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Turnips and apples pair well together!

Hubby and I recently returned from trips to Vermont and North Carolina and brought back apples we picked ourselves. We’ve been enjoying fresh apples and apple muffins and apple cake. The turnips in this week’s CSA box called out to be used with apples in some way. I’ve been wanting to try a friend’s recipe for Apple Casserole, so I tweaked it and added turnips! It was a good call as evidenced by the scraped dish on today’s potluck dinner table!


turnips, cubed and boiled

5 large red apples, unpeeled

1 tsp. cinnamon

6 T. water

1 tsp. lemon juice

¾ cup sugar

½ cup flour

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup butter

1 cup grated cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prep the turnips: wash, slice in half, and cube. I used my vegetable chopper. Boil them until crisp tender, about 15 minutes, drain, and toss with a tablespoon butter and some cinnamon. I did this step the night before and refrigerated until the next morning.


Cubing turnips for boiling.

Prep the apples: core and chop. Again, I used my vegetable chopper.


Core unpeeled apples.

Place in casserole dish with the chopped turnips. Stir to combine and sprinkle with cinnamon.


cubed turnips and apples

Mix water and lemon juice and pour over apple/turnip mixture.


Lemon water!

Combine sugar, flour, and salt; cut in butter with two knives or pastry cutter.


Cut in butter with flour/sugar/salt mixture.

Stir in about half of the cheddar cheese. Sprinkle this crumb topping over top of apples.


Top with crumb topping.

Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over top.

Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.

You could easily increase the amounts of this recipe. It was a tad sweet in my opinion, but that might have been because the apples were so sweet.  It was a definite hit at today’s potluck dinner. Several expressed surprise at the addition of turnips and asked for the recipe. I brought home an empty casserole dish; that’s the sign of a keeper recipe!



Almost scraped clean!



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sweet, crisp pears!


Last summer a friend gave me lots of pears from her tree. I made canned pears, and pear sauce, and Pear Flip Flop and this bread. It is delicious! The secret to its yumminess is Cardamom. I hadn’t used this spice much until I discovered this recipe. Cardamom, in the ginger family, is the world’s third-most expensive spice by weight, outstripped in market value only by saffron and vanilla. It adds such an interesting flavor! When I found this box of pears in Saturday’s CSA box, I knew Pear Bread would soon be in the oven!


Secret ingredient!


3 cups flour

¼ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cardamom

3 eggs

¾ cup vegetable oil

2 tsp. vanilla

1.5 cups white sugar

2 heaping cups chopped pears

1 cup chopped pecans (opt)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8×4 inch loaf pans. I used parchment paper in bottom as well.

Prep the pears. The original recipe calls for grated pears, but I enjoy finding a piece of soft pear in my bread, so I used my chopper. I covered the pears with a damp paper towel to slow down oxidation while I got other ingredients ready.


Chop or grate the pears.

In large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom (and nuts, if using).

Stir chopped pears into dry ingredients; coating the pears this way will help distribute them throughout the batter.


Coat pears with dry ingredients.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.

Place in preheated oven; position a pie tin filled with cool water under the loaf pan. This will keep the loaf from browning  too quickly before the inside is baked.


A pie tin of water slows down browning of the loaf.

Bake for 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean.

Allow loaves to cool in pans for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.


Pear Bread!

NOTE: I halved this recipe to make one loaf. I used two eggs and reduced oil to 1/3 cup because of the two eggs.

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Here’s a delicious way to use kale! I read this recipe on a blog and knew I’d be making it soon! It did not disappoint.


Kale and Smoky Bacon Quiche


A bunch of green Kale, roughly chopped

Several rashers of good quality, thinly sliced smoked bacon (I used bacon from Rose Creek Farms)

1 medium white onion, diced

1 tbs olive oil

3/4 cup of  Parmesan, grated

5 large eggs

3/4 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup of whipping cream

1 tsp of sea salt

1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

1 sheet of pie dough


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the pie dough. I enjoy making a homemade one, but there are some delicious refrigerated ones in the grocery story.


homemade pie dough!

I did not follow the original instructions to butter the pie tin and coat the inside of the pie shell with olive oil. I chose to forego those calories!

Fry bacon pieces until crisp. I removed bacon to drain and then used the bacon grease (rather than olive oil) to sauté the chopped onion. I used a red onion I had on hand and supplemented with some of the frozen green onions I had put up in the freezer.


Frozen green onions come in handy!

Prep the kale while the onions are cooking. This means wash, de-stem and roughly chop.


KALE: prepped and ready to go!

Once the onions were tender, I added the chopped kale to the skillet and cooked for about 3 minutes or until it had wilted slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.


Kale joins the onions.

Next, sprinkle the bacon across bottom of unbaked pie shell and then spread the sautéed kale.

Now it’s time for the egg mixture. I used eggs from Rose Creek Farms.


Look at those rich yolks!

Beat the eggs and mix in the milk, cream (I used Half & Half) Parmesan, salt and pepper. Blend well and pour into pie shell.


Egg rich mixture covers kale.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven at 450 degrees. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the center of the quiche is almost firm.


