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Amber's Journal *
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Date:2011-06-04 22:31
Subject:Market menu week #8

If I can keep up with this menu we'll eat like kings this week.

Monday - polish sausage and cabbage
Tuesday - swedish meatballs, lingonberry jam (from IKEA), caesar salad
Wednesday - cilantro lime shrimp tacos, salad
Thursday - beef short ribs, grits, beets, summer squash (cooking for friends)
Friday - fish, caesar salad

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Date:2011-06-04 22:26
Subject:North Hills farmers market week #8

Market Week #8 by ambermae
Market Week #8, a photo by ambermae on Flickr.

I actually made it to the market this morning. It had been a few weeks. You'll notice that summer veggies are starting to sneak in with the spring greens and root veggies. Tomatoes can't be far behind.

Veggies: swiss chard, romaine lettuce, dark leafy lettuce, flower salad mix, summer squash, beets
Meats (not pictured, in freezer): ground beef, beef short ribs, polish sausage
Grains: roasted grits
Treats: creamed wildflower honey

Cost: under budget

Menu here

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Date:2011-05-29 22:22

The Hummingbird InnRoses at the Hummingbird InnChris standing in Mill CreekToo much fire for one handBlackfriar Theater in Staunton, VAWhat're you looking at?
The rolling hills of Polyface FarmBaby chickies at Polyface FarmHappy pigs at Polyface FarmMe and my birthday chicken at Polyface FarmRockbridge WineryWe just got carded! Happy birthday to me
At a glass blowing demoAt a B&B in the Shenandoah mountains and I have @weqx on the internet clock radio

Shenandoah, a set on Flickr.

Chris and I had a great time on vacation! Check out these photos for now, but I do plan on writing up a more detailed description before I forget the details.

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Date:2011-05-24 10:53

I did successfully make every dinner on my menu last week, though not on the days I had specified. Still, I'm calling it a win. Then I missed the market again on Saturday because I was volunteering at Astronomy Days, and I'm going to miss next weekend because we'll be out of town. One of these weeks I'll get back on track with our food. I love the farmer's market and I miss it.

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Date:2011-05-14 17:06
Subject:Market menu week #5

Here is this week's menu. I hope I can stick with it this time:

Saturday - hot italian sausage and halushki, beet greens
Sunday - out with friends
Monday - pork mango picadillo as tacos with green onions
Tuesday - crock pot braised beef sandwiches,salad
Wednesday - pork chops with rosemary & sage, broccoli
Thursday - out at a meeting
Friday - mojito tilapia taco bites, beets

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Date:2011-05-14 12:28
Subject:North Hills farmer's market week #5

Market week 5 by ambermae
Market week 5, a photo by ambermae on Flickr.

I made it! I've felt so run down the past few days that I wasn't sure I'd get to the market this morning, but I'm sure that some nutritious food will help to beat this cold so I ventured out. It was a beautiful day at the market. The NC Beekeeper's Assocation was out educating people about keeping bees and I made it in time to hear the live music again (it was these guys).

The haul:
veggies - beets, broccoli, cabbage, salad with flowers, snow peas, green onions
meats - chuck roast, pork chops, ground pork, ground beef
treats - strawberry lemonade (not pictured because I drank it)

Cost: exactly on budget

Menu here.

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Date:2011-05-08 17:21
Subject:Busy busy

In addition to completely failing to cook dinner last week (I think I did one night), I also missed the farmer's market yesterday. I was so busy all day that there was no time to get there. I'll try again next week.

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Date:2011-04-30 14:04
Subject:Market menu week #3

This week is going to be my first back on the menu wagon. I haven't been cooking much at all for the past few weeks. I've mostly survived on quesadillas and Easter leftovers. But that changes now!

Saturday - Cook Out Summit
Sunday - Krispy Kreme burgers with friends
Monday - out with father in law
Tuesday - franks & sauerkraut paprikash
Wednesday - stuffed peppers
Thursday - out with husband
Friday - smoked salmon pasta

Lunches will be mostly butter chicken.

Looking at this menu again there is a lot of eating out happening. I guess this is more of a transition week back into the kitchen.

