon juice and dash of olive oil over everything.  It was visually vibrant but  otherwise underwhelming, but served as lunch anyways.  I think more beets (and maybe feta) would have been a vast improvement.  Incidentally, TheHusband showed me a new trick to clean beet stained plastic cutting boards, he scrubbed it with a bit of Bon Ami before washing it.

Chard Beet & Bulgar Salad

Friday night we made fabulous grilled zucchini sandwiches.  These didn’t use any of our current CSA produce, but did use stuff that could have been CSA produce so I will do a separate post (I think they are worthy).  Here is a tease:


On Saturday I made a nice big green salad, using up our remaining radishes but no other CSA veggies.  It was your run of the mill salad with lettuce, radishes, cucumber, grated carrots and cherry tomatoes.

On Sunday we had a filling, late lunch out and then just at the leftover green salad for dinner.  So much for using the kale that night.

On Monday I made a simple kale & pasta dish that turned out nicely.  I washed the kale and chopped it fairly small (aiming for 1″ squares, but not precise at all).  I boiled whole wheat spaghetti and about half-way through the cooking time I heated a large saute pan with olive oil.  I added 3 smooshed cloves of garlic and good sprinkle of red pepper flakes and about 4 sliced green onions.  Once that was soft I added all the kale, gave it a quick stir and covered it.  Then just before the timer went off for the pasta I pulled about 1 cup of the pasta water from the pan (a metal measuring cup makes this easy) and poured about 1/2 of over the kale to help it wilt, oh and pinch of salt.  I drained the pasta, checked the kale (bright green, mostly soft but with a slight bite) and then added the pasta to that pan, tossing everything together (all the pasta water hadn’t yet evaporated).  6 oz of pasta and 1 small-medium bunch of kale made 2 generous dinner servings.


Right after making dinner on Monday I made another bulgar wheat salad for weekday lunches, this time with zucchini, mushrooms and parsley (oh an a few green onions – I’m just throwing those suckers everywhere at the moment).  That too will be its own post due to yumminess.

June 2, 2009

Now what do I do with all this kale?

Filed under: thoughts — anotheryarn @ 6:11 pm

I first learned of kale in some low-key, non-glossy, “real life” magazine my mom had subscribed to during college.  I started buying bunches of it (cheap – woo!) and sauteing it with garlic, serving it over pasta and sometimes drizzled with soy sauce (now I wonder ‘why?’).  Did I ever make anything else with it?  I’m not sure.  When I got married I did this less, since TheHusband isn’t as fond of kale as I am.  Queue the CSA and 16 bunches of kale over the course of 22 weeks (not to mention the swiss chard).

This year, it seems my mom has finally taken my advice to grow some kale, and now she has asked me, “but what do you do with kale?  Do you boil it?  Steam it?”  Um….. NO! and I guess you could but that sounds awful bland to me.  So what did I do with kale last year?  I found evidence of 14 meals made with kale.  I’m looking forward to making 4 of them again:

Bitter Greens with Sweet Onions and Sour Cherries (served with polenta)
Black Bean, Quinoa and Kale Burritos
Moroccan Kale Tagine

Bitter Greens with Sweet Onions and Sour Cherries (served with polenta)

Black Bean, Quinoa and Kale Burritos

Trouchia (but I think I prefer cooking it in a pan in the oven for ease of removal)

Moroccan Kale Tagine

So what else would I make with kale?  I’ll probably try another soup, and keep throwing it together with pasta and garlic (so why not add a little cheese and white beans for protein?) – that is the one instance that I think the lacinto/dinosaur kale is preferable to other varieties.  Hmmm, what is buried in my delicious bookmarks on kale?  I’d love more suggestions.

And how do you prep it anyway?  Generally I wash it, making sure to check the curly recesses for dirt and sand, shake off the excess water and quickly strip the leafy bits from the stem with my hands.  From there I either coarsely chop or finely chop depending on the recipe.  I think kale stands up to a saute and think that sauteing is a lot easier and faster than boiling water for steaming.  Personally the only time I liked the kale blanched was in the burritos (and that was as much about quickly reducing bulk as anything else), braising however has high hopes as the tagine proved to be delicious.

April 10, 2009

Such a helpful grocery store employee

Filed under: thoughts — anotheryarn @ 5:01 pm

A few weeks ago I bought a bunch of local, wild, watercress.  I mulled over what to do with for so long that it, ahem, went yellow and slimy on me.  Of course by the time I realized this I already had the avocado to make this Grapefruit and Watercress salad from Everyday Food.  So last night while TheHusband was at the grocery store I asked him to pick up a bunch of watercress.  I knew the store had it because I had seen it earlier this week while grocery shopping.  Our phone reception was crummy though and so TheHusband asked a grocery store employee for help (someone from the produce department no less).

