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Current happenings on and around the farm!
Posted 10/1/2019 9:17am by Colleen Quiram.

I hope you all don’t mind the large boxes this week! This is consistent with a true CSA model, sometimes crops fail or do not perform as well as we would like (radishes this year, for example), but when harvests exceed our expectations, you reap the rewards by receiving a very full box!

These crops also do not lend themselves well to a confined space, we had to sort through the Butternut squash to find smaller fruits that would fit in your share. I would anticipate next week we will be using the larger sized boxes again, but hopefully most of the items will store well for you through the fall.

Meal planning this week is including a few lunches as we had such a hectic weekend I was not able to prep quite enough meals for the week as I normally do on Sunday. Also, I am including some of the methods I use at home rather than recipes I have found online. These vegetables are some favorites for my husband and me so we have narrowed down what we like to do with them!

Tuesday night – Salmon with roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower. I use the same method here as I do for butternut squash and sweet potatoes – it’s simple, cooks with minimal attention from me, and is flavorful and healthy. Clean the cauliflower and broccoli as normal, toss with 1 Tbsp each melted butter and olive oil, sprinkle with Garlic Powder, Kosher Salt, and Thyme. Spread out onto a large baking pan and roast at 350° for about 25-35min for the cauliflower, adding the broccoli for the last 15 min or so.

I will also take the time tonight to make some tuna salad using the celery and one of the Cippolini onions in our share. Easy, high-protein snack to dip some crackers in!

Wednesday night – Milk Can Supper. This is a favorite of ours when we are camping! Traditionally cooked by ranch hands out west using a true milk can, this meal is filling and super satisfying on a cool day. Another family we camp with has a Can Cooker, essentially a pressure cooker, that we use, but a large stockpot or dutch oven with a tight fitting lid will work well at home. This meal will provide dinner, plus hopefully 4 lunches for Shane and I to finish out the week, and use a majority of our CSA produce: 2 Corn, Cabbage, Carrots, Sausage, Onion, Potaotes, Fennel

Thursday night – Oven Roasted Squash and corn with Pork chops. Oven roasted squash is one of our favorite winter meals! Cut the bulb end off the Buttercup squash, stand the tall meaty part of the squash upright on the cutting board and cut the skin off (similar to cleaning a pineapple), then dice the meat into ½” cubes, toss with 1 Tbsp each melted butter and olive oil, sprinkle with Garlic Powder, Kosher Salt, and Thyme. Spread out onto a large baking pan and roast at 350° for about 30-45min, until edges are slightly crisp.

Saturday – My second head of Cauliflower & Broccolini will be used in the Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken, I should be able to substitute the cauliflower for the broccoli called for in this recipe, and it’s one way I know my son will eat cauliflower!

A quick note on the squash – if you aren’t a squash fan, but love pumpkin spice season, try some of our recipes using cooked squash instead of pumpkin. Butternut is a very smooth and sweet variety, lending itself well to bars, pies, and soups!  Here is the cooking guide, showing how to prepare squash for use in these recipes.

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Pancakes

Grilled Butternut Squash

I hope you all have a chance to provide us with some feedback on our CSA Survey! Your input will only help us make our CSA better as we plan for the 2020 season!  

Storage Tip Links:

Broccoli

Carrots

Onions

Potatoes

Sweet Corn

Tomatoes

Winter Squash

 

Colleen

Posted 9/24/2019 8:58am by Colleen Quiram.

Welcome to the weather roller-coaster we Minnesotans like to call FALL!! September and October can be all over the place with not just temperatures, but rain and sun as well. No matter, I still love this season, the decorating, and the cooking that goes along with it. We are watching the long-range forecast here at the farm, hoping that the cool and damp they expect will change into cool and dry. But we will make the best of it either way!

I feel this share is full of mini-flavors, smaller heads of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, letting us enjoy a little bit of everything without making too much for one family to eat. This variety in our dinners is so nice, as my family tends to eat the same select vegetables all winter long. I am experimenting with a few new recipes for us, hopefully we will find a new family favorite.

My weekly Meal Plan:

TuesdayBroccoli Cauliflower Salad with Grilled Salmon. My grandmother makes a recipe very similar to this one, usually just with broccoli. But I will use both my cauliflower and broccoli, it should be just enough for the three of us with minimal cooking in the possible storms tonight.

