Tag Archives: social-media

It has been delightful

1 Aug

The Farm Table Brussels Sprouts

One of my fondest memories as a child was sitting around a large mixing bowl of strawberries, most of which had been consumed by my family during a visit from multiple great aunts and uncles visiting us in the Northwest all the way from Kansas. We used to say, “Kansas is coming,” and that meant time spent together telling stories (or in my case, listening), and eating good food while planning out the next meal. 

I also recall the satisfaction of eating my Mom’s blackberry cobbler after picking berries from the bushes found just about everywhere you turn in Oregon, or the summery taste of fresh, just picked tomatoes from my grandparents yard and turning them into the perfect tomato sandwich.

Good food has a remarkable way of linking us to memories with loved one’s, good experiences, and giving us a sense of comfort.

My time in Virginia has come to and end, and sadly, so has my time with The Farm Table. I write this post-move, as my husband, children, and I have officially moved back to Oregon for work, and to be near the support of family chomping at the bit to get their hands on their grandchildren/niece/nephews/cousins/you get the idea. 

We will  have fond memories of Virginia — the people, the culture, and THE FOOD! The Farm Table has nourished us, broadened our cooking experiences, and given us the opportunity to connect with a welcoming food community that has fed us in so many ways.

Long Island cheese squash, mushrooms, bibb lettuce, beets, and yes,  Brussels sprouts, will bring up cherished memories of our time in RVA.

Thanks for reading my posts over the last year and a half.  I have had a wonderful time blogging for all of you, and am flattered that you have read my posts, or better yet, decided to Follow The Tractor!

I do hope you will stay tuned as The Farm Table ushers in a new blogger who will offer his or her brand of creativity, good recipes, and food-inspired posts.

Thank you for everything,

Michele

Cajun Grill-less Corn Recipe

15 Jul

Our post this week comes from The Farm Table member, and guest blogger, Laura Miller, who blogs over at Beyond the Cuke. When we asked her to come up with a post for us featuring Farm Table produce, we were flattered to get this post in return. First, she had us at Game of Thrones, and while we don’t expect to be adding “milk of the poppy” to our add-on list anytime soon, we were delighted to hear she thinks so highly of us. Thanks for a great post, and recipe, Laura!

3 Reasons Why The Farm Table is the Best of All of the CSAs

Let me just put it this way–If this was Game of Thrones, House Baratheon, House Lannister, House Stark and House Greyjoy would see no reason to wage war because The Farm Table obviously rules the realm. Here’s why:

1. No vegetable ninjas here. I’ve tried my share of vegetable delivery services and I’ve never come across one with such friendly neighborhood coordinators! In fact, not only did these other services not have Angela, my friendly neighborhood coordinator who chats with me about running and blogging, but they might not have had NCs at all for all I know. After all, I’d just leave a box out and sometime by the end of the day–varying times, meaning that my veggies might sit out for a bit since I wasn’t sure when to expect them–it’d be replaced by another box of veggies.

Okay, okay. I’m sure there are neighborhood coordinators for all CSAs but I’m just going to assume they were vegetable ninjas until you provide evidence that proves otherwise.

2. The “S” in “CSA” could stand for “Social.” It doesn’t, but it could. With everything from farm volunteer days like this one in May to local food tastings like the one that I had the pleasure of attending last night at The Savory Grain, your weekly veggie boxes basically come with berries, potatoes and a new set of like-minded friends.

3. Piles and piles of produce. Here’s a visual:

Beyond the Cuke

So maybe we don’t get corn every week but we get the week’s version of corn. No more eating out of season food that has traveled all of the way from South America or the West Coast. In July, you’re going to eat peaches. In September, you’re going to have some apples. And you’re going to enjoy them because they’re delicious, in-season and local.

