Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baking Gals - Josh Bridge

With Boy Wonder coming home in 16 days, I can't ship him any more boxes to Korea and it will be about 3 weeks in Kentucky before he has a new valid mailing address.  So today during our Skype chat*, I asked Chris who he would like for me to nominate for July's shipping.  I've done 8 rounds so far, since Chris has been gone - and sent to Chris, our friend Jon, and 6 strangers.  It is the most wonderful feeling when you get an email from these boys, to thank you for baking for them.  Really, there are no thanks needed - but it still feels good! 

If you want to join me in baking for Josh, he's a great kid!! Josh is a lot like Christopher, but is only going to turn 20 on June 30th, young guns he really is.  You'll need to register at www.bakinggals.com; and it will probably take 2 - 3 days for Lyndsay to approve your request.  Once you've been approved, you'll need to go to the current round (Round 32) and sign up for a team.  My team is called East Coast Love :) If you join in the correct time span, you'll get a "mass email" from me with basics about Josh and his address.  If you join after shipping has started - YOU WILL NEED TO EMAIL ME - so that I can get Josh's address to you. 

Here's hoping I'll have some familiar faces in this round!! 

**And yeahhhh I got to Skype with Chris today - it was great to just chat for 45 mins, no life altering things to discuss, and he's safely on base during his outprocessing - which means no more time in the field! Hooray for little favors. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

CSA - Week 3

Today was our third CSA pick-up, and I FINALLY got to go pick-up our share! This week's was so colorful, this was exactly the picture I had in my mind when I signed up for this! 

From Left to Right - Beets (in red bag), Lettuce, Dill, Kolrhabi (purple things), Heirloom Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Potatoes, and Shelling Peas

We're doing tacos tomorrow, not very exciting - I know, but I need to finish some last week's butter lettuce, in addition to finishing the last of the store bought tomatoes.  

I do have a great pizza planned for the heirloom tomatoes, and Kevin has requested my lemon orzo salad with dill.  As for those beets - there will absolutely be some red beet eggs in my future.  That's the part where I eat the eggs and make my mom eat the beets.  But, before anyone yells at me - I will be grilling and roasting beets as well, because I'm willing to be adventurous.  Also, if I have to eat the beets, the men are absolutely going down with me. 

<3 J

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week 2 - Bok Choy Stew/Soup

No idea where the recipe originated from, a friend of Kevin's sent it to me.  I didn't take any photos during cooking as I had half the kitchen torn apart (I was looking for my ladel!).  I've made some notes, and they're all in red! 

Beef Stew (Nilaga) Recipe
Estimated Cooking time: 1 to 2 hours - 1 hour and 45 mins, including cutting & slooooow electric stove water boiling. 

  • 2 pounds beef, cut into 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" cubes - I used beef brisket, cubed and seared
  • 8 potatoes cut the same size as the beef - about half the potatoes, 8 is a lot! 
  • 1 bundle Pechay (Bok choy) cut into 2 pieces - Separate the stem and leaves before cutting, you'll need to add them into the cooking at different times. 
  • 1 small cabbage, quartered - Half a napa cabbage
  • 5 onions, diced - 2 large red onions
  • 1 head garlic, minced - I used a lot, pre-diced, in a jar
  • 4 tablespoons of patis (fish sauce) - this was worth buying, only cost about $2
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 10 corns of black pepper
  • 1 liter of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking Instructions:
  1. In a big casserole, heat oil and sauté the garlic and onions. - big soup pot, if you like to stir
  2. Add water, the beef, black pepper and patis. Bring to a boil then simmer for 1 hour or until the beef is tender.
  3. Add the potatoes. Continue to simmer until potatoes are cooked.
  4. Add the cabbage then the pechay. Do not over cook the vegetables. - I cooked the cabbage and boy choy stems for about 10 minutes, then added the leaves of the bok choy and cooked for 5 more mins. 
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve steaming hot in a bowl with plain white rice.
Successful dinner, and we have about half of this left over.  Kevin's friend Freeman (Recipe Source) made it tonight as well, so he and Kevin are going to compare their products tomorrow and we'll see who wins.  I'm guessing Freeman, but I'd love some feedback! 

<3 J 
(Thank you CSA for making me branch out - I would never have made Filipino Stew for dinner without you). 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

CSA - Week 2

I only took 1 photo of the second week's CSA goodies as some of them had looked better by the time we got home from Kevin's grandfather's funeral and rescued them from some precarious refrigerator placement by the roommate. (I mean that in the nicest way possible, honest). 

My favorite item from last week's CSA was the Swiss Chard! I tried some of the stems, cleaned, sliced and dipped into hummus and it was great.  The colorful stems are also a great punch of color! 
The colors didn't come through so well, but I promise they were there
For a main dish, I sauteed the swiss chard stems with some turkey sausage, mixed it with whole wheat rotini pasta, and wilted swiss chard leaves.  With some chili powder, garlic, and sesame oil, it was an absolutely wonderful dinner with a punch of green.  I would absolutely try it again, and I think Kevin and Andrew would eat it again too! Win! 

<3 J

Friday, June 17, 2011

CSA - Week 1

I know that I gave a brief overview before that Kevin and I had joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program for the summer - and it finally started at the beginning of June.  

Our first week's pick-up was taken care of by my wonderful husband, since I was stuck at work.  I know they can be different, but ours is so user friendly, they've done a wonderful job.  Each bin is set-up with a sign identifying the item, plus either the number of the item that you can take or a scale to weigh out how much you can take. 

Week one was some things I was familiar with, like Butter Lettuce - omg, how did I not know how wonderful this was?
We also got Purple Peacock - which has a fun texture, and I mixed it into a funky twist on a Caesar Salad: 
Plus some yummy scallions that found their way mixed into several dinners.  I know there was arugula and spinach, as well as broccoli - but I feel like I'm forgetting something.  

Anyway, week 1 was a huge success and there was a much smaller bill from the regular grocery store to go with it! 

<3 J

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sweet Sweet Summatime

I can't wait - to enjoy this amazing summer, with my even more wonderful friends. In case you care - here are the reasons my spring/summer is going to rock my socks::::::

May 21/22 - Twin visit, Soap Box Derby, god daughter spoil time - She really is the cutest baby ever, here is proof:
Give her about 10 years, she'll be next!

Plus, I had a cute date for the Derby!

And the driver himself!

June 3/4/5 - Pittsburgh with friends JG & KG (I'll tell you about the initials sometime) and god daughter spoil time, plus Phillies vs Pirates baseball - This was fun, I owe you an update all about this trip.  I'll get there someday!

June 11/12 - baby shower... I can't believe we're old enough to make babies!
June 23 - visiting my favorite SAHM in MD (on a Thursday, omg)
June 25 - DC with Mommy & Best Friend
July 9 to 17 - Vacation in Maine!!  
July 30/31 - Bachelorette madness & bridal shower fun
August 4 - Bestest's Wedding Anniversary (yo, you've been married for 4 years!?!)
August 6 - Bachelorette madness x2
August 20 - first free weekend all summer!  DC with hubby & siblings in law for Phils/Nats
September 5 - Wedding Anniversary (2 years?!)
September 10 - 3rd wedding of 2011
September 17 - 4th wedding of 2011

Be jealous, it's really okay. 
<3 J