I have truly enjoyed sharing delectable recipes here on Ice Cream & Wine over the past year. I've been deeply inspired to try new foods, share healthy recipes and of course indulge in sweet treats. Because of the recent changes in my life - hello, California! - I've decided that I have more to share than just recipes. Enter: my new blog!
The Granola Chronicles will still feature simple recipes but will also include my adventures in California, random thoughts on leading a healthy and active life and anything else that crosses my mind. Please know that I'm still finishing the design of the blog - but check out the "About" page to learn about the blog's name. I think it's rather fun!
If you're currently a follower of Ice Cream & Wine, I ask that you continue with me on this new blog journey! Please update your Google Readers, as well as any links that you may have: http://www.thegranolachronicles.com
Now that this planning is coming to fruition, I'll be back to blogging more often, as well as commenting on your blogs. I know I've been MIA lately, but I truly appreciate all your support and comments. Thank you, thank you!!
My husband and I belong to the best CSA program - although it's our first CSA that we've joined, so we have no comparison. But it's great! We get our produce each week from J&P Organics. I've received many questions from friends and family asking how we went about choosing this particular farm. To be honest, they have a partnership of sorts with Stanford, so a drop-off location for the CSA boxes is on campus (I believe that's the extent of their "partnership" - just a location). Convenience sometimes makes the decision for you, doesn't it? However, we truly enjoy our produce and fully support J&P Organics.
Some of our produce from J&P Organics
We receive an email from J&P over the weekend telling us what they're offering for the upcoming week. It's a week-by-week basis - no contract like many other farms require. If we want to order a box for that week, we simply pay online and our produce is ready to be picked up on Tuesday. We do our grocery shopping at 8:00 AM on Sunday mornings (no crowds!), so knowing what fruits and veggies we'll have for that week makes menu planning and grocery shopping a breeze. I plan meals that incorporate the particular vegetables, and we make sure no vegetable goes to waste!
I get rather excited when I find a recipe that includes almost all the various types of vegetables that we have for that week - it's so fun to make a meal using mostly food from our CSA box. Things like curry, stir-fry and soups tend to feature a lot of vegetables, so these types of dishes are made at least once a week.
But at times there are vegetables that aren't so versatile. Sunchokes? Yeah, we had those two weeks in a row back in the fall. Beets? My husband LOVES them, so he was excited. Leeks, also - not a super uncommon vegetable but definitely not a kitchen staple. I see these unique vegetables as a challenge. I'm forced to think outside the box. To search for recipes that I would normally glance over.
Also, it's saving us A LOT of money. We pay $23 each week, and we receive a TON of produce. If we were to put that $23 toward produce from the grocery store, we would only be able to buy half of what we get from J&P. It's such a great deal.
Alright, so it turns out that I was going to share a recipe with you (Chickpea Bajane), but it seems my excitement for our CSA program took over!
Before I start praising Coconut Macaroons, I must first share some information about my shameful past.
I was, by far, the pickiest eater as a child. Onions? Gross. Mushrooms. Yeah, right. Coconut? Don't even make me. I can only laugh at how far my taste buds have come. Most of my willingness to try new food stems from my relationship with my husband. That man will try anything! I've also come to the realization that to completely identify myself as "foodie," I must be willing to try new, interesting flavors and ingredients. While coconut is not a new ingredient by any means, the fact that I LOVE Coconut Macaroons is an interesting change of behavior!
These macaroons can hold their own, but I can only imagine what would happen if they were to be dipped in dark chocolate. Swoon.
*Note you can use either sweetened or unsweetened coconut.
Ingredients: 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 5 1/2 cups flaked or shredded coconut (one normal size package - I forget how many ounces!) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, coconut and salt. Stir in the condensed milk and vanilla extract with a spatula. Use a small cookie scoop to shape coconut into mounds. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Coconut should begin to brown and be toasted.
I could easily apologize to you right now. It's been a while, hasn't it? I should feel terrible that I haven't been supplying you with yummy recipes. Well, life has been so good this past month that I just haven't had the time - and for that, I do not apologize!
You know I've been searching for a job out here in beautiful California. But what you may not know is that I was offered a position with a non-profit organization at the end of November and started working in December! Between that and a little 2-week vacation to Nebraska for the holidays, my life has been a little crazy. I'm just so blessed. I digress.
Today I bring to you my first post of 2011. I know it should be some grand recipe...but it's just muffins. But not any old muffins! Zucchini-Lemon! Make these and you'll have spring on your mind, guaranteed. (P.S. I can't say, hear, read or type the word 'muffin' without thinking of this. And I'm not complaining.)
Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose) 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I used cinnamon) 1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini 3/4 cup skim milk 3 tablespoons oil (I used applesauce) 1 large egg
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. In a separate bowl combine zucchini, milk, oil and egg. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups - lined with baking cups or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately and let cool on wire rack.