WednesdayBacon Wrapped Cabbage with grilled pork chops. Shane recently began smoking all his own bacon, and with such a small cabbage I think this is a great way to use it this week. Bacon makes everything better, right?

Thursday Lunch – Taking Jerry’s advice and having salad with our lettuce, grape tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. I will add some leftover shredded chicken to the salad also.

Thursday – Oven roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts, green beans and cranberries. This dish sounds delicious, and I want to give it a try to see if it’s something I can do for Thanksgiving this fall.

Friday – We are off camping one last time this weekend, so Friday is burgers using our heirloom tomato and some mozzarella cheese.

Saturday – This French Potato Cake with Leeks recipe sounds delicious! We will modify it slightly to be cooked in a cast iron Dutch oven as a side dish to some shrimp/steak/pineapple/pepper skewers for dinner.

All that’s left are the apples! These SweeTango will store for weeks in your refrigerator crisper drawer, snack on them whenever you have that craving for something sweet.

Busy week in your house? Here are some storage tips for your share:

Leeks – wrap in a slightly damp paper towel, the wrap loosely with plastic wrap. Use within a week.

Brussels Sprouts – Snap the sprouts off the stem, place in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Cauliflower – trim leaves from head, wrap loosely in plastic wrap

Broccoli – This will not store long at all, use quickly. If slightly soft to the touch, trim the florets, rinse, and place in a plastic container still damp. Use within a day or two.

Green Beans – These also will not store well very long. Remove from the plastic bag asap and place in a plastic container where they have a bit more room.

Cabbage – this will keep the longest of your vegetables this week! Just store in your crisper drawer. Even after outside leaves start to darken, peel them off and use the remainder of the cabbage.  

Happy Cooking!

Colleen

Posted 9/17/2019 7:13am by Colleen Quiram.

With the warm weather this week, I am finding it difficult to want to spend any time indoors, especially cooking! These last few warm days I want to enjoy outside in the yard, on the deck, soaking up that sunshine before a long winter ahead. With that being said, most of my recipes this week are focused on cooking over the weekend, and not so many week-night meals. At least, not many that take time away from being outside!

Tuesday - I have been looking forward to the celery in this share all summer! I know that’s a weird thing to say, but a few years ago I picked up fresh celery at a farmers market and I was blown away by the peppery flavor and color of it! This celery will be used top to bottom, the leaves and base will be rinsed well and frozen, waiting to be thrown into chicken stock later this fall. Here are other ways to use those celery leaves and not toss them.

The main stalks will be added to chicken salad for Joey, and tuna salad for me this week. This will also use up some of the onion, although if you are finding yourself with an excess of onions, just save this one in a cool dark place for later. I don’t make anything fancy, just diced chicken, celery, onion, olive-oil mayo, and stone ground mustard with a little salt and pepper. High in protein, and portioned out into a quick snack for Joey after cross country practice. Tonight’s dinner will be quick, between sports and scouts we only have about an hour to cook and eat, and I bet I’m not the only parent with those time constraints! Simple brats, our favorites from Dehmer’s in St. Michael, and corn on the cob on the grill.

Wednesday – a quick chicken stir fry using the bok choy, carrots, and peppers for dinner tonight. The baby bok choy is nice and small, this stir fry might have a bit more carrot and pepper to it!

Thursday – Again a busy night for my family! Wraps for dinner (not all dinners need to be cooked, right?) using another pepper and the lettuce. Make sure you rinse the lettuce well and pat dry with a towel, this lettuce is very tender, please handle gently!

Friday – Fingers crossed we will have a small bonfire in the new fire-pit (if I finish it this week!) Which means dinner outside. I’m thinking some shrimp, onion, lots of peppers, pineapple kabobs brushed with a sweet chili glaze.

Saturday – This might be soup night. My coworker at Maple Grove makes the most amazing tomato basil soup in the fall, and some soup and sandwiches sound fantastic for this weekend when the weather cools off again! You can find a similar recipe here.

Sunday – This is the day for meal prep and spending time in the kitchen watching football. My plan is to make a quick small batch of applesauce with the Zestar! Apples for Joey’s lunches. Kale Chips to snack on in the office for me. And as the sweet corn is still so good, I plan to freeze a bag (4doz) of it on Sunday. Most of it will go into the freezer using my Easy Frozen Sweet Corn recipe I shared earlier this season. But I will also make a large batch of creamed corn, using the sweet Italian peppers, onion, and a little jalapeno for kick. It will be so good to pull out of the freezer at Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

We only have 3 shares left of the season, and with the abundance coming from the farm I would anticipate the boxes to be full of squash and apples soon! Do you have a favorite fall recipe? Send it my way and I will gladly share it!

