Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stocking Up

I have not been great about stocking up food for the winter--canning, freezing, drying. My garden is providing exactly what I need but not much more. Consequently, I am not left wanting but I am left obsessing. I don't suppose that only dried mint and some frozen berries will get me through the winter. To be fair, I have set aside one of my favorite staples--soup stock.

This glorious staple is so easy to whip up, and freezing requires no thought and no time. I also give myself my own little chuckle when I look at grocery ads, note the soup stocks on sale, and then realize that I have some that cost far less money, very little time, and required no packaging. My two favorites are a Vegetable Corn Stock which is vegetarian and Chicken Stock. I included links to some recipes, but these are never set in stone. The reason I love to make stock is that all I do is toss the corn cobs or chicken bones into a pot of boiling water and add whatever flavorings I have handy. Then, I ignore it and let it simmer away for a long time. After which I cool and freeze it. I keep the chicken stock for 3 months and the corn stock for 9 months.

I'm already dreaming about some wintertime Chicken Noodle Soup with homemade noodles...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good Habits

Each year I'm delighted at the end of the Eat Local Challenge to take note of all that I learned and the new habits I formed. While, with the Challenge concluded, I am free to enjoy certain foods that I missed--oats in quantity, cinnamon, coffee--I keep reverting to the delicious local fare to which I had become accustomed. As I write this, I am chowing down on a cucumber and cheese sandwich courtesy of my garden, the amazing cheesemakers at Gold Creek Farms, and my husband's cheese bread creation that includes a little kick from some hot peppers. Some processed foods and less-than-fresh produce pale in comparison.

I do not plan to blog daily (okay, I'd been doing less than that lately anyway), but I will still regularly share cool meal ideas and great local finds. Keep checking back!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shortening the Supply Chain

One of the fun activities that is part of eating locally is shortening the supply chain. The typical supply chain shows a product traveling from a supplier, to a purchaser, to production, then distribution, and finally to the customer (which always makes me laugh since I'm pretty sure that I purchased the good). I sat down to a pasta dinner a few days ago and realized that in most cases we skipped the internal supply chain all together. The zucchini came from my neighbor's garden, the onions from another volunteer for the Eat Local Challenge, and the tomatoes and herbs came from my garden. (You may also note a huge monetary savings thus far.) I purchased the chicken directly from the farmers on the same day they were harvested. The eggs used in my pasta came from a farm in Provo and the only stop they made was at the Green Building Center which acted as distributor. The flour I purchased directly from a small mill in Logan. I suppose there was no distributor there. Finally, the chevre which topped my delicious meal did go through a distributor, but I'm guessing that the farmer did not sell his goat's milk off to a purchaser as the production is still his operation.

This all amounted to a gourmet-tasting dinner that cost very little and was made of fresher ingredients since not too many folks were involved in handling my food.

While this post is going up a number of days after the fact, here's what I ate that day:
Breakfast - two Eggs Over Medium on Wheat Toast, Black Currant Juice
Lunch - Grilled Cheese with Tomatoes
Dinner - Homemade Pasta with Vegetable Sauce
Snacks - Yogurt with Blackberries, Carrots, Peaches

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Whole Day of Leftovers

I often am confused by folks who just "don't do leftovers." It makes me really curious about how they eat. I enjoyed a fabulous day of ready-to-eat, homemade meals and snacks.
Breakfast Vegetarian Quiche
Lunch Vegetarian Quiche (not a typo, just really tasty and convenient quiche), Black Currant Juice
Dinner Roasted Chicken with Mushroom and Giblet Gravy, Apple Cider
Snacks Carrot Sticks, Apple, Cheese and Crackers, Blueberries and Blackberries in Milk and Honey

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend with a House Guest

While we set some pretty tight parameters for ourselves for the month of the Eat Local Challenge, my husband and I agreed that we would still join friends and family in social situations and would not turn down their culinary suggestions. As a result we have enjoyed a number of non-local restaurant meals during my dad's visit over this past weekend. He had some restaurants in mind that he wanted to visit, and we also had some in mind that we were excited to share with him. I felt positively spoiled this weekend and am now ready to tackle another week of delicious local food.
Here's a breakdown of what was local:
Friday Breakfast - Vegetarian Quiche, Black Currant Juice
Friday Lunch - Picnic at Red Butte! Pasta Salad using Homemade Egg Noodles with Tomatoes, Green Beans, Cucumber, Chevre, Basil, Chives, and Salt; Carrot Sticks; Cheese and Crackers; Crenshaw Melon (and that finally finishes that huge melon that we have been eating for an eternity)
Saturday Breakfast - Dutch Baby Pancake with Honey; Berry Smoothies using Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, and Homemade Yogurt
Sunday Brunch- Whole Wheat French Toast with Stewed Apples
Snacks - Carrot Sticks, Apples, Apple Cider, Cheese and Crackers

