Search results for '"farmer's market"'

Scrapbook: The Fruit Stand

21 Aug

We are fortunate enough to be surrounded on all sides by amazing local farm stands, so can I hit one up for produce and veg if I miss the Farmer’s Market. One stand in particular is fun to visit because they have a little park area, a playground, and a small menagerie of farm animals. If this sounds familiar it’s because we visited it recently with Kingston before heading to the zoo.

It has plenty of produce and local goods like honey, salsa, nuts and dried fruit, but really we went so Isobel could enjoy the playground after we did our shopping. She was all about the train this time.

Although their stand is stocked they still only had a few token animals. Their season really doesn’t get going until they open the mega-pumpkin patch. The pigs they had were quite friendly and Isobel spoke to them in their porcine language, interspersing her shouts of HEY PIGS! with hearty OINK OINKS!

I have no idea what I’m saying here, but let’s pretend it’s both educational and enriching.

When we took her by the playground she wanted to swing. They only had big girl swings, and I thought for sure that would deter her. She’s only ever sat in baby swings and she occasionally forgets she has to hold on.

I was afraid this would end in tragedy, but she hung on and insisted Dada push her higher.

I said higher, Dada!

HIGHER!

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Follow Friday – My Pixie

22 Jul

Isobel has gone thorough many nicknames in her life (many of them invoking images of baked goods), but recently I’ve most often referred to her as “Pixie.” My recent favorite iPhone photos adorn today’s post.

I suppose I should come clean about my Big Secret. You are so going to roll your eyes and smack your head and think uncharitable things about me when you find out what all the fuss was about. I tried to prepare you, I mean, look at that hashtag! I have been solo parenting all week while my husband was away on business. Ta… da? Anyway, I wanted to vent about the difficulties of doing this by myself and mope that I missed him, but the last time he went away on business I not only called a complete stranger to wish them Happy Birthday at 6:30 in the morning, I also received several very worried emails and DMs about posting this kind of thing on the internet. Point taken, friends! I’m sharing this with you now because by the time you’re reading this he will be home and we will be engaging in massive amounts of PDA.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

badbanana People of Earth, an announcement. I just purchased a humongous megaphone.

MightyQuinn72 My phone says it’s “97” which must be it’s age in phone years cause I got it a year ago it’s already acting like a senile old man.

Sondeera If someone hasn’t coined the term “horrorscope” and started a gothic-bent horoscope site, America is officially pointless.

slackmistress For all of you not living in the moment, please take a second out of your day to tell me what time travel is like.

shariv67 When you’re a teen, you’re all, “You don’t own me!” Then you grow up, and the bank is all, “Oh yes, we do.”

KeepingYouAwake When typing “threesome?” into a chat window, regardless of context, exercise caution to be sure it’s the right window

bebehblog I have been trying to practice my conversation skills, but it turns out “So what is your blog about?” doesn’t work on normal people.

MeganBoley I didn’t think it was possible to make pulled pork seem unappetizing to me. But Subway has somehow managed to do it.

WiGovPR I once felt bad that I had no shoes until I met a man who had a Republican governor.

steenyweeny rip steenyweeny. died trapped on her floor and was eaten by a cat who could update tweetdeck to tell you all.

sarcasmically Love is not eating the last canoli. Then again, intelligence is not leaving the last canoli unattended, SUCKA.

DRUNKHULK ARE YOU HAPPY TEA PARTY!? THEY CLOSE BORDERS!

LPCookbook I sure could use some icebox cake. For dinner.

TheRedQueen @exlibris honey badger is your new porn name BTW.

Gen_with_a_G Humidity is so high, every time we go out the 2 year old asks confusedly “Is it raining?” And then my hair frizzes out like a clown wig.

louisvirtel My friend tells me that Khloe is “the coolest Kardashian sister.” That’s like being the funniest Menendez brother.

macleanbrendan When Twitter is down I go to the nearest cave and yell banal observations just to hear the echo: It’s Mother Nature’s retweet.

swedishpancake my house is no longer balls hot. now it’s just balls kinda warm.

shiraselko Rupert Murdoch will probably just go back to his former job – the old, bad guy at the end of Scooby-Doo episodes.

CcSteff My baby is the cutest, whiniest Roomba ever.

LouisPeitzman The new Rebecca Black single displays the same lack of self-awareness with none of the catchy riffs. We, we, we not excited. We not excited.

msbellows “Dead Whistleblowers” would be a good name for a band.

