by Borderstan.com November 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0

"market"

14th & U Farmers Market. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

The warm weather is weaning and so is the summer and early fall’s bountiful harvest. This Saturday, November 10, is the next-to-last week of the 14 and U Farmers’ Market.

Stop by the market this weekend to checkout its seasonal variety of squashes, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, Brussels sprouts and more. Whether you are gathering some inspiration for your Thanksgiving Day spread, or just simply picking up your produce (and baked goods) for the week, the 14th and U Farmers Market has what you are looking for.

And if you need some food inspiration, be sure to browse the market’s Facebook page — it has lots of yummy recipes for fresh and seasonal dishes.

The market will be open from 9 am until 1 pm. If you’re still looking for a market to visit this winter, the Dupont Farmers Market is open Sundays 8:30 am to 1 pm April through December, and Sundays 10 am to 1 pm January through March.

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by Borderstan.com August 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"Farmers Market"

The 14 & U Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm. (Luis Gomez Photos)

If you’re grilling out or picnicking this last weekend of summer, chances are, the farmers market at 14th and U Streets NW has just what you need for your menu. The market is open on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm.

Weekend Finds

  • Truck Patch has barbecued ribs, chops, shoulder and sausages; Pecan Meadow has grass fed and finished beef brigade, as well as goat, duck and rabbit.
  • For fruit, expect peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, strawberries, blackberries and grapes and figs. And what’s a summer cookout without a watermelon? There are plenty of those to go around, too.
  • Whisked is ready with six-and-nine-inch pies, savory and sweet.
  • For the veggie lovers, carts are overflowing with mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, squash, zucchini and eggplant.

And for those who need a little inspiration or entertainment, Chef Harper McClure of the Federalist will conduct a cooking demo at 11 am. The market is open on Saturday, September 1 from 9 am until 1 pm. For more information, visit the Facebook page.

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by Borderstan.com August 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,281 0

"Market"

The 14 & U Farmers’ Market joins MidCity Dog Days Celebration. (Luis Gomez Photos)

This weekend is all about MidCity Dogs Days. This Saturday the 14 & U Farmers’ Market joins the celebration with live entertainment, sales, free shopping bags (courtesy of Room & Board) and fans. (You can also get more info on the market’s Facebook page.) The market is open Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm.

What to Expect?

Just like every Saturday, your favorite stands will be there with fresh produce, meats, baked goods and flowers.

  • There will be a cooking demonstration by Ibti Vincent and Think Local First DC — with great market recipes.
  • Whisked! will have a Pie Raffle with a Mixed Berry Pie, and Corn and Feta Quiche.
  • Dolcezza is having a big sale on all the flavors of their gelati and sorbeti.
  • Panorama will offer French breakfast pastries on sale.
  • Goat Cheese? Cherry Glen’s Goat Cheese is real French style Chevre… plus Ricotta and artisanal mounds of matured brie-like cheese soft rind cheeses
  • It’s tomato season (and there’s no better plan to get heirlooms.) Check out Truck Patch.
  • And don’t forget the meat. There is always a great selection of pork and beef from several vendors, straight from local farms.

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by Borderstan.com June 29, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

"Peaches"

What you’ll need to make a Sweet and Savory Peach and Barley Salad.
 (Chelsea Rinnig)

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT}borderstan.com

There’s nothing more reminiscent of summer vacation than eating a ripe peach–the kind that bursts as soon as your teeth break into the fuzzy skin, oozing syrupy juice between your fingers.

In my humble opinion, if you have to pick and choose what to buy, put down that bundle of kale for the umpteenth month in a row and go ahead and buy a pound (or five) of peaches. Stone fruits are just coming into their peak at the market, be it in the sour June cherries or the abundance of peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots that will be around for the next couple of months.

The peaches at market right now are so fragrant and ripe that it’s a challenge to resist eating them right on the spot. I hardly had the patience as a child and certainly don’t all these years later (*see recent blotchy orange stains in my laundry).

However, if you manage to get some home, I personally recommend trying out your peaches in a savory dish.  They are wonderful roasted–on top of salads or pizza–and this time I put mine into a healthy, barley-based grain salad that utilizes the sweet juice of the peaches in place of any dressing whatsoever. You will be the envy of all your coworkers when you bring leftovers in for lunch. All of the ingredients in this recipe can be found at the Dupont Farmers Market on Sundays!

