Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Birthday Lists

 Recently I've been checking out some new-to-me blogs and I've noticed a theme to my new favorites:
Setting them and reaching them. I'm not sure what it is about seeing someone else set and reach a goal that motivates me to do the same. My 27th birthday is in less than a week, March 5th to be exact, and I am getting pretty excited about setting some goals of my own for this new year of my life. 26 was a very tough year for me and like the new year, I am not sad to see this year of my life go and start anew!

One blog I've recently started following is called enJOY it. The author is ALL about goals. She, like me, is going through the transition from 26 to 27 and has written a few posts about it. One of the posts was about her favorite moments from 26. Inspired by this, I've decided to do something similiar. While 26 was not the most wonderful year for me, I do have a lot to be grateful for and a lot of great memories. Seeing all that I've accomplished and what I really enjoy is the perfect motivation to write my goals for this next year of my life.

So days leading up to my birthday, I'm gonna share some of my favorites from 26. And then on my birthday I will share my goals for 27! Sound fun?

March 1st - 26 Favorite Blogs
March 2nd - 26 Favorite Recipes I've Tried
March 3rd - 26 Favorite Photos
March 4th - 26 Favorite Moments of 26
March 5th - 27 Goals for 27

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Suzie's Farm & Mini Sweet Potato and Turnip Gratin

My boyfriend and I are the proud new members of a CSA. If you've never heard of a CSA don't feel bad, up until a couple months ago neither had I. It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The idea behind it is simple: "offer fresh, local, organic, and seasonal produce straight from a farm to the community. CSA boxes are offered to shareholders in regular or small sizes, weekly or every other week, for 6 or 12 week commitments." At the moment we are receiving a large box, bi-monthly.

At first I was skeptical. It's no mystery I'm not a huge van of veggies, especially unfamiliar ones. But Robert was really excited about it and with the diet I'm on consisting mostly of vegetables in the end it made a lot of sense to join.  After some research we choose Suzie's Farm as our CSA and so far we are really pleased we did.

Now the first box we got didn't go as well as we had hoped. Excited as we were, we weren't prepare to properly store the amount of veggies we had. We got some use out of 3 or 4 items but most went to waste. We vowed the next box would get more use.

In an effort to make better use of the box, I have been scouring the internet for recipes for each vegetables. I had never tried a turnip, let alone cooked one so when I came across this recipe from Martha Stewart I decided to try it out. I figured she knows what shes doing.

Mini Sweet Potato and Turnip Gratin
 Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
  • 6 small turnips or 3 medium, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 12 cup muffin pan, create one "layer" of sweet potato on the bottom of each, followed by a layer of turnips. Each cup should be two veggie high. Season each cup with salt and pepper and sprinkle with one-third of the flour overall. Repeat two sweet potato and turnip layers and sprinkle with salt, pepper, again. Repeat until you run out of room. 

*NOTE: I tried this two ways. First I whisked the flour, salt, pepper, broth, and wine together. Then after alternating veggies poured the mixture in each cup. The mixture ended up just sitting on the bottom and not holding the vegetables together. So the next time around  I wasn't so lazy  I followed the recipe more closely and it worked out much better.

2. Dot top layer with butter, then slowly pour broth and wine into each cup, keeping layers intact. Cover with foil and bake until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, 35-45 minutes. 

3. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Remove foil and sprinkle cheese over dish. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 12 to 15 minutes. Let gratin sit 10 minutes before serving. 

4.  Trust me, it's a good thing :0)

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