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Creamed Spinach with Poached Egg

Serves 6

2 pounds baby spinach or 2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, tough stems discarded
1 3/4 cups heavy cream or whole milk, or a mix thereof
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Wash your spinach well but no need to spin or pat it dry. Place spinach in a large pot over high heat. Cook, covered, with just the water clinging to leaves, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 to 4 minutes for baby spinach and 4 to 6 minutes for regular spinach.

Press or squeeze out the excess liquid any number of ways, either by wringing it out in cheesecloth (my favorite method), putting it in a mesh strainer and pressing the moisture out with a spatula or large spoon or letting it cool long enough to grab small handfuls and squeezing them to remove as much water as possible. Coarsely chop the wrung-out spinach.

Wipe out large pot so you can use it again.

Heat milk or cream in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm. Keep warm. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic, if using, in butter in your wiped-out large pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about six minutes. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, about three minutes. Add warm milk or cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened, three to four minutes. Stir in nutmeg, spinach, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Do ahead: Creamed spinach can be made one day ahead and chilled, covered then reheated over moderately low heat until hot. However, it really tastes best eaten immediately.
creamed spinach

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Holiday food, family and finances

Oh, the joys of eating our way through the calendar. The big holidays alone make it hard to eat healthy, but toss in all the anniversaries, birthdays, soccer parties, etc., whew! Our whole lives are spent around food—buying, eating and hopefully enjoying it. Honestly, eating is a good preoccupation, but we still have to think before we eat or before we take the next bite.

Now, to find the balance, especially during the next five weeks. Many of us will be busy at various functions like office parties, family gatherings and church socials, and it will be really hard to eat healthy during this season. Not impossible though. When you are out and about, opt for salads and veggies for snacks, you can find these at most restaurants. When you are at the office party or church social, fill up on veggies, fruits, meat and cheese offerings first, then head for sweets. Refresh yourself with water whenever possible and always be a gracious guest. If you are heading to or hosting a party, bring/offer the veggie and fruit tray or a fruit basket. I guarantee that other people will be thankful you did.

And in-between parties and the big meals, eat as healthy as possible to compensate for the other times. Your digestive system will thank you and you will have more energy to enjoy this season.

And lastly, enjoy the people in your life. A few years ago, our dinner table was busting at the seams. Over the years we had slowly been filling up our eight foot farm table, watching the children grow up and grow in number, much like the tide coming in. I was considering building a bigger table, but now, a few years later, with the older children coming and going, it appears the tide is going out and the table seems to be too large, sigh. I am really looking forward to having my farm table bursting to capacity with my children and family at the holiday meals. This season is a joyous season, and wouldn’t it be fun to not have the indulgences of these next five weeks show up on our bathroom scales and our credit card statements, ugh?

Let’s make a commitment to indulge as wisely and graciously, as possible, this holiday season. And while we are at it lets commit to having a debt free Christmas, too! If you want to join me in making this holiday season healthier and debt free, sign below and put this on your fridge! Sign below!

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News worth sharing: KFF Holiday Specials

We have great news worth sharing! Share them on your facebook wall and your name will be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of Tamara Murphy’s new cooking book: TENDER. (http://shinshinchez.com/tamara-murphy-tender)

This raffle will be a series of posts from now until December 15th. Every time you share a KFF post, your name will be entered on the raffle and the more chances you have to win.

NEWS WORTH SHARING: KFF HOLIDAY SPECIALS

This is a time of year when get surrounded by friends and family. We catch up on each others lives and we show them how much we love them! Because we appreciate you (and therefore your friends and family) we have a special promotion to show your friends how much YOU appreciate them.

– FOR EXISTING CUSTOMERS*: For the month of December, not only will you receive the standard thank you gift for your referrals, we will take $15 OFF your next order when your referrals become new customers.
– FOR NEW CUSTOMERS**: Order two boxes and get the third one FREE plus a welcome gift from us.
– FOR RETURNING CUSTOMERS**: If your account has been inactive for the past 6 months or more, order two boxes and get the third one FREE …frankly, we have missed you!

