I always get excited when we get fennel in our baskets! But then again I LOVE black licorice, and raw fennel has a definite licorice flavor and aroma. Sadly my husband is not a licorice fan, so raw fennel is not an option for him. However, cooked fennel has a different flavor, it’s not as pungent and aromatic when its roasted or baked in a casserole. A friend shared a recipe with au gratin potatoes and bacon which sounded good, but i didn’t have a pound of bacon handy. After digging in my deep freeze (come on we all do it, looking for that one item you know you stuck in there and just like your purse, everything immediately goes to the abyss in the bottom) I found a pound of Italian sausage. What is in Italian sausage for spice…Fennel seed. Hmm, I am thinking this could be a winning choice.
Naturally my stew pack was screaming at me to make a bowl of comforting soup. We got a couple of fallish days (okay… maybe it was just the morning) in Central Texas recently so I promptly pulled out my boots, scarves and made this fabulous soup.
This soup really hit the spot with some bread (I had crescents on hand but a crusty bread would be great) and a glass of wine. My family is weird and aren’t really “soup people” but they loved this and my husband said the leftovers were fabulous for lunch the next day. This is the kind of soup that warms your body and your soul. Read the rest of this entry »
This week we received fennel, red pears and apples in our baskets. I decided to try a more autumnal version of fresh fennel slaw by making an apple cider vinaigrette to dress it. It came together rather quickly and only needed to rest for 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. I would imagine this would be a wonderful side dish to roasted pork loin, pork chop or to top a pulled pork sandwich.
While stalking the Bountiful Baskets Facebook page this weekend, I noticed we have some clear lines drawn when it comes to fennel:
1) People who like it and are armed with scrumptious recipe ideas
2) People who weren’t familiar at all with it (what is this leafy, green, dill-looking, celery looking thing?)
3) People who gave their fennel away because they don’t like black licorice
The good news is you don’t have to be number three. Just because you (like me) don’t like black licorice doesn’t mean you won’t like fennel. I adore it and once it is cooked, it doesn’t have a hint of black licorice or I’d give it away at pickup. This recipe is so comforting and cooks up in one pan. I think you’ll find this recipe is a delicious way to move yourself up to number one.
I keep a huge bowl of salad in my fridge at all times. I love to be able to serve my family a fresh and delicious salad with our dinners. Unfortunately the big kid (read: my significant other) isn’t an eager salad eater so I always keep a dressing on hand that will appease him. I just knew that if I could concoct a tasty hatch chile dressing, I would have a willing salad eater this week.
My 5 year old daughter and I put this together (she operated the blender and poured in the measured ingredients). Once it was done, she couldn’t get enough of it! After I poured the dressing into my snazzy dressing bottle, she licked the dressing out of the blender and I hope you will too (don’t worry, we won’t judge).
I love to share my fennel recipes because fennel is one of those things that gets a lot of confused looks at pickup. I think that fennel is especially yummy in Italian recipes so I whipped up this soup on a recently fall evening. As soon as weather gets cooler AT ALL, I fully embrace it. Considering I live in Central Texas, these “fall days” are sparse but glorious. This came together really quickly, so it worked well at my house on a week night.
I found myself trading avocados a couple baskets ago for some extra carrots. Not realizing at the time I had 2 one pound bags already. Now what can I do with them???? I know carrot chips. There is nothing like homemade chips of any kind and carrots are one of my favorites. You can do sweet or spicy, hot or just plain salted. Really anything goes with carrot chips so let your imagination fly. And no one needs to know they are healthy. Read the rest of this entry »
You know what I love about Bountiful Baskets? What I REALLY love? Beyond the healthy food on my dinner plate; beyond the rewards I get when I volunteer and do my part to ensure the success of our co-op, which is helping countless people; even beyond money I am saving by participating in Bountiful Baskets….
What I REALLY love about Bountiful Baskets is that because of Baskets, I have found joy in food! Clean, healthy, amazing food that I had walked past in grocery aisles for years. Not noticing them, not knowing how to use them and especially not knowing how much I loved them! Read the rest of this entry »
The making of raisins is a wonderful journey. For me there is no better way to show my love for family and friends then by cooking for them. These raisins are just another way for me to do that. I first started by doing a vinegar water wash of the grapes with a good rinse and dry. Then let the grapes sit on the trays for a hour so they don’t add moisture to the dehydrator. The hardest part was making sure the little stems were removed on all of the grapes. What I did find is that after drying if you missed any they stood out and you could remove them at that time. Each dehydrator is different so times will be to. Mine took 48 hours on at 145 degrees and 14 hours at 125 degrees. Every few hours I rotated the trays and stirred around the grapes on each tray.
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