farmers market eats

Summer in pretty much in full swing in these parts. While summer brings oppressive heat, mosquitoes, and humidity, it also brings one my favorite things in the world: Farmer’s Markets. We used to live in a small rural town before our relocation to the sunshine state and the farmer’s market there was epic. There were so many choices of delicious produce from farms that were right around the corner and the cakes, oh the cakes. I even used to sell dog treats there once upon a time. Ah, memories…

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But I digress… So when we moved to a larger cities in a less rural area, I was concerned that finding a decent farmer’s market would be difficult. I could not have been more wrong. There is a massive arts market that happens every week, with a large farmer’s market incorporated with it. Better yet, we have our own market out here at the beach.

So, what to do with all the delicious food that you can pick up at the farmer’s market? I’m so glad you asked! I present to you, a few of my favorite farmer’s market dishes:

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Corn Chowder

This is such an easy recipe and you can get just about all of the ingredients at the farmers market. Better yet, make a large batch and freeze some to eat later on in the summer!

1 yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 pound of potatoes, quartered
1 cup of peas, fresh or frozen
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
4 cups of vegetable stock (or chicken)
1 cup of cream (or whole milk)
salt and pepper to taste

In olive oil, saute onions until translucent, add garlic and saute for about a minute. Add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add in corn, peas, and milk and bring back to simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with fresh herds and ENJOY!

I love the corn chowder recipe because it is so easy. Throw everything into a pot and cook, can’t get any better than that, and I love a creamy soup.

The next recipe I want to mention is one that I found on The Kitchn. They take a potatoes au gratin and cross it with a ratatouille, which is sheer genius! I’m a little jealous I didn’t think of it.

Potato, Squash, and Goat Cheese Gratin

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And last, but not least, a little something sweet.

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Lemon Cake

Batter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 lemons, juice and zest

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8X8 pan with butter. Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour and salt. In a separate bowl beat together eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes. Pour in pan and bake for 20 minutes.

For the glaze, add sifted powdered sugar to lemon juice and zest and mix until combined and smooth. Once cake comes out of the oven, let sit until completely cool. With a fork, pierce top of the cake, this will allow the glaze to soak through the cake. Let the cake sit for a little while to soak up all the glaze-y goodness and then cut and serve.

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Gotta love some fresh veggies – Zoey sure does! But, really, if you haven’t already, I hope that you will go check out your local market! Not only does it help support local farmers and local business owners, but you can get some really great produce that you can rest assured is natural and locally grown. Support local!

 

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the kitchen sink burger

Hello all! So this evening I decided I’d post a turkey burger recipe that I love and use frequently, partially because is a delicious recipe and partially because I would like the blogging world to know that I cook things other than cupcakes.

This is a pretty relaxed recipe, I usually just throw whatever we have in the fridge into the burger. It is a great way to use up leftover cheese and stale bread, this is why I call this the “kitchen sink burger”. Regardless of the flavoring choice, I always start with ground turkey, I don’t use the 99% fat free stuff, because I don’t like my burgers to taste like cardboard, but that would make it even healthier. I generally go for the 94% fat free stuff, but I always make sure that the meat is humanely raised and treated. One of these days I will probably end up going vegetarian, but until then, I do what I can. But that’s a different blog…

Mmmmm raw meat... not.

Mmmmm raw meat… not.

It is not easy to make raw meat look snazzy…which is why there are probably 39 variations of the above pictures on my camera. I settled on this one, it should be an indication of how hard it is to get a picture of raw meat under overhead lights. Some more green would have helped in this picture… Back to the recipe… Tonight I combined ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, minced garlic, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cheese (feta this time) in the bowl. I usually take the turkey and egg out of the refrigerator a few minutes before I make the burgers because they are WAY to cold to mix by hand otherwise. Obviously, you don’t want to let the meat get to room temperature because it will go bad, the meat and the evening.

still pretty lame looking, but they are destined for greatness

still pretty lame looking, but they are destined for greatness

Then it is time to take the jewelry off and get messy! I get in there and mix it with my hands (the greatest instrument in the kitchen) and form 4, relatively, equal patties. This will help with even cooking times. No need to get the scale out, doing it by sight will be fine. The type of cheese that I use in the burger changes based on what is in the fridge, but I always add some. I love the texture and flavor that it lends to the recipe. This doesn’t mean that I don’t melt it on top sometimes too…I love cheese. I find that feta pairs well with the turkey, so I use it a lot.

I like a good char...which is good because I always end up with one...

I like a good char…which is good because I always end up with one…

I have a handy dandy stovetop grill. Okay, I think it is technically a panini pan, but whatever. I use it to grill burgers and veggies sometimes. It is a nice substitution for a grill because we don’t have one, yet.  Depending on how large your burgers are, you’ll need at least 5 minutes a side to cook it all the way through. I judge the doneness by sight and feel, but, if you’re feeding these to kids or are legitimately worried about poisoning people shoot for around 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center for turkey.

dinner time!

dinner time!

French fries make the perfect side for these burgers, tonight I got lazy and just baked some frozen ones. When I’m feeling really adventurous, I make my own. But, let’s be real, who wants that mess on a Monday night? Not. Me.

my mouth is watering all over again

my mouth is watering all over again

I always opt for some sort of greens (tonight we had baby romaine in the fridge, sometimes it is spinach) and tomato as a topping. Ketchup and mayo usually make it on there as well. Of course, you can also add onion, BACON, cheese and various other toppings as well.

DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that, while handling raw meat, you want to make sure that all work surfaces, bowls, utensils and yourself are washed well with disinfecting soap. No salmonella up in here!

Ground turkey is always on my grocery list, there are so many things that can be made with it, so I know it will get used during the week. And never in the same way. I love to use stale bread for the bread crumbs in the recipe, they help with the flavor in the burger and, I think, it also helps with the texture. The egg is also to help with the flavor and acts as a binder too. Outside of those, the other flavors and add ins are totally up you! Start with a 1lb of ground turkey (feeds 4) and go crazy to town! The best part is that it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and there aren’t many things to wash when it is finished!

Eat up!

where’s the campfire?

It is far to hot in Florida for a campfire – already. It seems like it is going to be a hot summer! That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy that s’mores taste without the fire. At least a hot kitchen can be air conditioned.

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s’mores without the fire

I’ve always wanted to try a s’mores cupcake, the chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers lend themselves well to a delicious cupcake. I decided to go with a cake that isn’t so sweet because I knew the added icing and marshmallow filling would bring all the sweetness needed to this recipe.

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very sugary!

First, mix the sugar, brown sugar and oil until smooth.

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slowly add the dry ingredients

I sift the dry ingredients together to start. Then combine with the wet ingredients.

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go to town on these bad boys and make them very fine crumbs

Next, it is time to take out any aggression you’ve had lately on a bag of graham crackers. I used the plain ones with no sugar/cinnamon on them. Mainly because there is so much sweet already in this recipe, also, because that’s what I had in the pantry.

good start for any cupcake, I think

good start for any cupcake, I think

Part of the crushed graham crackers go into the bottom of the cupcake liners. I ended up using about a tbsp for each, but you mainly need enough to cover the bottom. Next time, I think I might mix the crumbs with a little butter, so they don’t fall off the bottom so easily, it was a little messy.

love my ice cream scoop and we rarely eat ice cream here

love my ice cream scoop and we rarely eat ice cream here

Next, I put the batter in the liners with my trusty ice cream scoop and put them in the oven.

marshmallow fluff + cream cheese = heavenly

marshmallow fluff + cream cheese = heavenly

After a quick clean up of the kitchen, I was really messy this time for some reason, I started on the marshmallow filling for the cupcakes. I keep thinking to myself that I need to get a second mixing bowl for the mixer… but then I’d have to clean TWO bowls instead of one …but I could continue cooking without washing bowls. I suppose this would be considered a first world baking problem. Regardless, the filling was just a cup on marshmallow fluff and a package of cream cheese. DISCLAIMER: Just use about half the marshmallow fluff container, it will save you a BIG mess in your measuring cup.

all kitchen utensils have multiple uses!

all kitchen utensils have multiple uses!

Once the cupcakes are out and cool-ish, I kind of rushed this process, I started getting the centers out for the filling. Now, in full disclosure here, I started by using a knife and then about 3 in I remembered I have a fruit corer that I have literally never used before. So, after digging that out of back of my utensil drawer, this process went so much faster. And you get to taste the cake that you pull out. Win-win.

piping bag made it so easy!

piping bag made it so easy!

Another admission here, I tried to fill the centers with a spoon before I realized a piping bag would work better. If you don’t have a piping bag/nozzle, just cut the end off of a plastic bag. This doesn’t have to be exact, as long as it makes it in the center, mostly, and you will save yourself A LOT of time by doing this. It will also keep crumbs out of your filling.

After this, I made the icing. Which I conveniently forgot to take a picture of while I was doing it… Luckily it is just the basic cream cheese icing I always use, plus the rest of the graham crackers I had crushed up earlier. Make sure you make fine crumbs for the icing, so it isn’t lumpy in the end.

Mmmm s'mores!

Mmmm s’mores!

Used mini chocolate chips and marshmallows to garnish. I kind of wish I could have used the mini-mini marshmallows too, but, short of separating them out of the hot chocolate packets, I couldn’t, so I settled for the larger-mini ones instead.

look at that delicious filling

look at that delicious filling

And there you have it, S’mores cupcakes. I will admit that there are a lot of steps to this cupcake, but it is TOTALLY worth it! I promise.

now I want another cupcake...

now I want another cupcake…

Spoiler Alert: they are delicious!

RECIPES:

Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1 package of Graham cracker, crushed (fine crumbs)

Preheat oven to 360 degrees and line cupcake pans with liners. This recipe makes slightly less than 24. Mix sugar, brown sugar and oil until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla extract, mix to incorporate. Add eggs one at a time and mix only until incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients and water to wet mixture alternating between the two. Smash up the graham crackers and spoon about 1 tbsp of graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Shake pan to spread evenly. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Marshmallow Filling:
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup of marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 – 2 cups of powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese and marshmallow fluff together, then add in powdered sugar at a low speed. You can add more of less powdered sugar for taste and consistency.

Graham Cracker Icing:
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tbsp whole milk (I usually leave this out for a thicker icing, so it would not run)
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (more or less for desired taste/appearance)

In a blender, cream together cream cheese and butter. (If you want to add in the whole milk, do it here.) Add in sifted powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. On a low speed, add in graham cracker crumbs.