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Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day 2012- Spot Light on Beef Kabobs and Organic CSA Produce

We celebrated Father's Day a little early this year

My Daddy enjoying his Father's Day Cook Out!

 My older sister from Colorado was in town for a few days before a work camp for a local missionary camp in PA- she works for an incredible company called Group Publishing and the experience they give to kids and the adults involved is amazing. If you have a youth group looking for a summer camp experience and missionary work (there is over 40 work camp locations all over the US), but low on funds, you aught to check out this affordable ministry- here is the web site!

Anyhow since my sister would be leaving for PA on Sunday morning so we celebrated with my amazing dad on Sat instead.  I picked up my first CSA for the season from Fox Family Farms in Navarre, Ohio, that morning as well so I incorporated my fresh produce from my share in the menu. Below you will find the menu, recipes and pic of our fun-filled day!

On the MENU:
  • Marinated Steak Kabobs Featuring Farm Fresh Organic Veggies from my local CSA share FOX FAMILY FARMS
  • Roasted Organic Veggie Quinoa
  • Organic Herbed Fresh Shelled Peas and Red Skin Potato Salad (INGREDIENTS FROM FOX FAMILY FARMS MY CSA)
  • Organic Cucumber & Grape Tomato Salad (PARTIAL INGREDIENTS FROM FOX FAMILY FARMS MY CSA)
  • Watermelon
  • Balsamic Vinegar Mascaraed Strawberries with fresh whipped Cream and pound cake cups


-The Marinade
  • 3T EVOO
  • 2T Distilled White Vinegar
  • 2T Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 T Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1T Brown Sugar
  • 2-3 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1T Smoked Paprika
  • 1T Chipotle Pepper Powder
  • 2T Garlic powder
  • 2T Onion Powder
  • 4 Lbs roast, cut into 1/2-1" cubes
~ Mix together to form a nice wet consistency to evenly coat all the meat, add drops of water if too dry. Place Kabobs in a shallow bowl with a tight fitting lid and coat in marinade overnight if possible.

The Kabobs:
  • 4 Lbs roast (I used top round and cut against the grain to get more tender. Not the best cut of meat for grilling, but refuse to pay $8.00 for butcher to kabob my meat or more per LB for choicer cut of meat.), cubed into 1/2-1" cubes all ready marinaded overnight.
  • 1 large organic Zuccini, sliced in 1/2" slices From my CSA
  • 1 large yellow squash. sliced in 1/2 thick slices From my CSA
  • 1 red pepper, sliced in 1/2" slices
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced in 1/2" slices
  • 1 green pepper, sliced in 1/2" slices
  • 2-3 large vidalia onions, sliced in quarters and seasoned well with salt and pepper
  • 2- 10 oz Buttom Mushrooms kept whole
  • 4 oz of favorite Italian Dressing {Marinated veggies overnight as well for extra flavor}
  • 20-30 Kabob skewers soaked in water overnight
  • non-stick spray
  • 2 serving platters large enough to hold 30 kabobs (one for uncooked, one for cooked)
  • 2 tongs (one for uncooked, one for cooked)

I like to assemble Onions over the beef and over the mushrooms, and over the peppers, other than that I don't really have a pattern. I just LOVE it when the onion caramelizes and juices run into the meat and veggies. Last time I made the kabobs I did marinate the veggies and it was soo good, this time I didn't so from now on I WILL! 

If you soak over night the wooden skewers won't burn so much on grill.

Place on grill over med-low heat and allow to cook slowly will produce more flavor and allow the onions to soften nicely. Remember that meat will continue to cook even after you remove from grill. So I like to remove right before I think it is done and allow to rest covered for maximum juiciness and flavor.