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Yesterday was more like it--the kind of day that I always look forward to during the Eat Local Challenge. I enjoyed the ease of leftovers, the wonders of freshly dreamed-up recipes, and extraordinary food. I managed to pick up a couple of food items at Harmon's and finished up this day by making crackers and pasta, so I feel more prepared for the rest of the week.
Here's the day:
Breakfast two Hard-Boiled Eggs, Tomato, Cheddar Cheese
Lunch leftover Pasta and Tomato Sauce
Dinner Roasted Chicken with Giblet and Mushroom Gravy and Corn Fritters on the side, Apple Cider
Dessert Pears cooked in Homemade White Wine with Blueberries, Honey, and Chevre
Snacks Carrot Sticks, Cottage Cheese, Crackers

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hitting the Wall

Some days are more difficult than others. Today, faced with a whole lot to do and a baby who needs to be fed constantly, I struggled. In fact, I hit the drive-thru for lunch. Not local. Well, it's a local business, but I'm afraid that they just aren't too great about serving local food.

I did swing by the Harvest Market and Rico's Locals this afternoon, so I have some more ingredients now. In fact, Rico's is now carrying pasta by Nu Nooz from Roy, Utah. The ingredients state that at least the wheat is from Utah. I haven't talked with the folks from Nu Nooz, but I decided to go ahead and pick some up for dinner. I was not disappointed. Some folks may hesitate at $4.69/bag, but knowing the effort that goes into making pasta and considering the money that one might spend just hitting a drive-thru had me rejoicing. Plus, it tasted great!

The day:
Breakfast - Oats with Raspberries, Milk, and Honey
Lunch - Well, we already discussed that.
Dinner - Nu Nooz Rotini with Pasta Sauce from the Pasta Party
Snacks - Sweet Corn Cake, Carrots, Cheddar Cheese

Back in the swing of things

While I'm definitely feeling the need to do a little food shopping, I still managed to pull together another great day of eating. Today's star was a super-easy dessert. We already had some yogurt made, so we just blended in some Crenshaw Melon and a little honey and put the whole concoction in the freezer. Voila! Frozen Yogurt without a fancy machine.
Breakfast - Two Eggs over Medium on White Bread with a hint of Hot Pepper, covered in Gravy
Lunch - Tomato and Cheddar Sandwich, Milk
Dinner - Sweet Corn Cake covered in Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, Tomato Salad
Snacks - Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, Frozen Melon Yogurt

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trying Out Some Sweet Corn Cakes

This weekend marked some little breaks from local eating. I accompanied my husband on a short conference trip during which I stayed pretty much confined to the resort. This was not a bad situation to be in except for the fact that I was trying to eat locally. I did bring a number of snacks with me--carrot sticks, apples, bread--but I was quite sure after reading all about their various restaurant options that I was going to be hard-pressed to find local meals.

Upon our return I was ready to try out a new local dish. I had been craving those little corn cakes from Chi Chi's (yes, I did grow up with and adored certain chain restaurants before I realized the wonders of fresh, local food) ever since the corn was ready to pick. I searched the internet and found this recipe. It was a far cry from local, but I was determined, so I toyed with some ingredients and measurements and ended up with some gelatinous corn goo that tasted pretty good. I have since altered the recipe a bit more. Below you will find the new version of this recipe that I hope to try soon. If you try it before me, please post your experience and any suggestions.

Sweet Corn Cakes

2 cups milk
1 1/4 cups water
4 ears-worth of corn kernels, plus the corn milk (gathered by scraping the blunt side of a knife down the naked cob)
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup honey
6 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a 2 quart covered microwaveable casserole dish. Whisk well and mix until batter is smooth and uniform. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir well, scrape the bottom of the dish and whisk until all large lumps are gone.