Since this week’s corn is, well, corn, here’s something to make with the Farm Table box bounty:

Cajun Grill-less Corn, otherwise known as “Targaryen Corn”

What You’ll Need:

4 medium ears of corn
2 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup vegetable broth

What You’ll Do With It (before eating it, of course):

1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. While the water’s boiling, peel your corn.
2. Add the corn to the water. Return to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. Keep an eye on it–you don’t want mushy corn but you don’t want hard corn either!
3. While boiling the corn, melt your vegan butter substitute in a small saucepan. Stir in the chili powder, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne and stir for 1 minute.
4. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and broth. Once combined, whisk into the butter mixture. Bring to a boil and cook and stir until slightly thickened, which should take about 1-2 minutes.
5. Drain the corn and then get your Van Gogh on and paint the corn with the seasoned butter.
6. Sit back and enjoy compliments from your fam, after enjoying at least two ears yourself, of course.

Veganized recipe from Taste of Home

Laura Miller Beyond the Cuke
Laura Miller blogs about each week’s kitchen triumphs–and kitchen “learning experiences”–featuring The Farm Table produce at Beyond the Cuke. Follow @beyondthecuke on Twitter and Instagram.

Local Meets Local

20 Mar

The Farm Table kicks off the 2013 season with a “one night only” Spring Market at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, tomorrow, March 21st from 4pm-9pm.

We’ll be selling fresh local produce, breads, pastries, honey, and more.

Shop while you enjoy some of Hardywood Park’s fantastic local brews.

Renew your membership, or bring a friend to sign up at a discounted rate.

Be There!

IMG_4903
Follow us on Twitter @TheFarmTable and @Hardywood

The Farm Table Spring Market
4:00-9:00PM
Hardywood Park is located at 2408 Ownby Lane, Richmond VA 23220.

Red Wine-Braised Leeks and Mushrooms

28 Nov

As promised, I tried out one of Terry Hope Romero’s recipes from Vegan Eats World as part of The Farm Table’s cook book review and blog give away. This dish was a wonderful addition to our Thanksgiving meal last week, and topped our mashed potatoes, which we usually don with butter or gravy. What a fancy  and welcome upgrade!

Red Wine-Braised Leeks and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound leeks, preferably thinner leeks no wider than 2 inches in diameter
  • 10 oz cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and tough ends of stems sliced off
  • 3 Tbs of olive oil
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbs non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
  • A few twists of freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Trim away most of the green stalks on the leeks, leaving about an inch near the white part. Slice away the tip of root end, and slice each leek in half lengthwise.  Firmly hold the leek so that it doesn’t fall apart, and rinse under cool running water to remove any grit or dirt. Place leeks on a cutting board and slice each piece into sections about 2 1/2 inches long — hold the pieces together to prevent the leaves from separating too much. If the leeks fall apart while cooking, don’t worry, but for the prettiest presentation try to keep them together.

Slice the mushrooms into quarters. Over medium-high heat, sear the mushrooms in 1 Tbs of olive oil. Fry the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until both sides are browned and mushrooms look juicy  (about 4 minutes). Remove from the pan and transfer to an over-proof dish. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a pinch of sea salt, cover with foil, and put in an oven set at 250 degrees to keep warm.

Heat the remaining olive oil and place the leeks cut side down in the oil. Brown the leeks for 2 to 3 minutes, carefully lifting them up to check and see if the undersides are seared and the edges of the leaves are browned. Pour the wine, sprinkle with marjoram and salt, and tuck the thyme sprigs into the wine. Increase the heat and bring the wine to an active simmer and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

If serving on top of white bean puree, potatoes, or pasta, mound the individual servings (about 1 cup) of hot puree in serving dishes. Divide the mushrooms on top of the servings of puree. Uncover the pan and using tongs, carefully lift the leeks and arrange on top of mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the juices in the pan to a rapid simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and swirl the margarine into the juices. Use a wire whisk to continuously stir the sauce until smooth and lightly thickened. Drizzle a little bit of the sauce over each serving of leeks and mushrooms and serve immediately.

From the book Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero.  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2012.www.dacapopresscookbooks.com

This dish was easy to make, delicious, and we were able to used left-over wine that was just a tad past its prime — perfect for this recipe. I encourage you to consider making it for your next holiday meal, or even better, add it to your meal plan this week. With Country Fresh Cremini Mushrooms coming in your Farm Table Garden Box this week, there is no reason not to.