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Date:2011-04-30 13:56
Subject:North Hills farmers market week #3

Market Week 3 by ambermae
Market Week 3, a photo by ambermae on Flickr.

I skipped last week, so that makes this update #2 but week #3. It was a beautiful day at the market today! I went later in the morning instead of right after they open and was rewarded by the live music they have playing after 10am each Saturday. People were out shopping and having fun. I had a blast.

The haul:
veggies - cauliflower, red leaf lettuce, arugula, rainbow chard, flower salad mix
meats - beef short ribs, hot italian sausage
treats (not shown because I ate them) - soft pretzel, blueberry kuchen, fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade

Cost: under budget

Next: this week's menu.

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Date:2011-04-16 09:20
Subject:North Hills Farmers Market Week #1

Market Week 1 by ambermae
Market Week 1, a photo by ambermae on Flickr.

Today is opening day of the farmer's market! It's also a dark and stormy day which is why my veggie photo looks like it was taken in the middle of the night. The market was a little light on vendors today, but whether that was because of the storm or the early-ness of the season I don't know.

Today's haul:

Veggies - arugula, kale, red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, salad mix with flowers and pea shoots, asparagus
Meats - ground beef, bacon, locally cured grass fed beef hot dogs (can you tell I'm excited about this one?)

Cost: under budget

I had hoped to bring home root veggies for soup this week but there were few to be found. Looks like I'll be supplementing at the grocery store.

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Date:2011-04-11 00:21
Subject:For the few of you still reading lj...

Good news! The farmers market starts up again next Saturday. I'm hoping to get back into the habit of posting market haul photos and menus here. Things may be a little sporadic until after Easter, but then I'll be back on the wagon.

If you really miss me you can always check out my fun new project blog at http://50firstcrafts.wordpress.com or 50firstcrafts.

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Date:2011-01-25 10:19
Subject:Menu for a beef dinner

Last night we invited some friends over for dinner. One of them is a vegetarian who is easing her way back into meat. Last night's dinner was a reintroduction to beef. The menu:

Course 1 - french onion soup with butter crouton
Course 2 - pesto & cheese ravioli with beefy tomato sauce
Course 3 - grass fed beef stew with root vegetables, salad
Course 4 - meatloaf sandwich sliders with slaw
Course 5 - mini filet mignon with creamed spinach

It was a fun dinner to put together. The portion sizes for everything were tiny, but there was enough food that no one went away hungry. I had conceived the dinner to go from least beef texture to most beef texture with a vegetarian side item for each course. In reality my stew ended up more on the textural side than I was hoping, so it was a bit jarring as a middle course. Overall I think the dinner was a success. Chris and I now have tons of leftovers for the rest of the week.

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Date:2011-01-21 15:28

Hi Livejournal,

I'm sorry I've been neglecting you lately, but I promise you're not the only one. I've also been neglecting my produce, my weekly menu, Twitter, Facebook, several volunteer duties, and probably my husband. The truth is that I got off of my routine around Thanksgiving and haven't managed to find my way back on yet. I'm pretty sure that things will settle out soon and I'll get back on track.

In the meantime, here is a link to my new blog: link. If you miss me I'll be over there.

Your friend,

P.S. I'm screening certain kinds of comments to cut down on the huge amount of spam I've been getting, but it shouldn't ever impact anyone who might be reading this.

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Date:2010-12-30 23:56
Subject:My new blog

I'm starting a new blog for my ambitious crafting goals in 2011. Check it out at 50firstcrafts.

Edit: the feed seems to only be pulling comments for some reason. You can find the blog at http://50firstcrafts.wordpress.com/ for now while I work on the feed.

Edit2: Fixed!

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Date:2010-11-20 21:59
Subject:Thanksgiving menu dilemma

This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving with Chris' dad, sister, brother and his girlfriend, family friend, and my mom & dad. Chris and I will mostly be responsible for the food, but we've been accepting any offers of dishes that come along. This will be our first time meeting his brother's girlfriend. She offered to bring a sweet potato casserole.

My dilemma is this: I've been stocking up on awesome purple sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. I hadn't quite decided what to do with them (bake them? roast them in chunks? mash them?) but I was pretty sure they'd be awesome and would make an impression on the table. Now that the girlfriend is bringing sweet potato casserole, should I not bring my sweet potatoes?

