Stacy Eats: Tales of CSA Cooking

One of my favorite blogs is Kath Eats Real Food where she basically takes pictures of her breakfast, lunch, and dinner and blogs about it three times a day.  As silly as it sounds, it’s actually given me a lot of inspiration in the kitchen, and good for Kath because she gets paid to do it (seriously, her blog is her job, how awesome!).  Our dinners were pretty simple this week so instead of blogging about the recipes, I thought I’d just share pictures of some of our eats for the week.  We’ve been getting a huge bag of veggies each Saturday from our CSA, so it’s fun to open the fridge and make dinner out of unique local veggies that we normally wouldn’t buy at the grocery store.

Mixed Green Salad with Homemade Croutons, Candied Pecans, Sunflower Seeds & Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Sauteed Kale, Onion, & Scrambled Egg Sandwiches/Pitas

Lemony Swiss Chard Pasta with Parm & Toasted Walnuts

Veggie Fried Brown Rice

Strawberry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

We still have some beets and kale to use before we get our fresh bag of produce tomorrow, so I’m thinking of trying to perfect kale chips and maybe making some red velvet cupcakes with the beets (you can’t taste them, it’s just a way to make the cake red with using food dye).

My favorite dinner of the week was definitely the strawberry salad.  I’m so happy it’s finally strawberry season, and even though I’m going broke buying an extra pint or two a week, they were certainly a tasty addition to the salad.  I figure this salad was too delicious not to share, so the super simple recipe is below.

Strawberry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette:

Mix 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon mustard, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and a clove of minced garlic in a bowl.  Slowly stream in 1/2 cup of olive oil and whisk until the mixture thickens.  Add salt and pepper.  Store any leftover dressing in the fridge.

For the salad:

Toss the dressing with the salad greens.  Top with toasted walnuts and strawberry slices and enjoy!

And of course a food post wouldn’t be complete without a couple Socrates begging photos:


Hey Girl…

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

The weekend went by so quickly, and since Steve had to work the majority of it, I found myself lounging around the house devouring the third book of the Hunger Games series.  I read the first book on the Sunday after the movie came out.  I was so tired of hearing people talk about it that I decided to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about.  Needless to say, I read the book that morning and then went to see the movie that same night.  It. Was. Awesome.

And I also enjoyed finally understanding (and laughing hysterically) at some of the Hunger Games parody creations that are lurking around the web.

I think I read the second book in a couple of days, and I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I started and finished the third book, Mockingjay, all in one day.  It may sound silly, but I get very anxious when I read, especially if it’s a really good book, so I pretty much sit in one spot and read the entire book, just so I can know what happens at the end.  The downside of this is that I’m so ready to find out what happens that I sometimes skim over some of the pages.  I do go back and re-read just about every book (some several times), which Steve thinks is really strange, but it gives me a chance to read slowly and soak in the details since I already know what happens anyway.  Weird, I know, but it works for me!

After Steve finished work on Saturday, we went to see a bike race that was happening Uptown.  It’s some sort of criterium where about 200 professional cyclist participate.  The top prize for the women’s division was $25,000 and the top prize for the men’s was $50,000, so I was really bummed that I didn’t bring my cruiser bicycle along and get in on the race action.  That $25,000 sure would have been nice, and I could totally ride 25+ mph while racing 3 inches away from the other bikes (kidding, I can barely pedal in a straight line).

If you watch the video below, just excuse Steve’s small slip of the tongue at the very end.  We were sitting on the edge of the street while filming, and he somehow knocked his water bottle onto the street where it proceeded to roll towards the race path.  Luckily all the bikers had just passed; otherwise Steve would have had the pleasure of being responsible for a major bike crash via water bottle.

The next day we indulged in our Sunday breakfast tradition: Belgian waffles.  Waffles are my favorite because you just dump the batter into the machine and go lounge around until you hear it beep.  No pancake flipping (aka – burning) for this girl.  I also can’t get over the fact that our waffle maker cost an enormous amount of money, so using it as much as possible helps to validate the purchase.