Sweet and Savory Peach and Barley Salad

Serves 3 as an appetizer or 2 for lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe peach
  • 2 sweet red onions
  • ½ cup uncooked, hulled barley
  • 1 bunch purple basil (though green works too)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Oil of your preference (I used flaxseed oil)
  • A couple handfuls of greens such as spinach or chopped romaine lettuce

Preparation 

  1. Rinse and drain the uncooked barley under cold water. Bring three parts water to one part barley to a boil and reduce to a simmer. It will take about an hour for the barley to fully absorb the water.
  2. Wash and pat dry basil. Finely chop onions and basil. Combine with oil, salt, pepper and cooked barley.
  3. Cup peach away from the pit into chunks.
  4. Serve grain mixture over bed of greens and top with peaches, serve and revel!

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by Borderstan.com March 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,168 1 Comment

"Borderstan" "Markets"

Ramps combine the flavors of onions and garlic into one vegetable.  (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at stephanie[AT]borderstan.com, follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

Ramps have become the Holy Grail of spring produce, signaling the start of the lovely market season. Farmers market shoppers go into a frenzy when ramps are first spotted on vendor tables. Word spreads like wildfire through the foodie community, almost like Paul Revere announcing the coming of the British army. And before you know it, ramps are on every seasonal restaurant menu in the area.

Somehow the little buggers even sneak into our desserts!  It’s almost like March Madness, but instead of brackets, we have wild leeks. I must admit when I first discovered ramps, I too obsessively stalked the markets for their arrival. I should probably apologize to every farmers market vendor for my constant nagging.

But I was transfixed by the marvelous symphony of garlic and onions composed in this simple little wild vegetable. Being able to combine some of my favorite flavors (garlic and onions) into one was almost too much for me to bear. Before I knew it, I was collecting ramp recipes like they were going out of style.

Rampin’ Recipes

Over the years, I have found some ramp recipes I really love and treasure. So in the spirit of the Foodie March Madness (for ramps), I present my “bracket” of championship ramp recipes.

  • Ramp pesto is almost a no brainer since you have both the garlic and the green component all in one lovely package. And since I tend to use walnuts in almost all of my pestos, this Wild Ramp Pesto recipe won a place in my ramp bracket last year. Try this pesto as the base for a grilled pizza if you are a big garlic lover (like me!)
  • I’m a Southern girl at heart and in the South, we love our biscuits and our pork. So you can imagine my glee upon discovering The Garden Apartment’s Ramp and Ham Buttermilk Biscuits recipe. These biscuits don’t need much build up or explanation. It’s ham. Folded into a buttermilk biscuit. With ramps. Why you’re not at your counter making them now is beyond me.
  • At least once during the ramp season, I bust out this Ramp Risotto recipe because it’s simply divine. Risotto is not as intimidating as it seems. It just takes a wee bit of patience and if I (the queen of the short attention span) can do it, anyone can do it.
  • Remember that ramp pesto recipe a few bullet points up? Remember to save 1/4 cup of it for this Ramp Pesto Mac and Cheese. Being a cheese hound, this recipe immediately caught my eye a few years ago. Even though I am almost always trying to eat healthier by the time ramp season rolls around, I still make an exception for this recipe. Once you’ve tried it, you will too.
  • I had no idea what a gnudi was until I stumbled upon this recipe for Gnudi with Ramps and Brown Butter Sauce. As Homesick Texan explained, gnudi is similar to gnocchi but with ricotta instead of potatoes. I don’t care what you call them, just make sure to give this recipe a try.
  • Finally, I present to you Ramp Crêpes. I love savory crêpes, so adding ramps to the batter seemed only natural. I tend to stuff these ramp crepes with sautéed mushrooms and shredded Gruyère cheese for an amazing crêpe sandwich. Feel free to add your favorite ingredients to these divine crêpes.

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled at Dupont Circle Farmers Market this Sunday for ramps. And get there early. People like me are cut throat when it comes to ramps.

