Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week 20 on The CSA Share & Old Fashioned Kentucky Apple Cake

This is the very last share on the Summer CSA Program...  It flew by so quickly this year..

I am so happy that I actually did record each & every week's shares and shared them on my blog..  
 There were a few bumps here & there but for the most part it was all good!   

I want to say Thank You to Geauga Family Farms organization & their farmers..  

The good news for ME is that I signed up for another 6 weeks for a Fall Program that will last into the middle of December...  so 6 more weeks of delicious, organic, local food! Yes! 

Here is my final & quite heavy bag for the Summer Share.. 

I thought I already posted this.. but obviously I did not... 

This was a really heavy bag & it went out with a bang which was awesome! 

I traded a few things with my girlfriend Cheryl because she had too much lettuce in her frig and I knew my neighbors would enjoy it..  I had 2 heads of lettuce in mine already too.. so my neighbor Diane got our lettuce.  I gave Cheryl half of my apples and a head of garlic.. She gave me her bunch of radishes too since she knows my daughter loves them.  M'honey & my daughter had all these radishes eaten up before I could get the whole share put away.. Yes, they really love them! :) 

I made the Kale up the very Southern Soul Food way with hot pepper sauce, red wine vinegar, onions, and bacon.. yum!  My daughter & I ate it all gone gone! haha.. 

I made a Pork & Bok Choy Stir Fry one night & used half of the giant Bok Choy.
It sure was tasty! 

The apples were used in an Old Fashioned Kentucky Apple Cake with a Buttermilk Glaze!!

This was a really tasty treat that I shared at a Clam Bake we had this past weekend..  I used most of the Sweet potatoes for the clambake too but I'll share the ClamBake on another post.. another day.

They say this cake gets better after its been sitting for a while.  This one only got to sit for 24 hours before it was eaten.. but the entire thing was eaten that day & night so it must have been pretty good. 

 I thought the few bites I had were really good.  Even M'honey Child JP aka Picky Boy liked it.. A lot! 
He made sure to let me know about it.. unsolicited!!  :)    

I got this recipe from Just A Pinch Recipes site where many home cooks add their own recipes. 
Many go on to compete in national food competitions too! Its a neat forum! Check it out! 

added by Lisa Glass
When my mother passed away, a close family friend made us two fantastic cakes. This apple cake is one of them! Both my father and my boyfriend couldn't stop raving about this one and said they could eat this cake all day, every day.

Cook time: 1 Hr  Prep time: 40 Min
2 stick margarine (I used real butter)
2 c sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 c finely chopped apples
1 c chopped walnuts- (I used half walnuts & half pecans since I ran out of walnuts)
2-3 Tbsp milk
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c margarine
1/4 c buttermilk (I used regular milk & 1 tsp lemon juice- let sit for 10 minutes)
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp real vanilla extract
1. Follow the above steps to make the cake batter.
2. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan Spread apple cake batter evenly in pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out without raw batter on it.
4. While cake is baking, combine all the glaze ingredients except the vanilla in a medium pan. Stir and cook to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
5. Pour and spread glaze over hot cake as soon as the cake is removed from the oven.
6. Let cake cool completely before serving. The longer it sits, the better it gets!


I need to get moving and do something with the rest of my share this week.. 
I think I'll bake the Eggplant with last weeks eggplant & freeze it..ready to make  
Its out of this world delightful if you've never tried it!  Trust me.. 
Im a self-avowed eggplant hater and I LOVE it! 
I love Didi  from too!  ♥
Go check out her Food Blog.. shes an amazing cook & has made an eggplant eater out of me. 
 But I have to add.. She's a beautiful Greek Goddess and the lady knows how to make a Dish sing! 

 I've got loads of other veggies I need to "get put by"  so I'll be posting about that soon!

What are you eating this week?  Do you still have any veggies or fruit that are waiting to be "put by"? 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dehydrated Cherry Tomato Bites

I've finally got around to making a load of Dehydrated Cherry Tomato Bites today.. 

They are oh so tasty and full of crunchy, salty, tomatoey (is that a word?) flavor!

I'll show you in a minute where all these beautiful babies come from.. but first.. let me share with you how to make these yummies! 

First.. Give them a quick rinse and let them dry..   

Then put them in a shallow bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil.. and sprinkle a little bit of kosher or Himalayan Pink Sea Salt on them... & zushhh them around a little bit to make sure they all get some of the glory! 

