Last week, it was time to clean up our plot at the community garden.  Stephen and the kids came home with a bowl full of green tomatoes.  At first, I had no idea what to do with them.  Someone at church mentioned making green tomato jam.  I started looking at recipes and ended up looking at green tomato bread recipes.  The more I looked at them, the more they looked familiar.  Then, it hit me.  These recipes are zucchini bread with tomatoes instead of zucchini.


I immediately went to 100 Days of Real Food and printed the recipe for zucchini bread.   I just subbed the green tomatoes for zucchini and didn’t use any nuts.  The muffins turned out great, although they aren’t very photogenic.  I love being able to use local wheat flour, eggs, honey and tomatoes in the recipe.  I’ll definitely make them again.  I had chopped the tomatoes and then put them through the food processor.  I had enough for 2 batches, so I froze one.

The wind from hurricane Sandy is really blowing.  Off to charge my phone, just in case.

 Posted by at 9:20 PM

It’s a chilly, rainy night here.  According to the forecasters, we are in for a wet week since hurricane Sandy is 500 miles across and north east Ohio is in that zone.  Stephen went out to run an errand, and I thought it was the perfect time to try this recipe.

I adapted it from Heavenly Homemakers.


Hot Butternut Squash Custard Drink

3 cups Snowville Creamery whole milk
4 egg yolks, preferably from local eggs
1/3 cup real maple syrup, local
1 cup pureed roasted butternut squash
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
generous 1/2 teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon double strength vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, squash, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture begins to thicken.

Remove from heat and add  vanilla. Whisk until combined. Pour into mugs and serve warm.  Serves 4.

We have turned into milk snobs.  We love Snowville Creamery milk.  It’s just good.  I’m sure you could make this with any milk you’d like.  You’ll want whole milk (or a mix of other milk and cream).  I planned ahead and made pancakes with egg whites yesterday.  I saved the yolks for this recipe.  That was a good plan.  Alternatively, I would use the egg whites left over in French toast or a yolkless omelet the next day.  I buy a gallon of local maple syrup each season.  I supplement with more if needed depending on our usage that year.

A week or two ago, I roasted 9 butternut squash in the oven and froze the puree in 2 cup portions.  I used 1 cup in the pancakes yesterday and saved the rest for this recipe.  We did have a few spots in the finished drink where the squash wasn’t 100% smooth.  I’d probably figure out a way to double check it next time.  I’m thinking that I could blend it in the Vitamix or food processor a little longer to ensure smoothness.  I’m sure the pumpkin version is tasty as well, but we happen to have lots of butternut squash on hand.

I bought arrowroot powder at Penzeys a while back, so I had it on hand.  Cornstarch should work as well, but I didn’t try it with that.

We grate our nutmeg as needed, so I always approximate the measurement on the high side.  We generally like the dishes that we make with extra cinnamon, vanilla (hence the double strength) and generous nutmeg.

I liked that it wasn’t heavy and was sweet without being “sickening sweet”.  It was a nice treat.  I wouldn’t make it everyday, mostly because of the “whisking constantly” step, which took a while.  Stephen and I enjoyed a couch date this evening as we enjoyed the drinks..  We resisted the second serving and put some in the fridge.  I’ll be anxious to see how it reheats tomorrow.


Continuing with greens week.  One of the items that we received this week was Napa cabbage.  It looks more like romaine lettuce than cabbage.  One of my friends had suggested using it in stir fry.


My husband likes Asian flavors, including sesame oil.  I do not care for many Asian spices (especially sesame oil).  So, this dish was going to be for him and probably Nick.

I cleaned and chopped the Napa cabbage and put it aside in a bowl.

I put some sesame oil in a pan and heated it for a bit with a chopped garlic clove.  I added 1/2 cup water and some broccoli crowns.  I cooked it for a few minutes and then I added the cabbage along with some chopped mushrooms and leftover (cooked chicken) that we had in the fridge.

As the dish was cooking, I thought about spices and added some powdered orange peel.  I thought it would go well with the garlic and sesame oil.

I also realized that I had a package of Ramen noodles in the cupboard.  I discarded the flavor packet, crushed the dry noodles and stirred them in.

In just a few minutes, the dish was done.  Unfortunately, I didn’t snap a photo.  The reviews from Stephen and Nick were great.

Greens day two is complete.  Napa cabbage works well in improvised stir fry.

 Posted by at 9:51 PM

It’s greens week in our house.  In our CSA pick up on Friday, we received collards, lettuce, mixed greens, Napa cabbage and mustard greens.

I don’t like to waste anything from our CSA, and I like to find recipes for all of our items that our family enjoys.  Occasionally, we get a few new or unfamiliar things at once.  Last week’s pick up was one of those weeks.


These are mustard greens.  I’m sure that we’ve received them before, but I had no recollection of using them.  My friend suggested using them in quiche.  Since quiche is easy for me to make, that seemed like a good suggestion.

