Wednesday, January 13, 2010

new blog: d.i. wine and dine

It's now been over 2 years since our month-long foray into local eating. Follow along with our current adventures with growing, buying, transporting, cooking, brewing, preserving, composting, and more at d.i. wine and dine!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Meal list

The month has come to an end. Before I start rambling about what I've learned, I wanted to post a list of all of the meals that we've made over the course of the month. I haven't been posting as often as I've liked, so keep checking back for new posts about wine making, dealing with no coffee, and answers to some questions I've received.

Here's the list. I'd be happy to answer any questions about the recipes, ingredients or otherwise.

Local Meals


Toast (local bread with butter, honey, goat cheese spread, or almond butter)

Scrambled eggs (eggs, butter, seasoning (chives, rosemary, garlic, hot pepper))

Omelet (eggs, tomato, basil, rosemary, cheese)

Plain yogurt with honey

Fruit (raspberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, muskmelon, apples, peaches)

Hash browns (potatoes, onions, butter, salt)

Fried Mashed Potato Balls (potatoes, onions, butter, salt)

Crepes - (flour, eggs, milk, salt, butter, arugula, cheese, almond butter, honey)

Grits- corn meal, water, butter, salt, cayenne pepper

Potato Pancakes – potatoes, flour, egg, onion, butter, salt, apple sauce

Skordalia on Toast - garlic, butter, salt, tomato juice, white wine, potatoes, bread



Baked Potato (potato, butter, cheese, salt)

Grilled Cheese and Pesto (bread, cheese, pesto)

Fried Tomatoes (tomatoes, cornmeal, eggs, salt)

Cornmeal Souffle (eggs, cornmeal, salt, thyme)

Salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, apples, nuts, cheese) (butter, garlic, thyme, marjoram, salt)

Fruit (raspberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, muskmelon, apples, peaches)

Apples and Cheese
Apples and almond butter
Tomatoes and Cheese

Apple Sauce (apples)

Nuts (almonds, walnuts)


Green bean stew on mashed potatoes (green beans, eggplant, roasted red pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, okra, sage, rosemary, jalapeno pepper) (potatoes, garlic, butter, milk)

Fajita stew (tomatoes, potatoes, poblano pepper, orange pepper, banana pepper, squash, eggplant, onion, garlic, honey)

Quiche (eggs, butter, milk, leeks, potatoes, garlic) (flour, butter)

Roasted Corn (corn, butter, salt)

Rosemary Polenta (polenta, rosemary, eggplant, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, spinach, butter, salt) (crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, salt)

Pizza (whole wheat flour, yeast, honey, salt, garlic) (stewed tomatoes, orange pepper, caramelized onions, garlic fried spinach, oregano)

Pasta (whole wheat flour, corn meal, water) (tomatoes, onions, leeks, eggplant, garlic, purple basil, salt)

Butternut Squash with Apple Cider Reduction

Gnocchi (potatoes, flour, FLiP, pesto)
Shitake Mushrooms in White Wine Sauce with Tiny Rosemary Potatoes - (shitake mushrooms, butters, onions, white wine, tarragon, salt) (tiny potatoes, butter, salt, rosemary)

Potato Leek Soup (potatoes, leeks, vegetable stock, garlic, jalapeno pepper)

Butternut Squash Soup with Walnut Garnish (butternut squash, milk, butter, garlic, cayenne pepper, sage, salt)

Corn Chowder (corn, potatoes, milk, butter, onions, garlic, cilantro, salt, cayenne pepper)

Tomato Soup (butter, onion, garlic, tomatoes, milk, light wine, FLiP, basil, salt, cayenne pepper)

Whole Wheat Yeast Bread

Zucchini Bread


Salad (greens, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cheese, nuts, dressing)

Salad dressing (butter, garlic, wine) (raspberry, honey, mint)
Beet/Carrot/Apple Salad
Roasted beets


Popcorn with butter, salt, and cayenne pepper

Roasted Squash Seeds (seeds, salt)

Nuts (almonds, walnuts)

Spoonful of Honey (spoon, honey)

Tortilla Chips and Salsa (corn meal or wheat, water) (corn, tomato, cilantro, pepper, garlic)


Popsicles (water, blueberry, honey, milk) (muskmelon, raspberry, honey)

Blueberry Muffins (flour, baking soda, eggs, milk, butter, honey, blueberries)

Apple muffins (flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, butter, honey, molasses, tarragon, marjoram, apples, walnuts)
Caramel Corn (popcorn) (butter, sorghum molasses, honey, salt)

Sweet Potato Pie



Watermelon Water (watermelon, water)

Grape Wine

Rhubarb Wine

Berry Wine

Apple cider

Hot Mint/Honey Water

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Faux-Curry and Genuine Stir-fry

After almost a month of local eating, we are still discovering new tastes and directions in cooking. I think we must have been missing eating the "exotic" tastes Indian and Chinese cooking. This probably has something to do with not eating out for almost a month. So, I set out to create a faux-curry, something that sounds pretty hard without spices like cumin, turmeric, coriander (not yet!), ginger, cloves, cardamom, etc. etc. etc.

