Monthly Archives: June 2009

OLS Week 4: Local Italian Feast


One of the great things about eating local is that it doesn’t always need to be a major production – we have tons of locally produced convenience items. For this week’s edition of One Local Summer, by pairing convenience items with a salad made with romaine from my garden, we had a nice, filling and delicious Italian feast.

Caesar Salad

Thick and Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing
recipe courtesy Recipezaar

2 ounces anchovy fillet (1 small can or about 12 fillets)
8 cloves garlic
1 egg
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Place all except oil and mayonnaise in food processor or blender and process until smooth. While processor is running add oil VERY SLOWLY and process until thick and creamy (about 4-5 minutes). Pour into bowl and add 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and blend thoroughly with a fork. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste (sometimes I like to add a couple more tablespoons of Parmesan cheese). Cover and chill until ready to use.

For the main course, we took some meatballs (which are made fresh twice a week) and sausage from Mr. Meatball, and simmered it in a jar of Carfagna’s sauce. We let it simmer for a couple of hours, and the sauce flavored the meat and vice versa. We served it with a mix of cheese and meat ravioli from Mr. Meatballs, sprinkled with a touch of Parmesan cheese. Easily the best ravioli we’ve had outside of New Jersey.

Cheese Ravioli, Meatballs and Sausage from Mr. Meatball

The Italian bread came from one of my recent discoveries, Auddino’s Italian Bakery on Clara Ave, right off of 11th St. exit of I-71. More about that discovery later. πŸ™‚ And on it, I put garlic spread from Mr. Meatball.

Garlic Spread on Auddino's Italian Bread

Local Items:
Romaine lettuce – from my garden
Egg for dressing – 2 Silos (Mt. Gilead, OH)
Cheese and meat ravioli – Mr. Meatball (Columbus, OH)
Meatballs and Sausage – Mr. Meatball (Columbus, OH)
Spaghetti Sauce – Carfagna’s (Columbus, OH)
Italian Bread – Auddino’s Italian Bakery (Columbus, OH)

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/20/09

Wow, this past week just flew by. And I thought I had already uploaded this entry last Sunday. My apologies in getting this to you the day before the next week’s farmers market.

Have you guys had enough of this sweltering muggy weather yet? I know I sure have! And it got really hot last Saturday. Luckily, during the morning markets it wasn’t TOO bad.

As usual, I got up really early, but still managed to get a little behind schedule anyway. Either that, or people are hitting the markets earlier than usual, because all them were already crowded when I got there before they all officially opened.

At the North Market, fruit was the order of the day for me – I picked up some raspberries from Rhoads, and over at Combs Herbs, we picked up some red currants, which my mother included in a batch of tasty cream scones a few days later.

Red Currants

Over at Worthington, I found some really nice Easter Egg radishes. I have a bunch of radishes in my garden, but unfortunately, they don’t seem to be growing even close to the size that these are. Go figure.

Easter Egg Radishes

In addition, I picked up a head of cabbage (which I still have to use, btw). I’m planning on making a dish with ground beef and rice, although I’m not sure what yet.


More delicious baked goods from AJ over at Sassafras Bakery. I can’t resist stopping there every week, and this week was a much bigger haul than usual.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies from Sassafras Bakery

And I couldn’t pass by these lovely cherries, which made their way into a clafoutis this week.

Cherries from Gillogly Orchard

New this past week was someone sitting outside of La Chatelaine making crepes. These lemon sugar ones were just awesome, and I’m hoping they’ll be out there again tomorrow. They made a great breakfast.

Crepes from Le Chatelaine

Over to Clintonville, where it was a bit too crowded for my liking. Again, loving the selection, like this rainbow chard.

Rainbow Chard

Sorry about getting this out late, but better late than never, right? What did you get last week? And what are you keeping your eye out for tomorrow?

