Recipes

Just Add Cooking – the rest is covered

Do you know that feeling when you get a package? It’s great, right? What’s even better is when the package is filled with fresh, local ingredients for three whole dinners!  Love this new way of getting healthy food on the table. Not every week – heck, not every day – is the same and sometimes, usually, I am stretched to come up with healthy meals that I can make under an hour that everyone will like.  So while I am a tiny bit of a control freak, I also am pretty fresh out of ideas for dinner. Just Add Cooking came at just the right time.

Three meals, prepped and cooked in under 30 minutes, and the ingredients delivered to your door. Bye bye Control Freak. Hello, Just Add Cooking.

 

My lovely Just Add Cooking box had the ingredients for

Coq au Vin

Chana Saag

Fish Soup with Aioli

 

Everything was fresh, delicious, easy to prepare (and true to the projected cooking times which is the best). Having the exact ingredients and amount of ingredients was nothing short of a miracle (if you are my neighbor you have probably gotten a missing ingredient call from me). Can’t wait to try owner of Moody’s and an amazing chef, Joshua Smith’s take on Corned Beef and Cabbage. Yum.

Just Add Cooking is offering boxes starting at $39 for a 2-person, 3-meal box (normally $69) and $69 for a 4-person, 3-meal box (normally $109). This is for the first box for new customers and the price will be automatically applied to their first purchase if they visit http://www.justaddcooking.com and register by clicking “Get Cooking.”  So got try it out. Your dinners will be happier for it.
  • Just Add Cooking is based in Boston and the ingredients are locally sourced, using local farmers, vendors and purveyors and seasonal ingredients whenever possible.
  • Delivery area is throughout Eastern Massachusetts.
  • There are seven recipes to choose from each week. Typically there is a poultry, seafood, pork and beef option along with 3 vegetarian options.
  • You make a selection by 12 pm on Wed and get delivery on Sunday or Monday depending on your area.
  • There are also designated gluten-free meals, which have been evaluated by a dietitian and are clearly labeled as such.
  • Because Just Add Cooking sources locally, they pack and deliver (via courier) the same day. No FedEx means less packaging (packaging is minimal and everything but the freezer bag is biodegradable). This process also helps ensure freshness and involves lower food miles the ingredients have to travel.
  • All recipes are developed by an in-house chef and all recipes are tested to ensure they are accessible to home chefs. This means the time printed on the recipe (usually around 30  minutes) is the true cooking time.JAC Open Box picture
Check out Just Add Cooking
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Disclainer: I was not compensated for this post but did receive a Just Add Cooking box to facilitate this review. All opinions are =, and always will be, my own.

Halloween is sweet over at The Food Network

What is sweeter than Halloween? And some of our favorite shows are on The Food Network, where I often find inspiration, and they have special Halloween themed recipes…of course they do! Check out these sweet and savory treats. The Food Network has two great October shows that offer more great Halloween recipes and ideas – Halloween Baking Championship (Mondays @9:00pm) and Halloween Wars (Sundays @9:00pm).

You know I’m all about the sweets, and there are some great treats like Wicked Cupcakes 

and

Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Pecan-Caramel Spiders
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces thin black licorice strands, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
Chocolate curls or jimmies, optional

Directions

Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Mound 30 small clusters of pecans, about 3 or 4 pecans each, spaced a couple inches apart on the pan.

Make caramel: Warm the cream over low heat and keep warm while you cook the sugar.

Put the sugar and corn syrup and in a deep, heavy-bottomed large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring, raise heat to medium-high, and simmer until the sugar reaches the hard crack stage, or 305 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.

Whisk the butter and salt into the sugar mixture. Gradually pour in the cream and vanilla taking care since the mixture will bubble up. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar reaches soft ball stage, 240 degrees F on the thermometer, about 5 minutes more. Immediately remove from the heat and cool for a minute.

Ladle a couple tablespoons of warm caramel over some of the nut clusters, to make the spider bodies. Then press 6 pieces of licorice into the warm caramel to make the legs. Repeat with the remaining caramel and licorice. (It’s helpful to have an extra hand here, since the caramel can set quickly. If caramel hardens, warm over very low heat. ) Let spiders cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1-inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue heat until completely melted, 2 to 3 minutes more.)

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each spider. Sprinkle with jimmies or chocolate curls, if desired. Let cool until firm.

Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

From Food Network Kitchens
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© 2015 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/pecan-caramel-spiders-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I also love tomato soup with a nice grilled cheese and this recipe is too adorable not to share! Vampire Blood Tomato Soup with Muenster Sammies to fuel us your little trick or treaters before they get all sugared up from Halloween. Plus it’s a rookie move to order a pizza on Halloween night because everyone does and the wait is endless.

For more Halloween recipes and ideas, tune in to Food Network or visit Foodnetwork.com

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

A Gorgeous Day At The Farm #eatdrinkbelocal

A Gorgeous Day At The Farm #eatdrinkbelocalIMG_2584

Natick Community Organic Farm and Brothers Marketplace

Yesterday we spent a beautiful summer day with family and blogging friends at Natick Community Organic FarmBrothers Marketplace hosted a lunch at the farm to celebrate their connection to local food and farms, and it was wonderful to get a tour of a working, local, and sustainable farm. While we had visited the farm before, and I knew they had a great camp program, I didn’t know that they have a year round farm stand, organic turkeys at Thanksgiving, and chicken coops that you can rent by the week. And everyone there was friendly, incredibly dedicated and passionate about this bucolic oasis which is about as far away from my house as Boston is, but entirely a world away.

