September 2016 CSA Wrap-Up

Is it already that time of the year? Yes it is, fall is here. 🍁 The CSA season may be winding down, but we’re still going strong during the final weeks of our CSA during September and October. This month we had lots of corn and tomatoes, and started to see our share of onions, potatoes, carrots and celery. Nothing says soup season like fresh onions, celery and carrots from the farm. It’s like the CSA Gods are talking to me telling me I need to make soup – any kind of soup as long as it begins with onions, celery and carrots. 😉

Week 13: Corn, Tomatoes, Kale, Beets or Delicata Squash, Green Beans, Summer Squash, Yellow Peppers, Onions, Carmen Peppers, Kolhrabi, Sweet Potatoes, Hot Peppers

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Week 14: Corn, Tomatoes, Kale, Carrots, Celery, Swiss Chard, Daikon Radish, Yellow Peppers, Onions, Carmen Peppers, Garlic, Leeks, Lettuce, Lunchbox Peppers

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Week 15: Corn, Tomatoes, Kale, Chard, Beets, Red Onion, Carmen Peppers, Other Peppers, Acorn Squash, Potatoes, Garlic, Lettuce, Hot Peppers

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Week 16: Corn, Acorn Squash, Herbs, Lettuce, Peppers, Red Onion ,Kale or Chard, Broccoli, Potatoes, Fennel, Celery, Radishes, Hot Peppers

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What kinds of beautiful things are you cooking up during this gorgeous fall season?

Until next time,

💚 Jenny

October 2015 CSA Wrap-Up

Happy Fall Everyone! This fall has been absolutely beautiful in terms of weather and another awesome CSA month. I do love the fall season, the weather, the apples, the pumpkins ğŸŽƒ, but was especially sad to say goodbye to the summer sunshine and time outdoors. This October we did our share of apple picking and farm visiting, so we’ve been trying to get outdoors as much as possible in our free time, but it’s still hard to be inside all day… I seriously wish I could suck the sunshine into me when I’m inside so much – which is why I’ve been religiously taking my vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin). ☀️

Fall recipes are in full effect over here at the Murphy home. We have made our share of roasted everything: brussel sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and even eggplant. Every Sunday we have a big Sunday dinner that usually involves a lot of roasting yumminess. Who’s coming over for dinner? In celebration of Halloween this past weekend, we made our very first pot roast. My mom would be so proud! <3

We had an abundance of apples once again this fall so of course I made a fair share of apple cake, apple-cinnamon muffins, apple crisp, and pumpkin carrot muffins. I cannot take complete credit for all of the recipes, but will be sure to post about the apple and pumpkin recipes that I loved and will make again. Paleo baking is generally challenging for me, and I consider myself a pretty good baker, but the combination of grain-free flours and eggs sometimes yield a very moist bread, muffin or cake. I’ll keep on trying until I get it right! Apple crisp is always delicious and comes out perfectly, so we make that a few times. ğŸŽ

apple crisp

Okay, here we go, let’s review this amazing fall month’s harvest of CSA-awesomeness.

Week 17: broccoli, swiss chard, baby spinach, red cubanelle pepper, golden beets, bosc pears, red leaf lettuce

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Week 18: spencer apples/bocs pears, orange cauliflower, broccolini, parsley, red leaf lettuce, spinach, green peppers, carrots, beets

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Week 19: romano beans, green leaf lettuce, broccoli florets, pullet eggs, escarole, kale, festival squash, macintosh apples, green peppers

Recipes: apple-cinnamon muffins, pumpkin carrot muffins

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Week 20: butterkin squash, broccoli florets, red cabbage, escarole, green pepper, grape tomatoes, spinach, empire apples, cilantro

Recipes: roasted and mashed butterkin squash, raw sauerkraut, apple crisp

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We got the biggest red cabbage I have ever seen in my life the last week of the CSA and my real food/paleo brain thought, raw sauerkraut, you have to make it! And so I did – cooking adventure… here I come! It definitely took some muscle work to salt and squeeze the water out of the cabbage to begin the fermenting process so I’m praying it is delicious and worth it. It is still fermenting in our pantry as I write this post. I will definitely have post my cabbage to sauerkraut making experience including a taste test and the results of my experiment when it is completely done. It seriously feels like an experiment because it’s sitting in the dark in the pantry and I check on it every two days.

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What kinds of recipes have you been making this fall? Anything you look forward to making around this time of the year? Please share!

