Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 29 - Southern Tier Pumking Ale, Kabocha Squash, Turkey with Peach Compote and Mixed Fingerling Potatoes

Break down cost of this meal.

Kabocha Turban Squash $4.80
Fingerling potatoes $3.99
Turkey sliced $6.74

Total cost for 4 servings = $24.52

The peaches were ones I had canned and I served this with a large salad. It was ridiculously easy to make this meal. The peach compote went on the sliced turkey which was baked at 400 degrees covered, along with the halved squash which was just buttered and sprinkled with salt and pepper. This is not a squash you want to eat sweetened. It's earthy flavor is best experienced with little to no seasonings. The potatoes were just boiled, buttered and salted lightly. The ale was delicious and tasted of pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 26 - Gramma Mora's Mexican Restaurant

Last night was hot and uncomfortable on so many levels. Too hot to stay inside and make anything. We went out instead for some authentic mexican food at Gramma Moras! The family that runs the restaurant have been in business for over thirty years and their commitment to serving quality food in a festive setting shows in so many ways. From the very chunky homemade guacamole, to their well seasoned homemade chorizo sausage, to using local vegetables and meats the whole experience at Gramma's is one of settle down and tuck in. Dishes are large and well plated and there are always leftovers!

We had Chicken and Steak Fajita and Quesadilla dinners. There were baskets of freshly made chips and red chilies salsa, a large bowl of bean dip and the guacamole was outstanding.

Gramma Mora's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 25 - NY Locavore Potluck!

This weekend was exhausting! But fun! We had 15 people at Buffalo's potluck and loads of AMAZING food! I'll add more recipes to this post as soon as they come in from folks.

Annie's Chicken and Potatoes in Garlic Sauce

Pour in 1/4 cup of olive oil in the bottom of the crock pot set on high. 10 cloves of garlic cleaned, peeled, and cracked. Lay the hen on top of the garlic and then cut up 10 potatoes into bite sized pieces and lay around and on the hen. Add 3 tbls sweet paprika, 1 tbls salt and 4 tbls fresh tarragon. Cover and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove the hen and broil until the skin crisps. Serve with a hearty bread to mop up the juicy garlic sauce.

I brought in a multigrain boule from the Lexington Co-op and put out a fresh jar of green tomato and raspberry jam on the side.

Susan's Apron Pasta Primavera

Go out to the garden and pick red peppers, green peppers, basil, onions, garlic, yellow and red cherry tomatoes. Add Swiss Chard from Native Offerings Share. Roast the peppers over an open flame on the stove. Saute diced onions, green pepper and garlic in a little olive oil, adding the tomatoes and cook till the skins pop. Then add the basil. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook one box of Gioa (local pasta)
fettuccine. Add cooked fettuccine to skillet with the veggies and heat through. You can add Parmesan cheese and basil at this point.

Bread and Butter pickles were brought as well.... recipe to follow later...

Mo's Vegetarian Irish Stew

Veggie stock (homemade preferred)
White and red onion
Garlic, celery, chopped greens (any kind)
Carrots, cabbage, potatoes (white, red, or sweet potatoes or variety)
Vegetarian sausage from Lexington Co-op. 
Put it all in an oven stock pot and cook at 400 for 40 minutes, cool for five minutes and eat it still steaming hot.

Day 24 - Leftovers, How do you know it's okay to eat that?, and Planning for tomorrow's potluck.

So I have already mentioned how much we like leftovers in this house, but I didn't tell you some of the important things that I have learned about leftovers. For one thing if you have a lot left from that evening's dinner you may want to do one of two things. Either save it and hope several people with hearty appetites will finish it off over the next three days. Or two, toss it right in the garbage. I really don't like option two; however, if folks didn't go back for seconds or pushed the food around their plates, it's probably a sign they won't want to heat it up later.

I try really hard to think about what kinds of flavors my family likes and stay within that range, but sometimes I stray out of the expected and try some different flavor combinations and my family tells me I'm trying too hard to do something too different. For example I made South American Quinoa and Beans on September 16th and Vegan Tofu Stew on Basmati Rice on September 21st. Guess they were not the hit I'd hoped they'd be because I had to use the two large containers, and they are still sitting in the fridge. UGH! Which leads me to the second part of this post, which is, "How do you know it's okay to eat that?"

