Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chelmsford Farmers Market

Last Thursday, I visited the Chelmsford Farmers Market!  This was not a planned visit.  I went to Long Sands Beach in York Maine and was driving to work in the afternoon and saw all these tents in the common.  I pulled over to see what it was and it was a farmers market!  Since I was early for work and it was the most beautiful afternoon, I stopped by to pick up an iced coffee and some raspberries and sat in the park to finish Catching Fire.

The Chelmsford farmers market had several vendors where you could purchase fruits and veggies such as Parlee Farm, Fox Barn Farm, and Manna Farm.  There were also baked goods, such as bagels and pasta, vegan goodies, and wine from Still River Vineyard.  And you can get an iced coffee or iced tea from Brewed Awakening.  This may not be a market that I would go out of my way for, but it was a good find to kill some time before work.  If you live or work in the Chelmsford area, you can check out the market on Thursdays from 2-6pm on the intersection of route 4 and 110.

Recipe of the week:

Stuffed Peppers
Serves 2

2 large green peppers
1/2 lb ground beef
1 can black beans or you can use rice if you prefer
1/4 cup corn
1 large tomato diced

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook ground beef until brown.  Meanwhile cut off the tops of the peppers and cut out any seeds and put on a baking sheet.  When the beef is cooked add the black beans, corn, and tomatoes to the pan and mix well. Scoop the mixture into the peppers until full.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour.  Top with some cheddar cheese if desired.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Davis Square Farmers Market

My visit this week was to the Davis Square Farmers Market and I have to say this is one of the prettiest farmers market I have been to.  It was set up in a long parking lot and it's two rows of great vendors with beautiful fruits and vegetables this time of year.  I got there right at noon, so everything was just set up and looked perfect!  Some of the larger vendors include Kimballs Fruit Farm, Blue Heron, and Hansons Farm.  There are many vendors for meats, fish, etc. such as Globe Fish Company and Westminster Meats.  For specialty foods there is Seta Mediterranean Foods, Hi rise Bread Company, and Danish Pastry House.  If you want to pick up a bottle of wine, you can go to Wesport Rivers Winery and Vineyard.  I recommend the Rose Pinot Noir.  This market is great for all your weekly shopping in one trip.

To be honest, I bought so much at the Waltham Market over the weekend, I really didn't need much for this market trip, but I have been dying to check out this market.  Since my husband had the day off and there are so many great restaurants in Davis Square, it was easy to convince him to come with.  All I bought this trip was a dozen eggs from Hanson farm.  I love to buy eggs that are all different sizes and colors.  The dozen that I got had a lot of blue eggs, which I love!  And it always freaks my husband out when he makes them because he thinks they have gone bad!

Also, since I over heard my dad saying he was making a trip to Springdell Farm, I had him pick me up some meat while he was there, so I was well stocked this week.  This weeks recipes includes hot sausage from Springdell Farm, along which peppers, onions, and potatoes from Dicks Market Garden.

Davis Square Farmers Market is located at Day and Herbert Street in Somerville and open on Wednesdays from 12-6pm.

Hot sausage with peppers, onion, and potato:

1lb Hot Sausage
1 Green Pepper sliced lengthwise
1 Medium Onion sliced lengthwise
2-3 Red Potatoes

Cut potatoes into small chunks.  Sauté in frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.  When the potatoes are starting to cook, add the peppers and onions.  Cover and let cook.  Meanwhile cook the sausage through and then cut into small chunks.  Mix with onions, peppers, and potatoes.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

National Farmers Market Week!

Wow! What a busy week! My goal for national farmers market week was to make a local meal everyday, which I managed to do successfully!  I made a variety of recipes from small snacks to big dinners.  There weren't any hungry people in my house this week.  Although, it's fairly easy to put these meals together with local ingredients, the heat was the most challenging part of my week.  Turning on the oven to make stuffed zucchini was not fun.  But eating it in air conditioning was!  The farmers markets have so many fruits and vegetables available this time of year, it is simple was to make a many meals out of one trip!

The market I made a visit to was the Lexington Farmers Market.  Lexington Farmers Market is located on the corner of Woburn St and Mass Avenue in Lexington on Tuesdays from 2-6:30.  If you are in the Lexington area, this is worth a trip.  When I shop a farmers market, my main focus is the amount of vendors for fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and fish.  I also appreciate breads, wine, pasta, chocolates and, ice cream, which are not items on my weekly shopping list, but definitely good to have at a market.  Okay, maybe the wine is the exception to that, but that is a blog post for another day.  I love a good red wine and will be posting about local vs imported wine soon!  If there are vendors with homemade items such as jewelry and handbags that is a bonus too.  Lexington has all of these.

