Lavender French 75

Before it got amazingly hot here in Los Angeles, I was really excited to find this lavender at the farmer’s market.

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The best part about lavender is that it is gorgeous as flowers around your house for a while, and then – once it’s dried – it also makes things floral and fancy in the kitchen.

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I had big plans for my bouquet of lavender. (i’ll be sharing with you some other projects very soon!)  I was going to put these tiny little flower buds to good use.

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I made myself a lavender simple syrup with the intention to jazz up some cocktails, but the syrup could also be used for all kinds of non-alcoholic things.  It would be delicious added to iced tea or coffee, or you could flavor your baked goods or icings with a subtle lavender taste. Continue reading

Hot Off the Farmer’s Market

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I survived living in Orlando, Florida for six years.

Temperatures have been stuck right around the 90 degree mark here in Santa Monica, which is perfect if you want to hang out by a pool or on a beach or something.

But when you’ve had a serious wine night with friends until about 3am the night before and you’re hanging out at the Farmer’s Market the next morning… 90 degrees hurts a little bit.

No big deal.  I just threw on my handy hangover hat and shades….

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And a watermelon shirt that made me feel like it was straight up summer around here.

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Brad, of course, stuck to his normal uniform.  Skinny jeans, vneck tee, Chucks.

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Enough about our fashion choices.  The market was also full of produce that felt very summer-like… Continue reading

Colors of Spring

Sometimes during the cold winter months of potatoes and hearty green kale, you forget how much color there is in the world.

And then weeks like this week happen.  The market was drop dead gorgeous this week.DSC_0202 DSC_0219

Spring here in Southern California is in full bloom.  There were blossoms and flowers and blooms everywhere.

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Even the herbs were flowering with spring. Continue reading

Who Needs Flowers? Artichokes!

Our Farmer’s Market is always introducing me to amazing new things.

This week, one of our favorite famers gave me these awesome artichokes.  Except they were arranged with all of his flowers, not his other produce the way you’d think artichokes should be.

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He said it was something new he was trying.  They weren’t quite good enough to sell as produce, but he loved arranging them at home as decoration.

DSC_0667 DSC_0660So I got home and threw those babies in a vase.  And almost a week later, they’re still choking it up. Continue reading

Coleman Farm Lunch

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I don’t know if you remember, but in September Brad was auctioned off at Weiser Farms right in front of my very eyes.

After bidding hit about $200, I realized I could no longer afford my husband.  I was going to have to share.

For a good cause, of course.

A lunch for 8 at Coleman Family Farms was sold to the buyer who had $1400 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.  They scheduled and planned, and then rescheduled for after the crazy holiday season – which ended up being yesterday.

With me and the Barolo Joe guys in tow, Brad put together a 5 course lunch for what turned into a group of 16.

We drove up to Carpinteria super early (for us), explored the farm a little, and then hand-picked fresh greens, flowers and herbs for lunch.

IMG_2934 IMG_2936 IMG_2937 IMG_2941 IMG_2942 IMG_2943 IMG_2961 IMG_2962Then, it was off to the races.  We set up and prepped…

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…and prepared the most amazing five courses for the lucky sixteen people around the table.

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The Menu:

Snapper Crudo with serrano, kumquat, mint and lime.

Leafy Farm Green Salad with blood oranges, fennel, balsamic vinaigrette and almonds.

Hand Cut Linguini with farm herbs, white wine and parmesan.

Manilla Clams with cherry tomatoes, garlic and lemon.

Whole Braised Oxtail with sprouting broccoli, radish and bordelaise.

Weiser Farms Potato Salad with Wooley bacon.

Strawberry Tart with honey, flowering thyme and vanilla ice cream.

 

I seriously wish I were sitting at that table.

xoxo

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Springtime at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

“She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor: “Winter is dead.” 
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

I guess yesterday was the last official market of the winter here in Santa Monica.

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But it sure looked like spring had arrived a teeny bit early.

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Good thing I went to the market alone yesterday, because there wasn’t much room left in the car for Brad.

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I’m flying to Maryland tonight for a memorial service for my grandfather.  I hope I can bring a little bit of this Southern California springtime with me via raisins and strawberries.

And maybe some other goodies I pick up along the way…

xoxo

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