Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My garden kicks

This week I'm going to talk about CSA.  I am in love.  For years now I have mad several different attemts to grow my own vegetables and fruits.  The first year we basically planted salsa.  We did good so I expanded to basil,mint and chive.  Again, great.  Then I had a couple years where we had an ice storm kill my seedlings or we flooded or it never rained.  Last year I asked my hustband to make me containers and that was an epic fail.  I belonged to this seed co-op and the only thing that did anything was the organic asparagus.  Asparagus take 3 to 4 years to mature for harvest, I rest my case.

This year I did small controlled planters (saved and replanted the asparagus) and things are going ok.  Very slow machuration and small yeilds.  I was frustrated. 

Last Thursday I putv my kids in the car and drove over to Rainbow Farms in Perry.  I signed up (4 weeks late) for my weekly CSA.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  When you sign up, you commit to purchase fresh local produce for 16 weeks.  You receive a large variety of fruits vegetables and herbs being harvested at that time.  Every week you receive your produce in a reusable shopping bag and you return with it empty for refill every week.  The growing season goes from June 11 thru September 24.

Larry and Tina Klco own and manage the farm.  When you call you speak to them.  When you go in to get your produce, you see them.  I like this small town type of dealings.  I own a local business therefore I believe in buying and supporting local.  Rainbow did not ask me to blog about them or even give me free veggies.  I just made a yummy dinner with some fresh vegetables and needed to shout out.

Visit to check it out for yourselves.  As for my dinner here's a picture.  The receipie will come Friday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Many of my friends are shocked to hear we often put guacamole on our hot dogs.  Soon after they try it, they fall in love.  We put pineapple, jalapenos, onion rings and bacon.  I just asked our 3 year old and she said her favorite topping is ketschup.  Okay, so the idea of gourmet hot dogs are not too foreign, and are really starting to catch on.  At BlaZe we have a gourmet hot dog bar where we pair giant and juicy Nathan's hot dogs with 10 or more of your favorite toppings.  J.R., our 6 year old likes onions and a bunch of that sauce dad makes.  I digress.  All in all know if you start with a great dog and pile tons of your favorite toppings on, may they be traditional or funky, We guarantee a great meal.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hobo Dinner

1/2 pound ground chicken
1/2 c yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c green pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 medium russet potatoes thinly sliced
2 T Butter
1/4 c BBQ sauce
Mix garlic with raw meat.  Make a triple layer of foil.  layer potatoes, meat and veggies.  Place butter of top of the layers and add BBQ sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Wrap tightly and place on the grill or hot coals for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping half way through.
As for our outdoor meals we like to also have a dessert.  Obviously one that comes straight to mind is the s'more.  although delicious and able to to switched up and or tailored, that is a different post.  Keeping with the "Hobo" theme I am going to delight you with the idea of a Hobo pie.  Yes gadget friends there is a maker for these.  As we discussed in a previous post about cast iron, we recommend these to be as well.  Butter one side of two pieces of your favorite bread.  Spread some fruit inside but not too much, various pie fillings are great for this.  Close that puppy up and lock it into some hot coals.  5-8 minuses later you have a steamy, crispy and delicious treat.  Even better dusted with powdered sugar.  The possibilities are endless.  What is your favorite.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Foil Pack Revival

This one is and old camping/Boyscout favorite.  Our kids love eating outside and foil packs are a great opportunity to get them involved.   This can even be done ahead of time in it's entirety and the cooked and a middle of the week routine buster.  if the weather is nice...take advantage.

Hot Mess
1 pound of smoked sausage, fully cooked
1/2 yellow onion in quarters
1/2 each green and red pepper chopped
mix in a bowl
     1 clove of garlic, minced
     1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
     1T packed brown sugar
     1T soy sauce
     2T hot sauce
Enough servings of rice for all packets.

place all ingredients in foil.  Fold up and roll down the middle, then neatly fold up the "ends".  Place your pack on the grill or over hot coals 4-5minutes per side.  Serve over Rice and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Keep Calm and Grill On

As the woman of the home I am in charge of so much.  I utulize time I may have during the day to fix my side for dinner ahead of time.  One idea is being proactive in your menu planning by scheduling a cold pasta salad or to marinade your meat and fresh veggies (seperate bags!) gives you a few minutes to breathe while you grill.  The kids and dog are playing and dinner is 75% done when you start.  Another idea is foil packets.  This amazing trick saves time and clean up and can be green if you eat in the foil and recyle when you are done.  Now that's what I call efficient.  Look here in a few days for the start of some foil packet and other easy recipies to ease you busy day. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Best Ever Guac...No Joke

Continuing with my last post I am now going to share with you the secret of BlaZe’s guacamole.  This is a gift of priceless value.  Many a guacamole hater has turned to the dark side after sampling this recipe.  So, even if you have disliked guacamole in the past we urge you to try this recipe and give the heavenly avocado a second chance.  Speaking of avocados, the most difficult part of this recipe is choosing the correct one.  The recipe calls for Hass avocados, and though there are other varieties Hass is the one most readily available at supermarkets at least in this area.  When first picked and unripe, hass avocados are a bright green and have the density of granite (as well as the flavor). As they ripen, the avocadoes become darker and softer.  The proper avocado should be mostly black and yield somewhat to a gentle squeeze.  If it looks like something left too long on your bbq and collapses when gently squeezed it is overripe and rotten. Now keep in mind when you plan to use the avocado as it will continue to ripen over time.  If your aren’t going to use it for several days go ahead and get a green one and let it sit on you counter, or if you plan on using it in a day or two get a ripe one and keep in the fridge.  You can increase the speed at which your avocado will ripen by placing in a paper bag with an apple.  Now that you have the perfect avocado at your house, what do you do with it?  Well, to get at the creamy goodness we’ll need to remove the leathesque skin, as well as the substantial seed.  Take a chef’s knife and cut into the avocado lengthwise, The knife should easily cut the skin and glide through the flesh of the avocado, but should catch on the large pit in the center.  Once you’ve reached the pit run the knife around it similar to cutting open a peach.  Now gently twist the two halves apart, one of which will have the pit.  To remove the pit hold that half in your hand and tap the butt end of the knife blade into the pit so it sticks and twist the pit out of the second half.  Now for our recipe simply grab a spoon and scoop the flesh out of the skins, but if you need slices or dices just slip a butter knife between the flesh and skin and then cut as needed, or you can also make your cuts in a crosshatch fashion with a butter knife before removing the chunks from the skin with your spoon. Ok, now that we have the hard part down the rest of this is quite easy.
BlaZe’s own Guacamole

3 ripe Hass avocadoes
½  red onion finely diced or minced
3 Roma tomatoes finely diced
1 bunch cilantro washed and finely chopped (as few stems as possible)
Juice of 1 lime
1tsp, kosher salt
¼ tsp. cumin
1 jalapeño seeded, ribs removed, and minced

Remove skins and pits from avocadoes.  Place avocado and rest of ingredients in large bowl and mash with a potato masher. Cover tightly, pushing plastic wrap into contact with top of guacamole, and place in refrigerator for at least one hour and up to overnight before serving.  Guacamole  will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator, but outside surfaces will oxidize and turn brown.  Though visually unappealing, it will taste just fine.  If it really bothers you or you’re serving the queen simply scrape off outside layer of guacamole and the inside should still be nice and green.