Until next time…

xoxo

Jenny

September 2015 CSA Wrap-Up

Hi friends! Well, we started off September feeling like summer and we’re wrapped up September feeling like fall. While I do truly love the fall season, I was a little sad to say goodbye to summer this year. I really enjoyed time with my boys, and truly do cherish each moment as they are growing way too fast right before my very eyes. We had so much fun together at the park, at the pool, at the farm, at the beach, and just playing – they love to play. I also love the sunshine and the excessive Vitamin D. sunny I try to get as much as I can while staying safe in the sun. It is truly the happy vitamin for sure!

September came and went as usual. We all transitioned well back to school, while still missing our summer relaxation mode. Thankfully, we were able to enjoy the gorgeous weather and enjoyed some peach picking, which was new for us this year, and of course our annual apple picking tradition. We can’t have September go by without some Macouns – our favorites! apple

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Our own garden was still producing a few lovely veggies like butternut squash and eggplant. My friends at school have been enjoying my random deliveries of eggplant. 😉

This month’s CSA was great as usual. We got our share of lettuces, beets, and all different kinds of apples, which Braden absolutely loves. He sees an apple sitting on the counter and has to eat it right away. We were sad to see the fish share come to an end. That always happens in September. It was such a treat to have fresh, local fish every other week.

One vegetable I had never tried was the butterkin squash. It was delicious. It looked like a cross between a butternut squash and a pumpkin. It was bright orange on the inside. I roasted it with a butternut squash from our garden, then pureed it with some grass-fed butter and cinnamon, and enjoyed it for a few dinners!

Week 13: artisan tomatoes, paula red apples, peaches, broccoli crowns, cubanelle pepper, red leaf lettuce, corn, beets, swiss chard, lima beans, basil

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Week 14: Boston lettuce, baby arugula, tomatoes, beets, romano beans, grape tomatoes, broccoli, orange cauliflower, radish

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Week 15: shell beans, swiss chard, acorn squash, carrots, green leaf lettuce, corn, beets, McIntosh apples csa week 15-2  

Week 16: Tuscan kale, corn, butterkin squash, red leaf lettuce, orange cauliflower, golden beets, gala apples, green cabbage

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What delicious things have you been making as we delve into this lovely fall season?

A Few of Our Favorite Fall Things

Fall has turned into my favorite season… Apples, pumpkins, changing colors on the trees, awesome weather, awesome outfits, what’s not to love? I love apple picking, apple recipes, apple sauce, apple cake, apple muffins… anything with apples and cinnamon is just YUM! Don’t you agree?

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We went apple picking twice this fall and both visits we picked our faves, Macintosh and Macoun. The boys had fun picking apples, climbing in the trees, running through the orchards, and going for hayrides. At one farm we even saw some animals and played on the playground. And of course, a visit to the orchard isn’t complete without apple cider donuts and fresh apple cider. 😉

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On our second apple picking adventure, it was like summer outside! It was the last weekend in September and Carlson Orchards (my fave) still had some raspberries to pick. I had fun trying to get one little tiny pint filled.

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Every year I make apple sauce the night we get home from apple picking. It’s a Murphy household must. Everyone eats it with their dinner, but I think I love it the most. <3 Close second would be Braden. 😉

For years, I have been making apple cake. Since paleo baking is not really my strong suit, I really wanted to try some of my favorite apple recipes paleo-fied. Is that a word? I tried apple cake and apple muffins, and I was extremely pleased with the results. I will post the recipes in a separate post, I promise!

Pumpkin picking was of course on the list of fall fun. Brendan decided that in addition to the pumpkins we grew in our garden, we need a gigantic one to carve for Halloween.

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Braden & the CSA

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We also have taken our fall trip to Drumlin Farm (the first of many I’m sure). We have a Mass Audobon membership and go to Drumlin quite a few times throughout the year. It’s a fun trip to walk around the beautiful grounds and visit some animal friends. This day we visited we were just in time for grooming the pony, Midnight, Brendan’s favorite friend at the farm. Here they are digging in the garden.

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Do you guys love fall too? What fall traditions do you have?