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by Borderstan.com March 16, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,086 0

"Borderstan" "Stephanie Willis"

Signs of Spring (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at stephanie[AT]borderstan.com, follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

It looks like Punxsutawney Phil was wrong on February 2. Winter has been given the bum’s rush around here and spring is in full swing. Flowers are blooming, temperatures are soaring and the steps at the Portrait Gallery are bursting with office workers eating lunch to enjoy it all.

Before you know it, asparagus, English peas and morel mushrooms will be sprouting up at farmers markets all over Borderstan. In celebration of the unusually warm weather in DC this week, I decided to share some of my favorite spring recipes for you. File them away for when you snag your first bunch of spring produce this year!

  • After I got over my fear of cooking risotto, I discovered it’s a beautifully customizable dish. And since spring has such an abundance of vegetables to choose from, risotto seems a no brainer. One of my favorite spring risotto recipes is this Asparagus and Lemon Risotto with Arugula from Veggie Belly. It’s creamy with bursts of lemony sunshine — just like a perfect spring day.
  • Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart recipe. Behind the easy directions and small ingredient list lies a beautifully composed symphony of spring flavors. Get the freshest cherry tomatoes you can and good basil because they are the star of this dish. And the tart dough is so easy to make, even a caveman can do it (sorry Geico).
  • The first rhubarb of the season should — nay MUST be used for this Rhubarb Almond Coffee Cake from Not Derby Pie. If you think you’re not a fan of rhubarb, put aside your preconceived notions and give this cake a try. And if you still don’t like rhubarb after making it, email me. I’ll be more than happy to take it off your hands.
  • I know this will sound odd and you will probably question my sanity when you read this, but trust me here. Strawberry.Leek.Quesadillas. You read that right. Strawberries. In a quesadilla. With leeks. This is a recipe that will open your eyes to using strawberries in savory dishes. And spring will never be the same.
  • And to completely turn your head around, how about trying peas in dessert? This lovely Green Pea Ice Cream from the Frozen Fix tastes just like fresh peas… in the form of ice cream. It’s a deliciously decadent way to eat your veggies. Your mom would be proud. And probably a little confused.
  • If you manage to get your hands on morel mushrooms this season, I strongly encourage you to make this Morel Mushroom and Brie Tart. Don’t like brie? Use fresh goat cheese from the Dupont Circle Farmers Market. I’ve made this tart with both brie and goat cheese and both versions are equally swoon worthy.

Speaking of the Dupont Circle Farmers Market, small signs of spring are showing up there now, too! One of my favorite vendors, Clear Spring Creamery, is back for the Spring and Summer season! I am obsessed with their rich and creamy milk — it’s unlike anything I have ever tasted before. And Dolcezza Gelato is also back at the market. Grab a pint of their seasonal gelato and sit out near the Dupont Circle fountain this Sunday. It’s gonna be a beautiful spring day.

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by Borderstan.com March 2, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,378 0

"Borderstan" "Stacks of Kale"

Stacks of kale. Recipes below! (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at stephanie[AT]borderstan.com, follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

I did not grow up liking kale. In fact, I didn’t know the first thing about kale when I was a wee one running around the playground. This is probably good, because I was a picky eater. Had I been forced to consume it as a youngster, I probably would have never given it a chance as an adult.

Now that would have been a sad omission in my culinary arsenal. Kale is a power packed green — both in its nutritional value and its versatility. Are you lactose intolerant, but need to satisfy your calcium intake? Kale is a great dairy-free source of calcium. Do you find yourself battling one cold after another? Boost your Vitamin C intake with kale!  It really is a nutrient rich green and if you haven’t already, it’s time to make room for it in your diet.

When I first learned about kale, a friend suggested I sauté it in good olive oil with garlic. I cannot tell you how much sautéed kale I consumed that first year with this simple recipe. And while I loved the extra energy I felt kale gave me (I call it the “Popeye Effect”), I quickly grew bored with simply sautéing it.

Through the years, I have collected a vast array of kale recipes that delight my inner finicky five-year old. Here are some fantastic ways to include kale in your diet. Pick up some fresh kale from Dupont Circle Farmers Market on Sunday and get cooking!

