Tuesday, February 14, 2012

School lunch and local restaurants

This past week I tried to make a variety of school lunches so I could post a bunch of options. At my school, we have snack time, and I always have snack. Usually I eat chips or a granola bar and fruit. At the beginning of the year I had a lot of home-made applesauce, but lately I've been eating apples or craisins. We've eaten through most of the fruit we stored and preserved, so I'll have to start getting more creative if I want fruit. For chips, we usually eat Stacy's which are from Massachusetts, Food Should Taste Good, or other local cracker companies. We've made our own granola bars, but you can't get local oats, so these aren't really local.

For my lunch, I either have a sandwich and veggies, or salad. We've been getting a lot of salad greens and mixed greens lately, so I like to use these before they're gone. I either have the greens with carrots and craisins mixed in, or chinese cabbage salad. Cabbage is still abundant, so we try to use that in lunches too. For sandwiches we either make our own bread with flour from King Arthur, which is a local company, or we buy bread from the farmer's market. I eat bread and butter a lot, or cheese sandwiches with both coming from the dairy that delivers to our house. Mainly I have carrots as my lunch veggie because we have so many. A problem I've found with carrots is that they are frequently bitter. Soaking them in water or boiling them usually gets rid of the bitterness.

Another topic I came across this week was local restaurants. Before I started this project, I didn't even know that there were restaurants like this near Millis. Over the weekend my family went out to dinner at one in Lexington. It was called Nourish, and the food was delicious. They get most of their food from local or organic suppliers, and the variety of food they served satisfied even my pickiest sisters. Going out has been really hard because it is almost impossible to find local restaurants, so it was lucky we found Nourish. I hope that I can find a couple more restaurants in the area soon.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bad Game, Good Food

Last night I was disappointed to see the Patriots lose to the Giants in the Superbowl. I guess the only thing that made up for the loss was the great food I made yesterday! On the menu were: Cheese and Crackers, Nachos, Sweet Potato Fries, and Baked Potato Skins.

We started off at kickoff with Cheese and Crackers. My newest local obsession is cheese spread from Nobscot Artisan Cheese. I get it at the Natick Farmers Market every Saturday. Not only is it delicious with crackers, but today I had it for lunch with my carrot sticks. This gave me an idea for next week's theme: lunches! Everyone eats them, and in high school they are especially important so that you don't get stuck eating that weird stuff in the cafeteria that they call food.

Back on topic, we began the second quarter down 9, but with some delicious sweet potato fries. These I didn't use a recipe for. We basically just cut them up into fry shapes, put a little olive oil, salt and pepper on, and cook until they look done. These are a great, healthy snack any time and are a great substitution for the freezer fries you can buy at the grocery store. Sweet potatoes are abundant in the winter in new england, so if you're looking for a sweeter treat, cover them with a little olive oil, melted butter, and cinnamon, and cook them for around 10 minutes. I have to credit this idea to Mrs. Tangerini at Tangerini's Spring Street Farm in Millis. When the farm stand was still open she let me take home a couple tiny potatoes and now I make them at least once a week.

At half-time we were feeling happy and Madonna almost falling off her humongous heels put us in the mood for an easy, crunchy snack: nachos. I've already talked about these once a couple weeks ago, and they're pretty easy to make so I wont dwell on the ingredients. We used lime and blue corn chips though to mix up the flavors.

Finally, for the grand finale, we had the much anticipated potato skins. I've been talking about making them for a while, and this seemed like the perfect time. They were completely local with potatoes and bacon from the market, chives from my sister's plant, and sour cream and cheese from the local dairy. They were delicious and almost made up for the sad loss. I got my recipe for the potatoes from SimplyRecipes.com.