Farmer’s market Saturday: We have berries!

June 7

There were strawberries galore at Green City Market today, and from Michigan no less. Michigan strawberries are truly the best. Even if I wasn’t partial to my home state, which I very much am, this would still be true.

I also picked up asparagus, carrots, rhubarb, spinach and Swiss chard. (Yes, Swiss chard. I feel like eating some this week but won’t force any on Mike.)

Although my market bag was about full, I couldn’t pass up Hoosier Mama Pie Company’s small chess pie. I had my first sampling of this Southern favorite at my friend Molly’s backyard wedding in Nashville last summer. So good.

Overall, a nice day at the market. I’m happy that my berry bowl is finally full — not that it will be for long.

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Red, red wine

Côtes du Rhône

We discovered this wine in Paris, on our honeymoon. We were out for pizza (Parisian style, with smoked salmon and crème fraîche), and I asked the waiter if the Côtes du Rhône I spotted on the menu was any good.

Yeah, that was a huge mistake.

His answer was over-the-top stereotypical, read: “snotty”: “Of course it’s good. It’s French!”

I only asked because I’d never heard of Côtes du Rhône, and it was so cheap. Less expensive than what Mike paid for a Coke at a cafe near Notre Dame.

The waiter was right, though. It was good. So good that we bought a couple of bottles at the market near our hotel to bring home, and have sought out Côtes du Rhône in restaurants since.

We found the bottle pictured above at the Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market a few months ago. We were married near the 45th parallel in Michigan in 2011, so were excited to find a 45th parallel Côtes du Rhône. I’m keeping an eye out for our wedding year vintage, and plan to buy a bottle … or 12.

Learn more about Côtes du Rhône here.

Baking bread … finally

Loaf

Visits with my college roommate Tracy always involve some sort culinary adventure. My last trip was no different, except she’d been following this blog and was determined to help me overcome my fear of baking bread.

The second day I was there, she pulled out the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook and flipped to “The Easiest 100% Whole Wheat Bread Ever” recipe. I was skeptical, as I always am about baking bread. But just seven ingredients later, mixed in a KitchenAid stand mixer no less, we had batter rising in a loaf pan.

Bread Batterphoto 2

Only an hour later, we popped it in the oven. You read that right: No more kneading. No more anything. Now, that’s what I call easy.

Most importantly, the end result was delicious.

The recipe is on page 180 if you have the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook at home. If you don’t, buy it. I did.

The easiest beet salad ever

My husband is a huge fan of beets. I didn’t grow up eating them — I assume because my mom didn’t care for beets. I think I’ve mentioned before that if my Barb didn’t like something, she didn’t make it. Period.

To my surprise, beets are delicious. And good for you to boot. Just check out these fun beet FAQs from Love Beets.

After ordering beet salad far too many times in restaurants, I realized it was probably easy to make at home. Super easy if you take a pass on roasting the beets yourself.

This is what I do when I don’t find beets at the farmer’s market:

Buy cooked beets and goat cheese, preferably already crumbled. (We’re making this easy, right?) I typically choose Love Beets’ Freshly Cooked Beets or Trader Joe’s Steamed and Peeled Baby Beets, depending on where I shop for the week.

Beets Salad

Cut up the beets, place them in a colorful bowl (of course), and sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese.

Finished Salad

Voilà! Beet salad.

Note: If you don’t want to waste the beet “juice,” use it as red food coloring. My friend Dana boiled beets, and then dyed buttercream pink. And no, the frosting didn’t taste at all like beets.

To market, to market

Market

We decided against a third season of the CSA. As awesome as our experience was last summer, I missed lazy Saturdays at the farmer’s market. Our weekly shares were so bountiful that there was simply no need to bother.

I’ll admit, I haven’t missed those boxes of vegetables one bit. These early weeks in particular are so, so green. I saw Swiss chard at a stand at Green City Market over the weekend and smiled knowing that I didn’t feel like eating any, and I wouldn’t have to. Instead, I bought purple and green asparagus, a big bag of mixed mushrooms, and rhubarb. (And macarons on the way home.)

The mushrooms and asparagus went into this Food Network recipe I bookmarked a couple of weeks ago, for Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus and Walnuts. I’m using the rhubarb tomorrow for the rhubarb blueberry muffins I featured in this April post.

I can’t wait to head back to the market next week, and am hoping garlic scapes will make an appearance. Fingers crossed.

Blogathonning, starting today!

I’ve been working a lot, which has made updating He Eats What I Make a tad difficult. Honestly, busy-ness begets more takeout than cooking over here.

But that’s about to change.

Starting today, I’m taking part in the 2014 Freelance Success/Word Count Blogathon. The goal is to write 30 blog posts in the next 30 days. So, I’ll have to start making more stuff. This will be a challenge, and I promise not to resort to just posting pictures of my breakfast every day. Well, except for today.

Today's breakfast. Yum!

Today’s breakfast. Yum!

Nearly 100 other writers are participating in the blogathon. Check out the blogroll here.