This was my son's plate, he ate ALL his QUINOA

Roasted Organic Veggie Quinoa
  •  4 C organic free range chicken stock (I make mine homemade)
  • 2 Cups rinsed Organic Quinoa
  • 2-3T kosher salt (Sorry but I use salt, it just doesn't taste right without it!)
  • 1T fresh cracked pepper
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1-2 lg vidalia onions, diced
  • 4 oz roasted asparagus spears
  • 3t finely diced red and yellow peppers (hate the texture of peppers but like a little dap of them in this)
  • 10 Oz sliced Button Mushrooms, sliced
  •  EVOO
  1. Heat skillet over med heat, once hot add EVOO
  2. Immediately add onions & peppers, once onions are clear add mushrooms
  3. When mushrooms have reduced in size and used up their liquid 
  4. Add asparagus and season with salt and pepper cook for about 3-5 min
  5. Add garlic and Quinoa, only cook until garlic is fragrant and quinoa is toasted slightly, 1-3 min max!
  6. Pour in stock and allow to come to a boil, taste and see if seasoning needs adjusted.
  7. Cover and turn to simmer for 10-15 min
  8. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 min, fluff with fork.
  9. Taste again and see if seasoning is ok adjust if need be.
Fresh Shelled Peas and Herbed Red Skin Potato Salad 
This was invented to use the handful of peas we have left over after munching on some of our fresh produce from the CSA and the potatoes we received.  Won't win an awards nor do I think I will make it again....

There is something very earthy and nearly spiritual about shelling peas, makes me think of an era that has gone by- a nostalgic feeling comes across me and I feel like I am kid again. I think I might have done this when I was a child with the neighborhood Gramma, Mrs. Kautz. My memories are hazy, but I visualize a lap full of peas in the pod while wearing a 40's style apron, a bucket of shelled peas, and elderly hands gently guiding me to "pull the string" just "so" on the pods to remove the shells then use my thumb to properly "shell the peas", "Ploop, ploop , ploop".  Such a simple little thing, but it makes me feel so utterly content and loved to remember the patience she showed me and pride I felt on being able to help & contribute.

I WILL grow peas in my garden next year so my children and I will collect them for dinner, I hope shelling them with me will help them feel as contented to the earth and content as I once felt and still do and see the simple rewards and joy of fresh veggies from your own earth! 

The ONLY way to eat peas in my opinion is FRESH from the garden, freshly picked, shelled and ate withing 24 hours otherwise they ARE GROSS!!! 

I only blanched them for 3 min then placed in a ice bath to stop cooking, it made it crisp tender just took that edge off of them, we ate them in the some of pods as a mid-morning snack on the way home from the farmer's market though, LOL!

Don't know if I would EVER make this again, but it was surprising not half bad and tasted extremely fresh.

  • Fresh Shelled Peas. blanched for 3 min and plunged into an ice bath until cool
  • 2 red skin potatoes, cubed and boiled in salty water
  • Drain potatoes and place back in pan to dry fully
  • Place in a bowl while still warm and season with salt and pepper
  • Add a Tablespoon of Mayo to coat warm potatoes
  • Mix in Organic Dried Basil From my CSA
  • Toss in peas, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Cover and refrigerate for several hours for flavor to meld.
This platting would get me" Chopped", but doesn't that look sooooooo good?!

Organic Cucumber & Grape Tomato Salad
  • Again not a recipe per say, 
  • just chopped the organic cucumber I received in my CSA share and diced some grape tomatoes to match quantity
  • Poured some Balsamic Vinegar and Evoo 1-3 ratio
  • Crushed some Organic Dried Oregano from my CSA
  • Dash of sugar
  • Kosher Salt and fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Fresh Green Onion from my CSA
  • Mixed together and allowed to sit in fridge for about 4 hours
 Mascerated Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar and Sugar over Pound Cake and Fresh Whipped Sweetened Cream- orry not real recipe just a "gulg here" and "pinch there"!
  • 2 qt of fresh organic strawberries, sliced
  • A gulg of 2 of organic Balsamic Vinegar
  • Unrefined Sugar about 3 T
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt and smidge of pepper (just to give it a kick and round out flavors)

Slice Berries and place in a deep bowl and add rest of ingredients. Allow to sit overnight and pour syrup and berries over pound cakes and place a dallop of whipped cream over top!! Perfect Summer time fare!

Linked to Pot Luck Weekend,

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