I cleaned the greens and removed the larger stems.  I chopped them and boiled them for about 3 minutes to soften them up.  Then, I put them in the bottom of an already prepared pie crust.  I had a weak moment at Whole Foods and bought a few already made whole wheat crusts.  They are not as good as homemade, but made for a few quick and easy dinners.

I added some left over cooked chopped chicken and cauliflower along with the egg/milk mixture (5 eggs, 1 1/2 cups whole milk) to the crust.  After baking for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, I added 4 oz. of smoked cheddar to the top.  I continued baking for about 20 more minutes until set.

It was fabulous and everyone liked it.  I’ll be open to other ideas for using mustard greens, but this one is a keeper.

 Posted by at 1:01 PM

Yesterday, I roasted 9 winter squash.  Most of them were butternut squash.  I had received a few in recent CSA pick ups and was also gifted a couple.  I decided to make puree out of most of them.  We love to have it on hand for muffins and pancakes throughout the year.

After all of the roasting, I had two squash left and decided to make soup.


  • 2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • salt, pepper, thyme to taste
  • cream to taste

I love using my crock pot for soup.  I added all of the vegetables and broth and cooked it until tender.  I cooked it a few hours yesterday, left it on warm overnight and then heated on low most of today.  (It didn’t need that long, but it was a timing issue and I didn’t have room in the fridge for a crockpot full of hot soup overnight).   Then, I used an imersion blender to make it smooth.  I tested for spice and stirred in a 1/2 cup or so of cream.

I served it with French baguette.  It was so simple and delicious.  We have a few bowls to use as leftovers for lunch and I put a few in the freezer.

With both kids having swim lessons on Thursday, I need to make crockpot dinner a habit.


 Posted by at 10:27 PM

I’ve wanted to make vanilla for a long time.  Recently, I read a post about it and decided that it was a good time to order some beans and start some for holiday gifts.

Stephen volunteered to slice the vanilla beans open.


They were put into a 1/2 gallon canning jar.  Vodka was added.


We make 2 jars worth and it’s sitting in our canned cupboard.


We’re supposed to give it a shake every once in a while.  Hopefully at the end of the year, we’ll have great vanilla to use as gifts.


Hello Life Lyn Style readers!  My name is Kelly and I am the lucky locavore girl who had the pleasure of picking up Lyn’s Geauga Family Farms CSA share today while she is on vacation.  This is me-


Being a goof on my own recent vaca

I don’t currently have a blog of my own, but maybe someday soon you’ll see me sharing stories of parenting, running, and my adventures in local eating.

I know Lyn because she is a fellow Fresh Fork Market CSA customer/part-time employee.  We’ve worked the Spring Fabulous Food show together, noshed on the best local breakfast in CLE at Lucky’s Cafe, and had an interesting time attempting the pain-in-the-butt delicate art of pierogi making.

I’ve heard wonderful things about the GFF CSA, but so far my only experience with it has been right here on Lyn’s little slice o’ internet.  The pick up at Whole Foods was super easy and at first glance the produce looked terrific.  Picking up my FF share always feels a bit like Christmas but this time I had no clue what was going to be in the bag!  So fun:)  Here is the surprise I received-

Doesn't it look amazing?!?!

Swiss Chard, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Onions, Pickling Cukes, 1 Slicing Cuke, Leaf Lettuce, 1 Yellow Squash, Sugar Snap Peas, Cherry Tomatoes, and 1 Slicing Tomato

Everything seems to be extremely fresh and it all looks so tasty.  Lyn usually shares her well thought out plans for the produce in her bags, but I am a bit of a slacker, and honestly most of this stuff is going to be eaten raw in salads and as snacks.  The main exception will be the Swiss Chard.  I’m going to take a recipe from my fav book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle , along with local carrots and eggs from my Fresh Fork bag, and turn them into Eggs in a Nest.

Bag Highlights (In my humble opinion)-


These have no chance of becoming pickles! My little bean and I have already demolished the bag:)


More snack food. I love that the cherry tom container is #1 plastic so it can either be reused or recycled in our community.


Give peas a chance. Best. Snack. Ever.

Big thanks go out to Lyn and her family for sharing their bounty with me while they are enjoying some time off in Delaware.  I hope that they have a lovely and relaxing vacation.  Thanks also to the peeps in Geauga County who put together a fantastic bag of Ohio goodness that does not contain Kohlrabi:)

What?!?!  Kohlrabi in next week’s FFM bag?  Freecycle here I come………


 Posted by at 10:14 PM

Tonight’s dinner was pizza with all of the ingredients courtesy of our Fresh Fork CSA.  Many weeks our CSA bags are themed.  Some weeks I just use all of the ingredients in whatever I am cooking that week and other weeks, I use many of the ingredients in one dish.  This was one of those weeks.

