For those of you in the Ann Arbor-ish area, I found this delightful bit of information on the People’s Food Co-op Facebook Feed: a great new program called the Local Table, brought to you by the Matthei Botanical Gardens
The Local Table, a program of classes, workshops, field trips, and events beginning in Fall 2009. The Local Table encourages us to take a new look at where our food comes from. If you’re wondering “Why local?”, there are lots of good reasons. When you buy local you know who grew or raised your food and what production methods they used. Plus, in an increasingly global economy, purchasing food from area producers and growers helps keep them in business-and your dollars stay in the local economy. It’s also a matter of environmental sustainability: buying food from local sources or growing it yourself decreases your energy use and carbon footprint. And thinking locally helps us to better understand our region’s rich food heritage and history.The Local Table has two components: The Local Table passport (your ticket to locavore certification) and the program of classes, workshops, and events. Examples of the program include a field trip to a local winery; a tour of Ann Arbor-area chicken coops, learning how to can and preserve food, stocking the Michigan pantry, the 100-Mile Holiday Dinner, and much more.
I personally am very excited, and already planning on taking the classes on canning, chicken coops, edible garden planning and the 100 mile holiday dinner. Check it out! Even if you aren’t in the area and can’t attend, it might give you some ideas.
The Local Table
It was another dreary, icky day and normally these days make me want to just curl up on the couch and order in a pizza and call it a day. But no, today I resolved to make meal I’ve been wanting to make for…well, about a week. But still, I had the ingredients, I had the recipes, I had the resolve to make my own dinner and not just fold myself into one of Anthony’s Gourmet Pizzas.
Now, I love Indian food. Love it. Indian and Thai food are two of my all time favorite cuisines. I just love the flavors and the spices. I’m lucky in that there are a host of good Indian restaurants in town (my favorites are Shalimar and Mahek), but I’ve always wanted to learn to make it myself.
Luckily, the internet is a wonderful thing. After all, it brought you and I together, didn’t it? It also brought me to the two wonderful people who made my dinner tonight possible. Continue reading
Inspired by reading over Noelle’s entry about her delicious-looking salsa, I decided tonight to utilize the tomato-y bounty given forth to me by Josh’s beautiful heirloom variety tomato plants growing out on our deck. But instead of a salsa, a fresh tomato sauce that I could mix in with the whole wheat linguine I got on sale at Busch’s yesterday, and serve it with the boneless skinless chicken breast I had thawing in the oven. AND it would be a light healthy dish. I love it when a plan comes together.
The smug foodie in me (I am writing this on a Mac after all) was also pretty proud of the fact that just about all the produce in this dish was locally grown, too. The tomatoes, thyme, parsley and basil came from our own deck garden (we live on the third floor of an apartment building, but are lucky enough to have a big long deck which we line with various pots containing leafy and delicious products). And the peppers, garlic and onion came from our farm share. Delicious. Continue reading
Do you know those nights where you’re not really sure what to make for dinner, so you just sort of throw together things you find in your fridge and cupboards? That’s pretty much where this meal came from. Next time I’ll make up a better story about how it was actually delivered to me on a silver platter by a band of angels singing the song that never ends, but alas, that’s never happened. Yet. Continue reading
I just want to state for the record that I’ve never made chicken parmesan and I didn’t actually look for a recipe for it before making this, but for the life of us, Josh and I just could not decide on what to have for dinner. I mulled over what we had in the house (a thawed chicken breast, a bunch of groceries from the farm share) and thought at first of doing a chicken paillard with a tomatillo sauce and maybe some potatoes on the side…but then I thought, well we have tomatoes too…how about a tomato sauce…and we have mozzarella…we could top it with that….and then I realized I was basically thinking of chicken parmesan but without so much parmesan…So I figured, I can just throw something together and we’ll see how it comes out!
Fake Chicken Parmesan Continue reading
…I like alliteration.
Anyway, it was a terribly rainy day today and Josh and I are both sick with the flu. We’ve been on the couch or in the bed pretty almost all day. Not exactly pleasant. But I knew what would perk us up—a giant heaping platter of our favorite home made chicken enchiladas with roasted tomatillo salsa. In fact, not only would it be delicious, but also not more work than I could handle being bogged down with a fever and all. Unfortunately, the tomatillos I’d gotten from the farm share had not lasted the week–a tragedy of epic proportions. However, we still had a good pound of farm share tomatoes left….compromise! I’d turn the roasted tomatillo salsa into roasted tomato salsa and hopefully this modest little offering would appease the Good Health gods.
The original recipe for this I got from none other than Tyler Florence, my favorite FoodTV chef, but as usual, I considered his recipe a guideline and went off and did my own thing, which is described below: Continue reading
Swiss chard, kale, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, lettuce, zucchini and yellow squash.