When TheHusband got home I asked how finding the watercress went, “oh fine, the checker even knew what it was, this rooty looking thing.” And I think “uh oh” I’m too familiar with telling the checker what type of green leafy object is in the bag – and watercress tends to have roots attached but I’d never describe it as “rooty”.  And TheHusband pulls out a big chunk of celeriac.  Doh.

April 3, 2009

Announcement of Sorts

Filed under: thoughts — anotheryarn @ 4:37 pm

I’ve let the food blogging linger.  I had grand intentions of doing a breakfast recipes interlude while waiting for the next CSA season to start – but I also felt like I should finish up using the CSA veggies before starting on breakfast recipes and I just wasn’t grabbing the squash, potatoes and cabbage on as regular basis as I should have.  In February I thought I got through all of our remaining CSA produce with the potatoes it turns out I forgot about the winter squash stashed in the garage.  I think I managed to let a couple of the winter squashes from the CSA go bad, but they might have also been the winter squash I picked up on our annual fall visit to apple orchards.  Now I have two delicata squash and one pie pumpkin still to use, but I have decided to start a weekly breakfast post too.

I also have been overwhelmed by the pure drudgery of creating a comprehensive index the way I really want it to be.  Instead I took a couple hours last night and made a list of all the veggies we got from the CSA (thank goodness for my handy-dandy excel chart of our weekly shares) and linked them to their tags.  A couple veggies listed are not linked because I never managed to make something with them before they went bad 😦  You can find this list, in the right-hand column of the blog it is called What can I make with…

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Filed under: thoughts — anotheryarn @ 1:28 pm

I find it a little bit sad that it took me 2 weeks to post that last recipe even though I brought my laptop with me during our christmas travels.  I am enjoying the food blogging gig as a way to track what we eat and sometimes inspire me to step out of cooking ruts and try new things purely for the sake of posting them.  I thought that I would be able to take the month of December off, or at least manage to do some sort of recap and fix errant tagging, and start fresh in January with a new focus – breakfast.  But there are still a few lingering CSA vegetables in my fridge (and freezer, but I believe I managed to write about those as they hit the freezer).  What is left, a good one month after the weekly shares ended?

  • one questionable turnip (I had to toss the other turnip out as it was a bit moldy – drats)
  • one questionable small head of red cabbage
  • one questionable smallish head of green cabbage

Soup would be an obvious answer to using up these vegetables, unfortunately my freezer is full and that includes at least 8 cups of soup from the past few months. We did manage to use the last of the carrots up yesterday in our veggie lasagna, but I really don’t think a layer of grated carrots in lasagna is enough to constitute a full blog post about using my CSA veggies.  Hopefully I’ll decide on a couple dishes very soon and it will be onto the breakfast cooking – that has better luck of being made during natural light hours.

October 23, 2008

Meal Planning

Filed under: Meal Planning, thoughts — Tags: — anotheryarn @ 11:54 pm

I really thought I’d use this blog more as part of my meal planning but I didn’t.  However tonight I had some ideas and decided to commit them in this space.  Plus my fridge is totally full so I need to try and use some space hogging veggies (but mostly it is the 90 or so apples in 3 boxes and 1 produce drawer that are my “problem”).  I made the stuff I’d need to buy to make a recipe in pink.

Leek, goat cheese and cherry tomato tart (seen a recipe, but I’ll probably wing it)

  • leek (or 2)
  • half pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 3-5 eggs plus some milk
  • piecrust (flour, salt, butter, shortening, water)
  • remaining chevre

Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onion Lasagne

  • 2 bunches swiss chard
  • lots of onions
  • ricotta cheese
  • lasagne noodles
  • white sauce (butter, flour, milk)
  • asiago or parmesan cheese
Eggrolls (to be frozen)
  • napa cabbage
  • carrots
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • tofu
  • green onions
  • wrappers
Now I just need to figure out what to do with all of this: 2 red bell peppers, 2 half colored bell peppers, 1 green bell pepper, 1 large bunch kale, broccoli, parsley (lots of it), potatoes (not so worried as they keep), winter squash (it keeps), lots and lots of apples (they will all be eaten.  And consider the fact that the two dishes above (plus the lunch soup) will probably feed us until next Tuesday… (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday so 10 dinner servings and the above two will give us probably 10-14, plus three remaining soup servings).
Other thoughts: Swiss Chard & Apple frittatta from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper, something with roasted peppers, a kale-tomato-polenta pie (where did I see that recipe?), more parsley pesto, potato-leek soup, blanching and freezing the kale.
And finally another meal idea!  But wait, can you freeze coconut curry?
Green Coconut Curry
  • tofu
  • broccoli
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • rice
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