Sunday, December 28, 2008

mushrooms in sour cream sauce

Every year my family eats Thanksgiving diner at my Aunt Ginger's house. All year long, I always look forward to my favorite part of the meal- my Aunt's mushrooms. Since I moved to the west coast I haven't been able to make it back for Thanksgiving. My Aunt's recipe is (according to her) very simple- mushrooms, garlic, sherry & sour cream. But it's one of those special recipes that just doesn't taste the same when it's made by someone else. So rather than try to recreate her recipe, I decided to come up with my own.

2 Tbsp butter
2 leeks, white & lightest green parts only, sliced lengthwise then chopped into 1/4" slices
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb white button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup water
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sage
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and simmer until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and water, bring to a boil, then turn the heat back to medium low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sour cream and seasoning and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The sauce should be hot, but do not allow to boil. Let stand a few minutes before serving, sauce will thicken slightly.

Friday, December 26, 2008

how to turn Thanksgiving into Christmas

This year for Christmas we decided to make our friends presents, and you guessed it- use ingredients from our box! We made a cranberry and orange infused vodka, and rosemary garlic bar nuts. Easy, quick, and tasty!

Super Tasty Bar Nuts
1 lb each pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews- all raw
1/2 cup each powdered garlic, powdered rosemary, sea salt
Canola oil
1 large pot of boiling salted water and a pasta strainer

Preheat your oven to 350, and mix the spices and salt together.

Place one of the pounds of nuts into the boiling water for 2 minutes and strain. This helps to "soften" the nuts and get them ready to absorb all the delicious flavor you are about to bestow upon them. Put the hot nuts into a bowl drizzle with canola oil to coat, liberally apply spice mixture and place on a baking sheet covered in foil. Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes or until done. Allow to cool completely before packaging. (I know what you are thinking, 'Kenny, why don't I just do all the nuts at the same time to save some time?' Well the answer is, the cashews and hazelnuts cook way faster than the pecans and almonds. The almonds take the longest, and you wouldn't want to burn you nuts- now would you?)

Now on to the booze!
For Thanksgiving dinner we made some really awesome cranberry relish, and we made an awful lot of it. When we brought it home that night we couldn't figure out what to with it, so we put it in the freezer. A few days later it struck me- flavored vodka! So I took it back out of the freezer and mixed it (about 2.5 cups, scroll down for recipe) in a large glass jar with three 750ml bottles of vodka, and the zest of 2 oranges. There it sat on the shelf for two weeks.

When we opened it we were suprised at how good it tasted. You didn't even need a mixer. Understanding just how dangerous this tasty concoction could be- we decided to dilute it. So we strained it through 4 layers of cheese cloth set in a fine mesh strainer and added three more bottles of vodka. It is still really tasty, and everyone who received one for Christmas really seems to like it.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Happy Holidays! We spent Christmas the same way we spent Thanksgiving, at our friend Cang's house for a potluck. Here were our contributions to the meal.

green chard fauxsotto, the recipe was so good, I had to make it again!
parmesan popovers, a Giada DiLaurentis recipe. Since it doesn't use anything from our CSA box, I won't write out the whole recipe here. But it is a favorite, so check it out!
potato latkes, recipe follows. Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for the inspiration and tips.
brussel sprouts, recipe follows.

Hope everyone had a nice holiday!

brussel sprouts

3 lbs brussel sprouts
1 package bacon
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp butter

Blanch the brussel sprout in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. This can be done a day in advance. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Allow to cool on a paper towel and chop into bite sized pieces. Put the brussel sprouts in a pyrex baking dish, cover with chopped bacon and shallots. Add dabs of butter throughout. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

potato latkes

With tips from Smitten Kitchen.


2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 large onion, peeled
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
pinches of salt and pepper
peanut oil, for frying

Using the shredder attachment for your food processor, coarsely shred the potato and onion. Transfer to a colander with a cheesecloth draped over it, and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then lift up cheesecloth and squeeze dry again.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together. Stir in the potato and onion mixture, toss til coated.

In a skillet over high heat, heat the peanut oil until shimmering. Drop packed palm sized amount of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten with the back of a spatula. Cook the latkes at 350 degrees until the edges are golden, then flip and cook until golden on the bottom. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until you've used all of the mixture, adding more oil to the skillet if necessary.

We made them the night before. If you know you are going to make them in advance, we suggest under cooking them a bit so that they don't get too hard when you reheat them. To reheat, arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven until they’re crisp again, about 10 minutes. Serve with apple butter and sour cream. We stirred a bunch of fresh dill into the sour cream for an extra herby flavor.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

cabbage stew

The new crock pot is getting some good use already.