OLS Week 3: BLT Bonanza


This week’s One Local Summer meal(s) were inspired by the beautiful Crispino iceberg lettuce I bought from Wayward Seed Farm at the farmers market last Saturday. With lettuce so fresh and crisp, it was just begging for me to make a BLT with mostly local ingredients. The bacon was from Thurn’s, the tomatoes from WishWell Farms, and the bread was Vienna bread from The Andersons.


After making the sandwiches, I still had a lot of leftover bacon, lettuce and tomatoes, so I made a recipe for BLT Pasta Salad that I found on another food blog. It had a nice tang to it, like a BLT minus the bread. The recipe is definitely a keeper, although next time I’d add more tomatoes and bacon. Also, I used wagon wheels instead of rotini because it was what I had available.

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad
recipe courtesy Blog Chef

1 (7 ounce) package rotini pasta noodles (cooked and drained)
8 slices bacon (cooked until crispy and crumbled)
1 cup mayonnaise (or salad dressing)
ΒΌ cup lemon juice concentrate
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons chicken flavored instant bouillon
1 large tomato (seeded and chopped)
ΒΌ cup green onions (sliced)
4 cups lettuce (thinly sliced)

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, chicken flavor instant bouillon, and sugar. Mix well until smooth.
Step 2: In a serving bowl add noodles, bacon, tomato, and green onions, Toss with dressing. Stir in lettuce right before serving.
(Makes 10 Servings)

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/19/09

Even though I usually don’t attend any weekday farmers markets, today I went to the Pearl Alley Farmers Market on a whim. My reason for going was twofold – I was desperate for local strawberries after running out a couple of days ago and eating some commercial ones that tasted horrible, and because I’ve been craving Nellie’s Samosas ever since Lisa posted about it on Columbus Underground last summer.

I had Paul drop me off and he set out to find some parking (which he found, although at a premium @ 12 minutes for 40 cents, at a meter on Gay Street). It’s still early in the season, so the produce options are still fairly limited, but I found the strawberries I was looking for almost immediately at the Wishwell Farms booth.


Other than that, there were a few other things that I didn’t end up getting, like these green beans:

Green Beans

and a bunch of sour cherries perfect for pie making.

Sour Cherries

Beautiful radishes that would go perfectly thinly sliced on a hearty slice of bread with some freshly churned local butter and salt.


and beautiful tiny tender sweet carrots.


Now, about those samosas. They so live up to the hype! We got 2 each of the vegetarian and the meat. The vegetarian is blend of potatoes, peas and carrots seasoned beautifully with a curry flavor, wrapped in a nice crisp wonton shell. Easily the best vegetarian samosas I’ve had in Columbus. The meat were where it was at, though. They reminded me of Jamaican meat turnovers, with a curry overtone instead of jerk seasoning. I craved them again almost as soon as I was done. The ladies were nice enough to include a solo cup of the mango chutney for me to try, and it’s the perfect complement to both variations of samosa.

Samosas from Nellie's Samosas

I’ve got to make it a point to make it go to Pearl Alley more often – with farmers markets on both Tuesday and Friday, it’s the perfect weekday diversion.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/13/09

Well, I got an early last Saturday morning, but got sidetracked at Taste of Belgium, so really set my schedule behind about a half hour or so. I didn’t leave the North Market until almost 9am. But one of the benefits to sticking around the North Market later than usual is that all of the farmers were set up, and I didn’t have to forgo anything in order to rush out to make it to Worthington in a rush.

This was the first weekend that Mrs. Rhoads had raspberries, and if last year is any indication, she should have them until well into autumn (or at least until the first freeze). I picked up a couple of pints, because who can resist something this beautiful?

Red Raspberries from Rhoads Farms

Another thing I couldn’t resist was this Crispino iceberg lettuce from Wayward Seed Farm. Looks nothing like the anemic iceberg lettuce one finds in the grocery store. And it was perfect this week for making BLTs in an all-local meal along with bacon from Thurns, and tomatoes from Wish Well Farm.

