Saturday, June 27, 2009

CSA Report - Week 4

Here's what I got this week:

  • 3 small heads of leaf lettuce (includes one head from the free choice table)
  • 1.5 lbs sugar snap peas (includes additional full share)
  • .75 lbs snow peas (includes additional full share)
It doesn't seem like much, but I made good use of it. There was a flavorful salad made from another grilled portobello and more of that chevre I've discovered. And I made some hummus to dip those sugar snap peas into for lunch a couple of days this week. I blanched and froze the snow peas to use in stir-fries later in the year. There was no way I could eat all those peas this week. Can't wait to see what next week's share brings!

Monday, June 22, 2009

OLS Week 4 - Chevre Steals My Heart

When I went to the farmer's market on Sunday and saw portobello caps on sale for a Father's Day special I had to have them. I tried a stuffed portobello recipe last summer that I absolutely loved. I was hoping to make them as my One Local Summer meal this week. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any local ricotta cheese for the filling.

After searching high and low (OK, just at the farmer's market and Whole Foods) I found some local goat cheese that I thought might work. I've never had chevre, so I wasn't sure what I was getting or what to do with it other than use it like I would feta--sprinkled over or tossed into a salad. It was the right consistency, though, so I thought I'd give it a try. After doing a quick internet search, I decided I wasn't going to stuff the caps and would do something different. Here's what I came up with, combining and modifying several recipes I came across.

Open-faced Portobello Stacks with Chevre Spread


2 hard rolls (I used french rolls, but you could use any small to medium sized, hard crust rolls)
1/4 cup chevre
2 TBSP + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, divided
2 tsp + 1 tsp olive oil, divided
1/4 sweet onion, sliced thinly
4 thick slices tomato
2 portobello caps, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
salt and pepper to taste


Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced onion and cook until caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the meantime, heat the grill. Spray or brush cut sides of each portobello slices with 2 tsp olive oil. Then brush with each portobello slice with 1 TBSP olive oil. Place on the grill, sliced side down and grill about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from grill.

In a small bowl, mix chevre with 1 tsp balsamic vinegar and stir until smooth.

Slice your rolls and grill sliced side down just until grill marks appear. Remove from grill and spread each side of the rolls with 1 TBSP of the chevre. Top each with one slice tomato, 1/4 caramelized onions and 1/4 the portobello slices. Drizzle with remaining 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 open-faced stacks (two servings).

They were a little messy, but they were scrumptious and I'll definitely be making them again!

The Local Low-Down: All ingredients except salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil were local. I paired the sandwich with a glass of local wine for a perfect, light and satisfying dinner.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

OLS Week 3 and a CSA Report

I didn't get a picture of this week's CSA share, but it was a good one. There wasn't a lot to it, but I'm making good use of it.

  • 0.5 lb sugar snap peas
  • 0.25 lb snow peas
  • 1 head lettuce
As for this week's One Local Summer meal, I fell back on those fresh eggs again. I'm doing a bit of a "vegetarian experiment" and finding local protein sources other than eggs has been a bit of a challenge. I don't mind too much, though.

This week I made a frittata, which has become one of my favorite egg dishes since I discovered them last year. A few eggs, some sauteed garlic, scallions, asparagus, and green and yellow zucchini and I'm a happy, local-eating girl. I added a side of new potato homefries and I was satisfied.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

OLS Week 2 - A Childhood Stand-by

I didn't plan well for this week's local meal, so my farmer's market trip this morning was focused on finding something quick and easy I could make for a local lunch today. When I saw the new potatoes, I immediately had an idea. One of may favorite meals as a child was one that my mother would make when there wasn't much in the refrigerator or she didn't have the time and energy for a more elaborate meal: a fried egg over fried sliced potatoes (usually from a can).

To mimic this meal with local ingredients, I thinly sliced a couple new potatoes and fried them in a bit of (non-local) olive oil with a chopped scallion and a chopped garlic scape. Then I fried a fresh egg and placed it over the bed of potatoes. When the yoke breaks, the potatoes soak it up. Easy and delicious.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Thanks so much to all of you who voted for my next pair of glasses. I counted all mentions, since some of you chose more than one pair. The winner by a landslide vote was A:

F (a very similar pair) came in second with 5 mentions. C (the oval pair) and B (the bronze-y rectangles) trailed behind with 3 and 2 votes respectively.

