Posted by: Ginger | March 19, 2010

And we’re back!

From Mexico that is.  Sometimes you need a recharge and sometimes you just plain need to get out of the country and experience another culture’s food.  We needed and found both.

In the coming weeks we will be posting our version of several different tasty treats (all gluten free) that we enjoyed to the fullest in Mexico.  Empanandas made only with masa, pork in chile verde sauce, tamales and homemade tortillas to sop up the sauce, shrimp tostadas and sopes, little masa saucers filled with pork or beef in a red chile sauce.  But for now, we are catching up on our spinach, broccoli and tomato sauce cravings after two weeks of street food in Mexico, so these photos will have to suffice:

Mexican garnishesCheese emapanada made wtih masa
tortilla making on an open firepork in chile verde, Chacala
finished sopeSalsa

Hungry yet?
i’m out

Posted by: Ginger | January 4, 2010

January 3, 2010 Dinner and a Movie

I haven’t posted in quite a while and have been wondering how to get back in the swing of things.  I glanced down at my menu plan and decided that I would ease back into blogging by posting our menu for the week.    This week’s host is Manda at Asparagus Thin and the theme is dinner and a movie.  I have attempted to add any fitting movies as I go along.  Mostly they are related to the cuisine we are cooking that eve, at least regionally close or a comedy about a key ingredient.  They are linked from our Netflix account, so hopefully it works so that you can click on the link and see more about the movie.

I switched jobs the first week of November and now have less time to cook in the evenings, so am working on making our weeknight meals less complex and/or prepping items a night ahead.  It is super cold here in Michigan, resulting in a lot of cold weather, hearty foods this week, that and we keep our house at 63F, so it’s cold anyway.

Saturday: Jaeger Schnitzel with parsley buttered noodles, mushroom sauce and broccoli with lemon and red pepper flakes (East/West)

Sunday: Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc fried chicken (brined with lemon, garlic and thyme) and greens from the freezer cooked with one of our smoked hocks.  Using one of my brothers organic free range chickens.  Breaking down chickens is really not my favorite thing to do, but I am relying on this dish to make the effort worthwhile! Greens, pork and chicken all local. (Food, Inc.)

Monday: Chalupas/gorditas (masa boats) topped with chorizo and cheese, sides of chile de arbol tomato salsa and tomatillo salsa from Antojitos (a book on Mexican cooking)  and Rick Bayless’s Every day Mexican; maybe empanada de platanos if I didn’t over roast my plantains, they seem pretty dry.  Pintos too, into the crock pot they go on Sunday night. Pintos are from MI and the chorizo. (The Milagro Beanfield War)

Tuesday: Swiss style fondue and a big green salad with a lemon olive oil dressing.  We will be dipping toasted GF bread and potatoes (so more of a raclette really) and maybe I can sneak some carrots or zucchini in as dippers.  It is fricken cold here in Michigan, time to break out the fondue pot. Potatoes are from the farm, but that’s it for this meal.  Fondue from Trader Joes. (no movie but the winter Olympics will do here, it’s always cold there and this is a great apres ski meal)

Wednesday:  Inside out stuffed poblano peppers. I love stuffed peppers, but Eby doesn’t like peppers unless they are chopped up small, so inside out is the compromise.  Rice, local grass fed ground beef,  our canned tomatoes, garlic from the farm, poblano peppers, Michigan onions, cilantro and cheese.  Comfort food baby! (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes )

Thursday: Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking by Paula Wolfert:  slow cooked pork with sage, mustard and tomatoes.  Will be using our pork, our sage and our tomatoes, mustard, not local.  This will be converted to a crock pot dish, prepped on Wed eve, into the crock on Thursday morning. (Julie & Julia)

Friday: Cabernet braised short ribs with gorgonzola polenta and herb gremolata.  I find I have zero motivation to cook on Friday nights after working all week (I have to use my brain a lot more these days) so this will be ready when I get home thanks again to the crockpot. (Volver , I couldn’t find an Italian movie with the humor I wanted, so you get a Spanish one).

Pretty much the majority of our proteins (chicken, pork, beef, eggs and dry beans) are all local, even our tofu is local on occasion.  I see that fish is missing from the menu this week, we will fix that next week.  Some of the fish we buy is from MI, perch, blue gill, whitefish, salmon in season but other than that we don’t have a choice if we want some variety.  We are lucky enough to have a freshwater shrimp farm about 1/2 hour away and they are reasonably priced.  What this all means is, I am working on redefining and refocusing my blog to capture more of the locavore-ness of our lives.  I am gluten free and everything we cook is gluten free and I even gave up eating spelt a year ago.  I am really bad at posting recipes (but am happy to tell you how I made something, I just never measure), so I won’t say I will post more recipes, but I will give you great food ideas, great photos of food (new camera), garden and nature and the occasional recipe.  Our getaways are typically food oriented, so you will get a bit of that here and there as we try to focus on what is local where ever we are.

it feels good to be back

i’m out

Posted by: Ginger | October 16, 2009

The Michigan Sustainable Stoup Competition!

