Farmers Market Leftovers

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Occasionally I get asked the question, “What do you do with the produce you don’t sell at market?”  Of course a good portion of it goes to friends and family, we also donate some to the local food pantries, but I also like using our “leftovers” in such projects as these:

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce – holy cow this is so good, you won’t even know what to do!

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I made this for the first time last summer, and it quickly became a family favorite.  Plus, I love being able to go to the pantry to enjoy homegrown tomatoes, peppers, herbs and garlic in the dead of winter.  I can these in quarts, add a pound of browned hamburger when we are ready to eat it, and then serve over pasta, or even better, spaqhetti squash.

Of course, true to form, I always tweak the recipe.  🙂  I don’t peel the tomatoes – too time consuming, and I don’t mind the texture of an occasional peel in the sauce.  Also, I simmer the tomatoes first, strain off excess liquid, and then add other ingredients.  This greatly reduces cooking time.  Enjoy!

Winter Squash Recipes

Here are a few of my favorite winter squash recipes.  Spaghetti Squash is one of our favorites, and is super easy to prepare.  Here is the recipe:

Spaghetti Squash

Wash Squash.  Cut top off squash and cut in half.  Remove seeds and innards (similar to what you would do with a pumpkin) and discard.  Put one half, cavity-side down, on a plate.  Poke holes in skin with a fork.  Add around ½ cup water to the bottom of the plate.  Microwave for 6 minutes, or until tender.  You can also bake in the oven on a baking sheet for 30-40 minutes, if you want to prepare more than one squash.

To remove squash from skin, carefully hold the exterior of the squash and scrape the insides out with a fork.  Squash will resemble strands of spaghetti.

While warm, add a generous amount of butter and parmesan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Repeat with other half of squash.  Eat as a delicious side dish, or top with spaghetti sauce for a healthy meal!

Here are some other winter squash recipes I really like:

Stuffed Acorn Squash (from Family Circle Magazine)

Ingredients

    • 2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
    • 4 slices bacon, diced
    • 1 medium onion, trimmed and diced
    • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar (I use less)
    • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

Instructions:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed dish. Add 2 cups water to dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add onion and apple. Cook an additional 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in ground beef. Cook, breaking meat apart with a wooden spoon, 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, sage, salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in bread crumbs.
  • Drain water from baking dish and flip over squash. Spoon meat mixture into squash halves. Return to oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

And here is that AWESOME recipe for Butternut and Ham Bisque (from Family Fun Magazine):

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 very large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, chopped (you can leave this out)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup peeled, diced all-purpose potatoes
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup light or heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham

Instructions

  • Instructions
  • Melt the butter in a medium soup pot or a large saucepan. Stir in the onion and rosemary. Partially cover the pan and cook the onion over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute.
  • Add the squash, potatoes, chicken stock, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pot. Cook the soup at a low boil for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the soup solids and a ladleful of broth to a food processor (do this in batches if your processor is small). Puree the vegetables, then stir them back into the broth. Stir in the pepper, the cream, and the ham, heating for several minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

I know it’s not soup weather yet, but now is the time to buy fresh butternut squash at your local farmers market – they will save in a cool dry place (closet or pantry) for MONTHS, so they will be all ready for that first cool fall weekend!

I am always looking for good winter squash recipes (seems like they are harder to find than summer squash recipes).  If you have one, please send it my way!

What’s in Season Now

This has been an outstanding summer for produce, and while some vegetables have had their ups and downs, we still have a nice variety of items available.

What we really have a lot of right now is winter squash.  I will soon be posting some of my favorite winter squash recipes for spaghetti squash, butternut squash and acorn squash.  You do not want to miss the Butternut Squash and Ham Bisque recipe – it is out of this world!

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We also still have tomatoes, and now bell peppers and jalapenos are in season.  We still have cucumbers, and a few summer squash.  And most exciting –  we are now selling honey!  Look for us at the Ark City Farm and Art Market today, and at the Walnut Valley Farmers Market on Saturday.

Willa Esther Werner

On July 11, 2013, we welcomed our daughter, Willa Esther Werner!

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Willa after the great American writer of frontier life, Willa Cather, and Esther after my great grandmother Nancy Esther Hineman, who I have been told would have been a kindred spirit of mine.

We are still reveling in the joy of having a new person in our family.  And due to what I call the “baby fog” that has been clouding my brain, I haven’t gotten much done these past four weeks except snuggle my baby.  🙂

But I am hoping to get back on a more productive track here in the next weeks, and am looking forward to sharing more about what has been happening on our farm this past month … giant blackberries, new baby chicks, flooding creeks, a glut of tomatoes followed by a tomato famine, and more.

But right now, I am going to go snuggle my new baby girl.  🙂

Tomato Time

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They are finally ready!  Yes, some of these suckers are not very pretty, but they sure taste good!  I may have used one (or two, or three …) to make a Caprese Pizza last night.  Of course I had to test them.  Quality control, you know.  🙂

Gage will have these tomatoes at the Ark City Farm and Art Market this afternoon, 4:30 – 6:30 pm.  He will also have zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan squash, cucumbers (crispy picklers and smooth burpless), cabbage, red potatoes, and maybe even some green beans.  Also selling zinnia bouquets and pecans.  Come out and stock up for the 4th of July!