My Yummy Local Life

Fall *Spring?* Market…


Got some more lovely fall produce at the market today.  And some sugar snap peas… who knew these would grow in the fall?! Also I answered a trivia question right on the cheese guy (Brady)’s email newsletter and got a $5 piece of cheese for free!


Here’s what I got:

Broccoli, Sugar snap Peas, and colorful bell peppers: $10

Garlic, baby ginger and baby turmeric: $2

Queso fresco, Gouda with caraway, Ricotta with garlic and chives: $7! ($5 off!)

Shiitake Mushrooms: $5.20

Turmeric and ginger


FREE Queso Fresco!

Grand Total: $24.20


Also, the Lovely Sue Murdoch is canning my pumpkins for me with her pressure canner.  Here is the first batch of pumpkin:

Indian River Pumpkin!

{September 1, 2012}   Farmer’s Market 9/1

Well Hello September, nice to see you again! I like that fall is starting to coming! But today it still felt like summer at the market.

Farmers Market Fare

Here’s what I got:

Hondurian coffee (direct from the farmer to Carrboro): $8

Edamame, Mushrooms, Peppers, Shishito peppers: $11.75

Tomatoes: red romas, yellows and sungolds: $7.80

Mozzarella, Camembert., Eno Mountain Sharp (goat) cheeses: $14

Butternut Squashes: $2.75


Grand Total: $44.30


What I picked (and will be sharing with the Love Chapel Hill Crew tomorrow):

from the gardens… 9/1

Cucumbers, green zebra tomatoes, and purple cherokee tomatoes: $8ish in value


Have a yummy week!


So it seems that fall is making an early appearance here in Carrboro. It was chilly this morning when I headed out to the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market.  First thing I saw were some pumpkins of various sizes! That is a sure sign that Fall is fast approaching! Hooray- Fall is my favorite season. Not only because of pumpkin everything, but also because not being hot the minute you walk out the door makes me much more likely to spend more time outside and moving and less time on the computer or watching movies.

Anyways, here is what I obtained on this early fall morning (which was not really so early since I went to Chapel Hill and didn’t have to be there at 7 AM to get delicious options).

Early Fall Finds

Shishito peppers and juliette tomatoes: $6

Peppers and okra: $6

Garlic and shiitake mushrooms: $4.90

Fig Honey Chevre, Spicy Pimento Goat Cheese and Mozzarella: $13 (Got a dollar off for getting 2 spreadable cheeses-oh darn!)

Gala apples and muscadine grapes: $3

Edamame: $2


Grand Total: $34.90


Seeing the pumpkins made me decide to go check on the ones we had growing at the Love Chapel Hill Garden at Merritt’s Grill.  It’s kind of more like a jungle than a garden and I’ve been slacking on checking on it since we’ve gotten so much rain.  But anyways, I should not slack so much cuz here is what I found:

LCH Gardens Bounty

3 pumpkins (the plants were dead but these 3 pumpkins look pretty happy), 1 mini orange watermelon and 5 big cucumbers! That’s probably at least $15 worth of produce!

I know, tinniest watermelon EVER and ORANGE… don’t believe me? Check it out:

tiny orange watermelon


{August 18, 2012}   Tasty Week at the Market 8/18

Chapel Hill Market Finds

It’s another yummy week.  Awesome find of the week was shishito peppers! I learned about these this week on The Sam Livecast, but had never seen them, then lo and behold, there they were in droves at the Chapel Hill Market for only $3/pint!  I went to the Chapel Hill market today for two reasons:

1- I wanted to get a brie like cheese form the Hillsborough Cheese Company guy…which he had!

2- I twisted my ankle two days ago and it’s still a bit sore/hard to walk and the Chapel Hill Market is smaller than the Carrboro Market.

So here’s all that I got:

Camembert (Brie-like cows milk cheese), Feta, honey fig cherve and figs- $18 (figs and cheese are truly a match made in heaven!)

