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Category Archives: Baked Goods

The Haul: Sad Panda Edition

It’s been a couple of weeks — I was traveling last weekend. And I missed the last of the blackberries. This makes me sadder than you can imagine.

I consoled myself by buying really deep purple, shiny plums. They’re California plums and probably not organic, but I really want to relive that taste from my childhood. I’m planning on roasting these (I can’t eat them raw) like I did with some locally grown plums a couple of weeks ago. Those just didn’t taste like the ones I remember — they were a smaller, tarter variety. They weren’t bad, just different.

Here’s what else I bought:

  • 2 kinds of sweet pepper
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 1 quart yellow peaches
  • 1 seedless sugar baby watermelon
  • 1 quart tomatoes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash (already!)
  • 1 loaf of very dense rye bread that contains sunflower seeds, but no wheat
  • 1 pound of brats
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens

All of this weighed a lot and I walked to the market today because it’s so nice and cool. I’m contemplating a run to the Amish market for ground turkey to make more breakfast sausage. Also, I forgot to buy cheese at the open-air market, so I may buy some there.

Garden Update

All that’s left in the VegTrug are the chives, basil and rosemary and a couple sad-looking carrots and onions. I think the onions are done and I’m tempted to pull them to see how they turned out. The carrots, I’m hoping, will bounce back when the weather cools. My kale is finally fading so I’m going to pull it out and plant new (I keep saying that — I really mean to do it).

I’d really let the weeds go around the VegTrug and so spent some time pulling weeds around that part of the garden last night. I’ve learned that piling the pulled weeds on top of other weeds smothers the underlying weeds while the pulled weeds compost themselves. I’m trying that around the VegTrug.

The stinkbugs are still decimating my pumpkin plant. No pumpkins from my garden this year, I’m afraid. I still have the trap out there and it has caught a few. In speaking with a friend, what I really should have done early on was pull all the ones I found and dunk them in a bowl of soapy water to kill them and keep them from procreating. I’m doing that now with the ones that are big enough for me to catch, but there are so many tiny baby ones, it’s kind of a fruitless endeavor.

My tomato plants also are done and I started trimming them back in preparation for pulling them out and taking down that container and cage.

Allergy Update

Well, I tried the rye bread that I bought today and that seems to be working out okay. I tried chocolate yesterday and no reaction to that either. Yes! I have been thoroughly enjoying the return of dairy to my life. Still staying away from wheat, but I’m getting by with corn-based products. So happy to be able to eat the crunchy tacos at Chipotle when I go there.


The Haul: Feta Compli Edition

O. M. G. Fresh rosemary feta. That is all.

Well, not really, I was quite loaded down when I left the open-air market today, but I was most excited about the fresh feta from Chapel Country Creamery. They had samples out and were selling quite a lot of it.

I also bought:

  • Vanilla yogurt
  • 2 quarts strawberries (plus one more quart yesterday at the Amish market — can’t get enough of them!)
  • Baguette (pictured with the feta)
  • Cranberry orange scone (second breakfast)
  • Asparagus
  • Bison sloppy joe mix (to replace what I used this week)
  • 1 dozen large free-range eggs
  • Potted chives (I already have chives growing in a pot, but they’re being suppressed by mint that is in the same pot)
  • A potted bell pepper plant (my seeds never germinated)

Which leads me to…

Garden Update:

I’ve been harvesting tons of kale and had to cut back the original arugula plant, which had bolted. The two younger ones are still producing small, tender leaves. The zucchini plants I transplanted last week seem to be bouncing back. I finally thinned out that squash plant with yellow leaves — the other two were gargantuan in comparison.

I planted the pepper and chives that I bought today and watered everything thoroughly since it’s going to be so hot the next few days. I also tried direct seeding some parsnip seeds today — the only surviving seedling bit the dust this week.

I think some of the originally planted spinach seeds finally germinated. It will take a few more days to see if it was just a weed invading their pot instead.

Baby Tomatoes!

The tomato plants I bought last week are doing well and the cherry tomato plant already has buds on it!

The Haul: Berrylicious Edition

Strawberries were available at the outdoor farmer’s market this week! I bought two containers.

Also, Provident Organic Farm had these gorgeous red onions. I’m thinking of grilling them for dinner and serving them with some wilted spinach and grilled haloumi cheese, which they have at the cheese counter at the Amish market, of all places. Also toying with the idea of going to the fish market.

Here’s what else I bought:

  • Carrots
  • Granola
  • Vanilla yogurt
  • Spinach
  • A potted rosemary plant (to eventually be transferred to the Vegtrug)
  • Milk
  • A blueberry muffin that I demolished on the way home from the open-air market, which I walked to this morning since it was so nice out.

The kale is coming along nicely.

Carrots -- I need to plant more.

Garden Update:

I had hoped to fill the Vegtrug with soil and compost today and transfer some of the plants, but a storm is supposed to move through. I’m worried about the small plants not weathering it well and also I’m afraid the soil may wash out of the trough since there won’t be many plants holding it in yet. I’ll have to wait another week or two. My compost still needs more time to brew anyways.

I am getting impatient, especially since there are so many plants for sale at the markets. I kind of wish I’d waited to buy those instead of trying seedlings, but I’m already invested in this process, so I shall continue. I have to keep telling myself that it really is still April. My seedlings have plenty of time to grow into the season.

The surviving arugula. I do need to thin one of these plants. Always saddens me to do so...

Well, the ones that survive my ministrations at least. I managed to kill the last remaining arugula seedling from my first planting. The stem snapped as I was thinning out another plant in the same pot. Luckily, the second planting is doing well. I planted a third round in the same pot as the first and one of those has already sprouted.