Thank you for participating!
Restrictions:
*Not redeemable for cash.
**Buy 2, get 3rd box of equal or lesser value FREE.
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Thanksgiving Healthy Eating Tip: Slow Down

Article by Darya Pino at SummerTomato.com (edited)

Worrying about carbs, calories and diets is one of the most unproductive things you can do on a holiday that celebrates thankfulness. Instead of giving you a list of healthy side dishes or tips on how to cut out calories, this Thanksgiving I offer just a single piece of advice: slow down.
The actual content of your Thanksgiving dinner matters very little in the grand scheme of things. A few hundred calories here or there can make a difference when projected over weeks and years, but for one meal the impact is negligible. Your body will adjust naturally and you’ll burn off those extra calories the next day, so don’t worry about it.
But for people trying to get healthy or lose weight, not worrying about food can feel very strange. There is always the fear that if you aren’t vigilant and conscious of what and how much you eat you may gorge yourself stupid and all your hopes of fitting into your favorite jeans by the end of the year will be ruined.
Overeating is certainly a possibility when food anxiety is a constant force in your life, but Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to start getting over it. Really. It may seem counterintuitive that such a food-forward holiday can be stress free, but let’s not forget that the real point of Thanksgiving isn’t turkey or pie, but being thankful.
…With the emergence of modern media, there are other essential pieces of our lives that we can no longer afford to take for granted. Free time is one. Exercise is another. But most important of all these is our real, human, non-Twitter relationships, particularly those with family and friends. It is far too easy to neglect these basic elements of our existence when we have so many other obligations and distractions, but failure to nurture them can severely affect our overall quality of life.
If you care about your health and want to keep your eating under control on Thanksgiving, why not focus your attention on strengthening relationships and spending time with the people you care about? Instead of worrying about yourself and what you want to accomplish, ask people about themselves and discuss mutual interests. Let food be part of the celebration, but not the purpose of your day.
Once food is no longer the center of attention the only thing you need to keep in mind is to eat slowly–it is pretty tough to overeat if you are biting and chewing at a snail’s pace. Slow eating helps you eat less food and appreciate it more. It also helps you make wiser food choices, since decisions about what to put on your plate are made less impulsively.
But slow eating does require some conscious effort. If you are in the habit of shoveling food in your mouth without taking time to put down your fork and chew (or breathe), it is easy to slip back into this pattern. Also, if people around you are all guzzling their food in a fury, you might feel a natural compulsion to keep pace and match their eating speed.
…Start by actively trying to keep conversations engaged while you eat. Chewing and talking are (hopefully) mutually exclusive, so the more you converse the longer it will take you to get through your meal. Making an effort to put your fork down between bites is another effective way to slow your pace at the dining table. To give your hands something to do between bites, reach for your glass and take regular sips of your water…or wipe your lips with your napkin. And don’t forget to chew.
Trying to eat slowly is much easier than trying to summon the will power to skip the mashed potatoes and biscuits…
Spend time with people, enjoy your meal and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
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Open for change