 Then.. After you get them on your dehydrator rack, just take a steak knife & give em a quick slit.. Any 'ol way will be Ok..  just cut 'em in half.. 

Until you have all your trays loaded.  

If you want to.. you can come back & sprinkle a little more salt on them..  I personally like kosher salt myself. 


Then, let them dry...anywhere from 12-24 hours.. It depends upon how juicy they are and how big they are. 
I'll turn mine over a twice.. I dont know if its truly needed, but thats what I do.. 

When you know they're truly dried, they'll be crispy and sooo good.  Pop em in a jar with an air tight lid and they'll last you a good long while.. until one of your kids get a hold of them. 

Before I go.. here is my source for all these beautiful babes.. 

Do you see the hundreds of baby tomato seedlings? 
They reseed themselves every year.. There are hundreds of them! 

I dig them up, I give them away, I just murder them in their beds.. and still they come back, year after year.. 

They take over my little front yard garden..   And then my little Sorta-Grands come try to take over my tomatoes.. But they never can.. Just when you think you've picked all the ripe tomatoes.. 
You find some more...

These plants are HUGE!  I'd be willing to say they probably reach at least 10 feet long..   I just let them fall all over themselves and over the porch rail.. 
And the name of this cherry tomato?  Gardener's Delight!  I planted them once.. and thats all she wrote! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

CSA Week 19 and apples, apples, apples!

Here we are, finally caught up and its Week 19 with Geauga Family Farms CSA Summer Program.

If you're interested in a 6 week Winter Share, they're taking applications until October 18th.  

Count me IN!! Yay!

Here is the nice bag I picked up this morning... 

New to me this week is an amazing Buttercrunch type lettuce..Its so beautiful, tender, and tastes so good. 
This is my most favorite lettuce of the year.. its that magnificent.  

Also, I got 2 beautiful heads of fennel. Yum!
 Many folks in this area also call it Anise but its truly Florence Fennel or Finocchio.
It has a slight anise or fennel flavor and is often used in tomato sauces or other dishes with Italian sausage. 

 That Black Beauty eggplant might pair well with the fennel & the 2 heads of garlic we got this week.
You know.. I dont know if thats a Black Beauty eggplant or not.. but it is black & it is a beauty!

I also got some larger potatoes this week.  We've really enjoyed each & every type of potatoes we've been getting.  M'honey discovered he really does like the fingerling potatoes.  He never knew it before. Yay! 

The sweet potatoes are filling out & will grace our Thanksgiving table if I dont eat them before then.. Its really not that far away..  I would imagine I'm going to eat that Butternut squash before long too.
The great news is that both store very well in cool storage. So do those onions.. 
I've got quite a few onions still.. Thank God for Geauga Family Farms! ♥

I've already sliced up the leeks and they're waiting for a moment of need.. I've found if I dont clean them up immediately, I'll let them sit in the frig and pass them by when I could be using them. 
The things I learn.

The peppers I plan to add to a couple other packages of peppers and make pickled peppers. 
I've decided in my old age, I really like pickled peppers! Funny how my tastes change over the years.. 

And Apples... And Apples.. And Apples... 

I've been getting a bag of apples with my share every week..  
And we have a love affair with Apples.. 
They're just so different at the orchards than what you can find in the grocery store.. 

These are the first Northern Spy apples that I bought last week to make Apple Butter!
Im told  I make the BEST apple butter "so & so" has ever had.. including their mama's. Thats pretty high praise!  Thanks All!  My recipe is HERE!

These are mostly apples that I've been getting in my CSA Share..
 They're going to be apples that are going into my dehydrator!!
I've got to get to that this week!  Wish me luck!

I've got apples in my refrigerator crisper too..  This is a combination of Cardinals & the Esopus Spitzenburg apples we picked up today..  I only got a half-peck of them since I've got so many others..  sigh..
The Esopus Spitzenburg is my VERY MOST FAVORITE apple of all..  Its spicy and tart.. Yum! 
It is also reputed to be Thomas Jefferson's most favorite apple. My hero!  ♥

 And I've got apples in the basement..  These are the Macouns (McCoon) & Cardinal's.. Yum
Good tasting eating & pie apples. Actually, these are good for anything.. They're tart, crisp, & really tasty!

