Thursday, April 29, 2010


Every week we have received spinach with our farm share. We all love spinach and we have been using it in numerous recipes, however, we also all love pesto. Traditionally pesto is made with basil but it can also be made with other greens. The first week of our time share I made Sorrel Pesto and we served it on grilled bread. Today I made Spinach Pesto and served it with pasta.

Another great recipe:
Spinach Pesto Spaghetti with Chicken

4 cups washed, torn spinach leaves, stems removed, well packed, 16 to 24 ounces
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. salt

1 pound cooked spaghetti
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached & shredded

For Pesto: place a few spinach leaves, garlic, pine nuts and a little oil in blender or food processor container. Cover and puree until leaves begin to look crushed. Continue adding spinach leaves a few at a time with small amounts of oil to blender, using a rubber spatula to help combine pureed mixture. Add parmesan cheese and 1/8 tsp salt. Cover and process until spinach pesto mixture is smooth.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain in colander. Combine the spaghetti, shredded chicken and pesto and toss well.

I'm thinking this recipe makes about 6 reasonably sized servings. My serving was a little more than reasonably sized, and Sammy had seconds, and there is still plenty for Michael to drown his sorrows in when he returns from the Blazer Game. To be honest, I have not even looked at the score. Perhaps I am just being pessimistic. Who cares, the pasta was delicious!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Celebration Dinner

Tonight we celebrated Joey's college decision.
Yes, it's true, he finally made his decision. He started with five acceptances.

For about the past week now, he had it narrowed down to two small private liberal arts colleges.
Both colleges are wonderful, well respected, academically challenging institutions of higher learning.
As everyone says, there really was not a bad choice here.

Option #1: Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine
Bowdoin being in the beautiful state of Maine with a crazy exciting outdoor program and a really amazing campus. Awesome freshman dorms, the best college food in the country. A Lobster feed as the welcome dinner. Are you kidding me?

Option #2: Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio
Oberlin being a progressive, liberal minded school having been the first to adopt a policy to admit students of color (1835) and the first to award bachelor's degrees to women in a co-educational program (1841) and with more than 500 concerts a year, a diverse student body, and a phenomenal art collection, not to mention majors in visual arts, comparative American studies AND creative writing... well, it just seemed like a natural fit for Joey. (Did I hear someone mention triple major, Mom it's going to take me 5 years not 4? Noooooo..... ) 

But here it really is in a nut shell.

Life Magazine Photo taken at Bowdoin College:

Life Magazine Photo take at Oberlin College:

Yes, folks, the decision has been made and it's:
(Was there ever a doubt?)

So, I decided to make a three course celebratory dinner using lots of veggies from our farm share (I know, I know... we have 28 weeks of this. Will I ever get tired of talking about it?)

We had poached Salmon with dill from the farm (no picture).

Another great thing about our farm share is every week we get a newsletter with amazingly good recipes included. I tried the Arugula, Sharp Cheddar, Apple, Date & Caramelized Walnut Salad with Vinaigrette and Balsamic reduction drizzle. YUM!!!!

The Arugula actually came out of our own winter garden.

I made a soup using leeks, spinach and kale from the garden.
The recipe also included shiitake mushrooms, cannelini beans and quinoa.
It really is a meal in itself. 

Well, it has been quite an evening.
We are very excited for Joey. Now that this difficult decision has been made, he can focus on all the adventures he will have... in Cleveland, Ohio (just kidding Joey, I know Oberlin is not in Cleveland, not that there is anything wrong with Cleveland ;).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Facebook doesn't like my farm pictures...

I'm not sure what is going on with Facebook, but it will not let me load my farm pictures into an album. Well, it will let me load them, but then I can't view a bunch of them. Some show up on my profile page, but then when I try to access them, they are actually just the dreaded question mark in a blue box. So, I am posting them here because I had so much fun at the farm taking them... I want to document it!