  • One of my favorite ways to eat kale has also been one of my biggest sources of frustration: kale chips. The first time I made them, they turned out soggy. The second time I made them, in an attempt to remedy the sogginess, I burned them. I have vague memories of an oven fire … don’t ask. Then I learned a few tricks for making kale chips crispy without having to brandish a fire extinguisher in the process. This step by step guide for kale chips by Steamy Kitchen will help you avoid my kitchen disasters as you pursue this healthy alternative to potato chips.
  • A traditional Japanese beef roll gets a green update in this recipe for kale and scallion negimaki. Roll marinated strips of beef together with scallions and blanched kale, then grill. This is a fun way to get some greens into your system. For those leery of sushi, this recipe is also a great way to dip your toe in the pool of rolled foods. For those of you who love sushi (like me), let this recipe be the inspiration for twists on sushi rolls. Use the blanched kale in place of nori sheets or chop it up and add it to your favorite spicy tuna roll recipe.
  • Kale is a great accompaniment to pasta and I often add it to my favorite carb packed dishes. I love this pasta with black kale, caramelized onion and parsnips recipe, because it includes another winter staple: parsnips, and is satisfies my undying love for caramelized onions. If you can’t find black kale, don’t worry. Any type of kale works beautifully in this dish.
  • It may not feel like winter outside, but don’t let that stop you from making this Rustic Chickpea and Mushroom Soup with Farro from Domenica Cooks. Farro is a nutty grain that everyone should eat. Adding farro, mushrooms and chickpeas to this soup gives it a hearty depth that will please even the most ardent meat lover in your life. Vibrant strips of dark green kale float in the bowl, beautifully punching up the otherwise monochromatic look of this soup.
  • I love a good savory tart, especially one that includes sausage. This sausage and kale tart has a very simple crust for those who fear the words “pie dough” (which, by the way, is nothing to fear). Get a good quality sausage from one of the many meat vendors at Dupont Circle Farmers Market and ricotta from Keswick Creamery or Blue Ridge Dairy to make this tart extra special. Add a side salad of fresh greens for a great lunch or light dinner.
  • Savory hand pies are always a crowd pleaser (the delectable ones at the Whisked! stand at the 14th & U Farmers Market always sell out quickly), so this chicken and kale hand pies with cheddar crust recipe is sure to be a hit. Yes, you’re required to make a pie dough, but trust me when I say pie dough is nothing to fear. If you haven’t tried putting cheddar cheese in a pie crust, do it! Now. You will thank me later.
  • When I was in college, I had a friend who drank a shake consisting of spinach, bananas and peanut butter… every day. It looked like it had been scraped off the bottom of an old row-boat and smelled just as unappetizing. She, however, was convinced it gave her a special punch of energy and always tried talking me into trying it. Being a visual eater, I could never bring myself to try one of these shakes. How wrong I was, to refuse! I now often make a smoothie using kale in the place of spinach, and I can never detect the kale in that mix. I use a variation of this recipe from Skinny Taste, using whole milk instead of almond milk and Greek yogurt from Blue Ridge Dairy. Play around with the combination of fruits and dairy  in this recipe until you find the flavor you like and voila’, blend your way to health!

I hope I’ve convinced you that kale is a versatile ingredient, to be used in everything from drinks to pie. I humbly suggest you stop overlooking this green wonder and embrace its leafy goodness.

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by Borderstan.com February 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0

"Borderstan" "Farmer Market"

Spring is in the air. Should you start your home garden? (Stephanie Willis).

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at stephanie[AT]borderstan.com, follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

Much to this snow lover’s chagrin, we have had a pretty mild Winter here in Borderstan. So much so, I didn’t get to use my cute new texting gloves. But I appear to be in the minority when it comes to my disappointment in Old Man Winter this year.

Everyone is buzzing about the hints of spring in the air. And I must admit, the mild weather has me thinking about trying my hand at gardening again this year. But starting a garden, even a small balcony one, requires a little bit of planning and research. Since spring is already making cameo appearances, why not head down to Dupont Circle Farmers Market for some inspiration?

There are several flower and plant vendors at the market who can help you decide how your garden will grow. Or, if you’re like me, help you pick a pretty arrangement that will get you in the mood for Spring. Without leading to the tragic death of innocent plants.

