Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Farmer's Market goodies

We went to the Farmer's Market today. It was nice. A little cloudy, but all of the bright and colorful vegetables made up for it.

We got some gala apples. They're nice and crisp, sweet, and delicious. And fairly small, so they're easier to eat. I was planning on drying them, but they're just too delicious, I want the whole dozen all to myself. They were in a bag, and when I got the home, and opened the bag, a strong scent of sweet, delicious apples came out. Yum yum yum. They were $4 for the dozen.

A bunch of pears, also for drying, but they're not quite ripe yet, so I'll do that in a couple days. $6 for eighteen.

Some onions with the greens on top. Four or five I think. They look good, but I haven't used them yet. I'm not sure how much they cost, mom told me to buy them as I was paying for some other things.

Some chard, a big bunch for $1.50. They look good.

A bunch of basil I forgot how much they cost. We're planning on making pesto.

A bunch of radishes. I never have radishes, I always think about it, but then decide not to, since I never have them and I'm never quite sure what to do with them. But they were only 65 cents a bunch, and were a beautiful red color, nothing like what I've seen in the stores. When I got home, I just washed one, and ate it, and got a satisfying crunch from it, and a good taste. I'm still not totally sure what to do with the rest, probably just eat them like that, they're good that way. Also, does anyone know if you can/would want to eat the radish greens?

A big pepper, I don't remember the price. Will probably end up on some pizzas tomorrow.

A big head of purple cauliflower. $1.50 per pound I believe? Maybe. I was going to get a pretty small yellow head, but then I realized the last purple cauliflower sitting there. I've always wanted to try some purple cauliflower. I wonder if it tastes any different, or if it's just the color... I'm thinking it'll go in some sort of curry thing tonight... That or we'll have the pesto.

I got all of that for $18.60. Definitely cheaper than the grocery store.

Mom also got some cherry tomatoes, I don't know how much they cost.

I've been snacking on apples, cherry tomatoes, and radishes since I got back. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Roasted asparagus, sauteed portobellos with a balsamic sauce, and quinoa

So last night, pretty late, I decided to roast the asparagus we had in the fridge. So I preheated the oven for 350, cut the tough ends off the asparagus, drizzled them with olive oil, minced garlic, some black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mixed that around and put them in the oven. Then I decided to do something with our portobellos, but figured with those two, I needed something else to go along with them, so I made some quinoa, preheated a cast iron pan to medium-high, washed three portobello mushrooms, took the stems off, chopped the stems, and the put the whole caps gill-side up on the pan, the stem pieces in there too, I drizzled some balsamic vinegar into the caps and on the stems, along with some olive oil, and put the lid over it. Keep an eye on your asparagus and flip it as needed. And of course remember to stir your quinoa. Check on the portobellos, they should start turning golden-brown on the bottom, and the sides should start getting a little soft. Flip them once they're golden-brown on the bottom, and then they should be done once they're pretty tender and cooked through. The asparagus should be done when they're tender.
I have a half-cup measuring cup, with rounded corners, so I packed that full of quinoa, and flipped the molded quinoa onto three plates. Then one portobello per plate, gill side up, with the stem pieces on top, some caramelized onions on top would also be good. Then several pieces of asparagus on the plates also. It looks really pretty, and tastes fantastic. Too bad my camera is broken. :/ It also took less than an hour, so it doesn't take too long.
The instructions make it sound pretty complicated, but it was actually pretty easy.


Here's another late post. It was from a little after Chautauqua.

We've apparently had a dehydrator in our basement for years, and I had no idea. I was wanting a dehydrator, it was going to be on my Christmas list this year, but it turns out we already have one. Only problem is it takes up quite a bit of counter-space, and doesn't have any form of temperature control. Oh well, still works just fine.
My dad taught me how to use it (Basically just put something in, plug it in, and check on it occasionally) and we had a bunch of Asian pears at the time, so dad sliced them pretty thin, and dehydrated them. And they're absolutely delicious, chewy, flavorful, and nice and sweet. And I didn't really have any other fruits, but I made some apple fruit leather. I just put some apple sauce on some plastic wrap and dehydrated it. (Dad told me that you can put plastic wrap in the dehydrator, and it won't melt or anything, no need for the special dehydrator sheets) Wax paper would probably work better though. The apple fruit leather came out pretty well, a little tart since I used unsweetened applesauce though. We also dried our abundance of hot peppers from our garden and our friend, and after they were dried we crushed them up so we would have chili flakes whenever we need them. I can't wait until tomorrow, when we're going to the Farmer's Market, and I'll get lots of fruit to dry.
I've been eating the dried Asian pears like candy. Seriously, I ate like seven dried pears in one day.
After fruits I'm sure I'll be making some raw food.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


So, I'm posting over a week later than when I said I would.... But, I'm a procrastinator, and that's pretty much my only excuse other than being slightly busy and tired.
So now I'll finally tell you about Chautauqua.

