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 #jambalaya  #barefoot contessa  #dinner  #cooking with friends  #csa  #Two Small Farms 

barefoot jambalaya

i’ve only made jambalaya starting with a box. it was good, but i’d always been curious about making it from scratch. then i was watching an episode of the barefoot contessa one saturday morning and lo and behold, she and a louisiana pal made it. i printed out the recipe and for the next week i sang a little ditty i made up on the spot, “bare-foot jam-ba-la-ya, bare-foot jam-ba-la-ya” while doing the cha cha through the house. my friend donna had asked if i wanted to cook together sometime and i thought this was a perfect occasion to bust this baby out. we both had some of the basics, so we brought them together (including donna’s homemade chicken stock!) to make one kick-ass dinner.

donna was in charge of chopping the meat and me the veggies. here’s my nice dice of the trinity in cajun cooking — onion, celery and bell pepper.

chopped green onions from the two small farms csa! they went inside both inside the jambalaya and on top as a garnish. fresh and yummy.

diced roma tomatoes. i think they were supposed to be seeded, but as you can see, a few slipped by me.

the proteins in the recipe smoked ham, andouille sausage and shrimp. sounds good to me! here’s the ham and sausage after cooking. i bought smoked ham shank, so we even threw the bone in while cooking for extra flavor. let me tell you, it worked.

sweating the veggies with tomato paste after the meat was cooked. they picked up the little brown bits left from the meat and got nice and tender.

bare-foot-jam-ba-la-ya! this recipe has a lot of ingredients, but is very simple to make. there’s a lot of chopping and prep work, but once you do that, it’s easy breezy. donna and i made the whole recipe and then split it in two. it made more than enough for dinner that night plus leftovers. we had fun cooking it and i know erik and i enjoyed eating it! it was a really flavorful and a cozy dish for a cold evening.

Recipe copyright 2010, Amelia Durand, all rights reserved.

 #kale  #csa  #veggie box  #veggies  #Two Small Farms  #bacon  #braised 

kale - csa week 2

i keep hearing people talk about kale chips. ick. does not sound good at all. so here i was with a fresh bunch of kale from our csa and i spent some time researching recipes. i still wasn’t quite sure what to do with it when my brilliant hubby says, “why don’t you prepare it like the collard greens last week?” oh yeah. bacon, red onions…duh. so that’s what i did and it was damn good!

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 #csa  #Two Small Farms  #veggies  #veggie box  #thyme  #herbs 

fresh thyme - csa week 2

how pretty is this little bunch of fresh thyme? i love the little lavender flowers the dot the end of each sprig. just cute. it came in the box on week 2, but i’ve been using it for the last 2 weeks. it’s hearty and has been very useful in many recipes lately!

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 #csa  #pesto  #two small farms  #veggie box  #cheese  #pizza  #roasted chicken  #leftovers  #cilantro  #cilantro pesto 

cilantro pesto — csa week 1

this pesto is a gorgeous green and has a light, fresh taste to it! two small farms gave me a full bunch of cilantro for week 1, so hubby suggested i try a pesto with it. i found this cilantro pesto recipe on allrecipes.com and it was perfect! i used it on pasta and even as the base of a pizza with leftover roasted chicken. it was so good!

i rolled out the pizza dough to almost fit a half sheet pan. i like my crust on the thin side, so this is a good way to measure thickness. i then brush the edges with olive oil and spread a thin layer of cilantro pesto on the dough instead of pizza sauce.

i added the leftover roasted chicken from last night’s chicken and collard greens dinner on top of the pesto. thanks to my hubby for taking the meat off the chicken bones (i hate the word carcass!) and storing it for another time. we use it to make tacos, burritos and now pizza. look ma, no waste!

you know i like me some cheese, so next came the mozzarella and parm. i also put some fresh ground pepper on top for a little zip. i baked it at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes until the top and crust are golden brown.

and here’s the pie! all baked and oh-so-good. the pesto kinda melted into the crust and matched just right with the chicken.

