Collard Green Chips

I love farmer’s markets.
I try to unravel where exactly this comes from?

Does it come from my childhood and that roadside corn stand?

Do it come from being a Midwestern girl, surrounded by fields?

Was it that first trip to Seattle and the Pikes Place Market that sealed the torrid affair?

I don’t know. I think there are things we are inherently drawn to things. Things that attract us. Often things a part of our calling and a gateway to the talents we possess. Do you ever feel this way? Pulled or drawn into something or someone (I would say I felt that way about my husband too before he was even really a friend)? I feel this way about nature. About a hiking trail. That they seem to call my name. They beckon me to come play and explore.

And markets.

When I had a vision of my own baking business (while hiking a mountain), my immediate answer to merely starting was: a farmer’s market. I researched how to start. I applied. I got turned down. Once. Then once more. Then I got a surprise email in October that there was an opening for a baker at the market and I was hooked.

Even when my husband talks about future goals and suggests maybe transitioning out of markets, I shut that one down pretty quickly. Because it is more than the business, more than the money. I bake because I feel called to do so. Because I’m good at it. I’m creative. But also maybe most importantly it brings me joy, and I like to think that it brings others joy as well. And even though wholesale sounds exciting, selling to restaurants and grocery stores, being able to get my product to a larger audience (who I feel needs it), it’s missing something. I love markets because of the connection.

I thoroughly enjoy talking to the people eating my product, that truthfully I work really hard for (and also it is a little frightening because you feel vulnerable, your brand and product is an extension of you, which you honestly want people to like). Putting all your energy, your heart and soul, your creativity, all your love into a product is a blissful high, but also a little bit of a drain afterwards because you put so much into it. But it is so rewarding. It’s rewarding to be able to express fully as an artist and baker. It is rewarding to have someone stop at your booth (even if it’s just to talk). It is rewarding when someone lights up and is excited about you and your product. When someone needs what you have, and you can help them, wow, it’s amazing and humbling.

This last year I switched markets because we moved and it has been so amazing. This past couple of weeks have been amazing. And I am humbled and truthfully want to cry afterwards because I am so grateful. It is a bustling market. There are lots of vendors. BIG produce sections that take up 4 slots. There is variety. A variety of meat vendors, soaps, bakers, food trucks, arts, jewelry and more. There are musicians playing interspersed throughout. It’s lively. And beautiful and bustling.

Making a connection to my customer is essential and why I do markets. That’s why I want. To know the person either raising or creating my food. That a human is there, loving and nurturing, using their God-given talents. I love learning from other vendors (and customers).

You form a bond with your fellow vendors. I have friends from the Terre Haute market that I’ve been to their home, went kayaking together, and collaborated with. The people behind your food, are often beautiful and amazing people. So in a society with distractions and a skewed view of connection, because of modern technology and social media, actual human connection and conversation is relevant to me.

I have always found myself surrounded by wonderful neighbors at the market. Often times, produce vendors may have too much of something or they don’t want to take it home, so they’ll give it away. Over the years I’ve had lots of vegetables just given to me at the end of a market. For which I am extremely grateful. Continue reading “Collard Green Chips”

A Polifroni Dinner: Apple Chicken, Collard Greens & Sweet Potato/Parsnip Hash

IMAG4294.jpgI will confess, I love baking. It fuels my creativity. It’s my art. Food is one of the ways I express myself. And I enjoy thinking of new recipes and baking/making delicious new things.

However, this isn’t very representative of real life. I like to post options for treats and desserts (and to make them for the market), but it’s not something I eat or make at home very often. I typically will make bake goods for blogs and give them away or I make them for my husband.

Why?

Because the everyday foods I eat are not nearly as pretty as my baked goods. They are less awe-inspiring. A little less pizzazz. They seem so simple. They’re not as sexy. But they are delicious. They’re what I enjoy eating.

In real life I could eat cabbage everyday. It doesn’t smell good. It doesn’t necessarily look good either. But I love the taste.

I wanted to start this week off with something that my husband and I typically eat for dinner.

It has flavor. This dish had color. It has variety. And it is filling.

It’s not complicated. It’s super easy to make. And it doesn’t take long to make.

