Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Our most recent Dark Days Challenge meal was wonderful. The carrot mash recipe comes from a local friend, while the tater tots are a result of our cooking adventures this summer and came from our freezer.
This delicious dish was previously titled Carrot Pudding, but I've changed the title after altering the dish (making a few errors) and it still came out delicious! After my modifications/mistakes I know this recipe is foolproof!
2lbs of carrots
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 cups of milk
vanilla, to taste
cinnamon, to taste
-Preheat oven to 350F
-Peel & slice carrots
-Boil until tender (about 40 minutes)
-Transfer carrots to a food processor. Add butter and sugar. Process until smooth.
-Add rest of the ingredients. Pulse until combined.
-Put in a greased casserole dish and bake at 350F for 90 minutes.
Homemade Tater Tots
via Pennies on a Platter
While the outcome is delicious, this is a very labor intensive recipe
8 russet potatoes
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups crushed potato chips
-Preheat oven to 400F
-Boil potatoes in a large pot until barely fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
-Gradually add the milk and mash the potatoes until mashed, but still lumpy. You may not need to use all of the milk. It is important to keep the potatoes lumpy but a little dry so it isn't to messy to roll them into balls.
-Separate eggs, flour, and potato chips into 3 bowls and set aside.
-Form the potato mixture into 1-inch balls and place on wax or parchment paper. Roll each ball first into the bowl of flour, then the eggs, finishing with the chips.
-Once coated, form the balls into tots formation and place onto a baking sheet.
-Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.
I will save you the details showing the exact mileage all of our products are from our apartment, but everything except the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon is between 12 and 152 miles from us! Here are the local ingredients in the Carrot Mash & Tater Tots:
Carrots (Red Fire Farm), Potatoes (Allandale), Butter (Katie's Homemade), Flour (King Arthur Flour), Milk (Organic Cow), Eggs (Baffoni's Poultry Farm), & Potato Chips (Cape Cod Potato Chips)
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Fresh salad greens in the dead of winter was certainly a welcome treat!
The soup was great on a cold night, and the leftovers made a perfect lunch on a Monday afternoon that saw temperatures dip as low as -3 Fahrenheit!
Kale & Bean Soup
1-2 lbs kale
1 large yellow onion
3-4 potatoes peeled and chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
8 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
6-8 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
1 lb cranberry beans
1 hot pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
**To make this dish vegetarian friendly I cook and add the sausage when I want a portion for me. However I have included the sausages in the regular recipe and preparation. Feel free to omit them. I defrosted the soup on Saturday afternoon and cooked a sausage for my portion as the soup heated up. Generally a dish like this calls for chorizo or languica, but I substituted hot Italian lamb sausage and it was a perfect fit.
-Slice sausage, and cook in olive oil with onion and garlic. Add garlic last so it does not completely brown. Add liquid and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
-Rinse Kale and tear into bite size pieces, discarding the stems.
-Add Broth, potatoes, carrots, and kale. Simmer for 30 minutes.
-Add Beans and simmer an additional 15 minutes, or until beans are fully cooked. I used dry beans and had to soak them overnight.
This is a great soup to make ahead of time and freeze. I made this recipe in mid-November when I had just harvested my Kale and froze it.
I served the soup with some of the Cheddar & Leek muffins I made back in November.
Local Ingredients in our Soup & Salad: Salad Greens & Butternut Squash (Red Fire Farm), Onion for Salad (Allandale Farm), _____ Cheese (West River Creamery), Carrots, Onion, & Potatoes for Soup (Kimball's Fruit Farm), Hot Lamb Sausage (Stillman's Farm) Kale, Beans, & Hot Pepper for Soup (My Garden), Garlic (Linabella's Gourmet Garlic & Allandale Farm).
Between the great Viking themed dinner we attended on Saturday & a great local dinner Sunday I felt like it was summer again with the abundance of local produce I got to enjoy over the weekend!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Carrots, Butternut Squash, Radish, Salad Greens, and popcorn cobs from Red Fire Farm Granby, MA
Potatoes from Springdell Farm Littleton, MA
Pickles (full sour) from A1 Pickle Company Dartmouth, MA (2 of their pickles, including the pucker pickles I purhcased won 1st prize at the Topsfield Fair this past fall. I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with owner Ed Alberto at the Farmers Market and he was an absolute delight!)
Cheese from West River Creamery of Londonderry, VT. The cheese is 'Herdsman's Cream' a raw milk cheese that isn't currently listed on their website.
Maple Syrup from The Warren Farm and Sugarhouse in North Brookfield, MA
I also picked up 1 non-local item: 2 packets of sprout seeds!
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Bell Peppers (various farms frozen in late summer/early fall), Onion (Allandale Farm), Garlic (Allandale Farm), Tortilla's(Boghosian Lavash Bread from Valley Bread Lawrence, MA), Salsa (Number 9 Mild), Tortilla Chips (Gringo Jack's).
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
We were treated to an acoustic poolside set the first night followed by 3 2-set full electric shows on the beach. There are few things that can compare to dancing barefoot in the sand surrounded by palm trees and twinkling stars!
We enjoyed a local spirit, Mama Juana a blend of rum, porto, honey, and native plants, herbs and flowers blended together and left to sit and soak. The taste was light and sweet but it did pack a punch! We also ate... and ate quite a bit as the resort contained 12 restaurants. In terms of quality the food varied from passable but nothing special to downright tasty. Here is a look at 2 beautifully plated desserts we enjoyed at the 'contemporary french-romantic' restaurant. First off is a dark chocolate 'sailboat' with a whipped marshmallow center. Next up is coffee mouse stuffed tulip horns with a hazelnut & chocolate ganache all shaped into a grasshopper:
We even brought a piece of the Dominican Republic home with us in the form of 2 bags of local coffee! A bag of Organic Biodynamic coffee and a bag of shade grown Karoma estate coffee. Our grinder is broken so I won't be able to try these until the weekend but they sure do smell nice!
Finally I leave you with a picture of Gail and I at the beach... this trip definitely didn't suck!