What would you do?

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Date:2010-11-20 13:02
Subject:Winter CSA Week 2

CSA Week 2 plus Crumb
Originally uploaded by ambermae
Today was week 2 of our winter CSA and the first time I picked up our veggies at the usual location. This morning our usual location was filled with tents for the Designers Downtown Market, an outdoor market featuring local craftspeople and their wares. I remembered that one of our TechShop members was planning to be there selling her laser cut snowflakes so after I picked up my veggies I headed into the market. One of the first booths I passed belonged to Crumb. I realize that Advent may not be the best time to try a local bakery's amazing stuff for the first time, but since I've been hearing about Crumb for quite a while I figured I'd take advantage of the opportunity to actually experience them. Boy. I sampled a small pumpkin cupcake on my way home and the other three things are lucky they made it in the door. If I didn't have a husband who I love they'd probably all be gone now.

Today's CSA haul:

green onions, tatsoi, the world's largest head of lettuce, assorted beets, kale, sweet potatoes

From Crumb:

doughnut muffin, chocolate hazelnut cookie sandwich, mini pumpkin cup of cake, chocolate cup with Escazu ganache

I also stopped at the North Hills Thanksgiving market today to pick up the sausage for Thursday's stuffing and I took advantage of a sale on local shrimp while I was there. I'm going to miss my market this winter!

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Date:2010-11-13 22:38
Subject:Market menu, week 31

Today's menu marks a transition from market to CSA and from feasting to fasting. Advent starts for us Orthodox folks Monday which means we say goodbye to meats until Christmas (with a break for Thanksgiving). It's always a challenge to remember how we eat from season to season so I hope this menu is somewhat close to reality. As usual we're not too strict about the dairy and eggs portion of the fast.

Monday - crab salad with lettuce
Tuesday - turnip omelet with salad
Wednesday - white bean bruschetta, salad
Thursday - sweet potato & tatsoi curry with green beans
Friday - shrimp risotto with peppers, greens & squash

Lunches for me are mostly carrot soup. Chris is on his own.

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Date:2010-11-13 22:26
Subject:North Hills Farmer's Market week 31 (final)

Market Week 31 (final)
Originally uploaded by ambermae
Today was the last regular day of my favorite farmer's market and the first day of my winter CSA subscription. There will be a special Thanksgiving market next Saturday but it won't have as many vendors. I'm not sure I'll be able to make it to that because of another obligation that morning. I wish all of the vendors well this winter and I'll certainly miss them come February (when my CSA ends)!

I'll continue to post our CSA haul and my menus here because it helps me remember what we eat from season to season.

This week in the CSA (we get a half share): lettuce, tatsoi, green onions, white turnips, sweet potatoes, cabbage

At the market: red lettuce, seminole squash, green beans, purple sweet potatoes, pepper, grits

Cost: very under budget

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Date:2010-11-06 12:32
Subject:Market menu, week 30

We took a week off from life and went up to NY to attend a family wedding and visit some friends. We also had a giant Thanksgiving bash, which was so much fun! I took a week off of my no sugar or grains diet and find I'm having a difficult time getting back on it. So be it.

Here is this week's menu:

Saturday - beef & refried black bean burritos, green beans
Sunday - bacon, kale scrambled eggs, toast
Monday - out?
Tuesday - polish sausage, onions & peppers, greens
Wednesday - salmon teriyaki, nameshi, broccoli
Thursday - chicken cacciatore
Friday - shrimp risotto, tatsoi

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Date:2010-11-06 12:26
Subject:North Hills Farmer's Market week 30

Market Week 30
Originally uploaded by ambermae
It was a cold, rainy day at the market this morning. I went because I missed last week (we were out of town) and it's far too late in the season to miss weeks at the market. There are only a couple more left before it closes for the winter. This morning I made my menu and lists in advance so I only bought what I knew I needed. It helped that I have a backlog of some meats in the freezer.

Veggies: cilantro, green beans, broccoli, amazing purple sweet potatoes
Grains: steel cut oats

Cost: Less than 1/3 of my usual budget

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