Ginger-Cranberry-Orange Loaf

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Occasionally I watch my wife try to pick out what she would like for breakfast and stand in front of the pantry gazing at the lack of cereal options. This is of course entirely my fault considering I’m the one who does the shopping. I tend to buy things I like and I’m never entirely sure what she would enjoy. Those breakfast disappointments inspire me to bake.

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Tortellini with Nectarines

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This weekend we had my cousin Dana (quite a talented jewelry-maker – check out her Etsy site) over for dinner and a sleep-over with the kids while my wife was out of town on business. Since she had some errands to run in Manhattan, we weren’t entirely sure when she’d make it over, so I popped a pot of water onto the stove to get to a boil and decided to make something that could be thrown together last-minute. Last week we got some lovely nectarines in our CSA fruit share and I thought savory and sweet/tart go so very well together…

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Peach Cobbler

We got a lot of peaches last week in our CSA share and, although I like to enjoy the fresh taste of in-season produce, there comes a point where you simply cannot eat enough of them before they rot (or the next week’s share starts to crowd you out of house and home). I figured the best thing to do with the surplus was to modify the rhubarb recipe from an earlier post and make peach cobbler.

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Couscous Salad with Spinach Pesto

I had no real intention of posting about this salad. Really, I didn’t. But when I needed a dish to bring to a potluck end-of-the-schoolyear party I threw this together. I’m not sure any of the kids tried it, but the adults loved it and I got several requests for the recipe. So I guess it is worth posting after all.

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Carrot and Fennel Salad

I don’t usually post side dishes. Most of the food featured here tends to be the main course. This time, however, I decided to deviate from the norm (whatever that means for me) and write about what we had with the grilled chicken. Originally I was just going to make a salad with chicken over it as we got a LOT of lettuce this week in our CSA box. But we also got some early carrots and fennel. Now I’m not the biggest fennel fan, but using the carrots’s sweetness and the tartness of an orange and olive oil dressing to offset the anise flavor that can really overpower a dish… well… it works for me.

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Grilled Hanger Steak with Roasted Beets over Salad

So beets have returned… which is good. Why? Because beets are very good friends with steak… which is even better. I’d never cooked a hanger steak before, but considering the results, I would have to say that a repeat performance will certainly be in order. It is a surprisingly quick cook on the grill considering the musculature and you end up with a meltingly delicious steak for less than a lot of pricier cuts. The meaty goodness of steak combined with the interesting juxtaposition of sweet and savory that is beets along with the creaminess of goat cheese and the satisfying crunch of romaine lettuce all balanced with a tangy vinaigrette made for a lovely dinner indeed.

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Farfalle with Smoked Salmon & Asparagus

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I know, I know. I said I’d be writing about CSA food, but this dish went over so well with the family that I figured I’d probably better post it. It was originally going to be a salad, but the weather is so changeable here in NY these days that by the time the late afternoon came around it seemed too chilly for it. So pasta it became. Last weekend we headed out to the North Fork of Long Island and hit a vineyard or two as well as Hallock’s Cider Mill (in Laurel, NY) on the way home. There we picked up a really nice looking bunch of asparagus and a strawberry rhubarb pie. The pie doesn’t enter into this recipe… I just mentioned it for the sake of being complete, description-wise. Anyway, last night I made a pasta dish with it. The asparagus… not the pie. That would have been weird.

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Banana bread… a variation

I make a lot of banana bread in this house. Our 19 month old son loves a banana as a midmorning snack and, although we all enjoy them, sometimes a bunch of bananas goes overripe before we can get through the lot. Luckily, you can freeze them. Now, they don’t tend to survive the thawing process intact (ice crystals, cell walls, ugly bags of mostly water, etc.) so the best thing to do is to use them in a cooked application. Even though we have  an ice cream machine (perhaps in a future post), banana bread tends to be the go-to in this household. Anyway, ofttimes I feel the need to mess with a recipe, so…

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Pea shoots, pea scores!

So we got a LOT of pea shoots over the past few weeks in our CSA. Now, I like pea shoots (which taste like a very mild combination of sweet peas and baby salad greens), but there really is only so much you can put on a sandwich or in a salad. Then I remembered that you can make pesto out of almost any green, leafy vegetable – arugala, spinach, basil (of course), etc. – and I wondered if making a pesto from our massive pile of pea shoots was a possibility. The answer, of course, was yes.

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