Posts tagged ‘Food’

Recipe: Grilled Beets

Grilled Beets

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June 18, 2009 at 7:14 am 1 comment

CSA Share – Week 2

It was our friend Jen’s turn to pick up this week. Jeromy swung by her house on his way home from work to pickup our portion.

Our goodies this week: bok choy, garlic scapes, a couple varieties of lettuce, beets, arugala, napa cabbage. PYO: snap peas, snow peas, parsley, chives, thyme

When you are splitting 2 shares across 3 families sometimes it is easiest just to take one of something instead of splitting it. For instance, this week we didn’t take any swiss chard but we took a few more beets.

I didn’t have time to take any photos before we started digging in to get everything clean and get dinner on the table. We had giant salads with lettuce, arugula, a little cabbage, some shaved beet and a white balsamic vinegar dressing with the fresh thyme that my husband made. Delicious!! I have never had raw beet before, it was surprisingly sweet.

Tonight we’re grilling. For sides we’re grilling the beets using a recipe from our CSA farm’s site (if it is good I’ll post it) and the garlic scapes. We had garlic scapes for the first time last week and grilled them based on a suggestion from a friend and they were amazing! I am so happy we have them again. From what I have read they are only around for a couple weeks a year. Thursday we’re planning a pork and bok choy stir-fry and Sunday we’re going to attempt to make fish tacos and a nice slaw (with our napa cabbage) for Father’s Day. I’m starting to salivate just thinking about it all!

June 17, 2009 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

CSA Distribution Pickup tips

We pick up our weekly distribution at the farm, so instead of having a box ready to go, we actually select our produce from a series of bins, almost like at a grocery store. There is a board that tells us what we can take (e.g. the first week we could choose 8 out of the 10 items available) and then each bin is labeled with how much of each we should take (e.g. 1 lb of spinach, two heads of lettuce). Each week there will also be some crops that we can pick ourselves. These tips are for that type of pick up and picking your own crops (PYO).

 –          There is a lot

  • Bring a lot of bags, always better to have a couple extra sitting in the car than not enough
  • The quantity and size of the produce will change each week (and year). Our first pick up included a number of large items such as collard greens, green leaf lettuce, swiss chard. I filled (overfilled) 3 reusable grocery bags to the brim before PYO and I expect the amounts to increase over the weeks

–          The veggies will probably be wet

  • The farm gives everything a rinse so items are a bit wet. The day I picked up it had also been raining, so that may have added even more moisture but everything was pretty wet. My bags had soaked through by the time I got home and had to be hung outside to dry.
  • I’d recommend putting a towel down in the car to soak up any water that leaks out on the ride home – just in case. We have plastic mat and it had a few small pools of water.  

–          Managing with a young child

  • I had my daughter in the Ergo on my front and it was a bit of a challenge to select and then put the veggies in the bag, and it got harder as the 3 bags filled. She was a good sport for most of it, even though I kept hitting her with wet leaves. I did eventually have to put her down when I got our lettuce as I just couldn’t manage to get the 4 giant heads of lettuce in the over full bags with her on me. I put her down and everything was much easier. Actually, I also put all the bags down to get the lettuce, everything was that full.
  • If your child can stand/walk I recommend you have them walk with you instead of having them in a carrier, it will be a lot easier.
  • If your child can’t stand yet you might want to bring a stroller or at least use a carrier with your child on your back.

–          PYO tips

  • Bring another bag for PYO – bring a solid bag (i.e. not one made of netting) since you will probably be putting small loose items in it.
  • I used scissors and pint containers from the PYO stand. When I was done I emptied the snap peas into my bag and returned the pint containers and scissors to the stand. If you are able, bringing your own scissors and pint containers would mean you wouldn’t have to go back to the stand to return them (not the returning to it was that big of a deal).
  • PYO can take a while, especially if you have more than one item to pick. You may want to consider breaking it up, in particular if you have a young child with you, since they will get antsy.
  • Luckily, my daughter was pretty good in the fields. I have her a snap pea to munch on and she was content with that and playing with the flowers. Pretty soon though I know she’ll want to eat even more while we’re out there (can’t blame her!) and will probably want to run around more.

