My little garden in the backyard has finally started producing something! After a REALLY disappointing zucchini season – read: Lack Thereof – the garden has made up for things by giving me a ton of cucumbers. I planted lemon cucumbers, regular old green cucumbers, and miniature white cucumbers. I’ve foisted some off on the neighbors, and have been eating a lot of them fresh out of the garden, but there are still too many. So, I found a wonderful recipe for cucumber soup. I doubled the recipe, using three green cukes, two lemon cukes, and two of the over-ripe white cukes that turned bright yellow. Used cilantro, oregano, basil, and sage from the deck herb planters, plain old water instead of broth, and left out the avocado. My soup isn’t bright green like the picture in the recipe, but I let the onion get a good carmelization going which contributed to the brownish tinge to the soup. It’s great both hot and cold, with or without the dollop of yogurt.
Week three brings us Shiitake Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with a salad covered in Portabella mushrooms. I really cannot get enough of those crispy spring greens and they’ve been making an appearance at every meal. The ‘alfredo’ sauce was home made, and while it didn’t come out just like the store-bought stuff, it was pretty good for using only local ingredients. I probably could’ve added a hunk of cheese to make it more flavorful, but didn’t happen to have any on hand. I’m a little late getting this one posted (week 4 is cooked and consumed already!), but, better late than never, right? Here’s the run-down.
My basic recipe consists of one cup whole wheat pastry flour, one egg, a teaspoon of olive oil and water to make proper consistency. Then the good ole KitchenAid Mixer with pasta roller/cutter attachment does the rest!
Flour - Mill at Anselma
Egg – Mountain View Organics
Non-Local – Olive Oil
Chicken was marinated in olive oil, pepper and italian seasoning, then tossed on the grill.
Chicken – Mountain View Organics
Non-Local – Pepper, salt, olive oil
I’m not going to provide the recipe because it didn’t come out right, but I’ll give you a basic idea. Mushrooms and spring garlic were sauteed in some olive oil. Melted butter and added flour to thicken to a roux. Then added milk and goat’s milk yogurt to make consistency.
Raw Milk – Kimberton Hills Dairy
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Flour - Mill at Anselma
Spring Garlic – Jack’s Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Non-Local – Butter, Olive Oil
Spring Mix Greens – Jack’s Farm
Portabella Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Non-Local – Salad Dressing
And we’re onto Week 2. So far, there’s not a lot of produce to pick from at the market given that our growing season REALLY gets moving at the end of May into early June. Oley Valley Mushrooms always comes through with fantastic mushrooms – these Crimini ‘shrooms were seriously the best mushrooms I have ever eaten. There may have been one or two that didn’t make it into the pan. The recipe we used was the Beef Stroganoff recipe from SimplyRecipes.com with a couple of local substitutions made. We used bison in place of beef, goat’s milk yogurt instead of sour cream, and since we couldn’t find onions at the market just yet, we ended up replacing those with a few leeks and it worked out just fine. So, let’s start in the back with the bread and run around, clockwise.
Bread – Saint Peter’s Bakery. This was their rustic white bread, which was sweet and super soft.
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms. Crimini mushrooms with this incredible earthy flavor.
Bison – Backyard Bison. We used a sirloin that we happened to have in the freezer from a few markets ago.
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm. The yogurt is tangy and actually made a perfect substitute for sour cream.
Leeks – Hoagland Farm. It’s a little bit of an odd substitution for shallots, but it worked out well.
Noodles – Mill at Anselma. The base for the noodles was whole wheat pastry flour from the mill made with wheat grown in Pennsylvania. This is one find that I’m SUPER proud of and just love that it’s a local ingredient. I also used an egg from Mountain View Organics and a touch of olive oil. Then the pasta roller/cutter and KitchenAid mixer did the rest of the work. These noodles really came out fantastic, arguably my best attempt at pasta yet.
Non-local – Olive oil, spices.
Honey Rhubarb Muffin:
Okay, maybe this wasn’t 100% local, but we’ll call it a bonus localish item on the plate. The recipe came from here and I tried to keep it as local as possible, but with bakery items, it’s just not possible to use pastry flour and get just the right consistency. A blend of flours (all-purpose and pastry) seems to work out best, and I figure it’s better to stick with that than force the locality issue and get something that’s more like hardtack than a muffin. We left out the chopped nuts.