Happy Cooking!

Posted 9/10/2019 6:14am by Colleen Quiram.

Anyone else feel like we are on a weather roller-coaster? 50’s and 60’s this weekend made it feel like fall – soups, football, and cooking inside. Now the forecast has 80° multiple times this week, and that makes me think grilling and cooking outside. Either way, this week is a busy one for us between work, school activities, Rugged Maniac run on Saturday and a housewarming football gathering on Sunday! If you are like me, and activities can get in the way of doing much cooking, much of this share can be stored and will keep well for later use. I have a plan for how to use all of my share this week, but if the evenings get too busy and pizza appears on my kitchen counter, I will just save some of these for next week!

Tuesday – Sheet pan sausage, potatoes, and green beans. It’s been awhile since I’ve made a sheet pan dinner, but I love the simplicity and the clean up from these meals! I prefer my green beans crisp and not soggy, so I will start with just the little fingerling potatoes on the pan for about 25 min, then add the sausage and beans until done.

Wednesday – Turkey and Ham wraps for dinner, filled with fresh lettuce, some diced leeks, and one of the yellow peppers. Joey has a cross country meet, so we will pack a dinner on the go to keep us out of the fast food drive thru. I’ll use the rest of the lettuce in wraps for lunches this week also.

Thursday – Sweet corn (3) with ribs. Shane will be the one doing the cooking as I will be working late. Ribs and corn can be cooked on the grill if it’s not raining, or in the oven if it is!

FridayThai Pork Stirfry with brown rice, uses some carrot, leek, and the bok choy. I was surprised last week just how much the bok choy cooked down, and while Joey wasn’t a fan of the green tops he still ate the bottom white part in the chicken stir fry. We will see what he thinks of this recipe!

Saturday – I will make a big batch of chili after the Rugged Maniac in the morning. The onion and rest of the peppers will go into the chili, we can have some for dinner and save the rest for the Packers/Vikings game and housewarming on Sunday! Chili is always better on day two I think.

SundayCornbread with fresh corn for the chili, and, if I have time, cabbage rolls. I saw these on pinterest and they looked so good! If I don’t get to them Sunday to have with company, I will make them Monday night for dinner and freeze some for dinners later.  

Fingers crossed I can keep up this week, here are some storage tips if you find your week slipping away from you!  

Storage:

Potatoes – take out of the bag asap and let dry on the counter, once dry store them in a cool dark place (not the fridge) until ready to use (within 2 weeks)

Green beans – take out of the bag asap, and place in a container where they will not be in /on moisture. Use within 2-3 days

Carrots – grab a gallon Ziploc bag and 1 sheet paper towel, drip some water on the towel until it is just slightly damp but not wet, place flat in Ziploc bag with carrots (don’t wash them!), close the bag and store in the fridge, use within the month.

Leeks – trim the tops just enough that they will fit in a Ziploc bag, will keep about 2 weeks (you might notice the centers will continue to ‘grow’, they will still be just fine to use)

Cabbage – This will keep just in your crisper drawer for up to 3 weeks, or wrap in a damp paper towel and wrap loosely in plastic wrap, this will help keep it from drying out.

Sweet Corn – wrap a wet towel around the husks and store in the fridge, use as soon as possible as the sugars will convert to starch and your corn will be less sweet.

Peppers – in crisper drawer, use within the week for best crunch.   

Happy Cooking! Colleen

Posted 9/3/2019 6:08am by Colleen Quiram.

Well, here it is, the end of summer, first day of school for many of our kids, and fall weather in the air. This is my favorite time of year, and not because it’s pumpkin spice season! But just the return to routine, the cool nights with open windows, and not worrying about heating up the house by turning on the oven. Our cooking style changes with the seasons, from fresh, minimal cook time, grilling nights to longer cook times in the oven or one stove top, filling the house with the aroma of delicious food. I hope the late summer/early fall weather lasts! Because I am not a fan of what comes afterwards…  

Here is our meal plan for the week!

