Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Harvest

Summer time is a season of plenty here in Upstate NY.  There seem to be plenty of greens...

Swiss chard cleaned and ready to go.

...and other colors, too.

Zucchini flowers anyone?

A visit to a good friend resulted in bagfuls of fresh goodies from her garden.  We feasted like kings for days.

A hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, fried zucchini strips, sauteed swiss chard, and battered zucchini flowers. (OK, I know there's a lot of fried in there, but they're VEGETABLES.  Come on.)

Summer salad #1 with garden fresh lettuce, chunks of pear, and chicken grilled with a homemade plum sauce (gift of a friend).

Summer salad #2 with same lettuce and plum chicken, plus fresh raspberries and snap peas.

I dream of having a garden that could feed me for the summer.  It appeals to so many aspects of my character:  love of fresh food, anything earthy, and... I'm cheap.

Everything is so fresh in the summer!  Enjoy the good eats of the season :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Union Square Farmers Market (NYC)

Hi again!  I went to visit my lovely City Mouse a couple weeks ago, and despite the rainy weather, she took me to the farmers market in Union Square, just as she promised.

She knows me so well.

It was a treat.  The price comparisons were interesting (sadly, I think NYC is sometimes cheaper than Upstate), but even cooler is seeing all these great freshies and wild products set against the backdrop of Manhattan.

Anyway, in case you live around the city, or are heading there soon, I thought you might be interested.

Here's our photo journey:

The man wanted to know why I was taking a picture of his radishes.  "Because they're beautiful!" I answered.


I think this is cheaper than in Albany.

Rooftop honey! Is it really made on rooftops?

Walking through the rain.

I've never even seen these Upstate!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Love My Chips

I am a potato chip fiend.  I really will eat them whenever the opportunity arises.  I just love the salt and the crunch!  But then the guilt sets in, and I head out to an extra yoga class.

What's a girl to do?

My buddy Erin made me some kale chips for my birthday, and I've been meaning to try it myself ever since.  I'll warn you, they're not for everybody.  You really do have to like green things.

But to me, they have everything I want: crunch, salt, and 0 grams of guilt.

Kale is all over the farmers market right now.  I bought a bunch this weekend for $2.  It was more than enough for the recipe.

I followed this one from the Food Network.  After washing and drying the kale, I ripped the leaves off the stems, tossed them in olive oil, and laid them flat on a cookie sheet.  They baked at 300 for about 10 minutes.  They have to be in a single layer, so it took several batches. Don't try to do two batches at once!! Lesson learned.

They're fun to munch!  Strangely addicting.  Give it a try :)

Also check out the kale chips on Healthy Eating For Ordinary People for another take on the kale chips, and other yummy summer recipes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4th and Berry Season!

Hello! Hope you had a great July 4th!

We did.  Look at that cake!  Erin's strawberry-blueberry flag cake is now a tradition.  Especially eaten in Washington Park during the fireworks.

It's the tail end of strawberry season, with overlap of the next crop: raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

Sadly, I didn't see any berries at the farmers market this week, but I have been running into them pretty much everywhere else.

As yummy as they are straight from the crate, I've been experimenting anyway.  Mostly with the strawberries, since I don't really like them a lot by themselves (thanks to an unfortunate strike of the stomach flu immediately after strawberry shortcake about 4 years ago).

So... I made muffins!

They were very pretty, and made a lovely breakfast.  I just followed my basic muffin recipe but added 1 cup of fresh diced strawberries. (And left out the whole wheat flour to keep them light.)

I still had a bunch left over, so I sliced the really ripe ones and put them over my pancakes with some Hay maple syrup.  This was my best idea yet.  Pretty super.

I mean, that's restaurant quality.

That gave me the idea for my leftover blueberries.

As I was making the pancakes, I let the blueberries cook down in a sauce pan with some water, honey, and a little butter.

(Also notice the superb scrambled eggs complimenting my pancakes.  That's what I call team work.)

Berry season is quick... enjoy them!