Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jalapeno Poppers

Today on the Paleo Parent's blog, my review for Fatworks will go live!  (UPDATE:  Here's the link!)  I had a great time testing/tasting and reviewing their Leaf Lard and Tallow.  Since I don't fry very often, I wanted to try to fry something with the tallow.  I decided on jalapeno poppers!

After I posted this picture on Facebook, I got a few requests for the recipe.  Here it is:









Grain-Free Jalapeno Poppers

1 block cultured cream cheese, softened
1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (preferable made with raw milk from grass-fed cows)
5 slices bacon, fried crisp then crumbled
Dash of black pepper
Dash of cumin
Dash (or two) of cayenne pepper
8 jalapenos, sliced in half with seeds removed (unless you like it spicy!)
1 egg
Almond flour seasoned with salt and pepper
Tallow for frying

- Mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and spices.
- Spoon the mixture into the jalapeno halves.
- Freeze the cream cheese mixture inside of the jalapenos for 10-15 minutes.  This will keep the cheese        mixture from melting while frying.
- While the peppers are in the freezer, heat your tallow to approximately 375°.  Place the egg in a shallow, flat dish and beat it.  Put the almond flour, salt, and pepper in a separate dish.
- Remove the peppers from the freezer.
- Dip the peppers in the egg then the almond flour.  Add to your hot tallow immediately.
- Fry for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown.
- Work in small batches and give your tallow a few seconds between batches to re-heat.
- Let cool on a towel and then ENJOY!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

CSA - Week 5 & 6

Weeks 5 and 6 were great baskets!

This is what was in our week 5 basket:

Cucumbers - $3
Garlic Scape - $1
New Potatoes - $2
Squash - $3.92
Blueberries - $4.99
Snow Peas - $3
Onions - $1.49
Beets - $3.99

The total value for week 5 is: $23.39

I love cucumbers!  I love to eat them in salads, sliced with salt, dipped in hummus or ranch, but really love them made into Chinese pickles!  In 2005, I visited China with a group in college.  I assumed I wouldn't easily have another opportunity to visit China with people who could speak Chinese without having to take one of those terrible group tours.  Anyhow, while we were there we had these pickles at every meal.  They were served at the beginning of each meal and they were fabulous!  They were sweet and salty and delicious!  When I saw the cucumbers this week, I decided I must find a way to recreate the pickles!  I found this recipe on Allrecipes and it was perfect!!

Pickles and spicy shrimp!

This is what we got in our week 6 basket:

Zucchini - $2.62
Cucumbers - $3
Squash - $3.92
Broccoli - $2.49
Beets - $3.99
Peaches - $5.24
Snow Peas - $3
Lettuce - $2.79

Week 6's total value: $27.05
Total value through week 6: $130.26

This week I made a tasty shrimp, snow pea, and mushroom dish.  I was able t use the snow peas from week 5 and 6 boxes.  Here's the recipe I used for Shrimp with Snow Peas but I made a few substitutions.  I used arrowroot powder instead of corn starch and gin instead of "Chinese cooking wine."  It was very tasty!  I served it with some roasted beets and (surprise, surprise) MORE Chinese pickles!  YUM!

CSA - Week 4

Our week 4 CSA basket was delivered on June 26th.  This was the first week to include beets!  I LOVE beets!

This week we received the following:
Rallo inspecting our week 4 basket.

Swiss Chard - $3.69
Beets - $3.99
Spring Onions - $1.49
Variety of Squash - $5.07
Blueberries - $4.99
Garlic Scape - $1
Cilantro plant - $3.99

Total value of this basket - $24.22
Running total - $79.82

One evening, we made a delicious grilled salmon and had it with the beets (grilled with a little butter, salt, and pepper inside of foil) and the Swiss chard (sauteed in coconut oil with some spring onions and the garlic scape).  I also had a small salad with the remaining variety of greens from week 3.  Dinner was great!  I ate the blueberries for breakfast one day (berries don't last long in our house!).  I made a quick saute of squash and onions with some s&p and garlic (yum!).  We planted the cilantro plant and it looked good for about 3 days... then died.  I kill all herbs.  I don't know why I'm not good at growing herbs.  I keep trying but maybe I should give up? 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

CSA - Week 3

Our week 3 basket was delivered on June 19th.  This basket was great!  We received:

Swiss Chard - $3.69
Spring Onions - $1.49
Garlic Scapes - $1
Sweet Cherries - $3.50
Variety of Greens - $3
Dulles Golf Center coupon for B1G1 bucket of balls - $8

Total value for this week: $20.68
Running total: $55.60

For dinner one evening, I made a tasty Swiss Chard saute and Apple & Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops from Beyond Bacon.

