Mueller Market

While I love the Saturday SFC downtown market, I must admit I tend to spend my Saturday mornings enjoying a leisurely brunch over stocking up on vegetables, meaning most my weekend farmer’s market trips are generally delayed until Sunday. Until recently, this meant habitual Sunday trips to the fantastic HOPE Market, mentioned here. However, I finally broke from tradition a few weeks back to visit the new(ish) Mueller Farmer’s Market. Housed in the Browning Hanger, the F2M Texas-sponsored market opened last year to provide locals with yet another option to find farm fresh fruits and vegetables, local protein and . . . → Read More: Mueller Market

Fall Preview: Greenling Grocery Delivery

Between workdays, traffic, and social commitments, having time to go to the grocery store has become somewhat of a luxury these days. Farm to work programs and grocery delivery services like Greenling have helped ease this burden, but now these farm fresh goods have to be cooked! Spending hours thumbing through recipe indexes to find way to use these groceries starts to chip away at the convenience factor of it all. Recognizing this problem, Greenling always includes recipe suggestions in their grocery boxes, but the delivery company makes getting dinner on the table even easier with seasonal meal kits. Just like their grocery boxes, the meal kits use only local, organic farm sources and seasonal produce.  I recently attended a little preview of new fall offerings and sampled a few of the included dishes. Each dish I tried was healthy without tasting like ‘health food’. Most items are reinvented versions of weeknight favorites like pizza, pasta, and soup using straight from the garden vegetables and organic meat, cheese, and grains. Each kit comes with simple step by step preparation guides to cook a complete meal in about 30 minutes proving eating a healthy home cooked meal doesn’t have to be a pipedream.  

Greenling offers meal kits to suit a range of needs and eating restrictions ranging from $12.99 to $85.99. Visit their website to preview samples of kits and get started on your order.  

Greenling takes care of the mise en place!

 While checking out the latest offerings, I noticed Greenling is now taking Thanksgiving preorders. Order one of the Turkey Day meal kits and everyone to dinner; your mother-in-law will be so impressed!

Roasted acorn squash

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Peach BBQ Sauce

 After a lifetime aversion to peaches, I have suddenly found myself a full on peach convert recently. Growing up I avoided the pitted fruit despite Texas’ outstanding crop of peaches. In fact, I grew up with a peach tree in my own backyard and despite numerous attempts to become a peach fanatic, it didn’t take. This was a fairly cruel dislike for me to have as I regularly walked into my kitchen growing up to find my mother making batches of chutneys and jams with her bumper crop of peaches. My grandmother, whose hill country garden produces peaches galore, makes homemade, from scratch, peach ice cream every summer, and it was a travesty I never enjoyed it as I should.

With Austin’s local restaurant scene fully immersed in the farm to table movement peaches are a regularly featured item as some of the best peaches come from the Texas Hill Country just a few miles away. No longer contained to cobbler, peaches are now a central ingredient in salads, savory meat dishes and margaritas. In my own kitchen, I have started using peaches as if they are the new tomato by playing with flavor profiles and inverting them into my dishes any which way I can. This Peach BBQ Sauce is the first in a series of recipes representing how my life has become one giant peach in Summer 2011.

 

Farmer's Market Peaches

 

 

Peach BBQ Sauce

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Drink of the Day: Whole Foods

Today’s Drink of the Day is infinitely less exciting than say, a Drew Drink or Martini, but just as necessary.  After two of my closest friends tied their respective knots in back to back weekends, I figured a wheatgrass shot is the only shot I should be engaging in for the moment. My friend Elise swears wheatgrass shots are a cure all, and considering one ounce delivers as many nutrients as 2 ½ pounds of leafy greens, it certainly can’t hurt. While the wonderful smell of fresh cut grass may evoke sentiments of springtime, the thought of grass . . . → Read More: Drink of the Day: Whole Foods

Recipe File: Shrimp and Roasted Corn Panzanella

Inspired by the delicious corn panzanella I enjoyed during a recent foray to Second Bar + Kitchen, I created my own version for a recent weeknight get together. While it wasn’t as good as Chef Bull’s version, it did get rave reviews from my guests. Instead of a side dish, my version was more of a hearty salad as I added shrimp and black beans. Not only was it a simple and quick dish to put together, but budget friendly as well. Because one of my friends has a milder palate, I didn’t add too much spice to the dish, but I included a note about how to kick it up a notch as well.

