My Yummy Local Life

{April 26, 2013}   Yum Yum Produce Box #8

It’s my 8th week of a CSA box from Yum Yum Produce. I feel like we are getting into a groove. We are able to tell which things need to be used right away and which can be kept over for a week or two if necessary.

Spring must really be in the air because we got a few new things in the box this week


Here’s what this weeks box had inside:
1 bunch of kale
4 carrots (no tops)
1 napolitos (cactus pad)
1 bag of sprouts (I will never run out of sprouts it seems)
1 small cabbage
1 large bunch of cilantro (which makes hubby very happy)
3 artichokes
4 spring onions
2 garlic chives

So as you can see by the spring onions, cilantro, garlic chives and artichoke (!) the days of only leafy greens are gone and spring is officially here.

So what to make this week?

I was semi-unsuccessful with my first preparation of napolitos. They were tasty, but slimy. I did some research and came up with a couple new ideas. I think we’re going to try them fried. My logic is that I like fried okra and its kind of slimy so fried napolitos might be good too. I thought originally that I cooked the last one too long but after reading some more I think it wasn’t log enough. Also I might forage some more on my own to freeze for these smoothies come summer cucumber season.

I’m thinking I will keep it simple with the artichokes as roast them. I would grill them but alas we do not have a grill yet. I haven’t decided what to have along with them yet. Traditionally my family eats artichokes and baby back ribs together (with a big bowl in the middle of the table to toss the leaves and bones into). As a kid this was awesome because the whole meal was “food you can throw.”

I like the looks of this stuffed cabbage recipe I found on Pinterest, but it has a ton of ingredients. We might try to simplify it up a bit.

I’m letting the hubby decide what to do with the cilantro which I was only convinced to even try consuming when I learned that it was a super food. It’s growing on me but still not my favorite. While I was looking for some ideas for my “trying not to hate cilantro” board on Pinterest I came across these flautas. I’m not ready for cilantro pesto yet, but I’m going to be trying them with regular pesto.

I still have some whey left, and potatoes and turnips…so I am hoping to try the soup that AnnieRie Unplugged made with her whey last week.


{April 19, 2013}   Yum yum produce box # 7

Well I made it through my first 6 week cycle of CSA boxes. And now here I am at the beginning of another cycle. This week we got another lovely box of veggies:


This weeks box has:
Napolitos (prickly pear pad)- these grow like weeds in AZ so it’d be awesome if I like it.
1 bag of sprouts
1 large bunch of carrots
1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 bunch of rutabaga
1 bunch of Russian red kale
2 extra large fennel bulbs

So my ingredient of the week is fennel. There is SO much of it and the flavor goes such a long way. My thought is that it will get to go in a little bit of everything. A few of my ideas are fennel pork potstickers, Caramelized fennel & onion pizza, and mussels in a fennel wine broth. I am hopeful that these three will use most of the fennel.

The newsletter that came with my box says that the cactus pads are often grilled and then added to eggs or as a tortilla filling. So I’m thinking we’ll go with that for a first attempt.

I still have a lot of canned pumpkin left and this kale and pumpkin lasagna looks like it will be pretty tasty. We’re bringing dinner to a friend this week too so we can split the batch of lasagna. I usually exchange cottage cheese for the ricotta cheese- I think the texture is a little better and it adds some extra protein.

At this point I am hiding carrots in anything and everything, so not making any special plans for those.

The rutabaga is just gonna hang for a while. It will last longer than everything else so it’s going to hang out with the turnip from last week until I hear of a great idea for these root veggies. Any particular ways you love to have rutabaga or turnips?

Also, the sauerkraut we made last week is ready to consume and we are nearly done with the latest batch of corned beef. The bread of the week this week will be marbled rye. Add those up and we’ll be having a Ruben night.

I venture into the raw milk world this week and sure enough it did not bother my tummy like regular pasteurized milk does. The only problem is that we can only buy it by the gallon at the store. Not wanting it to go bad, I used some of it and made farmers cheese.