Recipe from Gena Urias on Allrecipes.com

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 #roasted veggie lasagna  #dinner  #csa  #two small farms  #meatless  #vegetarian 

roasted veggie lasanga — csa week 1

L-R: delicata squash, turnips, baby carrots and fresh spinach.

how gorgeous are these veggies? so fresh and full of color. that’s cos they were picked the day before i got them! thanks to my csa with two small farms, i’m once again able to cook with different veggies than i would usually pickup at the market. these were the veggies i decided to roast to make veggie lasagna last week.

i sliced everything thin, put it on a cookie sheet with olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper. i then roasted them at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. the smell coming from my oven was amazing!

i also took a few bunches of spinach from the box and sauteed them with a bit of garlic and olive oil, just until they wilted. i wanted them to be soft, but still bright green.

i don’t have an actual lasagna recipe, but i decided to make something new for this version. i usually cook meat (ground turkey or italian sausage) and then let it simmer in the sauce, so it flavors the marinara. since i wasn’t using meat, i wanted to give it a little more punch, so i added a can of tomato paste and some dried oregano to my fave low salt marinara. i learned this trick from a lady at trader joe’s the morning i was shopping for my lasagna. it must have been in the stars for us to meet that day because her trick really livened up my sauce!

i then layered everything three times to make a stacked and yummy lasagna! first was the noodles, sauce, veggies…

then the ricotta cheese…

and finally the mozzarella and parmesan! i put a little layer of parm on top to give it some extra flavor and crispness.

here’s the final product! hot, gooey, cheesy and chock full of veggies. the flavors all came together perfect, making this my new favorite way to make lasagna. hubby and i didn’t miss the meat at all. if you’re trying to incorporate more veggies into your day, this is one damn good way to go!


Roasted Veggie Lasagna

2 small delicata squash (butternut or acorn would work well, too)
3 turnips
5 baby carrots
1 bunch fresh spinach
minced garlic
olive oil
1 jar marinara sauce (or make you own!)
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
9 lasagna noodles
1 tub fresh ricotta cheese
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c grated parm
salt and pepper to taste

slice veggies thin and cover with olive oil, salt and pepper. roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until soft and tender. saute spinach with olive oil and garlic until just wilted. boil noodles until al dente, then drain. layer your lasagna the way you like it. here’s the order i go in (bottom to top):

-bit of sauce on bottom of pan
- noodles
- sauce
- roasted veggies
- spinach
- ricotta
- mozzarella
- repeat 3x and then add parm to the very top

bake covered with foil for 60-70 minutes at 400 degrees. you can bake it at a lower temperature if you have longer to wait, but i’m usually wanting it to be done NOW. remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes to get the top crispy and brown. let sit for a few minutes before slicing into it, unless you like a sloppy piece of lasagna and then i say, go for it! :)

 #soup  #potato leek soup  #csa  #two small farms  #veggie box 

Potato leek soup — CSA week 1

We’re doing a CSA again through Two Small Farms. We subscribed several years ago, but then we moved, got busy, blah blah blah and we didn’t renew the following year. We decided to give it another try this year and start with the 9 week option first. And I’m glad to report that we’re already starting off the season with a bang! I’ve used almost everything in the first week’s box.

Week 1:
Purple Top Turnips

Loose Spinach

Calcot Onions

Winter Density Lettuce

Delicata Squash

Collard Greens
Baby Leeks

I made potato leek soup with the leeks. I found a really easy recipe without cream on Allrecipes.com and it turned out great!

These are the 3 basic ingredients — potatoes, leeks and chicken stock. I had made my own stock the day before using the carcass of a chicken I roasted the night before that. I’ve only made my own stock three times and the first two I just used it to make chicken noodle soup. I was going to freeze this batch to use at a later date and then discovered I had leeks to use up. Yay!

I then peeled 5 lbs. of potatoes, which was so fun. Har. I don’t buy a lot of potatoes and forget how cheap they are. A 5 lb. bag was $1.49 at Lunardi’s! My point is this soup is easy and cheap to make.

You then boil the potatoes in the chicken stock until tender. This took about 30 minutes, but I turned mine down to medium heat once they boiled, just to keep them from falling apart too much.

Saute chopped leeks in butter. Yep, real full-fat butter. They get all soft and smell amazing! You later add them to the pureed potatoes and broth and let simmer.

The soup is creamy without any dairy and very satisfying. One word of caution if you like to heat your food at lava rock temperature like me: Cool this soup down a bit before eating! Unlike a brothy soup that just kinda goes down easy, this stuff adheres itself to the roof of your mouth, your tongue and the back of your throat and it burns! I’m still feeling little bits of scalded skin falling from the roof of my mouth. OUCH! I garnished with a few of my homemade croutons and it was most delicious. Bust out the food processor and give it a whirl.

Recipe from  JJOHN32 on Allrecipes.com