This quiche baked up beautifully!

Remove the quiche from the oven and let it stand for about 10 minutes before serving.


Creamy cheese, smoky bacon and kale!


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I love this little salad I threw together today! I just wanted something refreshing and healthy, so I grabbed our CSA cucumbers and onion and got to slicing. I whisked together some rice vinegar, agave, and salt and pepper.  These few ingredients combine to make a perfect summer snack. Better than pickles! (And this is coming from a pregnant woman!)


  • 2 cucumbers
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small thinly sliced onion
  •  Fresh chopped cilantro to taste



Slice the cucumber and onion (i ended up only using half of my onion). Chop your cilantro and combine all three in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the vinegar, agave, and salt and pepper. Pour that mixture over the veggies and stir in together. Let sit in the fridge for a bit before you serve, so the flavors can marry.


Taste and add as much cilantro as you want… Cucumber and cilantro is an amazing pair! Enjoy


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One of my favorite things about the CSA this year has been how absolutely beautiful the food is. You can’t beat fresh, natural food with all of its complex textures and colors both bold and subtle. Below are a few pictures I snapped of pretty foods this summer and fall. It’s been a pretty good year, don’t you think?




DSCN2927 2

DSCN2941 1

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These two simple sweet potato recipes are family friendly, and will help you keep up with your weekly sweet potatoes. Even better, you can make them at the same time! The mashed potatoes make a great side for any fall dinner, and the bread makes a sweet treat the kids will love.You can eat the bread fresh, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months so you can enjoy your fall CSA well into winter.

If you’re only making one recipe, use 2-3 potatoes, but if you’re making both recipes use 4-5 potatoes – about half will go to each recipe. So let’s get started.

Baked Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1. Wash and peel potatoes. Peeling is optional if you don’t mind skins in your mashed potatoes, but its a good idea if you’re making bread (or if you’ve got picky kids).


2. Cut the potatoes into smaller chunks, about 2 inches. Put in a pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3. Drain water and mash the potatoes.

4. Add 2 TBSPs butter, 1/2 tsp salt and stir. You can add a 1/4 cup of milk if you want them creamier.

5. Put mashed potatoes in a casserole dish and dot with butter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until top is browned. Makes a nice crispy outside with warm inside.


Sweet Potato Bread

Prepare the mashed potatoes as in recipe above, ending on step 3 – before adding any ingredients.


  • 2 cups mashed sweet potato
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans (either 8 inch or 9 inch).

Mix the first 5 ingredients with a mixer. Then stir in the remaining dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the loaf pans. Bake for 50 minutes for 8 inch pans, or 1 hour and 15 minutes for 9 inch pans, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

The bread continues to bake a little after you take it out of the oven, so be sure to let it cool completely before slicing. We love to serve it warm with a little butter. Store in the refrigerator for 10 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


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Happy Fall!

I’m looking forward to all the veggies in the fall CSA, trying out some new recipes, and sharing them with you. Community supported agriculture is a great way to get to know where your food comes from while supporting local farmers. But, it also causes you to think about the meals you eat differently. Normally, we think about what we want to eat, and then we go buy the ingredients. But with a CSA it happens the other way around: we’re given ingredients and we have to figure out what to do with them. The benefit is that we’re eating foods that are local and in season, which is both more economical and healthier than commercial produce that is full of preservatives and shipped long distances. Sometimes it can be a challenge to adapt to this new way of getting your groceries. If this is your first CSA, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your CSA box each week.

1. To make the most of the CSA’s value, you should buy less food at the grocery store! If you’re buying the CSA in addition to the groceries you normally buy, you’ll have too much food and spend too much money. Ideally, the CSA box should replace most of the fresh produce you usually buy, and some of the frozen or canned goods as well.

2. Eat the food! This may be an obvious tip, but I wish someone had said it to me. With our first box, we felt like the food was so special we should save it. Then we got the next box, and soon we had too much and things started to go bad. I think we had the right sentiment, but we missed the point. The food is special – so eat it! Now, we keep our foods in crates in the refrigerator instead of bag so we can see the vegetables. This helps us remember what we have and to eat it while its still fresh.

3. Don’t waste food. Try to eat greens and other delicate veggies first, and leave foods with a thicker skin for later in the week. Because the food is local and fresher, many of the vegetables will last for two weeks or even longer. But remember that each box is intended to be a weeks worth of food and you should aim to eat it or preserve it during that time. If your vegetables start to look a little wrinkly, they are beginning to lose moisture, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gone bad. They’re perfect for sautéing or soups because the cooking process will plump them up again. Of course, if you see mold or smell a bad odor, go ahead and throw it in the compost – but the goal is to eat it before that happens.

4. My number one tip is to pay attention to the email each week telling you what will be in the next box. Plan your week’s meals around that list. Meal planning will ensure that you eat the food you get, and that you don’t over-shop or waste your food. Planning ahead also means you’ll waste less time wondering what to cook or if you have the ingredients you need. Of course, meal planning can be fun, too, as you explore new recipes and think about the foods your family is eating.

Bon Appetit!

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