Ready for a food roundup with a lot of pictures and a string of recipes and links? I mean really, who isn't? Best thing you've read on the internet all week!

We did a better job this week of planning since we're not at home. We're pup-sitting. More on that to come. But for the food...

We had quinoa and beet salad with walnuts and a handful of cilantro, tomatoes (store bought) and cucumbers thrown in on Monday. We eat heirloom quinoa which is already red, but the beets did add their own color. It was good and very filling.
[Tangent: Quinoa (keen-wa) is the seed of a flowering plant common in South America. It is distantly related to the magnolia, (who knew?) and as a crop it's easy going and altitude-hardy, so it's been grown in the Andes mountains for thousands of years. The seeds are eaten and cooked like rice, just boil them in water and mix with something good. Quinoa has become popular more recently because its protein content is high (12% to 18%) and unlike rice or wheat, it contains a balanced set of amino acids, is high in fiber and iron, and is easy to digest. This Ends the Educational Portion of Our Show]

Breakfast! In honor of being in a new house (with a dog that woke him up), Kyle made a full breakfast on Tuesday morning including bacon and eggs from the meat share. The bread was a new recipe I tried (from the Bread Bible): pain de mie, a French sandwich bread usually made in a pullman pan. I don't have a pullman pan, so I made it in a regular loaf pan which yielded the monstrous slice you see bisected here. It was fantastic--the best sandwich bread I've made-- but next time we're going for one recipe, two loaf pans. We topped the homemade bread with Kyle's strawberry freezer jam, which has become one of my very favorite things in the world. It's so good.

Dinner: grilled T bone (meat share) and corn (store bought). The flavor of the meat was good, but maybe not the best cut to grill? The texture left a little to be desired. Not pictured, roasted potatoes. Also good, but not done at the same time as the rest of the food. They were dessert. I'm working on that "timing" thing.

Wednesday I planned to cook chicken breasts from the farm share and I had a simple plan involving herbs and a little flour. But then I got home and realized that the breasts were not boneless, skinless, and in a three pack as I'd imagined, but one whole bone-in, ribs-on chicken breast. This should not have been surprising since the meat came from the farm share and not the grocery, but um... don't shake your head at me yet, it gets better.

Would you believe that I have never cut apart a chicken breast before? I've never had to! I had to look it up in the Joy of Cooking to make sure I was doing it right (hint: cut down the middle dummy, it's not brain surgery) (it's breast surgery. ha.) I roasted the breast with olive oil and salt and pepper (Thanks Joy of Cooking!) and was a little nervous about knowing when it was done, but I figured that out when I cut into it and it wasn't not-done anymore. It was really quite flavorful and good.

[Pause for all the women I know to quit laughing...]

And finally... at the bottom half of that picture you'll see rice noodles with kale, pine nuts, and ginger. This was a really great variation on our kale+pasta standby. The Thai rice noodles were ready after a hot water soak while I sauteed chopped onion, garlic, kale, and minced ginger (not from the farm share... wonder where they grow ginger?). I tossed everything in the pan to stir fry together and topped with sesame oil, soy sauce, and pine nuts.

We'll return to this one time and again, I already know. I love kale and we are guaranteed to have the soy sauce, sesame oil, onions, and garlic on hand. Plus I'm a sucker for anything involving fresh ginger. We don't always have rice noodles, but these were so good, I think we're going to have to venture to Chinatown to see what we can find in an Asian grocery. I'm convinced we could do better than the stuff in the Asian section of our regular grocery.

So for the one person left still reading (Hi Kyle!), we've been snacking on the blueberries, and we've got lots of zucchini (I have a plan for that), carrots, and red cabbage left. And tomorrow is Friday!