Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Becky-wiches and Cookies for Tuesday Music

I love our Tuesday Music on the Plaza here in Healdsburg! Every Tuesday in the summer everyone puts their blankets and chairs down and gets together for food, wine and catching up - oh yeah there is music too! Last night my friend Caroline was in town for work so she got to party with us (and Uncle Sam) after!  I harvested the first 2 - yes count them - 2! Speckled Roman Tomatoes- so I cut them in half and sprinkled with some olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted at 200 degrees for about 3 hours in my little toaster oven - then with those I made the 1st of 2 sandwiches (or as our friends like to call them Becky-wiches) for our picnic. This first one was MY roasted tomatoes with mozzarella and prosciutto toasted; and the second one was pesto mayo, fresh sliced tomatoes (these I had to buy at the farmers market as my others are not quite ready yet - but soon!) mozzarella and basil both on ciabatta rolls from Downtown Creamery and Bakery. And for desert - Dark chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies - oh yeah. And Yes - this is The Best Town Ever!

"Uncle Sam" walks around every year collecting donations (and hugs) for our even more amazing 4th of July Fireworks show - Can't wait!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

FFA Parade and Cake Auction

OK, Healdsburg is adorable. Can I tell you how adorable? Every year the Thursday before Memorial day is the FFA (Future Farmer's of America for those not in the know) Parade in our little town. Everybody lines the streets with their chairs by noon and at 6pm the parade and the wine drinking start.  Half of town is walking in the parade; the other half is sitting and watching - this year I was in the former group! That's right - I'm on the Board of the Healdsburg Farmers Market so I helped proudly carry our sign on the parade route in front of our "float" which was a way cool old truck and trailer. We passed out little hand stamped (by me, my friend Mindy and her 2 adorable girls) sunflower seed packets and waved to the crowds. And then there is the Fair - I've never made it to that part of the event but then Mindy invited me to bake a cake for the auction (ok, coerced) and go with her and the girls on Friday night. Well the theme this year was Beach Party so this is the cake I baked - it was a yellow cake with strawberry jam in the middle and vanilla frosting - on top are Teddy grahams sitting on "beach towels" made out of candy strips and "floating" in the ocean in gummy Lifesavers. About as damn adorable as my town right?! Then they auction off the cakes (I think the $ goes to a scholarship) and mine went for $220! But the real treat was that I won the "Best Decorated Cake" Award! So fun!!
Auctioning my cake

The Award
Mindy's cake was adorable too - and her's went for the highest bid of the night - 350 bucks! So a successful night for all!
Mindy's adorable Sheep Cake
And no, we didn't have any fun during the parade. Not one bit.
And yes - you can see the actual award on the wall now in my office ; ))))

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Wednesday Night Farmers Market opens tomorrow!

Blueberries from my garden
In case you haven't heard - our little mid-week market opens tomorrow 6/1/16 in Healdsburg - in the parking lot next to Shed by the Purity building - and there is parking! I'll be there shopping tomorrow even though I'm growing my own now - this is our first harvest of blueberries - maybe someday I'll have enough for a pie or at least more than a handful but for now I can supplement at the market! Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Chicken Lettuce Wraps - out of my garden!

My dear friend Mindy had us over to their farm for dinner and since she had so much lettuce - beautiful big butter leaf heads - she decided to make PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps - and it was delicious! So much so that when I got some tender sweet lettuces of my own (woohoo!) last week I decided to make it for the two of us - Mindy shared the recipe and I made a few adjustments so here you go.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps serves 2 with a little leftover

tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken breast tenders (these cooked up so easily)
1/4 onion diced fine
2/3 cup mushrooms diced
1 clove garlic chopped
1 can water chestnuts diced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
about 6 large whole leaves of butter lettuce (or iceberg if you can't find or grow ; )

In a large pan heat the oil over medium high heat then cook the chicken tenders until browned and cooked cooked through, remove and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan and put in the onion and cook about 5 min. Toss in the mushrooms and cook until soft then add the garlic for the last couple min. Meanwhile dice the cooled chicken into tiny bites then add to the pan along with the rest, the water chestnuts, soy, vinegar and ginger- tossing around to coat and re-heat the chicken and make all the flavors meld. Serve in the lettuce "cups" and drizzle over the sauce. I served with brown rice for a perfect dinner.

