Monday, July 26, 2010

Cheeseburger Chill Smoothie!

How appetizing! Blend cheeseburger with water, top with ketchup, mustard, & mayo - a great snack for any time!!

I'm so glad it's not real - Jamba Juice is responding to efforts by burger chains to do smoothies - seems like a fair, if disgusting, turnaround. Go here for a coupon off any real Jamba Juice smoothie.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What's in the Box? CSA Weeks 10 and 11

Catching up with posts - and veg. I didn't realize until getting Week 11 ready that I utterly failed to mention Week 10. So, without further delay: 

Week 10 box contained: green beans (1.5 lb), snap peas (0.6 lb), celery, Italian frying peppers (2), collard greens, lettuce, zucchini/squash, cucumbers (2), scallions, Walla Walla onion (1).

Week 11 box contained: sweet corn (7 ears), muskmelon, eggplant (1), Walla Walla onion, zucchini/squash, basil, green bell pepper (1), cucumber (1).


We're holding our own on the veg with everything but the greens. I never seem to get to those in time. We still have some beets from a couple weeks ago as well. The sweet corn was amazing! And we've discovered you can grill green beans. Our favorite combo includes wedges of zuke sliced longwise, scallions, and green beans tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, & other spices. Very very tasty.

My new favorite summer dessert is from Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess. I really enjoy reading her cookbooks; she has a wonderfully casual and intimate way of writing about the recipes. It feels like she's your best friend sharing kitchen secrets. The Black & White Tart recipe in the book is silly easy and seems to work with any fruit. It's no-bake too - perfect for hot summer days when I'm feeling particularly lazy. We've been doing a lot with red currants since we got some from the SSFM. First tart was with fresh figs and red currants; this version is more patriotic.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flooding in Milwaukee

We've been hard hit with flooding here. Our own neighborhood has been safe, but sections of South Milwaukee are still under water, and the city is under a state of emergency (as is most of Milwaukee county). I drove home from work yesterday along the lakefront just before the storm hit, watching the clouds roll out over the lake. It looked impressive and dangerous, so of course, we had to go take some pictures.
 This view is North toward Milwaukee along the coast. We live a very short walking distance from Grant Park, so we took our cameras and ourselves down the Seven Bridges trail to the lakefront. We took these photos at about 5:30pm when the worst of the rain was just getting started.
 This view is looking east out over the lake. I love the color contrasts, how the dark sky makes the whitecaps really stand out, and the lake turns a sea glass-green color.  We watched the clouds roll out, and then the lake pushed them back; at one point clouds were moving in lines in opposite directions. Little did we know that the storm would bring tornadoes, up to 12in of rain, stop traffic on the interstate for almost 10hrs, close the airport (as of 2pm Friday - still closed), and produce car and house-eating sinkholes. Check the Journal-Sentinel for details.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Off to the races!

Really short post here - it's been really busy at the homestead of late. Superweek is on in the Milwaukee area, and we're lucky enough to be hosting a couple of the racers. Today's stage is in our very own SoMil - come out and watch some fantastic cycling!

I understand the SoMil Farmer's Market is having a special market day, and there are probably other places open for food & drink downtown as well. Good times all around!


The race was incredible fun to watch. I never tire of seeing the riders round the curve at the end of the straight away. Superweek started as one race over 40 years ago, and now it's 17 days of racing - how cool is that! South Milwaukee hasn't seen a race in 20 years or so, and this course is almost the same national championship course run then. Here is the larger field of riders in today's Pro1/2 race.
Race courses go right through residential neighborhoods. It seems surreal, but then I think about images of the Tour de France (also running at the moment) where cyclists ride through quaint villages all the time. Not so different (our roads may be wider...).

We had a great view - it's hard not to. The riders are so close and going so fast - my simple little P&S camera has a hard time catching them. Riders with different skill levels race in separate categories, so there are several races over the course of the day. The men's Pro/1/2 race is typically the highlight and often the last one to begin. The Bucyrus Classic started at 5:45pm, and they finished heading into the sunset.
Superweek stages are professional races, so they have a winners podium and colored jerseys just like other tours. Here are the winners for the race today:
From L to R: Logan Loader (California; Second place finish today), Rene Birkenfeld (Germany; Red jersey = sprints leader), Jonathan Cantwell (Australia; Winner today's stage), Eric Young (Illinois; Third place finish today), Aurelion Passeron (France; Yellow jersey = points leader).

