Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cooking: Hallelujah it is spring!

There are two places to shop that I really love to visit.

Number one is a hardware store. Yep, hardware. I love to just walk around and look at all the things they sell that I have A. no idea how to use and B. had no idea I needed! You would think I am a master handyman. Nope. Just a wannabe. 

Number two is more in my wheelhouse, so to speak. Farmer's markets.
There are again all kinds of things that I never knew existed and of course, I need a lot of them. Kohlrabi? Yes! Two colored squash? Of course! I love walking around and looking at all the characters, both human and produce. It is amazing to me as an amateur gardener (I am exaggerating here) that people can get all this stuff out of the ground! AMAZING!
Last year's strawberry festival

I just happen to live in a town that has several farmer's markets including a huge one on Sunday that has music, food, crafts, and loads of produce. Also eggs, meat and my all time favorite, goat cheese! 
We go almost every week from opening day, the Sunday after Easter until closing day in December. Local food is so much better tasting and keeps the money in our area. Win/win! Plus they have fresh crack kettle corn that you buy straight out of the kettle!

This week was Strawberry Festival and we bought two large containers. I think they are gallon baskets. We ate about a million of them, I made a fresh strawberry cake, froze three large bags of them, sent them for lunch twice with the baby and of course made strawberry goat cheese salad! YUM! I hope they have more  next week as I am already jonesing for their sweetness.

I am so happy that as the weeks progress, we will have fresh greens, squash, corn, onions,  peaches and eventually tomatoes. Summer is a vegetarians dream season. Spring is the beginning of the end. Strawberries are the sign that the end is near.
Spring is here...the butterflies are back!

Here is the recipe for my strawberry goat cheese salad.
I have eaten three since Sunday!

My Favorite Salad
serves 4 (or me and Steve)

4 cups Fresh greens mix ( I used spring mix, but any will do as long as you have something a little bitter in there) 
1 1/2 cups strawberries, washed and sliced
1 large or two smaller avocados, cut into chunks ( I like one half per person, but I love avocados)
1/4 onion, sliced thinly (again, I love onions. Use at your own preference)
1/8-1/4 cup sliced raw almonds (again, I am a glutton, if I like it, there cannot be enough of it)
1 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Combine greens, strawberries and  onions. Toss to mix. Add almonds, avocados and cheese. Toss lightly so as to not mash avocados. Serve with dressing of choice. I prefer Newman's light balsamic but Italian would be good as well. 

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