Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What to eat in January...

With the frigid temperatures, it's no surprise that many of us are longing for summer days.  What I wouldn't give to bite into a juicy peach or a fresh tomato.  Luckily, there have been many winter farmers markets popping up and many have winter veggies.  With a little experimentation, you can whip up a tasty recipe.

Last weekend, I went to the Wayland Winter Farmers Market at Russell's Garden Center.  Wayland Winter Farmers Market is open on Saturdays 10-2 until March 15.  Check out their website for special events like cheese day and wine day!  It's a nice market because you feel like you are in a garden with all the flowers and herbs available.  I am a sucker for hot chocolate, especially on a cold winter day, so it's nice to get a table and have a hot chocolate with a marshmallow from Sweet Lydia's.  I even tried the maple bacon chocolate covered salted caramels.  I love the salty, sweet combo and bacon is the perfect way to pull that off.

Other vendors that are worth a visit are Hosta Hill, Caledonia Farm, and Red Fire Farm.  I bought sauerkraut from Hosta Hill, which they make with organic cabbage right from their farm.  Delicious and good for you too!  Caledonia Farm had a very long line, but it was worth the wait to buy some hot Italian sausage.  I haven't been a sausage eater until I started buying it directly from farmers; it tastes so different from the store bought stuff.  Plus, it was delicious in a white bean sausage stew!  Red Fire Farm has lots of root vegetables and greens to choose from.   I bought onions, carrots, watermelon radish, and garlic.  I also bought some kale to make this delicious recipe.

If you have been craving for pesto, but it's not basil season, try this kale pistachio pesto, it is sure to wake up those taste buds (and sneak in nutrients too!).  I mixed this in with some spaghetti squash for a nice  winter meal.

Kale Pistachio Pesto

3 cups kale (I used dinosaur, but any variety will do)
1/3 pistachio
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Pour onto pasta or spaghetti squash.  I put the extra in a mason jar and put it in the refrigerator.  It will last about a month, so make sure to eat it all!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!

It's been a while since my last blog post.  Sometimes life just gets busy, especially around the holidays, but let's face it, there aren't tons of farmers markets going on right now either.  I'm definitely excited to visit some of the winter markets that are beginning to open.  I am in desperate need of a good farmers market and I have plans to go on Saturday to Wayland Farmers Market!

After a fabulous brunch at Bulfinches in Sudbury (I love eggs Benny!), I came home and decided to stay warm by roasting up some butternut squash.  I love squash this time of year and it is very readily available.  Funny story, especially for those that know my husband.  For those that don't, he is picky and needs some convincing to try new foods.  One week, I made a big pot of chili and some delicious buttercup squash and sausage soup (http://www.notsocheesykitchen.com/2013/11/roasted-buttercup-squash-black-bean.html), the latter which my husband wouldn't touch.  Both were in containers in the fridge and one night that I was working late, I told him to have the leftover chili for dinner.  He called me and told me the chili was really soupy, but I just made it so I told him it should be safe to eat.  So I come home and I see the empty bowl in the sink and realized that he ate the soup instead of the chili. I couldn't stop laughing and he said he liked it, so now he can say he has tried buttercup squash.  Since butternut squash is more popular than buttercup squash, it shouldn't take much convincing for him to eat this recipe :)

This will make a great side dish throughout the week, but it takes some prep work, so it's great to make on a Sunday.

You will need:
1 butternut squash
8-10 sage leaves chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425.  Peel, remove seeds, and chop butternut squash into 1/2 inch cubes.  In a bowl, toss with olive oil, sage, and S&P.  Put in a baking dish and bake for about 40-45 minutes. 

Feel free to play around with spices too.  Sweeten with cinnamon or spice it up with cayenne instead of sage.