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CSA Fall Share Week #2

Posted by Angela Diaz on November 12, 2013 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

     I picked up my second Fall share today. Here's what I got:

Bunch of leeks

Spinach

Bok Choy

White Radishes

Romanesco (delicious stuff, it tastes like brocolli with the texture of cauliflower. looks like crazy alien food, but it's amazing!)

Brocolli

Red Lettuce

Purple Carrots

     I took my share home and made some Teriyaki stir-fry over white rice.  I stir-fried beef strips and onions first till the meat was browned.  I chopped up the brocolli, radishes, carrots, and bok choy and threw it in there with a can of water chestnuts and stir-fried until the veggies were slightly cooked.  I then added a bottle of teriyaki sauce and cooked a few minutes more.  Stir-fry is always an easy way to use a bunch of veggies.

     I love getting things that I wouldn't normally try on my own.  This was my first experience with radishes.  My youngest daughter asked to try it when she saw me cutting them up into coins.  I gave her one and she came back for more.  She really likes these and we now have a healthy snack idea for her.  She finished her dinner and asked for the rest of the radishes to eat with Ranch Dressing. Who can say no to that?

Community Supported Agriculture

Posted by Angela Diaz on November 5, 2013 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

     Community supported agriculture is a program available almost anywhere in the U.S.  For anyone who doesn't know what it is, it is an organization that partners with local farms to bring fresh,in-season produce to individuals who purchase "shares" of the harvest.  The shares are distributed weekly at specified pick-up locations located throughout the community. 

      Lancaster County is known for it's good soil and farmland. My local CSA program is partnered with about 75 local organic farms.  You have the option of purchasing a share, or a half share (for smaller families) of the produce.  I elected for a half share since I do grow some of my own vegetables already at home and since I'm not a vegetarian (though I'd love to be, I just love meat too much), the half share box would be more than enough for our weekly vegetable needs. 

     I paid $133 dollars to receive a half share for the seven weeks of the fall harvest, which amounts to about $19/week for fresh, local, organic produce to be picked up every Tuesday a few blocks away from where I work.  Sounds like a good deal to me and I love directly supporting our local organic farmers.  Here is what was in my box today when I picked it up:

Broccoli, Romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage, beets, garlic, leeks, and red kale

 

     Everything is distributed within 24 hours of being harvested. Talk about fresh!  I was really excited about this and the smell of these items in the box was driving me nuts all day long since I had them with me at work so they wouldn't sit in the car and get weird if the sun beat in the windows. I already had plans for the broccoli.  I made beef and brcoccoli (told ya I love meat). It was so delicious. It was my first time making it and it was a hit. 

Organize Your Pantry

Posted by Angela Diaz on August 11, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Keeping your pantry organized is a great way to save money. You should have everything easily visible so that you know exactly what you have and how much of it you have. How does this save money? You won't spend extra money at the grocery store on things you already have at home (but didn't know you had because you can't see it or find it).  You will also be able to plan your meals better and reduce trips to the grocery store. You also save money by reducing food waste due to expiring products laying in the back of your pantry/cabinets. 

Before doing the grocery shopping, take a quick inventory of your pantry/cabinets and make a list of things you need to get. I like to keep a list on my refrigerator of the things I ran out of. I jot them down quickly so that I don't forget to add them to the grocery list later on.  Also, rotate your food. Put the newest food in the back and the older food up front so that you can use the oldest first and don't run into expiring food waste.

Here's a quick peek at part of my pantry. Notice how everything is lined up together in groups and not jumbled up all over the place. I save a lot of time looking and rummaging through cans and boxes of stuff by keeping my pantry tidy.

 

Using a Colador for Coffee

Posted by Angela Diaz on August 10, 2013 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I finally got one! A coffee sock! I actually bought it from my neighborhood corner store for $1.00.  What a deal considering I will no longer have to buy coffee filters. The real name for this coffee sock is Colador. My mother and grandparents used to use this to make their coffee when I was young. It's simply a piece of tight cloth that you put your coffee grounds in and pour hot water over it. It's so easy. I love using this.  I was worried that my very finely ground coffee would go through the cloth, but it doesn't at all.

 

 

Bread Slice Comparison

Posted by Angela Diaz on June 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

Made a sandwich with my home-made bread and thought it was kinda big, so I compared it in size to a regular store-bought slice of bread. The bread next to my home-made bread is Sara-Lee Honey Wheat bread. I didn't realize how much bigger my home bread was in comparison. No wonder I get full from only one sandwich instead of two!

 

My Coffee Maker

Posted by Angela Diaz on June 16, 2013 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

 

There are a few things I don't like about coffee makers:

  • They take up space on my counter
  • They don't make my coffee hot enough
  • I always break the glass carafe when I wash it
  • The replacement carafes are about as much as the coffee maker

That is why the last time I broke the carafe, I decided to not replace my coffee maker. Instead, I kept the filter basket and used that to make my coffee. What does a coffee maker? It heats up water and pours it into the basket. Hmmm. I can do that myself. Since I am the only one who drinks coffee in my home this is an easy fix. I use my tea kettle to heat up the water to a nice piping hot temperature (that way I don't have to heat up my milk when I put it in the coffee). I put enough coffee in the filter for a single cup, put the filter basket on my cup and pour my water into it. The coffee just flows right into my cup and when I add milk, it cools it down from a boiling hot temperature to a nice, hot, drinkable cup of coffee. Aaaaah. Coffee. The Elixir of Life.

I have tried to get a re-usable filter, but the coffee I buy has such fine grounds, that it goes right through those filters. My next experiment will be making coffee using a coffee sock. It's like a re-usable filter, but it's cloth. My mother used to use them when I was a child. If it works, I will not have to buy disposable filters again. At this point, though, it doesn't bother me that I buy them because I dump my coffee grounds along with the filter into my composting bin to be turned into fertilizer for my garden, so it's not really being wasted or ending up in a landfill anyway.