LOCAL CHALLENGE WEEK 1
AUGUST 24, 2010 3:46 PM

I've had a few slips, but mostly have stuck to local or locally prepared.

Here are some of the highlights coming out of my kitchen:

Breakfast:
1. Omelet with eggs, cherry tomatoes, sweet onion, goat cheese.
2. Sautéed pattypan squash, cherry tomatoes, and swiss chard with a fried egg.

Snack:
1. Homemade french boule with goat cheese and strawberry jam (my sister made it with Michigan strawberries)
2. Fresh salsa with Milwaukee made tortilla chips (the chipotle sour cream ones)

Beverage:
1. Bloody mary with heirloom tomatoes, steamed and juiced, bucky badger horse(horsh)radish, milwaukee kosher pickles, and other non-local hot stuff and liquor.

Dinner:
1. Black Earth steak, hot cabbage slaw with bacon, cucumber salad with tomato, onion, and balsamic vinegar dressing
2. Roasted tomato soup with eggplant (see recipe below--Thanks Mal!), fried zucchini, steamed sweet corn, and fresh bread with goat cheese and jam.

Roasted Tomato and Vegetable Soup With Tasso Ham
Serves 4-6

2 pounds fresh tomatoes
2 small zebra eggplants or one medium regular eggplant
1 head of garlic, cut in half
4 small vidalia onions, cut in half
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil
olive oil or tea seed oil, avocado, walnut or pumpkin (optional) (I used sunflower oil from Driftless Organics)
1/2 cup diced tasso ham or thick cut/slab bacon, cooked and drained (omitted)

Preheat the oven to 450F. Slice the tomatoes and eggplants and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the garlic and onions on a separate baking sheet and drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil (if you have room left in the first pan, skip that step and add the garlic and onion to the tomatoes and eggplant). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast the veggies until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.Peel the garlic off its skins and place with the rest of the vegetables, saving a few tomato slices for garnish, in a food processor. Add about 1 to 2 cups of water and puree until smooth. Add enough water to reach your preferred consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved tomato slices, drizzle of your favorite oil and some basil. Add some tasso ham as desired and serve.

♥ stephanie
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SUMMER OH-10 101 AND LOCAL CHALLENGE
AUGUST 15, 2010 11:20 PM

I'm 25 and all grown up. I even shine my own boots. And I now know my limits. Maybe.

The List

  • I went to a swing ball and learned how to swing dance (#9).
Swing.JPG 
  • I found a sweet old cruiser thanks to hippie Christmas so #17 is no longer relevant. All I had to do was oil it, adjust a hand-me-down brooks saddle and install baskets. I finally have a grocery getter!
  • I am almost a trapeze 101 graduate and considering enrolling in a 4 month class with Cycropia trapeze.JPG
  • I went camping with a crowd of friends and their beautiful children. This almost counts for my ladies trip (#32) because the dads I know happen to be the coolest dads and dudes around.
  • I completed Intro to Pole Dance and now can, with a little grace, demonstrate 10 swings (#40)
  • Thanks to the Corner Record Shop I am now listening to vinyl all the time (#49). My collection so far includes (in order of acquisition): Iron and Wine, Nedelle, Abba, The Carpenters, Dolly Parton, Michael Jackson, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, a split with Lake and The Old Believers, Breathe Owl Breathe, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Mirah, Thao, (#50)
  • I finally mailed (#75) Jorden the book I borrowed from her before we both left France. I miss her.
Other recent and maybe relevant experiences: 
  • I tried my hand at face painting for Bell's 25th anniversary tent at the Great Taste. I was reasonably successful at hearts, stars, and bells. My masterpieces were a trapeze and a crane. 
  • I've been visited quite a bit this summer. Appearances include: Sarah Jo, Gregory, Katie and Matty, and my poppa. Good times were had by all. Highlights include, respectively: Farkel and countless other activities, fireworks in all kinds of ways, the Ball and a rickshaw ride, dinner at Harvest and a major cognitive paradigm shift. 
  • I'm enjoying Madison more and more and find it a challenge to take advantage of all that it offers. There is simple too much. 
    • The Union terrace has been frequented.
    • I think the wear that my tracks have caused on the bike paths is balanced with my tax dollars. 
    • I've swam, picnicked, frisbee-ed, frolicked, and wrestled in numerous green spaces around town. 
    • I've danced salsa, cha cha cha, samba, swing, pole, funk and soul, and whatever else I've stumbled upon.
Upcoming events: 
  • I won't miss Orton Park Festival (#65) and am especially excited to see the aerial dance troop, Cycropia, perform. Cycropia is the group I'm learning from and I feel especially fortunate to be in a city where I can try just about anything I could ever think of.
  • I start school in a couple weeks. I think I will attempt to be on time for everything that week (#28). 8:30am is going to kick what my momma gave me.
  • I've stepped up #45 (Prepare an only local meal) because this turns out to be a several times a week occurrence. I've joined the Eat Local Challenge from August 15th - September 15th. The plan is to blog more frequently about this challenge and to share with you some of the meals that come out of my kitchen. It should be fun and I'm well prepared with a hearty CSA from Vermont Valley and a sweet Co-op that labels all the items in the store with local or locally prepared making shopping easy. I also have plenty of eating-out options when I just can't handle kitchen heat.


♥ stephanie
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