Flour – Mill at Anselma. Split 50/50 with generic all-purpose flour.
Rhubarb – Hoagland Farm. I remember not liking rhubarb as a kid, but now? I cannot get enough. There is chopped rhubarb in the muffin as well as a sort of honey rhubarb reduction jelly sort of spread on top.
Egg – Mountain View Organics.
Sour Cream – Shellbark Hollow Farm. Substituted goat’s milk yogurt here again, and it worked fine.
Honey – Baues Busy Bees.
Non-local – Sugar, Canola Oil, Salt, Baking Soda, Vanilla
Penns Woods Chambourcin Reserve (2006). It’s a local winery that we hadn’t had the chance to try before and decided to go for it since they were at the farmer’s market running tastings. We were not disappointed.
This might just be the best one local summer meal we’ve ever made. I’m pretty sure it will be going into regular dinner rotation in the future! Now I want to hear about some other recipe sites that you enjoy using for dinner ideas. I’m slowly picking through Elise’s Simply Recipes site and am just plain running out of meal ideas. So, please share your favorites!
I don’t think farmtophilly.com is doing the One Local Summer challenge again, so I figured I’d just do it on my own for the duration of the summer Phoenixville Farmer’s Market. This past weekend was the first market for the regular season and wow was it incredible. There were so many great vendors, and the market was PACKED! So nice to see. So, the meal!
Clockwise, starting with the pile of mushrooms..
Portabella mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms. Always delicious.
Mixed Greens – Jack’s Farm. Crisp and clean. Perfect.
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills. This blue cheese is incredible and a household favorite.
Bread – Sweetwater Bakery. The ingredients may not be entirely local, but the baking sure is. This is the first time we’ve tried their bread and we were definitely not disappointed.
Chicken – Mountain View Organics. Pounded out thin
Bacon – Countrytime Farm. Nitrate free, and if you’ve never had nitrate free bacon? This stuff is amazing.
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms. Same Portabella’s as the salad, and they cooked up perfectly.
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills. Same as in the Salad.
We marinated the chicken in homebrewed beer, garlic, and spices, then added some BBQ sauce (mixed with Tangerine juice, maple syrup, and Good Ole Jack) and some other spices on the outside (paprika, Montreal Chicken Seasoning) while it was cooking up in the smoker.
This was a pretty easy one. The bacon stayed soft inside the roulade and the fat also kept the chicken moist, not to mention the slow-cooking in the smoker aided as well. The Husband decided to not use mushrooms in his (blasphemy, I know), but did come up with an excellent BBQ sauce and spiced the outside just right.
I’m so excited for another Local Summer to get started, I’m already planning a whole bunch of meals in my head for the next few weeks until my backyard vegetable garden gets growing!
My two little jalapeno pepper plants were VERY good to me this year. TWO POUNDS OF PEPPERS good to me. The first pound went to jalapeno pepper jelly which quickly became a favorite with the husband. The most recent pound was waiting for me in the fridge since I wasn’t sure quite what to do with that many jalapenos. Someone suggested jalapeno poppers, but since I’m not a big fan of frying and have never really been able to get that whole breading thing right, the idea was pretty much abandoned. Then I happened upon this recipe and decided to give it a go. The process involves cutting and de-seeding all of the peppers, dipping them in milk, then flour and after a quick dry, two rounds through milk and bread crumbs. It’s time consuming (especially when there are 56 poppers to make), but the result is a PERFECT jalapeno popper. I’m really kind of shocked that these came out so well. Served up with a little sour cream, they make a great snack. I plan on freezing most of them to save for later since there are 56!