1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons each of
soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot chinese mustard (or 1/2 teaspoon coleman's dry mustard)
2 teaspoons garlic red chile paste
1 tablespoon corn starch
For the Sauce - mix all together and cook in a small pan for just a few minutes until slightly thickened.

Thanks Mindy for sharing the recipe and and extra big thanks for having us over! And, if you are like my friend and don't like mushrooms you can leave them out - my husband who is not thrilled about mushrooms either ate it but liked that Mindy had left them out! I get it - if this recipe had cilantro in it I wouldn't add that!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Farmer's Market opens in Healdsburg this Saturday!

YEAH! I'm so excited to finally, after the cold, wet winter months have the Healdsburg Farmer's Market back! I can't wait to go and see all the farmers and what they have growing - and bring home bags full of fresh veggies, eggs, flowers and lots more! So meet me at Shed at 8:30 for a cappuccino and scone and then a stroll around the market! Some of you may already know but I was asked to join the HCFM board last year as their Community Rep - so along with getting to voice my opinion -ahem - I also got invited to their Holiday Party - this year held at Shed - it was a wonderful pot luck dinner; as you can imagine all great food. It reminded me of when I was a kid and went with my mom after church to the pot lucks - that is only thing I do miss about church- those big tables laden with homemade cakes and desserts galore! This night I was too busy socializing and eating to get a shot of the table with all the dishes before it was attacked by hungry farmers -You will just have to imagine all the lovely food that filled those bowls - I'll try to get some better shots at the Mid-summer dinner
 ; ) So come out and support your local Farmers!

Healdsburg Farmer's Market Starts Saturday May 7

The farmers of Healdsburg and the local region are proud to be peddling their produce at the Market's seasonal opening Saturday, May 7, from 9:00 to noon. The Market will be located in its usual spot in the North Street parking lot behind the Bear Republic and Hotel Healdsburg, and across from Shed. 

But this is not a usual year. There's been plenty of rain to ripen the rutabaga, but no flooding to drench the daisies. Look for the goodness of early spring: leeks, green garlic, kale, carrots, lettuce, chard, arugula, strawberries, flowers and more. 

So much more than vegetables is the flowering of community at the Market. Here you will meet your neighbors and friends to share stories around eating. Like a high school reunion you'll forget names, but say hi again to the folks who work so hard to grow your food. There's Yael Bernier, Emmett Hopkins, David Pew, Ed Miller, Lou Preston, Mat Humphrey, Renee Kiff, Mary and Bert, Joan and Horace, Stan and Terri, Jim Neufield, Duncan the mushroom guy, Sharon Vyborny, Russ Messing, Dan Magnusen, Sam who carries forward Nancy's spirit for Middleton Farm,  Manuel Reyes, the Basurtos and the Busalacchis. Hey, a hug is even better. 

In a class of his own there is Alan Podesto, the Cloverdale guy who makes the ceramic dishes that make your food taste even better. And look for the new farms that are popping up like dandelions in the spring. Our Market welcomes Noci Sonoma and Porter Creek Farm this year, and there will be more.

Organic and sustainable are the new normal; many of our farmers are certified and all are healthy and wholesome.  Grass-fed is hot and it's at your market too. Say howdy to local ranchers Deb Owens and John Ford, visit boutique butcher Sonoma Meat Company, sample cheeses from West County and Mendocino, and rustle up a herd of seafood from Bodega. And enjoy the buzz of Hector's Honey with our friend Sandra.
Hungry at the Market? Try fried chicken biscuits from Backyard Restaurant, market veggies in a wrap from Green Grocer's Taco Farm, bag a baguette from Costeaux Bakery, or just munch your way from stand to stand while jiving to the bluegrass tunes of The Foggy Mountain Boys on opening day.

