My Yummy Local Life

{April 30, 2012}   Strawberry Picking!

I went and picked a bunch of strawberries today.  Here are some of them:

Some went directly into some strawberry daquaris, the majority of the rest are in line to be frozen.  About a quart of them will be held in reserve for making some peach and strawberry jam, which was our favorite concoction from last year, but that won’t be until August when peaches are at their prime.  The rest, however many that ends up being, will be available for making smoothies and whatever else needs strawberries for the 10 months out of the year that we don’t hae fresh strawberries at the market.  The goal is to freeze about 4-5 gallons.  I picked 15.62 lbs today with my friend Megan, in addition to the 6 lbs she took home.

Cane Creek Farms grows everything naturally and organically with no sprays or pesticides, which is super important for strawberries as they are one of the “dirty dozen.” The pick-your-own berries were $2/lb, so they came out to a total of $31.24.

So the St. Baldricks event yesterday was awesome; Gary raised just shy of $1300 for childhood cancer research.  Check out the before and after pics if you’d like. Today is my beautiful friend Carolyn’s 21st birthday so we’ll be breaking out some of the pumpkin that we have frozen from last fall to help with celebrating her special day.

Here’s the lovely menu for the week:

  • Asparagus Quinoa salad with a beautiful yellow tomato
  • Lentil samosas from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
  • Vegetarian Lasagna  (again), this time with broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and homemade tomato sauce; cottage cheese instead of ricotta
  • Lamb stew with herb dumplings, adapted from my Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, using the new potatoes, and course some of our lamb
  • Pumpkin Pie for Carolyn
  • Egg mushroom rolls from Indian in 6 (trying this one for the first time this week) featuring the local shitake mushrooms I got yesterday
  • Kaplan sandwiches a la Sam the Cooking Guy, will use the beefy tomatoes we got this week
  • Pad Thai (again)- clearly this is a staple for us… will be using bok choy and home grown mung bean sprouts, and throwing in some tofu for extra protein
  • Also there are many more strawberries to be had, as well as sugar snap peas, for healthy snacking
  • Got some sour dough Challah bread in the works
  • Probably will make some cauliflower egg salad for lunches
  • And lastly, got some mini blueberry muffins (last years frozen blueberries) baked up for breakfast at Love Chapel Hill


{April 28, 2012}   Back to Carrboro Market, 4/28

So today is a busy day, because my husband is getting his head shaved for the St. Baldrick’s event at LoneRider Brewery.  Big deal, since in the 16 years I have known him his hair has at least been shaggy if not super long! So I didn’t want to be the reason we might be “rushed’ to get there on time, thus, the Carrboro Farmer’s Market won out this week.  I still find it to be a little overly large an overwhelming, but on the plus side I can get pretty much everything I need rather easily.  There were even a few surprises this week.

This weeks loot!

These items came from 6 different stands (and I passed up on at least another 20 more stands) so I tried to spread the love without breaking the bank.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

3 baby Bok Choy and a bunch of scallions: $5

2 pints of Shitake/oyster mushrooms (WIN!): $8

Super thick and tasty goat’s milk yogurt stuff: $5

3 beautiful tomatoes: $5

Sugar snap peas (!) and new potatoes: $5

4 pints of strawberries, a head of cauliflower and a bunch of asparagus: $17.75

Grand total this week: $45.75.

Einstein even bothered to get out of the warm bed to give his stamp of approval, so everything must be pretty good.

Einstein checking out the goods.

Well now that I have been to the market, photographed and put up the food and written a blog post, I think I’ll go wake up the shavee.  Wouldn’t want to be rushed! 😉 Have a yummy week!

{April 22, 2012}   Menu for this week (4/21-4/27)

Happy Earth Day! One of my favorite days when my “Christian” side  (God’s command to care for the earth) collides so nicely with my “hippie” side (striving to live a natural, local, non-wasteful lifestyle).

So here’s what is on the docks for this week:

– More Strawberry madness…smoothies, margaritas, and of course just snacks…

– Pizza with miscellaneous veggies, homemade dough and sauce

-Kale chips with homemade ketchup

-Lamb brats with peppers and onions

-Sweet Potato Mole- a layered casserole with sausage (in our case the rest of the lamb brats), sweet potatoes, corn, a chili-mole type of sauce- recipe found in the Almost Meatless cookbook, which since I’ve brought it up I would highly recommend.

Green Bean Casserole from scratch- an Alton Brown recipe that we love and make often

– Caesar salad (again) with avocado (again) because it was delicious last week.  Gonna tweak up the dressing to try to get it to be a bit more liquid-y and top it off with some fried up tempeh strips.

– Egg Foo Yung with Tofu- based loosely off of Sam the Cooking Guy’s recipe

-Tempeh Grilled Cheese sandwiches on homemade IPA cheese beer bread – everything local doesn’t have to be super healthy, but it’s still better for you than the processed junk in the middle aisles of the grocery store!

What are you making out of local foods this week? I’m always up for some more menu ideas for things that are in season.

