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Honey! Bar the door! We’ve got ourselves a crawler!

I know it’s inevitable. At some point in time every little one gets mobile and life changes, but I was secretly hoping for a few more months of “stationary” play! Officially, she began crawling at 5.5 months. This isn’t our earliest. Her sister, Emily, started crawling at the same time 17 years ago and she hasn’t stopped moving since! We will have to see if Joanna walks at the early age of 8.5 months, as her older sister did. Time will tell. Having a little one reach that wonderful age of mobility quickly moves them into a new phase of learning, which means it moves us, as parents, into a new phase of teaching. Now that she is scooting across the floor we need to begin training her to make good choices. Of course, this will be a gradual process, but now she will be discovering toys left out by siblings, the cat food dish, a fireplace, older siblings with quick feet, etc. One of the most comical learning opportunities comes when the little ones begin to learn to negotiate the happily wagging tail of our big (giant to them) black Labs.

It is all good! It is all supposed to happen! Every stage of life is special, and laying a foundation of love and respect early is critical to a great relationship later. Teaching her that “no” means “no” will be one of the next things she learns, and when she is a little older and getting around well, it will be time for her to learn “Joanna, come here, please”.

Sadly, as parents of young children, it’s easy to train children that we are not serious about our requests. And the constant negotiating or nagging eventually can wear a parent out and put a strain on the relationship. But if one establishes “no” early or “come here” early then parents will naturally have a better relationship with their child, for the simple reason that there’s not always a mini war on their hands. Children thrive with love and healthy boundaries. Good seeds planted now will bear good fruit later and as a father and a farmer, life has taught me planting the good seeds is the way to go.

– Tristan

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Fresh This Week Add-Ons: It is cooking greens season!

If you like ratatouille…this is a great time! We’ve got basil, zucchini/yellow summer squash, red bell peppers,  garlic & onions available to go with! For a great Ratatouille recipe, go tohttp://smittenkitchen.com/2007/07/rat-a-too-ee-for-you-ee/

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Know your produce – tips for storing & preparing produce

KIWI

They’re a really good source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber and very low in calories. Kiwi fruit can also be used for certain fruit preparations where kiwi is used a meat tenderizer.

For a delicious Kiwi Raita visit : http://www.foodgal.com/2010/09/kickin-with-kiwi/

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BEETS

Store: Before refrigerating, separate the beets from the leaves. To keep the beets dry, store them and the leaves, unwashed, in separate plastic bags in the vegetable drawer.

Shelf life: The leaves will last for only two to three days, but the beets can stay fresh for two to three weeks.

Prep: Small, young beets are tasty grated raw in salads. (Beet juice can stain, so protect your countertops.) All types are delicious steamed or boiled. Or roast them at 400º F for 45 minutes; slice and top with goat cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

This Unbeetable Chocolate Cake recipe was shared with us by one of our customers http://www.rightathome.com/Food/Recipes/Pages/UnbeetableChocolateCake.aspx

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CARROTS

Loaded with beta-carotene (a great source of vitamin A), carrots are colorful, flavorful, and versatile, working in either sweet or savory dishes, cooked or raw.

Store: Carrots keep in the vegetable compartment in a plastic bag for up to 10 days.

Prep: Along with celery and onions, carrots are used to create depth in stocks, marinades, soups, and sauces. They pair well with honey, thyme, cumin, curry, and orange.

For a simple delicious pot roast visit: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pot_roast/

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Fresh this week 09.14.2010

Gala Apples:
A superb dessert apple that is excellent for fresh eating and baking! Enjoy them raw, cooked, roasted or in vegetable platters.

How to store:

To store, keep apples as cold as possible in the refrigerator. Apples do not freeze until the temperature drops to 28.5 degrees F.

Green Bell Peppers
Bell peppers add fresh flavor and splashes of color to raw and cooked dishes. They’re also great sources of vitamins A and C.

How to Store:

Refrigerate peppers unwashed (moisture speeds decay) in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. Red and yellow peppers will last up to 5 days; green, about a week

Arrugula (Also called Roquette)
Arrugula adds spicy accents to dishes far beyond Italian. Arrugula is used in Italian dishes and with many foods containing olives, garlic, tomatoes & peppers. It’s leaves are zesty and when harvested before fully mature make a great addition to salads.

How to store:
Place the bunch, or the loose leaves, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer, where they’ll last up to 3 days.

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Fresh this week 9.07.2010

STARKRIMSON PEARS:

The Starkrimson pear has a beautiful full red color and a very juicy, sweet and floral flavor. Make a display of these in a fruit bowl; they are as beautiful as fresh cut flowers. But when you eat them you might want to lean over the kitchen sink because they are so juicy and sweet!! Their sweet floral flavor also compliments strong cheeses. Together with goat cheese or blue cheese they really dress up a salad.

These herald the first of the pear harvest and will likely need to ripen a few days before use.