I have been very pleased with the recipes I’ve tried from Vegan Eats World and Viva Vegan! over the past few weeks, and would like to thank Terry Hope Romero and Da Capo Press for allowing me to give vegan cuisine a try. I will definitely add recipes from both books to our meal rotation.

If you want to try out vegan cooking yourself, you have until 9:00pm EST tonight (11/28/12) to enter our blog give away. Details are HERE.

Vegan Cuisine meets The Farm Table: A Blog Give Away

18 Nov

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to review Vegan Eats World (2013), and Viva Vegan! (2010) by Terry Hope Romero, a Venezuelan-American, award-winning vegan chef, living in Queens, NYC, who is known for her bestselling cookbooks, including Veganomicon, and her blog Vegan Latina.

When the cookbooks arrived at my doorstep a few weeks ago, I put my boys down for a nap, made a hot cup of tea, and sat down to pour over the recipes, (I’ll take a good cookbook over 50 shades of you know what any day…).

What I appreciate most about both cookbooks is that you don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate vegan food, rather, Terry gives you the tools to treat vegan cooking as any other cuisine, opening the door to so many possibilities. Whether you are looking to get a few meat-free meals on the dinner table during the week, have dairy-challenged members in your family, are a seasoned vegan cook, or are looking to make a lifestyle change, these cookbooks give you the basic vegan cooking know-how to expand your culinary repertoire. Secondly, Terry talks to you, not at you, which makes a cookbook like this accessible to everyone.

Vegan Eats World is a collection of recipes pulling from cooking traditions around the planet, and allows you to experience Italian, Mediterranean, Asian and many other traditions in a new, surprising, and potentially more healthful way. Vegan Eats World is broken down into three sections:

  • Kitchen Cartography: a guide to vegan pantry basics, cooking terminology, and cooking techniques. Terry guides you through the basic ingredients to keep on hand for easy vegan cooking, such as masa harina for Mexican cooking, hoisin sauce for Asian cooking, cous cous for African cooking, and aleppo-pepper flakes for Middle Eastern cooking.
  • Recipes: Terry provides a basic introduction to each recipe, giving the reader a background for each dish, variations you can try out, suggested pairings with other recipes in the book — all of which entice you to try out a dish that might otherwise intimidate. The recipe section includes, among many others: spice blends, proteins, sauces, sandwiches, entrees,  and desserts. Terry even put together easy markers, so you know if a recipe is for the beginner, if it is gluten-free, or if it is easy on the wallet.
  • Menus, Online Resources, etc: Terry crafted together menu suggestions so that the amateur or seasoned vegan cook can easily round out a meal.

Vegan Eats World helps answer the question, “What if the world was vegan?” and would be a wonderful addition to even the world’s biggest “meat-and-potatoes” cookbook library, and is a fabulous option for people with gluten allergies.

Viva Vegan! reads like a novel, and I am especially drawn to it given my affinity for Latin food. The format to Viva Vegan! is very similar to Vegan Eats World, only with a guide to creating a “Vegan Latin Pantry,” and recipes focusing solely on Latin cooking (not just Mexican cooking). The cookbook offers essential “Latino Vegan” recipes like Annatto-Infused Oil or a Basic Onion-Pepper Sofrito, to Salsas, Empanadas, Ensaladas, and mouth-watering concoctions that combine what Terry calls, “Los Dos Amigos,” also known as beans and rice.

Terry has an entire section on making vegan tamales, which includes shopping for ingredients, preparing corn husks, and prepping your work station, so that this laborious food option becomes a little less intimidating. Want to make Black Bean-Sweet Potato Tamales with Farm Table produce? Terry will walk you through it. 

Viva Vegan! is also a great option for people who would like to eat Latin food, but fear that it is too spicy. Guess what? Not all Latin food is spicy, and Terry includes these non-spicy options for those who can’t stand the heat. 

There are not a lot of photos in this cookbook, so if that is something that is important to you, know that before purchasing. My two cents? The introduction she gives to each recipe, and the way she walks you through each ingredient and how to create each dish makes the amount of photos the book contains unnecessary. 