Socrates waiting patiently for his breakfast

I whipped up a batch while Steve was out walking a few miles with a 50-pound backpack on (seriously, the guy is crazy), and surprised him with some homemade blueberry syrup to add to our waffles.

While recovering from our waffle coma, Steve blurted out this beauty: Hey Girl, I wish I were a tangent and you a parabola so that I could lay beside your curves.

It’s okay, you can be jealous of my awesome husband.  I love that he incorporated our love of Ryan Gosling (that’s right, our love, not my love, Steve pines over his strong jaw line and raw sexuality too) as well as his impeccable calculus skills to form the funniest/dorkiest Hey Girl! line ever.

I really wanted to put up a shirtless picture of Steve with his Hey Girl line written on it, but since I would like to spend the rest of my life with a husband that talks to me, I figured that wasn’t really a good idea.

Steve had to work that afternoon, so I tidied up the house, browsed online for patio furniture (love this set from Target), and essentially became the personal pillow of a little bichon named Socrates.  I think he is quite possibly the most snuggle-loving dog ever.

When Steve got home, we scanned the fridge and brainstormed possible dinner options.  We settled on making pesto pasta since it seems like we have parsley growing out of the walls.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that my pesto was the besto, but it did make for an…interesting dish.  Steve and Socrates gobbled it up, but I’m not sure if it was the pesto made with parsley instead of basil or the texture of the mung bean noodles that I wasn’t used to, but it just wasn’t a hit for me.

Clearly Socrates didn’t share my opinion, he attacked the bowl before I could put it on the floor:

Since I was still hungry and didn’t feel like cooking dinner 2.0, we headed down the street to our local bakery to grab dessert (triple chocolate cupcake for me, orange hazelnut scone for Steve, lots of sad begging puppy dog expressions for Socrates).  While sitting in the car enjoying our treats, Steve decided to try and distract Socrates from his get-some-or-all-of-their-food mission by rolling down the window and letting him stick his head out.  It worked!  Socrates was enjoying the breeze and joy of hanging his head out the window and we were left enjoying our treats without his sad eyes lurking up at us.

All was peaceful (and sugary), until Socrates decided in a split second that he wanted revenge for our anit-sweet sharing attitudes.  He jumped out of the window and bolted towards the road full of oncoming cars.  After having a minor heart attack, Steve and I jumped out of the car just in time to see Socrates getting distracted by a bush right before the street.  In the time it took him to grace the bush with his presence, Steve was able to chase him away from the cars and back into the parking lot where I demonstrated some ninja moves to scoop him up and return him back to car confined safety where we immediately implemented a no-open-windows-unless-holding-on-to-the-crazy-dog rule.

Have a good week!

Life According to My iPhone

Obviously my three posts a week goal isn’t being met, but what can I say, life got in the way.  Hopefully I’ve gotten over my I-just-want-to-watch-Friends-and-play-on-Pinterest-all-day streak, and after being called out by two people about not posting (seriously, my blog is so popular!), I thought I’d stop being a slacker and get on with it already.

In between watching Friends and pinning things, I have squeezed in a few activities that could actually be described as productive.  Instead of blabbing on and on about my past few weeks, I figured I’d participate in a little “Life According to My iPhone Photos” action (with a little babble mixed in, of course).

In the few minutes it took to sort through my photos, two things became very clear:

1. Random puppy dog pictures seem to be way more important to me than documenting other life events like birthday’s, Easter, etc.

Socrates rocking a fresh cut courtesy of his Daddy.

Socrates enjoys being lazy too.

Watching friends is obviously very tiring.

2. Taking pictures of my food seems to be way more important to me than random puppy dog pictures and documenting other life events like birthday’s, Easter, etc.

French Onion Soup is delicious - especially since I stood over the stove for 3 hours caramelizing the onions.

