Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CSA week 12

OK, this is the biggest bunch of veggies yet. I need to put something in the picture to show the scale of all this stuff - these veggies are ENORMOUS. The pictures don't do them justice. Anyway, this week we got an eggplant, a canteloupe, TOMATOES, green onions, green bell peppers, and a TON of potatoes. I still have a ton of potatoes left from last week too - good thing I can put them in our cold storage and they will last and last. I am excited to make Pasta With Eggplant and Tomatoes. Try it out - it's delicious! I hope someone out there is enjoying all these recipes I'm posting... or maybe you all just think I'm insane! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CSA week 11

After all the potsticker fun last week, I was looking forward to getting another head of cabbage to do something else with... and we didn't get any cabbage! Oh well. We got a HUGE canteloupe that is insanely delicious, 2 green bell peppers, 4 ears of corn, 3 cucumbers, green onions, lots of red potatoes, and 2 yellow summer squashes. I have been having so much fun with all of these veggies - finding new ways to cook and use them, and trying new veggies I've never had before... I highly recommend joining a CSA! I love getting my "surprise" veggies every week and then figuring out what to do with them all! I have noticed that the corn on the cob really needs to be eaten on the same day we get it, otherwise it is not very good. To combat this problem, since we get more ears of corn than our family can eat in just one day, I looked up how to store corn - blanching and freezing. For those of you out there who have no idea how to do this (like I did) here is what you do:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add shucked cobs of corn and boil 5 minutes. Remove the corn immediately to a large bowl of ice water and submerge for 4 minutes. Thouroughly dry the ears of corn, place them in a large ziplock freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. When you're ready to eat the corn, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the frozen corn, and return to a boil, boiling for 3-5 minutes until heated through.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Won Ton update

I made the pot-stickers recipe with my cabbage as posted below, and they came out amazing! Here's a note - I was unable to find the round wrappers they call for at my grocery store - they only had these square won ton wrappers, which are smaller than what the recipe calls for, and therefore made more... a LOT more. I also increased the amount of filling, because the recipe calls for 3/4 of a pound of ground pork, and ground pork was sold in 1 pound packages, so I increased the whole thing by 1/4... anyway, I ended up with 75 potstickers! Yikes! Luckily, as it says in the recipe, you can freeze them, and then cook them up according to the recipe without having to thaw them or anything. The only thing I was nervous about was Jason... Jason went on his mission to Taiwan, and the pot stickers (in Chinese they're called *phonetically* sway-jowz) were his favorite thing to eat. They sell them all over the place at street vendor carts, and also frozen in large bags to cook at home. (If they're easy enough for a 19 year old missionary to cook up, you know they're a quick go-to food!) Anyway, here in SLC he's been extremely disappointed with the pot stickers sold at restaurants and in freezer bags at the grocery store - they just don't taste the same - but these... when he got home and I cooked him up a few and gave them to him with some soy sauce for dipping, I thought he was going to cry. He said they were perfect - exactly right! He said it was uncanny. So, I highly recommend them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CSA week 10

Cool new things this week - a HUGE head of cabbage, green bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, corn on the cob, and potatoes. Yum yum! Looks like Chinese pork and cabbage won tons!!


3 cups minced napa cabbage leaves (about 1/2 medium head)
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 pound ground pork
4 minced scallions (about 6 tablespoons)
2 egg whites , lightly beaten
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
24 round gyoza wrappers (see note)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water , plus extra for brushing


  1. For the filling: Toss cabbage with the salt in colander set over a bowl and let stand until cabbage begins to wilt, about 20 minutes. Press the cabbage gently with rubber spatula to squeeze out any excess moisture, the transfer to a medium bowl. Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until mixture is cold, at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

  2. For the dumplings: Working with 4 wrappers at a time (keep the remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap), follow the photos below to fill, seal, and shape the dumplings using a generous 1 teaspoon of the chilled filling per dumpling. Transfer the dumplings to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling; you should have about 24 dumplings. (The dumplings can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day, or frozen for up to 1 month. Once frozen, the dumplings can be transferred to a zipper-lock bag to save space in the freezer; do not thaw before cooking.)

  3. Line a large plate with a double layer of paper towels; set aside. Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil over the bottom of a 12-inch nonstick skillet and arrange half of the dumplings in the skillet, with a flat side facing down (overlapping just slightly if necessary). Place the skillet over medium-high heat and cook the dumplings, without moving, until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes.

  4. Reduce the heat to low, add 1⁄2 cup of the water, and cover immediately. Continue to cook, covered, until most of the water is absorbed and the wrappers are slightly translucent, about 10 minutes. Uncover the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook, without stirring, until the dumpling bottoms are well browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes more. Slide the dumplings onto the paper towel-lined plate, browned side facing down, and let drain briefly. Transfer the dumplings to a serving platter and serve with scallion dipping sauce (see related recipe). Let the skillet cool until just warm, then wipe it clean with a wad of paper towels and repeat step 3 with the remaining dumplings, oil, and water.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Why it's good to be a mom...

So, tonight as I was putting Lizzy in her jammies, she put a hand on either side of my face, looked into my eyes and said, "I'm very happy at you, mommy!" It was so sweet. This is why it's good to be a mom.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cute Stuff

Here is a dress and hat that my sister in law (hat) made and her friend Amy (dress). I ordered them off their etsy sites, which are listed in my links on the left - check them out - SO adorable!

1 Year Stats; CSA week 9

Rachel had her 1 year checkup yesterday. She is as healthy as can be. She weighs 18 pounds exactly, and is 29 inches long. In comparison, Lizzy at age 1 weighed 18 pounds 2 ounces, and was 30 inches long. Pretty darn close, as always. When I was 12 months old, I weighed 15 pounds 4 ounces, and was 28 inches long. I don't know any stats on Jason - he was the 7th child in his family!!

In unrelated news, we had Jason's sister Carrie, her husband Raymond, and their daughter, Nadia (who is 2 months older than Rachel) over for dinner on Sunday. We had smoked BBQ baby back ribs, grilled chicken (I grilled a whole chicken, butterflied, on the grill!), grilled corn on the cob, some fruit, ciabatta bread, and homemade orange sherbet. It was a lot of fun. Carrie makes these absolutely adorable crochet toys and hats... check out her store at etsy: Nadia's Place

Also, it is week 9 of the CSA. The vegetables just keep getting bigger and bigger! The first week we got carrots they were these teeny tiny baby things, and same with beets, and potatoes. This week we got these enormous carrots, potatoes, and beets, and also a ton of corn on the cob, some more green onions, and some cucumbers. I had fun last week making some homemade fresh pickles. (They're fresh because they're not canned - you have to eat them within 2 weeks of making them.)

To get the right sweet-tart balance, use a white wine vinegar with 6% acidity. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Mix ingredients and additional flavorings (such as 1 tsp dill seed) together in medium non-reactive saucepan; bring to simmer. Pour over 1 - 1 1/2 pound of peeled, sliced cucumbers held in a large non-reactive bowl. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight before serving.