We are on a food adventure, trying to use local meat and produce the majority of the time. Or at least start with what we find at our farmer’s market. Here’s what we were working with last week:
Eggs, honey, carrots, mini cabbage, green beans, elephant garlic, jalapeños, pickling cucumbers, and corn (from the City Market), tomatoes, peaches, and a cucumber (from our neighborhood stand).
Saturday we had a big lunch for one of Jake’s friend’s birthdays at La Bodega, a local Spanish resturant. It was delicious, but more than we’re generally willing to pay for lunch.
Jake had chorizo sliders with Manchego cheese & garlic-cumin aioli. The fries tasted like chips and were AMAZING.
I had the fish special: saffron shrimp and scallop risotto with peas and artichoke hearts. YUM.
Jonas was all about green beans this week. He likes dipping them in wasabi ranch (Ranch dressing + a bit of wasabi powder). He ate all of the ones I steamed, and then moved on to the raw ones. There’s no rhyme or reason to what this boy will eat, but putting out fruits and veggies to snack on while we’re cooking seems to do the trick.
One night this week we experienced a pasta fail. I thought Jake had shifted the lid lock into place, so when I dumped the pasta water, this happened. So we had Chipotle.
We picked up more noodles the next day and had pasta ragù. I froze the leftover homemade pasta sauce from last time and just added more meat.
My mom bought us d’Bronx one night, because we were busy canning and she loves us. It’s the very best pizza in Kansas City.
Over the weekend we had taco salad for my mom’s birthday, and we used the leftover taco meat (seasoned with homemade taco seasoning) for burritos. It’s a quick and easy dinner for when things are getting crazy.
We also had one of our favorite summer dinners: island salads. We usually use chicken, but this time we put our homemade Caribbean Jerk rub on pork tenderloin and baked it. I like mine medium and Jake likes it medium well, so it worked out perfectly that one of the pork tenderloins was a little bigger than the other so we both had one at our preferred temperature.
One of our neighbors was burning trash (stop that!) and the fumes gave me a headache. So we skipped cooking and went to Freebirds.
Last but not least, a night of homestyle with oven fried chicken tenders (the panko crumbs make them crispy even though they’re baked) and the very best macaroni and cheese (which we won’t make very often because we can’t help but over-eat it).
That’s what we ate last week, but the most interesting thing happening in our kitchen was our first shot at canning. My mom and I started off with making refrigerator pickles. (It’s a family member’s recipe, so I can’t share it, but there are plenty of refrigerator pickle recipes online.) This kind isn’t shelf stable: you don’t boil it in the canner, you just put the pickles, herbs, and spices in the sanitized jars and pour in boiling brine. They stay in the fridge, and I just have to shake ’em up every few days and in two weeks: voila! Pickles!
This is my first time making them, but I’ve had them before. They’re the best pickles ever. Hopefully we’ll get the same results.
We ended up with 14 big jars, 7 for us and 7 for my mom.
Next, we made canned spaghetti sauce. It took 15 tomatoes to make two and a half jars of spaghetti sauce, which seems like a lot of work for what we got, but I’m still doing it again.
So glad my mom was there to do it with me! It ended up being really fun.
Last, Jake and I made Blackberry honey jam. I’ve been freezing extra fruit we buy at the market every week just for this purpose. We used the sugar suggestions from the linked recipe to use part honey and part sugar, and then used the recipe from the low sugar pectin package (pectin is what jells the jam).
We haven’t had a chance to try it yet, so we’ll report back next week on how that went! Next week’s canning adventure will be Relish, sauce, and chutney. We’re getting all Little House on the Prairie up in here.
Have you ever tried canning?
That’s a week in the food life at the Nerd Nest!
If you want to see what we picked up at the market this weekend and what we’re eating as it happens, follow me on Instagram.
What have you been eating lately? Do you have any yummy recipes to share?
Check out all of the Savory Sunday posts here.