Swiss Chard Sauteing

Washed Swiss Chard
I sauteed the Swiss Chard in a bit of coconut oil with cranberries, pumpkin seeds, a garlic scape, and a splash of pomegranate balsamic vinegar (purchased from Ah Love Oil & Vinegar - awesome store!).

I purchased some pork chops from the Organic Butcher of McLean and pocketed them myself.  Then followed the recipe in Beyond Bacon.

Happy chops in the pot

The end result!

The chops were so tasty!  I took leftovers to work the next day and my coworkers were drooling!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

CSA - Week 2

Our CSA basket for week 2 was delivered on June 12th.  As you can see, I have a lot of catching up to do!

This week we received:

Sweet Cherries (1/2 pint) - $3.50
Asparagus - $3.99
Kale - $3.29
Spring Onions - $1.49

Total value for this week: $12.27
Total running CSA value: $34.92

I ate all the sweet cherries in one sitting!  I had forgotten to throw away my pits and stems when I was done and our pup, Rallo, decided to eat most of the pits.  I immediately called the vet to see if cherry pits were bad for dogs and, of course, they are!  The vet suggested watching him to see if he vomits or becomes lethargic before freaking out (too late!).  Luckily, he was perfectly fine!

We grilled the asparagus and used the spring onions in various dishes throughout the week.  I originally wanted to saute the kale but I decided to try out making some kale chips!  I used the Kale Chips recipe from Nom Nom Paleo (a blog that I love!).  I had to run to Whole Foods and purchase some avocado oil (which also makes a delicious mayo!).  Below, you'll see a picture of the kale chips ready to go into the oven.  Sadly, I didn't get an after picture!  Each batch baked for approximately 12 minutes and each batch was gone by the time the next batch was ready!  I did save enough to give a small bagful to my neighbor.  Rallo loved them too!  Too bad Chris didn't get a chance to try them.  :-)

Kale Chips - Pre-Oven

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CSA - Week 1

Our first CSA delivery arrived at our home on June 5th.  We had left a cooler for the box to fit in on our front stoop.  A few days before I had received an email from Great Country Farms letting us know what we could expect to find in our box that week.

Our beautiful basket items!

Great Country Farms makes every effort to use organic and sustainable methods of farming where possible; however, they are not certified organic.  They do treat their orchards and some crops for pests when necessary.  For my cost comparison, I will compare organic food items except for orchard items with Harris Teeter prices (HT and Whole Foods are my "go to" grocery stores).

Here's what we got week 1:

Bunch of radishes - $1.79
Large bag of spinach - $7.89
2 pints strawberries - $3.50
Asparagus - $3.99 (non-organic price)
Bunch of spring onions - $1.49
Basil plant - $3.99 (price from local nursery)

The total estimated value of our share from week 1 is $22.65.

We grilled the asparagus, used some spinach in an omelet, sauteed the onions and spinach together with some garlic, made this amazing recipe for strawberry gelatin, used the radishes in a salad, and planted the basil plant.  We received a cute "Who's your farmer?" magnet in our basket!  Such a successful basket!

I cannot wait to get into our week 2 basket! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our CSA with Great Country Farms

This is the second year we are participating in a CSA from Great Country Farms!  Last year we had our share delivered to a group location which was in my husband's work building.  This year, our CSA is being delivered to our front door!

The CSA will run for 20 weeks from June 5th to October 16th.  Each basket is different and exciting!  When you purchase a CSA share through Great Country Farms, you receive free admission for every member of your household to visit the farm (regularly $10 per adult for each visit).  There are also weekly items you can pick for yourself (called U-Pick) at the farm included in the CSA cost.

This sounds like such a great price but I wonder if I am getting my money's worth.  The cost for a CSA share this year, including delivery and tax, is $618.45.  I plan to detail what items have arrived in my box each week and estimate the cost I would have to spend at the grocery or farmer's market.  I plan to do this for the season and see how much I have saved (well, hopefully saved!).

Do you participate in a CSA?