Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summertime fave - Tomato Summer Squash Soup with Dill

Now that we're in late June, it is officially "eat some squash every day" time of year. Hooray! I love squash :) I make this soup all the time, but this is the first time I've made it this year, so I'll post it again. I usually switch it up a bit, anyways. Here are the raw ingredients, below.

Drop the fresh tomatoes in boiling water to get rid of the skins. Not really necessary since we'll be blending it, but I hate getting pieces of tomato skin in my teeth.

Sautee a vidalia onion, garlic and all your squash. I used butter instead of oil, just for additional flavor. Here's my oregano from last week's CSA bag--a happy aside, it dried pretty perfectly in the fridge. I added quite a bit as it cooked down.

With the tomatoes, both fresh and canned.

Last but not least, add a large amount of dill. Especially if you are like me and love dill! (dill pickles, dill potatoes, now some dill in my soup...)

Put in the blender--you may want to reserve some squash "chunks" or you may want to blend it all. I like a nice, smooth soup. Better for dipping my grilled cheese ;)

That's it! Fairly boring, but quite healthy and a nice step up from plain old tomato soup. I'm off to New Orleans tomorrow for a conference--Laissez les bons temps rouler!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trưng Chien -- Banh Mi with Eggs

As I receive more and more cucumbers in my CSA, I continue to make pickles. Though banh mi traditionally use pickled carrots and daikon, I figured I could sub the cucumbers for daikon, thus extending their life. A mandolin works well, I hear, but I ended up chopping matchsticks the good old-fashioned way.

Look at these interesting cukes from my CSA! I haven't seen this type before, and initially thought it was squash, until I cut into one. Nope, this is definitely a cucumber. I made some dill pickles with these and really liked how firm they stayed. Here is me filling my jar--once again, I am not processing these, I'm just making quick refrigerator pickles. (though if I keep receiving cukes at this rate, I'm going to have to break down and learn how to can them!)

I used the brine recipe from White On Rice couple's Banh Mi Battle page. It is perfect--and I could tell by looking that it wouldn't be quite so vinegary. I like a slightly less potent vinegar taste for my brine. Here is the link to their recipe. Its really great--I'm excited to see how the pickles evolve over a few days. I also added a few more cuke slices to my dill pickle jar.

True story--I made the pickles last night and woke up wanting to try them RIGHT AWAY. So, here's my breakfast banh mi, with an egg over easy. Oh my yum. This is a very messy sandwich, but the yolk spilling over and soaking the bread and mingling with the sweet pickled vegetables and spicy jalapenos....yum!

Here are all the fixings for my dinner banh mi, that I packed up and took to work with me. I scramble/fried an egg for this one, and even though I'd made it 3-4 hours prior to eating, it tasted absolutely fine.
Come here, my pretty :)

I love all the fresh vegetables of summertime!

Monday, June 20, 2011

more curry and my first triathlon

Hello, my name is Joslin, and I am addicted to curry. I don't know if its the proliferation of CSA vegetables or the fact that everything tastes better as a curry, but I've been making profuse amounts of curry. This one has vidalia onion, georgia potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes and zucchini. All fresh, all local (except for the curry powder) and SOOOOO good!

You can serve over a grain of your choice, or if you're like me, eat with sourdough from the local bakery.

This Sunday, I participated in my first triathlon. I hadn't trained much, other than riding my bicycle profuse amounts, so I was extremely pleased that I finished in one hour and three seconds! Here we all are (I run and train with Team Awesome) before the swim.

Callaway Garden Sprint Triathlon: 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike ride, 2 mile run

...and here are some of the goofiest running shots of me, to date. I don't know why I can't just run and smile like a normal person....

Fantastic, no? This was both harder and easier than I thought it would be. The swim? Much, much harder than I thought. I'd swam on the team in high school, but had never dealt with feet in my face, hands swimming into my legs, SEAWEED, and it was such a grimy lake that goggles were pretty much useless. I switched to side stroke and prayed not to kick or be kicked by wayward swimmers.

The bike ride was awesome. I averaged just under 20 mph on a single speed on rolling hills, so I am pleased as punch. The run went better than expected, too. I maintained an 8:45 pace, even though I was passed, right at the end(!!!), by my friend Stacey, seen here in the pink shirt. Its all good, she's a speedy chick :)

Just walking around campus--this is the new Undergraduate Learning Center that will be connected to the Library. Rooftop deck and solar panels--nice!