Iceberg Lettuce from Wayward Seed Farm

Off to Worthington, where surprisingly Paul managed to find parking, albeit not in our usual spot (we got relegated to the lot near the church, behind the gas station). Unfortunately, since I got there so late I had to navigate around all the double strollers and huge dogs, which made the whole experience a whole lot pleasant than it normally is. Normally I can relax and be a bit leisurely about it, but the long lines and huge amount of grumpy people made me do more picture taking than buying. So excuse my not knowing where each one of these is taken, but people were getting impatient with my stopping to take pictures, and I didn’t get to tag each one with the location of the booth.

So while I have no idea where these turnips were from, they sure are pretty.


These potatoes, I think, are from HW Organics. I love Yukon golds.

Potatoes from HW Organics

And these sour cherries were from Gillogly Orchard, a place where I go fruit crazy all the time, normally. But remember what I said about long lines? This one was like 10 or 15 deep, and my sour cherry buying can wait a week or so…

Sour Cherries from Gillogly Orchard

Nice carrots from HW Organics. I love when I start seeing root veggies, because it means I can make a lot more meals that are completely local.

Carrots from HW Organics

I did also make it to Clintonville, eventually, but didn’t get many pictures, again because the lines made it nearly impossible to get close enough to take any. As we were leaving, I quipped to my companions, “now you see why I hit the markets early?”. Hopefully tomorrow, I can go back to getting through by 9:30am. πŸ™‚

OLS Week 2: A Comedy of Errors


It’s the second week of One Local Summer, and despite many attempts at making a local meal this week, I’m lucky I have anything at all to post. Murphy was living in my kitchen this week, because anything that could go wrong absolutely did.

I had the best laid plans. I was going to make an all-local frittata, using local goose eggs, chorizo, potatoes, onions, and cheese. I tried to make it twice.

I have a confession to make. Even though I’m a good cook, I have trouble making some things that even a child can make. Pancakes from pancake mix is one. They come out blackened, every time. Absolutely disgusting. The other bane of my existence? Frittata. In theory, it’s simple. In execution, not so much. I’ve made crustless quiches before, which aren’t that different. So why all the problems? I haven’t given up yet, though – and have a frittata pan set on order from

The first attempt was with a nonstick pan in the oven. And it…stuck. Never made it to the oven. I didn’t want to ruin my pan. So attempt #1 got thrown out. After checking some blogs, I had the bright idea of doing attempt #2 in a nonstick pan with some oil. But…because said nonstick pan has plastic handles, it’s not oven safe. which required flipping the thing over and back into the pan. It gets in the pan – not sticking at all. The bottom was browning beautifully. Then I have the bright idea of using a cookie sheet to flip it over near the sink, and splat…all over the countertop, sink, and floor. I laughed, harder than I’d laughed in a while, big giant gut-busting belly laughs, because I knew I’d cry if I thought about it too hard.

So, screw the frittata. I was out of chorizo and potatoes and goose eggs anyway. I had bought a loaf of white bread at the Clintonville Farmer’s Market, and had the bright idea to make french toast with it. I was going to sweeten up some Blue Jacket Creamery local lemon quark and whip it with a little local cream, and spread it in between two slices of said bread, which I would then dip into a mixture of local cream from Snowville Creamery, eggs from 2Silos, and vanilla, and fry in local Amish butter, and then serve it with strawberries and serviceberries from Rhoads Farms, mulberries from my backyard, and some local whipped cream. It looks pretty enough, right?

Lemon Quark Stuffed French Toast with Fresh Berries

One small problem – the bread. It just wasn’t good at all. It was dense and dry and crumbly. I soaked it in the cream mixture for a half hour and it didn’t even saturate into the bread but 1/8 inch. It was so dry it was crumbling apart in the frying pan. It was downright inedible. But at least the berries were good. Live and learn, I guess. Not everything that is local is good.

