Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer A La Mode

I have literally only used my oven twice this summer.

Last week, to make this:

Rosemary Potato Chips (from my amazing CSA potatoes). 

And this: 
In that same oven. Breaded Eggplant (oven baked).

And this week to make this:
Dr. Fuhrman's Zucchini Bread (uses 4 cups of grated zucchs, yeay!)

And this:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (I halved the recipe). OH YES. 

Otherwise, I've been mostly making things that can be minimally cooked (like on top of the stove for a few minutes) or not cooked at all.  And with this kind of CSA haul, it was pretty easy.

CSA Week #12 (8/15/12): A dozen potatoes, a big bag of giant shallots, zucchini (4), a pint of cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes (5), the most amazing tasting eggplant (3) , a HUGE bunch of scallions, ghost peppers (3), sage, parsley, and the BIGGEST watermelon in the world.

We got to our CSA pick up first and had choice of all the melons (they were outside the box, so we got to choose our own).  Of course we chose the monster one!

With which I made this:
Juicy Watermelon Sorbet (from Vegan A La Mode).  I used black and white chocolate chips to mimic the black and white seeds in the watermelon :-)  

I have made four ice creams so far from the book: PB Bombshell, Fresh Corn, Peach (with cookies instead of a raspberry swirl), and now the Juicy Watermelon Sorbet.  This is an amazing book!  

Other things I did not cook:
Raw platter from Week #12 with a Savory Cashew Dip 

Hazelnut Chia Pudding (4 T chia seeds, 1.5 cups organic hazelnut milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 T organic maple syrup. Shake in mason jar, leave in fridge overnight.  Top with walnuts, fruit, or anything else you like). 

More seeds.  A LOT more seeds.   

Our giant heirloom sunflowers were unbelievable.  So were the three other varieties (teddy bear, black-eyed's, and another kind I forget).

What have you guys not been cooking?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hottest Summer on Record?

Here's what I've been doing:

Sitting around staring at my Cold Brewed Coffee (seriously, I've had it sitting there for like five days, too tired to strain it and clean up!) and pondering the hottest summer on record. 

I've also been trying to use up my CSA boxes without turning on my oven or using my stove top burners.  Last CSA box I put up here was from 7/11/12, so here are the rest of them:

CSA 2012, Week #8 (7/18/12).  White onions (10+), zucchs (4), basil, garlic, Swiss chard, beets (4), one melon, one garlic head.We started getting onions on July 3rd (three lovely fresh ones with the tops attached).  I thought that was fine, but it's been like a HUGE bag of about a dozen onions every week since then, white ones, red ones, yellow ones, so we made an Organic Onion Stock on 7/22.  Also, on 7/18, I finally had to start cheating on my CSA with the Farmer's Market because we don't get any fruit (except for a small melon here and there, as you see above, and that one half-pint container of blueberries in June and the PYO strawberries) and still hadn't gotten tomatoes yet.  So, the peaches & tomatoes (and green peppers!) above are from the Westmont Farmer's Market.  Not organic, but oh well, they are New Jersey Specials!

CSA 2012, Week #9 (7/25/12). Finally, tomatoes!  Slicing tomatoes (5), a pint of cherry tomatoes, bunch of (tiny leaved!) basil, interestingly a bunch of cilantro (so hot, I have no idea how we got cilantro at the end of July), first eggplant, 2 little purple cabbages (delish!), 3 zucchs, 2 corns (my kiddo ate both ears, I just steamed them quickly and they were gone!), another small melon, and about a dozen more onions (!).  I made fresh tomato sauce (sometimes known as Pasta Primavera) with the tomatoes, onions & garlic from the week prior, a beautiful Asian Cabbage Slaw (pictured below), Basil/Cilantro Pesto cubes, and just ate the melon as-is.

Look at those cabbages! 

Here's the slaw:

CSA cabbage, basil, onion, organic carrot (non-CSA), and organic tofu with a simple dressing of sesame oil (2 T, I think) and 1 tsp of Hot Chili Oil, and salt to taste.  

Basil from Week #9 (7/25):

Basil from Week #10 (8/1/12):

Basil/Pesto Cube Station Set-up:

Purple Basil Cubes! Want to make them? Here's how.

I also cheated again that week (Week #9, 7/25) with the Farmer's Market:

Peaches & Nects from the Farmer's Market.  It's on my way from the CSA pick up!

CSA 2012 Week #10 (8/1/12).  Tons of potatoes, more (yes more!) white onions, shallots the size of your head (pictured below), zucchs (3), eggplants (4), tomatoes (5), purple basil, one melon, a bouquet of organic flowers, and I think a garlic head I already put away.  

Shallots the size of your head! I love shallots, but boy, this is a lot of shallots!

They were a little droopy but totally perked up with my magic flower water concoction (organic sugar and a tiny bit of bleach) after a few hours.

And, finally, this week's box:
CSA 2012, Week #11 (8/8/12): zucchs (5), slicing tomatoes (only 2, due to the super hot weather), small not quite pint of cherry tomatoes, peppers (2), potatoes (a lot), head-sized shallots (a lot!), eggplants (3), scallions (a huge bunch) and a head of garlic.  And my cat.  I've done next to nothing with this box since Wednesday, I am really tired and the heat has been relentless.  I think I ate a green pepper and some of the cherry tomatoes.

I've also been making ice cream.  This Peaches & Cream one was one of my favorites:

Peach Ice Cream (base from Hannah's book) with Farmer's Market NJ Peaches, Organic Coconut Milk, and Organic Vanilla Sandwich Cookies added (Country Choice Organic brand, they are vegan!), it was amazing.  

That's about it, folks.  I really need to filter that cold brewed coffee now.

What have you guys been making in this (fast becoming the) hottest summer on record?