Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Farmer's Market Finds & Recipes

I love this time of year. The flowers are blooming, it's not too hot to be outside, and the vegetables at the farmer's market rejuvenate my kitchen and cooking routines! I'm the type of person who loves a routine! Without exception we have a frozen pizza on Sunday night. And usually tacos on Wednesdays. Ryan thinks this is one of my most endearing traits (insert sarcasm here)!

But occasionally I get out of my cooking ruts routine and mix it up! There's nothing more inspiring to me than going to the farmer's market and coming home with a bunch of fresh vegetables and other goodies! Here's my stash from a recent trip and how I cooked (most) of it.

Like everyone else in the world we are trying to eat "clean" and the best resource I've found for this is D.I.Y. Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food from Scratch. There's everything from how to make cheese and jelly to flour tortillas. My best tip for using everything you buy (my eyes are always bigger than my refrigerator) is to build time into your day on Saturday to go ahead and wash everything, shuck the corn, chop up the things that need to be re-sized, etc. This makes such a big difference when you get ready to cook. You can actually just start cooking!

I spent about $25 and got: fresh cheese, broccoli, Smith County strawberries, potatoes, squash, corn on the cob, radishes, snap beans, a tomato, mustard greens and collard greens. And you can't see it in the picture but there's some honey in there too. I usually don't buy cheese but I asked the farmer so many questions about cheese making that I felt guilty just walking away! He did give me some ideas on why my cheddar cheese didn't do right.

I've also found that I do better if I plan on doing most of my cooking at the beginning of the week. By the end of the week we've made plans to go out or I'm just too tired to get excited about cooking a big meal. Plus we love leftovers in this house! 

Smith County Tomato

Sunday night we started off with a BLT. This is a staple in our house in the summer and this tomato was actually really good for it to be so early in the season. 


I was late in the game in liking broccoli, and it is still not one of my favorites! However, broccoli salad is easy and crunchy and involves bacon and cheese. How could anyone not like that? I used this recipe by Paula Dean as inspiration. 

A non-chocolate dessert must be great if I like it! Our friend Julie made these the other night and I loved it! Slice the strawberries and add evaporated milk and a little sugar. Serve in sponge cake dessert shells and top with whipped cream. Here's a similar recipe


Cooking greens has always given me trouble. Mine never taste as good as my mother's or grandmother's. And Ryan compares them to his grandmother's, and so there's a high standard in place here that I have yet to reach! But I'm trying! And I think this time I got close. 

I used Martha Foose's recipe in Screen Doors and Sweet Tea. And Ryan said they tasted "almost" like his grandmother's! I'm making progress, people!

Sweet Corn

See this pretty dish the corn was cooked in? It's called Wilton Armetale. I got one for Ryan a few years ago for Christmas because he'd used one with a friend. He'd gone on and on about how great it was to put on the grill. Well, guess what I found when I was packing up the kitchen? THREE of them. Yes, we had three great pieces of Wilton Armetale and I had no clue. I feel like I should re-write the thank you notes to the people who gave us these as wedding presents! 

I cut the corn off the cob and added butter, garlic, salt, pepper, sage, rosemary and thyme. Cooked on the grill for about eight minutes on medium. 


This was my impulse buy and so far I have no clue how to eat or cook these. Any advice???

Snap Beans

Blanched for a few minutes in boiling water and then drained and added a little canola oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and ground black pepper. 

Squash & New Potatoes

These have actually not gotten cooked yet but I will probably do a skinny squash casserole. We made mashed potatoes with the new potatoes that didn't score high on the healthy scale - lots of butter, sour cream and cheddar cheese! 

A few weeks ago I bought two strawberry plants at the farmer's market. Here's the first berry - it was very, berry sweet!


Crady said...

For your radishes. This Kroger recipe actually looks pretty good! https://www.mymagazine.us/article.php?id=31

Kara Paulk said...

Thanks Crady! I'll have to try that!