My Yummy Local Life

{May 13, 2013}   Make Your Own- It’s Fun!

So I just thought I would share a few things that I have been making instead of buying these days. Some are still in progress so I don’t know if they will be successful or not. I generally will try to make anything at least once. Most things end up being easier than they look and it’s fun- and also healthier- knowing how your food is made and what is in it.


One Gallon of organic humanely raised whole milk yields about one pound of mozzarella cheese. The kit I bought will make up to 30 batches of mozzarella this size so I should be getting plenty of practice. Regular fresh mozzarella (milk source unknown) usually runs us about $6 for half this amount. $6 is what I paid for the top quality milk.


The growler is fermenting some homemade root beer (from extract). It started to explode in the house and is now living in the garage. The mason jar is home to wild fermenting strawberry vinegar. Currently it’s still in the wild yeast (wine) phase, but in a couple weeks it should start to turn to vinegar. My guess is this process may be shortened a bit by the heat.



I got a kit to grow mushrooms from a box. It says it will take 10 days. The first picture is about 3 days in. The second is about 6 days in. We plan to harvest some starting on Thursday. The box was $22- if we get about a pound of oyster mushrooms I think we’ll break even, anything over that and it will be free mushrooms.

Light market week

So its a pretty light week since we are going to Wilmington for the marriage retreat next weekend and we don’t need a weeks worth of food.  That and I have some stuff leftover from last week. Bonus points if you can guess what the item in the middle is:

Mystery item…

Here’s what I got this week:

Shishito peppers: $3

Arugula and bell peppers: $4.50

2 balls of mozzarella and some queso fresco: $16.50

Muscadine and Scuppernogg grapes: $2

Mystery item: $5 (scroll down to see what it is :))

Grand total: $28





















And the mystery item is:

Fresh Hibiscus!

I cannot wait to make up a batch of fresh hibiscus tea- HIGH in vitamin C and yumminess.  Also learned that you can eat the little petals raw and they are pretty yummy that way too.





Farmer’s Market (plus cucumbers and green zebra that we grew)

To anyone who dislikes fall, you cannot argue that this is a beautiful array of colors and flavors to be had this week.  Find of the week is definitely the fresh ginger- which will be contributing to a new *not exploding* batch of ginger ale!

Here’s the breakdown:

Mozzarella, Farmer’s Cheese and figs: $14 (supposed to be $14.25 but the guy likes me)

3 leeks, 1 bunch of basil: $5

Fresh Ginger: $3.70

Bell peppers, sweet peppers and tomatoes: $7.95

Shishito peppers, fairytale eggplants: $6

Sweet potatoes: $3.25

Cucumbers: FREE to a good home (will be bringing them to church tomorrow to share)

Grand Total: $39.90

{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 12, 2012}   Birthday Week Menu

This is going to be a yummy week. Hubby started his new job last week- it’s 2+ hours away, but he’s working more or less in his field and he brought home 3 bottles of wine after his 2.5 day stint. I’m going to have to start cooking a lot more for myself, instead of just brainstorming and writing about it. I’ve been spoiled by him having dinner ready when I get home from work every day. Also school starts back this week, so I’m going to be back to “real job” hours instead of “summer” hours.

So here’s what we’re having:

(Yesterday) My birthday dinner was rack of lamb and cracked baby potatoes.

Birthday Dinner

For the rest of the week:

Antipasto- marinated tomatoes, mozzarella, and salami (in a roasted garlic dressing); also fig honey blue cheese walnut toasts

Grilled eggplant parmesan (quickly becoming a summer go-to recipe!)

Goat cheese and veggie pasta (also becoming one of our go-tos…I’m supposed to get a lesson on how to make this myself…)

Egg Stuffed mushrooms (might add quinoa and maybe some other veggies to this)

Catfish with cilantro lime slaw (once again trying not to hate cilantro- lime does indeed seem to help with it’s soapy flavor profile)

Chana Masala (love how this blog prices everything out & yay Indian food!)

Also I am going to be making a double batch of granola (gotta make sure the hubby has something healthy to eat while he’s out of town).

And I’ll be baking a batch of bread to go with the antipasto, and baking up this coconut zucchini bread (which sounds like the best idea ever)

It’s going to be a yummy week (even if I have to cook for myself a few times…)

Tomato herb pie from last week.

Einstein tasting the rack of lamb


{May 27, 2012}   This week’s yummy menu

It’s going to be a very tasty week.  We got so many interesting things at the Farmer’s market yesterday.  Here is the plan:

Homemade peach tea

Sangria– with raspberries, strawberries, hot pepper (which we grew)…

Quinoa greek salad- utilizing the cucumbers and tomatoes I got at the market- feta from the store since the cheese guy wasn’t at the market

French onion soup sandwiches on homemade bread because this sounds too delicious not to try it

Greek burgers on the grill, with grilled peaches- will be our first lamb burgers

Pizza night- peach pizza and italian sausage pizza (homemade from ground lamb)

Spinach lasagna with cottage cheese and tofu (inspired by these spinach rolls, but rolling sounds too tedious)

Chickpea and fennel salad over either couscous or quinoa

Ratatouille- baked hodgepodge of other veggies- potatoes, squash, zucchini, tomatoes for sure…


Fennel going in at least 3 things, peaches are doing the same… I think that’s a great start to some of the early summer bounty.

{May 13, 2012}   Menu. Week of 5/13

So we were camping this weekend and so I didn’t make it to the farmers market. We might get out to the farm store some time this week. But it will be a delicious, mostly veg*n week nonetheless.

Here’s the plan as of now:

Samosas (using the leftover filling from last time)

Tempeh Lettuce Wraps on bib lettuce

Quinoa surprise… aka whatever veg we’re feeling that night tossed over quinoa

Black bean and avocado tacos– thanks again to pinterest

Pizza night

Braised lamb roast with rice and some kind of side veg- probably kale and swiss chard from the garden


Keeping it Stupid Simple this week- which is sometimes the yummiest way to go.

{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.

{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

et cetera