MightyQuinn72 I’m going to go kick my immune system in the balls now.
I mean workout in the hotel gym.

theleanover Radiation Is The River Of The World #ATomicWaits

InfiniteChickenAll Stripped Down For Decontamination #ATomicWaits

theleanover I Don’t Want To Grow Flippers #ATomicWaits

InfiniteChicken Acid Rain Dogs #ATomicWaits

modinkpeeb “Come On Up to The House (We Have Lead Curtains)” #ATomicWaits

EvenMoreSarah I haven’t had a Diet Coke today. As a reward please buy me a Diet Coke.

tristina_wright No, YOU got into the pear cider for lunch.

KeepingYouAwake It’s 10:30 and still nearly 90F on the thermometer in the kitchen, with striking humidity. I’m in hell, but how’d I die?

clasticdetritus If I were Obama I’d propose adding Reagan to Mt. Rushmore just to see the mangled argument Republicans come up with to oppose it.

MrWordsWorth When I am on hold on the phone, I see how much of Stairway to Heaven I can sing before I am finally put through.

theneener The last piece of leftover pizza I ate today made me feel weird inside.

sucittaM Dad always said “Time to hit the sack!” before bed. Not sure how getting punched in the testicles helped him sleep, but that was just dad.

theleanover I AM SHOUTING BECAUSE OF THE HEAT WHAT IS WRONG THIS IS CANADA OUR WEATHER IS NOT SUPPOSED TO GIVE US SWEASTICLES

theleanover SO SWEATY IT’S LIKE GOD IS MOCKING THE ISRAELITES WITH MY ABUNDANCE OF MOISTURE WAIT WHY DOES MY PHONE KNOW HOW TO SPELL ISRAELITES

ProfessorSnack Sent an e-mail to a friend who still uses a Juno address. I made static and screeching noises with my mouth during the sending process.

hellnope Gettin’ two birds stoned at once.

antigone_spit Pardon me, I have to go eat a burrito. #UsingTwitterToItsFullPotential

giraffrocentric Don’t post shirtless photos of your new boyfriend if you don’t want me to comment about his great tits and then Like my own comment.

Caissie Oh, you’re hung like a horse? That’s so cool! I have a gaping horse vagina! #WhatIWishISaid

Brain_Wash An NPR t-shirt at a farmer’s market is like a tramp stamp at a strip club.

loganfountain “hey there’s that weird lady” – neighbor-kid wearing only underwear sitting in a rain puddle

TwoAdults Husband commented on the size of my ice cream bowl. I gave him gestures a trucker would be proud of.

KeepingYouAwake Sometimes, when I’m at a loss for words, I just make explosion sounds.

killorn In Dying Alone news, I’m currently baking a birthday cake for a dog.

thejohnblog Ugh. My dog has so many fleas, his belly looks the ‘Marauder’s Map.’

markleggett My cat doesn’t like it when I “boop” her nose with my finger, but I’m not doing it for her benefit.

GeorgeTakei We can grow an artificial trachea with nanotechnology and stem cells, but we can’t make an escalator that isn’t broken half the time.

ApocalypseHow Wait, remind me again: Which one is Carmageddon, and which one is Jeep Impact?

TheNextMartha My kids are screaming at each other in the basement. I should close the door.

badbanana If you’re a British actor & you weren’t in at least 1 Harry Potter film, it’s time for a little self-evaluation.

littlest_liu Having a puppy or small children in your home may make you ask questions like, “Why is there a ketchup bottle in my underwear?”

BtotheD “Transformers 3” was a turd excreted by another turd, in a car with the windows rolled up in the middle of the summer.

FriedWords It would help if they taught English majors how to center the cheese on a McDonald’s cheeseburger.

ProfessorSnack I don’t multi-task all that well. I think being disappointing on 3 social media platforms is about my limit.

ecsuperhero Driving under the speed limit because I have precious cargo: three dozen cupcakes. Oh, and my kids.

TheBlackStar The Yo Gabba Gabba Share episode only reaffirms my theory that all of the trees are major pot heads.