So new week, new fridge of local food, new ideas. Even though it’s an old standby, I’m thinking a local B(E)LT is in order. Stayed tuned for the continuing adventures…well, you get the idea.

Review: Louie’s Grill

It’s inevitable that Louie’s Grill, the fairly new Tex-Mex/Cuban fusion bistro in Hilliard, gets compared to Starliner Diner – they share quite a few things – many menu items are identical, they’re both located on Cemetary Road, and Louie, the chef/owner, was Starliner Diner’s head chef for 12 years. But that’s where the similarities end. The truth of the matter is that Louie’s is bigger, cleaner, more flexible, and just executes the food much better with a smile instead of a snarl.

I’ve been a long-time patron of Starliner Diner; I can remember eating breakfasts there when we lived in Hilliard about a decade ago. And considering my past reviews of the place, I consider myself a fan. But over my past few visits, it just hasn’t been quite the same as before. The food quality has suffered a bit, and service has been dismal. And they nickel and dime you to death if you want to make any substitutions. So we haven’t been visiting as often as we used to.

Louie’s came up on my radar about a month or so ago, but I didn’t visit until this past week. And loved it so much, that collectively, my husband and I have been there 4 times this week and tried a bunch of dishes. This review will cover the last two visits – a Friday night dinner with him and me alone, and a Saturday afternoon brunch with a third dining companion.

Friday night was hoppin’. It was about half full when we got seated, but by the time we were done eating, it was almost fully packed. I started with a cocktail (which is out of character for me), on the recommendation of our server, Alicia. The fruity Fusion Punch was absolutely refreshing on the hot summer day, and definitely hit the spot.

Fusion Punch from Louie's Grill

Our appetizer, Fried Plantains with Salsa dip, was nicely ripe and sweet, and the crunchy caramelized exterior was wonderful. It was paired with a fresh tasting but not overly spicy creamy salsa dip.

Plantain Appetizer from Louie's Grill

My husband also opted for a cup (can you believe THAT is a cup? It was the size of a bowl elsewhere) of Cream of Jalapeno soup ($3). It was a study in moderation: thick but not too thick, spicy but not too spicy, and the balance of creaminess with flavor showed the skill of the chef.

Cream of Jalapeno Soup from Louie's Grill

For my entree, I opted for the Media Noche sandwich ($7) . It lacked the pickle that one usually finds on a Cuban sandwich, but it wasn’t missed. This was just a fantastic sandwich all around, and the almost appetizer-sized side of fried plantains that comes with it makes it a great value as well.

Media Noche Sandwich from Louie's Grill

My husband was quite pleased with his Roast Pork with Green Salsa ($12), which paired tender chunks of pork shoulder with a pleasingly tart, mildly spicy tomatillo salsa verde and the nicely contrasting textures of veggies such as poblano peppers, zucchini and corn. The side of rice and black beans was the perfect companion to this dish, making it an extremely hearty choice.

Roast Pork with Green Salsa from Louie's Grill

On our visit the next day, I started with a small house salad ($3.50), which paired mostly romaine lettuce with tomatoes, red onion, cheese, and some more of that nice creamy salsa dressing.

Small House Salad from Louie's Grill

Our dining companion chose the Machaca with Eggs ($9), which was a scramble of tender chunks of brisket (ropa vieja) with eggs, ranchero sauce, onions, peppers, and fresh cheese. Normally it is served with black beans and corn tortillas, but my favorite way of eating it is with a combination of half rice and half beans (a substitution they are more than happy to make). He enjoyed it so much that he said he would have licked the plate clean had he thought he could get away with it. As it stood, he sopped up every last bit using the accompanying tortillas.