Many thanks to Terry Hope Romero and her publishers for allowing us to present these two cookbooks to you, and to offer you the opportunity to own Vegan Eats World and Viva Vegan! in our blog give away. We are also pleased to be able to share one recipe from each book, which I will test out and post here in the coming weeks! Stay Tuned!

The outcome of my first Vegan recipe from Vegan Eats World using Shiitake Mushrooms from the The Farm Table’s Garden Box  “Takeout Stir-Fry Noodles with Mushrooms and Greens.”

To enter our Blog Give Away:

  • Farm Table members get 1 entry for simply being a Farm Table member. Just comment on this post telling us you are a current Farm Table member, and which book you would prefer if you won the give away.
  • Sign up for this blog  to the right under “Follow The Tractor” to receive email updates on future posts, then comment letting us know you’ve done so. If you already follow us, just let us know in your comment.
  • “Like” us on Facebook and then comment under this post letting us know you’ve done so.
  • Follow us on Twitter @TheFarmTable, and then comment under this post letting us know.
  • Follow us on Pinterest, and then comment under this post letting us know.
  • “Like” this post and then comment below letting us know you’ve done so.

Blog Give Away Details: Each comment counts as one entry and you have up to 6 chances to enter if you are Farm Table member, and 5 chances to enter if you are a non-member. We will choose two winners at random. One winner will receive Vegan Eats World, and a separate winner will receive Viva Vegan! Entries must be submitted by 9:00pm EST, Wednesday, November 28, 2012. The give away is open to The Farm Table blog readers in the US and Canada only. 

The give away is closed.

Congratulations to Kathleen Bowden who will be sent Viva Vegan! and Jessica Clarke who will be sent Vegan Eats World. Look for your copies in the mail!

Get To Know: Your Farm Table Neighborhood Coordinators, Part II

16 Aug

We have really enjoyed introducing you to The Farm Table team, and have more to share about the people who deliver your Garden, Chef, and Breakfast Box to you each week in our newest Get To Know series installment. Many of the Neighborhood Coordinators we will introduce you to in this post found The Farm Table through a Living Social promotion, and quickly decided to join The Farm Table team. We are running a Living Social promotion now through Sunday, so please pass the word along. You never know where it will take you!

Christine with her dog, Maggie in Sedona, AZ

This is Christine Berg’s first season as a Neighborhood Coordinator with The Farm Table, after relocating back to Richmond from San Francisco, CA. While living in the Bay Area for 7 years, she discovered the importance of organic farming and eating local food. She delivers to the Chesterfield/Chester area, and has so far really enjoyed working with The Farm Table and the members in her area.

Christine enjoys trying different recipes – mixing it up, and being conscientious about eating seasonally.  Her favorite fruits and veggies are cherries, any type of berry, cucumbers, butter lettuce, beets, and spinach.  She also enjoys making and eating fermented foods – kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt.

When not delivering food for The Farm Table, Christine serves as  a full-time registered nurse, but outside of work she enjoys cooking from scratch, spending time with friends and family, being outdoors – hiking, cycling, reading.  This season, she and her husband planted their own garden and look forward to simply walking outside to the back yard to get food!

Kathy Frazier joined The Farm Table through a Living Social promotion last year.  She was so pleased with not only The Farm Table products and services for their members, but also how The Farm Table supported local farmers and communities.  When the opportunity arose this year, Kathy chose to join the team as a neighborhood coordinator and couldn’t be more thrilled.  Her delivery areas are in Chesterfield including South Brandermill/Hull St. Rd./FoxCroft/Hampton Park neighborhoods. She looks forward to making connections with members and getting a first peek in those lovely produce boxes every week!

Although not originally from Richmond, Kathy calls Richmond “home” having lived in the metro area for the last 25 years.  During her childhood, she had the opportunity to see much of the country living in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin, and finally settling in Virginia.  She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and worked for 10 years at NewMarket Corporation in Information Technology, focused on web development.   Kathy has two elementary aged children and a wonderful husband who keep her very busy when she’s not delivering Farm Table boxes.