TravonFree General MotorsHead #carmageddonbands

TravonFree Black Saabath #carmageddonbands

theleanover Public Transit Enemy #carmaggedonBands

pppapaya Iron and Winnebago #carmaggedonBands

theleanover Duran Durango #carmaggedonBands

theleanover They Might Be Jettas #carmaggedonBands

theleanover A Tribe Called Nissan Quest #carmaggedonBands

theleanover The Highwaymen #carmaggedonBands

theleanover The Black Kias #carmaggedonBands

theleanover Run GMC #carmaggedonBands

LaurenGberg Ford Non Blondes #carmaggedonBands

LaurenGberg Pavement #carmaggedonBands

theneener We’re watching a YouTube video about “Mexican Pointy Boots.” This is my Friday night.

slackmistress You’d think I’d be much thinner with the amount of food I drop in my cleavage.

thegrumbles there’s a sister act 2 bot. apparently.

emirkr I will be buried in a spring loaded casket filled with confetti, and a future archeologist will have one awesome day at work.

letsdiefriends Just successfully applied mascara with a 1-year old in my lap. #livingontheedge

ohrebecca Told Frankie that maybe I’d paint his nails for him. He gave me a baleful, but not entirely intolerant, look. Good dog.

jack_p Harry Potter is about doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend. -Stephen King

jenstatsky Just heard the bad news: J. Lo and Marc Anthony are both famous people.

keli_h @exlibris I do not care about number of followers I just want to make THE FAVORITES POST.

supDawgiHerd You will pay for your sins. If you have already paid, please disregard this message.

HarrisDanow Weird day. I discover @JudyBlume‘s on Twitter, and then ten minutes later FINALLY get my first period.

LLA_Princess Drunk. Eating kettle corn. Watching Harry Potter. Living the dream.

IamMsMoneypenny I still believe in chivalry, like the man paying for the flowers and the dinner, and then, like, paying for other stuff, too.

chickenscottpie The spontaneous cheers coming from sports tournament near my house makes me feel like I’m doing a really good job editing this story.

HipsterMermaid I’m going to write such an angry letter to Netflix about their prices – as soon as I finish everything in my queue.

mrfaulty Y’all realize that the internet runs on people stupid enough to click on banner ads?

NASeason I need an “It Gets Better” campaign for newbornhood.

Superfluously I’ll sleep when my phone’s dead.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

The Meal-Planning Market

12 Jul

Since I’ve been buying part of each week’s groceries at the Farmer’s Market it’s totally changed the way I’ve been going about meal planning. Although I’ve been chipping away at my Life List goal of planning meals for a year I’ve only experienced limited success, but this new world local food has given me new inspiration and motivation in a way that supported my meal planning goals.

Each week I’ve been posting my Farmer’s Market finds each week in a flickr group called Farmer’s Market Hauls started originally by Jim of Sweet Juniper. I’ve also convinced two food-blogging, local-shopping friends to join in, the fabulous Lead Paint Cookbook and home cook extraordinaire, E of Outpost 505. If you shop at a fruit stand, flea market, farmer’s market or CSA, please snap a photo of your haul and add it to the group. I think it’s time we breathe new life into it. Clicking on the photos below will take you to my flickr where you can read notes describing each item in the picture.

What I’m loving is that while I’m at the market buying produce I’ll find other, nonfood-related but still very awesome things. I’ve so far grabbed a flier to tour an alpaca farm (friends, I’m going to arrange a trip for this–let me know if you want in), signed up for free books via Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and Isobel was able to plant a little sunflower in a peat pot. All of this, free, too.

We’ve been watering the little sunflower and watching it sprout. Last night it I decided it was large enough to put in the ground. That booth also gave us free seed packets: parsley and lettuce. I told her that seeds were tiny baby plants and she helped me water them. I can’t wait for them to sprout but I really hope she won’t love them too much.

In addition to the produce we’ve picked up some fabulous clam chowder from near San Jose, Dutch chocolate zucchini bread that is so good it haunts my dreams, endless varieties of hummus and fresh pita bread, and dried organic spices. Isobel often asks for pita and hummus for breakfast, and it makes me ridiculously proud when she does so.

Our farmer’s market is still pretty small. It was just started last year and buzz about it is only just taking off. There are still a lot of things not available at the market–no meat is sold and only one vendor sells cheese and offers only one kind. But I’ve still managed to make a wide variety of things with the selection of things I do bring home, and I feel I’ve only scratched the surface.

I’m still mulling over how to pull my Farmer’s Market shopping into a cohesive plan, but I’m getting there. For now I’d like to share a list of things I’ve made with the items from my haul:

* Spicy Eggplants in Honey Sauce from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

* Blanched wax beans with dill butter.

