Friday Five: It’s the Freaking Weekend

Friday Five: It’s the Freaking Weekend

This week has been nuts.  With the viral post thing, I sort of feel like “now what?” with blogging.  But no worries, I’ll be back in the groove in no time. 🙂  I’m posting five things from this week and I’m SO stinking ready for a weekend.

1. I’ve been eating baked oatmeal all week for breakfast. Rocking my world.  I leave out the chocolate chips because I don’t need the extra sugar.  It’s SO good.

2. I have a friend date tonight to go eat Indian Food.  I’ve had it a few times and liked it…but I am never totally sure what to order.  Indian food lovers, what do you get?

3. I’m down 5 pounds.  Woop woop!  I haven’t done great on getting in extra workouts, but I’m working on making better food choices…so it’s helping. Feeling good!

4. I got my first CSA box this week. I’m SO glad that the program started back up and love getting fresh produce every week.  This week we got strawberries, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, and green onions. I’ve made some healthy meals with them (which I’ll blog about next week!).

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5. We are finally getting to see the musical Once tomorrow!  I have wanted to see it for two trips to NYC, but it was sold out.  It’s finally on tour and coming near us – so we are taking a day trip to see it.  Can’t wait!

So that’s the highlights of this week.  What’s going on with you?  I’d love to hear about your life. 🙂

 


8th CSA Box and Blueberry Soup

8th CSA Box and Blueberry Soup

I totally dove right into my 8th CSA box without taking a picture…but it included: 6 ears of corn, a cucumber, 3 tomatoes, 2 zucchini, a BIG head of bright green cabbage (which I learned is a Savoy cabbage), and a big box of blueberries.

I’m making more of my corn, eggrolls with the cabbage, and I’m making baked breaded zucchini.

I had an overwhelming amount of blueberries (too many to just eat as snacks) so I decided to make some blueberry soup.  On the cruises we’ve been on the past, they have had some cold fruit soups that were AMAZING, so I found a blueberry soup recipe that I adjusted just a little.


Cold Blueberry Soup
Ingredients:

  • 4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • sprinkles of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger to taste (probably used 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of each
  • tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
Combine blueberries, water, sugar, spices, and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once it boils, remove from heat and let cool off a little.  Blend the soup until your desired consistency (I used a stick blender and made mine pretty smooth….you could also do batches in a blender or use a food processor).  Once smooth, stir in the yogurt.  Chill the soup until cold.  Serve with a dollop of more yogurt or whipped cream.
It’s been THE perfect late night after dinner snack, or I’ve even had some for breakfast.  SO good.

7th CSA Box and Grilled Corn Recipe

7th CSA Box and Grilled Corn Recipe

Our 6th CSA box had green beans, corn, Brussels sprouts, a tomato, a cucumber, and a HUGE box of delicious blueberries.
I made balsamic brussels with the brussels, made a green bean tomato salad, at the blueberries for snacks and breakfasts….and grilled the corn.
I LOVE grilled corn.  Here’s how I do mine.
I take the husks and silks off, and I put the ears in the crockpot for a couple hours on high.  This just starts to soften the corn and makes them nice and moist so they do well on the grill.
Then I grill them for 15-20 minutes on medium heat until they are soft and starting to char.
Then comes the good stuff.
I take for about 4-6 ears of corn: half a stick of butter, 2 tablespoons mayo, 2 tsp season salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, and a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Then the hot charred ears get smeared with the good sauce…and you enjoy.  I can seriously make a meal out of this corn.  It’s just so good. It ain’t pretty, but it’s SO good.


Everything You Need to Know about CSA Programs

Everything You Need to Know about CSA Programs

CSA Program 101

Ok, so I’ve been posting about our weekly bounty in our CSA boxes…but I realized I may not have done a great job explaining what this program is.  So, here we go.

What is a CSA Box?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s a great way to get fresh, local produce directly from a farmer.  Here’s how a CSA box works:

-You buy into the program with a participating farm. It’s sort of like buying “stock” into the farm. My “shares” of the farm include a weekly box of produce…but other farms may offer other products like meat, cheese, eggs, flowers, baked goods, or other services as part of their CSA program.  The “share” is a subscription.  My subscription was for 10 weekly boxes (which actually got spread out a bit due to the harvest).

How does a community supported agriculture program work?

CSA programs work because they allow the farmer to have buyers for their food before the harvest, get cash flow before the season, and get to know the people who eat their food.  For me, it means I get a great variety of fresh food, get to visit the farm to pick up my food, get to try new things.  It’s awesome. Farms may also sell their produce to the general (non-CSA member) public – mine does! – but having people support the farm through a CSA program allows the farmer to know that a percentage of their crop is sold.  For example, my farm doesn’t produce a ton of raspberries, but they have some.  The CSA program got the first harvest of raspberries, and then the rest were sold in their farm store.  So that allowed the farmer to know that most of the raspberries were already sold, so they didn’t have to worry about promoting the fact that they had a raspberry harvest during a particular week in order to sell a bunch of raspberries.

When you sign up for a CSA program, you will get your pickup directions.  At my CSA, I get an email on a Sunday telling us that there is or isn’t a CSA box for that week.  Usually the email says what will be in the box.  At our CSA, we had to designate a pick up day…mine is Monday.  So on Mondays, I stop by the farm on my way home and get my box.  If there is produce that needs to be refrigerated, the box is in their big fridge, if not, it’s sitting in their farm store.  The boxes are labeled with our names (because some weeks we are able to request specific herbs be included in our boxes), and I have two boxes that I rotate through.  Each week I bring back my empty box and take home a full one.

So how do you find a farm that participates in a CSA box program?

Well, I found mine because we were at the farm picking pumpkins…and I saw a sign about their CSA program and asked about it.  But you might be able to google “CSA ___” and fill in your town to find one.  I have also heard that Local Harvest has a listing of farms for you to search through.

How much does a CSA program cost?

My program was $22/week for 10 weeks for a total of $220.  I had to pay upfront.  If I return next year, I will get a $2/week discount, making it $20/week.  I have gotten enough produce to make the $20/week totally worth it…however since we are a family of two…sometimes in order to go through all of the produce before it goes bad/we get another box, I’ve had to process (freeze, bake, use up) the produce or give some of it away.  But, it’s definitely been worth the cost.

I’ve gotten to try veggies I never would have purchased, like Savoy cabbage and beets.  We have been forced to eat lots of healthy fruits and veggies because we have gotten them weekly.  It’s awesome.  If you have a CSA box program in your area, I highly recommend the experience.  You can support a local farm, get healthy food, and try new things!