This was my very first time making cheese. Having gotten past the hurdle of doing it once, I’m ready to get a kit and start making a variety of cheeses. (Maybe the next Reuben day will involve homemade Swiss cheese too!)


As always, you can check out some more CSA boxes at In Her Chucks’ link party.

Have a yummy local week!

{April 13, 2013}   Yum Yum Produce Box # 6


I’m a day late posting this, but sometimes life just sneaks up on you and my days have been busy. My box is interesting again this week. Here’s what we got:

1 bunch radish pods
1 bunch rainbow chard
2 turnips with tops
1 bag of sprouts
1 bunch of collard greens
1 bunch of kale
1 HUGE cabbage
5 HUGE carrots

I had to look up some recipe ideas for the radish pods. We settled on a version of this winter vegetable pizza. I think we’ll use our own dough and add some cheese to it. I have a hard time with pizza recipes that don’t call for cheese.

Some of the cabbage is being made into homemade sauerkraut. And some of it will be in the above pizza. And some will again be making these okonomiyaki pancakes, which are my new favorite way to eat cabbage.

I feel like there are greens coming out of my ears. If anyone has any main dish ideas for chard or kale or collards (or better yet all three?!) they will be most appreciated. We’re planning on a salad night but that will barely make a dent.

The carrots are okay that I am overrun with them because I have plenty of ideas. For example, this week I think I will make some into kraut (apparently you can add other veggies to sauerkraut), and also I am going to try my hand at carrot cake jam which I think will make excellent gifts as needed-plus I’ll get to break out my canner before it is hot outside!

Other things I am excited about this week are that we are going to get a gallon of raw milk for the first time ever to try (legal in AZ!), I found white unbleached flour from Colorado in 25 pound bags, and I will soon be the proud tenant of a community garden plot in Cottonwood.

Go check out the other yummy boxes at In her Chucks and have a very yummy week.

{April 10, 2013}   Carrot cake waffles

Remember all those carrots we froze. Well I decide it would be a good idea to make some carrot cake waffles to use a few of them up. I have been making waffles and freezing them for my breakfast food for a while but this is the first time I have invented a waffle recipe of my own.

Carrot Cake Waffles
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s plain waffles (which are also good for freezing)

1c whole wheat flour
1c white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tbps brown sugar
1tsp pumpkin pie spice (can substitute 1/2tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 large carrot shredded (1-1.5c)
3 eggs
4 Tbsp butter melted (or half butter, half EVOO)
16 oz “buttermilk” (I never buy this stuff, just combine a little lemon or lime and some milk- cows or alternate will do fine)
1 tsp vanilla

Step 1: Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and spices in a medium bowl.


Step 2: Add the carrots to the dry mixture and coat.

Step 3: Combine the wet ingredients, then add them to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.


Step 4: Preheat your waffle iron. Let the mixture sit while it heats. Once iron is hot, scoop the mixture onto the waffle iron and cool per your irons instructions.




This recipe usually makes about 8-12 waffles for me. I typically use a half cup size to scoop each batch of batter onto my waffle iron.

To freeze the waffles, let them come to room temperature and then lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place in your freezer for 3 hours (or overnight). Once they are frozen you can store them in a zip top bag. To reheat just stick them in the toaster.

These carrot cake waffles are good with either powered sugar or peanut butter on them 🙂 Enjoy!

This post is linked up on frugally sustainable’s blog hop.

{April 7, 2013}   52 Weeks of bread: weeks 9-13

I’m trying to make a different bread every week of the year. So far this is what I’ve got:

Week 1: Challah bread

Week 2: English Muffins

Week 3:Oatmeal Rolls

Week 4: Harvest Grape Bread (pull apart rolls)

Week 5: Potato Rosemary Bread

Week 6: Casatiello bread

Week 6 bonus: King Cake

Week 7: Focaccia Bread

Week 8: Italian Bread

Week 8 bonus: Plain soft pretzels/bites

Week 9: Pitas (x2)


We made two batches of pita bread to have for snacks with hummus when we were hiking and visiting the Grand Canyon with our friends who were here on spring break. The best part of pita bread is it only takes a couple hours start to finish.