Im also experimenting with making homemade Apple Cider Vinegar..  I hate throwing anything out if it could possibly have a good use.  I hope these really work out for me.  All the instructions I read said to put a breathable cloth/paper towel over the cores, peels, & water.. so I did on 2 of these half gallon jars.  The third half gallon jar I decided to use an airlock that I use in kraut fermenting to see how it worked. It may make the most awesome apple cider vinegar.. or it may be a big flop... Like I said.. Its an experiment. ;)  

 And this is my last batch of apples sitting in my sink at this very moment..  Its 2 or 3 more batches of Northern Spy Crock Pot Apple Butter.  M'honey decided he wanted me to make a few more to give away at Christmas time.  The owner of The Apple Patch said he had some seconds he'd be happy to sell us for a deal if we were interested...  a half bushel for $2.00!  Oh yeah!  Thats my PRICE! Whoohoo! 

I guess I better get in the kitchen & get my Crock Pot ready to go for the first batch tonight...  
Sweet Dreams.. that smell like apple pie... all night long...  


CSA Week 18. October is here.. & so is the Pumpkin Festival!

Im going to get right to it....  Here is Week 18's  share.. 
Uhmmm.. this was last weeks share...

I couldnt remember exactly why I failed to post last weeks post.. Till I went back & looked at my pictures.. 
  I remember now why I "forgot" to post it soon after I got a picture of it snapped.  

We went to the Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival!!   

 And while we were out in Geauga County, we stopped at Sages Apple Farm  and picked up lots of tasty apples!!   And then we stopped by the Original Middlefield Cheese Coop for some great cheeses!  The Coop is 98% Amish and is run by Amish too.  Best cheese anywhere, bar none! 

They have a Farmers Market there on Saturday until 3pm but we didnt make it for that.. Not that we really needed to.  Last time we were out, we met one of our CSA Farmer's wife there.  We enjoyed a nice chat with her & picked up a few extra organic veggies too!

Its one of our favorite places to stop out in Geauga County for bulk cooking goodies, candies & all manner of things old fashioned & unique!  Like pickled OKRA!  Its right in the heart of Amish country so we ran into a few Amishmen too. 

Yeah, I know.. they're not Amish..  :) 

This is the bounty we came home with after our long day away..  

 We picked up Macoun (McCoon)& Cardinal apples.. a peck of each.. 2 sugar pie pumpkins, 2 sets of hand-towel & plastic bag holders (gifts), 2 bags of pepitas, 2 bags of unsweetened large shred coconut, unsulfered molasses,  4 different cheeses and organic Poblano Peppers that I got at a Farmers Market on the commons in Mesopotamia.  This was the first time I've seen a Farmers Market there.. and we ran into another of our Geauga Family Farmers there..   Its always fun to chat with them for a few minutes.

Then.. a few days later.. M'honeychild C & I stopped at an orchard that is only a couple miles from my house to check on some special apples I was hoping to buy...  They weren't ready yet and neither was this half bushel of Northern Spy apples when we got there.. but the owner walked up as we were talking to his wife with almost a bushel of these babies..  I said I'll take em!   So home with us they went...  

 And so I made Crock Pot Apple Butter...  My very own recipe...  is posted on the SB Canning Website! Nice!  Great website if you're looking for any & all canning recipes! 

 So I made Crock Pot Apple Butter...  And then I made MORE Crock Pot Apple Butter..

 And I made another huge batch of French Onion Soup!!  

I made a few fast dinners... This one is to die for super easy... especially when you cheat like I did this time.
I used canned chicken breast, I pressure cooked some new potatoes, then added cheeses, bagged bacon & fresh onion greens..  Super simple. I posted the recipe previously HERE!

I made 2 Crumble Top Apple Pies..One for M'honey & One for My Neighbor!   The BEST EVER!  
The pie, that is.. So is the neighbor actually!    I'll share my recipe soon! I promise! :)

I also had some zucchini that were needing to be used up.  I had no white flour so I made a couple loaves with Organic Whole Wheat Flour.. It was pretty tasty..   I found out that day that my oven is running REALLY hot!   Like 100° hotter than what the display says... sigh..  There is a work around.. until...

And then sometime after that I had to clean my kitchen... and haul jars, canners, & roasters to the basement..
Whew.. I think I finally got it all done yesterday...  
After I cleaned out my refrigerator.. from top to bottom. 

