Monday, January 26, 2009

Crispy Tuscan Kale

I attempted to make roasted kale for a third time today and I am most pleased with these results. I used the small, thin kale with relatively flat leaves, also known as Tuscan Kale. I found in the recipe in February's Bon Appetit magazine. The recipe and a picture are also available online at

I cut out the long center stem and then just tossed the halves with some olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I think the baking temperature was the key difference than the earlier roasted kale I had made. This recipe suggested roasting the kale at 250 for 30 - 33 minutes. I like the crispiness achieved at this temp/time much better and will definitely use this recipe again. It made a nice substitute for potato chips with the reuben sandwich I made for lunch today.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the CSA box today

Purple cauliflower! It's lovely. It seems a little strange to eat cauliflower so purple, but I am excited about it nonetheless. Equally exciting are the nice, young scallions. Also in our box:

5 tomatoes (I think greenhouse tomatoes. I know they are from a different farm)
1 stalk brussel sprouts
3 grapefruit
3 oranges
1 purple cauliflower
2 bunches scallions
1 cabbage
1 small bunch of kale
3 small turnips
1 large bunch of collards
3 kohlrabi
1 bunch baby bok choy

The menu for the coming week could be a little interesting. We are moving to a new house next Wednesday and at the very least, the cabinets won't quite be finished. That translates to living out of boxes in the kitchen for a few days. I don't have grand aspirations for the coming week. I hope to cook as much as possible between now and Monday, when I intend on packing up our kitchen. The plan is to use the leafy greens first and save the foods that I know will last longer, like root vegetables and cabbage. We also aren't getting a CSA box next week, because I figured this one would last us two weeks. I apologize in advance for spotty blogging. Don't look for much in the line of new blogs though at all next week (unless you want a run down of microwavable grocery store food and take out in the area I moved to). Hopefully by the first of February things will be regular again.

Here's a feeble attempt at a menu:
Thursday: Fettuccine with Greens (and Sausage) with sliced tomatoes and olive oil
Friday: Leftover Chicken Mole with a side of roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts
Sunday: Eggs Foo Yung (with some Baby Bok Choy and scallions thrown in) with sliced tomatoes

Cabbage for Reuben sandwiches (easy lunches)
Tuscan roasted kale (for snacks. There isn't really enough kale to cook with so the recipe in this month's Bon Appetit magazine looked perfect for what I had).
Grapefruit for breakfasts
Oranges for snacks (and one reserved possibly for another batch of cinnamon rolls, we'll see how tomorrow goes)
Waffles with frozen strawberries (picked at Sweet Berry Farms last spring) Sunday morning for breakfast
A batch of granola for quick, easy breakfasts or lunches with yogurt

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beef Stew

I apologize for having no picture of this. I had thought I had already posted this recipe so I didn't take any pictures. We are moving in a week and I have been trying to clean out the freezer, at least a little bit, so I don't have as much to move. Tonight, I attacked our dwindling beef stash (which we need to restock with another quarter cow in April) and opened up the last package of boneless stew meat.

I was surprised with how tender the stew meat was. It cooked for a total of about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Everyone enjoyed the meal. M didn't pick anything out and had two bowls. There is just enough left for either Curtis and I to have a bowl for lunch tomorrow.

Beef Stew
1/2 c flour
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 - 2 pounds boneless stew meat, cut into 1" pieces
2 T olive oil
1/2 onion chopped
2 bay leaves
2 c water
1 celery stalk, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 medium potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 - 2 c green beans
1 -2 T Worcestershire sauce

Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir meat in flour. Heat olive oil in a medium soup pot and fry meat until brown on all sides, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add onion, bay leaves, water, celery, and lemon juice. Heat to boiling. Cover and simmer 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Add remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling again and simmer 30 minutes more until vegetables and beef are tender.