Machaca with Eggs from Louie's Grill

My husband’s Mexican Breakfast Burrito ($8) was a behemoth of a wrap, filled to the brim with scrambled eggs, onions, peppers, corn, chorizo, refried beans, chipotle sauce and cheese.Β  The mingling of all of the individual flavors on the palate was a thing of beauty – again, it stuck a nice balance without being overwhelmingly spicy or too busy. Just well executed all around. The potatoes on the side were competently done and nicely browned.

Mexican Breakfast Burrito from Louie's Grill

Everyone envied my choice, which our waitress Amanda said was one of their most popular dishes. The Mofongo Stuffed Chicken Breast ($11), pairs a nicely pounded chicken breast stuffed with a garlicy ripe plaintain mixture, and then coated in cornmeal and then deep fried and topped with a red jalapeno and a green onion sauce. The chicken was flavorful and tender, despite being deep fried, and the sauces were just the icing on an already delicious cake.Β  The side of rice and black beans that comes with it makes it quite hearty and filling indeed. I can already predict that this will probably be my regular choice in the future. Even though it is an off-menu special, it is one they usually have.

Mofongo Stuffed Chicken Breast from Louie's Grill

A couple of things I wanted to mention: being a family owned, independent restaurant gives them the flexibility to be able to be a little more accommodating than most restaurants: if they are not busy, they are more than happy to whip you up a breakfast item hours after they’re done serving breakfast. They seem to go out of their way to make what you want, and both the waitresses and the other staff that I’ve met this past week have been an absolute pleasure to deal with. The service here is sincere, friendly, and welcoming. That alone will bring me back again and again.

Another thing – their hours also make them an excellent choice – not only are they open 7 days a week (Monday-Saturday 8am-10pm, Sunday 8am-8pm), but I’ve been able to get the full menu during posted breakfast hours on the weekend. Again, loving the flexibility.

Louie’s is definitely a new favorite for me – Hilliard is a bit out of my way, but I can easily see this being a once a week (if not more) stop for us. Most of their menu travels extremely well, I’ve found out.

If you’d like to go: Louie’s Grill, 4453 Cemetary Road, Hilliard, OH 43026, 614.777.5606.

Louie's Grill on Urbanspoon

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/6/09

I got a little bit later start than usual this past Saturday, not leaving the house until 7:30ish, and not getting to the North Market until almost 8am. The added benefit of actually showing up on time instead of extra early is that I got to taste some Liege waffles and crepes with salted caramel from the new merchant in the market, Taste of Belgium. Yum.

Mrs. Rhoads had a wide variety of fruit this morning. In addition to some of the last strawberries (I think we’re down to one week, two weeks tops left at this point), she also had some sweet cherries (I believe these are Raniers). I picked up a container to use in a clafoutis or perhaps another dessert this week.

Cherries from Rhoads Farm Market

She also had a type of fruit I was unfamiliar with, which is known by many names: serviceberries, Juneberries, Saskatoon berries. They remind me of red blueberries. You don’t often see them sold by merchants because birds have a taste for them and usually beat the humans to them. I’ve been using these in various things all week, and I’m thinking about making scones with the rest.

Serviceberries (Juneberries) from Rhoads Farm Market

Over to Worthington, where I got a bunch of baby zucchini that I’m planning on grilling up later this week. I love zucchini when it’s young, and tender and delicate.

Baby Zucchini from Wish Well Farms

One of the things I love about going to the markets is that there’s always stuff to nosh on – cookies and pie, bread, and when you’re lucky – fresh produce like these tomatoes and cucumbers.

Cucumber and Tomato Samples

Not sure what I’m going to do with this lavender quite yet, but I’m fairly sure it has to do with infusing it into something.


Over at Clintonville, I got a bunch of English shell peas from Elizabeth Telling Farms, which should also end up in a variety of dishes. I spent a couple of hours shelling, and then blanched and froze them for later use.

English Shelling Peas from Elizabeth Telling Farms

Can’t wait until next weekend. Mrs. Rhoads says she’ll have the first of the raspberries. Where did you go this past weekend and what did you get?