I’ve also declared my first spinach planting unsuccessful. Nothing has come up yet. I’m soaking a new set of “seeds” to try again. The quotes are because they’re not actually seeds — they’re fruits containing several seeds each. I’m going to soak them for longer this time and may even try breaking one up before planting.

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes -- grow, little guys!

While I wait, I secured a new hose reel to a log border near the spigot outside so I can start using that to water the plants once they’re transplanted. I still need to buy the sprayer nozzle I want (one of those wands).

One thing that is growing gang-busters in my yard is dandelions. Geezy peezy. I deadheaded a bunch of them before mowing the lawn today, catching those pesky seeds in a large paper bag, to try and minimize their further spread.

Another neighbor came over to admire my retro rotary mower today while I was in the backyard. I love it. No gas needed and, as my friend Lorene noted, it’s a great workout. You can’t let the grass go too long between cuttings though. Especially if you have crabgrass, which I also have in abundance (at least it’s not bad yet).

I’ll leave you with this glass of cranberry lemonade (I still have some of the lemonade I bought at the Amish market last weekend). This was the perfect thing to sip after coming in from weeding and mowing. The glass is from Salisbury Pewter.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Honey Peach & Blackberry Cobbler

I made Honey Peach & Blackberry Cobbler to take to a dinner with friends last night. It turned out pretty well, considering I messed up in halving the recipe (too much sugar) and I didn’t have fresh lemon juice for the fruit. Luckily, I was using frozen peaches that I’d stored in a mixture of lemon juice and simple syrup, so they didn’t brown too much. I also used frozen blackberries from last summer.

This was all part of my attempt to continue clearing out my freezer. I’m going to need to defrost it soon, before I start filling it up again from the (hopeful) bounty from my garden and what I buy at the farmer’s market.

Speaking of the farmer’s market, here’s a fun video done by the Easton Star-Democrat about yesterday’s opening.

This morning, I had fresh berries on my oatmeal for the first time since the last of the blackberries were available last summer. You really appreciate things like fresh berries a lot more when you only eat them in-season. I love this time of year!

I like a little oatmeal with my strawberries.

The Haul: And… We’re Back Edition

I don’t need to tell you how excited I was for the beginning of this year’s Easton farmer’s market. Sure, we had a mild winter. And, yes, with Easton Market Square being open year-round, there’s more options for fresh, local produce during the colder months. But there’s just something about the atmosphere and getting to see everyone (and all the dogs people bring), that you miss during the off-season. I don’t know half the vendors’ names, but we all talk every week and it was fun to catch up after not seeing them since December.

So, here’s what I bought today. From the open-air market:

  • Local wildflower honey
  • 1 lb. ground bison
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Organic arugula
  • Organic carrots
  • Vanilla yogurt
  • Belgian sugar waffle (breakfast, a part of which is pictured below)

Remnants of the Belgian waffle that somehow survived until I got home.

From the Amish market:

  • Lemonade
  • Organic milk
  • Strawberries! (local, from a greenhouse)
  • Wheat sandwich rolls
  • Whoopie pie (I simply can’t resist these sometimes)

Update from the kitchen: I made a Honey Peach and Blackberry Cobbler to bring to a dinner tonight. Will write a more detailed post if it turned out well…

Update from the garden: Most of my tomato seeds have sprouted and there was a parsnip plant peeking out this morning. Also, two over-achieving lavender seeds have sprouted. Everyone’s hanging out in the sun on the front porch this weekend since it’s supposed to be nice and sunny and warm. Hope the runty plants take advantage of it! I’ll start some echinacea seeds tomorrow.

Sausage, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

┬áIt’s been a while since I posted, but I’m back! Yesterday, I bought some kale from Easton Market Square. Last night, I roasted some of the kale and had that with a spicy grilled cheese sandwich. I saved the rest of the kale for this soup recipe.

I used regular pork sausage instead of the turkey sausage so my version isn’t quite as healthy as Cooking Light’s. I served mine with some of the Yorkshire puddings I made back in December. The recipe made a ton of soup, so I’m freezing several containers for lunches later on.

Totally unrelated, here’s a close-up shot of a scone. Because there aren’t enough of them in the world.

No, I didn't make this. But I did eat it!

My Only Slightly Tipsy Kitchen*: Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins

When left to my own devices on a Friday night, I often bake. And drink wine.

Recently, I had some extra cranberries about to go bad and so I froze them, thinking they would look awesome alongside shredded zucchini in muffins. You know who else had that idea? Martha, as stated in the recipe that I used here (thank you, Ms. Food Librarian).

I made a few changes. Firstly, I didn’t have enough all-purpose flour, so I substituted 3/4 c. whole-wheat flour. While I was inadvertently healthifying these muffins, I threw in a tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Sip of wine. I only halved my cranberries where the Food Librarian had quartered hers. I have to be different, right?

Sip of wine.

I mixed the wet ingredients with the dry and started filling my muffin cups. And then I realized I forgot to add the cranberries. So, I finished ladling one spoonful of batter into each of 11 of the muffin cups on my tray, sprinkled in the cranberries, spooned the rest of the batter pretty unevenly among the cups and then stirred. And prayed. And sprinkled on some turbinado sugar. And put the tray in the oven.

Sip of wine. Rinsed the dishes. Ran the dishwasher.

Waited while the muffins baked. Precariously stacked pots on one half of the stove to make room for hot muffin tray on the other half.

Sip of wine.

Et, voila:

So good!

*Paying homage to My Drunk Kitchen (check out the Taco Episode).