Just outside your window

Michigan Sustainable Stoup Competition

The Michigan Sustainable Stoup Competition!

Come join us for a taste of Michigan and support locally raised foods and Michigan wine, cider and beers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009
1 pm to 5 pm
Red Salamander
902 E Saginaw Hwy
Grand Ledge, MI 48837
517-324-4421

Are you ready to come and sample?

Your ticket includes as many stews and soups as you would like to taste, a souvenir tasting glass and 4 beverage tasting tickets. Additional beverage tasting tickets will be available for purchase at the event.

Tickets may be purchased online here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/71894

Tickets are $25 online and will be $30 at the door. For more information about the event visit us online http://www.michiganenvirothon.org.

This is the latest opportunity in Michigan to highlight locally grown and sustainably raised food! Michigan Envirothon will be hosting the Inaugural Michigan Sustainable Stoup Competition on Sunday, October 25th, 2009 in Grand Ledge Michigan.

This is a statewide cooking contest open to individuals and restaurants in Michigan with a focus on local, sustainably raised foods and it’s for a good cause: a fundraiser for the Michigan Envirothon Program.

Envirothon is a non profit statewide environmental competition that gives high school students outdoor, hands on experience with nature, agriculture and the ecology that surrounds it. These are the young adults who will be the next scientists, foresters, wildlife biologists and farmers. For more information on Envirothon and to learn how you can get involved locally visit: http://www.michiganenvirothon.org.

Stoup can be a soup or a stew, or even chili, as long as it is cooked in a pot with locally raised food, it can be entered!

What could be better than Sustainable Stoup? A Sustainable Stoup Competition along with a Michigan wine, hard cider and beer tasting! We will have samples from Michigan wineries and breweries and even a few hard cider makers along for the event to give everyone attending the full circle Michigan experience. The goal of this event is to promote sustainable agriculture, farmers markets, backyard or community gardening and Michigan beverages. It will be a tantalizing, tasty competition for the best stoup in Michigan.

Winners will be selected by a panel of guest judges. Attendees will vote for the People’s Choice award. Winners will be featured on the Select Michigan and the Michigan Envirothon website and be announced via a press release.
A $500 cash prize will go to the Best Stoup in Michigan winner and we have prizes for each category, including the People’s Choice Award.
Artwork from Michigan artist Linda Sprout Broughton will be available for purchase at the event. Her pieces are featured in the picture above.

i’m out ….. see you there!

Posted by: Ginger | August 23, 2009

Sunflowers, bees and chickens

Just a photo to let you all know I am still alive.  Just too busy to post lately.  Canning garden veggies, traveling, chicken momma and kitty momma is all keeping us on the go.

sunflowers and bees

Castro says hi:

castro says hi up close and personal

from the new coop:
truffle and her chicken girls

i’m out

Posted by: Ginger | July 6, 2009

Menu of the Week July 6th: Garlic!

Where does the time go?  How did I have more time in winter than now to blog when the only thing that has changed is the amount of daylight (and a growing garden).  The garden is care free now, at least until  the weeds are about a foot tall, then I might pull them.  We did some heavy paper and mulching in the garden bed, so the weeds have been holding back pretty nicely.  Just have to water and wait, wait and wait for harvest.  It was a cool spring and has been a cool summer with the exception of one week.  I love it cooler, but the growing stuff in my yard doesn’t.

Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is hosting this week’s gluten free menu swap and the ingredient is garlic.  She is already harvesting a multitude of produce from her garden, including garlic.  All we have are herbs, greens (which I haven’t harvested as the CSA is keeping me well stocked in greens) and broc rabe, which went to seed in a day, maybe two, so we didn’t get to eat it, but I am saving the seeds.  Every dish I have listed below has garlic in it, and some like the marsala dosa have garlic scapes too.  We did get some fresh baby garlic from our CSA last week which has been really nice to use.  Strawberries are finally in season here in mid Michigan and I eat them as is, rarely altering them from their normal state.  I love strawberries.  I have some from my cousin’s farm in the fridge right now.

Monday: Southern Indian night with marsala dosa’s (spicy potatoes in a rice/lentil sourdough crepe) and a Kori Ajadina that Eby is whipping up as I type.
dosa

Tuesday:  Grilled stuffed flank steak pinwheels from Cook’s Illustrated.  Sides will be derived from the CSA, maybe salad, maybe greens, depends on what I end up with as we can choose from a variety pack.