Feburary 2009 Roundup

A little bit closer to getting caught up – only 3 months behind now. πŸ˜‰

In savory recipes, Chicken and Basmati Pilaf with Saffron, Pistachios and Peas from 5 Second Rule, Ma’s Lion Heads from A Daily Obsession, Turkish Red Lentil Soup from A Pot of Tea and a Biscuit, Baked Top Hat Pork Chops from A Year from Oak Cottage, Eggplant Timbale from A Year in the Kitchen, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Soup with Bacon from Alice Q. Foodie, Sopa de Fideos from Amanda’s Cookin’, Cracked Wheat Knot Rolls from Andrea’s Recipes, New York Strip Steak with Bordelaise Sauce from Angela’s Food Love, Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew) from Angry Asian Creations, Potato Rounds from Anissa’s Kitchen, Spaghetti with Creamy Bacon and Brussels Sprouts from Anne’s Kitchen, Crab and Shrimp Risotto and Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells from Annie’s Eats, Easy Turkey Chili with Kale from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, Chicken and Bacon Puff Pastry Tart from Apples and Butter, Bay Scallop Gratin for One from the arugula files, Bobby Flay’s Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze from Aspiring Gourmet, Alberta Bison Filet wrapped in Smoked Bacon with Red Wine Sauce and Maple Whisky Butter and Kransky Hot Pot with Bacon and Braised Cabbage from The Bacon Show, Salisbury Steak and Pan Perogy from The Baking Beauties, Homemade Pizza Crust and Sauce from Baking Like Betty, Round Steak with Gravy from Barbara Bakes, Foil Packet Italian Chicken from The Bentley Family, Stuffed Lumaconi from Big Black Dog, Maple-Balsamic Glazed Pork Medallions and Butternut, Goat Cheese and Walnut Spread from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen, Butternut Squash, Farro & Sausage Soup from bitchincamero, Sticky Lemon Chicken from Blue Kitchen, Lobster Macaroni and Cheese from Butter & Sugar, Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons from Cafe Chocolada, Crab and Corn Bisque from Calm in the Kitchen, Andouille, Poblano, and Butternut Tacos with Feta from Cara’s Cravings: My Life in the Kitchen, Clint’s Whole Wheat Chicago Style Pizza from Chew on That, Cajun Crawfish Etouffee from Chili Cheese Fries, Acorn Squash Ravioli from Chomping the Big Apple, Andouille and Yellow Eye Bean Stew from The Constables’ Larder, Caprese Bread and Butter Pudding and Smoked Salmon Mini-Quiches with Sour Cream and Caviar from Cook Sister!, White Truffle Risotto from Cooking This and That, Chicken Stewed in Wine, Garlic and Cinnamon, Beef Picadillo, and Crock Pot Shredded Chicken Chili from The Crepes of Wrath, Risotto Pomodoro from The Culinary Chase, Orzo Soup from Dishing Up Delights, Creamy Chicken Salad with Apples and Cheddar on Mini-Pitas from Erica’s Kitchen Adventures, Huli-Huli Chicken from Ezra Pound Cake, Greek Zucchini Pie (Kourkouto) from Farida’s Azerbaijani Cookbook, Korean-Style Short Ribs from Foodie Obsessed, Vegetable Tian, Chicken Thighs with a Balsamic and Garlic Sauce and Chicken in Tomato Sauce with Kalamata Olives and Feta from For the Love of Cooking, Virginia’s Baked Spaghetti from Full Bellies, Happy Kids, Rabbit in a Cream and Mustard Sauce from Hollow Legs, Cuban Pizza from The Hungry Housewife, Maryland Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Coulis from I-80 Looking East Towards Des Moines, Butter Chicken from Kait’s Plate, Steak, Guinness and Cheese Pie with a Puff Pastry Lid from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, Lamb and Red Pepper Paella from Mike’s Table, Vegetarian Pa Jeon (Korean Pancakes) from Pithy and Cleaver, Pressure Cooker Beef Stew from bitchincamero, Cameron Mitchell’s Crab Cakes from Bless Us O Lord, Eggplant and Mozzarella Panini from Closet Cooking, Spanish Chicken Bake with Butter Beans, Chorizo and Olives from Cook sister!, Spicy Lentils with Chorizo from Dinner Diary, Wild Mushroom & Hock Risotto from feast with bron, Escarole Lentil Soup with Chicken Sausage from got no milk, Vegetable Tian from Live. Love. Eat., Brie and Asparagus Quiche from The Papillon Pantry, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs from Piccante Dolce, Linguine in Creamy Chorizo Tomato Sauce with Seared Scallops from Pig Pig’s Corner, Italian Eggplant and Turkey Lasagna from Rainy Days and Sundays, Risotto Soup with Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese from running with tweezers, Pan-fried Sirloin Steak with Simple Chianti Butter Sauce and Olive Oil Mash from sauced, Lentils with Caramelized Leeks and Sausages, Perfect Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Jus, White Bean and Tarragon Soup, Shrimp and Grits with Bacon, Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs, Tortellini with Brown Butter and Sage and Le Bernadin’s Crab Cakes with Shaved Cauliflower and Dijon Mustard Emulsion from Serious Eats, Easy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings from Sing for Your Supper, Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio) from Steamy Kitchen, Crab Mac and Cheese from Use Real Butter, Champagne Risotto from Vanilla Bean, Swiss Chard, Onion and Monterey Jack Enchiladas in a Tomatilla Salsa from The Vegetarian Foodie, Jarlsberg Tarts from The Village Voice, Tuna Casserole with French Fried Onions from Vintage Victuals, Sun Dried Tomato Risotto from What’s Gaby Cooking?, Spinach, Sausage and Cheese Strata from What’s Kookin’, and Gourmet’s Baked Penne with Farmhouse Cheddar & Leeks from The Yummy Mummy Cooks Gourmet.