This time last week I was in Morocco, surrounded by vivid colors, a light sun, golden sand, and a culture that only vaguely resembled the one that I’m used to.
The opportunity to travel to Morocco came up suddenly and I seized it, thinking that it would be great to say that I’ve been there. I arrived with many preconceived notions, but I soon found myself falling in love with this country. The differences of this land and my own were glaring at first and I couldn’t help but think of these differences as negative. As the days passed, however, and I was able to experience more of the beauty, the food, the people, and the culture in general, I saw those differences positively.
With each new place we visited I came to expect the welcoming dramatic pour of mint tea. Brewed strong and sweet, this tea became a symbol of hospitality and love. As we left a place, we received the customary kiss on each cheek. Although I found myself initially trying to pull away from this embrace, I discovered that I left it a better, more tender me. I embraced the simple lifestyle and I savored each moment for what it was, not thinking of what I should be doing and where I was going next. The Moroccan people helped to teach me that a meaningful life is best lived simply, not watered down when stress and pressure tend to dilute.
In light of this experience, I am reminded to be vulnerable and willing to allow others to continue to shape me. As much as I try to convince myself that I have this life figured out, I still have an incredible amount to learn, and in reality I hope I never stop learning. Allowing myself to be open to new experiences and open for change, I am able to become a much more rich individual because I am shaped by God’s creation that is ultimately a reflection of His image.
On a more practical level, this idea also translates to my Thanksgiving table. As I prepare for a meal designed around the idea of giving thanks, I am thankful for the experience I had in Morocco and the flavors and ingredients enjoyed there. I am eager to let my food be influenced by that place with ingredients like dates, saffron, dried apricots, cumin, paprika, olives, and preserved lemon.
I wish you all a very flavorful Thanksgiving season. One that is rich in new tastes and new experiences.
by Ashley Rodriguez
Chef, food blogger, and full-time mom. Read more of her writings at www.notwithoutsalt.com
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Thanksgiving Delivery Schedule

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many of you have already started to prepare. Let Klesick Family Farm be apart of your holiday planning! Here is our Thanksgiving delivery schedule to help you plan ahead.
We will not be making deliveries on Thursday and Friday the week of Thanksgiving, so we will have an adjusted delivery schedule that week. After reviewing the general delivery schedule below, if you are still uncertain as to your delivery day the week of Thanksgiving please give us a call.
For delivery Monday, 11/21
• Tuesday customers
• Anacortes & Oak Harbor customers
For delivery Tuesday, 11/22
• Wednesday customers, except those in Anacortes & Oak Harbor
• Thursday customers, except those in Marysville south of 100th St NE
For delivery Wednesday, 11/23
• Friday customers
• Marysville customers south of 100th St NE


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Pear Crisps with Vanilla Brown Butter

Makes 6 servings
For topping
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole almonds with skin
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For filling
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 lb firm-ripe d’Anjou or Barlett pears (about 6), peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons pear brandy or eau-de-vie
Equipment: 6 (8-ounce) gratin dishes or shallow ramekins
Make topping: Pulse together flour, almonds, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped. Add butter and pulse just until blended. Coarsely crumble in a shallow baking pan and chill at least 1 hour.
Make filling and bake crisps: Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a small heavy saucepan, then add pod and butter and cook over medium-low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until butter is browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes.
While butter browns, stir together sugars, flour, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add pears and brandy and toss to combine.
Discard vanilla pod, then toss butter with pear mixture. Spoon filling into gratin dishes and sprinkle with topping, mounding it slightly in centers. Put in a shallow baking pan and bake 30 minutes, then rotate baking sheet and bake until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool to warm or room temperature on a rack.
Do ahead: The topping can made in advance, chilled and covered for up to two days. The crisps can be assembled (but not baked) 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring them room temperature before baking.
Recipe from: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/12/pear-crisps-with-vanilla-brown-butter/. Adapted from Gourmet, October 2007
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Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Apples

INGREDIENTS:
1 large, crisp apple, cut into bite-sized wedges
1 lemon, juice only
4 ounces extra-firm tofu cut into tiny-inch cubes (optional)
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
a couple splashes of olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
a scant tablespoon of maple syrup
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
12 ounces (3/4 pound). brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
PREPARATION:
Soak the apples in a bowl filled with water and the juice of one lemon.
Cook the tofu in large hot skillet with a bit of salt and a splash of oil. Saute until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, wait a few seconds, now stir in the maple syrup, and cook another 30 seconds or so. Drain the apples, and add them to the skillet, cooking for another minute. Scrape the apple and tofu mixture out onto a plate and set aside while you cook the brussels sprouts.
In the same pan (no need to wash), add a touch more oil, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the shredded brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until you get some golden bits, and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious.
Stir the apple mixture back into the skillet alongside the brussels sprouts 1/2 of the pine nuts – gently stir to combine. Remove from heat and enjoy immediately sprinkled with the remaining pine nuts. This isn’t a dish you want sitting around, the flavors change dramatically after ten minutes or so, and I think that is part of the reason brussels sprouts get a bad rap. Even I don’t like them after they’ve been sitting around.
Serves 2 – 3 as a main, 4 as a side.
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BioGarden™ Soil Conditioner