The interesting thing was that my favorites and yours were not the same. I liked A and F, but wasn't quite comfortable with how dark they were against my light skin. B, which only got 2 votes, was my favorite pair. In fact, I went frame shopping with those exact frames (Bebe's "Drama Queen" if anyone is interested) in mind. My sister-in-law wears them and I tried them on when I was visiting my family recently and loved how they looked on me. At least a couple of you found them appealing.

I actually didn't like C at all, but included them because, as I mentioned, I'm not very good at this. When some of you picked them I was a bit surprised. The good news is, if I remember correctly, your first choice was the cheapest pair of frames in the batch.

Looking at these pictures pretty regularly over the last few days has helped me get used to seeing myself in glasses, and I'm starting to like what I see. I'm also coming to agree with the majority of voters that the darker frames do look good on me. Since the first and second choices were so similar, I'll go back and try them both on and make a final decision then. I'm also considering getting a second pair (B) so that I can change things up when I'm feeling a little less trendy and dramatic. Of course, buying that second pair will depend on price and how much my insurance covers.

As for the winner of a small thank-you gift, Mel at Box of Chocolates will be getting a package in the near future just for voicing her opinion. Her comment (#9) was selected by the random number generator at

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mayday! Style Advice Requested

For as long as I've needed to wear corrective lenses all the time, I've been wearing contact lenses. I have glasses, but I don't wear them often, mostly because I'm not very good at picking out frames. I usually think I like the ones I pick out, but within a few weeks, I hate how they look on me. So my glasses (which I spend significant amounts of money on) end up hanging out on my nightstand and get worn in the evenings and on the weekends when I'm hanging around the house. When absolutely necessary, I will wear them to work or the mall, but that's rare.

A month or so ago, I met someone whose glasses were stylish and fit her face perfectly. This has prompted an all-out search for the perfect frames. It turns out her face is a very similar shape as mine, so I took what I saw and went straight to the nearest vision store to try on some frames. Unfortunately, as soon as I started trying on glasses, I started to get the old wishy-washy, I-hate-how-I-look-in-glasses feeling. I want to find a pair of frames that I'd be happy to wear in public on any day of the week. A pair of frames that make me feel confident and trendy.

I spent an hour trying on frames and snapping shots of myself and I've narrowed the frames down to these six pair. This is where you come in. Please vote for a pair of frames by leaving a comment telling me which ones you like and why you like them. For the most part, the frames are very similar, but that's because the rectangular shape seemed to look best on me. For comparison, I've also included a picture of me in the glasses I currently wear.


Choice A:

Choice B:

Choice C:

Choice D:

Choice E:

Choice F:

I hope you'll help me move out of my contact lens-wearing rut and into the world of trendy eye wear. Vote away, readers--and just for taking time to share your opinion, I'll be choosing a random commenter to send a special thank-you gift.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

CSA Report - Vegetables Make Me Happy

My first CSA report for the season covers weeks one and two since: 1) I was too busy last week to get a post up; and 2) the shares have been pretty small so far. I decided to purchase a half-share again for this year, and I'm so excited for another great harvest.

The season got off to a late start, which I'm assuming is because of all the rain we've been getting lately. The first pick-up was strawberries-only, but I wasn't around for that one. Last week's share included:

  • herbs
  • garlic scapes
  • 1 pint strawberries
This week's share was:
  • 2 heads of leaf lettuce (including an additional half-share)
  • a couple handfuls of loose lettuce
  • garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • a handful of snow peas
  • a few sprigs of mint
Looking forward to what next week brings!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

OLS 2009: Week 1 - Getting Things Started

One Local SummerIt's that time again. Come on, you know what time...One Local Summer time! For my first week, I did as all busy, uncreative local eaters will do. I pulled out the eggs and made an omelet. In fact, if you're a regular reader here, you may recognize this recipe because I posted about a very similar meal during last year's OLS Challenge.

I started with fresh ingredients from the farmers' market: eggs, asparagus, spring onions, and garlic.

I chopped everything up and sauteed the asparagus, garlic and onions (reserving most of the greens).

While that was cooking I whipped the eggs with a dollop of milk, a handful of the onion greens and a little salt and pepper. Then I poured it into a small heated skillet and cooked until firm.

I served the omelet "stuffed" with the asparagus saute and sprinkled with a bit more chopped onion greens.

I hope you're all enjoying the harvests of your local farms, too!

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