The zucchini and summer squash from this week’s share made their debut in my lunch for tomorrow: coconut beef
For dinner tonight, Josh and I decided we would go where no man has gone befo–no, wait, scratch that, we decided to go to Arbor Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor, where many a man has been before. But not me. I’ve heard good things about it, but it’s not usually on my radar of places to go. I thought today would be a good time to check it out.
Having skipped lunch, we were having an early dinner (4:30ish) so we beat the Saturday evening crowd and since it was a lovely 81 degrees Fahrenheit, we decided to eat outside (“we” being “me” and “Josh grudgingly agreeing because he knows how much I love hot weather and how little of it I get in Michigan and besides, there was a breeze and thanks to the bevy of tall buildings on E Washington, we’d be in the shade anyway”). The weather was lovely, the sidewalk seating was great, the staff was excellent and the menu was modest but delicious, which works out well for me because sometimes too many choices is a terrible thing. Like the cereal aisle of a grocery store. How can I possibly make up my mind? More on that another time. Continue reading
Josh is growing bell peppers on the deck for the first time ever and they are coming in quite nicely, as evidenced by the photo below of the biggest pepper we’ve got going so far. So in preparation for the deliciousness to come, I thought I’d post a few of my favorite recipes for utilizing bell peppers….
Bell Pepper and Feta Pasta Toss
French Market Meatloaf (this is my favorite meatloaf recipe, btw)
Cuban Style Beef and Peppers
Artichoke and Red Pepper Pizza
Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Bean Dip
This week’s farm share brought in some great goodies: most notably, our first bulb garlic! Yay! Also more Swiss chard and kale and bulb fennel, which we donated to family/friends, kohlrabi, broccoli, bok choy, new potatoes and chives.
Kohlrabi is an interesting little plant that I’ve wanted to try before but never bothered to purchase. It’s a small, hard cabbage with a texture similar to a cabbage heart but very faint in flavor. We used it, the potatoes, 2 cloves from the bulb garlic and the cabbage from last week to make tonight’s dinner…
Grilled NY Strip Steaks with Basil-Thyme Pesto Potatoes and Sautéed Cabbage and Kohlrabi. Continue reading
So I was extremely ticked when Josh brought home this week’s farm share on Tuesday because it included three of my favorite vegetables of all time: cabbage, potatoes (red skin!) and broccoli. Not only are all three of those foods extremely tasty, they’re also versatile and very healthy.
Cabbage is not only low in calories but is rich in iron and sulfur and contains phytonutrients, works to protect the body from free radicals that can damage the cell membranes. Broccoli, which is also a member of the cabbage family, is loaded with Vitamins C and A, iron and fiber and even calcium. And small potatoes are moderate in calories and nutrient dense, particularly when it comes to Vitamin C, potassium and iron. And they’re delicious. What’s not to love? (By the way, a lot of information about various vegetables, their production and their nutrition can be found at HowStuffWorks. Neat!)
Well tonight I put two of those vegetable goodies to use–potatoes and the cabbage (don’t worry, broccoli, your time will come). They went together for a very simple dinner of citrus chicken cabbage wraps and grilled potatoes with thyme.
Tonight, it’s just me and the dog. Josh is at a Computer Society meeting; he’ll be having dinner there. So I get the rare opportunity to make dinner just for me.
Being that I’ve almost always had roommates, or ended up cooking for get togethers, I’m used to cooking for a lot of people. When it got to be just Josh and me, I had to adjust a bit to cooking for only two, and occasionally on nights like this, I get to relearn how to cook for just one.
Well originally I thought I’d make myself a nice pesto pasta with chicken meatballs (cough), because after all, my basil plant needs cutting down and besides, it’s a rainy night and pasta is usually good for those. But after lunch it occurred to me that really, I just wanted some pizza. So I figured I’d make my own. Continue reading
It’s farm share day! As mentioned before, every Tuesday we get a new delicious delivery of delectable delights (alliteration is fun!) and produce from Needle-Lane farms, delivered to one of my newest favorite specialty stores, Morgan and York.
This week’s box contains:
Eastern Market in Detroit, that is. Eastern Market is the largest historic market district in the nation, apparently. I’ve been going there for several years now and it’s always fantastic. It’s a great place to get plants, flowers, fresh produce, cheeses, Josh’s favorite brand of Mexican chorizo, spices, cheap meat, fresh made barbecue and to sit out, hang out, and eat at any of the great restaurants lining the streets. We go about once a month and stock up and it’s always a good time. The stall vendors are loud, colorful and friendly and much of the food is locally grown (and some even organic). Continue reading
So this is the 4th week of our farm share deliveries. Josh and I decided last fall that this year, we wanted to partake in a CSA on the recommendation of some of Josh’s coworkers. Lucky for us, there are several farms in the area, and all over Michigan. In fact, there aren’t just produce CSAs, but meat ones too. However, this year, we stuck with just a produce CSA (after all, we don’t have a storage freezer, so there’s not a lot of room to store extra meat yet). We looked around and settled on Needle-Lane Farm in nearby Tipton, MI.