Joey and I got to go out this past Sunday and pick up our weekly share. It was a gorgeous April day and the "little farm of the owl" has so many babies. Lambs and piglets and 16 baby goats. Some of the baby goats were only a couple of days old on Sunday.

The lambs were a little shy and then there is that big male ram or whatever (pictured above facing away from us). We were warned he could get quite aggressive. Lyn, the Mama of the farm even gave Joey a stick to beat him off with if he started chasing us. So, I actually used my zoom and stayed pretty far away from the sheep and lambs, not really in the mood to be chased by anything.

There were three little piglets, awww, just as it should be. But none of them were building houses. Basically they were just watching us from their little chain link pen and longing for someone to fill their trough with water so they could make some mud.

The baby goats were all amazingly adorable. This little guy came out with wrinkled ears. Isn't that cute?

My favorite was the little brown one above that Joey is petting. He was so soft.

At the farm they have lots and lots and lots of chickens and that means lots and lots and lots of farm fresh eggs for us.

This little spotted piglet was so ugly he was cute....

They have three farm dogs

and a bearded billy goat

Lily is pretty mellow, but I don't think she would be this mellow if she was surrounded by goats and sheep and pigs and chickens and lots and lots of compost, manure and just generally a lot of poop.

The barn is amazing.

and so is the old apple orchard.

The farm is just bursting with starts ready to be planted.

above: bean sprouts

below: some of the butter lettuce we got with our share this week.

Above: Purple Mizuna and my guess... golden beets (or a very pretty chard)

Below: feeding time.

More leeks and shallots this week.

Yummy additions: Garlic and Walnuts

Inside the barn: Joey is grabbing our garlic and  I just love the window above looking out to the apple orchard

Below the owners are prepping for some of those starts to go in the ground.

This is going to be lots and lots of fun. We are limiting our own garden this year. Although we planted a winter crop of three kinds of garlic, two kinds of onions, arugula and swiss chard... and we also have an asparagus patch, I think the summer crop will consist of tomatoes and strawberries only and for the fall, carrots, because you can never have enough carrots.

But everything else we could possibly need will come from La Finquita del Buho.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

La Finquita del Buho

We joined a CSA.
Community Supported Agriculture.

This means we share in the joys of farm fresh produce for the next 29 weeks.
Our CSA: "the little farm of the owl" is in Hillsboro, Oregon. Every Sunday we will drive out to the farm and pick up our fresh produce and some days we will help out on the farm and some days we will merely soak in the fresh air, gawk at the chickens and baby goats, and gaze at the beautiful orchard and vegetable gardens. Last Sunday was opening day at the farm. Joey and I missed it. We were back East checking out a potential college. Sammy and Michael got to tour the farm and enjoy fresh brick oven pizza. They also brought home a couple armfuls of fresh produce.

This week's bounty: radishes, leeks, miscellaneous greens including sorrel and spinach and shallots.

Tonight I made a couple of delicious recipes.
First, with the Sorrel, I made a pesto:
1 cup Sorrel (stems & ribs removed), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tablespoons olive oil

I just whizzed (as Jamie Oliver would say) everything together in the blender and it is delicious! And the most beautiful color of green.

I served it on fresh grilled (with a little olive oil) Grand Central Como Bread, but it would be great on pasta or fish.

With the spinach and shallots I made a quiche:
olive oil
4 oz. pancetta
1 large shallot, diced
2 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

one 9" pie crust

Fry the pancetta in a little olive oil, add the diced shallot. Cook for about 3 minutes on medium high. Add the spinach and saute. Turn off heat. Combine eggs, cream and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add pancetta, shallot, and spinach. Mix thoroughly. Pour into pie crust. You can use a pie pan or a quiche pan. Cook for approx. 30 minutes at 375 degrees. I usually pre-bake the pie crust at 400 for about 8-9 minutes as the pie crust usually takes longer than the filling requires.


Now I just need to use the radishes and leeks.
I can't wait to see this weekend's harvest!