  • Located in Brookeville, Maryland, Farmhouse Flowers and Plants boasts an expansive array of flowers, annuals, perennials and herbs for your home and garden. Even the most inexperienced gardeners can find something they won’t kill among their vast selection. On Sundays during the spring and summer, I love nothing more than picking up a beautiful bouquet of flowers for our table. And spring and summer brides take note: you can pick your own flowers straight from their farm for your bridal and bridal party bouquets!
  • The bright yellow sunflowers at Four Seasons Nursery are like a siren call to me during the summer. Four Seasons Nursery is five acres of annuals, perennials, herbs and house plants in Charlestown, West Virginia. I love looking through their selection of house plants and cuttings but I fear my lack of experience will mean their demise. But don’t let inexperience scare you away from finding just the right plant for you. They are always happy to answer any questions you have about their plants and flowers.
  • Bob Wollam is the force behind Wollam Gardens, 11 acres of beautiful bushes, perennials and annuals. Bob’s love of gardening is obvious to anyone who talks with him for more than five minutes. He is always delighted to talk about the best methods for growing a specific variety, even during the bustling market days of Summer. Although they primarily sell cut flowers at Dupont Circle Farmers Market, make sure to ask for some gardening advice while you pick out an arrangement.
  • If you love orchids, Floradise Orchids is your paradise. Their Gordonsvillie, Virginia farm is home to a dizzying array of orchids, from the common to the exotic. Stopping by their booth at Dupont Circle is like stepping into a tropical dream. Their arrangements are sought out by businesses and prominent private citizens throughout the DC area. But we’re lucky enough to have them right at our own market!  Pick up some tips for growing orchids while you pick out a beautiful display for your home.
  • Anchor Nursery has a little bit of everything – seasonal vegetables, flowers and plants! Their farm in Galena, Maryland boasts 150 acres of vegetables, plants, trees, herbs and perennials. Talk about one stop farming! While you’re getting your umpteenth Winter squash this Sunday, find out more about the different variety of plants they offer.

Make sure to ask around at these vendors for advice about your spring garden this Sunday. A little bit of knowledge and a lot of finger crossing is the key to a successful garden. I hope.

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by Borderstan.com February 17, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,102 0

"Borderstan"

The  Smokehouse at Mount Vernon on the estate of President George Washington. (Stephanie Mills)

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

Presidents’ Day weekend is upon us once again, Borderstanis. It’s time to reflect on the rich heritage of the American Presidency … by sleeping in and going to brunch. In honor of this upcoming holiday, I decided to investigate the eating habits of a few of our forefathers.

After some extensive research (mostly via Google), I discovered that Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were both quite avid meat eaters. In fact, Mount Vernon had its own smokehouse to smoke freshly slaughtered meats for the Washingtons and their guests. Talk about your original locavores!

So what better way to honor these men on their federally appointed day than to add fire to meat?  The Dupont Circle Farmers market has a nice selection of meat purveyors and below are some local bloggers’ carnivorous contributions.

  • Pick up a package of buffalo short ribs from Cibola Farms to make these Coffee Marinated Bison Short Ribs. This recipe had my mouth-watering from the beginning and it’s definitely going on my “must-try” list.
  • The lovely Mrs. Wheelbarrow assures us that lamb necks and slow cookers go together like peanut butter and jelly. Her Braised Lamb Neck recipe is the starting point for her Moroccan-inspired lamb sandwiches. Stop by Virginia Lamb & Meats and ask about lamb necks on Sunday.
  • I love the idea of marinating pork in fruit juice, so this POM Marinated Pork Tenderloin recipe from Mango & Tomato immediately caught my eye. Smith Meadows, Eco Friendly Food and Cedarbrook Farm all have fantastic pork products to satisfy your piggy cravings.
  • Speaking of piggy cravings, if you have them, might I suggest Albondigas? These Spanish meatballs are a staple on tapas restaurant menus, but our very own Alejandra Owens described how to make them at home.
  • This Classic Beef Stew from Metrocurean is perfect for the brief chill that is coming into the DC forecast on Sunday. I often get my stew meat from Smith Meadows on Sunday and prepare enough stew for the week. It’s easy to freeze in individual portions, and easy to reheat on a hectic weeknight.
  • Chicken lovers crying fowl over the lack of poultry pontification? Fear not — I bring you Chicken Under a Brick! I’ve had a variation of this recipe at Dino in DC and loved it. In case you were wondering, you don’t really have to put the chicken under a brick. Any heavy object will do – building supplies not necessary.

