I am so lucky to have my grandma in town for 2 weeks! She’s 85 (looks 75) and fantastic. I think I’ve mentioned before that she’s an amazing cook? That being said – she’s also partly to blame, for me being clueless in the kitchen. Instead of teaching me how to cook, she opted to “spoil me.” In her eyes, she wanted to cook for me and not have me doing work in the kitchen. Obviously, I appreciate her so much and am learning from her now in my 30’s!
So today, we’re making MEATBALLS! The perfect, protein-packed, easy to eat comfort food for any adult or a 1-year old. The meatballs are really for my son. They are so easy to make. Here’s the quick recipe:
- Take 1/2 pound of ground beef (80/20%) and 1/2 pound of ground pork. Grab a bowl and use your hands to mush the ground meat together.
- Once mixed, scramble 1 egg in a separate bowl and then mix into your meat. Again, use your clean hands to mix.
- Next, slowly add about 1/2 cup of Italian or seasoned breadcrumbs. Mix well.
- Start rolling your meatballs in the palm of your hand (about 1-inch thick). Roll them well so the meatball is packed firmly. Then sprinkle more breadcrumbs over the meatball before setting aside.
- TO COOK: Add the meatballs to a stewing pot and add enough chicken broth to cover. Add fresh garlic and a pinch of salt.
- Allow to simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat. You’re done.
Side dish: Simmered Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes. Slice your sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch thick circles, simmer in 1/2-cup of water. Add 1/4-cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Simmer until tender.
Fancy Serve: Place 1 meatball atop of each sweet potato slice. Add some greens for color!
Note: 1-pound of meat yields about 2 dozen average size meatballs.
Happy 1st day of FALL 2010!
I picked up my bag of veggies from my new CSA (Canvas Ranch) this week and it was so exciting. I had no idea what I was getting and not sure what I was going to do with it, so it felt like an adventure. I walked to pick up my bag of goodies with my little boy, Craig, and started thinking about how FRESH food is so romanticized these days. It was an interesting string of thoughts. There I was, walking with my 10-month old sleeping quietly in his super stroller as I passed all the pretty trees and looked into the hills of Marin County all while I was supporting a local farm. All I needed was a little music and it would be a great scene in a movie, I bet.
The romance side tracks me…anyway, I arrived to grab my veggies and on queue, the baby starts screaming, the wind blew cold and there I was with no jacket and 2 miles from home.
Finally, we get home and I spread out the goods on my kitchen table. The excitement came back! I didn’t know what everything was but it looked so pretty and fresh and colorful. I picked up something that looked like parsley and smelled and picked off a leaf. “It doesn’t smell like parsley,” I thought. It tasted so different – like a candied orange…how strange! Canvas Ranch solved the mystery with their weekly newsletter explaining everything: Lettuce, Rainbow Chard, Golden and Chiogga Beets, Collards, Radicchio, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Scallions and Cilantro!
It was cilantro! I’ve had cilantro before, but not like this. It was so different and extra delicious. Oh, and the potatoes! I sliced them like steak fries and baked them with olive oil and a little Old Bay seasoning…so good that I didn’t use ketchup – and I’m a ketchup fanatic.
I can’t wait to cook and eat these up during the week. Do you have any favorite CSAs (community-supported agriculture) that you love. And please, tell me about any fruits or veggies that have surprised you lately.
Off to a canning & jamming class…
You’re on a mission. You want to cook more. You want to eat more fresh food. Everybody is telling you it’s better for you – the media, your yoga teacher, and the little voice inside your head! So, you finally get to the grocery store or Farmer’s Market and everyone seems to know what they’re doing in the fresh produce aisle – except you. The veggies look pretty and sound familiar – parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, kale, beetroots, fennel – but you’re not used to seeing them in their true state and you don’t know what to do with them. What to do?
I’ll tell you what really worked for me. For a while I heard about Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) or Farmer Co-ops, where fresh and in-season fruits, veggies and other organic foods (eggs/meats in some cases) are delivered to your doorstep. For those of us who use “not having enough time” as an excuse to not cook, this is a great option for you! I signed up with a local CSA, http://www.eatwiththeseasons.com/ and it is awesome. I get to choose from a weekly menu of in-season goodies and they get delivered right to my doorstep. If you want to get into the rhythm of cooking and eating more veggies, this is a great way to get yourself to learn about, and enjoy new foods – without excuses. Give it a try! Here are some tips to get you going:
- Think small. Pick the smallest bundle/box for starters. It’s usually more than enough for 2 people.
- Eat up. Make it a goal to get through all your goodies in one week.
- Follow the leader. Most farmers offer recipes with your produce. Try them.
- Show off. Invite friends over and make something yummy using fresh produce. Tell them about where the food comes from over a nice glass of wine. You’ll impress yourself ;0).
- Enjoy. You’ll feel like you’re part of a new community, and you are. So, enjoy the process and your veggies!
How do you find a local CSA? Enter your zip code and voila.