Thursday, May 21, 2015

I'm Back!

Hello!!  It is time for me to start blogging again!  For those that have been wondering where I have been, I was busy having a baby!  Yes, baby Mackenzie was born March 10 and now that she is 2+ months old I am ready to get back to some kind of normal, which means blogging.  And what perfect timing as all the farmers markets are beginning to open up for the 2015 season.  Here is what I have gathered so far...

Currently open:
Copley Square T/F 11-6
Davis Square W 12-6
Central Square M 12-6
Dewey Square T/Th 11:30-6:30
Cambridge Center W 11-6
Union Square Sat 9-1
SOWA Sun 10-5
Natick Sat 9-1
Canal St - Worcester Sat 9-12 (I want to check this out!)

So far I have been to Waltham (one day only, opens June 13), which was Mackenzie's very first farmers market and Natick.  Natick has some good vendors such as Q's nuts, Bondat, Narragansett Creamery, Nola's Fresh Foods, Tangerini's Farm and more.  I picked up my favorite, cayenne and mango cashews from Q's nuts and herb and garlic cheese from Narragansett Creamery.

A vendor I want to check out...BirchTree Bread Company.  I didn't see them on Saturday in Natick, but they are listed on the website.  Their instagram showed they are going to Davis Square on Wednesdays, so next week that could be a possibility.  And BTW, their instagram is filled with yummy pictures of breads, pastries, and coffee, so give them a follow!

With a new baby, I don't have tons of time to cook, but I can't blame the baby on this recipe because I tried this out of pure laziness and it came out awesome.  I was really wanting bacon one morning and didn't want to cook it, however, I had some of bacon flavored Smith's Country Cheese on hand and threw a spoonful in my scrabbled eggs and it was delicious.  The cheese melted easily into the scrabbled eggs and had a nice smokey bacon flavor without cooking the bacon.  I highly recommend if you are having a lazy moment like I was!  You can find Smith's Country Cheese at the Waltham Farmers Market.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Bringing honey back to life

Did you know that honey doesn't go bad? Years ago, I didn't know that and I threw out a perfectly good jar of honey just because it started to crystallize.  Being a food blogger and constantly researching food, I figured out how to solve that problem.  I also save money by purchasing larger jars of honey at a better deal, knowing that I can use it for a long time.

With the temperature dropping, I have been drinking more hot tea to keep warm.  I love to add honey to my tea.  My large jar started to crystallize, so here is what I did.

Take your jar of honey and put it in a pot of water.  Turn on the stove to low to medium heat.
The key here is low and slow.

Keep it going for about 20-40 minutes.  Mine here took about 20 minutes.
When the honey has returned to its original consistency, it's done!
Take it out of the pot and let cool on the counter.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I've been hiding something...

I feel like I have been lacking in the blog department lately, and for a while I had a good reason. Over the summer I found myself cooking very little (my husband will say never), eating things like crackers, and going to bed really early, even though I napped during the day.  And then I found out, I'm having a baby!  Yep, there is a locavore baby coming in March!  Such exciting news, but in the beginning food was not my friend.  There were so many foods that made my stomach turn and I just wasn't in the mood to cook, therefore, less blogging.  Fortunately, I am well into the second trimester and my eating has been back to normal so I should be getting back into the blog.  

So here we go:

I have recently discovered Bedford Blueberry Goat Farm at the Waltham Farmers Market, which ended last weekend :( In an effort to get some more protein, I started drinking their goat milk and it is delicious!!  I have also tried there goat cheese and have been eating it regularly.  I am bummed about the end of the farmers market season, but I hope with the baby coming in March, the winter will fly by and markets will be opening again before you know it!  Bedford Blueberry Goat Farm will be at the Wayland Winter Farmers Market bi weekly and at the Cambridge Winter Farmers Market the weeks they are not at Wayland.  Both are good winter markets, so I plan on being there.  

And so, here is what I've been eating lately.  I am still trying to keep a healthy diet and need to make sure I am eating lots of protein and iron, hence, this spinach salad.

1-1 1/2 cups spinach
2 slices of bacon from your favorite farm, crumbled 
1 tbsp diced onion
1 tbsp sliced black olives
Sprinkle of goat cheese from Bedford Blueberry Goat Farm, flavor of your choice
1 tbsp of your favorite salad dressing or olive oil and vinegar works too 

Mix all together and enjoy a healthy, filling salad!!

