It seems like all the inspiration in my kitchen lately has sprung from visits to the farmers’ market. The produce is so gorgeous this time of year. I’ve been hitting up different ones each week, including the Marin Country Mart in Larkspur this past Saturday.

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There is no shortage of squash at the market, but butternut is always a reliable choice. The downside? Such a pain to cut, which is why I’ve been playing around with roasting it whole and then turning it into a simple soup. I’ve got a killer recipe using this method and it’s coming your way soon, so keep your eye out for it.

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Look carefully and you’ll see a pleasant surprise at the market this week: a display of cookbooks with my little book on the tail end. Thank you Diesel Books!

roasted vegetables

The market has been a perfect place to load up on a variety of vegetables for roasting. I’ve been doing great big sheet pans a few times a week for dinner, with leftovers for lunch. I switch up the herbs and spices I use, but olive oil, salt, a squeeze of lemon, and a 400 degree oven are staples.

roasted root hash with poached eggs

Speaking of roasted vegetables, I cooked the cover recipe of Rise & Shine as a  “breakfast for dinner” meal this week. I toss the veggies with arugula and top with poached eggs. The eggs in this case were laid by ducks, not chickens, and procured at the farmers’ market. They’re not so different from chicken eggs, just a little richer tasting.

Props to Erin Scott for the pretty photo. 

apples

I often hear complaints about the price of produce at farmers’ markets, but if you go for “aesthetically challenged” options you might just get yourself a discount. You can also feel good about buying something that might otherwise land in a waste pile. Minimizing food waste is a good thing.

ratatouille

This may be the last week for late-season eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, so I took full advantage by making a simple ratatouille. I cooked the cherry tomatoes separately from the ratatouille…roasting them in the oven at about 250 degrees until they were nearly candied. Those went on top with fresh basil. Leftovers went into lunch box thermoses with a side of plain Greek yogurt.

Basil Mint Parsley Pesto

Pesto is a favorite item to have on hand for a quick flavor fix. This one I made using equal parts mint, parsley, and basil. If you want to make your own, use this recipe from Cooking Light, only cut the garlic in half and use an equal ratio of those three herbs in place of basil alone.

tortellini with creamy pesto

This was a quick and dirty last minute dinner. I turned the last of the pesto into a sauce for  tortellini by adding a few tablespoons of heavy cream and a spoonful of pasta cooking water. Several handfuls of spinach rounded out the richness. 

burgers

I’m playing around with less-meat burgers (as opposed to meat-less) by using finely chopped fresh mushrooms in place of some of the beef. These were excellent. More to come on that!
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I hightailed it up to the lovely wine country town of Sonoma this week for a book event …and look what someone brought to the party. Grapes grown on her backyard vines with grape leaves still attached and so pretty they didn’t look real. So sweet.

healthy halloween treats for kids

If you are still on the hunt for a healthy Halloween kitchen craft, you might like these Halloween Boonana Ghost Pops.  I also may give these BooBerry Snack Balls a try. For more Halloween food (and food for thought)  head on over on Nutritioulicious

 

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Some disappointing news in food this week was the announcement by General Mills that they’re introducing a Girl Scout Cookie cereal. Girl Scouts Cookies once a year I can handle. Turned into a sugary cereal as a way for school kids to start the day? Sigh.

 

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I tried something new in food this week: my first Facebook Live video featuring a demo of how to make Maple Baked Apples. Head here if you want to have a gander.

How was your Week in Food?