Week One

OK here goes my first week of the Eat Local Challenge.  I went shopping a few days ago to stock up on local foods and tried to come up with some meals that will use these foods, plus what I already have on hand.

It should be an interesting week; a bit more random than usual but at least we won’t be eating birdseed, as my husband feared.


Recipe with Cream Cheese, smoked salmon and puff pastry

Smoked Salmon in Puff Pastry

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz. smoked salmon
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • Dash of red pepper
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix cream cheese and egg until smooth. Flake salmon
and fold in with remaining ingredients, except puff pastry. Cut pastry into
2 x 2 inch squares. In the middle of each square lay 1 tbsp of the salmon
mixture. Fold edges of pastry square in to center over salmon mixture.
Bake at 350 F on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until puffed and
golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

This recipe is from “Just Smoked Salmon”  Someone my husband works with gave us the salmon. Lucky us :).  The potatoes are grown locally, as are the corn and eggs.

Served with corn on the cob


Baked Potato Soup 

Baked Potato Soup

  • 6 large russet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked bacon, chopped and divided 
  • 10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

Bake potatoes in oven. Scoop out the flesh.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup bacon and most of the cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve topped with remaining bacon and cheese.

This recipe is from allrecipes.com – sort of. I modified it. The bacon is from Heffron Farms. 


Nothing special here; just a way to use up some of the cheese and eggs that are hanging around in the ‘fridge.

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups miniature marshmallows

 Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
Add canola oil to a 4 quart saucepan, and heat over high heat. When oil is hot, add popping corn. Keep pan moving constantly. When corn stops popping, remove from heat. Put popcorn in prepared pan.
Melt butter In a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in marshmallows and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn and mix with spoon to coat evenly.
Let mixture cool slightly. Smear butter on your hands or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Mix popcorn with your hands so that it is evenly coated. Form popcorn into 8 balls.

This recipe is from allrecipes. The popcorn is from Yoder Popcorn which is not local to me, but I bought it last weekend in Amish Country and I am not going to mess with the Amish and their popcorn.



Stuffed Poblano Peppers

  • 1/2 lb. pork shoulder, cooked and shredded 

  • 1/2 cup rice — cooked

  • 1/2 cup black beans — rinsed and drained

  • 3 cloves garlic — minced

  • 1/2 cup corn kernels

  • 2 sprigs cilantro — snipped

  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 4 poblano peppers — with tops, membranes & seeds removed

  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 ounces Cheddar cheese — shredded

Combine the pork, rice, beans, garlic, corn, cilantro, parsley, basil, white pepper, and chili powder in a bowl. Toss to mix well. Divide the rice mixture into 4 portions, and spoon a portion into each of the peppers.

Pour the tomatoes and water into an electric slow cooker; place the peppers, upright, in the cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours. Transfer the peppers to serving plates, and top each with a generous spoonful of hot tomatoes and shredded cheese.

This recipe is modified from one on CD Kitchen. The pork is from Heffron Farms and the peppers, corn, garlic and tomatoes are grown locally. The beans are from Carlson-Arbogast Farm and the cheese is from Grassfield Cheese.

Patty Pan Squash Cake with Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed Patty Pan squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Streusel Topping (see recipe below)

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with and electric mixer until creamy. Add egg, beating well. Stir in squash and vanilla.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to squash mixture, beating at low speed after each additon. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch square pan, and sprinkle with Streusel Topping.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Cool Cake in pan on a wire rack.

Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

This is a modified recipe from About Home Cooking.  The squash and eggs were grown locally. 



  • 1 pound frozen dough, thawed and at room temperature (see note) or any other fresh pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
  • filling (recipe below)


  • 1/2 Heffron Farms pound ground beef, browned 
  • 1 cup peperoni 
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 cup grated cheese such as mozzarella (4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll dough into 10-inch-by-14-inch rectangle. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Spread pizza sauce on half of the dough. Sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Top with filling ingredients. Fold dough over and press edges together to seal in filling. Bake for 20 minutes.

Note: Thaw frozen bread dough in refrigerator overnight, then set out for about 1/2 hour at room temperature for easier rolling.

