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Americans eat an average of three hamburgers a week? Seriously? Can that be true? I understand that fast food is a seemingly easy option for people, but three hamburgers a week? At any rate, watch this to see why I didn’t add “cheap” into my  previous sentence. The industrialized food system does not produce cheap food – the environmental, health, and societal costs are great.

 

Our garden, despite the drought, is really coming into full swing these days. With Maeve’s arrival, we were a little late getting things planted, which is why we’re just now getting tomatoes and cucumbers. Our squashes haven’t done so well. I think because the bees got too hot to pollinate, and I can’t blame them.

I spent a few hours last night pruning the tomatoes in hopes of getting them ready for their last few weeks of big production. Check out this post from last summer for some easy pruning tips. I also came across this post, which I thought explained pruning well. I think I might try her method for staking next year.

During the summer CSA months, we get a dozen farm fresh and delicious eggs every week. We all love eggs, but I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use them, especially when I get bored with the usual ways. I love anything Mexican, so I knew this meal would be a hit at our house. I doubled the recipe for the bean mixture and froze the other half, so that I would have an easy Meatless Monday dinner on-hand.

I modified them a bit to be a bit more like chilaquiles, a dish I was first introduced to on our honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas and still daydream about.

Make these soon!

Mexican Eggs
Adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet pepper, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped (more if you like garlic)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder (I bought this for the first time last year and find that I use it all the time)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes or 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 2 cups pinto beans (or black beans would be delicious too)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups broken tortilla chips (I used the crumbs at the end of a bag)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Avocado, sliced (optional)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I made these in an oven-safe pan, so that I wouldn’t have to dirty multiple dishes. My cast iron pan worked perfectly. Saute the onion and peppers in the oil in a pan over medium heat until the onions are tender. Add the garlic, cumin, chipotle chili pepper, and oregano until you can smell the garlic – about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and summer until the sauce thickens. Create little bowls in the sauce with the back of the spoon, crack the eggs, and nestle them into the little craters. Top with cilantro and cheese and put in the oven until the eggs set – about 5-7 minutes. Then broil for an additional minute to crisp up the cheese.

To serve the Mexican eggs, layer each plate/bowl with the broken tortilla chips, scoop out an egg with its accompanying sauce, and put it on top of the tortilla chips. Garnish with additional cilantro and avocado slices if desired.

I’m not a huge fan of Julia’s cookbooks. They’re a little too much for me mostly. However, I love what she has done for the home cook, beautifully summarized by Julia Moskin, who was named after Julia Child:

…I simply watched my parents make dinner (sometimes beef bourguignon, more often burgers) and absorbed their notion that food was interesting and entertaining, not just fuel.

This didn’t happen in many New York families in the 1970s. Parents who did cook served meals of “wheatloaf” and carob cake; those who didn’t were busy raising their consciousnesses while the children ordered in Chinese food.

Today, the “family dinner” (preferably home cooked, from responsibly sourced ingredients) is widely considered a necessity, and even toddlers have favorite chefs.

It was Child — not single-handedly, but close — who started the public conversation about cooking in America that has shaped our cuisine and culture ever since. Her “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was published in 1961, just as trends including feminism, food technology and fast food seemed ready to wipe out home cooking. But with her energy, intelligence and nearly deranged enthusiasm, Child turned that tide.

I don’t have time tonight to make a “Julia meal” in honor of her birthday, but maybe this weekend we can put together a little something to honor her special day. What’s your favorite Julia Child recipe?

Oh and did you see this?! Keep cooking!

Even though I haven’t posted tons here, we have been loving our CSA box every week, especially with a newborn around. I’ve decided that, minus the extreme heat lately, summer is a great to have a baby because so many meals can just be thrown together by running out to the garden. We haven’t had tons of cucumbers (I’ve been reading that pollinators don’t like this heat, so they stay away…which means all of our garden yields will most likely be slow this year). I created this little sandwich to celebrate the first cuc from our garden because we had a few from the CSA to help bolster the sandwich. Grant says it is his favorite sandwich ever, and we both agreed that if we ever opened a restaurant, this would be a highlight of the summer menu.

BOC (Bacon-Onion-Cucumber) Sandwich
A Sara Original

Ingredients
Small cucumbers (I think the smaller ones, picked earlier, taste sweeter)
Small red onion
Several slices of local bacon
Several slices of bread
A few tablespoons of good butter (local preferably)

Directions

This is pretty obvious, but first prepare the bacon. I like to lay out the slices on a baking sheet and throw them in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes while I do the other stuff. In the meantime, thinly slice the onion and cucumbers. Once the bacon is ready, lightly toast the bread and slather it with butter. Assemble the remaining ingredients on top of the bread and enjoy!

Experiment and add more or different veggies. We made them last week with guacamole instead of butter – wow!

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