BioGarden™ Soil Conditioner 3-3-2+5 (Ca) is a blend of beneficial microbes and nutrients to help build rich, healthy soil, which is the foundation for plant health and productivity.
Convenient
BioGarden™ Soil Conditioner may be sprinkled directly onto the soil with our convenient shaker container, or may be mixed in water and sprayed or watered in. May be used in furrow at planting, as a root-dip for transplants, or  to side-dress established plants and trees. Use up to four times during the growing season.
Versatile
Use for vegetables, flowers, berries, around fruit trees, and in containers.
450 gram shaker bottle    $24.99
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Sourdough Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

Sourdough focaccia with grapes and rosemary pairs perfectly with a salty, raw ewe’s milk cheese as a light lunch or as an accompaniment to an autumn picnic.  The inky and potent flavor of Concord grapes marries beautifully with the tartness of sourdough focaccia – all perfumed by the woodsy odor of fresh rosemary and drenched in unrefined, extra virgin olive oil.

Ingredients
For the Sourdough Focaccia

1 cup proofed and bubbly sourdough starter

1 cup warm, filtered water

1/4 cup unrefined extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the mixing bowl

3 to 4 cups whole grain flour, preferably sprouted

2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt

For the Grape and Rosemary Topping

1 1/2 cups Thomcord Grapes

2 tablespoons loosely packed fresh rosemary needles

up to 1 tablespoon very coarse unrefined sea salt

2 tablespoons unrefined extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

coarsely ground black pepper, as it suits you

Method
Preparing the Dough

Stir proofed starter, warm water, olive oil, whole grain flour and sea salt together until well combined.

Pour the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook and mix the ingredients together at a low speed; alternatively, flour your counter and knead the ingredients together until a smooth, pliable ball of dough forms.

Grease a mixing bowl with a bit of olive oil; place the dough in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a slightly damp kitchen towel.

Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for about four hours.

Punch it down, and allow it to rise again, until doubled in bulk.

After it has doubled in bulk, roll the dough into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick.  It is now ready for the grapes, rosemary and other toppings.

Finishing and Baking the Sourdough Focaccia

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once you’ve rolled out the sourdough, indent its surface with the pads of your fingers or prick its surface with the tines of a fork.

Toss whole grapes onto the dough’s surface, then sprinkle the dough with coarse sea salt, rosemary needles and coarsely ground black pepper.

Bake the focaccia on a baking stone in an oven preheated to 475 degrees Fahrenheit for twenty to thirty minutes, or until the bread is browned and crusty.

Allow the focaccia to cool to room temperature and serve it with additional olive oil.

YIELD: about twelve to sixteen slices

TIME: about twenty minutes (active time), eight hours (rising time), twenty to thirty minutes (baking time)

NOTES:  Use the sourdough focaccia as a base for pizza or choose other topping for the bread.  Take care not to seed or split the grapes, as they will exude too much liquid and make the focaccia soggy.  You may ask why I recommend sprouted flour for use in sourdoughs.  I recommend sprouted flours or freshly ground flours because, when soured, they offer an even more improved nutrient profile than regular whole grain flours which, I might add, will do just beautifully in this recipe.

Original recipe from: http://nourishedkitchen.com/sourdough-focaccia-with-grapes-and-rosemary/