Tag Archives: lemon

Kale Salad

Kale Salad - In Her Chucks

This summer I fell in love…with kale.

Since subscribing to my CSA 3 years ago, I have been slowly warming up to this leafy green vegetable.  But over the last few months, my affection for kale has reached a whole new level.  Whether I am munching on kale chips, drinking kale juice, or dipping some sliced cucumbers in kale pesto, I just can’t get enough.  But this salad is definitely my go-to recipe.  And I have been going to it A LOT this summer.

What makes this recipe so good is the bright and complex flavors.  There is something about the mixture of sesame seed oil and soy sauce that sends me over the edge.  Add a few squeezes of fresh citrus and minced garlic and the dressing is nothing short of a party in your mouth.  And then of course, who doesn’t love the extra texture of toasted sesame seeds and perfectly ripe avocado perched on top of these leaves of glory.  Do you catch my drift?  It really is a healthy slice of heaven ;)

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced and smashed into a paste (or use a garlic press)

4 tbsp toasted sesame oil

3 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Place kale into a large serving bowl.  Add remaining ingredients (except for the avocado) and toss to coat.  Gently fold avocados into the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe makes a good portion of salad.  If you are anything like me, you might be able to scarf it all down in one sitting.  But if you find yourself with left overs, the good news is that it keeps well in the fridge overnight.  So feel free to enjoy it the next day for lunch.  However, if you plan on sharing it with friends for a bbq or potluck, you might want to double the recipe because I can promise you the salad will be gone within minutes.

I have to admit, I feel terrible that it took me so long to befriend kale.  But now that we are clearly BFFs I have no doubt we will be making up for lost time.

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #14

What's in the Box?

After over 2 months of vacation, Harper and I are finally back to reality.  It feels nice to unpack our bags, hang up our clothes and put our toiletries back in the medicine cabinet.  But lots has happened since we first left for Ireland back in June.  While we were gone, Freddie got another new job.  Which means yet another move for us (which, if you’re still keeping track is 12 moves in 8 years…with 3 of those moves happening in the last 8 months).  As much as we had hoped they would, things just didn’t work out for us in San Louis Obispo.  But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens, and Freddie’s new opportunity is even better than his last.  So while Harper and I were visiting friends and family all over the globe, Freddie was busy packing up our new home up north and moving us south to good ol’ Orange County.

Luckily, I am no stranger to this area.  I have aunts, uncles and cousins who live in Orange County and so I guess you can say I have grown up coming to visit here.  It’s just so much bigger than what we have become accustomed to after living in Santa Barbara for the past 3 years.  But there is nothing better than being close to family, so we are very grateful for that.

And of course, I couldn’t approve of the move until I found a CSA.  And my new one sounds awesome!  I just didn’t submit my subscription in time to get a box this week, so next Tuesday I will be picking up a box and can’t wait to share it with you all.

But in the meantime, let’s check out the links from last week.  I am loving the rooty, tooty, fresh and fruity flavors that are coming our way…Pizza with Raspberries, Pasta with Peaches, and Quinoa with Cranberries (and pineapple mint!).  Get’s me more excited than it should.  But, as we all know, I have a weakness for fruit.  Which is why I have decided to share my favorite summer fruit recipes this week.

Enjoy!

Raspberry Chicken

Raspberry Chicken with Homemade Rice Pilaf - In Her Chucks

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - In Her Chucks

Lime Pistachio Squares

Lime Squares with Pistacio Graham-Cracker Crust - In Her Chucks

Lemon Iced Tea

Lemon Iced Tea - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits into simple and delicious meals?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? #76

What's in the Box?

After 2 months without a box…we are back in business!  As much as I have enjoyed our summer travels, I have missed the routine and excitement of a local, organic and totally scrumptious box of fruits and veggies.  Even though Harper and I are still in Santa Barbara house sitting, I went ahead and subscribed to a box for the next few weeks.  I couldn’t come back to our old stomping grounds and not indulge in the goodness that is Plow to Porch.