Tuesday – As we return to routine, we are just as busy as ever! Between two activities for my son this evening, we will be having a late meal. I have never had fennel before, and I am excited to try this Roasted Carrot and Fennel Pork tonight! I don’t have as much fennel as it calls for, but hopefully enough to give the dish some flavor. This will use up most of my carrots, the rest will be cleaned and cut into sticks for Joey’s lunch.

WednesdayStir-fried Chicken & Bok Choy, this recipe calls for using only the white part of the plant, but as ours are so petite I will reserve the green tops to add at the end of cooking. Have them on the pan long enough to wilt slightly and heat through.

Thursday – We are all home late this evening between work and a cross-country meet. So quick open-faced Chicken and Cheese BLT’s will be made while watching the Packers game on Thursday night. One of the highlights of my fall is Football Season! I baked chicken breast on Monday already, and have it in the fridge cooled. Just slice some up and build your sandwich with tomato, onion, cheese, lettuce, avocado, whatever you want! You can either toast your bread separately or do as we do, butter the bread and grill open face style on the stove top.

FridayAsian Green Beans with pan-fried Tilapia. Joey is getting a bit tired of the plain stir-fried garlicky green beans I usually make, so we will have a slightly different flavor this week!

Saturday – It looks like it might be a cool, damp weekend, so I think I will make a fresh spaghetti with the tomatoes. Comfort food made fresh.

Sunday – again, it’s football season, which to me means Sundays are spent in the kitchen cooking while watching the game! My team isn’t playing on Sunday, so I will have more attention to give to this fresh Corn Chowder recipe. We’ve had a lot of corn on the cob in the past few weeks, so I will keep my corn cool and damp in the fridge until Sunday (which is really pushing it for sweet corn to stay sweet, just a heads up…better to cook the corn earlier in the week if you can)

That just leaves the melons and apples, which are easily added to lunches and snacks for Joey. He will devour the cantaloupe, and the firm texture of this melon should hold up well in a container in his lunch. Remember to keep the melons on your counter until ready to cut, and as these are picked ripe you will want to cut them in the next day or two. Not a fan of fresh honeydew? Try ours, I know the honeydew in the stores are often hard and crunchy, but these are sweet and delicious. Here are some other ideas for your melon as well.

As always, I hope these recipes help spark some joy in cooking for you and help you to use your entire box! Enjoy this return to routine if you have school-aged kids, and hopefully get outside to enjoy an evening walk before the sun sets.

Colleen

Posted 8/27/2019 7:36am by Colleen Quiram.

Yesterday was such a cool, wet day, and this morning is absolutely stunning! When I arrived at the farm this morning, I was amazed at the clear sky and all the stars I could see…it was breathtaking.

I hope you are taking advantage of our canning special this week! There is still time to order your tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Whether you are chopping and freezing the peppers and tomatoes or putting up what you can of the harvest into beautiful jars, now is the best time to buy in bulk and eat locally all winter long. And as Jerry stated in his newsletter, the corn is absolutely fantastic right now, and I have a very easy recipe to share with you for freezing! This recipe comes from my Aunt, who also happens to be a CSA member. A word of caution, as the corn is not cooked prior to freezing, plan to use whatever you freeze within the year. Even in the depths of a freezer, enzymes and bacteria are still active and will slowly break down your corn over an extended period of time. (here is some of the science behind freezing produce.)

The best part of this recipe is that it is made in small batches, you don’t need a whole sack (4 doz) corn but can use just 1 dozen corn at a time. I do suggest using canning salt rather than kosher, as canning salt is the most pure and will dissolve easily in the ice water. If you are in a pinch, you can use kosher but grind it up a bit more. Do not substitute table salt as it has too many additives and will affect the quality of your frozen corn.

 

My meal planning this week is a bit all over the place, not only are we headed out camping for Labor Day, but our stove also is on the fritz and all our meals will need to be cooked on the grill until we can get it fixed or replaced.

Tuesday Night: Shrimp skewers, packet green beans with bacon & onion, and half of our cauliflower grilled with garlic and butter. Just cut the cauliflower in half, place on a large piece of tinfoil, dot with butter (liberally), sprinkle with garlic powder, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper. Wrap up in the foil and place on the grill for about 30min. For the green beans: dice up some bacon and onion, place on the bottom of a tinfoil packet, top with trimmed, rinsed and still damp green beans, and then more bacon and onion. Wrap up tightly in the foil and place on the grill, turning every so often, for about 20min until beans are tender.