Peru fair trade organic locally roasted coffee beans from Carrboro Coffee Roasters- $8

Shitaki mushrooms and bell peppers- $5

Fairy Tale Eggplants, Shishito peppers, mixed cherry tomatoes- $9 (can you say pizza night?!)

Okra- $1

Grand total- $41.00 including coffee and cheese!

I am looking forward to the yumminess that this week is going to bring!

Went to the Chapel Hill market again today. Two reasons. To hopefully obtain some cheese and to get more peaches. The Carrboro market can’t be trusted to have fruit if you get there past 7am. Which is when I always get there. I am also liking the smallness of the Chapel Hill market. Anyways. It’s a kinda of small week but here’s what I got:


Big onions and local garlic: $3.25
Cabbage, tomatoes and strawberries: $9.50
Peaches: $5.00
Cheese (!): $10.50- got a Gouda like cheese with caraway seeds and a jalapeño goat cheese- oh happy day!

Grand total this week: $28.25

Check out my on the cheap menu for this week on tomorrow’s post.

The good thing about being in a small town that love’s local food is that if one market doesn’t have what you want there is a second market just miles down the road.

Here’s what I got:

$8.60 Fennel, spinach, zucchini, cucumbers

$2.50 new potatoes from the sweetest little old lady who is the friendliest person at the Carrboro market.

$5.25 tomatoes

$15 strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and loganberries from Lyon farms, who even though they aren’t organic I love because they are big enough to still have berries when all the other crazies who came to the market at 7am bought out everyone else.

$9 peaches- redeeming factor since I drove to the Chapel Hill market for some Hillsborough Cheese Co cheese and they weren’t there 😦

FREE pickling packet for signing up for the canning classes listserve

FREE mint and parsley from Love Chapel Hill Gardens at Merritt’s Store and Grill -Shameless plug if you’re in the area and want to help with the garden fill out this survey!

Grand total: $40.35

Here’s to another yummy week!

{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

{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!

{September 29, 2010}   Saving the Summer

The way I see it, there is exactly one way to keep the yummy freshness of summertime around for the rest of the year: Canning and Freezing!

Jacked this from cyber-space; so appropriate!

Last year, we did some canning, but did not have much freezer space.  Some things just don’t can well, so freezing is better.  So this year, the goal is to freeze, can and otherwise preserve as many fruits and veggies as possible.

Things we have frozen:

2 gallons of local, organic strawberries (from Volmer Farms & Cane Creek Farms)

2 gallons (plus some used already) of local, organic blueberries (from Cane Creek Farms)

1 gallon of peach juice (cubes) local peaches (mostly from a NC research station)

1 gallon sliced local, organic raw okra (Cane Creek Farms)

1 gallon peeled, cubed local sweet potato (from an NC research station)

1 quart local tomatillos (Lyon Farms)

1 gallon (minus some used) of local, organic roasted sweet corn (Cane Creek Farms and Earth Fare)

10 cups (1 cup portions frozen in individual bags) shredded squash & zucchini, local, organic (Cane Creek Farms)

Freezer fruits and veggies, awaiting the perfect time to devour!

Things we have canned:

2 quarts + 2 pints (plus more already gone) Kosher dill pickles from local, organic cucumbers (Cane Creek Farms)

6 quarts pickles okra, local, organic: Garlic (4) and Hot (2) (Cane Creek Farms)

1/2 pint pickled jalapenos (from the Love Chapel Hill Community Garden)

Pickles, Okra, Pickled Jalapenos... oh my...

2 half pints strawberry jam, local, organic (Volmer Farms)

5 pints (plus 3 that went to other homes) peach preserves, local (NC research station/Earth Fare)

Strawberry Jam, Peach Preserves, ect...

4 half pints muscadine grape jelly,  local (Lyon Farms)

2 half pints plain apple sauce; 9 half pints + 2 pints of cinnamon apple sauce, local (Random NC research facilities)

Muscadine Jelly, Test batch of Apple Sauce

Cinnamon Applesauce!