The result was this:

Let me try to remember all that was in it:
potatoes (yukon gold fingerlings)
beet greens and stems
almond butter (with honey)
tomato sauce
cayenne pepper
cilantro (frozen in cubes)
served over wheat berries cooked like rice

I guess it was kind of a spicy chunky stew/stirfry/sauce, or, just maybe, a curry. I give full credit to the almond butter-cilantro-tomato combo. And the garlic and cayenne probably didn't hurt.

The wheat berries were good too, although they were much more chewy that rice. Actually, I burned some of them and these crispy wheat berries taste really good with milk as cereal. One day I'll make a cereal or granola mix with crispy baked wheat berries, popcorn, and almonds.

Then, the next night, Julie made a delicious edamame-corn-and more stir-fry served over breaded, fried eggplant that tasted like it had soy sauce on it!

I had never made a successful stir-fry, or even known that there was a specific technique(s) associated with it. At the beginning of this month, I was afraid I might be eating the same omelet or vegetable stew, day after day. I was wrong. I think I like vegan cooking and local cooking for the same reason--the more limited selection forces you to be creative.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Red Herring Local Day Recap

The Local food day at the Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant was a big success. Many thanks to Chad and Lisa who made the idea a reality, and to Amy who did some great last minute publicity for the event. (Channel 3 news WCIA showed up and did a story on the event).

For us, the best part was eating food that wasn't made by us! In the picture is the basil stir-fry, cornbread, and mashed sweet potatoes with green beans, all local.* There were also two local soups, butternut squash and potato leek.

The other best part, was seeing labels for all of dishes, which showed where every ingredients came from. How great is that? Full traceability. Some people don't want to know what is in their hot dog or chicken nuggets. Give me all the nitty gritty details! Here are pictures of the ingredients' places of origin:

(click for larger versions)

Wouldn't it be great if all restaurants did this? Each dish would be a story of soil, water, sun, farmers, trucks, trains, or ships, distance, freezers, cans, microorganisms, and so on.

*the corn for the cornmeal was grown in ohio but milled in illinois. see the ingredients lists for the rest of the exceptions.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Eat Local Thursday at the Red Herring

This Thursday, the Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant (in Urbana, corner of Mathews and Oregon) will be serving at least one all-local meal (butternut squash and roasted red pepper soup) with many local items used in the other dishes, like a local stir fry.

For those of you who live in Urbana-Champaign, come out on Thursday (lunch served 11am-3pm) to show your support for a restaurant that is making an effort to support locally grown food and local farmers. If enough people show up, maybe they'll make this a weekly occurrence!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Shiitakes and Skordalia

Dinner tonight was centered around the shiitake mushrooms we found at the farmers market today. Thanks to Tomahnous Farm (Mahomet, IL - 14 miles), we had shittake mushrooms cooked in a wine-butter sauce with tarragon (also from Tomahnous). The ingredients were:

chopped shiitakes
dry white wine
more butter

The original, full recipe is here. It's actually a recipe for a shiitake and wine sauce, but it worked well as a main dish!

On the left, we have tiny baby potatoes with rosemary, and on the right, toast with skordalia, a greek garlic potato spread.

Another accomplishment of today was paprika. Yes, we oven dried sweet red peppers and put them in a pepper grinder. Much like we did with our dried cayenne peppers to get cayenne:

Speaking of spices, you might think we're eating very bland food. Well, I definitely miss black pepper, but there are plenty of seasonings we do have:

salt (the exception)
cayenne pepper
papalo (bolivian coriander)

Let me tell you, mint-sage-lemongrass tea with honey in it is amazing!

I'm still waiting for coriander. I planted some non-local coriander (seeds). Now I need to wait for them to grow up into cilantro. Then when the cilantro goes to seed, we'll have local coriander!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Recent creations

Here are some photos of some recent creations:

Laktes (potato pancakes) with applesauce

Tomato Soup

Blue Moon Salad

Sweet Potato Pie (it's smooth like cheesecake)