Archive | August, 2009

Savory Carrot and Tarragon Tart

27 Aug

Friday night Josh and I hosted a little dinner party with some food-loving friends we haven’t seen in a while. I say hosted but it was really more of a collective effort. Our friends brought more than half the food. Josh and I made this delicious carrot tart and grilled some zucchini, summer squash, green and red peppers, onion, eggplant, and mushrooms to go on the side. Our guests brought bread, cheese, olives, mushrooms stuffed with sundried tomato pesto, white bean dip, a refreshing watermelon salad with feta and mint, a green salad with toasted walnuts, parmesan cheese, tossed in a lemony dressing, plus a tart with a shortbread crust and marscarpone filling topped with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. It was a beautiful feast.

This is the second time I’ve made this carrot tart and it’s quickly become a favorite. It’s a great recipe for the summer and fall. I came across it in an old issue of Eating Well magazine I had kicking around the house. I was glad to find a use for our carrots and a chance to experiment with tarragon – an herb that is plentiful at the farm and I like but never know what to do with. I hope you enjoy the recipe! Continue reading

The Return of RecipeHacking

24 Aug

Once upon a time, in an earlier incarnation of this blog,  Josh and  I challenged our readers to show off their culinary prowess. Here’s how Josh initially introduced RecipeHacking:

“Welcome to RecipeHacking, an occasional foray into unconventional cooking, adventurous eating, and competitive creativity.

The idea is simple – each month we’ll post a recipe here at Kitchen Dancing and you – our faithful readers and fearless cooks – will tweak it, test it, re-imagine and redesign it. Post your new versions of the recipe in the comments section of the original post and the best new take on the recipe will earn fame and honor (as well as a nice little prize).

This is a contest for those of you who are constantly pushing the limits of your meals, scribbling notes in your cookbooks, improving on time-worn recipes. But RecipeHacking is not just for foodies and aspiring chefs – this is for all of us whose family put a crazy twist on an old favorite, those of us who have wondered about “secret ingredients,” or even just tasted a good dish and thought it could be a great dish.

Seek out your secret ingredient. Discover your taste for tampering.

RecipeHacking is for you.”

Previously readers submitted their favorite, most creative versions of macaroni and cheese and beans and rice. The next RecipeHacker challenge continues with the comfort food theme and is something that could be interpreted in a wide variety of ways. This month’s challenge will be PIZZA!

I don’t feel the need to post an exact recipe. You know what pizza is. Dough most typically covered in tomato sauce, topped with cheese and vegetable and/or meat toppings of your choice. Enough said.

To participate in RecipeHacking all you have to do is create a new pizza recipe with your own unique twist. It can be a subtle change or a recipe revolution. Creative adaptations and loose interpretations are encouraged. What could you make a crust out of other that the typical dough? Pizza is thought to have it’s roots in Italian cuisine. What delicacies from other cultures could be translated to this all-American favorite? Post your new version in the comments section below and check back often see what your fellow competitors come up with.  Please discuss and debate the merits of each other’s recipes – feel free to add those comments below as well. In a few weeks we will announce a winner and bestow upon them a small prize to congratulate them for thinking outside the (recipe) box. Good luck – hack away!

Zucchini Bread

20 Aug

Zucchini season is now officially in full swing. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling challenged by what to do with it all. I am not normally a huge fan of zucchini bread but I love this recipe I got from my sister-in-law. I am always looking for ways to use the zucchini from the farm and I love the addition of blueberries since they are also in season right now. Make an extra loaf and share it with your neighbor!

Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cup grated zucchini

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Optional: a handful or two of fresh blueberries

If you do add the blueberries you can substitute some lemon zest for the cinnamon.

Gently mix all ingredients and bake in a greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

I recommend keeping this bread in the refrigerator. Otherwise it spoils quickly since it contains so much fresh veg and fruit. I hope you enjoy!

Raspberries and Piglets

18 Aug

We missed picking our farm share up this weekend because we were out of town so I went late this afternoon with Toby. I was expecting to just run into the farm shop, grab a few veggies, and then head off again – but then I saw on the “you pick” chalkboard that the raspberries were ready. So with Toby strapped onto my back with his little sunhat on, we marched to the far end of the farm.

Continue reading

Losing the fight against the blight

12 Aug

What some had said was inevitable happened. It sounds like the tomatoes at our farm have succumbed to the late blight epidemic. So very sad. Some of my happiest moments each summer have been out in the fields at Brookfield picking cherry tomatoes. Intoxicated by the fragrant herby smell of tomato vines. Listening to kids heeding their parents’ advice about picking the right ones. “Red, red, ripe!” is their mantra as they march down the rows. Warm cherry tomatoes popping with a juicy little burst as I sample a few while picking. The sun beating down and in the stillness I can can almost feel my freckles multiplying. There may be other things to pick this season but it won’t be quite the same.

Here’s a post from two years ago that Josh wrote about tomato season:

https://kitchendancing.wordpress.com/2007/08/14/the-smell-of-tomatoes/

Little did all those athletes know…

10 Aug

Who needs performance enhancing drugs? Just eat beets!

A recent study conducted in the UK suggests that nitrates found in beets can improve stamina and allow people to exercise longer without getting tired. I thought this article was fascinating and just wanted to share.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8186947.stm

Someone needs to tell Popeye – the days of canned spinach are in the past. Beet juice is the way to go!

NOFA Conference and Beating the Blight

7 Aug

Today I stumbled upon some information about the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Summer Conference. It’s happening this weekend at UMass Amherst. As far as I can tell it’s not too late to register. Sounds like they will have a weekend full of interesting workshops and speakers plus dancing and programs for kids. A wide variety of topics will be covered for everyone from experienced farmers to backyard bumblers.

Check out their site for more information: http://www.nofasummerconference.org/index.html

Also – for anyone interested in learning more about the terrible potato and tomato blight that is affecting our area (I talked about this a little bit in an earlier post), the public is invited to a discussion on Sunday. It will take place at 10:00 a.m. at UMass in the Student Union Ballroom. Click here to find out more: http://www.nofasummerconference.org/lateblight.html