13+ quarts Crushed Tomatoes, local, organic (Cane Creek Farms)

5 half pints tomato juice, local, organic (Cane Creek Farms)

Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Juice

Other Things we have saved:

3 quarts, local, organic cherry tomatoes (Cane Creek Farms, plus some from Lyon Farms- not organic) “Oven-dried” dehydrated- became about a pint and a half once dried; put some in oil and other in the freezer.

Cherry Tomatoes!

Starting to Dry

"oven-dried" tomatoes

Today I broke out the first of the frozen strawberries for my smoothies over the fall/winter.  Over the fall,  I will also get some pumpkin to roast, puree and preserve and use into the winter, but from here on out, we’ll see how far all of this saved produce gets us.  Hoping and praying that there will be tomato product to last us into the spring of next year!

Good-bye summer, hello fall- let the yummy local life continue!

{July 19, 2010}   Veg*n Chili

One of the awesome parts of having a hubby who works with plants is that during field season, he often comes home with A LOT of whatever crop they were examining that day.  They came home with a 5 gallon bucket of blueberries one week; a paper grocery sack full of peaches another week, and last week…

…approximately 30 pounds of sweet potatoes…

So yes, I know it is the middle of summer and over the winter I was quite bored of sweet potatoes, but currently it is a game of figuring out which  summer veggies can be paired with the never-ending sweet potatoes.

I had some shelled purple spotted peas that I got from Bobby this week, and I wanted to make chili.  I figured with a little over a quart of these peas, there was no reason to add meat to the chili, so I set out for a vegetarian chili recipe.

The recipe I found was Mark Bittman’s “Espresso Black Bean Chili” which I used as a loose guide for the recipe that follows.  I cooked this in the crock pot for about 6 hours on high (which produced a chili veggie soup consistency) so I then allowed the crockpot to cook on low overnight and into the next afternoon (when I got home from work there were no more worries about it being thin). Bittman’s recipe was a stove top recipe, but quite frankly I didn’t have 2-to-god-knows-how-many hours to stand around the kitchen.  So here’s what I did:

Espresso-Chocolate Vegan Chili with Sweet Potatoes


Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to coat bottom of crock pot)

2 onions, chopped (from farmer’s Fred and Bobby)

2 Tbsp garlic, minced

3 cups tomatoes, fresh, chopped (from my friend Leah’s garden)

1 bell pepper, chopped (from Bobby at Cane Creek Farm)

1 Anaheim pepper, chopped (from Lyon Farms)

1 jalapeno, minced (from the Love Chapel Hill community garden)

1 quart spotted purple peas, shelled (thankfully by Bobby’s shelling machine and not by hand, which is a royal pain…)

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (from the NC research station)

1 cup brewed coffee (from Muddy Dog Roasting Company)

2 tablespoons of chili powder (homemade)

1/4 sucanat (organic, fair trade)

1 oz chocolate (unsweetened)

kudzu root, corn chips or in this case both (as needed for thickening agent)

salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Turn on crockpot to the setting you will use, if you can let it go all day, this is ideal.
  2. Coat the bottom of the pot with EVOO.
  3. Chop and add all of the vegetables.
  4. Add the sucanat, coffee and chocolate (if you don’t have unsweetened chocolate you can cut out the sucanat; obviously please don’t use chocolate if you are allergic to that).
  5. Add water until everything is just covered.
  6. Cover. Wait all day. Enjoy.
  7. If it is not thick enough add either some kudzu root or corn chips (or just do like we did and let it keep cooking overnight and into the next day). You can’t over cook this.

Personally I like to add a huge dollop of sour cream and some cheddar cheese to the top of my chili, which I am highly aware negates it’s vegan-ness, but in all honesty it was an accident to discover that this was indeed a vegan recipe: I didn’t actually notice until I went to type this up… But I am sure the vegans out that can use their fake-y cheeses and it will be just as yummy 😉

I am excited that this recipe would be good for nearly anyone to eat.  Save from the rare odd-ball allergy this recipe is a safe bet being dairy, soy and gluten-free! So try it, or tweak it and let me know what you think!  Keepin’ it local and yummy this summer, sweet potatoes and all…

et cetera