* Figs: Cut in half with market goat cheese and honey.

* Gazpacho with local bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olive oil and lemon.

* Crudites with wax beans, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and cucumber dipped in hummus.

* Zucchini ribbons dressed with oil and goat cheese.

* Zucchini ribbons dressed with leftover Spicy Honey Eggplant sauce.

* Goat cheese slathered on baguette rounds, toasted, drizzled with honey and thyme from the garden. I could very easily eat this all day.

* The most amazing green salad with butter lettuce, cucumber, red Italian torpedo onions, heirloom tomatoes, and olive oil dressing. Even the oil was from the Farmer’s Market!

* Corn on the cob with cilantro and lime butter.

* Chopped up fresh fruit by the bucketful.

* Omelet with portabello mushroom and red onion.

* Scrambled eggs with cheese. Practically every day. Also, tastes so good with a side of spicy eggplants. I can’t explain this, but it works.

* New Hatten chowder with garlic herb pita chips.

* Pita bread spread with hummus and cucumber.

* Sliced cherry tomato salad with corn, red onion, and bell pepper and dotted with feta.

I’m looking forward to sharing detailed recipes and pictures with you (and maybe even meal plans, if I get my act together), and I really hope everyone joins me posting to Farmer’s Market Haul. I can’t wait to see what you’re bringing home.

The Summer Market

22 Jun

One of my goals for this summer is to do as much of our weekly shopping as locally as possible, either at fruit stands, the Tuesday Remate, or the downtown Farmer’s Market. Last Friday Isobel and I stopped by the Farmer’s Market because Anthony’s vacation had ended and Isobel wanted to see “the people.” You can see our glorious bounty in the photo above. In fact, if you click on the photo it will take you to my flickr where I’ve labeled everything for the curious.

I only brought one large tote with me but I could have used two. Toward the end of the trip I managed to pick up Isobel with one arm and hoist her onto my hip while holding an armload of produce in the other hand. I was so impressed I would have wifed myself right there if it were legal.

Going to the farmer’s market has really jump-started my menu planning for the summer. I’m really getting into it again and I think it’s because it’s so inspiring to see everything laid out and to talk with the people who grew it. Most of the stuff on the counter came from 30 miles away. I pick up stuff that looks interesting and plan my protein and meals around that. The combination of spontaneous and interesting, in-season and fresh really speaks to my desire to eat well and plan for my family.

That Friday I used the eggs, the garlic, and the portobello mushroom to make a killer omelet for dinner. Anthony has been making classic Greek salads for about a month now so I bought him a cucumber and those unusual-looking Italian torpedo red onions. They are really sweet and delicate and I like that in an onion that I’m going to eat raw. I think it makes it more appealing for children, too, as I’ve yet to find a kid that adores raw onions (though I’m sure they’re out there). When Isobel was about six months old she delighted in chewing on raw onion rings, but she liked many unusual things at that age. Staring at ceiling fans, for example.

I’ve eaten most of the cherry tomatoes pictures already.They were like tiny bits of candy. The larger ones I’m saving to split in half for salads. I hesitantly bought two smallish zucchini. Hesitantly because it seems like zucchini is the White Elephant gift of summer. It explodes in backyard gardens until strangers are throwing them at your car as you drive by in an effort to rid themselves of the overabundance. I’m going to try shaving them thin and drizzling them with oil and feta, but if I don’t care for that, there’s always zucchini fritters.

I’ve never eaten wax beans, aside from those regrettable canned three-bean salads everyone in America has had forced on them at some point. But this is the kind of thing I like about going to the market: I see something unusual and it inspires me to try it. My favorite instance of this ever occurred when I happened upon some zucchini blossoms. It was also the first (and sadly, only) time I’ve ever deep-fried something. As much as I love fried food, it intimidates me.

The fruit is nearly gone, now, too, and it hasn’t even been a week. I’ll probably be hitting a fruit stand soon.

I even bought an Anaheim chili pepper to pusue my goal of increasing my tolerance to spicy food this summer.

I also instantly bonded with another mother when I went to sit down and eat some soup and I heard her toddler shout a familiar “NO!” my way. Her son was mere weeks apart from Isobel and we commiserated over the stranger danger and the subsequent unsociable behavior it brings. While we ate and talked our kids took turns waving and shouting, “NO!” at each other.