This weekend, I say we raise a picked-clean meat bone in salute to the great presidential leaders of our past! To boot, feel good about the meat you’re serving by buying it locally and fresh. Old Georgie would be proud.

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by Borderstan.com February 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,006 0

"Borderstan""Beets"

Colorful Beets (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

February is always a hard time for me in the kitchen. As a person who prefers to eat seasonally, I find it hard to come up with fresh and interesting ways to make the staples of Winter produce. And as much as I love to braise a lovely cut of meat for a meal, I’d like a little bit of variety. Wouldn’t you?

With that in mind, I decided to scour the internet for unique takes on the produce currently at the farmers markets. I found some delicious and different ways to make Winter produce more exciting. Or at least a little more adventurous.

  •  The lovely mushrooms from the Mushroom Stand at Dupont Circle Farmers Market are perfect for this mushroom bread pudding.  Mix and match your favorite mushrooms for a hearty take on a classic bread pudding. You can serve it as a side dish or up the portion size for a full meal (perhaps with a side salad).
  • This beet and bean “burger” is one of my absolute favorite vegetarian recipes. Fresh beets are combined with brown rice, black beans and a host of spices for a burger even the strictest carnivore will love. It can get a little messy when you’re making the patties, but it’s worth the clean up.
  • One of my favorite food bloggers decided to give butternut squash a Moroccan twist with this Moroccan butternut squash and chickpea tagine. If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, cut back a bit on the harissa, a North African hot chili sauce.
  • Speaking of harissa, this harissa spaghettini dish is a fantastic platform for kale to shine. When kale is in season, I make it often. As noted above, for the non-heat seekers, reduce the amount of harissa or you’ll be cursing my name later.
  • But who needs pasta when you have sweet potatoes? This cannelloni recipe swaps out the carbs for thin slices of sweet potato. Grab some fresh sweet potatoes from Next Step Produce on Sunday and get out your handy mandoline!
  • I first had carrot marmalade at a bed and breakfast in Virginia and have been obsessed with it ever since.  Fresh carrots shine in this jam, bringing out the vegetable’s natural sweetness.  This recipe makes a good amount of marmalade, but trust me, it won’t last long.
  • I had to laugh when I saw the name for this dish: squashducken! A vegetarian hat tip to the turducken, it’s a cornucopia of Winter squash stuffed in…well, a winter squash.  Even though the recipe says the maple syrup is “optional”, I highly encourage you to use it.

Hopefully these recipes will inspire you to get out of your winter rut and back into the kitchen!

by Borderstan.com February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,155 0

"Borderstan""Pork Sandwich"

Super Bowl Pulled Pork Sandwich. (Stephanie Willis).

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

See Lebodome’s Super Bowl XLVI Primer (and the Giants Will Win) on tips for how to enjoy Sunday’s Super Bowl game. Hint: Location, location, location (and food and dudes).

I can try to pretend I love football and have a big party planned for Sunday. But truthfully, my co-worker just told me the Super Bowl XLVI is Sunday and I have no idea who is playing. Or where.

Yet somehow I know Madonna is the halftime performer and Matthew Broderick is reprising his Ferris Bueller role in an ad. Clearly I have different priorities than sports fans. Even though I won’t be watching on Sunday, I want all of you to be Super Prepared for the festivities (see what I did there?).

So I found some great party friendly foods that use produce, meat and other divine things you can pick up at the farmers market on Sunday. Right before the big game starts… at noon, right?

