Heading to the Detroit Farmer’s Market always worries me. I am used to local, seasonal markets and the inner city market tends to be full of vendors selling “Idaho Potatoes” and berries still in their plastic grocery store packages. It really takes some investigating to find the actual local organic produce, and honestly, it is scarce. I feel better heading to Whole Foods, knowing that I will come home with a full bounty of organic fruit and vegetables. The smaller suburban markets (and maybe Ann Arbor, I have yet to go) are the ones with more local farm vendors, but I still try to give the Detroit Market a chance every once in a while.
I don’t think it is bell pepper season anymore…but pumpkins and squash, yes please.
Our loot was butternut squash, brussel sprouts, beets, and some of these little guys:
V is a California boy with a Texan family history. He picked up some Aloe to make our little garden complete.
Before venturing into pie or galette making, I decided to make an upside down apple cake. As I am not much of a fluffy cake lover, I went with a more dense cake with grapeseed oil and walnuts. V raved about it and I woke up to about 2/3 of it missing this morning. The recipe was from a favorite site, La Tartine Gourmande (check out her stunning photography as well). I made the following changes: three flax eggs instead of eggs, grapeseed oil instead of olive, whole wheat pastry flour instead of gluten-free flours, and coconut milk yogurt instead of dairy yogurt. I tasted some this morning and loved the crispy crust-like edges and soft walnut studded interior.
Pumpkin Pie pancakes were made again.
There is also some cookie cravings going on in this loft. I usually make small batches of cookies and forget that I no longer live alone and should probably make more for two stomachs. First, I must make a trek for some vanilla after finishing it off this morning…
-Do you find that you seem to go through vanilla, cinnamon, or other baking ingredients much quicker than the average person?
-Are you a fluffy cake person? Do you prefer other desserts?
Although belated, tonight is actually going to be our official BBQ for the Fourth of July at my parents house. I’ve already received the phone call notifying me that my father bought a veggie burger from the prepared foods section of Whole Foods to throw on the grill for me. Of course I was hoping to whip up something special for myself and whoever wanted some tasty vegan fare, but this weekend has been another hectic one.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I am not your typical American sports fan. Actually, I am pretty far from one. Soccer and Tennis are more my thing, but when V told me he was given four free tickets to a Detroit Tigers game, our second of the summer, I eagerly agreed. There were a few reasons why I knew it was worth going and one was that he was told “they will be the best seats you’ve ever had.” The last time (and my first baseball game ever) we sat maybe nine rows back and I was pretty satisfied. This time though, we were in the first row behind the Tigers dugout, which was a prime viewing spot for seeing each player’s facial expression. There were also quite a few foul bowls that I made sure to duck from, while the rest of the fans jumped up in hopes of catching one. The highlight of the night was the fireworks show set up post-game on the field. By the time the wonderfully long and loud show came to a close, we were slightly covered with firework residue and had a little too much for our eyes to handle. However, it was really a special night and I met a few people V is working with on his current film who were great company.
There was no way I was going to miss another Farmer’s Market trip, so we woke up early Saturday morning to head to a different market than usual on our way to Ikea. The organic stands were pretty minimal which disappoints me a little, but I did pick up some broccoli, multiple cucumbers, kale, beets, raspberries, and the blueberries I’ve been craving all week.
You know what had to come next…patriotic oats for the holiday of course.
After eating my way through my Scottish Oats recently, I knew it was time to change things up. One day I will take photos of my obsessive jar collection, but one was full to the brim of Steel Cut oats that were begging to be prepared. With Amanda’s steel-cut oat creations (and tutorial) in my mind, I decided to make a batch for me and V covered in raspberries, blueberries, and coconut butter. They took about ten minutes longer than my usual oats, but they were extra creamy and just as delicious.
I also must mention the coupons I won from Wendy for Turtle Mountain Products. So far I’ve been enjoying the Plain Coconut Milk Kefir with berries and puffins. It has been added to my steel-cut oats two mornings in a row with a slightly sour result V and I both enjoy.
Instead of your typical BBQ/beach/family gathering Fourth of July, V and I had work errands and an Ikea trip on the agenda. By the time dinner rolled around (yes, we ate lunch yesterday too but it was nothing exciting since we were building our new apartment purchases) we were starving and looked through some bookmarked dishes to prepare with minimal ingredients. Susan’s Polenta Pizza was one I’ve had my eye on for a while and we had a jar full of Polenta which made the decision easy.