Wednesday night: Burgers and Corn!!

Thursday we will be headed out of town already, camping with 5 other families. Each family takes one meal, and we always do a big breakfast. I will chop the green peppers ahead of time, and slice the poblanos, to sauté for topping eggs. Potatoes will be steamed and diced, ready for breakfast potatoes on the camp stove.

Slices of cucumber, grape tomatoes, and purple cauliflower will be a good healthy snack for the 12 kids that will be there, and I know one of the kids would devour all of the grape tomatoes and cauliflower on her own if I let her! Hopefully I will be able to keep a few tomatoes to myself for caprese skewers. Just a few for a snack for the adults. Apples are a no-brainer, I would be surprised if they even last the week to go camping! While the SnowSweets have long been my favorite variety, these First Kiss apples might just take their place.

That about does it for my box! I am really looking forward to some more fall crops, especially squash. I hope you are too!

A couple tips on your share this week:

  • Take your potatoes out of the bag as soon as you get home, they are a bit damp and will rot very quickly if left in the bag. Leave them on the counter to dry and then store in a cool dry area until ready to use.
  • Purple Cauliflower should be cooked a little differently than you would the white cauliflower as the color will leech out into any cooking water. Best grilled, eaten fresh, or roasted to retain that beautiful purple coloring.
  • You may notice a slight orange tinge on your bell pepper this week. No, they are not turning into red peppers, as that is a different variety, but will slowly turn more orange as they ripen. This color difference does not affect the flavor at all, use as normal!

Colleen

Posted 8/20/2019 9:44am by Colleen Quiram.

Salsa is the name of the game this week and thank goodness I have a few fun events this weekend to bring them to! As there aren’t many traditional vegetables in this weeks box, I will share a few favorite ideas of mine that I will be making this week instead!

Let’s start with the tomatoes. One quick thing I want to note is that our San Marzanos need a few days to ripen up. Leave them on your counter until Friday or even Saturday, and don’t worry if the stem end gets a tad wrinkled. These tomatoes have little in the way of liquid in them, and will not degrade as quickly as the slicing tomatoes.

My heirloom could also use a few days on the counter, I ended up with a Brandywine, but some of you may have received a Cherokee Purple, Great White, Mr. Stripy, or Pineapple instead. I think of all of the tomatoes we grow, the heirlooms are my absolute favorite. If you eat them fresh alongside your red slicer, you’ll notice a slight flavor difference, whether it be a little more or less acidic, or maybe a little fruity for the white or pineapple tomatoes. Once my tomato is ripe, it will be a quick caprese salad for my husband and me. I think the best way to enjoy these heirlooms is just sliced fresh! Caprese tip – use a balsamic glaze rather than balsamic vinegar. We use a fig-infused one (I got mine at Cub), and the glaze sticks to the cheese and tomatoes much better than the vinegar.

This Saturday we are headed to the beach with a very large group of friends, and I am excited to introduce them to grilled Shishito peppers! Simply skewered, brushed with some sweet chili glaze, and roasted on the grill, there should be enough for everyone to have one or two. I will also be making the roasted tomatillo salsa featured last week for Saturday’s beach day, although I will use a few romas for that instead of the grape tomatoes. Those never make it home, they are just a quick snack at my desk.

The rest of the romas will hopefully be ripe, and I will roast 2-3 of them with the poblanos, garlic, and some onion for a roasted poblano sauce similar to this salsa recipe (I just use more peppers, less tomato). I make this sauce just for Zucchini and Eggplant Roll-ups, I eat the eggplant and my guys eat the zucchini. I slice the zucchini and eggplant with a mandolin lengthwise, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sear on a hot skillet until flexible enough to roll up. Lay on paper towel until cooled, then spoon some of the roasted poblano sauce down the middle with some shredded fresh mozzarella cheese. Roll up and place in a glass baking dish, top with spoonful’s of fresh tomato sauce, similar to this recipe, and top with a little more fresh mozzarella. Bake until heated through and the cheese is melted.

The tomato season is in full swing, and I have not had my fill of fresh salsas quite yet! I will most likely make a batch of fresh salsa for our fantasy football draft party on Sunday, picking up a few more San Marzanos, garlic, onion, and some sweet Italian peppers at one of our stands, I don’t think I will have enough from just this box.