Now its time to make another masterpiece mess!!   Whats going on in  your kitchen this week?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

CSA Week 17

Time is flying by... and here is Week 17's CSA Share.. 

Its not quite as full as some of the earlier shares have been but its still a nice bag for sure. 

We got a nice large Spaghetti Squash, Red Fingerling potatoes, Kale, Red Tip Leaf Lettuce, and some Hot Italian Peppers.  
There was a nice bag of apples, yellow, chocolate, & green bell peppers, slicing onions, a bag of Yummy Orange Peppers, a head of garlic, a nice bag of green beans and 4 nice looking tomatoes. 

I've been picking up my girlfriend Cheryl who gets a weekly share too and today was no different. 
M'honeychild C lives next door to Cheryl and she had 3 of my SortaGrand-kids for the day so I stopped in to chase, tickle, hug, & smooch on em!  

 I offered them a bite of veggies & fruit and they picked Yummy Orange Peppers and apples so Im a few shy in the picture.   After I took the picture, I realized one of the Yummy Orange Peppers has a tiny bite out of it.. haha..  Someone must have put one back after a bite.  :)

I havent decided what I'll do with my share this week but Im sure I'll come back & let you know sometime during the week.  Maybe.  ;) 

Have a great week!

CSA Week 16

Well.. I just crazy busy last week... but the good news is.. I still took a few pictures so you can see what I was up to! 

Here is my weekly CSA Share for Week 16!  Its a beauty! 

 In addition to the CSA Box.. I ordered a bushel of Slicing Onions, a half bushel of Roma Tomatoes, and 2 pints of Ground Cherries.

How gorgeous are those babies??  Whoohoo!

Where to start...   Ground Cherries..  I've never had them!  Have you?

 They have a cool papery husk that are very similar to tomatillos but much smaller. Most of these are about the size of my pinky fingernail. They're slightly fragrant, sweet, and have a light essence of pineapple.
M'honey said they didnt taste at all like pineapple to him.. Maybe mango?  Actually.. I think they smell and taste like Ground Cherries.  ;)

Once these babies were husked, I had just over 2 cups of them.  I used a handful one day in a juiced smoothie I made and the rest are still sitting on my table waiting for me to do something with them.
I plan on making Ground Cherry Jam today..  Definitely a small batch but thats ok.. I honestly dont eat much jam, jelly, or preserves, but I do enjoy making them.

Onions!!  Who doesnt love French Onion Soup?   Oh, dont answer that!!   I adore it & so does everyone in my home with the exception of M'honeychild JC.  Hes a finicky 24 year old boy. Its a texture thing for him.
He doesnt like mushrooms either... silly boy!

Using a little more than half of a box, I got 16 pints of French Onion Soup after cooking it most of the day!  It cooked low & slow... Yum!
I had a bowl & so did M'honeychild C..  She takes after her mama in a lot of ways and loving French Onion Soup is one of them.

   To make the French Onion Soup, I needed beef broth or consomme' and didnt have any on hand.  I was even almost out of Beef Bouillon which I normally keep loads on hand so I went hunting in my freezers and located a nice size package of scraps & leftovers from a Beef Tenderloin I bought a few months back and also a package of beef bones and scraps from a rib roast.  Yum!  I simmered these in a large pot of water for the entire day, adding onion, garlic & parsley.  The meat fell off the bone and after simmering all day long, the broth was flavorful and rich.  I removed the meat, split up the broth & made the French Onion with some of it & a few days later I made Vegetable Beef Soup with the rest of the broth, the meat, canned veggies and a few extra veggies for added flavor.  Then I canned those babies up & got 17 jars canned & a quart & a pint left over for the frig.  I love having soups on my canning shelf. Its just so darn convenient!

 A few other ways I used up some of my CSA produce this past week was to make an awesome
  Peach Cobbler by Paula Deen!

 This doesnt look exactly like hers because I used a half cup of Gluten Free Flour because I was out of regular flour! I couldnt believe it.. When did THAT happen?   I plan on making it just like this again sometime. It was out of this world & Im not a huge peach fanatic.  Thats saying something!  Yum!