We are so excited for this new adventure to begin!! I can't wait to take the baby to tons of farmers markets!!

The Farmers Dinner

Sunday night I had the fabulous opportunity to attend the Farmers Dinner in Nashua, NH.  The Farmers Dinner is a great organization that features farm to table dinners at various restaurants in NH.  This dinner was unique because the City of Nashua closed Main St so the dinner was in the middle of the street!  The local restaurants took local ingredients from farmers and prepared a delicious six course dinner.  There was live music and wonderful fall decorations.  

This dinner featured local food from Kimballs Farm and Brookdale Farm.  The restaurants included Estabrook Grill, Peddler's Daughter, Riverside Barbecue, Stella Blu, MT Local, Andrew Thistle, and Villa Banca.  Each meal was carefully paired with a beer or wine.  The wine was from Fulchino Vineyard and the beer included 603 Brewery, Peak Organic, and beer from Martha's Exchange.  The restaurant staff and volunteers worked so hard to make this dinner great.  I heard they began roasting pigs in the street at 2am!

Take a look at these apps!  Caprese salad from Kimballs Farm with handmade ricotta and an herb pistou.  I like the twist with the ricotta instead of the traditional mozzarella.  The second course was a potato frittata with onion jam and romesco sauce topped with a pork rind.  It was crazy to think that pork rind was part of a pig early that morning.  I really enjoyed the onion jam because of the nutmeg, a lovely fall flavor.  And next was harvest ratatouille with zucchini cakes and warm parmesan foam.  I can't wait to make this next dish because the recipe was in our gift bags!  At this point, I was stuffed, however the next dish was a cleansing course.  Watermelon and heirloom tomato gazpacho with pine needle tzatziki.  Such interesting flavors with sweetness of watermelon.

The main course, roasted pig from Brookdale Farm with charred onions and apple sauce, grilled polenta, peppers, and collard greens.  I loved getting the apple sauce flavor with the pork and the collard greens were probably my most favorite part of the meal.  They were spicy which I love, but went great with the pork.

And finally the dessert.  I am not sure how I physically ate all of this, but I did.  Apple bread pudding with Jake's Local Ice Cream.  The pudding went great paired with the caramel sauce and there was even a hard piece of caramel on top of the ice cream.  A great way to end a great dinner.

I don't live close enough to New Hampshire to frequent these events, but they are worth going to if you get the opportunity.  And if you live near or in New Hampshire, check out the website and get tickets to the next dinner.  You won't be disappointed!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lexington Farmers Market

A couple of weeks ago, my friend asked me to dog sit for a few days.  Since I love his dog, Brady, it was easy to say yes.  We became good buddies over the few days and I wanted to find something outside that we could do.  I thought that going to the Lexington Farmers Market would be a good idea.

I wanted to check out Wright-Locke farm because they kindly mention me in tweets every week and I see pictures of their beautiful organic produce.  I did a loop around the market first because I didn't know how Brady would do around all the food.  He manage to down a whole hot dog the previous weekend at a cookout.  So we did a loop and I kept him close by.  All the kids wanted to pet him and he is super friendly so it wasn't a problem.  I just told them to keep an eye on their treats.  Just when I thought I wouldn't get any shopping done, a nice man asked me if Brady could try a dog treat he just bought from a vendor.  Brady ate two and seemed to like them, although, I don't think he is too picky.  My behavior analyst instincts kicked in and I went to buy Brady some dog treats to use as a reward for sitting and staying with me.  By that point it was really hot and I didn't know that Brady doesn't like the heat.  I bought him a dozen dog treats from Camberville Treats, but Brady didn't seem to care because he went right under the table to get some shade.  The woman from Camberville Treats snapped this cute photo of him.  I can't stand his cuteness!

So once I got Brady out of the shade, I managed to get some shopping done.  I went to Wright-Locke farm and bought some organic raspberries.  By this point, Brady kept going under all the tables to sit in the shade, so it was easier to shop.  Then I bought some breakfast sausage (my current addiction) from Chestnut farms.  Then it was time to take my buddy home because he was hot.  On the way back to the car, we had to stop under every tree so Brady could sit in the shade.  When we got home, Brady happily enjoyed his treats in the air conditioning!!