Cover and microwave on high for another 5 minutes. Stir well, scrape the bottom of dish and whisk until all large lumps are gone. Cover and microwave on high for a final 5 minutes. Stir well, scrape the bottom of dish and whisk until all large lumps are gone.

Serve warm using an ice cream scoop or large spoon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Funnel Cake Dreams

Today I went to the Utah State Fair. Of course, one of the first scents to reach my nostrils was that of beloved funnel cakes. Ah, the one fabulous delicacy that I seek out at any festival, and there it was, and I couldn't have it. No, says I! There is always a way. I found a funnel cake recipe that could work with just a few changes. I cut the salt in half, reduced the milk to 3/4 cup, and reduced the honey to 1 tbsp. The batter whipped up quickly and after frying it up in butter, I had something that approximated funnel cake. More importantly, it satiated that craving.
Today's Fare
Breakfast - Cottage Cheese and Crenshaw Melon
Lunch - more of that leftover Roast, Vegetables, and Gravy
Dinner - Hashbrowns covered in leftover Roast, Tomatillo Salsa, Sour Cream, and Gouda with Milk to drink
Snacks - Carrot Sticks, Apples, Funnel Cake

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Boy, am I sleepy.

Sometimes that giving up coffee thing is really difficult. Cleaning my coffee machine and burying it deep in a cabinet behind other stuff has been my savior--except for when I hit that drive-thru that one time. Otherwise, the local life is still grand.
Breakfast - Two Eggs over medium on Buttermilk Wheat Toast and smothered in leftover Gravy. Yes, this is what I had yesterday. It was so delicious, I wanted it again. And Mint Tea with Milk to drink
Lunch - leftover Roast and Vegetables with Gravy, Black Currant Juice
Dinner - Beef Burritos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, Sour Cream, Rockhill Creamery Farmhouse Gouda, and using our leftover Roast
Snacks - Carrot Sticks, Apple, Cottage Cheese, Melon Frozen Yogurt

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Some Kitchen Gadgets Are Wondrous

We received an ice cream maker for our wedding over 11 years ago. That ice cream maker has seen little enough action that on multiple occasions, we have considered getting rid of it. Fortunately, we always pull out the "let's keep it just in case" excuse for hanging on to yet another cabinet space filler. Tonight I am rejoicing that we have kept the ice cream maker in the family!
Breakfast One Egg over-medium on Whole Wheat Toast all smothered in Gravy left over from last night's roast. This was so delicious! And some warm Apple Cider to drink
Lunch Vegetables left over from last night's roast with Feta crumbled on top, Black Currant Juice
Dinner - left over Beef Roast and Vegetables in Gravy
Snacks - Cottage Cheese, Carrot Sticks, Warm Milk with Honey, Melon Frozen Yogurt

Monday, September 6, 2010

An Easy and Delicious Day

Right now I'm snacking on pine nuts that we picked up in Moab last fall. This most definitely has to be a leisurely activity because each one has to be freed from its annoying little shell. I do this partly by using my teeth and partly by prying it open with my fingers--all the while trying not to break the sweet little nut into a bazillion pieces. If anyone is looking for a weight-loss snack, this is it! I'm sure I'm burning more calories than I'm consuming. Boy, are they yummy, though.
The rest of my food day was much easier:
Breakfast - Oatmeal with Apple, Milk, and Honey
Lunch - Cucumber and Cheddar Cheese Sandwich on Buttermilk Wheat Bread, Crenshaw Melon, Black Currant Juice
Dinner - Beef Roast with Potatoes, Onions, Eggplant, Carrots, Edamame, Mushrooms, Garlic, Homemade White Wine, Apple Cider, and Salt all cooked up in the crock pot. This was fantastic, and we have a tons of leftovers!
Snacks - Crenshaw Melon Milk Shake, Cheddar Cheese and Apples, Pine Nuts

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lovin' the Pasta Party Spoils

Ah, holiday weekend....
Breakfast - leftover Frittata, Mint Tea
Lunch - French Toast topped with Stewed Apples, Peaches, and Blackberries and drizzled with Honey, Black Currant Juice
Dinner - Fettuccine with Meat Sauce from the Eat Local Pasta Party, homemade White Wine, Wheat Bread
Snacks - Apples, Toast with Feta

