Sunday, July 31, 2011

good eats

We are in full summer harvest here in the Carolinas and I am trying to enjoy every bit I can.  This week, I got a wonderful assortment of veggies in my urban box.  I love the Farmer's Fresh Market program and feel so lucky to have a drop point nearby.  It was started by Foothills Connect with collaboration from the amazing chefs at Gallery Restaurant (in the Ballantyne Resort) and the Marriott downtown.  It's a fascinating way for a community depressed by lost factory jobs to earn living wages by discovering their agricultural roots.  In addition to providing fresh, local food to the restaurants, they have an increasing number of residential buying clubs.  The best part is that there is no commitment for the buyer.  You just buy an urban box or eggs or whatever goodies you want every two weeks.  If you don't like anything, you don't have to buy anything that period.  No fee to join, either!

This week we got some extras including fresh chevre.  I saw this pizza on Pioneer Woman Cooks, but remembered it as having tomatoes on it.  Since I had a nice mix of tomatoes from my own garden & my urban box, I just made it with homemade pesto, tomatoes, chevre and ended up using the pizza dough recipe on the yeast package.


The kids made their own traditional pies.  They love to help make dough.



And since we're on the topic of food, I have to mention the eggs.  I get a flat of 2.5 dozen eggs in my delivery every two weeks and I haven't bought grocery store eggs in about a year and a half.  I hope I never have to go back.  The taste difference is so enormous, you wouldn't believe. These are real pastured hens, meaning they roam around a large area with a henhouse, not a little plot to earn the label "cage free."  We don't have any trouble using up all the eggs, but this little product is making me think about upping to 2 flats (or 5 dozen) every two weeks:


 They're hard boiled egg molds!  You just take a fresh cooked hard boiled egg as soon as you can touch it to peel it and gently push the hot egg into the mold.  Put in the fridge for at least an hour and ta-da!


My kids are obsessed!  And what a great snack - 70 calories, a ton of protein, omega 3's, one of the only natural occuring sources of Vitamin D (recently linked to preventing breast cancer).  And, it has been shown that up to 2 eggs a day do not negatively affect cholesterol, in fact it may improve it.  All the better that I know the eggs are coming from a local, responsible farm!

We still have lots of eggplant and other veggies to use tonight - so we'll be making some of my Thai Coconut Curry for dinner!  And I'm hoping to be able to pick the first eggplants from my garden this week - they look about ready - so we'll be having some of my chicken parm with these liberally added in.  I slice them up and roast them on a jelly roll pan with a little olive oil, s&p while the chicken bakes and then mix them in the pan with the chicken when I add the cheese at the end.

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