I was a member of Plow to Porch for nearly 3 years.  It was my first CSA experience and the inspiration for this weekly post.  I am so grateful for the quality or service they provided me and I miss their bountiful hauls.

But before I reveal what I got in my box this week, I must brag about last week’s party.  First of all, we had a total of 16 link ups!  The most we have had in a while :)  And it looks like the trend is all about peaches.  Pam from Simplify and Satisfy got 4 juicy and delicious peaches in her haul (which in my house would be gobbled up within minutes).  Kirsten from Farm Fresh Feasts is busy harvesting her own peaches from her backyard (lucky duck) and is busy making Peaches and Cream Muffins (to die for!).  Finally, The Novice Gardener is extra fancy this week with Peach Rosette Frangipane Tartlets (almost too pretty to eat).  Thanks to everyone for linking up and sharing your goodies.  I love looking through your recipes each week and learning how to prepare my favorite fruits and veggies in new and creative ways :)

Now, for the moment I have been waiting for…

What's in the Box? #76

My very own bambino box :)  Since Harper are in Santa Barbara alone while Daddy is busy working, I opted for a smaller box.  It’s a lot less produce then I am used to, but with one less mouth to feed, I wanted to make sure nothing went to waste.

I was most excited for the peach.  Yes, only one peach, but it’s large and is looking mighty delicious right about now.  It still has to ripen up a bit, but as soon as it does, I will be devouring it all on it own.

I am also happy to see a lemon.  I have been hooked on lemon water lately.  With the warm weather, I find a glass of iced lemon water to be so refreshing.

The head of lettuce made a killer salad tonight to go alongside a big pot of Spaghetti Bolognese.  I added some chopped tomatoes, and cucumbers along with some carrots and celery and tossed it all with a blend of half ranch, half italian dressing.  So delicious!

I enjoyed a few of the tangerines as I made dinner tonight.  It was the perfect little nosh :)

Apples dipped in almond butter are a favorite snack around here.  Harper and I have plans to go to the zoo tomorrow afternoon and they will be great to eat on the go.

Onions are always handy to have around because pretty much every dish I cook starts out with sautéed onions.  They add so much flavor to a meal, especially red onions.

I am not sure about the specifics of the peppers, but my CSA’s website suggested roasting them and then melting some Manchego cheese on top.  I’m sold!  Sounds absolutely delicious.

And finally, the corn.  Being that this is my first batch of fresh corn of the season, I have a million recipes I am drying to try (including this one).  But I think I might just have to boil it, slap some butter on it and call it a day :)

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :) 

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #13

What's in the Box?

Our last week in Branson was a blast!  We made sure to hit up all the local attractions before we headed out west.  Branson is known for their live shows and we were lucky enough to check out a few of them including The Price is Right LIVE.

The Price is Right LIVE

Harper could care less about winning a new car, she was all about the pretty model’s sparkly dresses :)

Branson also has a fun theme park called Silver Dollar City.  They have everything from rides, to live entertainment to crafty souvenirs.  It’s a great place to run around and enjoy yourself for the day (even when it’s 102 degrees!).

SDC

Finally, no trip to Branson would be complete without a ride on the ducks.  And I’m not talking about the ones that go “quack”.  I’m talking about the amphibious vehicles that were made famous during WWII.  This is Harper’s second time this summer riding a duck.  First as a viking during our trip to Ireland…Viking Duck

and now as a duckling herself…Ride the Ducks

Being a tourist is fun!

And of course we spent lots and lots of time with family.  Including, Harper’s new BFF, her Great Uncle John…

Holding hands with Uncle John

Harper and I are sure going to miss Branson, but are looking forward to another visit real soon :)

But enough about me, let’s talk veggies.

Last week we had a total of 13 link ups.  And to be frank, it’s summer produce at it’s best.  One of my favorite summer veggies is sweet corn.  And when you throw fresh kernels into a fresh batch of batter and deep fry it, the result is pure bliss.  (Speaking of deep frying, did you check out these crispy fried shallots?  The Angels are definitely singing for this one…).  Or you could toss it with some zucchini, leeks and a handful cheese and you got yourself an awesome summer pizza.  Oh, the possibilities :)  A big thanks to everyone who participated.  I just can’t get enough or your CSA goodness.