–          Attire

  • If you are doing PYO, definitely wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty, in particular if you will be picking up your child. It  might have been a little worse because Sofie’s feet were wet from the grass, but I had lovely shoe marks on my pants from picking her up to move around the farm. But still it wasn’t that bad and you should get a little dirty when on a farm
  • I had Sofie in crocs with socks on (since it was a little chilly), I figured I could just throw the socks in the wash and rinse off the crocs if they got yucky. I’ll probably get a pair of rain boots or something for her to wear to the farm too.

June 17, 2009 at 8:18 am 2 comments

CSA Heaven (Community Supported Agriculture)


LettuceI am in CSA heaven. It is true, there is no other way to describe it. This our first year as CSA shareholders (Waltham Fields Community Farm) and last week was the beginning of our weekly CSA distributions. The whole experience from going to the orientation to going to the farm for our first pickup, to devouring the amazing greens over the week has won me over. And now, in a few short hours, our kitchen will once again be filled with fresh and lush vegetables from our farm.

Typically a CSA share feeds a family of 2 veggie loving adults and 2 children. We opted to split 2 shares among 3 families for our first year. It requires some coordination but it means we don’t have to go to the farm every week since we rotate pickups and we get to see our friends a little more regularly and share tips and recipes, which is a nice by product feeding into the very communal nature of CSAs.

I took my daughter to pick up the 2 shares last Tuesday. It had been raining and was a little chilly for June but none of that hampered the experience. I took home some lessons to make the next trip a little easier and will share those with you in my next post. If you are part of or planning to be part of something similar they may prove useful.

My first impression was that I felt like I was stealing! There was so much! And many items were large, like the heads of lettuce and collard greens. My bags were very quickly filled to the brim. All of the vegetables were out in bins for shareholders to make their selection. We got to pick 8 out of the 10 items available. I had my daughter in an Ergo carrier on my front so my hands would be free to gather up our produce. She was quite patient and tolerant. She only whined a little the many times I wacked her in the head with wet leaves. By the time I got to the lettuce I had to put her and the bags down, I was carrying too much and my bags were too full. After unloading I was able to fit the lettuce into the bags. We then walked to the car before returning to buy some honey (I had left my wallet in the car) and to go over to pick our snap peas and herbs.

Picking snap peas with Sofie was fun. At the tender age of 16 months she was great in the field. She munched on a very small snap pea and inspected the flowers while I picked our 2 pints. When we were over picking herbs she loved playing with a chive blossom. I am so thrilled she gets to share in this wonderful experience with us. The farm is extremely tolerant and welcoming of children. In fact, they have a number of children’s activities, which Sofie will get to enjoy when she is a little older. They also seem to genuinely care deeply about their work and will make the time to answer any question you might have. It simply feels good to be at the farm and to be supporting it. (Though we are the ones making out based on last weeks distribution.)

Here is what we got in our 1st distribution: spinach, garlic scapes, swiss chard, collard greens, bok choy, green leaf lettuce, radishes, tatsoi. PYO: snap peas, thyme, mint, chives

Today will only be our 2nd distribution so I cannot say yet if I will end up being tired of kale or collard greens but so far I have found the entire opportunity amazing. It is such a pure and happy thing. I love it.

June 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

Whole Foods hit the mark with multi-grain sushi rice

If you haven’t been able to tell by now, I’m a big fan of food! But at the same time, I want to lead a healthy life so I strive try to make smarter food selections and admittedly do not always succeed. Healthier choices are not always the tastier choices. My husband is an avid cyclist and often makes leaner food choices than I do even though he is the one who can afford the calories. And that brings me to the point of this blog…


Our local Whole Foods started making sushi rolls with a choice of multi-grain rice. My husband immediately tried some out, after being disappointed with brown rice versions. He gave me one to try and I was hooked. The multi-grain rice is DELICIOUS! And this is coming from someone who loves white rice and loathes brown rice. It adds a certain earthy, nutty, richness much like sesame seeds (which many of these rolls also have on them). I haven’t done any research to find out what exactly is in the concoction of grains or if it is unique to Whole Foods or more main stream but after enjoying some for lunch today I decided I had to write about it so that those of you out there who haven’t tried it know that you should! You are in for a treat…and a healthy one at that.