At any point during cooking, add more water if stew seems to thick or dry.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Easy Chicken Mole aka Gringo Mole

Based on how easy this recipe is, I am guessing it's not very authentic. That doesn't stop Curtis and I from loving it. I had a little bit of a hard time with the chicken I used. I pulled three previously cooked chicken breasts from the freezer and after the initial cooking (which was to thaw and season them so I could shred it), found they were tough and dry, like typical overcooked chicken. I followed the protocol for what to do when I was stuck while cooking. I used a lifeline and phoned a friend, or to be more exact, my mom. My mom wasn't sure, so I continued my way up the advice chain--first my grandma and then my aunt until I found some help. My aunt was right. Adding the chicken to the mole while it reduced helped tenderize the chicken and the dry problem was taken care of.

Which brings me to a key in a becoming a better cook. In order to become better, you need to know cooks better than you. It's very helpful to be able to call up someone when you get stuck and know that they will be able to help you. Cookbooks and internet can only take you so far, sometimes it helps to know an expert to ask advice.

Enough said, here's the recipe. J ate this ok. M didn't like it (and I didn't expect her to). Curtis and I love it. We ate ours with a side of corn and on tortillas. (I normally would serve this with rice, but I am having a hard time keeping my pantry stocked for some reason and we had no rice).

Chicken Mole
1 T olive oil
1 c onion thinly sliced
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/2 t cinnamon
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and torn into 1/2" pieces
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 c raisins
3 T sliced almonds, toasted
3 (1/2" x 2") orange rind strips
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken
1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Heat oil in heavy dutch oven or stock pot over medium high heat. Add onion. Cook 5 minutes or until almost tender Combine cumin, coriander, and cinnamon in a small bowl; sprinkle over onion in pan. Cook for one minute, stirring very frequently. Add chiles and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes or until chiles soften. Add broth, tomatoes, raisins, almonds, and orange rind strips to pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan, shred with 2 forks, and set aside. Add chocolate to chile mixture; let stand until chocolate melts. Puree the chocolate mixture until smooth. Cook over medium heat 20 minutes or until reduced to 3 1/2 cups. Add shredded chicken to sauce, stir in salt and pepper and serve. (If chicken seems tough, add to sauce while it is reducing).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is classic colcannon (Irish dish of cabbage and potatoes) dish with some extra ingredients. I threw in some bacon which the original recipe didn't have (it was from a vegetarian cookbook). The dish was a hit. M had seconds and Curtis and I really enjoyed it. J was being almost 2 and wanted to eat cookies for supper instead, so he basically just didn't eat supper (because he sure wasn't getting cookies!). This is a good way to use some cabbage and never even notice it (only problem is it doesn't use much). This recipe will serve 3 - 4 adults.

3 potatoes (1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into chunks
2 strips of bacon
1 1/2 c chopped cabbage
1 leek, washed and chopped
1 1/2 c coarsely chopped broccoli
3 T butter
a pinch of mace
salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 c milk
3/4 c grated cheddar cheese

Boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water for 15 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, steam or blanch the cabbage, leeks, and broccoli. Cook the bacon, drain, and crumble into small pieces. Melt 1 T butter and stir in the mace. Mix the seasoned butter and salt and pepper to taste into the steamed vegetables. Drain the potatoes and mash with 1 more T butter. Stir in the seasoned vegetables and bacon and mix evenly. Spread in an oiled 9 x 9" baking pan. If desire, melt the remaining 1 T of butter and drizzle it over the potato mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake at a preheated 450 degrees oven for 15 minutes or place under the broiler for 3 -4 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly.