For our pizza, I used the following:

  • pizza dough
  • Pope’s sauce (tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper)
    • I love that the sauce doesn’t have any SUGAR!
  • Mayfield Creamery Gouda
  • spinach
  • ramps
    • I’m sad that ramp season is over.  I’m going to chop and freeze my last few.
  • green peppers (from the freezer from last summer)
  • Italian sausage

We actually got smoked Gouda in our bag this week, but I didn’t want to overpower the other flavors, so I used regular Gouda from my fridge.  We have quite the stock of local cheeses at the moment.

I also used my pizza stone for the first time.  It was a bit challenging, but I think I just need more practice.

Here was the final result:


Since the pizza stone needed to heat in the oven for 30 minutes, I had that time to prep the other ingredients.

I browned the Italian sausage.  I washed and chopped the spinach and ramps.  I chopped the peppers a bit finer (they were frozen in bigger pieces than I needed for the pizza).  I drained the sausage on a paper towel and used residual grease to sauté the ramps, spinach and peppers.  Everything had a few minutes to cool before I put the pizza together.

Once the pizza was in the oven, I grated the cheese.

In just over 10 minutes, I took the pizza out of the oven and sprinkled on the cheese.

The end result was total deliciousness.  It was really one of the best pizzas that I’ve ever had.

I’m not sure if it was the sauce, the cheese, the dough, the toppings or the combo.  But, it was great.

Now, I’m off to see if I can get more of that yummy sauce!

 Posted by at 8:24 PM

We enjoy making our own whole wheat tortillas at home.  We like to use the recipe at the 100 Days of Real Food website.  I like this recipe because it uses all whole wheat flour and only has 3 other ingredients (water, salt and oil).  We usually have all of the ingredients for them on hand.

Yesterday, we had decided on fajitas for dinner.  Homemade tortillas were in order.  Stephen ran to the store with Sally and Nick stayed home to help.  We mixed up the dough and left it on the mat to rest.  When it came time to roll the tortillas, Nick wanted to help.  I’ve let him use the rolling pin to “help” me before, but this time was different.  He rolled out all of the tortillas.  I helped him with the first couple and then he just went to it.  I was so excited for him.  It worked out well since I had to cook the tortillas and it was so much easier to have someone rolling out the dough.  The tortilla dough is easy to roll and both the thickness and shape are forgiving.  The only requirement is that they fit into whatever pan you are using to cook them.

Nick is flouring the rolling pin.


He’s so focused!



Here he’s admiring his work.  He didn’t quite grasp the concept of turning the dough to keep it more round.


I’m sure we’ll be making these again soon with my new dough roller!  In addition to fajitas, we enjoy these with honey and bananas, jam and peanut butter, and just plain cheese.  The combinations are endless.


On Saturday, as part of Nick’s birthday, we decided to make marshmallows.  He had been watching Good Eats with Alton Brown on the Food Network this week.  He watched the marshmallow episode 4 times and really wanted to make them.  On Friday, we went off to the store to buy the needed ingredients such as sugar and gelatine.  He loved carrying the recipe around the store and helping gather the ingredients.  I had heard lots of things about making them.  Some people said it was easy, while others said that I should prepare Nick in case they don’t turn out.

Stephen joined in the fun to help make them.  He and Nick worked on measuring the ingredients.


Nick and Sally double checked the recipe.  The recipe is really simple.  In a mixing bowl, gelatine and cold water soaks, while a sugar mixture cooks.  I loved that the mixture needed to cook, but we didn’t need to stir constantly.  We were going for 240 degrees.


After the mixture cooked, we added it to the gelatine mixture.  Then, the mixer needed to beat on high for 13 minutes.  It was loud and the stand mixer definitely got a workout.


We were quite excited to see marshmallow fluff in the making!  The last step was to add the vanilla.  The mixer goes crazy during that step.


Then, we spread it in the pan with the help of oiled gloves and an oiled spatula.  The gloves were GREAT!


Sunday morning, we turned them onto a cutting board and with a little cutting, our individual marshmallows were born.


I don’t see us ever putting the mixture into a piping bag for making marshmallow bunnies, but we’d definitely make this recipe again.  They were so creamy and delicious.

We took them to Nick’s family party on Sunday and served them with our version of Alton Brown’s  homemade hot chocolate.  We did make a couple of changes to his recipe.  We only had 1/2 cup of Dutch Process High Fat Cocoa and used it along with 1/2 cup of Natural High Fat Cocoa.  Both of these were from Penzeys.  We omitted the cayenne pepper, but added a teaspoon of cinnamon.  Our powdered milk was non fat.  We combined all of the ingredients in the food processor to help the mix have an even texture.  It worked great.

This was the best hot cocoa and marshmallows that I’ve ever had.  Nick can’t wait to make them roasting!  I guess we’ll be having a fire this summer.

 Posted by at 7:17 PM