The Farm Table membership plugs right into one of Kathy’s favorite past-times; cooking and experimenting with whole foods.  A great find for her was the kale chip recipe published in the weekly newsletter.  Kale chips were a huge hit with her kids and a staple snack in the Frazier household meal plan.  Kathy also enjoys antiquing, gardening, being involved with her children’s activities and is a strong supporter of the arts.  After a long day, she can be found out on the patio, enjoying the company of friends and family, listening to some good music, and enjoying a nice glass of wine.

Patty Carpenter and her husband of 30 years moved to Richmond 20 years ago from Seattle, Washington. They have
three children, ages 24, 18, and 14 and a Welsh terrier named Tucker.

Besides delivering fresh, local produce every Thursday, Patty stays busy working as a massage therapist, volunteering at her children’s
schools, helping with the Richmond Soap Box Derby Foundation, and enjoys cooking, reading, attending the kids’ various events and
performances, and doing just about anything outside.

Patty found The Farm Table through the Living Social promotion this year and loved the idea of supporting local farmers. With her family’s busy schedule, she often misses the Farmer’s Markets, and so having fresh-from-the-farm produce delivered to her door sounded like a fantastic idea! Patty was so impressed with the Farm Table folks she met, that she became a neighborhood coordinator right away. She has really enjoyed trying new recipes with the delicious veggies and meeting the like-minded folks she gets to deliver to each week in Glen Allen.

 Susan Medina says, “Life is interesting, and quite contradictory. I’m afraid of heights, but married to a man from La Paz, Bolivia (in the Andes Mountain chain, 13,000 feet up).  We visit often.  I love the Spanish language, speak fluently, but still struggle to raise my three children bilingually.  I am anti-electronics but am a blogging mom.  I believe children should play outside more, but will come running back inside myself when a bee buzzes by. I live in the country, but crave the variety of city life.  My favorite food is watermelon and least favorite is lima beans.”

This is Susan’s second year as a Neighborhood Coordinator for The Farm Table, a job that has helped her slow down life’s hectic pace and teach her kids the importance of eating whole foods, eating locally, and that eating vegetables is delicious! 

Lou with her husband Steve who accompanies her on her weekly Farm Table route

This is Lou Stafford’s first year with the Farm Table after contemplating for years joining a food cooperative.  When she saw the Living Social promotion for the Farm Table, she thought she would give it a try.

Lou loves to cook and to experiment with new recipes, many of which she finds from her extensive collection of cookbooks.  She loves most kinds of food — the exception is okra! Lou grew up in Roanoke, went to William and Mary and moved to the Richmond area afterward.   She retired from the Virginia Lottery 10 years ago.

Lou loves going to the Y, especially the step aerobics, Zumba, Pilates and yoga classes.  She recently joined a group of women who coil baskets and decorative items from long pine needles.  She also enjoys knitting, and growing vegetables in containers and raised beds (square foot gardening).

Lou is the proud Mom of 2 sons — one is an occupational therapist in Richmond, the other in the Navy in Naples, Italy. In addition to delivering The Farm Table produce to the Ashland area, she is currently studying Italian — planning on a trip to visit her son!

 

 (For those of you checking, blog winners from our last post will be announced this weekend)

Summer Squash Tart and a Delivery Box Giveaway and Discount

1 Aug

The Giveaway is over, but please read on for a fabulous recipe from Tim Vidra!

We were so pleased when Tim Vidra, The Farm Table’s Twitter and Pinterest guru, agreed to do a guest post for us on our blog.

Many of you know him already as the author of the E.A.T. blog, where he shares many of his food inspirations, and advocates using simple, and local ingredients. We think that if you are invited to his house for dinner, you are one lucky person.

This might be the next best thing to an invitation:

In our house I do most of the cooking, and for this guest post I am going to have to give credit where credit is due — my better half came across a variation of this seasonal tart recipe in one of her Real Simple magazines a few years back. Now for me, Real Simple is not a magazine I frequent and it certainly wouldn’t be the first source for recipes I’d lean on — well here I am a couple of years later continuing to make this easy, tasty, and very eye appealing tart that I know you will also enjoy.