Wednesday: lunch – packing a sandwich with an Against the Grain Gourmet bagel (so delish!).
my GF bagelwich with MI strawberries

Dinner: Spanish style tortilla with our eggs, potatoes, chorizo, herbs and scallions, green salad on the side, all based on another Cook’s Illustrated recipe this week.

Thursday: Chinese Stir fried Chicken and shrimp (shrimp for me, chicken for Eby) with snow peas and grilled bok choy (snow peas and boy choy are on the CSA list this week)

Friday: Avgolemono Soup with dill (using our eggs), grilled Greek seasoned halibut or cod (whatever the store has that is wild and fresh), chopped Greek salad and rice pilaf with mint.

Sat or Sunday: Pork chops grilled with grilled chile rellenos and ancho sauce from this month’s Bon Appetit.  The pork and potatoes are local.  Chiles, we have 2 months to go before they are ripe.

i’m out

Posted by: Ginger | June 22, 2009

What's on the menu this week?

Last week our CSA started.  We are splitting one share three ways.  I wanted to try a CSA out to see what it is like and get a little more variety of vegetables than I typically grow.  We have a huge garden, but most of that is produce that I can or freeze for winter, tomatoes, hot peppers, broccoli, leeks.  The broccoli rabe bolted in a day and is not coming back.  I need a warmer climate variety that can take 30 degree swings in a day more easily.

Our CSA kindly sends out an email on Sunday letting us know what we might expect on Tuesday.   It looks like this week we will have lettuce, spinach, bok choy, pea greens, greens greens and garlic scapes.  At least those are the items I am choosing.  I am passing on kohlrabi as I just can’t seem to love it.

Our new chicken coop arrives sometime this week!  Will post pics once it arrives and is in place.

Esther of the Lilac Kitchen is hosting this week’s menu swap and the ingredient this week is black currants, which are not yet in season here, but hard to find, but if I do, I will use them somehow.

What we are eating this week:

Sunday:  grilled ribs from our pig, grilled asparagus, brussel sprouts with lemon and parm and tomato cucumber salad

Monday:  On the road but back in time for a late quickie supper: pierogies  – Contes GF brand for me to try and a locally made brand for Eby to try.  Maybe a grilled sausage on the side.  Will be trying this recipe for the pierogie sauce as I love tomatoes and dill.

Tuesday: From Robert Landolphi’s new book Gluten Free Everyday: Hazelnut Encrusted Salmon with cilantro lime creme and a spinach salad with pea greens.  I am really interested in his dusting and encrusting techniques and will be blogging about my findings.  Will be making a batch of his Parmesan Popover bites too as we have plenty of eggs right now.

Wednesday:  Family and a friend in town staying at Hotel EbyHagen.  New guest policy: strip the sheets when you leave unless you are back in a week.  Not sure if folks are in town for dinner or arriving after dinner, so I am leaving this eve un-obligated.   If no one is here for dinner, we will do burgers on the grill, salad greens from the CSA.

Thursday: Thai Pad Thai with tofu and pork and a bok choy stir fry with garlic scapes.

Friday:  Heading to Bellaire for a wedding on the edge of Torch Lake.  Staying at a friend’s cottage.  We will pack for cooking up there and for pontooning.

i’m out

Posted by: Ginger | June 8, 2009

Dinner's on!

Back into the swing of cooking I go this week.  The last three or four weeks have been a whirlwind of night meetings and weekends away.  It happens every once in a while, but it throws off the cooking mojo.  To bring the mojo back we have a nice spicy week ahead.  Next week is the first week of our first CSA.  Once that begins, my menu planning will start the day after CSA pickup day (which is a Tuesday) so that I can incorporate whatever goodies end up in our box.

This week’s menu swap hostess is Sea from Book of Yum and the topic is Pizza, something just about everyone loves!

Sunday:  Peanut barrel for a bunless burger and a side of fries

Monday:  Korean Kalbi grilled, wonton soup, broccoli stir fry and fried rice, or maybe I will make broccoli fried rice.

IMG_9631

Tuesday: Ethiopian – injera is fermenting on the counter now, doro wat with one of my brothers organic free range chickens, pintos Ethiopian style and a side of yellow peas and potatoes spiced up to fit the party too.

Ethiopian: collards, beans and beef over Gluten free injera

Wednesday: Pizza – we have a couple of GF crusts to compare and plenty of fresh mozz, maybe we will do calzones if we are feeling snazzy

Thursday: Pasta toss with grilled asparagus, shaved Parmesan, grilled red onion, grilled chicken breasts and fresh herbs.

grilled asparagus and chicken pasta

Friday:  heading North to the farm for a fun weekend along with the Leland Wine and Food Festival.

i’m out

Posted by: Ginger | May 12, 2009

Chickens and Gardens

Our big news:
what are you looking at

Chickens! A friend of a friend needed a home for his chickens and we volunteered.  The chickens arrived two weeks ago and seem to be settling in well. We are now chicken parents. I was afraid of the day, but now that it is here, no fear. They make the greatest cooing noises and seem pretty happy. They even give us 2 eggs every morning, from day one here at Ranch EbyHagen.

Right now their names are Chavez and Castro even though they are girls. I figured good socialist names were in order with the whole a chicken in every yard/pot theory and since they are our Urban Revolution Chickens, they should have revolutionary names. Future chickens names may revert to Greta and Maude or something completely different. However, these are the first city chickens and they need names that fit with the moment. These gorgeous photos were taken by our friend Kate. You can tell which ones I took down further. Makes the case for a good camera and the knowledge to use it!

castro has her eye on you

chavez in shadows

I have been playing in the garden, planting my cold season starts and filling up the herb bed with cold tolerant herbs, tilling up the back 40 (ok, it is only about 24’x30′). The tomatoes and peppers are still hardening off and must wait another week to go in the ground. Raised beds will be filled with peppers and the 70 tomato plants will simply have to fit in the 24×30 plot.  Pole beans will be planted to grow up the side of the wooden fence and the berry bushes will be moved to the front yard, hopefully.   Next up, finishing our storage shed and building a luxury coop that holds a few more chickens with a lot more space. The chickens are eating our veggie scraps that would have gone in the compost and are quite happy with lots of green snacks every day.

castro

eggs

chickens and truffle

We will give you some garden photos next week!

i’m out

Posted by: Ginger | May 4, 2009

Menu of the week May 4th

What’s cooking at the urban farm this week:

Sunday:  Grilled mock porchetta, grilled asparagus (picked that morning), cheesy dill potatoes, smoked purple cabbage slaw

Porchetta

Monday: Shells stuffed with Parmesan, ricotta, spinach and turkey sausage with homemade marinara and mozzarella

Tuesday: Kung Pao with Tofu and  purple cabbage with sambal oelek

Wednesday: Smoked pork and potato soup with marjoram (I smoked the ham hocks myself on Sunday) and chives, lemon kissed sauteed asparagus.

Thursday: Indian shrimp curry using paneer for Eby instead of shrimp, dal and dosa’s.

Friday: Homemade pork tamales with red chile and a cucumber salad and off to Crunchy’s or Reno’s for the birthday man.

pork tamales with red chile and cheese

Saturday:  Some sort of eggplant dish, perhaps Moussaka with grass fed beef or Maqluba or Imam Bayildi

Happy eating!

i’m out

Posted by: Ginger | April 27, 2009

Menu of the Week April 26th

Spring is finally here, I mean really here and I think this time it is staying.  It seems like we are still a couple of weeks behind, but I think maybe we just always think that.  My first tulips bloomed today.  I don’t know how they are yellow as I am not a fan of yellow and wouldn’t have purchased yellow bulbs, but they are definitely yellow like butter cream.  I lean toward the very pink and purple when it comes to tulips.  These were on sale at the end of fall last year.  Lesson learned.  To prove Spring is finally in MI, here is a pic of a morel I found this week in my driveway:

morels 09

I guess I should have looked for a 2009 penny or how will you know it was taken last week?

This week’s host for the menu swap is Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness and she is seeking hosts if any of you are interested.  The ingredient this week is carob, which I don’t have any of on hand, so I will sit this ingredient out unless I run to the health food store.  We have decided to go back to planning our menu as much as possible for all 7 days so we don’t end up without a plan on the weekends and end up with spaghetti again.

Menu:
Sunday: Paella with three types of chorizo, saffron, smoked paprika, tomatoes, chicken, peas and piquillo peppers from Spain.

Monday: Grilled wild sea bass, horseradish dill creme fraiche potato salad and broccoli rabe

Tuesday: Vietnamese Banh Xeo with shrimp, (our) pork and bean sprouts, a side of do cha (diakon radish and carrot pickle) and North Vietnamese style fried spring rolls

Wednesday: Grilled flank steak with Chimichurri sauce (similar to Italian salsa verde) and grilled asparagus

Thursday: Pakistani Kunna: pork braised in a yogurt sauce from Madher Jaffery’s book, along with a fresh chickpea curry with curry leaves

Friday: Black and blue grass fed burgers on the grill (Gorgonzola cheese and plenty of my homemade blackening seasoning which I will post soon – back to the rub of the month time!), fresh cut Michigan fries and a green salad (our greens hopefully, but not likely)

Saturday: Mexican tortilla soup using my brother’s organic chicken as the base and one of the last jars of canned tomatoes from the pantry. My avocado is already ripening. Maybe my cilantro will be harvestable by next Saturday….

i’m out

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