Isobel looks really serious in this photo, and that’s because she is serious–about her food. If you get between her and her hummus she will cut a bitch. Actually, she will just throw a tantrum, a fact I found out when I tried to dip my carrot in her hummus. No, Mama, no. That’s my Isobel’s hummus. Also, she insists I call pita bread tortillas. We’ve been having hummus and ‘tias every day for breakfast since.


Follow Friday

18 Jun


What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

tysiscoe My iPhone up and died. It was found wearing a teddy with a leather belt around its neck hanging in a closet. Thai police rule out foul play.

JerryThomas Before the invention of the Internet, primitive humans had to Google stuff by waterboarding a librarian.

happyrobot “And I believe the United States should allow all foreigners in this country, provided they can speak our native language: Apache.”

shinyinfo AMERICA! #fuckyeah

badbanana England vs USA. Loser gets New Jersey.

apelad Simply remembering your favorite things when the dog bites is not a safe alternative to medical attention.

pistolval i hope my husband doesn’t get eaten by a bear this weekend. Although, i did remind him to not get eaten by a bear. Now its just up to him.

Zaius13 Whenever we leave town for a couple of days, I worry that someone is going to take all our stuff and trade it for a buttload of catnip.

adamisacsonSmooth peanut butter is truly the “smooth jazz” of peanut butters. “Chunky jazz” is where the analogy sort of breaks down.

bookgirlsb cate blanchet is pretty like a robot alien, but not like a human mermaid kangaroo pteradactyl scorpion alien or anything.

sockington JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE BEACH please note the part of the beach is being played by litterbox OH GOD IT’S POLLUTED everyone out

FakeAPStylebook Readers appreciate exclusive online content. Demonstrate the value of yours by forcing them to navigate log-in and sign-up pages.

lilpyrogirl HOLY CRAP I FORGOT TO WEAR PANTS! oh, wait…I just forgot my phone. Without a phone in my back pocket my butt feels naked.

sween I’m always a little scared just before I squish a bug. What if they have a gun?

steve_librarian You can’t be a good librarian without a little OCD.

AFG85 Just when I think I’m sitting pretty, I arrive at a door for which I have no key. Goddam water temple.

mrlasertron me and the coven saw Troll 2 at the dundee theater last weekend. Hester couldn’t stand how innacurate it was. #tweetlikeawitchday

5tevenw If you watch the Exorcist backwards it’s about a girl who’s very sick until she eats some pea soup and gets better (via @phaemarie)

califmom Dear Victoria’s Secret: Start a matching program where my order is matched with a guy who wants the catalog/porn junk mail it generates.

lasertron for my first mother’s day I got two vaginal tears…trying to decide what to get dave for his first father’s day

karensugarpants Ugh. I feel like a bloatation device.

JerryThomas On second thought, let’s not do the Time Warp again.

michaeljnelson Just discovered that vuvuzelas sound AMAZING in a crowded elevator!

CanuckMackem VIVA MEXICO CABRONES

JerryThomas This grammar nazi owl keeps saying “whom.”

badbanana Avoided a copay by having my annual physical at Antiques Roadshow. Clean bill of health, plus I found out I’m worth $150.

wordlust When you come to a spork in the road, that’s a pretty good sign you’re fucked.

LITTLE BIG’S TWEET OF THE WEEK

JerryThomas With a margin of error of plus or minus three percent. That’s how I poll.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

Follow Friday

11 Jun

Today I had my first opportunity to visit my town’s Farmer’s Market. It’s small but has some great stuff. I really hope it takes off and continues to grow. The deals at the remate are much better but the quality and the kinds of things you can get here makes it worth the trip. A friend of mine went recently and saw some police officers on Segways — awesome — but we didn’t see any. It’s been unseasonably cool and windy which made it very pleasant.

My very talented friend Liz who made me this awesome bag is selling all sorts of baby stuff there: bags, dresses, bibs, and nursery decor. If you’re local you need to check her out.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

Here are today’s Follow Friday picks from Twitter. Enjoy!

feministhulk: HULK STRIVE TO RESPECT RIGHT TO SELF-IDENTIFY, BUT HULK COMPASSION STRAIN AND BREAK UNDER WEIGHT OF SARAH PALIN’S BULLSHIT

lifeofjenn “Education for the sake of education without changing culture is meaningless.” (heard in meeting today)

lizakessler My brain in thinking primarily in one syllable words right now, mostly GIN! NAP! and PORK! Yeah, I don’t know, either.