And because I am feeling extra sweet today (and in need of a sugar fix), here are some of my favorite CSA inspired desserts (in alphabetical order…).  Enjoy!

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp - In Her Chucks

Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Beet Cake - In Her Chucks

Carrot Cookies

Carrot Cookies - In Her Chucks

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars - In Her Chucks

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits and veggies into simple and sinful desserts?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? #72

What's in the Box?

It’s been 2 weeks since we moved into our new home and we are finally feeling settled.  We spent the weekend hanging pictures, arranging furniture and exploring our new town.  The weather was beautiful so we decided to take a trip down to the local beach.  To put it simply…it was magical.

Beach

And watching my little beach bum playing in the sand, was the icing on the cake…

Harper plays

The weekend was also filled with lots of celebrating.  For mother’s day of course ;)  And not only did I get to sleep in until 10, I woke up to this lovely view…

Breakfast in bed

Gotta love homemade pancakes with a side of crispy bacon :)

And the celebrating continues as I received my first box from my new CSA this week.  Can’t wait to share the goodies with you.

But first, let’s take a look at last week’s party.  There were a total of 6 link ups, each one filled with loads of fresh, organic and local produce.  I am thrilled to welcome Sharlea of Fresh Veggies in the Dessert back to the party.  And was even more excited about her Grilled Artichokes.  Shalama from Views from Here shared a mouthwatering Cauliflower Crust Pizza (something I have been dying to try for a while now).  And Kirsten from Farm Fresh Feasts gave us the low down on how she makes her food look sooooo good!  A big thanks to everyone who participated.  I love reading through all of your posts.

After being without a box last week, I was starting to have some serious withdrawals.  Luckily, I was able to find a new CSA pretty quickly thanks to localharvest.org.  Not only is my new CSA cheaper than my previous one (by more than $10!) but the boxes are overflowing with even more goodies!  I couldn’t be happier.  Check out what I picked up this week…

What's in the Box? #72 - In Her Chucks

Holy nutritious goodness…right?  There was so much produce packed in that box, I had a hard time arranging it for the picture.  I am currently in fruit and veggie heaven :)  And not only did my new CSA provide me with great recipes, they also gave tips on how to properly store the items in this week’s box to maximize their shelf life.  Could it get any better?

So here’s what I plan to do with this abundant haul…

Harper dug into the peas right away.  My girl loves the green.  As soon as she saw them she grabbed a handful and started shelling them (before I could even snap a picture of the box…thank God there were more than enough to be photographed).  I have only gotten English peas once before and I can’t for the life of me remember what I made with them.  But I remember it was good.  So I will have to do some googling to figure it out :)

Once the pictures were taken, I grabbed a lemon and started zesting for this recipe.  And even though the lemon zest is a small component, it makes all the difference in the overall taste.  Delicious.  And on the side I steamed up some of the broccoli.  A household staple.

For breakfast this morning I sliced up some of the strawberries and ate them along with my oatmeal.  Best strawberries ever. No exaggeration.  They were juicy, flavorful and downright scrumptious.

I was excited to see a fresh bunch of spinach this week.  I plan on making this Chicken with Creamy Spinach and Shallots again because it is so simple but so good.

I have all the ingredients I need to make my killer kale salad (kale, lemons, avocados), but now I just need mouths to eat it.  It makes a huge portion and unfortunately Harper and Freddie aren’t kale fans.  I wish I could eat it all by myself but even my belly can’t hold it all.  I have plans to visit friends this weekend and might have to bring a kale salad along with me :)

For the beets, I think I am going to go straight for the roasting.  They are so sweet and earthy, it’s hard to resist.

Of course, the lettuce will make a great salad, topped with some sliced radishes, grated carrots, crumbled cheese and a handful of chopped nuts.  Might even throw in some grilled chicken breast if I am feeling really wild.

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!