It was rather dark by the time we ate since it was past 9 PM but it was a tasty treat we both loved.
Lighting was scarce in the usually well-lit apartment, but I still captured what I could of the polenta pizza baked with our own basil, rosemary, and chives. Spread on top was organic tomato sauce, garlic, onion, red pepper, and broccoli. My half also had mushrooms but V steered clear since he is not a fan of cooked mushrooms due to the “weird texture.” Well, more for me…
After dinner, we made our way up to the roof and realized that we had views of multiple firework shows around Detroit. When counting them all, we saw ten different shows across the skyline. It was such a magical experience and made up for all the missed shows in the last few years.
-Have you missed Fireworks shows on past July 4th or similar holidays? Are you a fan? I must admit that I completely thought they were overrated and much more fun when I was younger on Martha’s Vineyard. Since we saw them two nights this weekend, I am reminded how wonderful they are!
-Are you a polenta fan? Any good recipes? I really love it. Usually I prepare it simply creamy topped with pesto or tomato sauce and roasted veggies. Really, I am a fan of most things corn related.
As I am already late for my parents dinner, I must head out. I hope everyone had a lovely Fourth of July Weekend! I have missed all things blog related recently!
ciao for now.
In just a few days I will be going to the one place that I know more than any other, the place my grandfather bought for his family on the little island of Martha’s Vineyard when my mother was a child. Since I was born, I have spent many summers on the island, but in the last couple years, I’ve spent only a few days. Last summer, I didn’t make my way onto the island until labor day weekend and this year I am determined to visit as early as possible. You see, I prefer the island before all the tourists arrive for the high season. The early months may not be as warm and all the summer goings-on might not be possible, but I know that V and I will have a great time when arrive Wednesday night.
If rain surprises us while we are cooped up in the small shingled summer home, we will read our book about dSLR cameras, hopefully while playing with the new toy we hope to purchase before heading east. Card games and Clue will be played and I will show V a favorite morning walk down the dirt road that returns along the beach.
The favorite island farmer’s market opens for the first time this season on Saturday and features all “island grown” produce.
Although there is an alpaca herd stand at the market, I hope we can fit in time to visit the farm.
I’ll take V to the places my parents have always gotten seafood on the island each summer. At the small beach shack with a menu of friend clams, oysters, and scallop, he might be delighted with the seafood his northern california heart craves.
Of course, there are a few other things I love about this place.
the same summer furniture that resides in the summer home from when my grandmother first designed it in the 60′s.
farmer’s market flowers.
our weathered shingled home.
silly flea market finds.
the black dog…tavern, cafe, & bakery…
There will be many more activities along the lines of kayaking, canoeing, reading on the beach, hiking, and the Flying Horses (my favorite summer activity growing up was reaching for the rings and trying to fill each finger in hopes of winning the brass ring for a free ride).
Tomorrow I will be back to post about some simple eats I’ve been consuming. Unfortunately, my love affair with the Canon Rebel had to come to a close so the shots aren’t quite the same. This is why I am eagerly awaiting a new dSLR to play with and to learn all the things I wish I already knew about photography.
-What is one of the places that you love the most? As I wrote the other day, traveling is something that is most important to my own well-being. However, places like New York and Martha’s Vineyard will always be closest to my heart. Memories just make them sweeter.
-Do you ever fear that someone won’t love a place as much as you? Do you feel like idealizing a place and describing it to others may build it up to be better than it turns out? The other night at dinner, my father told V all about the island and his first experience when he went there with my mother at the beginning of their relationship. He made it seem like the “perfect” place and I have a slight fear that V may not love it as I do. He is used to the west coast, and although I have lived in California in the past, I know the east coast much more. I hope he enjoys it as much, or close to as much, as I do.
April went by faster than I knew it. When May came around, I wanted to have some challenge ideas to put into action but my running plans aren’t quite set in stone yet. For now, I have come up with two plans for May. The first week I have decided to eat an entirely gluten free diet, to see how it affects me. I do not have many symptoms that those with celiac disease often have before diagnosis, however, I am intrigued to see if I feel any benefits from eating gluten free. Kelsey (aka. Snacking Squirrel) wrote a great post about some reasons why people often have to eat a gluten free diet. Check it out here. I have been reading other Gluten Free blogs for a while now and here are some of my favorites that I will be referencing this week.