Polifroni Dinner Night

(this served 3 people, plus leftovers)

Apple Chicken

  • 1 lbs. chicken breast
  • 1 apple
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • sea salt and pepper

Collard Greens

  • 1/2 bunch collard greens
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp bacon fat, ghee, or coconut oil

Sweet Potato & Parsnip Hash

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 parsnip
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp bacon fat, ghee, or coconut oil

Let’s Make it Happen:

Peel the sweet potato and parsnip. Dice into cubes (I usually like to cube mine pretty small). Heat your fat in a skillet with the garlic on a medium heat. Add the sweet potato and parsnip. Season to taste. Allow them to cook, keep stirring them as prepare the other food. Cook them until they are tender (soft and a fork goes through the center, we put ours in a baking pan to keep warm while we made the other sides and so we could use the skillet).

Cut chicken into strips. Season with sea salt, pepper, and basil. Cook in a skillet on medium heat in another skillet. While it is cooking, dice the apples (we left the skin on). When it is almost done cooking (no longer pink in the center), drain it, and add the apples. Drizzle honey over the top. Turn to low, until the collard greens are done.

For the collard greens, remove the veins. Roll up the leaves. Thinly slice. Dice the onion. Saute the onion in a skillet with the fat until translucent. Add the collard greens. Salt. Cook until soft.

Serve it all up on a plate (props to my husband for plating this beautifully for me), eat and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Tortillas

IMAG4156.jpgWho doesn’t like tacos?

I’ve played with different tortillas in the past. My first experiment was shaping bacon into the shape of a taco shell. But I’ve also used cauliflower and zucchini. A few years ago I made ones plantains and ones with sweet potatoes. I’ve made spinach ones for wraps. And a month ago I made kale ones (again for BLT wraps).

So I set out to revisit the sweet potato tortilla. Something super simple.

It was pretty mush mashed sweet potatoes and tapioca flour. My husband (the chef) did an awesome job helping me cook and flip them.

My own personal verdict is that I liked them MORE than the ones I’ve made in the past. The tapioca added a nice little stretchiness to the tortilla, so I could pulls and wrap it up nice and tight.

And I liked the flavor. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Tortillas”

Gluten-Free Asparagus + Goat Cheese Tart

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Sometimes the hardest part of the market is talking about food all day………

This is true. Five in the morning is too early to eat for me. By noon, when the market ends, however, I cannot seem to get food fast enough. The struggle is real to be surrounded by food. All morning I’ll eye people carrying a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Add to that, that my neighbor has gorgeous asparagus. And you know it’s good because he sells out by 10:30 every weekend.

All morning my brain races with dishes I want to make. I am constantly conceptualizing. And talking with people who stop by my booth, typically leads to more food conversations (I am a baker, this should be expected). I am talking and creating at the same time. My excitement for a new recipe grows as the day goes.

When I was brainstorming Easter recipes I had thought asparagus tart.

And every Saturday as I sit next to my neighbor I think: asparagus tart.

Finally we bought some asparagus. And finally I have made a tart.

There are some vegetables, which are so good, I could eat them all the time. One woman claimed that by the end of asparagus season, she is over asparagus. Blasphemous.

I could eat asparagus every day.

I could eat cabbage every day. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Asparagus + Goat Cheese Tart”

Pavlovas: Mango + Coconut & Caramel Banana

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Lesson yesterday: don’t make assumptions or let anticipation hold you back.

My lesson of course comes from food, it’s part of my self-expression.

I’ve told myself for a long time I don’t like meringue. And although I was excited to make these pavlovas today, it was not because I wanted to eat one but because I thought they were beautiful.

My anticipation was that I wasn’t going to like them. How often do we do this? Judge something/someone/an experience before we try it? I can think of countless instances in my life where I’ve done this, where I have held off on something because of my anticaption of how something was going to taste or feel or how a conversation may go. It is very often self inflicted and limiting.

Because these were delicious and my anticipating thoughts would have denied me of trying and enjoying this. Just as anticipating thoughts can hold us back from our dreams and potential. Or we deny ourselves friendships and connections because we are quick to judge or have a pre-conceived notion of how someone might be.

Sometimes we just have to stop anticipating and step fully into and embrace what is happening.

What made these so good?

I think the texture, I can’t even fully describe it, plus the flavor of the maple sugar, it all was just amazing.