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Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - In Her Chucks

Happy Easter everyone!  Today is a joyous and wonderful celebration of our Savior’s resurrection.  It is an opportunity for a fresh start, a rebirth and a great time to reflect on the incredible blessings we all have in our lives.

We have been preparing for this holiday for the last week.  Harper helped me by dying Easter eggs, my friends and I have been busy planning the perfect Easter feast and today Harper enjoyed herself on her first Easter egg hunt.  And she sure didn’t waste time digging into her egg hunt loot…

Easter Egg Hunt

As much as I love Easter candy (peeps, Cadbury eggs, life-size chocolate bunnies), I love homemade baked goods even more.  During this time of year I usually like to prepare my festive treats with carrots.  The Easter Bunny really puts on the pressure to come up with new and inventive ideas to use his favorite veggie (seen here and here).  But this Easter I decided to take a new path and utilize my favorite fruit instead.  Luckily, this cake is so good, I don’t think the Easter Bunny will mind.

Ingredients 

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

Zest of 1 lemon

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 oz plain Greek yogurt

1 lb fresh strawberries, diced

1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan (10-15 cup pan).  Sift together the 2 1/4 cups of flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.

3.  Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.  Gently fold them into the batter.

4.  Pour the batter into the Bundt pan.  Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F.  Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

5.  Allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.  Once cooled whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the powdered sugar.  Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Recipe slightly adapted from A Spicy Perspective

What I love most about this cake is how incredibly moist it is.  Whether the credit belongs to the yogurt or the berries, I don’t care…it’s like buttah baby!  But one thing that really does deserve more credit in this sweet treat is the role of the lemons.  From the title alone, you wouldn’t know that not only is the cake topped with a lovely, light and tangy lemon glaze, but the batter has hidden lemon zest and a hint of lemon juice as well.  Which pretty much makes this dessert more of a refreshing sip of strawberry lemonade in a cake form.

So whether you’re hunting for Easter eggs, waiting for the Easter bunny to bring your goodies or enjoying a Sonrise service this Sunday, make sure you end your day with a slice of this delicious spring time dessert :)

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #4

boxquestionintrowhite

Merry Christmas everyone!  Hope you all had a fun and fabulous holiday :)  Ours was pretty low-key.  In fact we stayed in our pajamas the entire day.  Success!!  After opening presents we enjoyed a few slices of The Best French Toast with a side of bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice.  Then we snuggled up on the couch and watched Home Alone while a batch of Turkey Ricotta Meatballs baked in the oven.  Family time, good food and relaxation…the perfect way to celebrate Christmas :)

Due to the holidays, I will not be receiving a box for the next two weeks.  I am most definitely experiencing withdrawal symptoms but I am working through them one fruit at a time.  However, this break in delivery gives me the chance to rant and rave over some delicious recipes that never made it on the blog.

But before we jump into that, let’s take a look at last week’s party.  All 6 links were packed full of festive holiday treats…CSA style.  There was acorn squash bathed in butter, brown sugar and walnuts, Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread, a two pound sweet potato and a partridge in a pear tree :)  A big thanks to everyone who linked up and shared their goodies.  Keep ‘em coming.

Now it’s time to take a walk down memory lane.  Check out some of my favorite recipes from the last few weeks of CSA deliveries…

What’s in the Box? #53

What's in the Box? #53 - In Her Chucks

Lemony Quinoa with Butternut Squash:  I love a hearty side dish.  And although I can eat butternut squash simply roasted any day, this recipe has me reconsidering my habits.  There are so many delicious flavors bursting from this dish it’s pretty much a party in your mouth.  You have the brightness of the lemon mixed with the sweetness of the butternut squash rounded out by the nuttiness of the pignolis.  I could eat the entire pot my myself…no joke.

What’s in the Box? #54

What's in the Box? #54

30 Minute Shepherds Pie:  Yeah I went there…Rachel Ray all the way.  And this dish delivers.  I got the recipe from my neighbors who swear by it and it is the perfect solution for a delicious and nutritious weeknight meal.  The potatoes, carrots and lettuce (for a side salad) came in handy.  It was a winner for the husband and baby and even made enough for leftovers.  Score!