JerryThomas Could someone please hold my hair while I throw up on a BP executive?

Zaius13 Using speakerphone in public: Because sometimes, farting in people’s faces just isn’t obnoxious enough.

weselec They taught my kids letters, numbers and science, so I’m hoping They Might Be Giants cover personal finance, reproduction and chlamydia too.

mathowie “during a baby’s first 6 months of life its main method of transport is crowdsurfing” — @phirm

sween One does not simply walk into Mordor. It’s a gradual slide. Life choices mount up and then one day you look around and realize, “Huh. Orcs.”

juliasegal When bees see something that is awesome, I wonder if they think,”That’s just like my knees!”

CanuckLibrarian Just like when i was kid, i wander off and lose dad. And then i wander to auto dept and find him again.

apelad The new iphone contains a tiny beating heart, so at last it can love you back.

TheRedQueen When did Darth Vadar start working as a customer service agent?

danharmon My hair has gotten to that crucial length where I have to either cut it or take up an instrument.

califmom Coffee: that special hug you give your colon in the morning.

jberthume Everything is coming up Sisyphus

adamisacson The popularity of lattes: further evidence of America’s grim failure to find a way to add fat to Coca-Cola.

palinodeNew words, everyone: pornuggraphy. Vapant. Nixonlicious.

eareeveI’m going to eat tacos today EVEN if it means I have to put pants on.

wordlust Life is like a roller coaster. It distracts you from the real danger: carnies.

minamiyo STORM I AM GOING TO MEOW AT YOU UNTIL YOU GO AWAY

karensugarpants Overheard: oh my god I just caught that with my vagina! (it was me. And it was my beer bottle)

cshirky My next book will be ‘Wikipedia Brown’, about a boy detective who solves crimes by getting his friends to do all the work.

helloyarn I thought I could get chicken soup made before it got hot out. Wrong! I have a sweat mustache, among other things. (bewb sweat)

LITTLE BIG’S TWEET OF THE WEEK:

wishing4horses The best thing about being born on this planet? They give you a hat! Automatically. “Hey kid, welcome to Earth, here’s your hat!”

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

Ideas for Avocados

2 Jun

I spend long winter nights dreaming of avocados. They are summer personified. Around here they are available in cheap abundance in farmer’s markets from June to September. Every year Anthony and I can’t wait to take full advantage.

RECIPE 1: LAUREL’S AVOCADO DRESSING

Besides guacamole, my favorite thing to do with avocados is to make salad dressing. Yes, that’s right, salad dressing. I first read about avocados in salad dressing in one of my most often-used cookbooks, 1970s-fave Laurel’s Kitchen. Both my mother and my grandmother used this cookbook. I also have an awesome friend named Laurel so the name is altogether dear to my heart.

This recipe in the book is called ‘avocado dressing’ or something boring, but given my connection to the name Laurel, I call it “Laurel’s Avocado Dressing.” It’s sharp and sour from the lemons yet smooth from the avocado. I like to add dill to this but I like to add dill to just about everything.

Laurel‘s Avocado Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper
  • dash chili powder
  • dash garlic powder

1. Mash avocado and mix all ingredients together. Keeps about a week.

I’ve tried lots of different oils in this recipe and a plain one like safflower oil or even avocado oil is preferable to a strongly-flavored oil such as extra virgin olive oil. Experiment though, to see what you like. Avocado is yielding enough to mash up into a thick liquid and love it over plain greens with carrots and broccoli.

RECIPE 2: AVOCADO CITRUS DRESSING


Not too long ago I decided to deviate from my normal avocado dressing recipe when I stumbled upon another dressing recipe by the venerable Mollie Katzen. The first cook book I ever bought myself was Mollie’s seminal “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.”  I was in seventh grade, a vegetarian at the time, and I never knew food could be so exciting. This recipe actually comes from her more recent book “Eat, Drink and Weigh Less.”  I think it’s the most informative diet/healthy lifestyle book I’ve ever read, but it does sort of make me depressed that I don’t exercise. I can eat healthily all day long but let’s face it, I don’t get a whole lot of cardio.

This recipe is more complex than the first one and quite a different experience altogether. It’s very creamy and sweet and would make a fantastic dressing for a fruit salad, should you happen to have lots of ripe fruit lying around. It’s also delicious on greens.