1 head napa cabbage- roughly chopped
4 cloves of sliced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
1 package white wave seitan- roughly chopped
2 Tbsp 2x tomato paste
1 Tbsp harissa
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker, stir together and cook on high for 1 hour, then low for 2 and a half.

Monday, December 22, 2008

weekly delivery 12/22

Since it is Christmas week, all of the deliveries from our CSA, Farm Fresh To You, were pushed ahead two days. So our box came Monday instead of Wednesday This morning we received:

5 navel oranges
1 bunch green chard

1 bulb fennel
6 Bartlett pears
1 bunch dinosaur kale
6 Meyer lemons
1 bunch leeks
1 head baby lettuce
a bunch of brussel sprouts

*p.s.: The blog will be a little sparse for the next few weeks because we are going on vacation to the east coast. We've had to stop our box delivery for the next three weeks. I'm pretty bummed about that, but we will be sure to document ourselves getting fat from all the east coast pizza we're gonna eat. We'll be gone Jan 5th through the 15th and CSA service will start again on the 21st.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Katie's photography website

Hey dudes! I just relaunched my photography website. Just some old work for now, but check it out:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

apple butter

We've had a pile of apples steadily growing on our kitchen counter for a few weeks now. Despite attempts to eat an apple a day, the pile was still there looming and growing larger. So we went over to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought ourselves a crock pot! Crock pot + too many apples = apple butter solution! And Katie gets to make up songs about apple butter to the tune of Apple Bottom Jeans and Kenny gets to try to ignore her lunacy.

We drew inspiration for this recipe from a blog I think is a must-read, VeganYumYum.
Even if you have no interest in veganism, you should still check it out for the absolutely gorgeous photos.

5 1/2 lbs apples, peeled
2 cups sugar
2-3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt

Peel and core the apples. Puree roughly in a food processor. Add apples and remaining ingredients to your crock pot. The recipes we found online say to cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 8-10 hours. We actually cooked it high for one hour, low for 15 hours. You will know it's done when its volume is reduced in half and a wooden spoon will stand straight up in the pot. Let it cool and ladle it into jars. Makes almost 4 quarts of apple butter. Apple butter will keep refrigerated for 2 months.

Also, if anyone reading this wants a jar, just leave a comment or email us at:
csadelivery at gmail . com

leek confit and kale for breakfast

Kenny used the rest of the leek confit I made on Wednesday to make Saturday brunch. Kale is not on your standard breakfast menu but it was actually really good and tender, and of course it's healthy too. The leeks are so buttery that cheese or additional butter for your toast are just not necessary.

leek confit
1 bunch kale- roughly chopped
2 cups egg whites
salt and pepper to taste

Saute' the kale with the leek confit until the kale is tender. Add egg whites, salt and pepper and cook until the eggs are done.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

penne with radicchio and gorgonzola, leek confit

The following recipes are doubled. I made a lot of food so we could use up some produce and have leftovers to bring to work.

Penne with radicchio and gorgonzola:
1 Lb whole wheat penne rigate
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 heads radicchio, white core removed, leaves ripped into rough pieces
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
8 oz gorgonzola cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to directions. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. On medium high heat, add the radicchio and cook until they begin to wilt. Stir in balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and sugar, if the radicchio is too bitter for your tastes. Drain any excess liquid. Add the cheese, stir together to form a sauce. Toss with pasta, season and serve. Serves six.

Leek confit: (from Bon Appetit, October 2008)
8 large leeks, white and lightest green parts only, halved lengthwise then chopped into 1/4" slices
1/2 cup of butter
4 Tbsp water
1 tsp salt

Melt butter in large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Stir in water and salt. Cover pot; reduce heat to low. Cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Uncover and kick the heat up to high. Cook to evaporate excess water, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Spread on crostini and sprinkle with black pepper. Confit will keep for 1 week refrigerated. If made in advance, spread the leeks on the bread and pop in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 10 minutes before serving.

weekly delivery 12/17

In the CSA box this week:

a dozen Yukon potatoes
1 bunch radishes
Red Jonagold apples

Satsuma oranges
5 heads of baby lettuces
a dozen white button mushrooms
4 leeks

1 very large Kabocha squash
1 bunch green chard
1 head radicchio

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

pisto manchego

I came across this recipe on New York Times website and I've been anxious to try it. It's supposed to be a summer dish but I figured we could make it work with butternut squash instead. Man, prepping 1/4" cubes of butternut squash is now my least favorite thing ever. What a pita. Still, at the end it was kind of worth it. Especially when Kenny told me he thought that it's one of the best things we've made together.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 large butternut squash, 1/4" diced
1 can, diced tomatoes, strained and liquid reserved
1 1/2 tsp salt
black pepper, to taste
4 eggs

