I cannot tell you how happy I am to find myself leaving the farmer's market Saturday mornings with a bag full freshly picked deliciousness, just waiting to be gobbled up by my little family. As we move deeper into summer and each week passes, there are more and more options for dinner growing in our own backyard, and coming from the local farms around us.
When foods are picked the moment they are ripe--rather than days or weeks ahead of time like some produce you buy in the store--the difference is HUGE.
The local produce actually TASTES, and it tastes wonderful. Incomparable. Basically, you haven't LIVED until you've eaten a freshly picked peach......really.
With all this perfectly fresh picked taste, you can focus a meal around the vegetables, instead of having them as a small, boring side dish smothered with some kind of sauce.
When eaten in their season--when they are actually supposed to grow (strawberries in the spring/early summer, tomatoes in the summer, broccoli in the cooler months of spring/fall....etc), because they are picked and eaten right at their peak, they actually have more vitamins and nutrients than their phony cousins who are forced to grow year round, picked early, and shipped across the country.
The bottom line is, the closer it grows to home, the better it is for you and the taste doesn't even compare.
or b) find a farmer's market near you! (check here for an easy search).
It's also a good way to try out new things that you may never grow yourself, or might not even find in the store. My kids love going to the famers market, and it's a good way to teach your kids about where our food comes from and let them talk to the farmers!
I planted arugula this year and it took off like crazy! What does one do with so much arugula? I decided to make a simple pesto with it, and tossed it with pasta and our farmer's market finds.
I feel like every so often I need to make a disclaimer and remind people how I cook.......handfuls of this and pinches of that......no measurements so you can make it up as you go:)
Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Spring Veggies
for the pesto:
two large handfuls of arugula
1 handful of basil
1/2 cup-ish toasted walnuts
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lemon
handful of shredded parmesan cheese
olive oil until you reach the consistency you like
salt and pepper to taste
add ingredients to a food processor or small chopper and let-er-rip.
Continue to slowly add in olive oil until the pesto is at a consistency you like (around a 1/2 a cup or so is what I used)
Cook your pasta according to package directions (we used whole wheat spaghetti)
While pasta is cooking, sauté fresh spring onions (NOTHING like store bought!), and zucchini in a bit of olive oil. When onions and zucchini are tender, mix in shelled peas and cook for a few minutes more. When pasta is done, strain and add to veggies, and then toss with pesto for a few minutes in the pan.
We finished off the rest of the pesto with mozzarella and our farmer's market tomatoes.
I'd love to hear what you are finding at YOUR famers market or in your garden right now??!
I love cake. And cupcakes. And really, anything involving the word, cake.
This weekend after we ran I thought we had earned ourselves some kind of cake.
And chocolate, filled with chocolate, topped with peanut butter was exactly what we needed.
makes 24 cupcakes
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
6 TBS butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line cupcake pans with liners.
Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot water and cocoa powder. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
In a bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs (adding one at a time) until thickened slightly and light colored (about 3 minutes). Slowly add evaporated milk, and melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Pour batter into cupcake liners, and bake in middle of oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes.
2 oz finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, melted
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
few TBS milk
Cream together butter and melted chocolate. Add cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add milk one TBS at a time until you reach a good consistency.
Fill a pastry bag with filling.
I used a giant round tip, and after the cupcakes were cool just stuck the bag in to the top of the cupcake and gave it a little squeeze.
It's hot. In my house. (finally!!!) Our brick house = our own personal brick oven. I love it.
Speaking of hot ovens.....you can find me shoving my face at Settebello tomorrow. Yum.
I am really enjoying Pinterest. It's the most organized my life will ever be.
Happy Fathers Day!!!
To my own dad, Robby, and all the dads out there....happy day!
these are my kids.
they're dirty. sticky. messy. grubby.
they spend the days/nights playing outside and looking for bugs/making mud food/just in general playing in the dirt.
I kind of love that about them.
this is a baby carrot. It's tiny and adorable.
It's brothers and sisters will be ready to eat soon.....I cannot wait!
I'm checking out early this week to get ready for Wasatch Back. (You may remember my last relay?).
Anyone else running??
It should be fun, and not fun, and tiring, and smelly.....but also fun. (haha watch this). I just found out that my third leg (below) had to be plowed and there are giant walls of SNOW up each side of the mountain for us to run between......it's JUNE!!!
I'll be posting updates along the course via my FB page and twitter....or maybe I'll see you out there!
This is one of our go-to dinners when we need a quick throw together meal. It's different each time I make it, depending on what veggies I have lying around, or growing out back.
Saturday we went to opening day of the farmer's market, and I was so happy to see TOMATOES!! Red, plump, and full of summer-y-ness. They made the journey up from southern Utah, and while nothing tastes quite like grown-in-your-own-backyard......we have happily been eating these.
Baked Frittata with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
a few TBS milk
4 small potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
handful of goat cheese (chevre)
small handful of fresh herbs, chopped (I used chives, basil, oregano, thyme)
a bit of butter for pan
I like to bake this in a cast iron skillet. If you are using a different type of pan, you may need to adjust cooking time.
Place potatoes on the bottom of the (buttered) skillet.
Wisk the eggs with milk and S&P and pour over the potatoes.
Top with tomatoes, chevre, and fresh herbs.
Bake at 400° for 25-35 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
We ate it with a simple salad of mixed greens, arugula, marinated peppers, parmesan cheese, and a quick balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey)