Winter Stew

Did any of you make it to the Fulton Winter Market on Saturday? I was there from 11-2 and there was a steady stream of people coming through the whole time. We even had to turn away a few people who stopped in after the stands had started to come down. Since it’s the off season, I wasn’t sure what there would be to choose from so I didn’t come prepared to buy much. After about 5 minutes I was regretting that choice. The market seemed larger than last year’s winter market with plenty of canned goods, hearty root veggies, fresh mushrooms, hot food and cold beer. I made a few notes on where I’ll want to return for next month.

WINTER STEW

I did come away with a bag of goodies from Wise Acre, a restaurant that features local food year round.  They had ready made bags of stew mixings which, with another polar vortex coming on strong, sounded perfect. It came with a few carrots, shallots, celery root, cabbage and sprig of rosemary.  I picked up some cubed beef from the Co-op and seared it a dutch oven before removing the meat and adding in the veggies with the exception of the cabbage.  Once the shallots started to brown and get translucent I poured in a few good glugs of red wine to pick up all the good brown bits from the bottom.  I let that reduce a bit before adding in canned tomatoes, beef broth, and meat.  Once it comes up to a boil, I added in my bundle of herbs and let it sit on low for a few hours until it smells too good to ignore.

I’ve never really done much measuring with this recipe.  It’s truly whatever sounds good or what we have on hand at the time.  We’ve done carrots, onion, celery and mushrooms as well as potatoes and peas.  Herbs have ranged from just generous salt and pepper and a bay leaf to the fresh rosemary, sage and thyme from this last weekend.  It’s really easy to make it your own and any combination goes well with a buttery roll.  Hope you enjoy!

Pinterest Recipe of the Month- Herbs Preserved in Olive Oil

So someone knew exactly what my next step with my herbs was.  I saw this project on TheKitchn.com and knew I had to use it as a way to keep fresh herbs for later into fall.  It’s one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that’ moments.  I used thyme and rosemary since they were both in abundance.  They’re also on the suggested list for freezing this way.  Honestly, it took more time to prep the herbs to put into the ice cube trays more than anything else.  It was really easy.

Prep your herbs.  You can just run your fingers down thyme to strip the leaves from the stem.

Rosemary was a bit more work than that, plus it got a rough chop to make it easier to fit into ice cube trays.

Fill a little past half way with your herbs

Add your olive oil

Wait overnight

Pop them loose

And store for later

We also have plenty of mint in our herb garden.  It’s crawling all over like it owns the place.  So, to put a little bit of a twist on this, I added some fresh mint leaves to regular ice cubes.  I gave it a real rough chop (just to make it easy to fit) before filling a few trays and popping it in the freezer.

Test run in a glass of water has been pretty good.  I think it’ll be a nice addition to lemonade, ice tea or a few drinks just a little bit stronger:)

 

Also, here’s a shameless plug for following me on pinterest.  Lots of food plus some more fun stuff:)

Fresh Herbs

To go with all the fresh raspberries, we’ve had  lots of fresh herbs in the kitchen.  We have rosemary, cilantro, thyme, parsley, basil and mint to pick from.  Basil is a little sad but I’m hoping it picks up.  Cilantro is starting to bolt on us (starting to flower and loose flavor) so I might try and plan a few more seeds to get another round in.

So far I’ve used fresh rosemary to marinate chicken breast (I promise, I cooked it, just to hungry to take a photo)

And thyme sprinkled over roasted potatoes.

I’ve got a few other ideas in the works on how to keep using them.  I want to dry some for sure but I also want to try a few other things, I’ll be sure to share them with you as I go.

Any of you have any fresh herbs in the kitchen lately?  How do you like to use them?

So Long April

Hi All,
I hope you’re having a good start to your week!  I have a bit of catching up to do with you.

I went back to the farmer’s market and picked up more asparagus, morel mushrooms, radishes, rosemary and wisconsin cheddar cheese.  It was a good haul and the number of vendors easily doubled from the last time I was there.  I’m going to freeze more of the asparagus and keep some fresh for dinner tomorrow too.  I’m undecided with the rest of the haul.  Do I make another pasta dish with the mushrooms?  Radishes in a salad?  Or dipped in vodka and salt like I had at my photography class?  Do I eat the block of cheese all in one sitting or shred it over tacos or burgers.  Decisions, decisions….

All day Sunday the Hubs and I worked in the yard.  I’m talking 6-7 hours of work.  We planted almost all of the herb garden.  The final piece will be some mint plants and one more  rosemary to finish it out.

The container veggies are also all planted and ready to grow.  2 potatoes, 2 onions, and 2 carrots.  Don’t they look exciting right now?

We also transplanted our teeny, tiny tomato seedlings into some larger pots to get them better established before we put them in the larger garden.  They’re looking pretty spindly, I’m hoping their new homes will encourage them to pick up the pace a bit.

The largest chunk of our day was spent doing a combo of mowing, picking up sticks, picking up dog presents, weeding and re-seeding the lawn.  We’ve got a lot of watering to do over the next few weeks between the different gardens and lawn.  We’ll keep our eyes on things and hopefully we’ll get some herb sprouts soon and some strong tomato plants.

I’ll be back tomorrow to fill you in on what I did with the eggs I bought last week.  Time to start the sprinkler!