RSS Feed

Olive Oil and Pasta …

Posted on

… and so much more.

I have written about Secolari before. And, used their products in many of my favorite meals. Products like their oil and balsamic, their flavored salts. Plus, that lovely pasta from Pappardelle that they carry.

Now, I can add chocolate mint honey to my latest finds. I am thinking about the suggested use in iced lattes.

secolari and csa 003

Last night we had a bloggers’ get together at the Columbia Mall location with the owners highlighting some of their products. A “perk” so to speak of being a blogger around here.

secolari and csa 002

Goodies like popcorn with Black Truffle salt and Lime Olive Oil.

There was a good crowd there. Tasting the oils, the vinegars, the honey, and enjoying small bites from Zoe’s Kitchen, located across the promenade from Secolari.

secolari and csa 006

You don’t have to be a blogger to taste their products. Whenever you visit, you can sample before choosing your favorites. Barth and Mary deRosa have a wonderful shop here.

If you aren’t into oil and vinegar, but love pasta, they have a product for you. Pappardelle.

Another favorite of mine.

secolari and csa 029

This orzo, with the lemon infused oil, will be paired with these little gems.

secolari and csa 011

A baking sheet covered with my tomatoes and shallots. Slow cooked in a 200 degree oven. Tomorrow they will be mixed with the orzo and drizzled with oil. A very tasty salad.

Check out Secolari. Buy some pasta and olive oil. Indulge. Much better and so much cheaper than dinner in a restaurant.

Thanks Barth and Mary for hosting us last night.

The Harvest Begins …

Posted on

… in earnest. Before today, it was just ramping up. Now, we are moving into the period of time where I will be harvesting, roasting, freezing, canning and processing to fill the freezer for winter.

harvest starting 001

Today’s community garden harvest. Minus the chard and the chives that I harvested to donate to the Food Bank. That was part of the 131 pounds we collected this morning.

The above food is just from my plot. The tomatoes! The first Big Boys.

harvest starting 004

All in all, fifty ounces of tomatoes. Ten ounces of sungold and eighteen of supersweet 100s alone.

I also got my first three cubanelle peppers. With the weather changing to sunny and hot, I hope to see the peppers kicking in.

I did make the pesto with all the basil.

harvest starting 013

Two cups of a mix of lemon and African blue basil. One cup of a mix of toasted pecans and almonds. 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Salt. Pepper. Olive oil. I got one whole ice cube tray plus about six ounces in an eight ounce container. All in the freezer now. In the dead of winter, nothing screams summer like pesto.

As for those Big Boys!

harvest starting 012

They went into today’s lunch. A small side Caprese salad. With greens and blackberries there, too.

The next few weeks will see a mess in my kitchen. Canning jars. Food Saver bags. Vegetables. Fruit. Herbs. My favorite time in the summer. When it all gets enjoyed or saved for the winter.

Can’t “Beet” That Berry Salad

Posted on

A repeat for lunch today, with a few enhancements.

beets and basil 017

Looks just like Saturday, doesn’t it? Except I kicked it up a bit. Made my own dressing.

beets and basil 002

Jam jar dressing using locally produced items. Two tsp. of raspberry jelly. Two tbsp. plain yogurt. Splash of white balsamic vinegar. Two tbsp. olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. A pinch of demerara sugar.

I used the Secolari brand oil and vinegar today. They are a family owned business located in Columbia Mall, and their original store in Bethesda.

This is “local” olive oil, so to speak. Only two states I know grow olives to make olive oil. California and Texas. This oil is from California.

The salad was made with the Baywater Greens Salisbury MD leaf lettuce. The raw milk gouda from PA. Chiogga and red beets from the Amish farms. Blackberries from Agriberry. Blueberries from PA. Walnuts not local. Bought in bulk at Wegmans.

Eating locally for lunch today, and again for dinner. I slow cooked some Wayne Nell pork. Made pulled pork sandwiches before heading out to Iron Bridge for a tasting. Served with a side of roasted vegetables from my garden.

Last night we went to Bistro Blanc for a “bottle Share” night. Had a few local items in that meal, too. They buy their beef locally and we had a very nice Angus tartare. And we took a local wine.

Brunch yesterday was an omelet with Miller Farm eggs. My tomatoes. My onions and shallots and leeks.

Breakfast today included those lovely berries with cereal.

I am doing well on the Buy Local Challenge.

Tomorrow I am making pesto with my basil. Some of it will make it into dinner, that’s for sure.

beets and basil 024

Three days down. Six to go.

Extreme #buylocalchallenge

Posted on

As is eating something local at every meal. Easy to do if most of your food comes from a CSA, a regional food service, and your garden.

I count my garden as supporting local farmers as most of the plants were purchased from local farms. I don’t buy plants from national chains like Lowe’s or Home Depot, but from local farms like Sharp’s or Greenway. Both Howard County farms.

Today was the first day of the challenge. Breakfast included toast with CSA raspberry jam, for me. And for my husband, cereal with CSA blueberries.