Cinnamon Honey Popcorn - had to have a snack to compliment all the Friends action going on in the Bentley household.

Lazy Dinner #1 - baked potatoes and veggies

Lazy Dinner #2 - Sweet Potato Wedges & Zucchini Boats

We also celebrated Steve’s birthday – yay 23!


Berry yogurt frozen into hearts and 23's = the lazy wife's way of making a birthday cake

We took advantage of the nice weather and put rocks down on our patio that was starting to look like a jungle.  Now all we need is some patio furniture, which for those of you who don’t know, costs ALOT of money!  For now, if we want to go out there, we’ll just take the “romantic” route and lay a blanket down for a nice cozy picnic.

Before Picture - we had actually already pulled up a lot of weeds by this point, I just never squeezed in a picture of the real "before" jungle.

We were growing onions and didn't even know it.

After - goodbye jungle, hello rocks

We also celebrated our 7th dating anniversary!  Does anyone else think it’s so unfair that you have to start all over in year counting once you get married?  Since it was also Easter weekend, we celebrated our 7th year of being in love (aww!) by meeting Steve’s family for a breakfast at IHOP (how Easter relevent!), and then participating in some other Easter festivities.

This is the only picture we took the entire day. Clearly I need to get my photographing priorities in order. People > Food

Here comes Peter Cottontail!

We celebrated Easter back home with our family.  Of course I forgot the actual camera, so I had to improvise with a few iPhone photos that I snapped here and there.

Pretty much the cutest Easter suit (and toddler) you will ever see!

Whole wheat bread bunny for Jake - he bit off a piece of his foot, and then proceeded to make a face like I had just fed him dirt and then spit it out on the floor. Mental note - children want candy for Easter, not whole wheat bread bunnies.

Dad hiding Easter eggs for Jake

Sweet picture courtesy of Maggie, who is basically responsible for documenting Jake's entire life.

Two things happened this week that have pretty much changed my life.

One, I was gifted with a 12-cup food processor from the Easter Bunny.  Seriously, I could have cried with happiness.  I’ve  been nagging anyone who would listen for the past few months about how much I wanted one, and apparently the Easter Bunny (aka. my lovely mommy) took note…or maybe she was just tired of me talking about it.  I pretty much stole a line from Carrie Bradshaw and exclaimed “hello lover” when first learning that this fine piece of machinery was mine.  I’m not sure if saying this to shoes or a food processor is more sad/pathetic, but what can I say, I love what I love.  I could literally write thousands of words about how excited I am about the food processor, but you probably don’t want to read all that, so I’ll just leave it with a picture proving that even Socrates is excited about our new addition.

Socrates bonding with his little brother, Mr. Food Processor

The second awesome thing that happened this week is not all the continuous spring weather but the wonderful fruits and veggies that have come along with it.  We received our first CSA share of the season this week, and I could have cried again with happiness as I unloaded what seemed like a never ending bag of strawberries, asparagus, swiss chard, kale, lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes, spring onions, eggs, rosemary, parsley and sweet potatoes.  What I love most about getting our CSA each week is that it gives us the opportunity to cook with things that we normally wouldn’t pick up at the grocery store.

Yummy #1

Yummy #2

Yummy #3

Some items on the menu this week include:

– kale chips

– sauteed chard, gruyere, and apple paninis

– caramelized balsamic beets & carrots

– corn tacos with zucchini-radish slaw

I’ve already broken in my food processor by making some maple-cinnamon almond butter that I’m going to use to make a few treats.  I’ll be sure to share the recipes in between my continuous trips to the refrigerator with a spoon in hand to make sure the almond butter still tastes good.

Oh – and Steve participated in Toms “One Day Without Shoes” and came home with disgustingly dirty feet.  Needless to say, he had to crawl up the stairs and scrub those things for a good 15 minutes before he was carpet-walking ready.

See you later!