If you have the chance to take a trip to Lexington, go on a Tuesday to check out this market!  There are some awesome vendors that I didn't get a chance to see including, fiore di nonno, Samira's homemade, Stillman's and many more.  This is the type of market you can do all your weekly shopping at!  Check it out on Tuesdays from 2-6 on the corner of Woburn St and Mass Ave in Lexington!

Here is a little something I have been into for breakfast lately:

1 breakfast sausage patty from Chestnut farm or your favorite farm
2 eggs from your favorite farm
A sprinkle of your favorite cheddar

Cook the sausage patty until it is cooked all the way.  A trick I used to do this is to add a small amount of water after I flip it to help cook through without burning it.  In a separate pan, scramble the eggs and cook to your liking.  Then put the sausage patty on a plate and cover with scrambled eggs and then sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Garlic Scape Pesto

One of the many seasonal veggies that I have been into recently is garlic scapes.  I guess I am always into them this time of year, but I am intrigued about the many varieties I found at the Needham Farmers Market a couple weeks ago. 

I usually just chop them up and throw them into my salad, which is delicious.  But since I bought so many, I have been trying to find other ways to use them.  I chopped them up and threw them in with some green lentils along with some vegetable broth. It was a nice surprise when I got a burst of spice in a bite of lentils.  I have also been sauteing them in a bit of olive oil with spinach.  All are a good way to use garlic scapes, however, I offer up this recipe for the real garlic lovers.  Next time you are at the market, grab a handful and make this pesto.  I do recommend eating this alone or when you don't have to go out because you will reek of garlic!!

Garlic Scape Pesto

8-10 garlic scapes
handful of pistachios 
juice of 1/2 lemon plus zest
1/4 c parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil (I eyeball it until it makes a paste)

Put all ingredients in a food processor until it makes a thin paste.  I topped some zoodles with this pesto along with some sundried tomatoes to make a delicious dinner.  You could also use pasta or chicken and it would be delicious! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Summer!

Well ladies and gents, the 2014 farmers market season is in full swing!  Each week more and more farmers markets are opening up for the summer.  One of my favorite markets, the Waltham Farmers Market opened last weekend in their new location.  I was working in the morning, but I managed to stop by towards the end of the day.  I picked up some chive blossoms, onions, Swiss chard, and green tomatoes.  The green tomatoes were a nice surprise because that is usually something I expect to see in the fall.  It worked out for me because I like to pickle green tomatoes and I am on my last jar of pickles from last season.

Today I went to the Needham Farmers Market, which also has a new location on Great Plain Ave behind Needham Bank.  I was happy to see an abundance of garlic scapes, one of my springtime favorites.  I must have hit the garlic scape jackpot because there were all different flavors (Thai, Russian, Spanish) and 10/$1 at the Neighborhood Farm.  There is also a great farm, MacArthur Farm, which has delicious strawberries.  In fact, I think I associate the Needham Farmers Market with strawberries because I remember those strawberries from last year.  

I came home with a bunch of goodies and promptly began washing and chopping.  I cut up some rhubarb, for the jam I am planning on making this week, some scallions, and the scapes.  I began cutting up my lettuce and what do I find, a gross long creepy crawly bug.  A centipede, I think.  I put on my big girl pants and squashed the bug with a paper towel and threw it outside immediately.  I have really been trying to work on this because I want to volunteer at the farm this summer, so I need to get rid of this fear of bugs.  After all, bugs live in the same place our food grows :)

I saw chive blossoms a couple of weeks ago at the Union Square Farmers Market.  It was the first time I had seen them and wasn't really sure what to do with them, but they stuck with me because they looked so pretty.  When I got home, a simple google search showed me that there are tons of things to do with chive blossoms.  I was fortunate to find these again at the Waltham market, so I could make this simple recipe:

Chive blossoms
White Vinegar

I used a quart canning jar and filled it about halfway with the chive blossoms.  Then I filled the jar with white vinegar.  Store in a cool, dark place (I put mine in the fridge since its been warm out) and let soak about 2 weeks.  Then drain and you will have a chive flavored vinegar to make a vinaigrette!!