We most recently had all but a few of the main ingredients required for this tart recipe come in our farm table Chef’s Box delivery — squash, zucchini, leeks, and even dill. So with that, you can create this in a few real simple steps!

Ingredients:

  • Summer squashes (yellow squash, zucchini, anything you like)
  • 1 small potato (red, purple, yellow — again, anything you like)
  • 1 leek
  • A few sprigs of fresh dill — to desired taste, about 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • 4 ounces of Feta Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste
  • Pie crust (store-bought works well)


Preparation:
Heat oven to 375 degrees and thinly slice squashes, potato and leek — we use a mandoline on the vegetables to get a super thin and uniform slice (though a sharp knife and steady hand will get the job done).


Heat oil in a skillet and cook squashes, leeks with salt and pepper to taste until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in potatoes, chopped dill and feta and toss to coat everything nicely letting the cheese melt slightly.


Roll out pie crust onto parchment lined baking sheet and spoon squash mixture into the middle, spreading out evenly to about 1 inch away from the edges.


Gently fold over pie crust sides, one corner over the other all the way around last flap folds over to complete tart edging with open vegetables in the middle.

Transfer over onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until crust bubbles and lightly browns.


Remove from oven and either serve immediately while hot or let rest and cool for a more room temperature dish.

I’d love to hear how you’ve been preparing the vegetables delivered in your own boxes and hope you’re using all of the available free resources of information we have for you here at The Farm Table from the blog, twitterfacebook, and pinterest accounts.

The Farm Table is offering a blog give-away to one person in our delivery area: 1 free box of produce and 50% off membership if you are not a member already (membership would be $25 instead of $50). 

To enter, simply follow The Farm Table Blog by entering your information under “Follow The Tractor” to the right, and leave a comment telling me you have done so. You must include your zip code in your comment so we can confirm your delivery area.

Each of the following will earn you an additional entry (you must include your zip code in all entries):

  • “Like” The Farm Table on Facebook , and or follow The Farm Table on Twitter — then leave 2 separate comments on this post for each letting us know you’ve done so.
  • Share this post by clicking the Facebook Like button at the top of the post and leave a new comment on this post letting us know you’ve done so.
  • Tweet about the giveaway including the following: “@The Farm Table and @TimVidraEats is giving away 1 free box of food + 1/2 off membership” with anything else you’d like to include – then leave a new comment on this post letting us know you’ve done so.
  •  Follow or visit our Pinterest account and then leave us two separate comments telling us you are following and tell us which board is your favorite.
  • Follow Tim’s blog E.A.T. and comment here letting us know you have done so.

And the fun is just beginning! You have many more chances to win our blog giveaway. Simply visit Tim Vidra’s blog,  E.A.T., and enter to win there. You must include your zip code in all entries. One winner will be chosen from each blog. (The Giveaway is Closed)

Congratulations to Tiffany Coffman, the winner of The Farm Table’s blog giveaway. We hope you enjoy half off membership and your first delivery box of produce on us! Please check your Email or Facebook messages for further instructions on how to redeem your winnings!

Virginia based food writer, Tim Vidra, authors the blog E.A.T. where he advocates the principles behind supporting a sustainable food system. Tim’s mission is in sharing his passion for the preparation and enjoyment of food in a way that everyone from beginners to long time foodies can get involved in. Tim’s recipes and advice have been featured across food publications, he writes a regular guest column for Lot18 and he’s led series’ of cooking demos and classes throughout the Richmond area. Learn more about Tim via E.A.T. and follow him on twitter @TimVidraEats.

Get to Know: The Farm Table Blogger and a Giveaway!

13 Jun

As part of our Get to Know series, we would like to introduce you to our Farm Table Blogger, Michele Schwartz:

I am originally from the Pacific Northwest (a proud Oregonian and OSU alumnus), and made my way to Richmond nearly two years ago after spending 6 years in the Sonoran Desert, where my husband completed his graduate work at the UA in Tucson before taking his current position at VCU. I spent 10 years serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and 6 of those years at The Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault before taking on my new role as a stay-at-home Mom for our 4-year-old daughter, and 18-month-old son; we are eager to greet our newest family member, another son, this September. I have been blogging for 4 years, and joined The Farm Table at the beginning of this season.

