Thursday, February 25, 2010

2010 CSA

We are very excited to be signed up for the CSA again this year.

Last year we tried out Harmony Valley which was a really wonderful introduction to the local CSA programs here in the city. They have an amazing Cheese Share which we signed up for again this year, that comes out of Wisconsin.

For the Veggies we decided to try Driftless Organics in 2010. This farm is in the same region in Wisconsin, my childhood home, as Harmony Valley is. And to bring it even closer to home, I went to middle and high school with the founders, Josh and Noah.

From the site:
"Driftless Organics came into being fifteen years ago under the name Rainbow Potatoes. It was started by Josh and Noah Engel, ages eleven and nine respectively, and as the name suggests they grew a colorful spectrum of potatoes; more than twenty varieties in all. As they themselves grew, so did their ambition and the number of crops they planted. What began as a quarter acre field of potatoes on their parents’ organic dairy farm has now expanded to over one hundred acres of vegetables, fruits, small grains and sunflowers; all grown in the driftless region of local Southwest Wisconsin. Noah and Josh have been joined in recent years by Mike Lind and his small herd of grass fed beef cattle, further diversifying the operation. The three of them work together to provide sustainably grown organic food at an affordable price to people like you."

I can't wait to share what wonderful things we get in 2010!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Faux Cookies

No these are not chocolate chip cookies. I know. They look like it. These little cuties are Orange Currant Polenta Cookies and while that combination may not sound delicious, let me tell you.... it is.

I have firsthand knowledge that both kids and adults will enjoy a handful (or two). They are light, with a little bit of tangy-crunchy-chewiness that suites new years resolutionists with healthy vitamin C and Iron. Make them into bite sizes and enjoy! I won't take responsibility for chocolate lovers dissapointment though.

2 cups dried currants
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/4 cup water
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons coarse polenta (cornmeal)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, add the currants and water. Soak for 5 minutes, then drain and discard the liquid. Set currents aside.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and sugar and beat to combine. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla and mix on medium speed until incorporated together. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix again on low speed until a dough forms.

Once a dough forms add the currants and polenta. Mix together until thoroughly combined. Roll into small 1-inch balls, and arrange on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until slightly golden, 8-12 minutes, at 350 degrees on a non-stick pan. Cool and serve.

Recycling Hearts

This past weekend we took a great weekend trip to visit my sister in Murfreesboro, TN. And although it snowed 3 inches, shutting down most of the southern, well everything… we were still able to go a nice bit of antiquing.

Among the new items were a cast iron frying pan, two German steins, Christmas tree skirt, and a hand-stitched quilt.

Unfortunately it doesn’t match anything in our house. So I decided to make up a new Valentine’s Day decoration to bring in some of the orangey yellows and bright blues.

I recycled a cheap drycleaner clothes hanger and some old fabric scrapes from hemming I had done earlier in the year. By cutting up the fabric into long strips and tying them onto the wire heart shape, a new pattern of colors emerged. The knotting mirrored the quilting and the colors are starting to warm up the house already.

Any left over fabric pieces could be used like this, in any color combinations. A little love for the earth, as Valentine’s Day gets closer.