One Week Mark

This has been a delicious week. While sometimes my planning fell behind my food needs, I was always able to pull something together and still eat delicious and healthy food.
Last night we celebrated the one week mark at an eat local potluck. I had various ideas of what I would like to bring, but kept on realizing that I had used up precious ingredients for every single option that came to mind. Butter was the main culprit here. I do this every year. I forget just how much butter we use for frying up vegetables and for use in almost all grain-based goods. I literally had one tablespoon of butter left! The Winder order does not arrive until Monday, and I did not have time to make any. I finally gave up on anything with a crust and whipped up a frittata.
The potluck featured a rollicking variety of local fare. I do believe I stuffed myself silly.
Breakfast - Buttermilk Pancakes topped with Blackberries and homemade Yogurt, Mint Tea with Heavy Cream, Crenshaw Melon
Lunch - leftover Eggplant Lasagna
Potluck Dinner - Apple Cider; Rosemary Bread; Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Chives, and Parsley; Eggplant and Pepper Frittata, Crenshaw Melon; Zucchini and Corn Fritters; Sauteed Vegetables including Squash, Onions...can't remember it all; Peach Ice Cream; and Pear, Oregon Grape, and Black Currant Galette
Snacks Crenshaw Melon

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hosting a Dinner Party

Friday was one of my most delicious days yet! We hosted some friends for a small dinner party. As dinner parties go, most of the day was consumed by preparations even though, in this case, the menu was not super-lavish. Things started simple since I had to hit the Murray Farmers Market--easy, focused food shopping.
Breakfast - Wheat toast with honey, Mint tea
Lunch - Leftover chicken and corn/tomato salsa with sour cream
Appetizer - Bruschetta on Rosemary toast
Dinner - Eggplant Lasagna (check out the recipe here) and Castle Creek's Outlaw Red wine
Dessert - Blackberries and Whipped Cream topped with a drizzle of Honey and a Sprinkling of Lavender
Other Snacks - Crenshaw melon, rosemary bread (I had to taste it before serving it, didn't I?), Warm Milk with Honey and Cream, Peaches and Yogurt

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chicken Dinner!

Today started unremarkably but ended with an amazing dinner that wasn't too hard to put together.
Breakfast - Mint tea and Oatmeal with blackberries, milk, and honey. Nope, there are no local oats. I give myself this allowance about once a week because they are so healthy. Everything in the oats is local.
Lunch - Perhaps I am using the Challenge as an excuse to eat tons of grilled cheese sandwiches. I love them in all variations. This one was straight-up cheddar.
Dinner - roasted chicken with mushroom sauce
Snacks - edamame, tomatoes and cottage cheese, Crenshaw melon, warm milk with honey

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Thought I Was On the Go Yesterday!

What a whiz-bang day!
A lot of today's food was eaten either in the car, on a hike, or while doing many other things. I'm sure that many folks can relate.
Breakfast - Cheesy Egg Sandwich
Lunch - Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Dinner - Leftover Lamb, Tomato, Toast
Snacks - Peach, Cheddar Cheese, Berries, Cottage Cheese, Apple Cider

I really enjoyed pulling out my container of blackberries in a meeting where everyone else was snacking on candy. I think I was the lucky one with my fresh, juicy, refreshing snack!

We picked up a fresh chicken today from the McDowell's. Tomorrow's dinner already has my mouth watering.

A Day of Snatching Food on the Go

Yesterday I ran and ran to and fro. With my baby in tow we ran errands, attended meetings, hit the Downtown Farmers Market, and went to a Bee's game. What a first day to write about what I ate! Knowing that I had promised to tell the public about what I'm eating did have me a little worried. Could I manage to stay completely local with so little time in the kitchen? Did I have food that I could eat on the go?

Well,I did it! Here's the rundown:
Breakfast - Mint Tea, Shepherd's Chevre on homemade wheat toast, a fresh peach (that was so good!)
Lunch - leftover meat sauce made at the pasta party featuring delicious Star G Bar ground beef on toast with butter
Dinner - This was where I got panicky. My meeting ran over, and I still had to shop at the market. To top it off, the Tuesday market is awesome! The farmers and ranchers do want to talk, and I had all kinds of questions answered about Crenshaw melons, the difficult blueberry season, Thursday evenings at Caputo's at the 15's...By the time I was finished, I had no time to make any dinner! Fortunately, my husband daydreamed all day about what to eat for a dinner in the car, so when he came home he whipped up lamb, tomato, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Fabulous!
Snacks - Yogurt, berries, carrot sticks, a nectarine, and cottage cheese