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small perfectly ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) honey
  • Salt
  • Zest of lemon  & orange

1. Combine OJ  & lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl.
2. Scoop out avocado and add to juice. Mash with a fork until very smooth.
3. Use a whisk to beat in honey &  yogurt
4. Add salt to taste &  zest. Chill before serving.

RECIPE 3: BLUE CHEESE GUACAMOLE

Now, I know you don’t really need me to wax poetic about guacamole. If you like avocados you’ve most certainly had it and probably have a recipe for it. But I think this transcends guacamole and could make a fantastic appetizer for a cocktail party or a gallery opening. The combination of blue cheese and avocados is heavenly. Deep, rich, and tangy. You don’t want to miss this.

This recipe from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook “Nigella Express.” 

Roquamole

As far as the blue cheese goes, Roquefort would be the obvious choice, and Nigella does have another kind of blue cheese that she suggests but let’s face it: the woman can afford to have a pig slaughtered and brought to her house whenever she wants to bake a ham. You don’t need to find the most expensive blue cheese out there to make this. Just find some delicious blue cheese that won’t break the bank.

She also suggests eating this concoction with blue corn tortilla chips. Tasty! But don’t limit yourself. I like this with the tortilla-like Mexican corn chips you find in restaurants. You can find them freshly made in small batches or you can find them mass-produced in 3 feet tall plastic bags. Hell, use any old corn chip, toasted bread, or pita wedges you prefer.

When I make this I don’t add the jalapeños even though I don’t doubt that would be awesome. My goal is to work my way up into adding them in, but I’m too much of a gringa to tolerate much heat. You could also try substituting red pepper flakes for the jalapeños if you don’t want to bother with them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup sliced jarred green pickled jalapenos
  • 2 tbs finely sliced scallions
  • 1/4 tbs paprika
  • blue corn tortilla chips
  1. Combine the cheese and sour cream.
  2. Mash the avocados and add to the cheese mixture.
  3. Roughly chop jalapenos and slice scallions. Add to the cheese mixture.
  4. Dust with paprika and serve.

RECIPE 4: CALIFORNIAN AVOCADO SAUCE

This last recipe comes from The California Cook by Diane R Worthington. I found this book at a second hand store years ago. I made this recipe just to try it and magic happened. Diane suggests using this sauce on fish but I’m squeamish about cooking fish at home. I think this would be exceptional on grilled prawns or scallops also.

An ‘English’ cucumber is simply the seedless, unwaxed variety sold encased in plastic. I’ve heard them sometimes referred to a ‘hothouse variety.’ Their skin is thin and they contain only small amounts of seeds, but regular cucumbers would be fine as well.

Californian Avocado Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 English cucumber, chopped fine
  • 2 tbs fresh dill
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tb rice vinegar
  • 1 tb fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed

Mix all ingredients together and serve soon after.

SOME OTHER THINGS TO DO WITH AVOCADOS

  • Mash into a chunky paste and use as sandwich spread/mayo replacement. Particularly yummy with a bit of roasted garlic paste mixed in.
  • Add to an omelet for breakfast
  • Toss slices or chunks on top of a garden salad – delicious with vinaigrette and a friend of bacon
  • Garnish gazpacho with avocado cubes and a slice of lime
  • Add slices to grilled hamburgers
  • Mix chunks with chopped tomato and red onions and serve on top of refried beans
  • Add to quesadillas
  • Add to fruit smoothies
  • Add to jarred salsa

AVOCADO STORAGE TIPS

  • Avocados turn brown quickly after being exposed to air but this is a cosmetic issue more than something that affects flavor.
  • Sprinkle cut slices of avocado with lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.
  • When storing mashed avocados or guacamole, press plastic wrap onto the surface of the avocados. This will form an airtight seal to prevent browning. You’ll lose some of the avocados to the film when you remove it, but it’s worth it.
  • I’ve heard some people suggest storing avocados (whole fruit) in the fridge, but I’ve never done that. I leave them on the counter and in patches of sunlight to get as much ripening action possible before using.

Meal Planning

22 May

MEAL PLANNING

Create a Working Menu

Fabulous Dinner Tips from the Readers of Little Big

Mastering a Menu: My Struggles

Meal Plan Menu Update I

Meal Plan Menu Update II

Meal Planning Apps

Meal Planning Update: The Soup

More Meal Planning Apps and Resources

Lunch, Menu Planning, & Eating Healthfully

The Meal Planning Market

Farmer’s Market Haul

The Summer Market