Celebrate Local is a pop-up shop open for the holidays at Easton. They carry Ohio foods and crafts. My sister and I took a recent trip there to check it out. (note that there was no natural light in there, and my photography skills are already approaching “worst ever” status…)
They have dozens of specialty pre-packaged items, that would make lovely hostess gifts, like this infused honey:
And many beautiful baked goods that would make a kickin’ dessert tray, like these ladybugs:
They also carry perennial local favorites, like Jeni’s ice cream and Snowville milk:
As well as a wide variety of cheeses
and gift packs. How adorable are these cupcake kits?
Definitely worth a stop on your holiday rounds, Celebrate Local is open daily through January 31, 2012.
Yesterday was a perfect day for the Farm Festival at Bob Evans Farms.
Cooking beans in giant pots over open flames:
Eating kettle corn:
We also loved seeing caramel apples and cider from Hirsch farms, and cheese (and cows) from Laurelville Creamery. BTW, you can get cheese from Laurelville in Columbus right now at Celebrate Local.
The 10yo and I picked this up from the Quiver Full Family Farm at the North Market recently. He is a total popcorn fanatic. He literally eats some every single day. Last night we popped some in bacon grease (so over the top decadent, I know), with amazing results.
This was inspired by a salad I had once at NorthStar, a butternut squash from my dad’s garden, and some beets and arugula from Rockdove Farm.
First, I roasted the beets and squash. Both were peeled and cubed, olive oiled, and spread out on a stone. Into the oven for 20-30 minutes (until tender) at 400.
Next, I put them over a giant bed of arugula and added some goat cheese and Olive Orchard Orange Olive Oil.
World’s greatest lunch.
I did my first olive oil tasting* yesterday. These are my five takeaways:
1. Even children who hate 99% of the food on earth (aka mine) love tasting olive oil.
2. There is a huge difference between a lighter oil and a more intense one. This does not make it easier to choose a favorite.
3. Flavored oils can be used to make food that feels fancy and different, but only takes about 5 minutes to make. And it tastes awesome.
For example, chopped olives with garlic oil, which is perfect on toast,
fresh mozzarella with red hot chili oil,
and strawberries with orange olive oil and chopped mint.
4. Hungry two year olds can put away a LOT of orange oil strawberries, but will pick out all of the mint.
5. The hand print of an orange oil strawberry loving two year old can be removed from white shorts with a couple sprays of oxy-clean.
*Want to have an olive oil tasting at your house? Let me know in the comments and I’ll send you the info.
You’ve heard me mention the Olive Orchard before. I am a huge fan, and have converted several friends and family members. And it’s not just me. Some of my favorite local food bloggers like them. Jeni even made ice cream with their Sicilian oil this past winter. So of course when I heard they were looking for people to conduct olive oil tastings on their behalf, you know I signed up.
And here is my beautiful set of oils:
All crafted by individual growers, and each a little different. My first tasting is on Saturday, so I’m looking forward to trying everything side by side and trying to choose a favorite. I’ll let you know if I can narrow it down.
Lovely day to hit the market.
Started out with a Flavors of India breakfast of dal, palak panir, and naan.
Scored a pack of Luna Burgers. I can’t stop eating these lately.
Snowville just came out with chocolate milk. It’s totally awesome.
Chocolate milk gets a big yum from the 5yo.
Have you made any great food finds lately?
I’ve been so busy over the past few weeks, I really haven’t cooked too much. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating, or shopping for groceries. Here’s some fun stuff I’ve gotten lately:
Riehle’s Select Midnight Red gourmet popcorn, ordered from Green Bean Delivery, grown in Indiana. A smaller, chewier popcorn than the standard, but still just as delicious.
Black Turtle Beans, purchased from Greener Grocer, grown in Ohio. Perfect for all your Tex Mex recipes.
Mellow Belly Tea, also from Ohio, by way of Greener Grocer. Minty and yummy.
Have you bought anything fun lately?
I’ve been getting deliveries from Green Bean (a locally focused grocery delivery service) for a few weeks now. Overall, I’ve been really pleased. There have been a couple missteps, like when they packed a jar of tomatoes on top of a carton of eggs, but they’ve been quick to correct them.
I have a standing order for a produce basket every two weeks. The minimum order is $35. Since my produce basket (they have a choice of sizes) is only $25, I have to add $10 more of items to my order each time. Since I often forget this, they just fill it up with more produce. I can live with that.
Since it’s kind of a grab bag, I’m going to start a planning post, just like I did with CSA last summer.
Here’s what we got this week:
Baby carrots - These are for my son. The only vegetable he will eat without fighting or gagging.
Braeburn apples – Also for my son. He eats them as a snack dipped in peanut butter.
Oranges - for eating plain
Romaine lettuce - Taco salad
Russian banana fingerling potatoes - roasted with olive oil and salt
Broccoli - soup
Asparagus - steamed and used as a dipper for hummus or white bean dip
Green beans - cooked low and slow with some bacon and potatoes, or barbecued – can’t decide which. Maybe both…
Strawberries - I’m freezing these, envisioning some strawberry daiquiris in my future.