|Torta di Mele (Apple Cake)|
|2 Eggs||300 g (2.25 cup) All-Purpose Flour|
|200 g (1 cup) Sugar||1 tsp Baking Powder|
|1/2 cup Olive Oil||4 Apples, peeled and sliced thinly|
|1 cup Milk||1 tbsp Confectioners Sugar (optional)|
We had a sort of hectic week, but I still managed to get a local meal in. There was a party at the house last night, and I managed to get up in the morning and throw together some pancakes (quickly becoming a favorite around here) with some fresh plums from the farmer’s market. Ingredients are the same as Week 9, but with no blackberries this time. The plums were sliced and plopped on the griddle to warm up, then put in a bowl with some maple syrup and cinnamon while the pancakes were being made. The tartness of the slightly under-ripe plums worked really well with the sweetness of the maple syrup and the whole thing was just plain delightful, receiving rave reviews from the guests who stayed over for the night. Non-local ingredients include cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Mill at Anselma
Egg – Mt. View Organics
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Plums – North Star Orchard
Maple Syrup – Miller’s Maple
And another week down, bringing us to week eleven of the One Local Summer challenge. This week we decided to attack the pulled pork sandwich. I wasn’t able to find locally baked rolls that would work for sandwiches, so we found Vermont Bread Company rolls at Kimberton Whole Foods that worked out well, even if they’re not really that local. It’s probably the biggest non-local item I’ve used, but I really, honestly tried to find local rolls that would work and just couldn’t find any. Oh well! We did go the extra mile with the barbeque sauce and made that from scratch. The dinner was delicious and while the pork butt took all day to cook in the smoker and then crock pot, it was WELL worth it. Non-local ingredients used (other than the rolls) were in the barbeque sauce: pepper, salt, cider vinegar. The rest of the ingredient run down follows.
Corn: Kimberton Whole Foods (locally grown)
Peaches: North Star Orchards
Feta Cheese: Apple Tree Goat Dairy
Pork Butt: Countrytime Farm
Maple Sugar: Miller’s Maple
Tomatoes: Jack’s Farm
Garlic: Jack’s Farm
Onion: North Star Orchards
I honestly never meant for this to be a food blog. But I seemed to have (re)discovered the fun of cooking and baking over the summer, in part because of the One Local Summer challenge. I was the microwave queen – I regularly told people that I didn’t cook, I microwaved, and I got married so that I would have someone to cook for me (the husband, he really likes our kitchen). Well I guess I can’t say that anymore, now can I? There are two food related things I’d like to share with you today. Maybe a knitting post later this week
|This is a sweet little creation, the Double Vanilla Cupcake. Delightful! There’s something so fresh and sweet about a good vanilla bean ice cream that I really enjoy and that translated 100% into this recipe. I whipped these up last night for a friend’s birthday and they were a big hit. We stuck them in the fridge to firm up the icing (it was REALLY hot today) and they came out just perfect, so much so that a chocoholic even rated them a 99 out of 100 (with chocolate being the unbeatable 100). Not bad, if I do say so myself. The real vanilla beans are what make these so delicious and I can’t imagine making them without the beans. Oh and we had a little extra icing, so I need to find some graham crackers to make some icing sandwiches since that’s what mom did when we were kids and had some leftover icing from a birthday cake. OM NOM NOM.|
Lemon Cucumber Pickles! That is, Lemon Cucumber, not lemon flavored cucumbers. I promised a post about these, and here it is. I decided to go all out and got myself a pressure canner and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, commonly referred to as the ‘bible’ of canning and preserving. These pickles are the basic dill pickle recipe with the added garlic and were rather simple to make. Slice home-grown cucumbers, let soak overnight with salt and ice, boil pickling spice and vinegar, process filled jars in boiling water! It’s really that easy. The hardest part is waiting about four weeks for them to mature and marinate in the jars. They’re sitting on my kitchen counter, taunting me with their cheerful yellow rinds and mustard seeds, telling me how delicious they will be if I could just wait another two or three weeks. I’m not sure I have that much will power.
One Local Summer is already at Week 9. Nine whole weeks of making one meal with local ingredients per week. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far! So, this week I went for simple, since I was doing a whole week of zucchini recipes. The simple though paid off with an incredible taste, and something I really hadn’t thought of doing – making pancakes from scratch. Easier than I ever would’ve thought! One egg, one cup of flour, about 1.5 cups of yogurt, and the non local ingredients (2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, a touch of salt). Whisk together, throw in some blackberries, and VOILA! Fluffy, delicious pancakes. Optionally, add some chocolate chips for a just-one-more dessert pancake. The eggs came from Mt. View Organics at the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market, the flour from the Mill at Anselma, the yogurt from Shellbark Hollow Farm, and the blackberries were hand-picked from a patch of blackberry bushes overflowing with ripe berries at Willow Creek. The whole thing was topped off with maple syrup from Miller’s Maple. The best thing about this is that the whole house smelled like fresh pancakes for the rest of the day!