To hurry the ripening process, keep pears at room temperature, each piece individually wrapped in paper, or enclosed in a paper bag ventilated with a few holes. Check them with some frequency. Pears ripen from the inside out. Looks can be deceiving so test the stem end for that slight “give” to tell you when the pear is ready. Ripe pears  should also be slightly fragrant. Ripe pears should be stored in the refrigerator. See the recipe on the back of the newsletter for Ashley Rodriguez’s delicious Sautéed Pears with Toffee Sauce, an excellent way to enjoy this crisp pear.

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CILANTRO:

Store: Wrapped loosely in plastic, cilantro will keep in the refrigerator for one week as long as the leaves are not wet. If the leave become wet (don’t wash them until you are ready to use them) they will quickly spoil. Rinse cilantro well before using as it may have soil or grit clinging to its leaves and stems.

Prep: When you are ready to use cilantro, take the whole bunch holding onto the stems and dunk it into a bowl or sink of cool water. Gently swish back and forth to rid the leaves of any sand or grime.

Shake cilantro well to remove excess water, then pat dry with a towel.

Begin slicing through stems with your chef’s knife. Slice off only as much as you need; the unused portion will last longer uncut

Holding your knife’s tip steady on the board while you rock the blade back and forth, finely chop cilantro. Take care not to over-chop, or cilantro will turn black.

Wrap unused cilantro in damp towels used to dry off the washed cilantro and place inside a resealable plastic bag. Your herbs will last three to five days in the refrigerator, as long as you keep the towel slightly damp.

Use cilantro in fresh salsas, southwest dishes, add it to beef or meat filling in a taco or burrito. Use as a marinade to spice up meat dishes. Cilantro is also used in many delicious Asian dishes, salads, dressings, and soups.

For a simple and delicious guacamole recipe featuring cilantro, go to http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/cilantro-lime-guacamole.aspx

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AVOCADOS:

Store: avocadoes should be sotred at room temperature to allow them to ripen to their desired stage. Place in a brown paper bowl or in your fruit basket to ripen them.  When ripe they need to be used with in a day or two.

Prep: To peel, grip the avocado gently on one side with one hand. With a large, sharp knife in the other hand, cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed. Open the two halves to expose the pit. At this point there are a few ways you can proceed to remove the pit from the avocado half that has the pit. One way is to make another cut, lengthwise on the avocado half that has the pit, cutting around the pit, exposing it so that it is easier to remove. You can also use a spoon to scoop out the pit.

At this point, you can either scoop out the avocado flesh with a spoon (for making guacamole), or slice the avocado into segments. To make it more easy to scoop out the avocado flesh, take a small dinner knife and gently make cuts in the avocado flesh in a cross-hatch pattern, careful not to break through the avocado peel. Then use a spoon to easily scoop out the avocado pieces. If you are making guacamole, don’t worry about slightly discolored or brownish sections. Scoop them up with the rest of the avocado to mash.

For step-bt step photos of this go to http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cut_and_peel_an_avocado/

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Bean Recipes!!

Green Beans with New Potatoes

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/green-beans-with-new-potatoes-recipe/index.html
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Ingredients:
• 3 pounds fresh green beans
• 1/4 pound salt pork, sliced
• 1/4 cup bacon grease
• 2 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
• 2 to 3 teaspoons House Seasoning, recipe follows
• 12 small red potatoes
• 1 onion, cut into slivers
• 1/2 stick unsalted butter, sliced
• Ground black pepper
Directions
Remove the ends from the beans. Snap the beans in 2 pieces, place into a colander, wash, and set aside to drain.
Meanwhile, in a large cast iron Dutch oven, lightly brown the salt pork in the bacon grease over medium heat, turning often, for approximately 10 minutes. Toss the green beans into the pot, stirring them with a wooden spoon to coat well with the pork fat. Add the broth and House Seasoning. Cook over medium-low heat, covered tightly, for approximately 30 minutes, or until the beans are half done.
While the beans are cooking, peel a center strip from each new potato with a potato peeler. At the end of 30 minutes, add the potatoes and onion to the beans; add 1/4 cup more broth, if needed. Cook, covered tightly, until the potatoes are tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes, periodically checking the pot to make sure a small amount of liquid remains. When the potatoes are tender, tilt the lid slightly, off to the side of the pot, and continue to cook until the green beans are wilted, approximately 15 minutes. While cooking, add the butter and season with pepper.
House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Green and Yellow Bean Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing and Feta Cheese

Yellow wax beans in the salad complement a traditional green bean salad nicely. If wax beans are unavailable, use extra green beans in their place.

Ingredients
• 3/4 pound wax beans, trimmed
• 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
• 2 cups chopped tomato
• 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
• 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
Preparation
Cook beans in boiling water 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Combine the tomato and next 4 ingredients (tomato through pepper) in a bowl. Divide the beans evenly among 8 plates. Spoon 1/4 cup tomato mixture over the beans. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sliced basil and 1 tablespoon cheese.

