Grab a cookbook and go!
Good Ole’ Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (can’t find the publication date but I bought it in 2003) by my side! Tonight I served Red Long Chinese Beans with Sherry Cream Sauce, Italian Yellow Squash-Tomato Skillet, and Fried Okra.
First I washed the beans, cut them in bite sized pieces, boiled them, and set them aside.
Then I made the sherry cream sauce.
And mixed them together. (They turned a dark, almost black color.)
The okra came from the farm in all sizes – and I’ve never seen red okra before! I washed it, cut off the stems and cut them into bite sized pieces. Some were slimy some were not. They were definitely still as fresh as when I got them! The recipe called for flour and corn meal but I had a Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix box and used that instead. (It turned out so sweet because of this mix!) And the recipe was for “Cajun Fried Okra” but I didn’t want the ‘Cajun’ so I just used Adobo All Purpose Seasoning Salt instead.
I heated up some shortening in a skillet while I tossed half the okra in an egg/milk mixture then tossed it in a bag with the corn bread mix and seasoning salt. As you can see it cooked up very nicely! (Mmmmmmm, I can almost smell it!)
I forgot to take a picture of the beautiful yellow squash before slicing them and tossing them with tomatoes, onions, and some fresh basil from Farmer Z! When I sat down to eat, each vegetable was still crisp tender and not overcooked. Perfect!
Not exactly meal partners but it sure was satisfying!
- Okra from the East and West (williams-sonoma.com)
- Southern Fried Okra (wherefloursbloom.com)
When I told my husband we were getting mountain mint in the box this week, he relayed a childhood memory of mint growing wild in the lawn and the aroma of it when he or his dad mowed the grass.
Through my internet research, I found several interesting properties and folklore of mountain mint, one of which was medicine men used it to revive the dead. I could use that some mornings….but that wouldn’t make an interesting blog post. 😉
Farmer Z suggested making tea if we weren’t feeling creative. I was running out of time since the leaves were beginning to wilt plus I like to consider more than my own tastes when I look for a recipe.
My kids give me a hard time when I drink a glass of tea and don’t let them have any because of the caffeine. So I found the perfect recipe for them: Mint Tea Punch from Allrecipes.com which includes orange and lemon juices. They were so excited, they wanted to help. (The little hands in the pictures are my children!)
My daughter tore the leaves off the stems…
…as my son squeezed oranges into juice…
I steeped the mint leaves with the tea bags for about 8-10 minutes. (Decaffeinated tea for my children!)
Mixed all ingredients together and garnished with an orange slice…
Voila! What a fun drink to share with the family. The mint gave it a light kick. I could imagine enjoying this in the summer while sitting on the front porch watching my kids play or my husband mow the lawn… 😉
Simple meal in a package. Old El Paso Hard & Soft Taco Dinner. Just add a few ingredients.
Tomatoes, cheese, lettuce (mesclun from my box this week), and salsa (corn & black bean with cilantro from my box last week) for toppings.
My son saw me taking pictures of the food and he took a shot! Here’s his taco:
And here he is enjoying his 3rd taco with all the fixins’!
- Taco Salad (veggiesfromthefarm.wordpress.com)
What is lemongrass?
Farmer Z suggested putting it in tea. I just didn’t know what to do with this herb. The last time it came in my box, I let it dry out before I got to it. This time, it was almost to that point but I used it anyway.
An unusual soup, this Tom Yum Soup with Coconut Milk. But, I’m into trying new things. I couldn’t find the kaffir lime leaves even at the Asian market. I omitted that and the shrimp.
Strange combination for my southern tastes but I really enjoyed it – the broth and the large chunks of vegetables!
Lemongrass taken at St.Andrew's-sewanee school, sewanee, TN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is the last bowl of salsa I have. Thought maybe I should take a picture before it got gone. (And this is the second batch!) The colorful, fresh ingredients bring life to the dull winter, especially Farmer Z’s cilantro.
My favorite scoop for a good salsa is Tostito’s lime chips which I enjoyed last night with this but tonight, it’s garlic & black bean chips. And I’m not sharing!