Welcome to Sarah's Adventures in Culinary Experimentation

This blog is for posting recipes I've experimented with while teaching myself to cook. Some I have taken from my favorite recipe books, others are purely my own experimentations. My audience is usually just my husband, my toddler daughter, and I and we are living on a tight budget. Sometimes you might find a splurge.

Hopefully you'll find something here that you like!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Damhead Organic Deliveries Week 1

We got our first Organic Fruit and Veg box delivered on Tuesday from Damhead farms. Here is a breakdown of what we got:

Small Fruit Bag (23 fruit items 9.80pounds/0.41p an item)
4 oranges
5 bananas
7 apples
4 plums
3 pears

Small Fruit & Veg Box (43 total items 10pounds/0.23p an item)
2 oranges
5 bananas
5 apples
1 courgette
3 leeks
2 little lettuce heads
3 tomatoes
4 parsnips
1 rutabaga
4 carrots
4 small onions
8 potatoes (various sizes)

By Satuday, November 1st, we have already gone through almost everything. Here is what we have left:

4 oranges, 2 bananas, 6 apples, 4 plums, 1 pear, and 1 courgette.

We only ate out once since the delivery. The fruit we didn’t do anything special with. A recipe came with the bag of Fruit and Veg, but we didn’t find it until we were cleaning out the bag to return it. It was for Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup. I hope to cook it, as it looks very delicious and hearty. Here are some of the recipes I made with the items we received:

Parsnip, Carrot, and Potato Pancakes
(Makes 10 medium pancakes)
2 parsnip
2 carrots
3 potatoes
2 onions
1 cup all purpose flower
3 eggs
Salt and Pepper
Butter or Olive Oil for cooking

1. Peel and shred parsnips, carrots, and potatoes. Dice the onion.

2. In a bowl, at 1 cup all purpose flour and 3 eggs (pre-whisk the eggs before adding). Add salt and pepper as you prefer.

3. In a hot pan, add the butter/olive oil and start spooning in mixture to make little pancakes. Cook through on one side and then flip to cook the over side.

4. Lightly salt when you take them out of the pan. Serve with apple sauce, sour cream or ketchup, as you prefer!

Parsnip, Carrot, Rutabaga and Leek Cream Soup
(Serves 3-4)
2 parsnip (peeled and diced)
2 carrot (peeled and diced)
1 rutabaga (peeled and diced)
2 leek (cleaned, chopped, don’t use dark green area)
2 Knorr Vegetable Cubes
8 cups water
1 cup heavy cream

1. Heat the water and Vegetable Cubes to boiling.

2. Add the parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, and leeks. Cook until tender.

3. Drain, saving broth, and put into food processors. Blend until smooth, adding liquid. Put through a fine strainer if you want it really smooth, but otherwise it’ll have a few lumps.

4. Put back into pot and add 1 cup heavy cream. Stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Oriental Lettuce Cup
(Serves 2-3)
2 heads lettuce (tiny cups)
2 pound ground beef
2 TBSP Chinese 5 Spice
3 eggs
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp diced garlic
1 jar Housin Sauce

1. Cook the ground beef in a pan with the Chinese 5 Spice. Drain off grease and set aside.

2. Mix three eggs in a bowl with soy sauce and diced garlic. Salt and pepper as preferred. Put 2 TBSP butter or margarine in a pan and scramble the eggs while they cook in the pan until light and fluffy and cooked as you prefer.

3. Lay out the lettuce slices, so that they appear like little cups. Make sure they’re dry.

4. Lay some of the egg on the lettuce. Then cover it with the ground beef. Add a tsp of housing sauce over the top. Wrap and eat.

Potato and Leek Cream Soup
(serves 2)
4 potatoes (skinned and diced)
2 leeks (chopped, don’t use the dark green part)
3/4 cup double cream (heavy cream)
2 Knorr Chicken Cubes
6 cups water

1. Heat up the water and chicken cubes. Put in the diced potatoes and leeks.

2. Cook until extremely tender. Drain and save the broth.

3. Put the potatoes and leeks in a food processor with 1 cup of the broth from the cooking. Puree until smooth. Add more liquid as needed.

4. Then pour back in pan and add 3/4 cup double cream and mix thoroughly on very low heat until fully combined. It should be a very smooth, thin cream soup.

Tuna and Potato Bake
(serves 2)
4 potatoes (skinned and diced)
3 tomatoes (+4 non-organic tomatoes)
2 small onions (diced)
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 tsp yellow, spicy mustard
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 can preferred tuna (drained)
Salt and pepper

1. Roast Tomatoes in halves and then chop into quarters. Dice small onions and cook them in a pan with a little extra virgin olive oil until slightly soft. Skin and dice potatoes and cook them in water under soft.

2. Let the tomatoes and onions cool. When cool, add mayonnaise, mustard, and tuna.

3. Drain potatoes and spread on the bottom of a small baking dish. Let cool slightly. Salt and pepper. Pour tuna mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.

4. Put under broiler for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Serve.

Next week we’re debating over what box we want to get. We like the amount of fruit, but we want more veg, I think. There was a salad bag they had listed which gives us peppers and things. We’re actually discussing testing the Large Fruit and Veg box which seems to have everything and will probably give us the amounts we want, since we do cook at home pretty much every night.

As of week one, I think it was really great. I’m worried about how soup seems to be the primary recipe to work with having so many vegetables. So I have a lot of research to do to try to find out how to expand what I can cook, because Ray does not like having soup every single day, despite it being winter. I can't wait to see what next Tuesday will bring.