Week 8 of CSA

Remember those muffins I wanted to make last week? Well, I made them!

BUT, they’re missing something. While they’re edible, they’re simply not delicious. I still have HALF the zucchini left, so I may try other recipes if I get inspired.

This week’s share is awesome!

Eggs, broccoli (normal size, for once), onions, burpless cucumber, and green beans!

As it’s going to be pretty hot in Lynchburg this week, I’m not planning on using the oven, so no special recipes this week, except maybe my Grandmum’s cucumber chicken salad.

I hope you have a great week!

~Amber Joy


Week 7 of CSA

This week’s share is full of HUGE deliciousness.

Two monstrous zucchini (the smaller one is longer than a foot), two giant tomatoes, two onions (one vadalia, one red), two crowns of broccoli (which look minuscule compared to everything else), and one very large bunch of swiss chard.

Again this week all the ingredients are relatively familiar.

I’m thinking about trying this recipe to use up some zucchini:

Zucchini muffins from the Gluten Free Homemaker.

When I picked up the share this afternoon I realized I haven’t even touched the lettuce and arugula, so I think some salads are in order for the rest of this week.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

~Amber Joy

CSA Week 6 Follow Up

Today is a cool day in Lynchburg, so to take advantage of the cooler house temperature, I’ve already made the Vegetable Tian from For the Love of Cooking! Check it out:

I followed the directions in the recipe exactly, and it turned out delicious! It calls for onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash, topped with parmesan – a perfect CSA recipe.

I’m off to figure out what else I can bake on this cool day!

~Amber Joy

PS – Here’s a bonus photo of my cat, Tani:

Week Six of CSA

Before I get into week 6, I bet you’re all dying to know how the GF Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake was – well it was DELICIOUS!!! It wasn’t just me saying this – it was approved by every member of my LIFEgroup, including one dear friend who gags at the thought of ANY vegetables. It was typical gluten free, though, with less moisture and more density. The taste, however, was delicious. The beets could be seen, but not tasted, and the chocolate was strong, but not overwhelming. So, if you hate beets, but get stuck with some for any reason, make this cake!

Now, onto this week’s share – it’s a winner!

This week we have received arugula, lettuce, yellow squash, zucchini, and eggs. Doesn’t it all look delicious? And everything is a “normal” ingredient that I don’t have a problem with.

Here are a couple of recipes I’ll probably be trying out:

This yummy looking Vegetable Tian from For the Love of Cooking.

This Warm Bean and Arugula Salad, published by the Huffington Post.

It should be another delicious week!

~Amber Joy

My first GF Chocolate Bundt cake with a special secret ingredient!

I just made this:

Doesn’t it look delicious? It smells even better than it looks! Too bad you can’t smell it through your computer.

This cake was inspired by a recipe I found on Green Kitchen Stories.

As you know I’ve been receiving fresh produce from my CSA, Lynchburg Grows. This past week I received an item that stumped me – Beets. What do beets have to do with this delicious chocolate cake, you ask? They are the special secret ingredient! I know, right? CRAZY.

Here’s the recipe for Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake I modified to make gluten free:

2/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup honey

50 grams dark chocolate, broken up

2 cups(ish) grated RAW beetroots

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups all purpose GF flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp baking powder

5 tbsp cacao powder

1 pinch of salt

I decided that since I was working along I’d break my work up into stations, getting everything ready individually for the final mix-in.

Station 1 – eggs ready to be whisked and dry ingredients:

Station 2 – Olive oil in the pan, with honey and chocolate standing by:

Station 3 took some work before it was ready – the beets:

First, I made a makeshift plastic apron to avoid stains.

Second, I covered my counter with plastic and washed and prepared the beets to be peeled.

Third, I grated the beet roots.

Now that my stations were set up, I got to work on the recipe.

1: Turn the oven on to preheat at 350.

2: Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan (large enough to fit ALL of the ingredients). Once heated, add honey and chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted.

3: Remove from heat and mix in beets.

4: Whisk eggs and add to beet mixture.

5: Stir in dry ingredients until mixed well.

6: Grease bundt pan and pour in cake mix.

7: Put in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

8: Remove from oven!

9: Let it rest for 10 minutes in the bundt pan before flipping out to cool completely.

10: ENJOY!

This recipe is EASY, especially for being Gluten Free. I can’t wait to dig in and enjoy a piece of this special cake!

~Amber Joy

Week Five of CSA

This week’s share is an interesting one:

Beets, Onions, Cilantro, Strawberry Jam, and Eggs

The big problem is the beets… I have never liked them, so what can I create that will make them tolerable?

Please, please, please leave me some suggestions! Or, better yet, come to Lynchburg and take them off my hands.

~Amber Joy

They grow up so fast…

This time last year I was settling into my house (that I rent). This meant I could FINALLY get a cat.

This is Tani one year ago:

She was a tiny little cat – scared but dying for some love. She had been dropped off at the humane society with a batch of kittens, so not only was she dealing with being abandoned she also had to deal with having her babies weaned and being separated from them. She also had an upper respiratory infection and had to get fixed so she could be adopted, so she was really put through the ringer in the matter of weeks.

This is Tani one happy year later:

She’s at a healthy 7 pounds – a perfect weight for her frame. When I adopted her she was just under 6. She meows ALL THE TIME, and she LOVES to eat. I call her a proximity cat – she hates to snuggle, but likes to be near. In this picture she’s vying for my attention by the kitchen. She’s not allowed in, so she stays at the frame showing off as I cook/eat.

I am so glad for having a cat of my own – Happy gotcha day, Tani!

Somewhat related, a year ago I saw a few baby fawns run through my backyard. I didn’t get a photo then, but just last week I looked out my window to see this:

I LOVE the fact that there are deer near my house, and am so happy to have finally captured two of them! They just grow up so fast!

~Amber Joy