Menu for Week

Here's the somewhat finalized menu:

Wednesday: Kale and Sausage Soup
Thursday: Rumpledethumps
Friday: Bok Choy Sesame Stir Fry
Saturday: I'm not cooking
Sunday: Chicken Mole with a side of caramelized cauliflower
Monday: Broccoli Quiche
Tuesday: Beef Stew

Monday and Tuesday's meals may be switched depending on weather.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In this week's CSA box

Lots of leafy greens and things from the cabbage family again this week. What we found in our box:

Beet greens and baby beets (again, I am just saving the beets.....not the greens)
a bunch of bok choy
a small head of tatsoi
broccoli rabe
a few broccoli florets
a bunch of kale
a bunch of tender pea shoots
a bunch of flat leaf parsley
3 grapefruit
2 oranges

Tentative menu for the next few days. Hopefully I'll come up with a full menu tomorrow:
Wednesday: Kale and Sausage Soup
Thursday: Rumpledethumps (a cabbage and potato casserole)
Friday: Bok Choy stir fry

M and I will eat the grapefruits for breakfast and the kids will eat oranges for snacks.
I plan on making my greens and cheese sandwiches again for lunches (mmmm!)
I need to look at some of my broccoli and cauliflower recipes to fill out the menu until our next box.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cabbage Tacos

I knew when I chose tonight's meal the kids wouldn't eat it. The cabbage wasn't as much a problem as the salsa (and black beans in M's case). The kids had cheese quesadillas. In addition to the cabbage tacos, I also pulled some peas out of the freezer. Everyone was rather happy for their addition to the meal. M and J ate lots and lots of peas. I guess I need to just break down and buy some frozen peas at the grocery store more often. This is an easy meal that makes cabbage not taste like cabbage. Both Curtis and I enjoy these. One recipe would easily feed 4 adults.

Cabbage Tacos
1 red onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced (optional)
4 c cabbage, sliced (either red or white cabbage works fine)
1 c salsa
1 15-oz can black beans

Saute onions and bell peppers in oil until tender. Add cabbage and salsa and cook until cabbage is tender. Stir in black beans and cook until heated through. Serve in tortillas and top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Spinach Manicotti

This is always a hit, even though it has spinach in it, which the kids usually avoid. Both kids had seconds, as did Curtis and I. I like this recipe because I don't need to cook the manicotti before baking it. They are much easier to stuff that way. However, you do end up with manicotti that isn't fully stuffed (the pasta expands as it cooks), but I think the ease and time saved is worth it. I have tried cooking the manicotti first and just not baking it very long. I think I like the ease of preparation better than perfectly stuffed manicotti noodles. Unfortunately, the picture doesn't do the dish justice. It tastes much better than it looks!

Spinach Manicotti
2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
16 oz cottage cheese
10 oz spinach, chopped
1/4 c Parmesan, grated
1 1/2 t dried oregano (or basil)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
8 oz pkg manicotti
26 oz jar tomato-basil pasta sauce (I used my own canned pasta sauce instead)
1/2 - 1 c water

Combine 1 1/2 c mozzarella, cottage cheese, spinach, Parmesan, oregano, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour half of tomato basil sauce into greased 9 x 13" baking pan. Spoon enough spinach mixture into each uncooked manicotti noodle to fill. Arrange in a single layer over the sauce. (If you have leftover spinach mixture, like I always do, top the manicotti first with that). Top with remaining sauce. Pour water over dish (I only use 1/2 c water---it's just to help the pasta cook. If your pasta sauce looks really thick, you can use a full cup.) Sprinkle remaining mozzarella evenly over sauce. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 1 hour or until manicotti is tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pasta Cavalfiore

This is another one of my favorite ways to eat cauliflower. The saffron and sun-dried tomatoes provide great flavor. The recipe says it will feed 4 -6. I definitely think it will feed more like 6 - 8 (or a small army). Next time I will only make half the recipe. M ate too much snack this afternoon and wasn't terribly hungry. J ate the cauliflower and later M ate the pasta. Curtis and I both love this dish. It's flavorful and light.

