Feasting – definitely not raw

My sisters were all in town for a long weekend.  When all my family is together, the days revolve around food, especially when celebrating a birthday.  I had pretty much used up our CSA by Wednesday, so I stopped by the Farmers Market on Main Street in Chattanooga to stock up on more vegetables.  My sister also brought the remainder of her CSA from the past week.  We ended up being overwhelmed with fresh produce!

Here is our menu from the weekend.  We also had plenty of chocolate and some homemade French Macarons that I made.  It was my first time trying my hand at making Macarons.  I made pistachio and coconut and we nibbled on them all weekend.

Thursday:

Breakfast – Orange blossom & honey yogurt with fresh berries, coconut, nuts, and whatever else we could find for toppings.  We just simply mix in some orange blossom water and local raw honey into plain whole milk yogurt to taste and then drizzle it on top of fresh fruit.

Lunch – We tend to eat breakfast so late when we are all together that we end up usually just eating two meals and snacking as needed.

Dinner –  Cooking Light Sesame Salmon Salad.  The original recipe was for shrimp, but my sister loves salmon so we just substituted fresh, wild caught sockeye salmon for the shrimp, which we all agreed was the perfect complement to the cabbage slaw.  We were planning on making some other vegetables for the side but the cabbage slaw was enough on its own.  It was delicious!  This was my first taste of meat/fish in over a month and I loved every bite!

Dessert – Again delicious and from the same edition of Cooking Light…we made “Nathan’s Lemon Cake“.  It had the perfect amount of lemon and was not too sweet.  We all loved it!  And it complimented the fish salad perfectly.

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Friday:

Breakfast:  We did not really have a plan for breakfast but just looked through the fridge to see what we could put together.  As we have chickens that roam free on our property, we seem to always have an abundance of fresh eggs.  We made poached eggs with a bed of arugula topped with avocado, smoked salmon, and dill and a little dash of caviar (mostly for color – with the smoked salmon, there really was no need for extra salt). 229

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With my mother and four of us girls, females definitely out weigh males.  My poor father gets easily out voted and when it comes to food, we definitely end up eating a lot of meals that are what he describes as being more feminine.  We had compassion on him. We made him poached eggs with bacon and toast.  He was quite happy with his version.

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Lunch: Cheese plate with some local Sequatchie Cove Gruetli and some Greek cheese, cherries, and Rustic Bakery crostini and flatbread.  Their Hazelnut and Sutana Pan Crostini is fabulous!  Really all of their crostini and flatbreads that we tried were fabulous.  A definite recommendation.

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Dinner:  Spicy Peanut Sweet Potato salad – a recipe I am developing – and Beet & Feta salad.  For the Beet salad, we just mixed a combination of fresh greens with some edible flowers, beets that we boiled, feta cheese, spring onions, and served it with a balsamic vinaigrette.  My oldest sister makes the salad dressing, and it seems like the go to one is always her balsamic vinaigrette.  She just adds oil, vinegar, garlic, and Dijon mustard to taste.

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Saturday:

Breakfast:  Eggs again.  This time we made breakfast tacos with corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, pork sausage from our neighbor, arugula, avocado, peppers & onions, cilantro, cheese, and sour cream.  So good!

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Lunch:  We went hiking and got back a little later in the afternoon and just nibbled a bit.  One of my sisters, who is famous for her drinks, made us all chai smoothies.  She brewed some chai tea (her own blend) and then put it in the blender with ice, added homemade whipped cream and honey, and then sprinkled it with cinnamon.  Delicious.  Especially the honey.  Since she added it to the cold drink, it formed little honey balls that were so delicious.  We definitely had her make them for us again that night.

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Dinner:  Everyone was out for dinner except for just one of my sisters and myself.  She ended up inviting a friend over and we had a feast of salads and vegetables!  She made a selection of different salads using the produce we had on hand.  First, arugula salad with avocado, red onion, strawberries, with a balsamic vinaigrette.

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Then, Radish, Fennel, and Apple salad (using a gala apple).  With this one, my sister just chopped all the ingredients up and then added some fresh lemon juice and oil to flavor, along with some dill.324

Next, she sautéed some greens with oil, garlic, and mustard seed.  There are a couple of things that I LOVE when she cooks them and her greens are one of those things.  Totally simple and easy to do, and so delicious!

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Along with all this, she also made sautéed mushrooms, and served a fruit plate, and leftover crackers from the cheese plate.  I did not do a thing to help with dinner.  I was working in my garden bed weeding and transplanting vegetables.  It was a beautiful evening.  Working in the garden and then being called over to eat dinner by the pool.  And it did not end there.  I went back to gardening while dessert was being prepared.

Dessert: Lemon Cornmeal Waffles with a rhubarb compote and homemade whipped cream.  They were delicious but needed more lemon.  We opted to just make rhubarb compote instead of raspberry-rhubarb.  Our vanilla is not yet ready to use, so she added almond extract to the whipping cream.  Phenomenal!  We made these again for breakfast on Monday morning and doubled the amount of lemon.  Much better!

Sunday:

It was all about dad.  Since everyone was going to be together, we decided to do Fathers Day a week early.  We went out to brunch at his favorite place in Chattanooga and then to a movie.  Just what he likes.  We came home for dinner…spaghetti and meatballs.  In our family, spaghetti is always straight from a can and a box.  Nothing fancy.  It is just the way my father likes it.  Even the meatballs.  I used the ground beef we got from our neighbor and cooked little meatballs in just a little olive oil.  No seasoning or spices.  And then just added them to the sauce once they were cooked through.  I was surprised by the flavor of the meat.  Maybe it is just that I have not had beef in forever, or maybe it is grass fed cows.  The meatballs were really good.  Dessert ended up being some donuts my father bought that morning.  It was definitely his kind of food all day long!

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