So my little man, Einstein had a vet appointment this morning in north Raleigh.  I decided to go ahead and bring him with to the N. Raleigh Farmer’s Market, which is the market we frequented when we lived in Raleigh.  This also bought me at least an extra hour of sleep this morning since I did not have to rush to be at the Carrboro market at 7am, which I still maintain is too early to be anywhere! Also I still know pretty much everyone at the Raleigh market so that was awesome to stop by and say hello.  Anyways, here is what I got:

From my good friend Bobby Kirk from Cane Creek farm I got the sweet potatoes, two types of onions, broccoli, lettuce mix and strawberries for $24. Got some hothouse cherry tomatoes and an english cucumber for $4.80 and got some mismatched chicken eggs for $3.50.  For a grand total this week of: $32.30!

Also harvested about a half a pound of Kale today from Love Chapel Hill Gardens, and have a bundle of asparagus and the green beans still hanging out from last week.

Menu will be up tomorrow but I can tell you it is going to be majorly delicious 🙂

{April 15, 2012}   4/14 menu of yumminess

It’s going to be another delicious week:

– Strawberries for snacking, breakfasting and Strawberry Margaritas!

Asparagus quinoa salad (again), with some of the local broccoli as well

– Veggie Calzones- with homemade pizza sauce, fresh dough and an assortment of veggies and mozzarella

Avocado Caesar Salad– Learned this week that you can replace the egg yolk in homemade caesar salad dressing with an avocado, so we’re going to give it a go and see how it tastes…

-Tofu stir fry with fresh broccoli, onions and probably some assorted other veggies

– Seared lamb chops with some veggies on the side

Here’s a picture of last night’s deliciousness:

Strawberry Margarita and Asparagus Quinoa Salad

So this week we bought a half a lamb package from Bruce at Little River Ranch. In case you are wondering, half a lamb in our case included right around 21.5 lbs of lamb in various cuts for a discounted price of $9/lb. For a grand total of $193.50. Just for comparison the prices of individual cuts range from $5- $14/lb. So what are the cuts that were included?
-16 loin chops, individually packaged!
– 2 leg steaks
– 3lbs ground lamb
-2 packs (5 each) of lamb sausage brats
-2 lamb shanks
-a rack of lamb
-a leg of lamb
-2 shoulder chops
-a shoulder roast
And just for kicks and giggles he also threw in a liver, which i have NO idea how I will use.

So these psuedo-vegetarians are set on meat for I’d say at least the next 6 months.


Now for today’s loot from the Hillsborough Farmer’s Market (which I think is my favorite in the area except they don’t have a cheese person right now!)

Spent a total of $34 on everything.
$27 from Cane Creek farms for the onions, asparagus, strawberries, broccoli and romaine lettuce.
$3.50 for the bag of mixed lettuce
$3.50 for the happy chicken eggs

So I’d say it was another successful week of getting local food.

{April 8, 2012}   Easter Week Menu 4/8

It’s another delicious week here:

  • Homemade Challah bread in celebration of the Resurrection and Passover
  • Strawberry everything…probably including french toast made out of afore mentioned bread, smoothies and cottage cheese snacks…
  • Vegetarian lasagna– a take on this recipe, with frozen zucchini from last season, home canned tomatoes and fresh local broccoli, asparagus, baby bok choy, basil, oregano and mozzarella cheese- this is in the oven as we speak and smelling devine!
  • Homemade pizza- second half of the dough from 2 weeks ago, with whatever veg seems delicious for the day and the fresh local mozzarella
  • Mushroom and lamb stroganoff
  • Asparagus, spinach, feta and goat cheese quiche with hash brown crust– a mash up of these two recipes, using local cheeses, asparagus, spinach, and eggs, and real potatoes.
  • Falafel with homemade pita bread
  • Leftover veggie and cheese pasta

Also, got my herbs planted up. They are right outside my front door, which hopefully means they will not become neglected and die.  They look pretty happy right now if you ask me.

basil, oregano, thyme, parsley

WEnt to the Carrboro Farmer’s Market today and got a very good haul as you can see.

Here’s the breakdown:
Bag of spinach: $3
4 pints of biodynamic strawberries: $14
Parsley and basil plants plus 2 heads of broccoli: $10.30
Thyme and oregano plants: $4.50
Goat cheese: $5.30
Mozzarella and brie: $13.35
Green beans and asparagus: $10

Grand total: $60.45

It is going to be a very YUMMY week. Look for our menu post soon!

{April 1, 2012}   Menu for 3/31 Veggies

Here’s the plan for this weeks local fare:

  • Strawberries- in my tummy, never even made it to the refrigerator…
  • Deep dish pizza- hubby’s first successful homemade dough with asparagus, local mozzarella, and sauce made from tomatoes we put up last fall
  • Asparagus and Quinoa Salad– one of our springtime “go to” meals, do this, you will thank me later.
  • South American Meal- using more leftover refried pinto beans, and probably some lettuce materials
  • Lettuce cups from bib lettuce with tempeh, quinoa, local feta and veggie deliciousness
  • Pad thai take two- using bok choy this time- last week we used kale- both are a good idea I’m sure
  • White wine and asparagus pasta

Now that berries are coming back into season, there will also be many more smoothies since last years frozen berries will not seem as precious.  Try hiding some greens and oatmeal in your smoothies for extra nutrients 🙂

Have a yummy week!

et cetera