We started the tour in the fantastic flower garden. The entire farm is organic and these beautiful blooms are available at the farm stand and both Brothers Marketplace locations (Medfield and Weston).

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Next we visited the chickens, pigs, turkeys and cows. The pigs were snoozing in the heat and we learned how all parts of the farm work together from leftover staff lunches and flowers being used as feed for the animals to the making of and use of compost. Now my family wants to be on the list to buy a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving.

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Here are the turkey facts:

  • NCOF raises 175 turkeys every year.
  • They are fed organic grains from their day of hatching and allowed to roam and graze on the Farm’s organic pastures.
  • Dressed turkeys weigh between 16 and 35 pounds.
  • Turkeys will cost $4.75 pound, based on the cost of organic grain this year. They are sold fresh.
  •  More info here).

And chicken coops (chickens included) can be yours for a week or more. What a great family activity! The farm delivers the coop, and you get fresh eggs (okay, there is some work involved in the caring of the chickens). You can download more info about the fantastically named chicken tractor here.

After the tour, we were treated to a delicious lunch prepared by the chefs at Brothers Marketplace, and everything was made with farm fresh ingredients, and a gorgeous fresh mozzarella (made that morning) in the tomato salad.

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We also got to see a demonstration of making mozzarella cheese – check out Stowed Stuff for the complete video.

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I have been a fan of the Brothers Marketplace stores for a while now and I’m happy to share with you a $25 gift card.  Just share in the comments below – What is your favorite local summer treat?

So Eat, Drink and Be Local – Head to Brothers Marketplace (Medfield or Weston) for great, fresh, local food that supports local farms and manufacturers.

Follow @BrosMarketplace on Twitter and Brothers Marketplace on Instagram. #eatdrinkbelocal

Natick Community Organic Farm is a nonprofit, certified-organic farm providing productive open space, farm products, and hands-on education to all ages, year-round. Committed to farming methods that are ecologically healthy and sustainable, the Farm places special emphasis on service to youth through year-round classes, work-experience programs and volunteer opportunities for workingthe land. NCOF is open to the public daily during daylight hours with no admission fee for visits and purchases. http://www.natickfarm.org. Follow on Twitter @natickfarm

Thank you to Brothers Marketplace and Natick Community Organic Farm for the terrific event and lunch, and Iggy’s Bread, Nola’s Fresh Foods, Tortilleria La Niña, Grillo’s Pickles, and Spindrift Soda for the yummy treats.

I was not compensated for this post but did receive a goodie bag and a gift certificate to Brothers Market place to give away. All opinions are, and always will be, my own.

 

 

My New Love – Brother’s Marketplace Medfield, that is.

capability mom at blogger event at Brothers Marketplace medfield - great coffeeBrother’s Marketplace Medfield

I first visited Brothers Marketplace in Medfield while at an all day sporting event at the local high school. My husband and I were walking into town for lunch and he told me about a place called Brothers and that I would love it. Just in front of us was the storefront – the sign, the font, the colors, the charmingly arranged bales of hay outside.  “I already do, ” I replied. “How can you know you love it?” he asked. I looked at him in astonishment – because you just know. It comes in handy, this sense about where to find good food (another post will be about my food finds in NYC last month). But let’s give credit where credit is due, the husband did find Brothers, I just ID’d it as wonderful from the street. It lived up to (nay, exceeded) its promise and we walked there twice more that day, bypassing the Starbucks across the street in favor of the coffee at Brothers.

The second time I visited Brothers was in response to an invitation to a Blogger Breakfast. To be honest, I didn’t even read the invite all the way through before I replied yes! I didn’t have to…I was on board no matter what they were sharing – and it turns out they were sharing a lot – great food and delicious freshly roasted coffee, a lovely tour sharing how into how they work as a team and find the wonderfully locally sourced items and the specialty items. And then time to sit at the wonderful farm table with blogging friends and chat. And sample. And chat. And sample. Well, you get the idea.

Brother’s Marketplace manages to be both sophisticated and homey at the same time. It has a lovely old fashioned feel but with the super clean and state of the art fixtures, equipment and cases, you know you are in good hands. Brother’s (Bro-Med in our house) is part of the Roche Brothers family of stores but in a micro-grocery kind of way. The staff is ever friendly and polite and I know – I have visited both stores a few times since (there is one in Weston, too), and was warmly greeted each and every time, and no one knew I was writing about the store – they’re just naturally that nice.

In addition to fantastic produce, there are equally beautiful and fully stocked meat, fish and cheese departments and carefully curated dry goods, well, carefully curated everything, really. The prepared food is wonderful – everything from a hot bar with house made mac and cheese and rotisserie chicken (perfect) to amazing in-house sushi. The sandwiches (I have sampled four so far but willing to go back if research demands it) are all delicious and the selection of salads is impressive.

You can complete an entire grocery shop here, or just drop in for some of their terrific freshly roasted coffee and yummy baked goods and grab dinner for later. I happily would visit daily if it were a tiny bit closer to home. Hint to Brothers – A Bro-New? Please?

 

I was invited to a Blogger Breakfast and tour of Brother’s Marketplace in Medfield and received a gift bag of wonderful food to sample. The in-house mozzarella is a must have and it was thoughtfully paired with basil and a fantastic loaf of bread. Caprese sandwiches for dinner! I did not receive any compensation for this post and, as always, all opinions are my own.

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