What’s in the Box? #55

What's in the Box? #55 - In Her Chucks

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew:  I don’t mean to be a tease here but I can’t help but share my excitement about the stew I made with that lovely butternut squash.  With the busyness of the holidays I haven’t had time to sit down and write the post but the pictures have been taken and all that is left is to add a bit of commentary…stay tuned…your recipe will be here shortly :)

What’s in the Box? #56

What's in the Box? #56 - In Her Chucks

Red Cabbage Juice: So to be honest, I have used up everything from last week’s box except for that monster of a cabbage.  I guess you can say it intimidates me a bit.  I have had my share of cabbage dishes in the past and I really want to do something different.  Enter, Red Cabbage Juice.  Ever since Freddie bought me a juicer for my birthday, I have been having enjoying all types of combinations.  But I have yet to juice cabbage.  I am inspired by this recipe and am looking forward to giving it a whirl.  I’ll let you know how it goes :)

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite CSA recipes?  Feel free to link up some of your CSA inspired meals from 2012 that you are the most proud of.  Looking forward to drooling over your dishes :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!


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Moroccan Skirt Steak with Roasted Pepper Couscous

They say you should never make a new recipe for dinner guests.  Although I can understand why the “powers that be” have suggested that you stick with what you know, I often break the rules on this one.  And so far, I have only served raw undercooked chicken and inedible pasty risotto once (not one of my high points…).  For the most part, some of my favorite dishes have come from recipes that have lost their virginity to my dinner guests.  And when they turn out to be a slam dunk, you totally get extra points for having the balls to take a risk.  (Please excuse the inappropriate slang…I have no idea what has gotten into me tonight!)

I can’t remember if I have mentioned this before, but after Freddie and I got married, and I started to learn how to cook, my goal was to never make the same thing twice.  I experimented with a new recipe every night.  It was a challenge I enjoyed.  During the day, when I should have been working, I was glued to my BlackBerry, perusing the sites of my favorite magazines.  Soon, I became flooded with inspiration and had collected thousands of recipes.  So whether it was a quiet night in with just Freddie and I, or a dinner party of 6, you can bet I was cooking a new recipe from my stash.

I found this recipe on Eating Well‘s site.  I was expecting my girlfriend for dinner and wanted to make something spicy (as in with lots of flavor…not hot).  This was the first recipe to pop up on the home screen and I was sold.  I had never roasted peppers before but the process was extremely easy.  Actually, the entire meal comes together in no time.  Delicious results with little fuss.  My kind of meal.

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 whole lemon

1 tsp plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2/3 cup whole-wheat couscous

1 pound skirt steak

Preparation

1.  Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.

2.  Place bell peppers on a baking sheet and roast under the broiler, turning every 5 minutes, until charred and softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board; when cool enough to handle, chop the peppers into bite-size pieces.

3.  Meanwhile, combine cumin, coriander, salt, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper in a small bowl. Grate 1/2 teaspoon zest from the lemon. Juice the lemon into a 1-cup measure and add enough water to make 1 cup. Pour into a small saucepan and add the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, remove from heat and let stand.

4.  Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat until shimmering (but not smoking). Rub the remaining spice mixture on both sides of steak. Cook the steak 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest on the cutting board for 5 minutes. Stir the peppers into the couscous. Thinly slice the steak and serve with the couscous.

Recipe from Eating Well

The original recipe calls for olives in the couscous as well.  But I am not a big fan of olives, so I omitted them completely.  I served this meal with a side of steamed broccoli that I tossed with a tad bit of butter and lemon juice.

What makes this meal so special is the complexity of the spices.  They bring the meat and the couscous to life.  I like to use this spice mixture on other meats as well.  It is a great way to make any ordinary dish shine.

Your turn:  Have you ever tried a new recipe for dinner guests?  What was the result?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

PS:  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!  Only a few days left to get your entries in.  Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks.  Your comment acts are your entry into the giveaway.  Good luck!  

 

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