Stay tuned for my apple and pumpkin recipes and experiments. Always a fun experience to try something new in the kitchen.

green_heart Jenny

Quinoa and Kale Minestrone

I stumbled across this recipe in my daily reading of Mind Body Green for Harvest Minestrone with Quinoa and Kale.  The name had my taste buds saying yum! and I was craving something soup/stew-ish as the weather was getting cooler. I made it a few weeks ago with much success and wanted to share my version of it here.

quinoa and kale minestroneIt does seem like there are a lot of ingredients, but it comes together quickly and is so worth it in the end.  I didn’t add as much water because I was looking for a thicker consistency.  Be sure to add water slowly so you can determine what you need.  You can also swap the water for vegetable stock, or a combination of both, if desired.  I also swapped the zucchini and green beans for eggplant because I have so many from my garden. Feel free to do the same and make it work for you.  I used dried rosemary and fresh basil.  Fresh herbs all around would be better, but again, use what you have as long as it works for you and your taste buds.

Quinoa and Kale Minestrone (adapted from Mind Body Green Harvest Minestrone with Quinoa and Kale)

  • Approx. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, medium diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 28-ounce cans of water (and/or vegetable stock) (depending on how thick you want it)
  • 1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

Place a large stockpot over medium heat and add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for about one minute or until garlic begins to color. Add the eggplant and pepper, season with salt and pepper, stir and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the water, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium/low and allow the soup to gently boil (uncovered) for about 20 minutes. Add the quinoa and cover for 15 minutes. Remove the cover, add the kale, beans, rosemary and basil and more water if needed. Bring back to a gentle boil and cook for another 5 minutes or just until the kale is tender.  Serve with parmesan cheese if desired.

A Few of My Favorite Fall Things

I already posted about how much I am loving fall this year…  I wanted to share some of my favorite fall things with everyone. 🙂

Favorite Fall Item #1 ~ Macoun Apples and Apple Picking: Apple picking at least once during the fall season has become a yearly tradition for us. Usually when the Macoun apples from the first apple picking trip are all eaten and used for baking, we head out one more time to pick up a new bag of deliciously fresh, seasonal and local apples from a farm nearby.

Side note: I did make another attempt this season at my favorite treat, apple cake, in a gluten-free format.  The taste was delicious, but the consistency was a little crumbly for my liking, and I’m way too hard on myself to post the recipe until I find something that comes out awesome.

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If you didn’t already know, I love Trader Joe’s. We go there weekly, at least, and have some TJ staples in our house at all times. This time of the year everything at Trader Joe’s is PUMPKIN.  Yesssss and Yummmm!!!

Favorite Fall Item #2 ~ Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Herbal Tea: One look at this and I had to have it. Pumpkin and rooibos in one little satchel, yes please!  Mmmmmmmmm, so good.

Pumpkin Spice Rooibos

Favorite Fall Item #3 ~ Harvest Blend Herbal Tea: I was going on and on about how much I loved the Pumpkin Spice Rooibos and my friend Angela mentioned this deliciousness that she shared with her mom. She promptly brought me a box the next day and I was instantly hooked. I have since purchased four more boxes, because as we all know, it’s seasonal, so once it’s gone, it’s GONE until next fall!

Harvest Blend

Favorite Fall Item #4 ~ Anything I can make in my crock pot: Please welcome this amazing soup/stoup to my recipe collection – Quinoa and Kale Minnestrone Soup/Stew.  The ingredients looked delicious when I saw the recipe, then I made it and was beyond my expectations.  Recipe coming soon…

Quinoa Kale Minnestrone

Favorite Fall Item #5 ~ Pumpkins, of course: How could I not love pumpkins, especially ones grown in our very own garden, by my cutie son Brendan. <3  Check him out… so proud!

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Fall is the Best

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Fall is seriously turning into my favorite season. I love the weather. I love the cooler days but still sunny and beautiful. I love the leaves changing. I love the weekend events: apple picking, pumpkin picking, baking with all of fall’s awesome fruits and veggies (we made banana bread this weekend), and playground and farm visits with the kids.

This weekend we made our annual apple picking trip. Everyone always asks where we go, and every year we keep going back to the same place because it’s NEVER busy, the apples are delicious and it’s beautiful.  We drive out to Carlson Orchards in Harvard, MA just to get our favorite apples, Macoun.  We had another beautiful day this year with tons of apples, cider donuts and apple cider of course. Brendan loves picking the “gigantic” ones and we love eating them too while we’re walking through the orchard.  He always finishes up his apple picking adventures with a cider donut and some apple cider. Yum!

Now onto what we can make with our apples.  We already made homemade apple sauce.  Brendan and Braden enjoyed some of that awesome-ness.  We will make one, or possibly two, apple cakes and maybe even an apple crisp (or apple crist as Brendan says it’s called.) 🙂

Stay tuned for those delicious recipes, I will be sure to share my gluten-free apple recipes when I make them.