M'homey loves his pork chops with slices of onion simmered slowly on the stove top.. so thats what he got and I just steamed the green beans.  With beautiful fresh green beans like this, you dont need anything else to make them special.. They were HEAVENLY!  They sure arent anything like those poor canned creatures they also call green beans.  (wink wink)

We also had Surf & Turf With Organic Rice Pilaf & Broccoli one night and I simply steamed the gorgeous broccoli we got last week.. It was so tender and so good.. There is nothing better than fresh fresh veggies, just lightly steamed & spritzed with a touch of butter or margarine.  I drizzled Melted Garlic Butter on the broccoli since I'd made a tub of it for the crab legs.. Yum!  This is one of my top 5 favorite meals of all time.

I canned up 8 quarts of tomatoes this week too.. Im not sure how it happened, but I dont have one picture of it. :)    Shocking, huh.  ;)   I also juiced up some of those peaches along with a few cherry tomatoes, a hand full of the kale, some pear juice, carrots, celery, and....a hand full of those ground cherries.  It was really tasty!  I need to use my juicer more.. I really enjoy it. 

 Well thats it for Week 16..   Hope you enjoyed a look inside my world!

Friday, September 20, 2013

CSA Week 15, Manicotti, Figs, & Salsa

Im falling behind on posting my weekly post..  Imagine such a thing.  Its amusing in a way...

None the less.. Here is last Saturdays pick up!   It was a beautiful box!

As you can see there, there are 2 bunches of rhubarb but thats not what I got this week.  As I was leaving the pick up location, another gal asked me & my friend Cheryl if either of us would like to trade her rhubarb for something..  I jumped on it..  Sure I would..  How about 2 nice sized  kohlrabi?   She was happy to trade..
She said she'd never used rhubarb and really didnt know what to do with it..  I sure do. ;)

 Rhubarb Pie!


I tossed the blackberries in the freezer..  Mainly for smoothies but I ran across a recipe last night for blackberry port jelly that I think Im going to have to try... Oh dear.. oh sigh..

I made a recipe from my friend Didi from Dishin With Didi. with some of that celery..  I will tell you.. Im not really fond of Eggplant, however she makes a killer Roasted Garlic Eggplant Manicotti  that you MUST try.

Not only did I love it the first time around.. I made it again.. and made an extra few containers to put in the freezer to have on another day when Im in the mood for something yummy but not in the mood to cook.
Here is a picture of my plate... Oh Yum!! 


My girlfriend Tammi came over to share how she makes the BEST Pasta Sauce M'honey says he's ever eaten..  We took off to the store & $80 and 8 hours later.. we had one GIANT sized pan of lasagna..

There was extra sauce left over so I canned it up and got 4 quarts to put on my pantry shelf!

M'honey came in one day this past week & told me.. "I think your figs might be ripe!"


Oh YES!!  Those baby's were ripe & ready for me to eat!!

These are Chicago Hardy Figs.  I planted this one bush last midsummer.. It grew like a weed before the winter came and I wrapped hay around it along with another covering over that over the winter.

It didnt freeze all the way to the ground so it had a head start this year.
I've read that after 2 or 3 years it gets more & more cold hardy and Im hoping thats so..
I couldnt believe how many figs it got on its second crop and I was afraid they wouldnt  ripen before the cold weather got here.. Thankfully, I now know they'll ripen in time.  I've been enjoying fresh homegrown organic figs for the last 2 weeks.
I even shared 2 of them.. haha.. ;)

I hope this baby gets HUGE & I get so many figs on it that I'll be able to make fig jam, figgy pudding, and have more than enough figs to share with friends & family.

M'honeyChild C tried one and declared that it was actually pretty good.. She was surprised. :)
 Someday, we'll have all the figs we can stand.. and then some.. I hope.

 Finally, yesterday I decided I needed to do something with my basket of tomatoes that were ripening.
It was a tough decision as to what to make with them but I finally decided to make a quick salsa.
 I had a few red jalapenos from my garden on the table and I had cilantro in the freezer so it just seemed like the right thing to do.
This batch has a medium heat.. You dont even really realize its warm until you stop eating it.. Then you get a nice not too hot burn in your mouth for another 5 minutes..  Yum!  Good stuff, Maynard! 

The few peaches left are sitting on my kitchen table.. but Im tempted to make peach jam..
We'll see what happens with them in the next few days..

I need to slice up the rhubarb and put it in the freezer for Rhubarb Pies come this winter.. That'll make M'honey so very happy.

So there ya go.. thats what I've been up to this week!
Have a great weekend & I'll see you soon!