Monday, May 30, 2011

CSA Share Ninja Rescue: beets, turnips and fava beans

photo courtesy of Leroy Marylene via the stock.xchng
I think Monday will be the official post day for the CSA Share Ninja Rescue feature, where you tell me what items in your CSA share are making you scratch your head or lose your patience and I provide you with some help in the form of recipes or ideas.

Commenters from last week have asked for recipe ideas for beets, turnips and fava beans.

Think outside the (CSA) box with beets -- lighter color beets are just as flavorful and easier to work with, as they don't stain your hands! And if you get green leafy tops with your beets, substitute them for other greens in salads.

  • Beets, apples and ginger with clemetine vinaigrette from Amanda Hesser by way of the Ninj: oranges or tangerines would be fine substitutes for clementines
  • Roasted beet and butternut squash soup from Dinner with Julie: amazingly flavorful and a gorgeous color to boot!

Try substituting turnips for any recipe that calls for other root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beefy cheesy noodle bake: a recipe

Beefy cheesy noodle bake
We just bought a new house!

Yes, I know that has nothing to do with beefy cheesy noodle bake, but it does explain why I went AWOL for a week.

Several blog-worthy notes about the new house that will benefit you:
  1. It has a giant garden, which I just planted with local seedlings, so you will be getting more fresh-from-the-yarden recipes in real time
  2. It has a wee orchard with apple, pear, cherry, peach and apricot trees, as well as blueberry and raspberry bushes, so you will see more on canning and preserving (or waging war against invasive bugs, depending on my success)
  3. It is getting a kitchen facelift, so you will see  neato before and after pix and get to share in my DIY trials and tribulations
And now back to the beefy cheesy noodle bake... just look at it up there ... it's awesome, go make it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: new digs

Our new backyard in Jericho, Vermont ... so happy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

CSA Share Ninja Rescue: cabbage, kale and peas

Courtesy of Lousam of the NHL team via stock.xchng
Welcome to the first installment of the CSA Share Ninja Rescue, where you tell me what items in your CSA share are making you scratch your head or lose your patience and I provide you with some help in the form of recipes or ideas.

Commenters from last week were looking for recipe ideas for cabbage, kale and peas.

If you have not received any peas in your share, just substitute frozen peas.

  • Pea-camole from Simple Bites: Think guacamole but more like a veggie dip!
  • Pea soup from Dorie Greenspan: Dorie makes this one as a winter soup with frozen peas, but it would be lovely with fresh peas as well. This is not sickly green like a split-pea soup but bright and fresh.
  • Ham and cheese mac with peas from Cooking Light: A sing-songy name and a taste even your picky kid eaters will love.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dandelion cookies: a recipe

Yep, dandelion cookies.
Yes. Dandelions.

Yes. From my lawn.

No. They are not gross.

No. We did not get sick.

OK, now that we have all the important questions out of the way...

Regular readers will know I've been into trying things I've never tried before over the past few weeks (e.g., fiddleheads, rhubarb). So when I stumbled across this recipe for cookies made with dandelions, I was game.

If the idea of eating an alleged weed off your front lawn makes you nervous, try to relax. Just wash the flowers really well in cool water and pinch the bottom of the bloom to release the yellow petals. There's a better explanation of what to do from the Splendid Table (and it's easy once you try it).

To be clear, these are only partially in the cookie family. They are almost more like a breakfast cookie or a tea biscuit -- cookie-like, but not nearly as sweet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

Finally! (and only 2 weeks to go until I can plant the new garden!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CSA Share Ninja Rescue: a new feature!

Photo by Erik Dungan via stock.xchng
Have you ever had one of those "what the heck is THAT and how do I EAT it?!!" moments when you open your CSA share?

I certainly have.

Or would you like to be more food-adventurous and try something from your local farmers' market -- say, rhubarb -- that you have never eaten before and don't know how to prepare?

Enter the ninj.

I am starting a new feature here on the blog, especially for summer when the CSA programs kick into high gear all over the country. Tell me what you received in your share box that is giving you angst and I will give you some ideas for how to use it.

Bok choy? Kohlrabi? Kale? Rapini? Daikon? Tatsoi? Yep, the ninj can help.

Too many tomatoes? Zillions of zucchini? I'm here for you.

Send me your suggestions by posting a comment below or emailing me at kitninja (at) gmail (dot) com. Each week I will review the suggestions and provide as many helpful ideas as I can.

Vive le CSA!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rhubarb oatmeal: a recipe

Too much shadow, but you get the idea
You are probably going to stop taking me seriously as a ninja when I admit this: I have never tried rhubarb before this weekend.

Seriously? Seriously.

I have mentioned before that I did not grow up in a very food-adventurous family so you can well imagine that rhubarb wouldn't have crossed our threshold very often. Hell, ever, as far as I remember.

And, for some reason, no one I have known has ever made a killah strawberry-rhubarb pie that gets forced on you ever year or anything like that.

So, like the fiddleheads, I decided to give rhubarb a try.

I had no idea what I had been missing.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fiddlehead pie: a recipe

Making this pie was not as exhausting as it might seem...
It's really a quiche but I had to call it a pie because, according to the recipe:
This is called a pie and not a quiche because Vermonters do not eat quiche.
Well, alrighty then ... pie it is.

A little background: Fiddleheads are actually the unfurled frond of a fern, which looks very much like the curled end of a violin. While they may be found on different varieties of edible ferns all over the world (they are especially beloved in France, I'm told), they are traditional in Northern New England (Maine, more specifically), as well as in Quebec and the Maritimes in Canada.

Full disclosure: I am a New Englandah but this is my first experience with fiddleheads. I did not grow up in a very food-adventurous household and, when interesting local foods became chic and cool, I was long gone to the South, where I learned about things like okra (bleeeeeck), collards (yum yum) and grits (best with sausage and cheese).

So, being back home in New England now, I figured I had to give fiddleheads a try this year to see what all the fuss is about.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

Seen in Montreal. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pistachio-chai muffins: a recipe

The Ninj is very excited to announce that you can find the recipe for pistachio-chai muffins in my first-ever guest blog post over at My Dwelling Place!

Enjoy the muffin recipe and check out some of the very cool DIY projects that Becky showcases on her blog.

She's inspired me to dig out my glue gun and spray paint once our move is complete.

(And don't forget to "like" the Ninj on Facebook!)