I became a Farm Table member last year when a neighbor encouraged me to sign up. I was pleased with the variety of food that came each week, enjoyed the exposure to new produce, and the challenge of trying out seasonal recipes which have sparked my creativity, and improved the way we eat in our home. My husband is an avid gardener, so between what we receive in our box each week, and what he harvests from our garden, we enjoy the bounty it brings and our ability to share it with others. While I am not too keen on the actual gardening part of food production, (I like the idea of it, just not the actual humidity and mosquitos one must endure while putting in the work), I really enjoy cooking what comes out of the garden. 

We encourage our daughter to participate in the preparation of our food, and although as a 4-yea-old she insists she “doesn’t like” most of the food we pass around the table (regardless of whether or not she’s ever tried it!), we know that the exposure to whole foods, and family participation in preparing it will pay off in a big way someday. This is what we’ve enjoyed most about being members of The Farm Table.

Among many other favorite dishes, we enjoy our weekly homemade pizza night, Escabeche (my husband’s signature dish — a recipe we’ll share with you in the future), and our go-to recipe, Red Beans and Rice. In leaner times, when we were just “getting started,” this side was a staple in our home. We typically pair it with some kind of grilled sausage or chicken, a salad, and homemade corn bread. The lemon juice counteracts the chili powder, so don’t be afraid to try this recipe if you have an aversion to spicy food.

I especially like preparing Red Beans and Rice with Santa Cruz Chili Powder from Tumacacori, Arizona, a spice I found during our time living in Tucson. Used in many Mexican dishes, this Chili powder is bright orange in color, and offers a rich flavor to most dishes. A dear friend from the desert sent me a carton recently, along with an extra one to share with one lucky Farm Table member.

To enter to win this giveaway, please follow our blog by entering your email address under the “Follow The Tractor” heading on your right ,and then comment on this post to let me know you are following the blog by 9:00pm (EST) on June 17, 2012. The winner will be announced by June 24th and the Chili Powder will be added to your Farm Table delivered box.

Congratulations to Joi Lenczowski who was randomly chosen to win our blog giveaway. The Santa Cruz Chili Powder will be routed to your Farm Table delivered box. Thanks everyone for participating!

Tumacacori Red Beans & Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup medium or long grain white rice
  • 3 Tbs Chili Powder (I say more!)
  • 1 Tbs chopped Basil
  • 1 Tbs chopped Oregano (or substitute the Basil and Oregano with a few tsp of fresh Cilantro, but not too much as this will overpower the dish)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (1 can)
  • 1 can dark red Kidney Beans, rinsed and placed in a bowl
  • Half of a large lemon, juiced 

 Directions: 

  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium, add onions and saute until translucent.
  • Add garlic and rice, stirring often, careful not to burn the garlic and rice.
  • Add the Chili Powder. I suggest starting with 3 Tbs, but I prefer more – make the rice dirty! Add half of the basil and oregano.
  • Add the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer on medium/medium-low, until the rice has absorbed stock, about 20 minutes. Add water if the stock has cooked off and the rice seems under-cooked. It is important to keep the rice covered the entire time to allow the rice to cook properly, and not to cook it too hot, as this will burn the rice and leave you with a messy skillet.
  • While the rice is cooking, pour the lemon juice, remaining basil, and oregano over the kidney beans, allowing the beans to marinate in the juice.
  • Once the rice is cooked properly, pour the kidney bean mixture evenly over the rice, and cover for a few more minutes, then stir everything together, making sure the bottom of the skillet comes clean. Again, add a touch of water if you need to and cover if the rice is still a tad under-cooked.
  • Feel free to play with the measurement of the herbs and spices to make the dish to your liking. I generally eyeball the measurement, and go back and forth between using fresh and dry herbs. 

Enjoy and thank you for reading!

We look forward to introducing you to our Twitter and Pinterest account manager, along with more highlights of The Farm Table’s Neighborhood Coordinators. Stay tuned!

@TheFarmTable

20 Apr

 Did you know you can follow The Farm Table on twitter?

Follow @TheFarmTable