Monday, April 30, 2012

CSA Share Ninja Rescue, 2012 Edition

It's baaaa-aaaaack!

Last year, during the summer (read: peak CSA share months), I offered a feature / service I dubbed the CSA Share Ninja Rescue.

Here's what it is:

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 and the CSA Share Ninja Rescue.

Each week, you 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.

Baffled by bok choy? Confounded by kohlrabi and kale? Despairing over daikon? Traumatized by tatsoi? Yep, the Ninj can help.

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

Each Monday I will post about the CSA Share Ninja Rescue. Send me your suggestions / questions / dilemmas by Friday of that week posting a comment on the Monday post or by emailing me at kitninja (at) gmail (dot) com. Each week I will review the suggestions and on the following Monday provide as many helpful recipe and/or preserving ideas as I can.

We had a lot of fun with this last year and I look forward to more of the same this year. 

Let's celebrate the CSA together!

So, let's get started: what's in your box this week?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Easy fried rice: a recipe

Fried rice with chicken and lots of good veggies
As I sat down to write this post, I realized that it's the third rice bowl dish recipe that I've posted in the past month.

If you don't like rice, sorry. Bear with me. There will be other things coming up soon. Like cheese.

If you do like rice, you're welcome. Now go like my Facebook page.

This is another recipe I've adapted from one found via Pinterest. It's becoming clearer and clearer to me each day, based on the memes I've seen popping up all over Facebook, that I'm one of the only people on the planet that actually makes the recipes I pin, rather than just creating food porn boards.

Anyone else out there? Anyone? Perhaps we can form a Facebook group.

But I digress. Back to the recipe at hand.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kale and sweet potato quesadillas: a recipe and some notes

Sweet potato and kale quesadillas
I have a problem.

My name is Jules, and I'm addicted to my panini press.

Seriously, I press the crap out of practically everything, breakfast, lunch or dinner. I'm even using it as a half-assed toaster, now that I've given up on toasters (they never work properly) and whenever I don't feel like turning on my oven broiler.

(Note: The press is less-than-great for frozen waffles but hey, I'm not that picky in the morning.)

Recently I realized, in my panini press zeal, that it would make an ideal quesadilla machine!

(Note: If I'm late to this party and you are saying to yourself, "Duh, girl, who doesn't know that?", please just keep it to yourself and let me have my moment. Thanks.)

Now, I have always made quesadillas the way I first learned: in a frying pan, folded over like an omelet. It works fine. But this just seemed too awesome, even if only for one superficial reason: grill marks!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Creamy avocado pasta salad: a recipe

Creamy avocado pasta salad
Avocado and pasta? Really?

Oh, just stop it. Yes, really.

You like it in salads, right? And on burgers and sandwiches? And guacamole?

So I say, why not as a cold pasta salad?

Why not indeed.

This recipe couldn't be easier. (Really, it couldn't.) I made it for dinner but I'm sure I'll be whipping it up a lot as a quick lunch as the weather gets warmer.

Additionally, this is the perfect application for your mini food processor, as it's a small amount of ingredients that go a long way. One avocado yielded enough "sauce" for a 13.5-ounce box of whole wheat elbows. If you like your sauces very creamy, drop that down to about 10 ounces instead.

You seriously have no excuse not to try this.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Morning glory breakfast muffins: a recipe

Morning glory breakfast muffins (damn you, white balance!)
Breakfast is hard.

I feel that I say this to you at least once a week, but it's true. And I wouldn't want to let you down by not saying it, ha ha ha.

It's challenging to come up with a variety of healthy, grab-and-go recipes. I usually fall into a rut. To wit: you don't even want to know how many ham-and-cheese-on-a-100-calorie-thin-bun breakfast paninis we've eaten since I got a panini press.

Seriously, you don't want to know. Suffice it to say that we're in danger of hating ham and cheese.

Breakfast muffins are a good idea but too many of them wind up basically being cake. And I for one don't like a lot of sweetness in my breakfast.

Therefore, the "morning glory" muffin is right up my alley: all the excellentness of being make-ahead but still being jam-packed with healthy ingredients.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wahoo's-inspired chicken and rice bowl

Wahoo's-inspired chicken and rice bowl: dinner in less than 15 minutes
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a wicked quick but delicious sausage and spinach rice bowl, which triggered the memory of the Wahoo's-inspired chicken and rice bowls that I used to make.

(Why I stopped making them, I don't know. I can only imagine they seemed too simplistic once I started getting more adventurous in my cooking. Boy, that was stupid.)

I also mentioned that thinking of those chicken and rice bowls (and writing about them) was inspiring me to try making them again. And that I might post on them if I did.

Well, here ya go, my pets.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Molasses spice cookies: a recipe

Molasses spice cookies
Hopefully, you were one of the lucky ones that scored the awesome Dorie Greenspan book set deal on Amazon a few weeks ago. Two of Dorie's beautiful, awesome cookbooks for less than six bucks: I'm not sure why, but at that price, who cares?

I'm already a big fan of Around My French Table and as I started leafing through Baking: From My Home to Yours, I knew I would (again) not be disappointed. (After the stuffed pumpkin, figgy pudding and cocktail cookies, I am a Dorie groupie for life.)

I already have about twelve gajillion post-it flags marking the recipes I want to try (be prepared for an onslaught of scones in the weeks ahead).

And this was one of the first.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Doughnut muffins: a recipe

Doughnut muffins with cinnamon sugar
I love doughnuts.

That's not to say that I eat them all the time because, let's face it, I'd weigh 800 pounds if I did, right? But if there's a box sitting in the break room, I cannot say no.

Now, I'm just going to put it out there and wait for the hater comments to arrive:

I don't like Krispy Kreme.

And yes, I have had them warm, straight from the oven, blah blah blah.

Sorry, kids, but I love me some Dunkin' Donuts and not just because I'm from New England where it's mandated by law or something that there be a DD every 13 feet.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Homemade Butter and Buttermilk Rum Pound Cake

Buttermilk rum pound cake, made with homemade butter and buttermilk
Regular readers know that I'm participating in Grow It Cook It Can It's Cook It! 2012 monthly technique challenge. The March challenge was making your own butter. After reading Caroline's post I figured it would be like ... well ... like buttah.

Put some cream into a mixer and let it run for 10 minutes. Voila -- butter and buttermilk. (See? Like buttah.)

Seriously. I brought my Kindle into the kitchen because I thought I'd just dump in the cream, turn on the mixer and read some chapters, just relaxing by the fire, while the butter made itself.

It started off as expected, see?

But ... how relaxing does this look to you? (Good thing my Kindle was still relaxing in my chair, not on the counter.)