Well leftovers should really only be in your fridge for three days, maximum. That's it! Three! More than that and the food breaks down, bacteria and mold and other delightful organisms start to move into suburbs and pick out school districts. I'm serious. The food may look and smell tasty on day five, but honestly do you want to chance dealing with food poisoning later that day because it looks good? So I spent the half hour before writing clearing out items of a questionable nature. Which makes me sad. Only here in well off countries like America, do we make food, save it, and then not eat it. I try so hard to make just enough to feed my family of four (sometimes five) so that there is nothing remaining, but sometimes I over guesstimate and end up with three extra servings of a dish. I suppose I could ask my family what they would like for dinner the next night, but I don't usually get helpful answers. I can't deep fry, stir fry, or make pizza every night...

For tomorrow night's potluck I decided to make chicken and potatoes in garlic sauce in the crock pot. It's tasty and smells divine and just a little is very filling and I figure it being a potluck, with other dishes coming made from local and seasonal and organic ingredients, this will probably compliment many of the other offerings. I hope those of you who are able to make it to a potluck celebrating the NY Locavore Challenge enjoy your evening, and keep working on the challenge until the end of the month, I believe we can do it together!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 23 - Mabon Feast of Bacon Gouda Potato Soup and Spiced Cherry Bread

This is based on the Creamy Cheesy Potato and Onion Soup recipe I made back in January.

Break down cost for this meal.

Heavy Cream $1.69
Smoked Gouda with Bacon from Yancy's Fancy $4.75
Potatoes $3.99
Onion $1.00
Dried Rosemary
Olive Oil
Flour $0.85
Yeast $1.19
Chinese 5 Spice $1.00
5 tbls minced dried cherries $1.39

Total cost for 5 servings = $15.86

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 22 - Steak with Marinated Artichokes and Bergenost Cheese

Break down cost of this meal.

Steak from Lake Country Farm $5.80
Artichokes from Quarry Brook Farms $4.00
Boston Lettuce from Eden Farms $1.99
Greek Goddess Dressing and Marinade
Bergenost Cheese from Yancy's Fancy $3.48
Heirloom Tomatoes $1.00

Total cost for 4 servings = $16.27

Layer the steaks into an oiled pan with artichokes hearts that have been marinated. Add a layer of Bergenost cheese on top. Tent the foil over the pan and broil on low or at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and broil on high for two minutes or allow to continue to bake at 400 degrees uncovered until the cheese just starts to brown. Serve with a salad and a tangy beverage.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 21 - Vegan Tofu Stew on Basmati Rice

Break down cost of food.

Organic Italian Tofu from Soy Boy $3.59
Carrots, Potatoes, Onions from Tom Tower's Farm $6.00
Salt and Olive Oil
Organic Basmati Rice from Lexington Co-op $1.99

Total cost for 8-10 servings = $11.58

Large chop the carrots, onions, and potatoes and add olive oil, 1 cup of water and a sprinkle of salt. Cover and cook on medium until potatoes and carrots are soft. Cook diced tofu in a 1/4 of water and barley roux. 

Add together and serve over hot basmati rice.

Day 20 - Buffalo Food Policy Summit

Tuesday night at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Allentown in Buffalo, NY; UB co-sponsored a community public forum called, “Economic Development and the Food System: Ideas for the Future,” as part of the larger Buffalo Food Policy Summit. As a smaller part of the Inauguration Week's daily theme, “Creating a Vibrant and Healthy Community”, this forum highlighted the important role of the local food system in promoting economic development and health in Buffalo, NY. It featured experts in the field of food security and food justice in a discussion of how the pursuit of these goals can provoke economic development in Buffalo, as it has in communities across the country.

It was sponsored by the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, UB School of Architecture and Planning; Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities-Buffalo; Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County; Grassroots Gardens; Massachusetts Avenue Project; New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NYSAWG); UB2020 Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Initiative. It was funded by the Community Foundation for a Greater Buffalo, with support from the UB Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Initiative.