IMAG4118Have fun. Play around. Try out different flavor profiles. Like:

Lemon Curd + Fresh Blueberries

Chocolate Ganache + Raspberries

Cherries + Toasted Almond Slivers

Caramel Apple

Lavender Blackberry

Get Creative!

Paleo Pavlovas

Pavlovas

  • 5 oz. egg whites (about 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Whipped Cream: 

  • 1 can coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Topping: 

  • Mango Curd (click the link for recipe) +
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes (bake @ 350 for 5 to 10 minutes)
  • Honey Fried Bananas (cook in a skillet, drizzle with honey, brown) +
  • Paleo Caramel

IMAG4114Let’s Make it happen: 

Separate eggs while cold, then allow them to hang out until they reach room temperature.

Preheat oven to 300.

Beat the egg whites on high. Once peaks start to form, slowly add in the maple sugar, a little at a time. Keep beating until it is glossy and the meringue doesn’t feel gritty to the touch. Add the vanilla and tapioca flour. Mix briefly, just until incorporated.

Lay a piece of parchment down on a baking sheet. I used an angled spatula to make four different meringues. I smoothed each into a circle. Then put another layer on top and smooth it out, as well as building it up on the sides to make a well in the center (so the topping could fit in). I repeated this with all four.

Place in the oven and bake at 225 for an hour and a half. Turn the oven off. Leave the pavlovas in the oven to cool down.

While they were baking I made the whip. Simply remove the solids from the coconut milk and beat with vanilla and honey.

Make the mango curd. Toast some coconut.

Fry up the bananas. Make caramel.

Now you are ready to assemble!

Dollop whip cream into the center of each. On two of them, smear mango curd and sprinkle on some toasted coconut. On the remaining two, drizzle caramel, layer on bananas, drizzle a little more caramel.

Just like that you’re ready! Eat and enjoy! Have fun

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Continue reading “Pavlovas: Mango + Coconut & Caramel Banana”

Gluten-Free Mango Curd Tart

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I have been loving some fruit curd lately!

If you’ll recall, last week I featured a Gluten-Free Grapefruit Meringue Pie.

That same day I also made a Mango Curd Tart.

Lately I have also been loving some mango and I am always down for some tropical flavor profiles. So I but some big, beautiful coconut flakes on the top.

Delicious!

It’s amazing how my husband and I work, though. I instantly gravitated towards the mango, whereas he claimed the grapefruit. Just like today I made pavlovas. Again I leaned into the mango and he Claimed the banana caramel for himself.

I think I like the refreshing quality the mango curd provides.

What is nice about this recipe, is that you may choose to break it up. You may want to top it differently. Add coconut into your pie crust dough.

OR

You can just use the mango curd in different things.

Fill a cupcake with it…………

Smear it on a bagel…………………

Put it on your pancakes ………………..

Use it on a fruit pizza……………………….

Put it on a pavlova (more on this later this week)……………

Use it to top your ice cream (I am thinking a Blueberry Goat Cheese- something I’ve conceptualized, which I will eventually make)…………………………………………

Get creative. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Mango Curd Tart”

Gluten-Free Grapefruit Tarts

IMAG4034.jpgGrowing up one of my favorite things to have for breakfast was grapefruit.

My mother would cut one in half. Sprinkle some sugar on each half. cut around the outside and each individual wedge, and microwave or broil each half. One half for Cliff. One for me. And the wedges just popped out.

I have seen several grapefruit tarts, which have been stunning and beautiful. It’s been on my Must Make list for probably about a year now.

Today I had some extra pie crust, plus I already already bought a grapefruit, so I determined that this would be the week I tried it. If I like it, maybe I can take it to the market as part of my POW (Pie of the Week).

Here is the good and the bad of how they turned out:

  • They grapefruit curd was absolutely delicious. Like most other curds (such as lemon and lime), I could sit and sneak little bites maybe all day.
  • Meringue on top? Why not! It’s citrus, just like lemon, why not use some meringue to dress it up
  • Color, this is my only negative. The color was not what I was wanting. This could be 1. Because I used honey and that added to the darker color 2. Many of the recipes I saw used red dye to add to the rubiness of their tarts, but I’m not about that artificial coloring life, so the natural had to do

IMAG4030Gluten-Free Grapefruit Mini Pie Continue reading “Gluten-Free Grapefruit Tarts”