In sweet recipes, Amaretti and Blood Orange Semifreddo from A Foodie Froggy in Paris, Magnolia Bakery Peanut Butter Cookies from A Singleton in the Kitchen, Raspberry-Almond Cream Tart with Chocolate Ganache from The Alchemist Chef, Chocolate Mousse from Andrea’s Recipes, Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes from Annie’s Eats, Rum Glazed Banana Cake from Anya Cooks!, Sticky Toffee Cakelets and Sour Cherry-Almond Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, Flan de Naranja (Orange Custard) from Apple Pie, Patis, and Pate, Chocolate Pots de Creme from Big Red Kitchen, Cherry Almond Muffins with Streusel Topping from The Biscuit Pusher, Perfect French Omelets, Easy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings, and Chicken and Israeli Couscous with Tomato and Lemon from The Bitten Word, Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake from BitterSweet, Honey Walnut Pie from Buff Chickpea, Coconut Lime Macadamia Nut Banana Bread from Cooking at the Pacific Outpost, Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast from Cooking For Comfort, Warm Yeasted Apple Pudding from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, Strawberry Banana Bread with Pecans from Culinary Infatuation, Strawberry Whipped Cream from the Cupcake Project, Country Fair Funnel Cake from Dine and Dish, Homemade Samosas Bars from Dinner & Dessert, Cinnamon Crumb Surprise from Evil Chef Mom, Southern-Style Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes from Ezra Pound Cake, Baked Pears with Calvados and Mascarpone Cheese from French Kitchen in America, Raspberry Crumb Breakfast Bars from Gastronomy, Neapolitan Dynamite Cupcakes from Hello, Baker!, Scalloped Pineapple from In the Kitchen, Cast Iron Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Inn Cuisine, Caramelized Roasted Banana Bread Drop Doughnuts from Kids Cuisine, Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes from Milk & Honey, Peanut Butter Cup Bars from Mommy? I’m Hungry!, Ooey Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from My Baking Addiction, Seville Orange Flan from The Pie Lady, Valentine Linzer Cookies from The Purple Foodie, Baked Hot Chocolate from Serious Eats, Bran-Craisin Breakfast Muffins from Simple Daily Recipes, Oreo Truffles and S’Mores Truffles from Sugar Plum, Chocolate Nemesis with Raspberries from Under the High Chair, Tiramisu Cupcakes from The Vanilla Bean, Cherry Oatmeal Bread from The Village Voice, Strawberry Shortcake Cocktail from The Vintage Kitten, and Butterscotch Blondies from ZestyCook.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 5/30/09