Pasta Cavalfiore
1/2 c sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 t saffron, crumbled
3/4 c boiling water
3 T olive oil
2 c onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t red pepper flakes (optional)
8 c cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 t salt
1/4 c toasted pine nuts
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T parsley, chopped
12 oz chunky pasta like penne or orecchiette (I used fusilli because that's what I had)
grated Parmesan to top

Place sun-dried tomatoes and saffron in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large pot or pan. Add onions, garlic, and red pepper. Saute on medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until the onions are softened and lightly browned. Add the cauliflower and salt and saute for a couple of minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, saffron, and their soaking liquid. Cover and continue to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is just tender. Remove from heat. Add pine nuts, lemon juice, and parsley. Keep warm until pasta is ready. To serve, mix pasta with cauliflower to distribute ingredients evenly. Serve immediately, topped with grated cheese.

Greens and Cheese Sandwich

I chose this recipe because it was one of the few I knew of that used mustard greens. It turns out that upon closer inspection, my mustard greens weren't mustard greens but broccoli rabe. Since I had already bought the cheese for the sandwiches, I decided to go ahead and make them with the broccoli rabe. (The secret to how I knew it was broccoli rabe---at the inside of the bunch of greens I found what looked like loose little bunches of broccoli. I saved them for Curtis and M to eat later).

I really enjoyed my sandwich--so much that I had two! In my defense, they were open faced (only one piece of bread). There won't be more sandwiches another day. :) I need to get more broccoli rabe or mustard greens before I can make more.

Greens and Cheese Sandwich (For one sandwich)
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 T of olive oil
1 c mustard greens, rinsed and finely chopped
1 piece of bread (I used a rustic sourdough, the recipe called for pumpernickel--I think any good artisanal bread woudl be great)
1/2 c smoked gouda, grated

Heat olive oil and garlic in a small bowl until they begin to sizzle. Add the mustard greens and cook, stirring frequently until the greens are limp and tender (about 3 minutes). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, lightly toast a piece of bread. Top with grated gouda and toast again briefly (either in a toaster oven or on the stove like you would a grilled cheese sandwich) to melt the gouda. When greens are done, put on top of the cheese (if the greens are hot, they will continue to melt the cheese). Eat hot. Try to eat only one. :)

Mint Tea

Ok, so technically, this is not mint tea. It is mint tisane. Purely technically speaking, tea is anything that has tea leaves in it (white, black, oolong, or green). When it is herbs steeped in hot water, it is tisane. Whatever. I am still calling this mint tea.

If you are starting to think about what herbs to plant for the spring, consider mint. With good water and a bit of afternoon shade, the stuff grows like a weed. Well, it grows more like a grass than a weed, sending out runners to start new mint plants. It can easily take over a space, especially in the spring and fall (it's not terribly fond of our hot summers). Mint is an essential herb for us to plant because of our love of mint tea (which I grew up calling meadow tea because the mint grew in the meadow at my grandparents' farm). Making this tea is simple.

Mint Tea
a handful (bunch) of mint leaves and stems, rinsed
a pot full of water (no more than a quart or so)
sugar to taste (about 1/4 - 1/3 c depending on how sweet you like your tea)
water for dilution

Bring pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and allow water to cool slightly (just until it stops boiling basically). Throw in mint leaves and stems. Allow to steep for as long as you wish. I usually let mine steep a couple of hours in hopes of a stronger brew. Transfer to a pitcher and stir in sugar while tea is still warm (or at least lukewarm). Taste and dilute with water as necessary (we usually use equal parts water and mint tea). Serve cold.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tuna on Fettuccine with Green Olives and Arugula

Let me start by saying, this meal got divided into 2 and pasta. I couldn't find fresh tuna (nor was willing to pay the price for it even if I had) at the grocery store. I decided Cod on Fettuccine didn't have the same appeal to it, so I baked the fish in the oven with some lemon and green olives. I am going to include the original recipe, which I have made before and I think is fabulous. My version also worked just great. M loved the fish (had third helpings!) and J loved the pasta so Jack Sprat and his wife struck once again. The arugula I had was "middle-aged" or older (as Curtis put it), but still tasted great--it just wasn't as tender as the young arugula.