I am hoping to can some of these San Marzanos early next week, they are so good to add to sauce and stews in the winter. If you want to make some tomato sauce, salsas, can, or freeze tomatoes, now is a great time to get your order in! Just plan to order your romas with a day or two lead time to reach full ripeness before canning.    

As always, email me with questions, comments, and recipes!

Colleen

Posted 8/13/2019 8:31am by Colleen Quiram.

When I started working with Jerry a decade ago, I did NOT like fresh tomatoes. Cooked in salsa or sauce, that was the only way I would eat them. However, I did not realize just how AMAZING fresh, home grown tomatoes really were, and I had been missing out! Now I want caprese salads, grape tomato snacks, fresh salsa, and anything I can put a fresh tomato on all summer long. I almost never purchase store tomatoes in the winter, the flavor just doesn’t come close. So when I saw that we were putting 6 tomatoes plus grape tomatoes in the box, I was ecstatic! Tomatoes every day this week!

We are headed camping in southern Minnesota this weekend, so my meals most likely look very different from yours. But maybe you will try something new based on our campfire cooking?

Tuesday Night – Burgers with Grilled Sweet Corn, jalapeno poppers, and Caprese Salad (3 corn, 1 heirloom, 1 slicer, 4 Jalapeno), How can we not have burgers and corn on the grill this time of year?! I am also canning tomatoes tonight and will make a small batch of tomato sauce to use camping (3 canner tomatoes, a little onion, garlic)

Wednesday – We will be busy loading the camper, and a set-it-and-forget-it crockpot Tomatillo Pork sounds amazing! And super simple with some rice and cheese in a burrito. This should make enough for us to leave leftovers in the freezer for lunch on Monday. (15 Tomatillos, 1 Jalapeno, 1 onion, garlic)

ThursdayPie Iron Sandwiches with our little head of broccoli, cucumbers and dip. Sandwiches will include tomato, turkey or ham, onion, cheese, and avocado. This is almost always our first night camping meal, because while Shane and I are getting set up, Joey can get the fire started and get the food ready for us to make a quick meal. If you haven’t used pie-irons over a campfire before, it is so FUN! There are so many recipes you can do, not just sandwiches but also pizzas, desserts, and breakfast.

Camping lunches – we will be using the Cipollini onion, one of the green peppers, and a tomato in our wraps for lunch all weekend. I will be snacking on the grape tomatoes, my guys don’t do fresh tomatoes unless on a burger.

Friday – Campfire Corn (3 ears), Dutch oven potatoes, Jalapeno poppers (we will make extra cream cheese filling Tuesday night!) and we haven’t decided if it will be pork chops or steak or brats yet…

SaturdayDutch oven pizza! When we are camping we love to do some of these outdoor cooking methods, it gets Joey more practice for his Boy Scout trips, and it’s so fun to do something out of the norm for dinners! This will use whatever green pepper is left (if there is any), the tomato sauce I made, and any remaining onion.

Sunday – I had better use that Kohlrabi, I will probably bring home some extra ears of corn from the farm, cut it off the cob and saute in a little butter with diced kohlrabi, green pepper, and red onion. This will make a good side dish for some shrimp or salmon Sunday night. (Here's an example recipe)

I am surprised this week, but this box will be used so quickly, I will need to pick up a few more things from the farm for breakfasts and lunches! Probably some more corn, onion, and some sweet Italian peppers that are now available at our stands (we hope to get you some in the CSA in the coming weeks!) And each week we are using our share in just dinners alone, I am almost always having to pick up more items to make our lunches for the week also.

I hope you are finding ways to use your share, maybe in simple recipes the way I am or in more exotic or complicated recipes if you are having friends and family over! As always, send me the recipes you are using, and let us know what you think of the shares!  

Colleen    

Posted 8/6/2019 8:44am by Colleen Quiram.

We are feeling very lucky here today, the storm that dropped hail across our area missed not only our fields, but also some of our employees’ homes in the Delano area. Having lost crops to hail before, we are so thankful that the storm missed us, but our thoughts are with the other farms and people in the area that have hail damage.

I am also thankful that my husband and son did not get flooded out up north at scout camp yesterday morning! They are gone for the entire week, having a wonderful time, leaving me with the task of consuming a half share almost entirely on my own! I changed my normal routine this week in anticipation of this, as we usually meal prep all of our lunches for the week on Sundays. Let’s just say our fridge is PACKED full by Sunday night! However, I waited to do any planning or prepping until I received my box. You’ll see below that I plan on making smaller meals, and I’m planning how much leftovers I will have and when I will use them. I know everyone’s summers can be busy, and it can be really difficult to use a half share in dinners alone! It’s time to start planning to use some of the produce in your lunches or snacks as well, especially when there is so much produce that can be enjoyed without cooking at all!  