  •  Collard greens get a bit of a party make-over in these grits-stuffed collard rolls.  If you’re expecting a large crowd on Sunday, this recipe is easily doubled or tripled for your party trays.
  • One of Keswick Creamery’s extra sharp cheeses would be perfect for these cheese straws. I often substitute cayenne pepper for the crushed red pepper flakes for an added kick. Make a big batch and pile them in bowls around your house for guests. Or, if you’re like me, eat most of them before the first guest even arrives.
  • Believe it or not, you can also pick up the blue cheese dressing for this buffalo chicken dip at Keswick Creamery this Sunday. And for a change of pace, pair the dip with kale chips.
  • Get fresh mushrooms at the Mushroom Stand and bacon at Red Apron Butchery for this mushroom and bacon dip. Sure you can serve store bought chips with it, but why not use fresh carrots from the market? Or even better, these beet chips!
  • Swap out frozen spinach for fresh in this spinach and artichoke dip. Simply saute the spinach for a minute or two to wilt it and let it cool. You can also pick up fresh garlic for this dip at the market. I’ve been tempted to substitute Keswick’s quark cheese for the cream cheese, but have yet to try it. If you do, tell us how it works.
  • If you want to serve up something besides Lay’s, these sweet potato chips are (in my opinion, at least) better than their regular potato cousin. I especially love the rosemary salt you sprinkle over the hot chips.
  • Grab some fresh pork from Smith Meadows for this slow cooker pulled pork dish. It’s mind numbingly easy to make and absolutely delicious. Plus it makes a LOT of pulled pork, which I assume one needs to cheer on their favorite team.
  • Finally, no Super Bowl party would be complete without buffalo wings! Fresh garlic from the market will help make these wings a little more local. I have yet to find chicken wings at the farmers market, but it doesn’t hurt to ask around on Sunday. And you can skip the recipe for blue cheese sauce and just serve the wings with Keswick Creamery’s blue cheese dressing!

Hope everyone has a Super weekend (too much?) and go [insert name of your favorite team here]!

by Borderstan.com January 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

"Borderstan" "Soup in a Bowl"

Check out the soups on Sunday at the Dupont Farmers Market. (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

Let’s face it. Not everyone finds cooking to be a form of relaxation. Perhaps you’ve burnt one too many pots and the fire department is tired of coming to your apartment. Or maybe the thought of schlepping into the kitchen and banging around with pots and pans just doesn’t get your motor running. It’s cool. Not everyone is meant to be the next great chef (I assume that’s a show on the Food Network). So it’s probably not surprising that you don’t head to the farmers market every week.  Who needs all those fresh veggies and meats staring at you judgmentally every time you open the refrigerator? Before you completely write off a morning jaunt to the Dupont Circle Farmers Market, check out these fantastic prepared meals you can pick up there!

  • The Mushroom Stand is highlighting their flavorful ‘shrooms in a variety of prepared ways this winter. The smell of their mushroom chili and soup float through the cold Sunday morning air and beckon you to try a taste. Sold in convenient little containers, you can heat a bowl up easily on a frosty winter’s evening for a quick and hearty meal.
  • Speaking of soups, Souper Girl is now selling her delightful concoctions at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market. Fresh, healthy and delicious, Souper Girl’s soups are also kosher! The soup menu is seasonal and ever changing, so there is always something new to try. And as the temperature drops, Souper Girl’s soups are heating up!
  • Smith Meadow Farms also has a variety of prepared foods to keep you warm throughout the week. They have soups covered (like Tuscan Bean Soup or Black Bean & Beef Chili), but they also have fresh, handmade raviolis and pasta sauces to go with them. You do have to boil some water to cook the raviolis, but I think you can handle it (I hope). They also have their take on a Scottish oat cake. Made with oats, spelt flour, pork lard from their grass fed pigs and herbs, these little cakes go well with their hearty soups. Ask if they have their chicken or beef pot pies at the market on Sunday. If they do, grab one because they go fast. Made with their very own beef and chicken, these pot pies put Swanson to shame.
  • Sunnyside Farm and Orchard always has a table full of fresh prepared foods using foods from their farm. The menu changes according to the seasons, but you’ll find a variety of hot soups (I love their soups featuring kale), dips, salsas and relishes.
  • Okay, so maybe soups aren’t your thing? Chris’ Marketplace has an array of heavenly empanadas to delight your appetite. Flaky crusts and perfectly seasoned fillings make a handy little lunch in a pouch. Pick up several at the market and have them for lunch throughout the week (maybe even with a side salad from Endless Summer Harvest).

As you can see, there are plenty of fresh, prepared foods at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market to get you through the cold week ahead! Stock up and give your kitchen a break. And the fire department.