I was particularly impressed by the remarks made by Heather Wooten, a Public Health Law Policy Maker from Oakland, California and Mark Winne, an author and Community Food Security Coalition expert from Portland, Oregon. They both impressed upon the importance of wholesome communication between the multiple agencies, organizations, and advocates as well as going after more of the grant monies that are available through more than 273 Federal Agricultural Grants.

I was very inspired hearing them give their ideas and meeting with other food advocates and enthusiasts. I wonder where it will lead me....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 19 - French Onion Soup with Maple Syrup Squash and Peaches

Break down cost of meal.

5 onions $3.00
4 tbls salt
4 small slices of stale bread
8 oz organic mozzarella $4.99
Saved Oxtail bones
8 - 10 cups of water
Maple Syrup from Ulinger's East Otto Farm
Butternut Squash from Tony's Garden
Peach preserves

Total cost for 5 servings = $8.00

Boil oxtails in water for 30 minutes. Remove the bones. Thinly slice the onions,  sprinkle with salt and boil. Halve the butternut squash, filling the emptied seed wells with maple syrup. Place in a 9x11 pan with 2 cups of water. Cover and bake at 425 degrees until tender.

Remove the squash and set aside to slightly cool. Add one cup of water to cookie sheet. Fill soup bowl 3/4 full of onion soup. Place crouton in and layer thin slices of mozzarella on top. Broil until cheese browns.

Scrape out the squash, being sure not to loose any of the syrup. Dish with hot peach preserves. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Day 18 - Leftovers, Washing Dishes, and Allowing for Daydreaming

The view from our kitchen window is interesting in that it looks into the grassy yard of the boxing club that abuts our property. In the winter the water freezes in large waterfall sculptures down the far corner and the mysterious mounds of snow hide the large training tires and the sometimes abandoned bmx knock offs. In the summer the young boys goad each other to pick up the training hammer and take a swing at the tire, mimicking the young men who are in real training. As I bake and cook the steam fills the window and escapes and the boys lift their faces smelling the air in unison. My litter of pups, who grumble they still have to run the block five more times before they can go home to dinner....

Leftovers are our favorites. After sitting in their spices and herbs, meats and vegetables settle and mature and the taste is even more sweetly anticipated than the first night they were served. But then soon they are finished off, some quicker than others, leaving stacks of dishes waiting their turn to steam the window...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 17 - Pork Roast in Stewed Apples, Potatoes, and Onions

 Break down cost of this meal.

2 onions $2.60
5 potatoes $3.00
6 apples $4.64
Pork Roast from Spars $9.19
Honey from Dawes Hill
Apple cider vinegar
"Chinese 5 Spice" $0.80

Total cost for 10 servings = $20.23

Turn your crockpot on high, adding a splash of olive oil. Large chop the onions, then potatoes, then the apples. Add in 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle in 4 tbls of "Chinese 5 Spice". Place the roast on top. Cover and cook on high for three hours, then leave on warm until ready to serve.
We brought this to a potluck and it was tucked into before I could get a photo. But I can assure you the scent and flavor made the mouth water and everyone took heaping seconds!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 16 - South American Quinoa and Beans with Cucumber Salad

Breakdown cost of this meal.

Beans $2.99
Quinoa $1.00
Honey from Dawes Hill $1.00
Lettuce $0.80
Cucumbers $0.50
Broccoli $1.00
Cumin, salt, and pepper
Peppercorns, Coriander and Dill seed ground
Sour Cream from Byrne Dairy $1.99
A splash of organic milk

Total cost for 4 servings = $9.28

Fry the beans in olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper, and honey. Turn flame down low and leave a pepper in until time to serve to add a touch of heat to the beans. Make quinoa like rice, adding 1 cup shaved broccoli in during the last five minutes. Crack peppercorns, dill and coriander seeds and mix with 1/2 cup sour cream and a splash of milk. Stir in the cucumbers and set in the freezer for 10 minutes to get very cold. Then dish and enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 15 - Chicken Tetrazinni

Breakdown cost of this meal.