I think last weekend (May 30th) was the first “real” farmers market for me. The first couple are always dominated by early spring veggies (greens, asparagus, etc.) but the true start of market for me comes with the strawberry sightings. My first stop is always the North Market (barring an event that closes the roads around it, like Race for the Cure, for instance), but I always get there so early that a lot of the farmers aren’t set up yet. You see, I’ve got a strict schedule to follow. If I don’t get done at the North Market by 8:10, it’s virtually impossible to find parking at Worthington, and if I’m not out of Worthington by 8:45, I can just totally forget about Clintonville. Yes, I truly am the crazy lady who makes her way through 3 farmers markets by 9:30am. But I digress. One thing I can always count on, though, is that Mrs. Rhoads will be at the market bright and early, with her lovely berries. Last week was full of beautiful strawberries. I’m enjoying these babies while I can, as we only have a week or two left for strawberries and they’re especially sweet and juicy this year. Strawberries from Rhoads Also while at the North Market I picked up some feta from Blue Jacket Creamery. If you’ve never tried the combination of feta and strawberries before in a salad, you don’t know what you’re missing. Blue Jacket makes exceptional feta. Cheese from Blue Jacket Creamery I’m loving the different hues of pink in these peonies. If I had to pick one flower that’s a favorite in spring, these would be it. I’d love to bake a cake and top it (for decoration purposes only, of course) with a peony. Peonies Off to Worthington, where I ran into Rosie, who was on a quest for rhubarb during a rare weekend off when she was able to make it to the farmers market. Knowing I had to cook for my sister’s graduation party and already had a full fridge/multiple coolers, I didn’t buy much at Worthington this time around. Clintonville was especially crowded. I was happy to see familiar faces, like Denise of 2Silos, and many others. I was really bummed out to hear that the Clintonville Farmers Market had upheld it’s decision to not allow 2Silos to sell the Amish doughnuts, one of my favorite things to pick up every time I go to the market. I can understand the importance of wanting it to be “producer only”, but by going by the letter of the law rather than the spirit, it saddens a lot of market regulars for whom the doughnuts were a huge draw. I’ll seriously miss those doughnuts and fry pies. Disheartened, I bought a cinnamon roll from Frijolito Farms, one of the most outspoken supporters of the market’s stance. While it was good, it just wasn’t the same. Cinnamon Roll from Frijolito Farms This ginormous head of lettuce was absolutely delicious on burgers we grilled last weekend. Between that and hothouse tomatoes from Wishwell Farms, we were in burger topping heaven. Lettuce I’m loving the new labels on Sweet Thing Gourmet’s jams. I also got to try (and bought) some of their spicy jams. The raspberry jalapeno was a real hit on top of brie rounds on pita crackers. Jams from Sweet Thing Gourmet Going to the markets every weekend is the highlight of my week. Not only do I get to reconnect with people – farmers who I have come to consider friends over these past few years, but I also get to restock my fridge with wonderful locally produced goodies. For locals – which markets do you frequent and why? For not so locals – tell me about your farmers markets. Which vendors are your favorites? I’ll be back tomorrow with my report on this Saturday’s market. Thank you everyone for being so patient with my procrastination. So glad I’m almost caught up with the market reports. πŸ™‚