I use the whole wheat version of pitas from Mark Bittman’s book How to Cook Everything.

Week 10: Pizza/Stromboli



Okay- we actually make this ALL the time. The pizza dough we make is perfect for pizza, bread sticks, calzones and Stromboli. I think Stromboli is our new favorite.

3 cups of white flour, 2 tsp yeast, 2 tsp salt, 2 T EVOO, approximately 1 cup of water. Mix, let rise for at least one hour. Makes enough for 2 large or three small pizzas, 6 calzones, 2 large Stromboli. It also freezes and defrosts very nicely 🙂

Week 11: Irish soda bread


It was St. Patrick’s Day so of course we had to make some soda bread. The recipe I used this time around was from Ina Garten, but I added caraway seeds to it.

Week 12: Bread bowls



I needed a fix of broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl, so I decided to make my own. I only made a half recipe so we wouldn’t be drowning in bread bowls.

Week 13: Made with Love Bakery’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread


This is the bread that my church in NC, Love Chapel Hill, uses for communion. I made it for Easter to bring to my new church in AZ’s bread and fish breakfast. The old meets the new 🙂 This recipe is not mine to share but Made with Love will be up and running in Chapel Hill this summer.

Week 13 bonus Bacon Epi(c) Bread

We had a bacon feast and I was in charge of making the bread. These beauties have a slice of bacon inside. Epi is the shape, but I would say they are also epic!


* Unless otherwise noted/linked up, all of my bread recipes come from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Book, which I would highly recommend.

{April 5, 2013}   Yum Yum Produce Box #5


We got box 5 of 6 today, and confirmed our sign up for the next 6 weeks. It might be the last spring cycle and then no more box until July which is a little sad. I’m already getting used to my weekly box!

Today we got:

1 bunch red Russian kale
1 bunch of Rutabagas
1 bunch of white Radishes? (the small white ones…I’m not positive, they could be mini turnips?)
1 bag sprouts
1 bag white beans
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch collard greens
1 lonely orange 🙂

We are thinking of inventing some kind of sausage with root veggie bake to use some carrots, rutabaga and radishes up (maybe some potatoes too).

There will definitely be more collard green smoothies as this is currently my only way to like the bitter greens. The good news is I froze two whole pineapples this week (they were in sale for $1 each) so I have something sweet to balance them out.

The sprouts and kale will probably become this weeks salad mix. We’ve been getting a head of romaine to go with our greens and have ready to use salad mix. We found that you can keep the cut greens fresh for a few days by putting a damp paper towel over them (thanks again Pinterest).

We might use up some of the beans this week, but I have not decide what for yet.

That lovely orange is probably being consumed right about now my hubby for a mid morning snack/breakfast. It didn’t stand a chance.

As always, go check out all the other CSA yummies at In Her Chucks.

Have a yummy local week!

A while back I posted how we make the Perfect White Rice every time we need rice. One of our favorite things to go with all that rice is a simple batch of black beans.

Once again we use the slow cooker so we don’t have to be home while the beans are doing their thing.

Here’s what to do:

1. Soak a couple of cups of beans in water overnight. *unless you want to wait forever or possibly have crunchy beans- don’t skip this step!*

2. Pour your strained, soaked beans into your slow cooker.


3. Add one small onion and a clove or two of garlic. I make the onion small enough to be bite size but big enough to pick around since hubby wants to eat it with his beans and I do not.


4. Add a healthy dose of salt, seasonings of your choice (I used a chili seasoning blend this time), and a dash of cider vinegar. These are going to give your beans some flavor.


5. Cover the beans with water so there is about an inch or so above the beans.


6. Cook on low all day (6-10hrs). They will look like this when they are done, and be soft all the way through but not dissolving into mush.


We typically serve the beans over rice with an array of toppings to choose from. Some of these include: green onions, avocado, sour cream, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, and salsa. Sometimes we will add spinach or another leafy green to the bowl for that “burrito bowl” effect.

This post is linked up on frugally sustainable’s blog hop.

et cetera