I’m super busy these days so I am going to have to let these fine photos speak 1000 words for me…
This week’s featured link is Trappistine Creamy Caramels. This candy making operation is the main means of support for the monastic community of 30 Trappistine nuns of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey located in Dubuque, Iowa. All of their candies are handmade with tender loving care from the finest ingredients. In 2007, their sweet treats were voted “Best Heavenly Bites” by Reader’s Digest magazine.
For the life of me, I can not remember where or how I heard of this website, but I have been ordering caramels, mints and truffles from these nuns for almost 10 years now. Every time I place an order for a gift to give to someone else, I have to buy some for myself as well. You know, “one for you, one (or two) for me”. Their caramels (vanilla or chocolate) are so incredibly rich and creamy, they are truly heavenly. Their truffles are beautiful, hand-decorated works of art and their mints are truly melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
If you are looking for a delicious and thoughtful gift idea this coming holiday season, check out Trappistine Creamy Caramels.
Wow! Is it Week 16 already?? Holy Moly, that means we only have 6 more deliveries to go before the end of the Farm Share season!
Well, today we received some really nice peppers. I’m not sure what variety they are but they smell like they’ve got a kick to them. We also received some beautiful red onions, tomatoes (1 smooshed), a Napa cabbage (yay!) and some yellow Swiss chard. I’m really excited about the Napa cabbage as I really enjoyed them earlier this summer.
Here is a photo of our beautiful peppers, onions and tomatoes…
Good Morning All! As promised, I got my rump off the couch this week and did something with the vegetables we received. I made a really yummy, soul-warming Cream of Potato-Celery Soup with the potatoes, celery, 2 of the onions, thyme, chicken stock, butter and half-and-half. It was a great way to use multiple vegetables in one dish and a great way to get my husband to eat celery! Here are some photos:
As far as the other vegetables are concerned… I donated the beets to a friend who is recently on a beet-kick; the lone surviving tomato went into lasagna; and the mixed baby greens were donated to yet another friend just because I was feeling extra generous. Ah, yes, giving does feel good.
That’s all for now, folks. Check back tomorrow to see what goodies we receive.
Good Morning All! I am excited to present to you this week’s featured link, Chantal: LiveStrong. This is a line of signature yellow products benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The line of serveware includes everything from travel mugs to tea pots and five to ten percent of all proceeds go directly to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
My favorite items from this line are the LiveStrong Extra Large Plate, which is perfect for use as a platter at parties, and the LiveStrong Snack Plates, which coordinate perfectly along side the LiveStrong Extra Large Plate so that your guests may put their tasty nibbles on something other than a cocktail napkin.
Here are some images from the website:
Can’t you just imagine how strikingly lovely deviled eggs would look on this platter and these plates?
If you’d like your serveware to make a statement while also benefiting a very important cause, check out Chantal: LiveStrong today!
Good Morning Farm Share fans! Let me first acknowledge the fact that I did not do a wrap-up post yesterday telling you what I did with last week’s farm share. The reason is that I felt like total ca-ca last week and I did absolutely nothing inspired with the vegetables. Sorry, but it’s true.
This week, I’m sure I will find the energy and inspiration to do something fun with our delivery. Today we received a bag of mixed baby greens, 2 tomatoes (1 smooshed, 1 intact), beets, potatoes, onions and celery.
I was tired of the box shots, so I let my husband take artistic liberties and shoot his choice of vegetables any way he saw fit. I think the shots are very artistic, actually. I think I hear the MoMA calling…
The people who know me very well, know that I have a fixation on all things Iowa. Everything from caucuses to cheese. I’m just joking about the caucuses, but I am serious about the cheese. My favorite American blue cheese comes from Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, Iowa.