Lunch for him. Tuna salad with my onions. For me, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots, dipped in a yogurt dressing. Yogurt from PA. Cucumbers and tomatoes, my garden. Carrots, CSA.

Peaches from the CSA for a snack.

Dinner tonight.

Local wine!

buylocal day one 002

Big Cork, from Rohrersville MD. Ready to go to the table with some of my flowers from my front yard.

buylocal day one 007

CSA chicken thighs being baked with CSA potatoes, my onions and Wayne Nell smoked bacon (Friends and Farms supplier from York PA). They buy from farms in the area surrounding York.

The salad.

buylocal day one 012

Baywater Greens from Salisbury supplied the leaf lettuce. CSA spinach, beets, gouda, blueberries.

Oh, I forgot, there was corn on the cob, too. From the CSA.

Very little today that didn’t come locally. Off to a good start. On to Day Two tomorrow.

Friends and Farms “Buy Local”

Posted on

We got our Friends and Farms basket Thursday, just in time for the Buy Local Challenge.

I am happy to see at the Buy Local Website that they don’t require the farms and markets to be in Maryland. Just “local”.

Depending on where you live, food from across a state line may be more local than in state. Like for us. Cheese from Lancaster is closer than cheese from Firefly Farms in western MD. Not that we don’t love Firefly. It’s just that MD is a wide east west but narrow north south state.

For us, foods from MD, VA, WV, DE and PA are all considered local. Mostly within a 100 mile radius to our home.

Our Friends and Farms basket this week was full of local foods by that definition. We can take the Buy Local “Extreme” challenge and include local foods in every meal, using the goodness of our basket.

july 17 csa and FF 013

The pork butt and bacon came from York PA. The chicken from Freebird, in the Lancaster area of PA. The eggs, from MD.

july 17 csa and FF 019

Clinton MD. We also get some vegetables from Miller Farms too.

This week the lettuce was from Salisbury MD. That’s where Baywater Greens is located.

The berries, from VA. Agriberry blackberries.

We also got jalapenos. Cilantro. Sweet corn. Green peppers. An eggplant. Elephant garlic.

I added a quart of plain yogurt. Need to make tzatziki while the cucumbers are still producing.

It will be easy to eat locally with all this food. Along with my garden and my CSA. Who needs grocery stores? Oh yeah, toilet paper.

Agretti Anyone?

Posted on

A new one in this week’s CSA share.

july 17 csa and FF 011

Agretti. Described here with a wonderful sounding recipe (to be dinner tomorrow night). This recipe is competing with the Mario Batali Babbo recipe for agretti with fennel and anchovy vinaigrette. But I don’t think I have anchovies at the moment.

The thing I love most about this CSA from Lancaster Farm Fresh is that totally unexpected off the wall “CHOPPED” worthy vegetable that I never heard of before.

It is precisely why I keep coming back to them every year.

Today this is what we got.

july 17 csa and FF 001

VEGETABLE HALF SHARE
agretti – Eastbrook Produce
Chinese purple garlic – Eagle View Acres
green kale – Cherry Lane Organics (I swapped for lemon cucumbers)
8-ball zucchini – Red Fox Organics
red cherry tomatoes – Organic Willow Acres
red beets – Back Woods Organics
bicolor sweet corn – Healthy Harvest

FRUIT SHARE
5 peaches – IPM – Fifer Orchards
1 pint blueberries – Little Buck Organics
1 jar raspberry jam – Oak View Acres

CHICKEN SHARE
breasts (1 pound)
whole leg (1 1/2 pounds)

I roasted the beets already, and had two ears of corn with dinner tonight. Beets will be sliced into salads. Cukes will go into a tzatziki. I am also making a ratatouille tomorrow night that will show up a few times. Once as that pie I mentioned yesterday.

The chicken breast will be poached and become salad.

Can’t wait to taste that agretti tomorrow night. Another new adventure. Thanks to LFFC.

Tomorrow I will talk about the Friends and Farms basket and how I will be taking the Buy Local Challenge to the EXTREME!

july 17 csa and FF 002

By the way, the corn is awesome.

Growing Onions

Posted on

This is the first year I have attempted onions in the garden. I have white onions, yellow onions, plus I have shallots and leeks, both related to the onions.

solstice weekend 053

The onions look great as they are growing. I am still in that learning curve though. I didn’t stop watering them when the tops started falling over. Then, we got 1 1/2 inches of rain. So, some of them look to be soggy and beginning to rot at the top.

I took eight of them out today. Trimmed them back. I hope to dry half of these, and I have a couple in the pot with the chicken carcass, making stock.

My Tractor Supply starter set had eighty onions in it. They were bulbs, which are easier to grow.

I have to admit. These have been a really good producer. I know in the future there will be onions in the garden.

Tomorrow I get eggplant, eggs and bacon from Friends and Farms. I have squash. I have mega amounts of zucchini. I have onions and shallots. I have garlic. I have tomatoes. Sounds like ratatouille pie to me.

basil and cooking 080

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 424 other followers