 Shrimp and Roasted Corn Panzanella

Shrimp and Roasted Corn PanzanellaThe Inspiration

 
Full recipe after the jump!

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Recipe File: Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Armed with my fresh shrimp from Saturday’s farmer’s market, Sunday dinner meant an Italian feast highlighting the star ingredient. After a weekend celebrating my brother’s golden birthday (29 on the 29th) and soaking up every second outside enjoying the perfect weather, I was fairly tired by Sunday night. Luckily, shrimp is such an easy and quick protein to cook it makes for a no fuss dinner choice. For my shrimp dish, I made Shrimp Fra Diavolo, which is the ‘devil’s shrimp’ complete with a tomato based spicy sauce. I made a variation on a recipe that I first tried a while ago because when tired, you might as well go with something you know! Also, since this cedar fever has my sinus array my normally timid spiciness meter can handle heat right now. Normally, this style of shrimp has fewer vegetables than what I added, but I like throwing in more to my dishes to get some extra nutrients in, especially when atoning for the weekend’s sinful foods! I served it with lemon pasta, which was just angel hair with a light sauce which provides a nice balance to a stronger pasta sauce. On the side, I made broccolini, which is a hybrid of broccoli and kale that has a softer flavor than normal broccoli (which I am not a huge fan of). Enjoy!

 

For the recipes…

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Austin Farmers Market

Saturday morning I got my lazy bones out of bed and headed to the wonderful farmer’s market downtown on 4th and San Antonio. For as much as I love local food and cooking, I am shamefaced to say that this adventure marked my first foray into our little gem of a market. I can’t believe what I was missing! So many choices of vegetables, meats, dairy, etc from local farmers and retailers it is a homecook’s dream! I picked up some shrimp caught off the coast of my hometown of Corpus Christi that were the freshest I have ever bought from anywhere else in Austin. Even if cooking isn’t your thing, there were several different booths serving up fresh food from Tacodeli’s tacos, Bola’s woodfire pizza, kolaches, duck and oyster gumbo, and tamales, to name a few. We went a little late to get all the good stuff, but I will be going back early next time to get some farm fresh eggs and fish straight from the Gulf. Considering how easy it was to park and walk through, I am kicking myself for not going before. Be sure to bring cash as most booths prefer or only accept cash. While you are there, you can pick up a Go Local card and keep the good will going by continuing to support even more local businesses!

Austin Farmer’s Market  

Fresh Shrimp

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Recipe File: Chicken Pot Pie

Anyone who knows me understands that Sundays are my favorite day of the week and making my Sunday as relaxing as possible is vital to my day of rest’s success. Drafthouse, Town Lake, brunch (sometimes even at Drafthouse if I am feeling crazy), playing Mexican Train or Catchphrase, blogging, and catching up on the DVR are a few of my favorite Sunday activities, but nothing ends my weekend like cooking dinner with friends. With a December cold front in the air, Twilight Saga: Eclipse DVD bought (that’s right I’m a proud Twihard), and a fire going, I was craving a warm meal to complete my day on this particular Sunday. I decided to experiment with making a lighter version of a childhood favorite, Chicken Pot Pie. I went off the directions of a few recipes, but mainly just trial and error’d my way through it, and it turned out surprisingly good and simple to make. I expanded on the traditional vegetables found in a pot pie for more flavor and extra nutrients. In traditional versions, the recipes generally call for bone-in, skin on chicken, but I used boneless, skinless chicken to simplify the cooking process and to lighten the dish. I love Chicken Pot Pies for the creamy filling. Since the crust is the unhealthiest part of the meal, I used filo dough on top to give it a crunch without having to make a pie crust or ruining my diet. Had I planned a recipe in advance, this actually would have been a fairly quick and inexpensive meal. While it is not my most beautiful recipe per say, the meal turned out to be a healthy version of a comfort food favorite that didn’t require sacrificing the ‘comfort’ with the calories.  All in all, a successful Sunday for your truly!

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