Truly an international event here in SoMil. I'm going to hold onto these photos - someone here might be famous someday. Even Lance Armstrong raced Superweek back in his early days.

Friday, July 9, 2010

What's in the Box? CSA Week 9

The holiday weekend saw us devour a good portion of our veg. We haven't eaten it all though; we still have peas, bok choy, scapes, summer squash, beets, cabbage and diakon left to eat. One of our favorite summer meals is a sort of pasta carbonara with veg. We like using summer squash and mushrooms sauteed with onion in bacon fat (saving the bacon to add back in of course!), but it works with most veg (even greens if you cut them small). It has fallen out of rotation in the kitchen but sounds really good to me at the moment. I think it ought to make an appearance on the table soon.

This week's box contains: green beans (0.7 lb), snap peas (0.9 lb), swiss chard, red leaf lettuce, green bell pepper (1),  cucumbers (2 or 3), zucchini, basil, kohlrabi (1 small) OR a little broccoli.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Farm Fresh Atlas

As soon as you decide that you'd like to eat more local, perhaps even try the 100 Mile Diet, you realize that you have no idea where to find the goods. Farmer's markets are a good place to start as well as local natural food stores, but what if you want to get even closer to the source? How do you find grass-fed lamb and organic berries?

Fortunately the people at Farm Fresh Atlas are aware of these questions and they know the answers. Or at least they try to find them. The list of farms (at last count, well over 100) details location and produce, including whether you can find them at a market or buy direct from the farm (or both), or perhaps they have a CSA. The list is updated annually, so the list stays, well, fresh  ;-)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

South Shore Farmer's Market in Bay View

It seems counter-intuitive that we would haunt farmer's markets with our overflowing crisper bins, but there's more than buying veg at a market. A good market offers more than just produce, or maybe the term produce covers a wider range of goodies. There's often food & beverages for eating on the spot, fresh flowers, bedding plants and herbs. Sometimes meat or fish mongers as well. We love the atmosphere of a good market too, relaxed with a sense of discovery of what looks good this week. This Saturday morning, we rode our bicycles up to the South Shore Farmer's Market at South Shore Park in Bay View - it was a perfect Summer morning, and there was a good crowd out to enjoy the park and the weather and the market.
Live music entertained the whole family.
We picked up some red currants (aiming to be in a tart), cranberry granola cookies from Wild Flour Bakery, and some fresh criminis from our favorite mushroom farm: River Valley Ranch (I've always loved the thought of a mushroom "ranch" and all that 'shroom wrangling).
Fresh eggs and local chicken!

We had some of the most amazing tamales. Next time we have to try the crepes (made fresh to order) and some coffee, or maybe a smoothie. Honey and maple syrup vendors were there, and lots of cheese. It's a real motivator to get up and out on the bikes first thing on a Saturday morning. Views like this from the bike trail help too.

What's in the Box? CSA Week 8

Another week's delivery of veg - I confess we are having some trouble keeping up (doesn't help that geekMan was traveling for work again...). Fortunately, we have a house full of folk for the holiday weekend, and will be able to share a lot with family. It looks to be pretty warm weather too, and veg are always a light choice to build hot-weather meals around.

This week's box contains: cabbage, beets with greens, summer squash/zucchini (2.5 lb), red leaf lettuce, kohlrabi (1 or 2), cucumbers (3), parsley, snow peas (0.25lb), snap peas (1.3 lb).

I realized late last week that I forgot to post the box from week 7 - oops! Last week's box contained: broccoli (2 medium heads), snap peas (1.5 lb), snow peas (0.5 lb), zucchini/squash (2 lb), fennel (1 large or 2 med.), red bibb lettuce, cucumber (1), red Russian kale, basil, garlic scapes. It's a lot of veggie goodness - I'll tally up after the long weekend.