Archives for December 2011

Join a CSA Now!

I know it is the dead of winter. The snow here in Colorado refuses to melt. Despite the fact summer feels a long way off, it is time to start thinking ahead to fresh, delicious summer produce.

  • What’s a CSA? Community Supported Agriculture is a system in which you purchase a share in a harvest. Payment is made before the season starts so the farm can plan it’s operating budget. Then, each week during the summer, you are rewarded with a share of the harvest.
  • Find the CSA Right for You. With the rise in popularity of CSAs, chances are you can find a program right for you. A CSA no longer means just buying a share of veggies. Shares of artisan bread, organic eggs, fruit, artisan cheese, and even mushrooms are being offered.  Some programs deliver to your door while others have drop off locations.

Produce purchased at Farmers Market

  • Save Money by Buying a Working Share. Most CSA programs offer a discount to members who are willing to spend some time working on the farm. Each program has its own requirements, so be sure that it is truly something that you can fit into your schedule. However, if you are willing to pull a few weeds, you will be rewarded with produce at a discount!
  • Why Join Now? Do a little research on CSA’s in your area, and you will probably find that by investing early, you are rewarded with a discount. Add that discount to a working share discount and you could be saving hundreds on your summer produce bill!
  • Price still too steep? Consider splitting it with a friend!

Are you a Colorado reader? Grant Family Farms is offering 10% off if you join before the end of the year.*

*I am not affiliated with nor am I being compensated by Grant Family Farms. I’m just a believer in supporting CSA and Grant Family Farms has drop off locations across the state.

P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wrap Copycat Recipe

P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wrap Copycat Recipe: easy and healthy and made in the slow cooker.

PF Chang's Lettuce Wrap Copycat Recipe

Not only is this recipe the closet thing to P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps I’ve ever made, it is also…wait for it….a SLOW COOKER recipe!

We love them so much, we no longer have a reason to eat out.


Now this isn’t the kind of slow cooker recipe you make in the morning before work to have ready at night.

It only needs 3 to 4 hours on low in the slow cooker. So this is the recipe you make in the early afternoon and come home to eat after soccer practice.

I love water chestnuts, so I always add extra to my recipe. That’s the fun part of making this at home. You can tailor it to your family’s tastes.

P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wrap Copycat Recipe


  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 lb ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 t dried ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 C dry sherry
  • 1/2 C hoisin sauce
  • 2 T tamari
  • 1 T chili garlic sauce (we're sirachi peeps)
  • 2 cans sliced water chesnuts, drained and chopped
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 12 small lettuce leaves (bibb or butter)


  1. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Don't substitute oils! The sesame oil adds a great flavor. Brown the ground chicken or turkey and garlic in the oil. Add ginger and sherry and cook until all the liquid is gone. Transfer everything to a crockpot.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce, tamari and chili garlic sauce. Stir into the meat mixture in the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 3-4 hours.
  3. Before serving, stir in water chestnuts and rice vinegar. Cook an additional 10 minutes to warm through. Then serve with lettuce leaves.

This recipe serves 6

If you try it, let me know how you like it!

DIY Project: Tomato Cage Topiaries

I saw this idea for Tomato Cage Topiaries years ago in a Southern Living magazine. Of course, theirs were completely covered in fruits and pinecones and other fluffy stuff I simply didn’t have. What I did have was some garland, white lights and ribbon, and two tomato cages just taking up space in the garage.

Tomato Cage Topiary


To make a tomato cage topiary, pull that tomato cage out of the garage where you thought you were storing it for the winter. Simply wrap the garland with white lights and a ribbon. Then wrap the tomato cage with the garland. Add a bow on top and some cascading ribbon down the side. Use your empty flower pots to stake the tomato cage to. Aren’t empty flower pots depressing? Now they don’t have to be!

PRESTO! In 10 minutes you’ve got DIY Tomato Cage Topiaries!

Tomato Cage Topiaries with White Lights

So have you finished decorating for the season, or are you just getting started?