Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Several Things to Make with Strawberries

Here in Michigan it is currently the height of strawberry season, and we are doing our darndest to eat our fair share of these gorgeous, delicious berries. The girls and I went strawberry picking this past Saturday and came home with over 8 pounds of berries to enjoy. We also got a bunch of strawberries from our CSA this past week, so I think it's safe to say we're nearly swimming in berries. In addition to simply sitting down with a bowl of berries, here are several recipes we've made (and then a couple more I want to make):

So far we've made:
Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie (I omitted the meringue and topped with whipped cream instead)
Strawberry Jam (placed in sterilized jars and processed for 15 minutes)
Strawberry Shortcake (my grandma's recipe and my favorite strawberry dessert - best when eaten immediately)

I still want to make:

Strawberry Basil Lemonade (we had some fresh lemonade with sage this weekend and it was amazing, so I'll be all about infusing lemonades with herbs for a while)
More strawberry jam, this time a different variety (maybe with peaches, or infused with something)
Strawberry gelato (unfortunately my ice cream maker bit the big one, so I may be out of luck on this)

Is there anything else I should make with my strawberry bounty?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Purple Carrot

On Sunday, while reading through my friends' updates on Facebook, I noticed that two of my friends had "Liked" something called The Purple Carrot. I, of course, had to immediately click through to see what this was, since I like to know what's going on around town. Boy, was I glad I did. A food truck! Right here in our town! I had been jealous that Ann Arbor, about an hour away, had a burgeoning food truck scene, and wanted to go down there to check it out. Now I didn't have to travel so far to get in on this trend!

The first day they were serving following those status updates was today, so I drove on over to where they were parked (I was even early and had to park on the other side of the parking lot so I didn't seem too dorky for being there waiting for them to open), and placed my order. It was hard to decide - unique sandwiches, delicious looking salads, Oberon cheddar and ham soup - but I've been wanting to try bahn mi for quite a while and since it was on the menu here, it was definitely time.

So I stepped up and ordered, and a minute later, I was on my way back to the office, smelling the sandwich and getting infinitely hungrier the entire ride. The sandwich has beef pate, road beef, asparagus, and other pickled vegetables with a sriracha mayonaise (two words alone that sound heavenly to me). The sandwich was definitely worth the wait, and I love that it came with some dressed greens on the side. I felt very virtuous eating all these vegetables for lunch, and it was especially nice since I've been craving copious amounts of vegetables lately.
After I had ordered my sandwich, the woman at the window asked if I'd like anything else. Looking down at the menu, I saw that they had cake pops for a dollar each. I couldn't pass that up; a little something sweet to round out my meal. It was just slightly sweet, definitely less so than the cake pops I've made, but very good (and cute to boot).

I will definitely be showing up where they're parked again sometime soon (I have to try that soup!). Maybe next time I'll do brunch, my favorite meal. I'm so excited to have these guys in town!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Meal Planning 6.13.11

Thankfully the Work Project that Ate May (and Some of June) is finally done! To say May was a hectic month would be a bit of an understatement. I laid low last week to recover, thank goodness, and now I'm ready to join the ranks of productive adults once again!

This week is one of the most exciting of the year for me - our CSA starts this week! I am really, really looking forward to all the wonderful fresh vegetables and eggs. The only thing that is hard about the CSA is meal planning, because we get a list of possibly available vegetables at the beginning of the week and then don't get to pick them up until Wednesday, and so I have to make meal contingency plans. Early on, it's not too hard because it's pretty much just different kinds of greens, but as the variety increases and the possibilities list gets longer, it gets a lot harder.

Keeping in mind the greens we will have mid-week (and the farm fresh eggs, one of my favorite parts of the CSA) here's what we're eating this week!

Monday: Macaroni and cheese, roasted asparagus, turkey sloppy joes

Tonight is Gabbie's last tumbling class of the season, so it's the last week I have to take it extra easy and quick on Mondays. To celebrate we're having three of Gabbie's favorite foods (mine too!).

Tuesday: BBQ Chicken, baked sweet potatoes, broccoli

Aaron has been talking about BBQ chicken on the grill for longer than we've actually had the grill, and is determined that this will be the week it happens.

Wednesday: Margherita Paninis, cucumber salad, french fries

I have a large piece of fresh mozzarella, a bunch of tomatoes, and a huge container of basil in my refrigerator. Throw in the sliced sourdough boule I have on my counter, and what else could I possibly even think of making? Yum!

Thursday: Quinoa stir-fry with vegetables and chicken

We'll use left-over chicken from Tuesday to make this a super-quick meal

Friday: Brinner!

We'll be having fried or poached eggs over a mixed green salad, spiced cubed potatoes, sausages, and sauteed mushrooms. It doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday: Aaron's Choice

My sister will be in town from Arizona yet again this weekend, and it's the last time until mid-September, so we'll be seeing her on Sunday. This means we're celebrating Father's Day on Saturday, and Aaron gets to pick whatever he wants for dinner (and he hasn't chosen yet). I would not be the least bit surprised to see either meatballs or taco rice (depending on how involved he wants me to get) on the menu, nor would I be surprised if he chose breakfast out at our favorite local restaurant instead of dinner. I would be very happy with any of those options!

(Sunday is up in the air too, thanks to visits with family)

And with that all said and done, here are:

Pre-Schooler Lunch Ideas
Monday: Oatmeal with brown sugar, strawberries, yogurt (she wanted scrambled eggs too, but we had to draw the line somewhere!)
Tuesday: Ham and Cheese on Sourdough, carrots, blueberries, applesauce
Wednesday: Chicken, peas or broccoli, mandarin oranges, yogurt (and possibly some fruit snacks as a treat)
Thursday: Pasta with butter and parmesan cheese, peas or broccoli, strawberries
Friday: Peanut butter and honey sandwich, pretzels, yogurt, banana (and possibly some fruit snacks as a treat)


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