Monday, August 19, 2013

What is a CSA?


What is a CSA?

See Our Page - Click Below

Community Supported Agriculture

Friday, August 16, 2013

Eating well on a Budget

Can you believe the typical food budget for a family of four is upwards of $700 a month?  I don't know how many of you can do that but I know I can't.  One of my strategies is my habit of doing a "what's in my refrigerator check".

Lots of times life happens and my menu gets changed.  Imagine that! So I end up with veggies or fruits that need eaten.  Statistics show that of that $700 a month about 30% is thrown away?  I could eat well on that 30%, so I try to keep a close check on what's in the frig or freezer that needs eaten.

Another great hint is to create your own ingredients.  What?  Last night I needed Tahini and you will see in my recipe conversion that I made my own, which is often easy and much less expensive.

So, I needed something for some broccoli and had chicken breast in the freezer last night.

I found a Ina Garten recipe for  Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli.  I knew I needed to:

  1. Reduce the recipe to 2 plus a 8 month old who HATES commercial baby food (and that's another post).
  2. Had to change some ingredients for the babies pallet and needs.
See how I changed the recipe to not only make it Gluten-free but friendly for our family, too!  

Szechuan Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli

Serves 4  
***NOTE*** I made this ahead, placed in refrigerator and put together in 15 minutes at supper time.

2 whole (split) chicken breast - I used a free range organic chicken (see Notes #3)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher or good Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (see Notes #2)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons Gluten Free Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon local honey or coconut sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 ounces gluten free spaghetti (I used Ancient Harvest Quiona)
*we encourage you to buy all your fresh produce from your local farmer*
2 cups broccoli florets (stems see Notes #1)
1 scallion (green onion) sliced diagonally using the white and green parts
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned (can use green but red is sweeter)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Peach Cake

It's a perfect time of the year to enjoy such a nice cake!  Of course, whenever I find a recipe that I think will be lovely I have to adapt it so, sorry Barefoot Contessa, this recipe is now GLUTEN-FREE!

Picture of Fresh Peach Cake Recipe
picture from

Fresh Peach Cake

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 scant cups 'Better Than Wheat' Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon Guar Gum
1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
3/4 cup chopped pecans.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Water Wise Tips

Dear Gardening Friends,
Here’s some tips to help you garden smarter, save water, and reduce your water bill!
  • During dry spells, a heavier soaking 2-3 times a week is more effective than a light daily watering.
  • Hand watering allows you to inspect each plant and quickly spot any concerns.
  • Inspect all hoses for leaks and make sure all connections fit tightly.
  • Improve your soil with lots of organic matter. This slows down the transpiration of water, giving plants longer to take in what they need. Before you plant, mix in extra compost, shredded leaves, compost manure, or peat moss.
  • Install a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation minimizes evaporation loss and easily saves up to 60% of the water used by a sprinkler system. Plan for different beds to be on separate water timing schedules depending on their particular water needs. A soaker hose also applies water slowly and evenly to the root zone, minimizing water loss.
  • Mulch well. Mulch reduces evaporation, helping to retain water and can greatly reduce weeds. For best results, cover your beds with 4-6 inches of organic matter such as compost, bark, shredded leaves or newspaper, grass clippings or straw. Add one more inch of mulch each year.
  • Water early in the morning or late in the evening. This maximizes water penetration and minimizes evaporation.
  • Water beds and lawn infrequently, but slowly and deeply. This encourages roots to grow deeper and is more effective than frequent, shallow watering.
  • Control Weeds. Weeds compete with other plants for water. Conserve on water by weeding diligently.
  • Design for your plants watering needs. Choose plants that are native to your area and drought tolerant. Group plants together with similar watering needs.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn. Turf grass is extremely water and labor intensive. Mow high and often, leaving the clippings. Consider letting your lawn go brown during the warmest season, but still water at least once a month.
  • Prune. Pruning strengthens plants and makes them less water-dependent.
  • Harvest as soon as veggies and fruits are ripe. Discard spent or diseased plants ASAP.
  • Collect Free water. Use a water barrel to capture and store chemical free water for gardening.
  From:  Charley's Greenhouse and Garden []