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute or two. Stir in the squash and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and toss together until the squash is coated with oil and cook until the squash begins to soften, about 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and more salt to taste (we used about 1 teaspoon) and turn the heat to medium-high. Stir often until the tomatoes have slightly cooked down. Add the juice from the tomatoes plus 1/4 cup water, stir together, and turn the heat back down to medium-low. Cook uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and easy to mash.The mixture will cook down and begins to stick to the pot. From time to time, press on the squash with the back of your spoon so that it breaks down. Taste, adjust the salt, and add lots of pepper.

Using the back of your spoon, make four wells in the vegetable mixture and break an egg into each well. Cover the pot, and cook until the eggs have set, about six to eight minutes. The whites should be set, but the yolks should still be runny). Sprinkle with pepper and serve, using a spatula to dish out portions of pisto topped with an egg.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

weekly delivery 12/10

This week, we received:

A mix of navel and satsuma oranges

1 head of radicchio

1 bulb of fennel

1 bunch dinosaur kale
2 carnival squash

1 meyer lemon
4 leeks
6 pink lady apples

1 bunch mixed baby lettuces

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

curried stew

What do you do when you have leeks, collard greens, dinosaur kale and rainbow chard that all need to be used up? We throw it all in a pot and make some soup!

2 Tbsp canola oil
3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced lengthwise then chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 block super firm tofu, 1" cubes
1 bunch collard greens,stems removed and roughly chopped
1 bunch dinosaur kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 bunch rainbow chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 can garbanzo beans
6 cups vegetable broth
3 Tbsp curry powder
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp black pepper

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Cook the leeks and tofu until leeks are translucent. Add the greens half the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until the greens are wilted, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining broth, season and serve with pita bread.

roasted beet salad

3 beets
1 orange cut into supremes
1 head baby lettuce
3 Tb. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. italian herbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tb. fresh goat cheese crumbled

Place beets in an oven safe dish and cover with water. Place foil over the dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. When the beets are cooling, use a towel and peel the skin off (it is much easier to do when they are warm). Allow to cool and slice.

Wash and split a head of lettuce. Arrange beets and orange on lettuce wedge. Mix oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a jar and shake until incorporated. Pour on to lettuce wedge, add goat cheese and yum!

Monday, December 8, 2008

pasta with rainbow chard

Another ridiculously easy pasta recipe by Katie. I just threw together some stuff we had around.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, chopped
5 leaves rainbow chard, stemmed discarded and leaves roughly torn into pieces
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1 Tbsp roasted red pepper
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste

Heat the oil in a pan. Cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes then add the chard. Cook until the chard wilts, another 5 minutes. Add the pine nuts and roasted red pepper. Season and toss with 1 cup of your favorite pasta. I used whole wheat fusilli.

Friday, December 5, 2008

orange kale couscous

2 cups Lebanese couscous
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 tsp ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch dinosaur kale
1 one inch strip of orange rind, thinly sliced
Juice from 1/2 a large orange
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the couscous and allow to cook until al dente, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the onion, ginger and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and rind, cook until the kale is wilted, another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the orange juice and vinegar. Season and combine with the couscous. Can be served hot or cold.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

roasted bok choy and tofu

Tucked inside our produce delivery box each week is a newsletter written by Thaddeus, the farm manager of Capay Valley farm. He writes a little anecdote about what's going on at the farm... which crops are doing well, the daily trial and tribulations. On the back he lists three or four recipes, submitted by customers, featuring the weeks ingredients. Tonight, we were inspired by one of those recipes. Here is our take:

1 bunch baby bok choy
1/2 block super firm tofu, cut into 1/2" triangles
1 cup vegetable stock
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cold water
2 Tbsp corn starch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the tofu and bok choy, face down, in a large casserole dish. Cover with vegetable stock, sesame oil, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and transfer the broth into a small pot. Add water and corn starch to thicken into a gravy. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. Spoon gravy over tofu and bok choy, served with rice.

weekly delivery 12/03

1 bulb fennel
5 Satsuma oranges
6 Empire apples
1 bunch dinosaur kale
3 leeks
1 bunch assorted baby lettuces
1 head napa cabbage
2 navel oranges
6 heads baby bok choy