Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cost of Local Eating

So today I received an email from South Mountain Creamery. They are raising their prices by 7%. So about $.25 per bottle. This is the second price increase this year. This past August they raised their prices $.25 per delivery. The baby will be 2 years old this summer. Then we can switch to only having two types of milk in the house. And in the fall she will be in school a few mornings a week. So for the next few weeks, I'll be looking into other milk options. Do I go back to the grocery store organics. How much have those prices gone up this year? What are other local dairy options? I don't know what it is about spring, but local food is back on my mind!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

zen habits

So I've been reading zen habits and mnmlist lately. And I haven't taken much action. We've been renovating our home, which in some ways is sort of the opposite, and some ways moving us towards. B/c there were things our house did not have, that I'm hoping that now that we have, I can compensate less. We know have a guest room. And a second bathroom, and a laundry room, b/c it's unecessary for clean laundry to hit a dirty floor before it even makes it to the dryer. (This evening I used the laundry with a clean floor for the first time in this house, almost three years after bought it. yay!) But I'm hoping, that now that I think we really do have enough space, I can learn how to use it well, and get rid of what we don't need.

Related to food. I'm in some ways a horrible shopper, I got to three or more different stores every week, and there is no order to it, and while the mnmlist is sort of against eating meat, I really would just like to simplify my acquisition and consumption of meat this year. Related to storage and using a freezer. Which I'm excited to say that I've broken the habit of using the second fridge since we've started renovation for everyday use, I hope I can keep it up. Just plugging it in for when I'm hosting. (which will happen more b/c it's easier to host when you can use your house).

I have some new sources for meat I haven't explored much yet. Even though I cook all the time, and bake often, you'd be surprised at how rarely I cook meat. Maybe another topic to work on. More different kinds of recipes. I use ground beef often, but it's probably not ideal for everyday.

Talk soon!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In honor of my new reader!

I haven't tried this yet, but I think it's a wonderful fall recipe. I'm tired of keeping it up on my browser window, really I'm not going to make it this week.
Serve with veggies. I'm thinking Spinach....

Apricot Chicken Recipe

If you don't have fresh apricots, you can use a combo of dried pitted apricots and apricot jam. Chop up about a dozen dried apricots and add them, with a half cup of apricot jam, to the stock in step 4 (skipping steps 1 and 5).


  • 1 1/2 pounds apricots, roughly chopped, pits removed and discarded
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (can sub olive oil)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth (use gluten-free stock if you are cooking gluten-free)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce (you can add more if you like)
  • Black pepper


1 Place the chopped apricots in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and the vinegar. Let sit while you brown the chicken in the next step.

2 In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place chicken pieces in the pan, without crowding the pan, and brown them on each side. As the chicken cooks, sprinkle salt over it. Once the chicken is browned, remove the pieces from the pan to a bowl and set aside.

3 Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. As the onion cooks and releases moisture, use a flat edged spatula or wooden spoon to scrape off the browned bits from the chicken (called fond) from the bottom of the pan.

4 Once the onions have browned a bit, add the chicken stock and lower the heat to medium.

5 Put about 2/3 of the apricots, along with any juice they have given up, into a blender and blend into a purée. Pour the purée into the pan with the chicken stock and onions.

6 Add the cinnamon, rosemary and Tabasco and taste. You may need to add some salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 10-20 minutes.

7 When you are ready to serve, put the chicken and the remaining apricot pieces into the pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes.


So a few weeks ago now we made our (now) annual trip to Kingsbury Orchards. We had a great time with our friends and our visit to their animals (a bunch of cows, this year with some baby cows, and a donkey and a goat).

I restrained myself and only bought a 1/4 peck of yellow and a 1/4 peck of white peaches. I should probably have written down the variety since the orchard has about twenty but I forgot. Next time. I also bought a half peck of donut peaches, and although not as perfectly ripe as other years, they are still my favorite.

Although I did use the word restrain in the last paragraph, I did have a lot of extra peaches, so for the first time, I canned something that was not jam!! * It was pretty easy. I canned about 4 quarts of peaches using this recipe. So I'm pretty excited about that. I won't know how it went till the winter, but the idea of yummy peaches in winter was pretty exciting. And I think the girls will love opening up a jar in the middle of winter and remembering our trip to the farm.

