theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Potato Salad May 29, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Lunch,Snack,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 11:13 am
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It’s officially summertime and with summer comes barbecues, picnics, and hot weather. That can only mean grilling and cold salads. I made our first batch of potato salad yesterday and it turned out pretty well. I never remember what I put into it, so I’m here to share with you (and give myself a permanent record!).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs of potatoes (red, white, yukon…)
  • 1/4 cup of mayo
  • 1 tsp of dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 yellow or red onion or scallions
When I made this I was using 5 lbs of potatoes, so the proportions might be slightly off.
Steps
  1. Wash and cut potatoes into similar sized pieces.
  2. Put in a pot and fill with water until the potatoes are just covered.
  3. Bring potatoes to a boil, once boiling lower the temperature till its lightly boiling. Keep on heat for ~15 mins, until potatoes are tender but not mushy. (If you stick a knife, it should go in and slide off easily.)
  4. Drain and fill pot with cold water. Let sit for a few minutes, drain and rinse with cold water again.
  5. While the potatoes are boiling, chop the pepper and onion into small pieces. (Onion to add flavor so you can omit if you don’t like it, peppers to add color and flavor)
  6. Mix the mayo and dijon mustard.
  7. Once the potatoes are slightly cool, mix the potatoes, peppers, onion, and mayo/dijon mixture together until the potatoes are coated.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. At this point you can serve immediately or you can store in the fridge for up to a day. (Making this a great make ahead dish!)
  10. Enjoy!!
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Farmer’s Market, Memorial Day, and Candy Cookies May 28, 2011

Filed under: Dessert — theboxexperiment @ 3:25 pm
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Happy Memorial Day Weekend! We ventured to the farmers market this morning and ran into some friends we know who live in town. We talked to some vendors everyone was super friendly. They had tons of fresh strawberries, lettuces, herbs, potted plants, etc. In the end we came home with 2 bunches of asparagus for $8, 1 very long zucchini for $2, 1 doz eggs for $4 (no-hormone, no-chemicals, free range), a mint plant for $2.75, and a big rosemary for $3.75.

Today, we are having a barbecue with several¬†friends, one of whom came from Boston for the weekend (not just for the bbq ūüôā )! We are very pumped to have her here.¬†The bbq today will be your traditional, relatively unhealthy variety with hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, potato salad, corn on the cob, and for dessert…candy cookies!!¬†These are great, I’ve made them for my students and for adults and everyone loves them. They are a special treat for every once in a while!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • M & M’s
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into bite size pieces

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or line the cookie sheet with a silpat baking mat. (Cooking spray only required if your pan is not “non-stick”
  3. In a large bowl, mix the butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy and smooth.
  4. Slowly beat in the eggs.
  5. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together thoroughly.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixtures until well blended.
  7. Add most of the M&M’s and most of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and mix carefully.
  8. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on cookie sheets.
  9. Add the remaining M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup pieces to the top of the cookies.
  10. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. (Today I made gi-normous cookies that are taking longer to bake.
  11. Allow to cool before moving them to a wire rack.
  12. Enjoy.


 

Taking a Break May 15, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 8:21 pm
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We will be taking a break from receiving the box for a while. The same issues have persisted:too much food for the two of us to go through, not enough variety, too much fruit, and veggies we don’t enjoy. We’ve tried all veggies sent to us, as long as we get to them in time, and have found ones we don’t particularly enjoy. So we’ll be taking a break and trying to find sources other than the grocery store.

In discussions we keep coming back to wanting to know where our food comes from. It not WGG’s fault that we signed up during the non-growing season in the area and that doesn’t change our desire to know who grows our food.

Yesterday was the first day of the Rockville Farmers Market. We went and walked around. There was a winery, meat venders, bread, a bakery, produce sellers, and florist/herbists.Everything looked fantastic but we didn’t pick anything up (mostly because we had a lot of ¬†fresh food still in the house.)

The plan for the rest of the summer will be to take the $31.50 we use on the box to the farmers market. We’ll get to know one of the produce stands (or several of them) and get exactly the produce we want and need (among other things). Thus solving several issues: knowing where our food comes from and having just the right amount of fresh food.

I’ll continue to post, especially once we get our first batch of farmers market food. I’ll also keep posting recipes and such. Keep an eye out for ¬†candy cookies coming soon. And ¬†a post on oddly inexpensive foods.

 

Pasta w/ Meatballs! May 8, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Meat,Poutlry — theboxexperiment @ 9:18 pm
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Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there. We celebrated the day working on the house and then we headed over to be with JEM’s sister’s family and my in-laws. To help keep the day easy for both mom’s we offered to cook dinner. Keepin’ it easy and yummy we made meatballs, fettucine, and garlic bread. Tonight I used store-bought sauce to save time, but it is better with homemade sauce, though I’ll save that for a future post.

Ingredients (for 6 plus 2 babies)

  • 2 1/2 lbs meatloaf mix (could substitute ground chicken or turkey but the spices might need to be adjusted)
  • 1 box spaghetti/fettucine/linguine/pasta on hand
  • 1/4 of a large Vidalia onion (chopped small)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4-1/2 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tbls dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tbls dried basil
  • 1 tbls dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 jars of pasta sauce of choice (we used Spicy tomato and basil)
Steps:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350*.
  2. Mix meat, onion, egg, bread crumbs, and all the spices together.
  3. Ball the meat into sizes of your choice I tend to like them bigger, JEM likes small, so we compromise and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350* for 3o mins. Half way through flip them over.
  5. While the meatballs are baking, boil water for the pasta (salt and oil if you want–I always do).
  6. Once the water is boiling add the pasta.
  7. Also while the meatballs are baking, start heating the sauce on med-low.
  8. Once the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce. Allow them to finish baking in the sauce, if needed, otherwise allow the flavors to combine (I always keep them in there for 10-15 mins).
  9. Once everything is cooked, ENJOY!
 

Apple Bread May 4, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Dessert,Fruit,Snack — theboxexperiment @ 9:16 pm
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This recipe is amazingly good and amazingly unhealthy. It’s a recipe that I brought with me from home, though Mom doesn’t have it so I’m not sure where I originally found it. You shouldn’t mess too much with the ingredients in baking recipes like you can with cooking recipes, baking is more about chemistry than cooking it. So this post is the original recipe in all its unhealthy glory. As I made the bread tonight I adjusted the measurements of the sugar and the oil to make it slightly healthier, if it turns out just as good I will update with a “better-for-you” recipe.

Note: this will make 2 loaves.

Ingredients

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 c. fine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. vegetable oil**
  • 2 peeled, cored, and chopped apples (I always use 3 but it’s a lot of apple.)
**A good replacement for oil in any baking recipe is applesauce. It can be replaced in a 1:1 ratio with the oil. Ex: the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, you can sub in 1 cup of applesauce. In baking oil helps to keep the muffins/cake/bread moist, from what I understand applesauce will keep the moistness without leaving an apple-y taste.
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. If needed oil bread pan (don’t do this on non-stick pans!!)
  3. Mix the dry (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon) ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Mix the wet (sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil) ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir till joined.
  6. Add the chopped apples and mix until just combined.
  7. Spoon into bread pan.
  8. Cook for 60 mins (1 hr).
  9. Enjoy!!
UPDATE: I used 1.5 c of sugar and 3/4 c. of vegetable oil + 1/2 c. of water and it is fantastic!!!