October 31, 2008 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

Superb Tapas and Wine at Taberna de Haro in Boston

Taberno de Haro

999 Beacon St

Brookline, MA 02446


I am almost reluctant to blog about Taberna de Haro since I still consider it to be a hidden gem. But it is too good to not blog about. If you consider yourself at all a foodie or actually, simply enjoy good food you must experience the food, wine and ambiance there. It is located in Boston (Brookline) on Beacon St in Kenmore Square. It is a small place. Seats 38 people with extra spots on the patio in the warmer months. Its size is part of its charm. It isn’t pretentious or overdone. The atmosphere is intimate and jovial.


We (my husband and I) tend to order our “usuals” with one or two new dishes, not because we don’t like new things but rather the “usuals” are so good we can’t imagine not getting them! However, when we were there a couple weekends ago we were in a mood for new flavors and I am so glad we were. It was one of the best meals we have had there which is saying a lot! I think the experience was enhanced by the sheer fact that our selections were new delicious discoveries that even complemented each other well – the stars aligned. We ordered Mejillones en salsa romescu (Mussels in almond, tomato and garlic sauce), Duck confit with salad on toast, Habas con jamon (Lima beans sautéed with Spanish Ham), Coca de cebolla y aceitunas (Carmalized onion and olive flatbread) and Surtido de quesos (Five cheeses imported from Spain). Everything was new to us save the lima bean dish, which is one of my all time favorites. Some of our other favorites include the sautéed spinach with garlic, pine nuts and golden raisins (which we get without the raisins), the tapas standard of shrimp with garlic and olive oil,  codfish balls (they remind me of growing up in Macau), fried calamari and grilled rib-eye.


The wine list is extensive and very reasonably priced. They decant some wines at the table. If you can splurge on wine a bit ($80), I strongly recommend the Prado Enea Gran Reserva 1998 R(Bodegas Muga, D.O.Ca. Rioja, Haro). We had it with the meal I described earlier and it was really amazing. It complemented our food perfectly. As a testament to their commitment to a quality experience, let me share that one evening after selecting a wine recommended by Chef-owner, Deborah Hansen they informed us that the wine we wanted was a little cool and that they were going to decant it to help it warm up before they served it to us. In the meantime, Deborah offered us some lovely sherry to sip on while we waited. A wonderful treat.


Continuing to feed our appetite for new things that evening, we opted to skip the nice desserts and cheese plates at Taberna de Haro in favor of trying the French bakery 2 doors down. The name of the place escapes me (making a mental note to take better notice of such details in the future) but it is literally a couple doors to the left of Taberno de Haro as you leave the restaurant. The bakery front is small, bright and welcoming. It actually has a feel much like it could have been in St. Helena in Napa Valley. A little modern yet accented with old world pieces. They have 3 tables with a few chairs to sit and enjoy something tasty by their large windows overlooking Beacon St, which is what we did. They serve the expected full range of coffee beverages and an interesting array of sweets ranging from butter cookies with fillings like nutella to lush cakes. We spent a few minutes just looking around before making our selection – a buttery shortbread tart filled with toasted almonds which was remarkable to go with our coffees. I am actually thinking about replacing a homemade dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner this year with that almond yumminess!


We had a lovely evening out but at that point had to get home to relive our babysitter. I hope you get a chance to visit Taberna de Haro, and even the french bakery sometime soon.


If you plan to make the trip there, here are a few helpful tips:

          They do not take reservations but you can call-ahead (even days ahead) to have your name put on a list for a shorter wait once you arrive.

          If you are driving, you’ll have to park on the street. Sometimes you get lucky if your timing is right and you’ll get a spot right away as we did last time. But often you’ll have to circle around to find a spot. So give yourself some extra time in particular on a weekend night or when there is a game at Fenway. If you are taking the T, they are at the St Mary’s stop on the Green line, C train.  


If you go, let me know what you think!



Helpful link:

          Not sure what tapas are? Check out Wikipedia

October 27, 2008 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

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