I first learned about Maytag blue cheese when I was in college (in Iowa) and I was watching Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network cooking with Maytag blue cheese. I heard him say “…Iowa…” and I was shocked that Iowa made a cheese that I had not yet heard of. So, the next time I went home for a holiday, my mom and I hunted down this cheese and made ourselves every recipe we could find that called for blue cheese. I’ve been hooked ever since. It is the only cheese I use in my traditional blue cheese dressing and Buffalo wing dip. I also love to make Maytag blue cheese butter to dress up steaks.
You can find Maytag blue cheese in most specialty cheese departments but if you can’t, you can mail order it directly from Maytag Dairy Farms. Now that football season is here, why don’t you make some homemade blue cheese dip to go with your Buffalo chicken wings? But be careful, once people taste the Maytag, they’ll want to come to your house every time to watch the game! That being said, Go Iowa Hawkeyes!
Good Morning! Our box this morning reminds me of Christmas, with all the shades of red and green. This morning was a bit chilly too, which really puts me in the spirit!
Today we received red Swiss chard, a bag of baby arugula, carrots, 2 red bell peppers, 3 red onions, and 3 red tomatoes (2 of which have been abused, as you can clearly see in the bottom photo).
Poor tomatoes. They didn’t stand a chance at the bottom of the box. I guess I have to accept my fate of receiving abused tomatoes. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, though. These careless box packers are standing between me and my Lycopene!
Well, this week’s farm share ended better than it started. As you may recall, my red tomatoes were smooshed beyond use and had to be sacrificed to the compost gods. Very sad. It took me a couple of days to get over the loss. But, I moved on to give the surviving vegetables the attention they deserved…
The yellow plum tomatoes were used to make yellow gazpacho. Of course, I had to go to the market to get a yellow bell pepper, a cucumber, cilantro and literally everything else necessary to make gazpacho, but the soup was really delicious. The mixed baby greens became a really yummy salad with sliced apples, walnuts, red onion and homemade honey-mustard dressing. The beets were thinly sliced and deep-fried to make chips and were served with a goat cheese/chive dip. Oh my, I am still dreaming about that dip. The Swiss chard was used in an impromptu dinner of shrimp and orzo all cooked separately then tossed together in a large saute pan with garlic butter. I don’t know what to call it, but it was super tasty. Last, but not least, the carrots and green bell peppers were used to make my Great-Grandma Hollingsworth’s carrot relish. Grandma used to always make this relish for big family meals and I always looked forward to it. It has a sweet and tangy dressing and is a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. Here is the recipe (as well as a photo). I hope you’ll give it a try.
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Boil the carrots in salted water until they are tender-crisp. Drain and cool.
In a medium saucepan, combine the tomato soup, oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and keep hot.
In a large bowl, combine carrots, peppers and onions. Pour hot sauce all over, cover and marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
This relish will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Good Morning All! Before you read this post, grab a cup of coffee or tea and make yourself comfortable. I suggest some coffee or tea from this week’s Link of the Week, Taylor Maid Farms, a purveyor of organic coffee and tea, located in Sonoma County. I first learned of Taylor Maid Farms while my husband and I were honeymooning in Sonoma a couple of years ago. The inn we stayed at served Taylor Maid Farms coffee with breakfast and we thought it was some of the best coffee we had ever tasted. It was so lovely to sit on the inn’s terrace in the cool morning mist and sip our hot coffee and let it warm us from the inside out. We loved this coffee so much I even surprised my husband with a huge bag of their Sonoma Roast blend for our 1 year anniversary.
Besides roasting some of the best organic coffee I have ever tasted, I appreciate the fact that most of Taylor Maid Farms’ coffees are shade-grown and fair-trade certified. Additionally, Taylor Maid Farms is dedicated to supporting small family farms.
If you are a tea drinker, I recommend their Herbal Gardens blend. This is the tea I drink when I’m soaking my feet in my foot spa. Too much information, perhaps, but I wanted to convey the relaxed feeling this tea gives me. It is so floral and aromatic, it is perfect for your own personal “spa day”. It’s like aromatherapy in a teacup!
If you are looking to improve your coffee or tea experience, I highly recommend you give Taylor Maid Farms a try. I simply love them!