Tuesday Dinner – It’s National Night Out! I will be roasting all 5 ears (in the husk even! Husband isn’t home, I can grill how I want!) as soon as I get home, 1 ear will be for dinner tonight, 1 ear I will cut off the cob for lunch tomorrow, and the other three will make Roasted Corn & Black Bean salsa (aka Cowboy Caviar) to share with the neighbors. This will also use some of the onion, and my smaller slicing tomato. I will save some of the salsa to have as a snack for me tomorrow. Grilling 3 salmon fillets tonight to have later this week as well.

Wednesday Lunch – Salmon with roasted corn, diced Shishito peppers and diced onion. I will bring some of the regular grape tomatoes for a mid-afternoon snack, along with about half of a cucumber sliced. I am already eating the grape tomatoes today for a snack also, they’re just so GOOD!

Wednesday Dinner – Heirloom Tomato Caprese Chicken (making 2), with all of my broccoli, green beans and 1 shallot in this recipe. Hopefully this makes 3 meals worth of vegetables, and I want to use my Great White tomato right away, these heirlooms just do not have a long shelf life. I am assuming I will only use about half, which means the other half I will cut into bite sized pieces and snack on while cooking. I’ll roast the beets tonight too, for snacks Thursday and Friday.

Thursday Lunch – Leftover Chicken Caprese with broccoli/green beans. Beets and the other half of that first cucumber for a snack. Corn salsa if there is any left.

Thursday Dinner – I will be working at the gym this evening, so a quick cold dinner will be best! I love wraps, especially with all these fresh ingredients! Shredded chicken, diced tomato, cucumber, onion, and some kale instead of lettuce, cheese and avocado. Yum!

Friday Lunch – that last piece of Salmon, and the rest of the broccoli and green beans. Beets and cucumber again for snacking, maybe some of the heirloom grape tomatoes.

Friday Dinner – Shrimp and Eggplant Caprese (are you sensing a theme, that I love tomatoes with cheese??) I know eggplant is NOT a favorite of many people, but I encourage you to give these little eggplants a try! Not quite enough to make Babaganoush, but plenty to slice, grill, and top with some diced tomato and mozzarella or parmesan cheese. Add in some shrimp skewers and dinner is done!

Saturday – another wrap for lunch, because they’re light and easy! This will use up the rest of the cucumber, and any grape tomatoes that might still be around.

Saturday Dinner – Shane and Joey will be home! It’s not soup season yet, but they both love this recipe and I don’t want to freeze all my kale. I will be making Kale Sausage & White bean soup, which will make enough to have a few lunches for Shane and myself Monday and Tuesday.

Sunday – I left some of the best keepers for last, potatoes! Keeping it simple with grilled steak and potatoes tonight. Will probably swing through one of our vegetable stands to pick up some fresh corn as well.

Even though I write out a plan each week, and we intend to stick to it each week, sometimes the evenings just get away from us. For example, we did not make the Kimchi yet. And I still have some Shishito peppers as we didn’t have the time to make the stuffed peppers from last week either. But the cabbage will keep for a few weeks and is happily sitting in a drawer in my fridge, waiting for Shane to get home and make Kimchi. And I will just chop and freeze the Shishitos to use this winter.

Don’t let these full boxes overwhelm you! If you make a plan and find that your week is not going according to that plan, grab some Ziploc bags and start freezing! This week: the tomatoes can be chopped and frozen in baggies, skin and all, for making tomato sauce this winter. Kale can be rinsed, chopped, loosely packed in bags and frozen for the Sausage and Kale Soup recipe I shared above. The sweet corn can be grilled, cut off the cob, and frozen using this method. The potatoes will keep for weeks in a cool dry area, like a pantry or cool basement, not in the fridge.  

I hope you are all finding ways to use your box, are you making a meal plan for the week? What items are easy for you to use, or what ones do you find difficult so far this year?

Thanks for reading, I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Colleen

Posted 7/30/2019 8:48am by Colleen Quiram.

