Grape Cupcakes

by Jocelyn Cook

Here we go with the grapes… Grape Cupcakes!!! Last weeks share includedGrape Cupcakes beautiful, seeded grapes. One of my favorite to cook with. On the Facebook page we saw shared examples of pizzas, jams, and even these luscious cupcakes featuring the grapes. Here’s the recipe for the cupcakes submitted by member Jocelyn Cook.

First, reduce grapes:
Wash, place in a covered pan on low for an hour. Remove from heat, let sit covered for 2hrs then refrigerate.When cooled, using a mesh strainer, pour contents in and strain, removing grape skins and seed fragments.Set aside.

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Stuffed Baked Apples

 
by Jocelyn Cook
This baked apple recipe was submitted by member Jocelyn Cook. The apples are stuffed with cinnamon, dates, cashews, and oatmeal and are just spilling over with fall goodness. Throw some in the oven today and let the scent fill your whole house.
Ingredients
3 medium FDC apples, cored
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
1.5 cups almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp FDC honey, plus more for garnish
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash and core apples. You want to make the hole about an inch in diameter, so there is enough room for stuffing. Place cored apples in a lightly oiled rimmed baking dish
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.
3. Fill apples with the oatmeal mixture (pack it down slightly) and then spoon the leftover oatmeal + all liquid into the dish, surrounding the apples.
4. Bake, uncovered, for approximately 45 minutes. To test for doneness, pierce apple with a knife. If it slides through fairly easy it’s done. The almond milk should also be absorbed and the oatmeal fairly firm. Serve with drizzle of honey.
**NOTE: I prepared through step 3 the night before, then baked in the morning. Also, because the apples are smaller in size I cored then sliced in half opposed to stuffing the way I normally would with larger apples

Swiss Chard Saute

by Beth Wheeler

I couldn’t delay any longer expressing my appreciation to the Farm Direct Coop team for all they do. Finding Farm Direct Coop has literally saved my Summer. Having been an avid gardener for decades, I was expecting a sad season when I realized putting in a garden while my house was on the market this Spring just didn’t make sense. Discovering your brilliant format has been a heartwarming joy.

The variety has been more fun than I expected as I play my own version of “Chopped” each week. While I failed at Callaloo, the Swiss Chard combined with your onions, garlic, tomato, and marinated feta was a smashing success. From the pantry, I added butter and oil, a small bit of chicken stock, Marblehead Salt, pepper, and sesame seeds. So tasty!

Recipe follows below.

Huge appreciation and kudos ladies!
Beth Wheeler

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Six Hidden Reasons To Join A Food Coop

By Susan McBrine

When considering joining a Food Cooperative (Coop), the obvious reasons come to mind: fresh, direct-from-the-farm produce that is bursting with the season’s goodness. But there are other “hidden” advantages to joining. The following are just a few reasons you may not have considered!

1. The Food Coop Workout
Anyone who has ever volunteered to work a Coop will tell you to show up with sleeves rolled and your good shoes at home. You will spend your time lifting, stretching, pulling, dragging and lugging crates, sacks, and boxes in all sorts of weather conditions. Erecting and collapsing those tents beats any 20-minute workout! You emerge, sore but victorious, knowing that you’ve “done your bit”.

2. Sharpening Your Math Skills
Quick! How many ounces in “two pounds, four ounces of carefully weighed heirloom tomatoes”? How many tomatoes make two pounds? How do I balance this scale? How many people are waiting behind me while I try to do the math? Continue reading

Eggplant Through the Ages

By Wendy King

If one thinks about purple berries, maybe blackberries or grapes spring to mind. But eggplant is also a card-carrying member of the fruit clan! The eggplant also claims lineage to the ominous-sounding nightshade family, along with the tomato, pepper, and potato, and provides a lot of nutritional value. Since this fruit frequently features in savory dishes from Parmesan to pizza, its true identity is often hidden. In addition to purple, the eggplant comes in shades of green and white, which coupled with its egg shape, sheds light on how it was named.

Documented as early as 300 BC, this funny-looking fruit was first cultivated in India and China and became a staple of diets and medicine, used to treat diabetes and asthma, according to the International Society for Horticultural Science. Eggplant then worked its way across continents to Persia, Greece, Rome, and Medieval Europe. In this last stop, eggplant was interestingly dubbed an aphrodisiac as well as the culprit causing melancholy and anger. These same Europeans also accepted this flexible fruit as a good addition to the evening meal, with the right seasoning added to supposedly ward off any bad effects. The eggplant even traveled to the Americas in the Age of Exploration and was documented in Brazil in the 17th century. Continue reading