We got there, unloaded our stuff, and waited for everyone else to arrive, when they did, we all loaded up the ferry, and then loaded all the people, and went over the river to the other side, then we loaded all our stuff onto a truck, and started walking to the lodge, we all unpacked the truck, brought our own stuff to our lodges, and came back to the lodge so we could hear all of the rules and sign up for jobs. (Chores) There's all sorts of jobs,. bathroom cleaning, dishes, cooking, kitchen clean up, sweeping, tidying up, mopping, et cetera. I chose cooking, mopping, and dishes. Cooking is definitely the most fun, you make food, talk to people, chop things, hang out with your friends, and get to listen to music, it's tons of fun. But it is the most time-consuming, so you don't want to cook too much because you want time with your friends. But all of the chores are really fun, it's a big place with lots of people, so you always need a bunch of people doing the chores, which makes it more fun since it's more social. (By the way, all of the meals at Chautauqua are vegetarian, always with at least one vegan option)
There's a beautiful beach, and a gorgeous meadow, and hikes and mountain views. I brought my camera and took lots of photos, unfortunately Chautauqua is also very sandy, which got into my camera, and broke it. Now when I turn it on, the screen doesn't work, it makes an angry buzzing noise, doesn't take pictures of course, the lens won't retract, and it won't turn off without pulling out the batteries. My dad completely took it apart and tried to fix it, but it won't work. So I no longer have a working camera, and don't have the photos, and I'm not sure I ever will. Hopefully I'll get a new camera soon... If I ever get the photos on my memory card, I'll be sure to post them.
Anyway, there's tons of cool people there, most of which I only get to see once a year, so it's always nice to see them again. Every family is supposed to have someone in their family put up a workshop, and there's all kinds, most of which are games, like card games, board games, frisbee on the beach, there's sandcastle building, hikes, how to build a fire, and all sorts of things, which are different every year. I didn't plan ahead enough this year, so I didn't do anything, I think I'll teach people how to make vegan sushi next year. Either with brown rice, or quinoa (I got the idea from some other blog I read, I don't remember which one though. It sounds delicious!).
Even if you aren't a very social person, you can always stay in your cabin and be alone, stay on the beach, go on a hike, whatever you like. But I think after a while you would warm up to the people and want to be with them more. If you like people a whole lot, you can pretty much be with people constantly if you want.
For three of the days (Every day other than the first and last day) there's a day-long assassin game. (For those of you who don't know that game, don't worry too much, it's not very important. And if you will be going to Chautauqua, and want to play, the rules will be explained)
On Thursday, there's also a dance, it's mostly just the teenagers, but the first hour or so there's usually a bunch of kids and adults, and then later there are slowly less and less adults and kids, and more teenagers.
And this year, someone's workshop was to have a talent show. There weren't that many people in the talent show this year, but it was still a lot of fun.

The last day everyone completely cleans the lodge and their cabins, pack up the truck, and start heading out. Then after the ferry is unpacked, people start loading their cars, and saying goodbye to eachother, and getting eachothers phone numbers and email addresses, and some people meet up at McMenamins, and then after getting lunch, it's goodbye. Which is always pretty sad.

That's all I have to say for now. If you have the time, you should definitely try to go to Chautauqua next year, it's incredibly fun!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Oregon Chautauqua

In two days (Monday) I will be going to Chautauqua, it will be from Monday to Friday, so no posts for a while. I'm sure I'll have tons to say by Friday. Well, I'll probably be too exhausted on Friday, so I'll probably post on Saturday.
Chautauqua is really cool, you camp in little cabins, and there's forest and trails, and  wild huckleberries, and then there's a big lodge with a professional style kitchen, a huge dining room, a game room, and a huge porch. People spend most of their time at the lodge. And about a minute from the lodge is a beautiful beach, and there are lots of sea creatures on the rocks to look at. And there are also really cool workshops, all kinds. 

I'll let you know a lot more in a week! You might get lucky and get a post tomorrow, if I'm not too busy packing and getting ready.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Strawberry parfaits

I tried to make a coconut cake, which turned out to be a bit of  failure since our oven is still broken, so we got the edges of the cake cooked, and the rest pretty raw. So I took off the parts of the cakes that were cooked, and made a bunch of small, messy cakes on a cookie sheet out of the raw parts. The cakes ended up pretty dense. So we decided to make parfaits with that. 

First I pureed some strawberries, if your strawberries aren't really ripe you may want to add a little sugar. Set it  aside. Then I made a strawberry-yogurt sauce. Mainly with soy yogurt, with a few strawberries, a little sugar, and some thickener, (whatever you have, I used rice flour ) There may have been something else, but I honestly don't remember.

Then I put some strawberry puree in the bottom of several fancy wine glasses, a layer of the yogurt sauce, a bunch of small pieces of cake (Dense cakes work best), some more pureed strawberry, some more yogurt sauce, more cake pieces, some chopped strawberry bits, a slice of strawberry, and a drizzle of the strawberry puree and yogurt sauce.

They were delicious. 
I'm probably going to do something similar with blackberries sometime soon. 

Pad thai and Summer rolls

I believe this is from last week, when we had company over.

The pad thai.

The Summer rolls. In the middle is a bowl of made-up curry sauce I made. It complimented the rolls well.

Sauteed mushroom sandwich

It's got sauteed mushrooms, Vegennaise, mustard, tomato, cucumber, and avocado. It's pretty simple, but still very delicious.

Golden watermelon

This is from a while ago, but that watermelon that I got from the Farmer's market, when I opened it up, I was shocked, It was yellow on the inside. At first I thought I somehow got a ridiculously unripe one, but when I tasted it, it was perfectly sweet. In fact, it was one of the sweetest, and tastiest watermelons I have had in a long time. It was sweet, flavorful, crisp, juicy, and delicious. It was so good, that I finished 3/4 of it all by myself right then.
I had no idea that there were yellow watermelons.