Tuna on Fettuccine with Green Olives and Arugula
12 oz fettuccine
1 c green olive bruschetta spread from jar
6 T olive oil
4 t grated lemon peel
4 t fresh lemon juice
5 oz arugula

2 (12-oz) tuna steaks, each about 1-inch thick
4 t fresh marjoram, chopped.

Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 c pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add olive bruschetta spread, 3 T oil, 2 t lemon peel, 2 t lemon juice, and enough cooking liquid to coat. Season with salt and generous amount of pepper. Mix in arugula, which will wilt slightly. Meanwhile, brush each tuna steak with 1 T oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle both sides of tuna evenly with marjoram and reamining 2 t lemon peel; press gently to adhere. Heat remaining 1 T oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tuna; sear until crusty and brown outside but still pink, inside, about 1 1 /2 minutes per side. Transfer tuna to work surface; slice thinly. Top pasta with tuna slices.

In this week's CSA box

It was a colorful week this week! (In the picture: beets plus greens, grapefruit, radishes, cauliflower, and red cabbage)

one head of cauliflower (it was orange)
three small heads of broccoli
a large bag of arugula
two small heads of red cabbage
beet greens and baby beets (I save the beets and discard the greens--yes I know I can eat the greens too)
a small head of tatsoi
a bag of spinach
three oranges
two grapefruit (we are LOVING!! the almost sweet flavor of the grapefruit)
a bunch of radishes
a dozen eggs
a small bunch of mint
a bunch of mustard greens (or something similar to that)


I am making Fettuccini with Arugula tonight for supper with some fish.
The mint is becoming mint tea.
M could single handedly eat all the oranges
The mustard greens will become Cheese and Greens sandwiches (Friday and Saturday lunches maybe)
If I have enough red cabbage, I'll also make an Asian Cabbage Slaw

Revised menu for the week:

Thursday: Still Ikea
Friday: Pasta Cavalfiore (using cauliflower) and salad (either bok choy or arugula)
Saturday: Easy Meatless Manicotti (using spinach) with a side of braised radishes and beets
Sunday: Leftover lunch and Cabbage Tacos for supper (or a bok choy/egg dish)
Monday: a broccoli dish
Tuesday: Leftovers

How M prefers to eat her broccoli--"Just like Daddy"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bang Bang Chicken

I discovered this simple stir fry way back when I was in college. It's been a standby ever since and always is a hit. M and J both loved it and had seconds. Curtis was away, so he missed the meal. The meal was made super simple because I had chicken breasts left in the freezer from when my mother-in-law was here (she bought a huge pack of chicken breasts to make her tortilla soup and I was left with 6 leftover breasts). I didn't have enough broccoli from the CSA box, so I went to the garden and trimmed a small head to supplement the farm broccoli.

3 year olds are funny creatures. They are basically living playbacks of conversations they hear the adults around them having. I realized last night at supper exactly how much Curtis and I talk about the food we eat when M told me, "This has good flavor Mommy. How do they make chicken?" I won't get into the my response about how a chicken gets from the live bird running around a field to on her plate. Her chicken last night missed out on the running around part, because it was store bought chicken.

Bang Bang Chicken
1 whole chicken breast (2 individual), cut into strips
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t ginger root, grated
1 scallion, chopped into 1-inch pieces (or 1/2- 1 c chopped onion)
1/4 c water
2 T soy sauce
2 T peanut butter
1 T red wine vinegar
2 c broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cooked rice

Briefly stir-fry chicken, garlic, ginger, and scallion in 1 -2 T oil until chicken is cooked through. Add water, soy sauce, peanut butter, and red wine vinegar. Simmer 5 minutes. Add broccoli
Cook until vegetables are crisp tender, about 7 minutes. Serve over rice.