What a beautiful morning! We opened every window in the house yesterday, and it got a bit chilly by this morning, but natures air conditioning is a welcome treat. I hope you are also enjoying this beautiful stretch of weather we are having, after this past winter and spring I think we have earned it.

The shares today are full of color, and a few items that are completely new to me! I know my husband will be excited to try the Shishito peppers, he is a pepper fanatic and loves trying different varieties, the hotter the better. I am not such a hot pepper lover, but from what I know these Shishitos range from mild bell pepper to Jalapeno heat, and you never know which one will be the spicy one!

I am also thrilled about the fresh sweet corn! It was harvested late yesterday, and corn does not have a long shelf life as the sugars inside begin converting to starch as soon as they are picked. I suggest using your corn as quickly as possible this week, but if you must keep it for a few days keep it cool and moist. Wrap your corn in a damp paper towel or tea towel and store in the fridge until you are ready to use. Or, grill it all at the same time, cut what you can’t eat off the cob and store in the fridge until you can make black bean and corn salsa.

Shane and Joey will be leaving this Saturday for a week at scout camp, so I have a short meal plan this week and I will be pickling some of the produce so it doesn’t go to waste. If you were lucky enough to sample some of Zander’s pickled patty pan squash at the farm tours, he has shared the recipe with us and I plan to make a small batch of them to enjoy over the next few weeks! Here is the recipe, which will work well for patty pan, cucumbers, or regular zucchini. Reduce amounts based on the amount of produce you are using, and instead of slicing the patty pan, just cut into quarters or bite-size pieces.

In his words:

For 1 gallon jar: 2 glasses of water, then add 2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, a bay leaf. Boil it. Let it cool. Add dill and sliced garlic on the bottom, then little bit of vegetable oil, 3-6 tablespoons of vinegar (or 50-100 grams) up to your preference of taste, some allspice, pepper (black, cayenne, other - up to you) Wash and dry your pickling vegetables (chubs, zucchini, patty pans), than slice them, add into jar and fill with cool marinade water that you made before. Put into the refrigerator for a few days (I do for 3-4 days). Shake it few times a day. Enjoy your pickles!

If you prefer following a more exact recipe, try this one for pickled patty pan squash.

I will also try making my first batch of Kimchi with the red cabbage. We tried a jar from a farmer’s market last year and loved it, so I am excited to try my hand at fermenting at home! I will be using this recipe, with regular red pepper flakes. But if you are going for a more authentic taste, use this Koren red pepper powder, Gochugaru.

Here is my meal plan for the week:

TuesdayShishito Peppers/Pineapple/Shrimp skewers, with 3 cobs of sweet corn and a small batch of pico de gallo on the side to use some tomatoes. Did you see our poll on facebook? We have this discussion in our house all the time, as I am a ‘grill in the husk’ girl, and Shane is a grill in foil guy. Since he runs the grill, we usually cook it his way! Husk your corn, rub softened butter into the cob and sprinkle with salt. Wrap in foil and grill, rotating every few minutes, until done.

Wednesday – I work late this evening at the gym, so Shane and Joey will be on their own for the main meal. But Shane will make some Shishito Poppers for a little snack after I get home! Just like Jalapeno poppers, cut the peppers in half, fill with a mixture of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and green onion. Wrap in bacon and grill until bacon is cooked. Here is a slightly different recipe also.

Thursday – Burger night with the last three cobs of corn and packet garlic potatoes on the grill. Yep, a pretty basic dinner, but dress up your burgers with avocado, bacon, tomato, onion, pineapple, or even peanut butter! I will make all of the potatoes tonight, even though it’s more than we can eat in one sitting. They will be delicious leftover tomorrow night, reheating by searing in a pan until crispy.

Friday - Roasted Okra with broccoli and grilled salmon. Joey will have BBQ Chicken sandwich and the leftover pan seared potatoes. I asked many of you to share your okra recipes during the farm tours, and I am so glad you sent a few in. I am making this CSA member submitted recipe for Roasted Okra and will just add the broccoli to the pan as well.

Saturday – small dinner just for me! Grilled caprese chicken breast, topped with avocado also. Very simple and will use a little more tomato. I will probably use my smallest tomato for this meal and use the rest with a bit more mozzarella and avocado on the side as well.

I hope you all are finding ways to use all the items in your share! Get outside this week, take a walk, a hike, or enjoy one of our many lakes while the weather is so beautiful.

Colleen