Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lake Bluff Farmers Market inspires the Menu

Farmer's Markets are plentiful in the Midwest during the summer months. My town, Lake Bluff, has a great one. Local growers bring a huge selection of fresh vegetables and flowers. Honey, fresh baked goods, dips, olive oil, olives, hummus, granola and the best cheeses are all available to purchase. I always determine my weekend menus on what inspires me at the market. Beets are a favorite of my family and the orange beets are the largest I have ever seen. Fresh crookneck squash will be fried with bacon and onions, while the gorgeous large blackberries will make a yummy cobbler. Cheeses with mustard seeds and nettle are available this week. Nettle cheese is a seasonal treat, made with stinging nettles. When the nettles are cooked, the stinging sensation is removed from the herb and it is delicious in cheese. The soft mild blue cheese will be awesome on the center cut beef filets from the local meat market, The Daily Grind. Scones of blackberries and peaches will be delicious served with the fresh peaches from Michigan for breakfast on Sunday. And I couldn't resist the little bouquets of the vivid colors of zinnias- so pretty on my summer porch. S'more brownies and miniature pecan pies are treats to share and look so pretty under the French Pastry server ( they just arrived at Romancing the Home!).

Berry Cobbler Recipe - The simplest ever! Melt 3/4 stick of butter in a 9 inch square pan. Mix together 2/3 cup each of milk, flour and sugar. Whisk in 1 1/2 t. baking powder. Pour into pan of melted butter. Add 2. cups of berries to the top of the batter. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake for 25 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Delish. This recipe is from Horsepasture Christian Church cookbook from the year 1977. This church is located in Southwest Virginia and is the home to many good cooks, including my aunts!

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