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Potato Salad Recipe's From Contest Winners

The Potato Salad Recipe contest is over! Thank you to everyone who participated; we truly enjoyed all of your great recipe ideas. We have picked our winners and
recommend you try them out for yourself for this Labor Day weekend!

From: Laura Strzelec:

“Those who don’t appreciate traditional potato salads will find much to enjoy in this recipe. Potato salads were never a favorite dish of mine – until I tasted this one. Wonderful things often come together – this recipe was shared with me by the same good friend who introduced me to the Klesick Family Farm. This recipe also provides a great incentive to keep my herb garden healthy.”

Herbed Potato Salad

serves 4 to 6

2 lbs. small red potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes
2 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
1 T. chopped fresh chives
1 T. chopped fresh basil
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. diced red onions

Steam potatoes 12-14 minutes, until tender. Whisk vinegar, oil, Dijon, herbs, salt and pepper. While potatoes are still warm, toss with dressing and onions. Cool and serve.

From: Kristy Black

Ingredients:

5lbs red skin potatoes
4 Scallions
6 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
2 tbsp of Chives
1 tsp dill
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Dice up potatoes into bite size pieces and boil until tender. Drain and set aside.

Chop up scallions, dill and chives (if using fresh herbs, dried are perfectly acceptable).

Whisk sour cream, sugar and vinegar together. Then add scallions, herbs and crumbled bacon. Once potatoes have cooled mix in with dressing and add salt and pepper to taste. Have it cool in the fridge at least one hour prior to serving as to allow flavors to “marry”. I sometimes add shredded cheddar cheese as well.

I will be honest, I am guessing at measurements here as I usually just eyeball everything. This is requested all the time by friends and family. Hope you enjoy as well!

From: Kelly Cooney

I made this a couple of weeks ago with the amazing fresh peas and potatoes in our box, and chives from the garden!
Yum! It is an adaptation of a recipe from epicurious.com

Potato and Pea Salad with Chive Aioli:
• 3 pounds small red-skinned new potatoes, unpeeled (can substitute with other types of potato as available)
• 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
• 1 1/2 cups fresh green peas, shelled
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 6 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 2 garlic cloves, pressed
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain; cool. Cut potatoes into quarters. Transfer to large bowl; add vinegar and toss to coat. Mix in celery and peas.
Whisk mayonnaise, 5 tablespoons chives, mustard, garlic, and cayenne pepper in small bowl to blend. Add to potato mixture and toss. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and chill at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon chives and serve.

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Not Until You Eat Your Veggies!

Those beets we keep sending in the boxes…do they just sit in the corner of the veggie drawer for weeks until they are limp and wilted, good for nothing except the compost heap, all because nobody will eat them if you fix them? Customers will tell us, “Um, beets? NO one in our household will eat them besides me!” Now, growing up I didn’t like things like beets, kale, or other green things either. For me, the only thing to do with beets was paint my plate, lips and face with them, until my mom caught sight of it and then I still had to eat them, which I did with great reluctance. (As a child, I discovered that if you plug your nose when eating foods you can’t stand, you can’t taste them as well so they’re easier to swallow!) My sister, however, loved beets and sometimes she was nice enough to eat mine for me. Today, I eat beets, along with many other veggies, probably largely due to my mother’s persistence in getting me to eat my veggies.

Good food should be something one enjoys! Often, certain veggies are an acquired taste and it takes time before we are to the point of enjoying them. If your family has recently made the switch to healthy eating, the transition of changing your diet to one that includes home-cooked meals with more fresh vegetables can be a bit of a challenge.
A balanced diet is important when it comes to your personal health but it can be doubly important in children. What your child is eating now is laying the foundation for later in life, and your behavior and attitude about food is making an impression on them every time you sit down at the dinner table.
For a three-year-old, a plate of veggies may not seem very exciting. Changing perception can go a long way in getting your children to eat healthy and balanced meals. A plate of veggies that is colorful and topped with a homemade cheese sauce can be very fun. Incorporating the flavors s/he is familiar with and enjoys may be the difference between food introduction failure and success, and first impressions are very important when it comes to introducing new foods.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! This rings true in the food world. Remember, taste buds do change over time. Also, by trying different ways of serving up the veggies, they may finish the entire serving the second or third time, despite having a declared hatred for it! The secret is to either make the vegetables tasty or go completely unnoticed. Serving up veggies on their own may not be that appetizing, but as soon as you throw a good dressing into the mix or pile them into a tasty casserole, you can enjoy watching as they are happily devoured!

Consider grating or chopping veggies to make them go unnoticed. Broth-based soups are a nutritional wonder and when puréed many things that have difficult textures are easier to swallow.
In summary, when it comes to changing your family’s eating habits, Moms, you are the ones who make it happen. You are changing your families’ futures for the better, and doing an awesome job!

Cheers!
Marty, for the Klesick Family Farm