Menu for the Week

Monday: Bread and Cabbage Soup
Tuesday: Stir Fry: either Sesame Beef Bok Choy or Chicken with Broccoli
Wednesday: either Arugula with Fish, Green Olives, and Fettucini or Fish Tacos (if I get arugula in the box)
Thursday: dinner at Ikea (Curtis won't be here and I've been needing to go to Ikea!)
Friday: TBD

I'll post the menu for the end of the week (and the start of next week, hopefully) once we get our CSA box on Wednesday. I am hoping to make more orange cinnamon rolls this weekend. I have leftover frosting I want to use. :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Homespun Pot Pie

This another wonderful winter meal. Curtis says it is one of his current favorites. On our good days, everyone likes this meal. It is chock full of veggies so it's fine by itself or with just a side salad. I made this for the in-laws so I added a side of roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower.

There is a lot of flexibility in this recipe. The original recipe has no meat. I've made this meatless, with chicken, or this past time with leftover turkey I had frozen. Whatever root vegetables you have on hand you can add---just be sure to have 6 cups total of poultry and root vegetables. I almost always use sweet potatoes and white potatoes....the other 2 cups vary between poultry, kohlrabi, turnips, or parsnips. This can also be made ahead of time. Mix up the vegetables and save the biscuits to make until right before putting it in the oven.

Homespun Pot Pie
1 T olive oil
2 c onions, coarsely chopped
2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t salt
1 t dried thyme (1 T fresh)
1 t dried marjoram (optional)
4 - 5 c mushrooms, sliced
1 T dijon mustard
2 sweet potatoes, chopped
2 c potatoes, chopped
2 c kohlrabi, peeled and chopped or 2 c cooked chicken/turkey or other root vegetable
1/2 t black pepper
3 c chicken stock
3 T cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 c cold water
1 c frozen peas
1 c frozen corn kernels (optional)
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t salt

2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
6 T melted butter
1 c plain yogurt
1 t chopped fresh dill, or more (optional)

Warm the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and garlic. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 - 12 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the salt, thyme, marjoram, mushrooms, and mustard. Cook until the mushrooms start to release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the root vegetables, chicken and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 - 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir the dissolved cornstarch into the vegetables, stirring constantly. Once liquid starts to thicken, add remaining vegetables and seasonings. Pour into greased 9 x 13" baking pan. Set aside.

In a bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together butter and yogurt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients with as few strokes as possible to make a wet dough. Drop biscuit batter over vegetables. Sprinkle with dill. Bake in a preheated 400 degrees oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until biscuits are cooked through. Serve immediately.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I'm back

After being busy entertaining family for about 11 days, we have a quiet house again. Hopefully I'll be able to get caught up on blogging some of the great meals we had the past week. My family is full of great cooks--my mom, brother, and sister. Our eating was only disrupted by 4 people getting a stomach flu over several days.

Rather than having lots and lots of posts dated today, I am posting the recipes for the days we ate them. I've gotten all but Dec 28 posted, so check back for that one later.

Hope everyone had wonderful holidays!

Happy New Year's

We alternate New Year's traditions between Southern and Pennsylvania Dutch. This is a southern year (since Curtis had to put up with my family for a week!). We had black-eyed pea soup, cornbread, and greens with sauce (I used kale instead of collards because we didn't get any collards this week in our box). I usually like black-eye pea soup, but didn't this year. I am going to blame that on being pregnant. J ate the soup just fine. M just wanted to eat cornbread and honey. She said she didn't like to eat "eyes." We did get her to taste one bean. Maybe next year she'll like it better.

Black-eyed Pea Soup
2 c fresh (frozen, but not canned) black-eyed peas
2 chopped jalapenos (more or less 3 T worth), optional
4 slices uncooked bacon, cut into small pieces
4 c chicken or turkey stock
1/2 c water
1 T garlic, minced
1/2 c onion, minced

Saute bacon, onion, and garlic together in a heavy skillet. In a heavy saucepan, combine cooked bacon, peas, jalapenos, and stock. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer until peas are tender, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Corn Bread
1/3 c sugar
3 T oil
4 eggs
1 c cornmeal
1 c flour
4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 1 /2 c milk

Cream together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add sugar mixture alternately with milk. Stir just until blended. Pour into lightly greased 9 x 9" pan. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 30 - 45 minutes.