Baked Spaghetti Squash

Ice Cream Honey Sundaes

  • 2 cups honey whole grain flake cereal (like Honey Bunches of Oats)
  • 1 quart vanilla or cinnamon ice cream
  • 3/4 cup pure honey
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Place cereal in a plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin or mallett.  Pour cereal in a shallow bowl or plate.  Scoop ice cream and roll in cereal; coating generously and pressing to round.  Placy on a tray in freezer.  Repeat forming six ice cream balls.  Cover ice cream balls with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve.

In a small saucepan, heat honey until hot, just before simmering, do not boil.  Remove from heat, stir in chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon, continue stirring until smooth.  To serve, place one ice cream ball in a bowl and drizzle with sauce. 

 This recipe is from a booklet published by The National Honey Board. My favorite honey is from 100 Acre Woods Farm in Hudsonville. Also from Hudsonville is the ice cream.


Tortilla Soup Crock Pot Tortilla Soup

  • 2 chicken breasts halves, boned, skinned and cubed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 mild green chile, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 corn tortillas, halved and cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese, a little for each serving
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley

Combine chicken breasts, onion, garlic, tomatoes, broth, salt, pepper and green chile in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Heat oil in large skillet and add tortilla strips. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. If desired, put a tablespoon or 2 of shredded Monterey Jack cheese in each serving bowl. Ladle tortilla soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips; sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley.

This recipe is from About Southern Cooking.  The chicken is from Miller Amish Country Poultry and the tortillas are from San Marco.  The onion, garlic, chili and tomatoes were grown locally.

Spicy Asian Slaw

  • 1 cup mayonnaise 

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons mirin or rice-wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup chili sauce

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

  • 1 head cabbage, grated

In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sesame oil, vinegar, chili sauce, lime juice, ginger, salt. pepper, and sesame seeds.  Pour over cabbage; mix and chill until served. 

A similar recipe originally appeared in Martha Stewart Living.  The cabbage was grown locally.


Spicy Black Bean Burgers

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 small hot or jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp parsley, minced (optional)

On a small plate, set aside flour for coating. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion, garlic, oregano, and hot peppers in oil on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent. Add the peppers and sauté another 2 minutes, until pepper is tender. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a potato masher or fork. Stir in the vegetables (including the corn), breadcrumbs, cumin, salt, chili powder, and parsley. Mix well. Divide and shape into 6 patties.

Lay down each patty in flour, coating each side. Cook on a lightly oiled frying pan on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes or until browned on both sides.

Serve with locally grown fresh tomatoes sliced, on Arnies hamburger buns along with El Matador tortilla chips.

This recipe is from Spark People. The onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and corn were grown locally.  The beans are from Carlson Arbogast Farms.


Chili-Spiced Chicken With Black Bean and Corn Salsa

  • 1 1/4 cups corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 8 boned, skinned chicken breast halves
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine, divided

To make salsa, combine first 8 ingredients (through beans) in a bowl; set aside.

Combine chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt; sprinkle over chicken. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 4 chicken breast halves; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.  Keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining butter and chicken breasts.  Top chicken with salsa.

Serve with rice.

This recipe is from Cooking Light magazine.  The corn, onion, and peppers were grown locally.  The beans are from Carlson Arbogast farms.

For more Menu Plan Monday:



Filed under EatLocalChallenge, Menu Plan Monday

9 responses to “Week One

  1. This looks fabulous! I love the photos and the recipes. I am going to grab the Tortilla soup and the Baked Potato soup recipes – as the fall weather rolls in I could eat soup every day.

  2. Omgosh… everything looks so yum! I love stuffed poblano peppers. Have a great day!

  3. I was confused with another Char posting…..I thought I might have been sleep blogging again! I am super excited to hear about the Salmon Puffs tonight. They sound really yummy, I think I might be begging for left overs at your back door!

  4. delicious!! I love the recipes you included too. have a great week.

  5. Mmm that baked potato soup sounds soooo yummy!

  6. All I can say is WOW!!! Can I come over for dinner?? Your menu plan sounds great and I’m coming back to get some of these great recipes. Thanks!

  7. Pingback: Smoked Salmon in Puff Pastry « Renee’s Recipe Box

  8. Pingback: Marshmallow Popcorn Balls « Renee’s Recipe Box

  9. Pingback: Stuffed Poblano Peppers - Slow Cooker « Renee’s Recipe Box

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