Spaghetti from Pasta Peddler $7.50
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
2 tbls butter
1/4 cup chopped onion $0.25
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced $0.10
1/2 cup of ricotta cheese from Sorrento $1.00
1/4 cup of milk $0.50
2 cups shredded cheese $1.99
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken $1.15
2 tbls chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup diced sweet pepper $0.65

Total cost for 4 servings = $13.14

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions, add oil and salt to cooking water. Drain.
In large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add cubed chicken, salt, pepper milk, and 1/2 cup of the ricotta cheese. Cook and stir until cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Then the other 1/2 cup of ricotta and stir until smooth. In a large bowl add spaghetti, parsley, peppers and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Mix well. Transfer to 2-quart baking dish. Cover with the rest of the cheese and then lid or a layer of foil.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Remove foil or lid and continue baking 2 more minutes until cheese melts and just starts to brown.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 14 - Chili and McKenzie's Black Cherry Hard Cider

Breakdown cost of this meal.

McKenzie's Black Cherry Hard Cider $6.99
Cayuga Pure Organics Beans $3.99
Sorrento Cheese Mozzarella $2.99
Tomatoes $4.87
Mixed herbs and spices
Byrne Dairy Sour Cream $1.99
23 Meatballs (broken down) made at the beginning of the challenge

Total cost for 4 servings = $20.83

Green Tomato and Raspberry Jam

8 cups of quartered small green tomatoes

 1 pack of Brown's Berry Patch Raspberries

Sprinkle and mix in well 6 tbls Ball Real Fruit Pectin. Add to pot and bring to a boil. Stir frequently. It will all get juicy and brown slightly, but don't stop stirring, because you don't want it to stick and burn and it needs to get to a roiling boil.

Lower the heat so it stops boiling. Add 6 2/3 cups of sugar, mixing every two cups in well. Bring it back to a boil and stir until it starts to thicken.

 Jar and follow the canning directions I gave for the Pickled Peppers. Allow for two weeks to set. Some of them may still be juicy on the shelf, but by the time you transfer one to the fridge, the cold will set it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 13 - Grilled Chicken with Broccoli, Potatoes, and Salad

I am grateful to my fiance for making tonight's amazing locally sourced dinner and letting me kinda lay low this evening. Despite all of my good intentions, I got waylaid with a cold and was too tired and unwell to tackle anything more complicated than stirring the mashed potatoes! Make sure you show your appreciation to whomever made your meal today!

Break down cost of this meal.

3 chicken breasts $5.67
Broccoli $1.48
Heirloom Tomatoes from Eden Valley Growers $3.99
Fancy Leaf Romain $1.99
Cucumber $0.50
Greek Goddess Salad Dressing from Greek Goddess Products $6.48
Garlic Mashed Potatoes $7.00
Bread with Green Tomato and Raspberry Jam
Total cost for 4 servings = $27.11

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 12 - Vietnamese đuôi bò hầm

 Vietnamese đuôi bò hầm is vegetable oxtail stew. It's very similar to recipes I found for China and Italy except that in Vietnam the meat is deep fried or browned in oil instead of boiled. The vegetables are layered on top and every thing is steamed for four to five hours instead of being completely removed leaving only the broth behind.

These oxtails come from Lake Country Beef Farms. 3 lbs - $10

4 tbls ground pepper $1.00

2 tbls large flake salt $0.25

6 tbls Sunflower seed oil $1.00

3 tsp Truffle (or fish sauce) Oil $2.00

8 Carrots $3.00

4 Potatoes $1.25

3 Onions $1.00

7 to 10 cloves of Garlic $0.50

Total cost for this 8 serving dinner = $20.00

Rinse the meat and pat each piece dry. Start the crockpot on high and add oil, pepper and salt then layer in the meat. Every 15 minutes turn the meat. Do this four times.

When the first hour of browning the meat is done, add in 7 to 10 whole slightly crushed cloves of garlic.

Large chop the three onions.

Large chop the potatoes.

Chop the carrots into bite sized pieces. Add 1 cup of cool water. Cover and continue to cook on high for 4 hours.

Dish and serve with something light to drink, like iced tea or water. I recommend avoiding beer or wine, which will mask the flavor of beef and pepper. Buttered rolls to sop up the golden broth would be the perfect accompaniment.

WNY Bounty - The beauty of local, seasonal, heirloom organic fruits and vegetables

These tomatoes are mine, and will be used to make
Green Tomato Raspberry Jam.