Posted in Eats

Colcannon Bake

I love our C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture). I know some of you are sick of hearing me talk about it, so I thought I’d start sharing some of the dishes inspired by our weekly boxes. Here are a few reasons why I am addicted to our local C.S.A.:

  • In-season produce picked fresh the day before pick up. This means each bite is vine ripened and coated in nothing other than a little dirt.
  • Supporting local farmers, the land they cultivate, the bees they nourish, and lessening dependence on foreign food
  • Flavor. Fruit and vegetables are not fresh when they ripen in a shipping container. Eating produce that soaks up every drop of sun and soil possible quickly turns into a taste you crave.
  • Experimenting with new recipes and foods we would otherwise pass up for our same old choices. I make it my goal in life to use up every bite of food in the box, which has led us to discover new favorites. And learning to plan for the occasional back-up replacement side when that grilled eggplant tastes like a sour bar of soap.

Colcannon Bake was a result of a random search for a recipe to use up potatoes and cabbage. Basically, it’s a smashed potato and fried cabbage casserole. I had my doubts but the combination of textures and savory flavor made my mouth happy. It does take one and a half hours to cook but that’s mostly while the potatoes boil and the bake time. If this is taken into account, it works well with a planned meal. You can use the open time to mix a salad and prepare your main dish.

Colcannon Bake Recipe

  • 5 medium red potatoes
  • 6T butter, sliced
  • 1/2c plain Greek yogurt, whole or low fat
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4c milk, not that skim garbage but whole/cream/nut is good
  • 1T avocado oil
  • 3c cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1t Better than Bouillon, chicken
  • 1/2c sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • salt & pepper
  • garlic powder + smoked paprika or dill + rosemary or Cajun seasoning

Put the potatoes in a pot and fill with water until covered at least an inch. Boil until they slide easily off a fork.

30-45 minutes

Meanwhile, prep ingredients:

Shred cabbage and cheese

Dice the onion

Measure milk and yogurt in same measuring cup. Add in egg and sliced butter. Set aside.

With pan on low heat, mash drained potatoes partially.

Move to a large bowl. Add the milk, yogurt, egg, and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Mash until desired smoothness. Lumpy is our preferred texture.

Preheat oven to 350 F

I’m all about less dirty dishes, so I reused the pot I boiled the potatoes in.

Add oil and onion to pan over medium heat. Cook until onions are translucent.

Add cabbage, bouillon, seasonings and fry until tender.

Combine cabbage and potatoes until evenly distributed but not mushy. Butter or spray a 9″x13″ pan with oil (preferably propellant free).

Bake for 40 minutes and the top is golden brown.

Top with cheese and return to oven until melted.

Serve with extra plain Greek yogurt, chives, or Parmesan cheese.

It turned out a little too dry for us, so I smothered extra plain Greek yogurt on top. I cut back on the milk and yogurt in the mashed potatoes to try and account for extra moisture from the cabbage. Turns out, the cabbage released it’s excess water while it was frying or evaporated in the oven. Make the mashed potatoes the way you like them. My cabbage was not soupy before I added it to the mashed potatoes- it was cooked through with a slight crunch and maintained this texture after baking.

We enjoyed this with smothered pork chops from my Instant Pot but I see it working well with meatloaf, oven-fried chicken, or grilled fish. I will also doctor this next time with diced red bell pepper, finely minced mushrooms, and/or shredded carrot. I love to sneak all sorts of vegetables into every single dish possible. Seriously. I have kale, spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini in the freezer just waiting to be hidden in my next meal.

Posted in Our Story

Summerville Summer

I feel like we haven’t done much this summer, until I scroll through the photos on my phone. We started the season with joining our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) instead of rushing to start a garden. That in itself has been an adventure! My new toaster oven/air fryer has certainly been put to work. One of our favorite new snacks is toast with pimento cheese topped with fresh tomato slices. It’s been a long while since I’ve tasted a tomato with such an intense flavor and do not get me started on this Dutch potato bread Annabeth found. We also enjoyed air-fried sweet onions and green tomatoes on burgers, sandwiches, or simply dipped in homemade yogurt ranch. One thing we couldn’t seem to perfect is eggplant. We sadly sent quite a few Fairy Tale eggplants to the compost. Oh well, we’ll try again next year.

Annabeth joined a soccer team! This was the first season with 3-4 year olds for the town recreation, so we all enjoyed trying something new together. From the day we first asked if she was interested, she was more excited to make friends than play soccer. Practices were fun because she got her own ball but as soon as the game started, she lost interest. Let me rephrase that: She lost interest in the ball and channeled all of her focus into making friends. She chased others who were lacking motivation and attacked them with hugs or holding hands. On the first day of practice, she slapped a little girl who refused to hold hands with her. We were later told a story about a bug being on her face but who knows. When we ask why she refuses to go after the ball, she told us that no one is being nice and sharing with her. Tee Ball starts at the end of the month. Maybe having her own chance to hit the ball will spark her interest more than elbowing kids to get to kick a soccer ball.

Uncle Jason came out to spend a week with us in July! Having him there meant more to me than I expected. The moment he got into my car at the airport, I was overwhelmed with emotion. It feels good to be loved. Annabeth savored the entertainment and still calls our guest bedroom “Uncle Jason’s room.” We shared our favorite restaurants with him and spent the weekend in Charleston being tourists. The trip ended with testing out the reverse sear technique on some rib eye cap steaks and loaded baked potatoes (cooked in the Instant Pot and crisped the skin in the air fryer). Dessert was peach cobbler topped with Turkey Hill Triple Vanilla- the brown sugar bourbon vanilla was the perfect touch! We even invited the neighbor who watched Cooper while we were in Charleston to join us. We really enjoyed the horse drawn carriage tour and Patriot’s Point, which we have already planned to do again next time.

It has been too hot for the past few weeks to take a walk most evenings. My favorite time of day was chasing Annabeth on her bike around the neighborhood. I think we’ll be back at it in a couple weeks- things seem to be cooling down. We are still adjusting to our new schedule. TJ gets off work and 3:30pm and it takes him 10 minutes max to get home! Our days seem to fly by and he’s home before we know it. We tried story time at the library on Friday. I don’t know why it took so long for us to get 0.4 miles down the road to check out the county library. We had been there for 3 minutes and Annabeth asked to go sit up front. By herself. Without me. I cried. We’re going to try Toddler Time at the brand new recreation center next! We’ve never had this much freedom with TJ’s schedule and being so far away from things to do. I’m having to retrain my thinking. That’s something I can get used to!