* OK, so in writing that it was my first time canning, I realized that I recently made some rhubarb mustard that I canned. And by the time I had finished writing the paragraph I remembered about the cherries I canned in syrup, so I guess I'm starting to can on a regular basis. But it feels like a new experience every time!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


So I'm struggling with the idea of a Paleo diet. A lot of my friends do it. They seem real happy with it. I have mixed feelings about it. There are some things I am very unanxious to give up.

The occasional homemade cookies with my husband
Ice Cream
Rice with asian food.

But on the other hand, when I think about it. I never really have found local sources for grains. Sugar is obviously not available. So maybe Paleo is a good way to continue my quest for local food.

I love reading cooking blogs, and on the one hand, that is definitely part of the problem. On the other, I think I'll start using this blog to collect Paleo recipes, and let's see how I do.

There are some items that I am not sure are paleo or not, and I'm still struggling with the idea of milk not being paleo, b/c I really, really like dairy. But, ... we'll see.

The first find:

Straccetti con Rucola e Funghi
serves two

1 pound steak, cut crosswise into thin slices (I used New York strip, but you could use skirt or sirloin as well. Ask your butcher to slice it crosswise as thinly as he can.)
2 cloves of garlic
4 rosemary leaves
1 shallot
2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms, preferably porcini, trumpet, or chantarelles
1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar, plus more for garnish
2 ounces baby arugula, washed well

Garnish: shaved parmesan (optional)
salt and pepper

Trim steak slices and pound until very thin. Cut into "tatters", about 1 inch by 2 inches. Salt well.

Smash and slice garlic. Slice shallot into thin ribbons and mince rosemary. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add garlic, rosemary, and shallot and cook over low heat until transparent. Add mushrooms and saute until cooked through, about five minutes, then remove to a bowl and set aside.

Turn heat up to medium and add additional tablespoon olive oil if needed. Add steak, spreading out the pieces so there's no overlap. Cook on medium heat, turning once, just until there's no visible red, about 3 minutes total. Return mushroom mixture to the pan, add balsamic vinegar, and toss to coat. Remove pan from heat. Add arugula, tossing to wilt slightly. Serve immediately, garnishing with salt, pepper, shaved parmesan, and additional balsamic vinegar if desired.


So, what about balsamic vinegar. Not sure if it's paleo, or if I could make it...

Monday, May 24, 2010


It was a long cold winter.

I was thrilled to celebrate the beginning of summer this weekend with my family and SIL at Butlers Orchard! We picked 20lbs of strawberries! It was fun and perfect weather and we ran into some friends and it only took a couple of hours at the most.

Sunday evening my SIL and I made Jam. Serious Jam.

When I was little, every few years, my mom's best friend would visit with her family. And we would go strawberry picking. And make Jam. (and daiquiris, and strawberries with cream, and chocolate dipped strawberries). One year the eight of us picked 63 lbs of strawberries. IT was a little ridiculous. But so much fun! And such fabulous memories.

So we started with a box of 12, 4oz jars, and then decided that we needed some 8 oz jars when I bought the pectin and sugar, and then decided that for 10lbs of jam, we should probably have one more box, so my husband went out and bought us a box of 16 oz jars, and then we decided to add in some rhubarb that I just bought from the farmers market, and it would be nice to give that away so we went to target after two batches and bought some more 8 oz jars. And as we were finishing up last night, my SIL suggested, 'why don't we make two more batches before I leave tomorrow. You have a LOT of berries still in the fridge'. So we did. In total we made 2.5 gallons of jam.

Things we learned:
Follow the directions on the box of Pectin.
Powdered Pectin seems better then the gel kind.

What happens if you do it wrong:
Not enough sugar, it doesn't set. (we weren't trying to save sugar, I just left the last cup on the counter)
If you put the sugar in before the powdered pectin, it doesn't set.
If you don't cook it with the pectin and sugar together for a full minute, it doesn't set.
If you cook it for too long, it gets very, very thick.

No matter what, it still tastes fabulous!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Guest Post

I had my first guest post here! I guess I should have posted this when it was published last week. I'm sort of slow. About a lot of things I guess. Having been snowed in for the last week, one would imagine I might have gotten around to the couple of posts I've been thinking of. But no. Maybe next week.