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Archive for August, 2009

The farmer’s markets are loaded with potatoes and green beans right now, so I thought I’d share this recipe we just found in the September Issue of Cooking Light.

Spiced Potatoes and Green Beans

We made it for dinner the other night with Broiled Tilapia. They were great together. And it was a great use for all those potatoes and beans you can’t resist at the market. (Um, sorry, I forgot to take a photo. Sorry.)

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Blackberries

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My In-Laws live in the country. And they have lots of critters hanging around their property, including wild turkeys, deer, racoons, fox and snapping turtles. They even have a bear. They haven’t seen it, but they’ve seen the damage this bear has done to their bird feeders. (Like, they bent the feeder over – crazy bears). I have a feeling they’re attracted to their property not only because it’s beautiful and secluded and they don’t have any neighbors, but because they have Blackberry bushes (they do grow on bushes, right?) The other night, when they came down to babysit Daughter, they brought a container of these blackberries. And there weren’t just a few, but about 4 or 5 cups of the most beautiful, deep purply-black fruit I’d ever seen.

We had a few for breakfast (and they paired quite nicely with Mango, BTW) but that barely made a dent in the bowl. So I went online to find something to bake with them and decided on Blackberry Scones. Not only could I use up some of the berries, but I’d have breakfast for the week as well.

I love Scones.  I love the richness, the real butter flavor and even the little bit of dryness. But I hate making scones because I’m not sure what the consistency should be, or how much to mix. And I don’t have a pastry blender (it’s on my Target list now) so I stand there with two knifes trying and failing to cut in the butter. Anyway – I tried. and I cut the butter and kneaded the dough and mixed in the berries and lo and behold, the dough came together, for the most part. Some of the blackberries got smushed and bleed into the dough, which made it quite beautiful. Some of them stayed whole. I baked them for just about 25 minutes and out they came, toasty, warm and beautiful.

And they tasted pretty darn good. Every few bites I could taste raw flour (did I not mix it up well enough?), but the end result was worth the stress and mess.

I still have 2 more cups of blackberries in my fridge, any other ideas?

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Bayfield Blueberries

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We stopped by the Midtown Farmers Market this weekend for a couple reasons. It was just about to start pouring rain and it’s a lot closer to our house. The St. Paul market is our favorite, but it’s a little further and lately it’s been really packed. The rain started just as we arrived, so Husband stayed in the car with Mini-me and I just ran through quickly. I picked up a bunch of goodies, including more beets, cherry tomatoes, purple potatoes and Beautiful Blueberries from Bayfiend, WI.

If you’ve never been to Bayfield, you are missing out on a gem of a town. We went there a few years ago and spent the weekend biking, kayaking and eating. Most notably at Wild Rice, a truly amazing restaurant just south of the city. I can’t remember anything specific we ate there (I wasn’t blogging yet, or I could do a search) but we both recall an amazing meal.

Anyway – back to the blueberries. As I walked back to the car, in the rain, through the long, wet grass, I thought of what was in my bags (yes, canvas). The blueberries and raspberries came to mind and I realized we hadn’t had breakfast yet. (when you have a new baby, you get out when that baby is full and clean) That meant we could rush home and make blueberry pancakes right away. And we did. These blueberries were the most flavorful I had ever had. I popped one in my mouth as Husband stood at the griddle and I actually stopped walking, the berry having caught me off guard. Really, that’s what a blueberry should taste like? I had never experienced anything like that. My first thought was have I just ruined all the berries at the grocery store? And we probably have. But those pancakes, on a sorty-rainy, sorty-humid morning were just perfect. I can’t wait until next weekend.

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*printed on the menu at Heidi’s

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Eat Local Challenge

As we were eating dinner last night, I noticed that nearly everything on my plate came from a local source. The beautiful lettuce, the beets (which I roasted), the tomato and the chicken all came from the St. Paul Farmer’s Market. The bread came from The Bikery in Stillwater (Thanks Nibs!) The walnuts and the butter were not local, but were just a tiny portion of what we were eating. I mentioned this to Husband and he pointed out that it was Eat Minnesota Week. I had no idea. After a quick google search, I found the reference at www.minnesotagrown.com. You can visit their site and accept the challenge. By signing up “you are pledging to eat locally grown foods for the week of August 2- 8 (or longer!)” And they’ll send you a bumper sticker. So head on over there, sign up, receive your sticker, put it on your hybrid and drive to your Farmer’s Market to load up on the goodies. (Don’t forget your bags) This is the best time of year to be from Minnesota, so enjoy it. Your stomach (and all those farmers down the road) will Thank You.

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