Trees waiting to be planted.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good pickles and Georgia love

With some recipes, like pickles, you have to wait a day or two (or a week or so) before you can really give the verdict. We opened our refrigerator pickles after 48 hours, and they are pretty great! One caveat-too much vinegar-I'll try again with increased water to vinegar ratio.

Also, we had a bit of a storm. The flowers loved it! Both of these are perennials, chosen and planted by Gustavo last summer. What can I say? The kid has good taste :) Check out the happy bee on that coneflower:

Now that it is June, it has been seven years since I left Detroit and moved to Georgia, knowing no one and nothing about my destination. I really do think it was the best, albeit completely random at the time, decision I have ever made. I love you, Atlanta, Georgia. You have introduced me to innumerable fantastic people. I could easily live my life out here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just feeling it

Gustavo is traveling again--but he'll be home on thursday. Any of you married to people who travel for work know how difficult it can be, for both parties. I find music helps. Here's his song from our wedding....I love it, the lyrics, the upbeat sound, and of course, the piano.

I've also been working through the CSA veggies some more. Roasted green beans - not much of a recipe to that, just toss with oil, roast at 425 for 15 minutes, shaking once. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and munch.

Eat with ketchup if no one is watching..

This is an aside...but for any of you who **haven't** watched the drunk history series, this is one of my faves (I can't embed, so you will have to follow link) Tesla

Pickles! Found a good looking recipe--will tell you results in a couple of days. Here's the link: Spicy Dill Pickles So, I altered it. Cut in half, omitted sugar, and used a mix of vinegars (white, cider and rice) We'll see how it goes.

Have a great evening--and kiss your spouse or loved one if they are near by.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One for the adventurous, a "Mess of Greens" stuffed pizza

I hadn't finished all the greens from last week's CSA, then our box this week had three mini cabbages in it! What to do with all these greens?? I thought a bit, and remembered I'd had a lot of luck with a stuffed spinach pizza...would it work as well with greens? They've got a stronger flavor than spinach, but overall I was pretty pleased with it. Maybe next time, I'll go the full Southern route and do a cornbread crust ;)

I used a different dough recipe than usual, and was extremely pleased with the results. This will give you two medium size dough balls--very pliable and easy to work with.

Pizza Dough:

3/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 t. kosher salt
1 1/2 t. olive oil

The greens, I cooked fairly traditionally. I sauteed a sweet onion, then added the greens and about an inch of water with some butter, salt and crushed red pepper. I like mine fairly tender, so I cooked them down about 45 minutes. Save the pot likker! Healthy flavoring for a variety of dishes. I cooked the loose outer leaves, but saved the small inner heads of cabbage for some coleslaw.

Baked in a cast iron pot at 500 degrees for approximately 16 minutes--if your pizza is thicker, you'll need to bake longer. I added some crushed tomatoes and local goat cheese from Decimal Place Farm.

All in all, I liked it, but I don't think it will become the next craze. I think I probably will just cook down the next batch and serve it up with jalapeno corn bread instead.

Now, if I had some spinach....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CSA vegetables and some minestrone

Hooray--its Community Shared Agriculture time again! I hopped onto my trusty bike and biked over to the Carter Center to pick up my share. Its a nice ride, about 3 miles from our house. Here is me, post ride, in the Atlanta heat. Sexy, no?

Here are our goods! So much produce for the first week--its fantastic. We have collards, swiss chard, green onions, squash, green beans and a variety of herbs. We continue to use Huckleberry Hill as our preferred CSA--Tynesha and her mother are fantastic and the shares are generous. This is our third year with them.

I grabbed some bread and goat cheese that we picked up at the farmer's market on sunday, a cup of coffee, and started going through my cookbooks...

As usual, even though its summer, I was drawn to the soups. A nice minestrone would work well with the vegetables, and it would leave me with plenty of vegetables to try other items as well. I based the recipe off the one found in Wendy Stephens' The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook. That is a great book, by the way. Its divided up into regions, such as North Africa, Greece, Turkey, Spain--its really cool.

The nice aspect of this minestrone is that you slow cook the base ingredients (onions, carrots, swiss chard, crushed tomatoes, garbanzos, parsley and broth) for over an hour, then add the remaining vegetables (zukes, squash, green beans) and pasta and cook until just al dente. I ended up using some leftover rice instead of pasta. It worked quite well.

Plenty for lunches as well. Hope all of you are having a nice June!