Farmers Market Basket #3

I wasn’t as thrilled with my third Farmers Market Basket as I have been with the others, probably because I was hoping for more lettuce. I can eat salad for every meal, so having all that fresh lettuce was nice. But, it was still a decent basket overall. Here’s what I got:

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  • Hydroponic lettuce
  • Kale
  • 2 onions
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 4 oranges
  • 2 bell peppers (one I had to toss because it was bad)
  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 bunch of bananas
  • 6 apples
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • I’m going to use the onions and tomatoes to make salsa. I sauted the broccoli with garlic (yum!) and will post that recipe soon. I’ll probably roast the cauliflower with garlic (are you sensing a theme here??), and the fruit we’ll eat whole, with the exception of the lemon, which is being used to flavor my water. I’m going to make Kale chips, which I’ve heard are really good, and I’ll probably cut up the carrot and eat them raw.

    I don’t really know what to do with the sweet potatoes, though. I’m not a huge fan of them, but I do like sweet potato fries, so maybe I’ll make up some of those. Do you have any ideas or recipes?? I’m all ears!

    Farmers Market Basket #1

    I am finally back! Whew. I thought I had avoided the stomach bug that hit Joe and Lucy, but it was determined not to let me get away. Thankfully, it waited until after my grandpa’s memorial service (I’ll have to share some pictures from our weekend with my whole family later).

    This week, I got my first Farmers Market Basket. Actually, I got it the day before I got sick. So, I haven’t had a chance to use much of it yet, though Lucy has gone through almost all the bananas! I think these regular baskets will last me two weeks, so my plan is to get two a month for now.

    I know you all want to see the goodies. Right?? Here they are:

    Farmers Market Basket 04/17/12

    I seriously could not be more excited. Here’s a breakdown of what I got:

  • 1 bunch of lettuce
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 bag of apples
  • 1 bunch of bananas
  • 1 bag of green beans
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 4 oranges
  • 4 kiwi
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 8 red potatoes
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • I actually swapped out two limes for two extra red potatoes, and now I’m wishing I hadn’t. I didn’t realize I needed that to make salsa! Oh well. I’ll pick up either a lime or some lime juice from the store.

    So, what am I planning to do with my haul? I think I’m going to make up a salad tonight using the lettuce, spinach, half the onion and the cucumber. This weekend, I hope to use the tomatoes, extra onion and pepper to make salsa (never done this before, and I’m excited about it) and guacamole. We LOVE snacking on chips with salsa and guacamole. I’m also probably going to cut up the cantaloupe tonight.

    The red potatoes will be used either for lunches or dinners, as will the green beans, and the fruit (aside from the bananas Lucy pigged out on) will be good for snacks.

    I’m anxious to see what my next basket will hold!

    Getting my Bake On

    A couple of weeks ago, I whipped up another batch of cupcakes to take to my parents’ for lunch. I decided to go a little more gourmet AND I made my own frosting. It was good. So good, in fact, that I had to dump out the leftovers before I ate it all.

    I went with a “Reeces Peanut Butter” cupcake. I made the batter (I have yet to make that from scratch), and then I put a mini Reeces peanut butter cup that I had frozen overnight in the middle of each cupcake. Here’s how that looks after it bakes:

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    Yeah. Now I’m really craving another batch! I found the frosting recipe on All Recipes, and it was super easy. I did modify it a bit, though, because it called for way too much sugar. In my opinion, at least. Here’s what I used:

    Ingredients:
    1/2 C butter
    1 C peanut butter
    2 C confectioners sugar (Next time, I’d probably only use 1.5 C, though.)
    Heavy whipping cream as needed

    Directions
    Beat butter and peanut butter together until light and fluffy. Slowly add in 1 C confectioners sugar. Add whipping cream until it reaches the consistency you desire. Slowly add in the rest of the confectioners sugar, and then add in more whipping cream until it reaches your desired consistency.

    See? Super easy. I think it took me 5-10 minutes to make it. Just a note, though, store the cupcakes in the refrigerator since the frosting includes whipping cream.

    Want to see the finished product? Of course you do.

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    Let me know if you try this. It’s definitely a keeper!

    Mommy’s Little Helper

    It’s been a LONG time since I’ve really done some baking. I really love to bake, but it’s so hard keeping up with my kitchen and other parts of my house with my little toddler tornado that I just really haven’t had a chance.

    A few weeks ago, Publix had cake mixes BOGO (buy one, get one free), so with my coupons I got 20 boxes for 20-cents a box. Since I have tons of cake mix now, I figured I’d whip up some cupcakes (my favorite thing to bake) for Valentine’s Day. I went with “Chocolate Covered Strawberry cupcakes”, and boy, they were good!

    Of course, my mini-me had to get in on the action. She loves to help, even if that means just standing on a chair watching. This time, though, she really did help, and we had so much fun together.

    Getting ready to start baking!
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    Lucy is a pro at putting in the cupcake liners.
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    She is also very good at pouring in the cake mix.
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    And, she helped pour in the oil.
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    She thought it took too long to mix everything up.
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    Licking the batter was the best part!
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    My supervisor showed me into which liner to pour the batter.
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    You have to concentrate veeeeeery hard.
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    The best part comes after they’re baked — frosting them!
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    The finished product!
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    Lucy thought they were great.
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    Baking is definitely more fun with a 2-year-old around to help!

    Being Domestic

    I used to be really into cooking, but over the last few years that interest has diminished.

    That all changed yesterday. Despite a busy work day, I made lunch and some yummy treats. I started with trying out Carol’s black bean soup recipe for lunch. The only ingredients other than the beans that I had on hand were the spices, so that’s what I used. It was really good but definitely needed a kick, so next time I’m going to make sure to use the onions and jalapenos. This definitely isn’t the best picture because I did a closeup since my kitchen was a mess and I didn’t have any garnish. But, it was super yummy!

    I thought tortilla chips and guacamole would go well with the soup, so I whipped up a batch of guac. I put in hot sauce, red pepper flakes and garlic powder, but it still wasn’t spicy enough. Next time, I’ll have to add more.

    After Lucy got up from her nap, I decided to try out a recipe for mini pineapple upside down cakes that I found in All You. I have never tried a pineapple upside down cake before, and I was pleasantly surprised at how they turned out. Sure, the cherries aren’t perfectly in the middle but I am pretty proud. And, they were DELICIOUS!

    I used the leftover batter to make some cupcakes. I’m pretty sure Joe would appreciate me getting in a cooking mood like this more often!

    Menu Plan for 12/06-12/10

    Our oven broke last week. We had a repairman come out who thought it was probably just a wire issue but, of course, nothing can be that simple. It turns out, we need a new computer piece, which will take about a week or so to arrive after we order it. So, we probably will be without our oven for another week and a half or so.

    This has caused me to look at different avenues for meals. I didn’t realize how much I relied on my oven until it broke. So, I’ve been looking at different recipes for my slow cooker, which I’ve only used a couple of times since I’ve had it. I’ve found some recipes that sound REALLY good, so I’m hoping this next week will give me a reason to find some new recipes to add to our repertoire.

    Now, on to this week’s menu:

    Monday: Crock Pot Curried Rice and Lentils

    Tuesday: Spaghetti, mixed veggies

    Wednesday: Spicy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

    Thursday: Christmas party at Tellus

    Friday: Christmas party at WBHF