Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Fun

As I'm sure you can tell from the lack of posting these days, when it gets hot outside, I don't cook. If the heat index is 100 or higher, it's just not worth working in a hot kitchen. During the summer months, raw or quickly cooked veggies and the slow cooker are my friends. I did make squash casserole and fried okra tonight, but we're in the midst of a nice cool spell - it was only in the high 80s. That's downright chilly for this part of the country in July!

I have started a garden this year, and while it's not much, we've loved having the fresh peppers (bell, jalapeno, and anaheim) and tomatoes (mostly cherry, but some better boy, and we should have some Roma soon).

For a funnier side to my garden... when I was starting some of my seedlings this year, I noticed some chipmunk holes in our yard. For kicks, I threw various kinds of seeds in to see what would happen. Y'all - my yard has been taken over by cantaloupe. And since it's thriving, I really don't want to get rid of it. It's way too big to move now, so it's just growing in the grass. I went out tonight and put bricks under the melons that have started growing so that they don't mildew in the wet grass. Hopefully they'll do okay like that and be yummy! Next year, I will not go throwing seeds in the yard like that. I also have two tomato plants growing in the yard in other chipmunk holes. Other than the grass around them being ugly, they're doing great!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Yummy Marinade

We had our cooking club meeting this past Monday, and our hostess grilled chicken using a marinade that was in the cookbook.  It was delish!   So, for dinner tonight, we're making the same thing!

According to the recipe, this is really supposed to go on beef, but we loved it on chicken, and I'm sure it would be fantastic on pork as well.  The portions below were enough for 5-6 chicken breasts.

Dewana's Great Grilling Sauce
adapted from Tables of Content

1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup strong black coffee 
3/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp salt
3/4 Tbsp pepper
Onion powder and garlic powder, to taste

Mix it all together.  Marinate meat of choice in this for several hours or overnight, and bake/grill/roast as desired.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CSA Time

Last year, we joined a CSA and loved it.  The quality and quantity of produce was unbeatable for $25/week.  We missed the spring round of the CSA this year, but joined back up from July - November, and today was our first pick-up day this year.

This week didn't disappoint.  We got a basket of cherry tomatoes, 5 huge tomatoes, 6 ears of corn, 6 red potatoes, 1 onion, a bunch of leeks, 2 squash, and a bunch of swiss chard.  The quality of the tomatoes alone is worth the money - they're so much better than the mealy things you get at the chain groceries, and the good tomatoes at smaller stores can cost an arm and a leg.  Everything else is excellent also.  Along with that, I know where my produce came from (just up the road a bit) and have met the farmers who grow and care for these veggies.  

You can go here to see if there's a CSA near you.  We're so glad we are participating.