Monday, April 16, 2012

Welcome to Good Personality Cooking!

I love cooking. I especially love cooking using local and fresh ingredients. Strange, I know. Luckily, North Central Florida has a vibrant food community. We have a great growing season in the winter when you poor Northerners are subsisting on canned blueberries and withered tubers. I have decided to share my adventures in cooking using my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share, bounty from the farmers' markets and various underground food sources, both literally and figuratively.

I call this Good Personality cooking because while the food may not be plated elegantly, it sure tastes good. I'm also not going to spend a ton of time arranging or lighting my food for photos. I got the "good personality" brand in my youth, so I'm not trying to bring up bad memories for people.
I know it's a tired trope. Is there any other kind?

I pick up my CSA share from an organic farm down the block about 2 miles on Wednesdays. I never know what I'm going to get. Will it be veggies I'm familiar with and cook all the time? Or will I have to figure out how to prepare something new? Saturdays I go to the farmers' market and find local chicken, eggs and produce. Mondays, I pick up an order from a friend who runs an organic buying club that includes local grass-fed meat for a pittance.

I try to cook everything from scratch. Sometimes I cheat and use jarred tomatoes. I also buy fruit leather from Target because I am not Superwoman, people. I do not own a dehydrator (yet). The fruit leather is organic, however. I have some standards. I also can't replicate cheddar bunnies for my kids. It's the original Annie's Organics or nothing.

Without further ado, here's tonight's dinner. Click on the picture below for a larger view.

Clockwise from top left: grilled bi-color summer squash, collard greens and bacon, grilled chicken with tzatziki sauce and sweet potatoes prepared on the grill. The squash, collards and cucumber in the tzatziki sauce were from the CSA. The bacon, chicken, yogurt and sweet potatoes came from the buying club.

I've never made homemade tzatzkiki sauce before. It is so easy and unbelievably delicious. I used full-fat Fage greek yogurt, which is impossible to find it in stores because people are too afraid of fat. Non-fat greek yogurt is so boring and flat. I peeled, deseeded and chopped fresh cucumbers, then mixed it into the yogurt along with crushed and chopped garlic. Fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, dill, salt and pepper finish it off. It was delicious fresh and even better the next day. I ate it over eggs this morning. YUM.

The sweet potatoes were super easy. Peel, chop into cubes, wrap in foil with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Put it on the grill until you can poke the cubes easily with a fork. They tasted like candy.

Lest you think my six and three year old boys have sophisticated palates and eat everything I whip up, I usually end up making a second meal for them. Every night the boys eat steamed broccoli or green beans. They will not touch any sort of tuber. The older only eats plain meat or chicken without sauce and the younger one only eats meat sauce or stew meat and refuses to touch chicken. I'm hoping they grow out of the bland phase. I can't even get them to eat a "polite bite." They gag like I'm forcing them to eat maggots.

I'll be back Wednesday with a list of CSA veggies. I'll take suggestions!


Eme said...


Bren said...

So looking forward to this.

Zoe said...

Hooray for a blog! This all sounds so yummy!

Jenny Hughes said...

Oh, the struggle to get our picky eaters to eat real food! After years of bland O is starting to try new veggies, fish or sauces, at 6 1/2, sometimes. My Noah lives on air and sweets! The only veg he eats is sneaked into a muffin. :(
So glad you are blogging about the CSA bounty, I look forward to seeing more of this 'local fresh garden on a plate' stuff. :)

Ruth said...

Jenny, I'll post about a muffin/cupcake that is delicious! Look for a future post about beet cupcakes! I'm also making zucchini cookies later this week that I'll share.

Miss Mermaid said...

Happy I found this, Ruth! I love your sense of humor and conscious cooking <3

LoriD said...

I'm SO excited that I am finally able to comment on your FANTASTICALLY DELICIOUS blog! I can hardly wait for more! Thank you Ruth!!!