What better way to start your weekend? The Healdsburg Farmer's Market is in your town; it IS your town. Bring the family; become a part of it.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Asparagus Souffle

Here again I find myself beating egg whites! This evening I was about to start reheating dinner (leftover Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes) when I caught on TV Jacques Pepin whipping up a broccoli soufflé. I watched him beat by HAND 5 whites in about 1 min. Using a copper bowl - so that is all I need to make this an easy task! That and a little wrist action and pow - he had stiff egg whites! Well, I didn't run out and buy a bowl; but now it's on the list. I did however make a soufflé - and it was pretty easy I have to admit - about 45 min later I was ready to pop it in the oven - that does not include dishwashing time - as this made a sink-full!

 But as I had fresh eggs and fresh asparagus from the farmer's market today (Windsor opens before Healdsburg) I figured what the hell? This is a recipe from The Silver Palate - remember that one from the 80's? Ahhh, the smell of Chicken Marbella - I couldn't walk into a party without smelling it - don't get me wrong - I LOVE it - in fact it's been awhile so that one definitely needs a turn in the rotation - anyway I'm not going to write that recipe out here - if you don't already have The Silver Palate Cookbook - the original - go find it! I must confess I own 2. And no that doesn't include my other cookbooks by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins - I have 2 because one day my friend Jen and I happened to go into Sur La Table at the SF Ferry Building and there they both were with a NEW version with PHOTOS - very exciting! So I got one signed thinking I would give it as a gift to someone - and that never happened. The other day trying to "clean" out my cookbook collection (to make room for more of course) I looked at both of them and thought - well, I should finally use the pretty picture one and get rid of the old ratty one - but I couldn't bring myself to do it - too many old notes and drips - I guess I'm just sentimental that way. But I would consider loaning it out ; )

Ready to bake
The AHHHH Gorgeous moment!

Needless to say - it was as tasty as it looked - light and fresh with lovely little crunchy parts from the parmesan. I'm already thinking about the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow…

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Breakfast or even a dinner scramble

Boy this month got away from me - was just recovering from Bday month and then we had a guest for a bit and work has been crazy - basically just life! But all good - and especially when I make this tasty scrambled egg dish - I first made it on my bday weekend and have made it 3 times since it is soooo delicious. One of the great things about it is you can make it ahead and then just quickly fry it up in the morning or it's even hearty enough for dinner - you know how much I love breakfast for dinner!

Scrambled Eggs with Potatoes & Chiles

1 pound of yukon gold potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce (you can substitute a sprinkling of chili powder)
1 poblano chile (roasted and peeled - I do these ahead and freeze them)
1/2 onion diced
8 eggs
To Serve - salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado and tortillas - all or none - up to you - I say all in!

Toss the chopped potatoes with some olive oil, salt and pepper and the chipotle in a bowl and pour onto a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 25 min - or until fork tender - tossing them once. Meanwhile in a large sauté pan cook the onion in some olive oil until tender then add the chopped poblano -ok, if you don't have one peeled in your freezer - I guess you can use a can of green chili - they just don't have the bite that a fresh (frozen) one does, so you may need a bit more spice OR if you get a fresh one - just throw it on the grill until blackened, then place in a plastic bag for about 10 min and let it sweat. When it's cool enough to handle - peel and remove seeds. Seriously - when these are abundant at the market - do a bunch and freeze them - I even do this with red peppers so I can make pimento cheese anytime ; ) Sorry, I digress - Next toss roasted potatoes with onions and peppers and then you can refrigerate overnight - or to serve right away- in your hot sauté pan add a bit more oil and heat it all up then beat the eggs and add to the pan and gently stir and cook until eggs are done - but not rubbery! Serve with some warmed tortillas, and all the fixings - YUM. 

Almost didn't get anything posted in March - just under the gun. Whew.