Tag Archives: CSA

Summer Reading, Beautiful Art, and Why I’ll Never buy Produce from the Supermarket Again

There are a lot of things that make me happy

Dogs
Rainbows
Sleeping in past noon (hah!)
Waking up to the rain

Blah blah blah

I also love a great mug, a good book (or two, or three…) and fresh produce.

Is it just me, or does coffee (or tea, for all of you that aren’t bound by the crippling clutches of a caffeine addiction) just taste better in a gorgeous piece of pottery?  I used to work up at MacDonald House out in Lawrencetown; at a great little spot called Fancy Lucky Vintage you can find the wonderful shop here and here.  FLV was up on the top floor of this amazing house, and on the main floor is a wonderful art gallery owned by FLV’s mom, she carries some of the most beautiful pieces of pottery (amongst other things) that I have ever seen; my favourite pieces are by Seastar Pottery, you can find them here.  I hope to add to my collection soon, but for the time being I’ll just enjoy the two I have.

Jellyfish mug from Seastar Pottery

Sea Urchin mug from Seastar Pottery

In addition to my coffee addiction that I can’t seem to shake, I have an addiction to cookbooks, and the evil that is Amazon and Chapters. EVIL!  I feel that I pay off my credit card *yay!* only just to rack it up again with book purchases.

Sigh

My latest book buying spree has left me a giddy mess, I picked up ‘Garde Manger’ by my main man Chuck Hughes http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Garde-Manger-Chuck-Hughes/9781443413268-item.html?ikwid=garde+manger&ikwsec=Home

And the amazing ‘The Foodie Handbook. The (almost) Definitive Guide to Gastronomy’ by Pim Techamuanvivit of www.ChezPim.com
http://www.amazon.ca/Foodie-Handbook-Almost-Definitive-Gastronomy/dp/0811868532/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347041204&sr=8-1

Both of these books are slowly changing my life.  I haven’t had the chance to try any recipes yes (damn you show prep!) but, I have tried Pim’s recipe for Pad Thai, ages ago, and it’s true, it really IS the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had. EVER.
If you ever have a chance, head out and grab these two books, you won’t be sorry; I promise.

Excerpt from ‘The Foodie Handbook.’

I eat a lot.  6 times a day, to be precise.  Every meal that I eat has a vegetable portion…EVERY MEAL. So you can understand why I insist that my produce be fresh, organic when I can afford it, and delicious.  Show prep is hard enough, I don’t need crappy, and unnecessarily overpriced food to make it any harder.  I have checked out the farmer’s market out here in Halifax, and it’s nice, but I wasn’t too thrilled with paying almost 7 dollars for a bunch of carrots (WHAT THE F*C*!).  Which is why I was so happy to have discovered that I can eat fresh produce every week through a local CSA produce pack.
When I say that things changed my life, I usually really mean it.  I like to feel that I have gained something while spending my hard earned money, or my time, really, on whatever it is that I’m doing.  The two abovementioned books really are changing my life, my eating life; I love to create with food, and I love to create with food for the people that I care about.  So, that being said, my recent investment in a CSA produce pack is right up where with one of the smartest, healthiest things I’ve done to date.  It has helped me stay on track with my show prep ‘diet’ (I hate that word) and it has allowed me to try out things I normally wouldn’t have purchased at the grocery store; case and point: fresh fennel.  I love that stuff, I can’t get enough of it!  If you’re in Nova Scotia, I highly encourage you to check out Abundant Acres you can find them here and here.  I pay about the same as I did at my local produce place, but the quality of the food far surpasses what I find at the store.  When I say ‘fresh produce’ I mean, picked that morning; not picked last week and driven to the store only to have it rot in my fridge after a day or so.  I’ll be heading over to Jen and Dave’s farm this weekend, so I’ll post about the amazingness that I’m sure to find there.  If you are not in the Nova Scotia area, find out how to benefit from CSA in your area. Seriously, do it.

We ate most of the blueberries on the ride home!

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Long Live Breakfast

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned in previous posts how much I love having breakfast for dinner; actually, I could have a variation of breakfast for every meal of everyday for the rest of my life: think non training breakfast; egg whites and oats don’t really grind my gears as much as bacon pancakes or waffles with nutella.

I had an uncontrollable urge to have a greasy breakfast for breakfast today….although I woke up SUPER late (1:30 pm…oops) and so it turned into a greasy lunchfast , even better! I dragged the Mr. with me to Cora’s and had a giant non paleo plate of heaven, mmmm, I can still taste it *burp*. Gross, just kidding. So, when we got home and started cleaning, my mind automatically went to food (obviously. If you know me you know how often I think of food. All the time, all day long.) There was that urge again. My mind kept screaming “BREAKFAST! BREAKFAST! BRRREAKFASSSTTTTT!!!!” my stomach followed suit, and then my whole body was screaming for breakfast. I did the only thing I could do; give in.

Enter Crepes.

There is a place in BC called Cafe Crepe, and it is so very good. They have other things on their menu besides crepes, but really…why would you go to a place called Cafe Crepe and order a burger?? Anytime I was downtown with my two awesome foodie friends S and N we’d end up there. The first occasion was filled with rain, a K’naan concert in said rain and a lot of beer, crepes and an unfortunate event involving Spanx. Note to everyone, Spanx are evil, avoid them at all costs, especially if you want to breathe…or eat and drink beer for that matter. Annnnyway, another time we went just to hang out and decided to grab a coffee and a crepe while we were downtown I decided to have something ‘simple’ you know, an Spanish coffee and stack of butter and sugar crepes. HOLY SHMOLY.

That was the food memory that came flooding back to me today, I had to whip up a batch. I am lucky enough to have a husband that understands my need for all things food, with the promise of ribs, he went to the store for me to pick up some much needed vitals:

Shrimp and Brie Cheee

My local CSA pack provided the rest; farm fresh eggs, candy-sweet tomatoes and the freshest kale I’ve ever had in my entire life. You can fill the crepe with whatever your heart desires; I just sautéed the shrimp in salt, maple pepper and butter, and, when they were done, pulled them out and sautéed up some tomatoes and kale; added some brie cheese and topped it with the kale, tomatoes and shrimp. Get creative! Roasted red pepper, prosciutto and an over easy egg is also one of our favourites. Nutella, banana and coconut; sugar and butter, PB and Jam…and so on and so fourth. Go wild!

Basic Crepes

1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk as we didn’t have cow’s milk on hand)
½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients and add to dry mix, beat until smooth.

Heat a pan as you would for pancakes. For each crepe pour a ¼ cup of batter onto the hot pan, and immediately rotate the pan until a thin film covers the bottom, cook for about a minute, then flip and cook the other side for the same amount of time. Spread with favourite filling and enjoy!

*Unfortunately*, we ate them so fast this is the only shot I got of the crepes I made today, I have a couple of crepes left so I’ll try to get some better shots tomorrow!