For breakfast, I had some gluten free mighty tasty hot cereal with almond milk, cinnamon, banana, strawberries, ground flaxseed, and Naturally Nutty vanilla almond butter (hiding under the fruit somewhere..) while reading a pamphlet I received at Earth Day Fest.
After breakfast, I headed to the local farmer’s market where I found end of season Gala apples. I love the small size, it was the perfect pre-lunch snack.
We also bought some organic spinach and three bell peppers that I am already planning on using for another batch of Kale Chips.
Here comes tackle number two. I have a serious cookbook addiction and have to seriously hold myself back from purchasing new ones far too often. This small stack of vegan cookbooks gets neglected and this needs to change. I plan on making at least ONE recipe a week from them. It doesn’t matter which book I choose, but I just need to focus on using my own books over recipes I find online for the month of May. I think that if I get used to cooking from them more often, then I will be more likely to grab these in the future.
For lunch today, I made a wrap with my new Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas filled with local hummus, mung bean sprouts, cucumber slices, grated carrot, avocado and siracha hot sauce. The tortilla was very different than my usual Food for Life Sprouted Tortillas. They are both very chewy, which I enjoy greatly, but the brown rice version was more smooth versus the more crunchy and apt to break sprouted variety. On the side I ate half of a plump grapefruit.
Are you interested in hearing what I plan on eating everyday I am eating gluten free? This is not usually a daily eats blog but I could post more often if others are intrigued.
Do you choose recipes online over your cookbooks more often?
Hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday!
Every time I take my usual stroll to the farmer’s market I come up with an exciting plan of bringing home elaborate produce I have not yet tried. Of course I have to still remember that I am a college student with not only a budget, but also without any real space for more food in my miniscule refrigerator. After an attack of fruit flies, I had to force all my apples and bananas into the fridge as well. Often I joke about how it is a maze to find things in this fridge, but that is actually true. This current apartment was thought to be temporary stay of 2-3 weeks and I am now realizing that I may have to invest in an additional fridge because this college dorm-like mini fridge is a huge damper on my usual investment in fresh fruits and veggies.
This week’s trip to the farmer’s market was rather uneventful in terms of purchases but I caught sight of some fall beauties…
I am ashamed to admit that I have never had this variety of kale. Usually sticking with the curly kale, this dinosaur kale is rather enticing…
Another moment of excitement on Friday was when I went to one of my favorite stores, Marathon Sports. Now I will use a little bit of runner’s lingo to tell you about some recent shoe/injury drama. Considering how injury-prone I have been throughout my entire running career, I am often quite hesitant when buying new shoes. The last news I heard when I went to this store was that I had been wearing the wrong type of shoes for my high arched feet for over 4 years. My left foot has a bone that is a tiny bit higher on top than the right and my mother calls it the “cavanaugh bump” (family name). Although I still get that bump confused with one on many of my family member’s nose also considered a family bump (I don’t think I have that one). In the last few weeks leading up to my Cross Country season I was feeling pain on the top part of my foot that I kept confusing with pain from shoes being tied to tight. After numerous times of undoing the laces throughout one run, I consulted my coach who informed me I had something that sounded like extensor tendonitis. To minimize risk of more injury I took the usual few days off to cross train and went to Marathon Sports where they told me that the Asic 21 series of shoes I had been buying since my sophomore year of high school were causing my foot to roll farther out than it already did naturally. Basically, my high arches cause my feet to supinate or underpronate, especially on my left. I needed shoes to help fix this problem and I switched to Adidas. As a loyal Asics supporter over the last 7-8 years, I was truly sad to stop wearing them.
Ironically I was sore for the first week or so of training in my Adidas but my foot injury as since faded. The calves were getting more stress than they had before because all the weight of my running was going to my shins and feet (bones!) instead of the muscles that should of been absorbing the shock more than the bones. Most people don’t realize that their feet change over the years as well as their form and stride so it is important to continue asking people at specialty running stores to help you find the perfect pair of shoes for you.
