Fresh from the Farmers Market

{Blueberry crumble muffins with chocolate and almond croissants for breakfast}

Our local farmers market opened today and it was sheer heaven to be able to amble through stalls of unbelievably fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly baked goods along with artisan cheeses and organic meats. The flowers were absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to purchase every bouquet that was situated in the mason jars, but decided to wait for mine to flourish at Heath.

My first purchases were aromatically baked blueberry muffins with almond and chocolate croissants to serve with freshly brewed coffee for breakfast this morning.

Next I was onto the “greens”, which consisted of a huge bunch of mustard greens, spring onions, leeks, asparagus and a few herbs; parsley, cilantro, thyme and rosemary.

{Several ears of freshly shucked sweet white corn to steam for today’s lunch}

You could get 12 ears of sweet white corn for $2.00 and boy did I dive in for the kill. Steamed corn was definitely on the menu for lunch today. I absolutely love corn with no butter or salt, and to have a bit of room to saw into several ears without question.

{Fingerlings to go with Sunday’s menu of steak and herb buttered potatoes}

And last, but most certainly not least were the fingerling potatoes that would be perfect for Sunday’s menu. Several of my friends and I from work have been experimenting this past week with herb butters to keep for various evening meals. Cynthia our culinary expert shared her recipes for garlic and shallot herb butters and I cannot wait to try them on either steamed or pan-fried fingerling potatoes.

Garlic Herb Butter
In a mixer combine, a stick of butter, several tablespoons of garlic and about a ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese with a dash of kosher salt. I added a touch of Herbs de Provence and et voila…. herb butter. Portion the mixture into a log using plastic wrap and that which you do not use may be frozen.

Shallot Herb Butter
In the mixer combine, a stick of butter, 1 small shallot, minced, flat-leaf parsley, rosemary and kosher salt with crack black pepper. Blend and form into a log using plastic wrap.

These flavored butters are great with crusty breads, on pan-fried steaks, potatoes or with fresh asparagus. The possibilities are endless!!

Market stylishly,

Stylish Taste

IMG_0735{Chicken broth to be frozen and later used for soups, casseroles or potpies}

Lately, I have been spending Saturday mornings prepping food for the upcoming week so, there are always ready-made items on hand when I get home on weekday evenings and do not want to think about crafting an entire meal from scratch. Menus are also drafted and planned so dinner is never left to chance, especially after an exhausting day.

IMG_3398 IMG_3409

Vegetables and fruits are purchased from the farmers market or specialty food stores, then washed and rinsed before being divided into zip-lock or freezer bags for lunches or pre-dinner crudités.  Meats are portioned and placed in wrap for stir-fries, stews or pasta dishes. The market had Cornish hens on sale, which were served for Sunday dinner with breadcrumbs {moistened with a touch of vermouth}, onions, pine nuts, celery and tarragon.

I was up early blanching four huge bunches of broccoli rabe in salted boiling water for a few minutes and then shocked the stalks in an ice bath which removes the bitter flavor before it is wrapped tightly in plastic for freezing. So later in the week when we want a tasty stir-fry all I need to do is place the broccoli rabe in the fridge to thaw with a bit of meat before going to work in the mornings and the meal is partially assembled.

IMG_3401{Sauteed beef with bay leaves, rosemary and a bit of sage from the garden}

Pre-cooking and freezing meats such as grilled chicken breasts or sautéed beef with herbs from the garden is a great way to get a jump on a weeknight meal. The sautéed beef can used to make a delicious and quick beef bourguignon or a stir-fry with bell peppers. The grilled chicken can be used for tasty subs with veggies or sliced into a healthy salad with sourdough croutons and my homemade dressing.

Most of us are under tremendous pressure from work so, I am always searching for ways to create delicious time saving meals. It makes great sense to prep and freeze dishes ahead of time to ensure that dinner is always an enjoyable meal.

Make every meal a matter of great taste!!