I bought two large tomatoes, two peppers, and one bunch of scallions from Busa Farms, which is located right in Lexington too!  Then I went over to Fiore Di Nonni and bought a small ball of mozzarella, this went well on top of the stuffed zucchini.  And finally my last stop, Samira's Homemade, a delicious vendor to buy Mediterranean food, such as hummus, ful medammas, baba gannough, grape leaves, and pita bread.  They also sell moussaka, which is an eggplant dish, typically prepared with meat, but they make it without.  If you are an eggplant lover, like I am, you will need to try this dish.  The first time I tried it, I immediately called my cousin, also an eggplant lover, told him to cancel his plans because I was coming over with eggplant.  His girlfriend and I sat down and ate the whole thing while he was making dinner.   During this trip, however, I bought the zesty ful medammas, which is similar to hummus, but made with fava beans.  This time of year, I usually live off of hummus and cucumbers, but the ful medammas is a great way to switch things up a bit.  Samira's Homemade is available at many farmers markets in the Boston area, but if you are looking for a one stop shopping trip, check them out at the Lexington Farmers Market.

What farmers market did you go to for National Farmers Market week?

Here is one of the many local recipes I made this week.  If you saw something on Facebook or Twitter that you want to try, leave a comment or send me a message, and I will post the recipe.

Stuffed Zucchini

Check out the huge zucchini my friend gave me from his grandmother's garden!

1 super large zucchini
1 lb ground beef
1 green Pepper diced
1/2 white Onion diced
1 large tomato diced
1/2 can tomato paste
mozzarella cheese
olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 and heat up a frying pan on med-high heat.  Cut zucchini in half and then cut into quarters lengthwise.  Scoop out the pulp and brush the skin side with olive oil.  Put the zucchini skin side down on the frying pan for 2 minutes and then set aside in a baking dish.  Then start cooking the ground beef, peppers, and onions.  I cook the ground beef separate from the peppers and onions.  When the peppers and onion are almost cooked, add the diced tomatoes.  Drain the ground beef when it is cooked and add the tomato paste and stir well.  Then add the peppers, onions, and tomatoes and stir well.  Spoon the mixture into the zucchini and bake for 15 minutes.  At 15 minutes, shred some mozzarella cheese on top the of zucchini and bake for another 5 minutes.

FYI  This recipe makes extra stuffing.  I did this on purpose to have for another night for stuffed zucchini or stuffed peppers.  You could also freeze the extra as well.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thirsty Thursday!

My weekly farmers market visit was to the Brookline Farmers Market!  Typically when I think of Brookline, I think of delicious restaurants, but now I will think awesome farmers market!  There were tons of great vendors and the fruits and vegetables were plentiful.  Dicks Market Garden and Kimball farms were there, two great places to stock up on fruits and veggies, but also there were 4-5 smaller vendors that supplied fruits and veggies such as Stillman's Farm and Flats Mentor Farm.  If you want to get meat there is a choice of River Rock Farm or Smith's Country Cheese, and also Bob's Turkey Farm if you felt like a nice turkey dinner.  If you are thinking some fresh fish for dinner there is Globe Fish Company.  There is goat cheese from Westfield Farm and of course Smith Country Cheese where you can get some gouda, cheddar, or havarti cheese.  And don't forget the gouda spreads!  The bread looked delicious from Clear Flour Bread.  You could easy make a farmers market pizza from visiting this market.

So I can't resist the fresh fruits that are in season this time of year.  I went to Dick's Market Garden to get fresh, ripe white peaches that were just picked in the morning and some fennel.  I'm having girls night at my place tomorrow night and I am hoping to make a fennel salad.  Of course, to feed my friends I will make sure as many ingredients as possible are local.  Then I stopped by Kimballs to get some nice raspberries and some zucchini.

And to finish my market trip, I needed a thirst quencher, so I stopped by Trombettas Ice Cream Truck to get a raspberry lime rickey. If a lime rickey isn't your thing, you could also get a root beer float or some ice cream.

If you live or work in the Brookline area, this is a market you should visit.  This could easily be a weekly shopping trip.  Brookline Farmers Market is located on Centre Street, just off Beacon Street in Coolidge Corner.  It is open on Thursdays from 1:30 - 7:00.  Stop by this Thursday to get everything you need for the weekend!  I might be going back to get some fresh fish for dinner!

Here is the recipe I used for Romaine Fennel Salad for girls night!

1 head romaine lettuce
1 bulb fennel chopped
1/2 red onion
2 tbsp fontina/parmesan/asiago cheese
drizzle of olive oil
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
S&P to taste

Wash and chop lettuce and fennel and finely slice red onion and mix together in a large bowl.  See the you tube video below for how to chop fennel.  Mix cheese in the bowl and drizzle balsamic and olive oil.  Toss to coat well.  Add S&P to taste.