The newest shoe drama was when I tried to compete over a week ago in a Cross Country 5K race but had to stop because of increasing pain in my shin. This injury is nothing new to anyone who has run and I have had my fair share of them. I don’t like to admit when I have shin splints because I always thought they were the new runner’s injury but they can be caused by simply overtraining, not only training too much too fast. The new Nike Spikes I was wearing were making my nagging pain considerably worse throughout the race. I was going fast but my feet were yet again rolling outwards and the shins were shocked…tears were coming down my face when I stopped at only 7 minutes at about 1.2 miles. Another return to Marathon Sports and another pair of shoes later, I am trying out these racing flats: Mizuno’s that only weigh 6 oz! If you live near or in Boston, I recommend going to Marathon Sports where they care about how you feel in your running shoes. They took back my racing spikes after I wore them in dirt and mud, although they will probably never be able to sell them again (don’t worry I asked-they recycle the shoes!) and I only had to pay a small difference in price of the two pairs. A student discount doesn’t hurt either…
Lastly, today was the Tufts 10K for women and I was amazed by all the women running from ages 10-90. I stuck around for the awards as saw a lady getting a medal at age 82. It was truly inspirational. The Olympic Marathon champion, Joan Benoit Samuelson, also ran and spoke as the spokesperson of the race. These women are true athletes and I can only wish to continue running as long as they have.
I have practice at 7am so I will try out the new racing flats with some speedwork and report back about how they feel. Good night everyone. I hope you all had a fabulous Columbus day!
The trip to the market was another success. After going to the market many times with ideas of what produce I wanted for recipes that week, I have been let down. This time I went to find what looked best. The Chioggia (or candy cane) bright red beets below the usual purple beets will be beautiful served sliced in a salad. They will be wrapped in tin foil and then baked at 400 degrees for about an hour, until tender. I will probably create a nice dressing with fresh squeezed orange juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Shallots would be a great addition as well as avocado and orange segments. After reading in Body + Soul Magazine that the key to finding the best beets was by picking the ones with the best greens, I was convinced.
I strangely adore fava beans. I blame this on my british father.
There were petite bunches of radishes.
The pattypan squash are growing in size as the season develops.
.time to get cooking.
This is from outside the Aquarium, I went yesterday. It was fabulous and fun.
In Boston, the Copley Farmer’s Market takes over the little “piazza” in front of the famous Trinity Church every Tuesday and Friday. Throughout the summer months, I hope to schedule a small visit at least once a week to restock on produce. My love for all things having to do with Farmer’s Markets roots back to the Martha’s Vineyard Farmer’s Market in West Tisbury. Everyone in my family would pick out their favorite things to bring back to our small summer home on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.
My father always managed to get his daily dose of potatoes and I always believed as a child that this was because he was British, and of course, all English people need their potatoes in one form or another. My mother picked out a big bunch of beets to make her beet, orange and avocado salad (sometimes with goat cheese or walnuts and always topped off with a little balsamic vinaigrette). My younger sister of two years, Lily, ran to the Vietnamese Summer Roll stand where two adorable ladies handed out cold rolls of rice paper stuffed with carrots, daikon, cilantro, rice vermicelli noodles, and some protein I cannot remember. It may have been minced pork or shrimp. I can’t recall having my own roll, but I definitely taste tested them over the years. The sauce is a significant factor in the greatness of all Asian rolls, in my opinion. This one resembled both a hoisin and peanut sauce combined…so delicious. The New York Times recipe is extremely close and here is a quick and easy vegetarian video recipe.
Now that I am completely off topic, lets go back to the Boston Copley Farmer’s Market. This is tiny in comparison to the bustling market I went to last week, the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan. The Greenmarket has chef tours and even a Greenmarket Dirt E-Newsletter you can see from the link. After I finish college (Dec 2008), I plan on moving back to New York City and that is one thing I am extremely excited for. The Copley Farmer’s Market has a list of vendors here, that I read up on before hitting the stands. It is interesting to hear why some farms choose to go the organic route and others don’t feel it is necessary to be certified, it seems to be a pricey process. The kale looked beautiful and I chose the curly leaf type from Siena Farms.
Atlas Farm, one of the certified farms, had a few pattypan squash left and I grabbed two with the addition of a zucchini and yellow squash. Cilantro was a last minute decision, and I was ready to go.
Ideally, some beautiful heirloom tomatoes would have been great but there weren’t any beautiful looking tomatoes at the market yet. I can’t wait! Here is the epicurious link I am going to be using for the next few months before going to the market. I am not fully knowledgeable yet in seasonal produce, but hope to be soon. Tonight will be full of cooking and I will be sure to update tomorrow.
Now I am heading off to Barnes and Noble to check out some Vegan cookbooks. Thanks for the lovely ideas everyone.
ciao for the day.
*I have to apologize for my not so great photos, I have been using an extremely old Canon from my father. Soon I will be using a slightly newer Casio but nothing great, just saving up for a new one similar to this.