And check out this article from Fresh Farm Markets about shopping farmers markets during the winter.

by Borderstan.com January 6, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,110 1 Comment

"Borderstan""Farmers Market"

The Dupont Farmers Market is open during the winter. (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

After months of holiday treats, office party indulgences and family dinner gluttony, I think we are all a little wary of stepping on the scale. The holiday season can leave us feeling sluggish and a bit snug in our clothing, which invariably leads to January resolutions to exercise and eat right. There are several options for working out in the Borderstan area, but what about making better eating choices?  It’s easier than you think and the first place to start is at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market.

Winter Recipes

The market is open all winter and there are an abundance of healthy fruits and vegetables for you to choose from. Eating better doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste either. You can make better food choices and still indulge your foodie palate. Here are some great recipes to help get your (healthy) culinary juices flowing.

  • This roasted winter squash salad makes great use of the different varieties of winter squash available at the market. Pick a winter squash you don’t normally use to flex your culinary muscle.
  • Kale, in my humble opinion, doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.  It’s very high in beta carotene and vitamin c, as well as an excellent source of calcium.  You’ll find an abundance of kale at the market this winter, so try out this recipe for tuscan kale and chickpea pasta or this one for Portuguese kale soup
  • A simple, earthy carrot soup is perfect for cold winter nights and easy to make.  Carrots are rich in antioxidants, vitamin a and a fantastic source of fiber.  Fresh carrots from the market will shine in this spicy carrot soup.
  • Another great cold weather recipe that utilizes produce straight from the farmers market is this carrot and winter squash soup. For vegetarians, the pancetta croutons can be omitted without sacrificing any flavor.
  • Pick up a bunch of fresh spinach from the market, ricotta from Keswick Creamery and mozzarella from Blue Ridge Dairy to make these spinach lasagna rolls.  Although the recipe calls for fat free ricotta and part skim mozzarella, I have made it using fresh ricotta and mozzarella from the market and it’s still a healthy, lower calorie alternative to traditional lasagna.
  • Finally, this mushroom barley soup is the quintessential detox from all the holiday merriment we’ve indulged in.  Pick up some fresh mushrooms from the Mushroom Stand to make it really shine.

The best way to stick to a healthy eating resolution is to plan out your meals.  So take some of the recipes above, hit up the market on Sunday and get your new year started off right.  And don’t forget, the Dupont Circle Farmers Market opens at 10 am during the winter season.

by Borderstan.com August 8, 2011 at 8:00 am 0

Duplex Diner, U Street NW, Luis Gomez Photos

The Duplex Diner has reopened after some renovations and with a new owner. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Mike Kohn. Got some news for Mike? Drop him an email or find him on Twitter @mike_kohn.

Duplex Diner Reopens!

If you remember, Duplex Diner, the famed diner at 18th and U Streets NW, was sold to longtime bartender Kevin Lee, who closed it a little while back to make some minor renovations. Well, with a cute announcement on the home page of their website and a full article from the Washington City Paper, the diner is up and running. Lee is working on updating the menu to give it more of a southern twist. Look out for the official grand opening in a few weeks.

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by Borderstan.com July 22, 2011 at 10:37 am 1,200 0

Tomatoes, Alejandra Owens, DC Farmers' Markets, Borderstan

You can buy 25-pound boxes of tomatoes at the 14th & U Farmer’s Market. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her on Twitter at @frijolita or at her food blog, One Bite At A Time.

I know. You think I’m talking about the heat. But I’m talking about tomatoes. We are slowly rolling into the peak of tomato season here in DC and we’ll all be better for it. Cherry tomatoes, Romas, Heirlooms, Beefsteaks, Red Slicers — you name it they’re out there or they will be soon!

Some quick business before we dive right in: FreshFarm Markets (Dupont is one of them) would like you to take a survey about their newsletter, if you receive it. Looks like they want to make sure you actually find it useful!

Tomatoes By the Boxfull

Also: Let’s say you’re going tomato crazy (you canners, I know you’re out there) and you want to buy the juicy reds in bulk, Robin Shuster of 14 & U Farmers Market has a sale for you! Garner’s Produce is starting their annual sale on 25-pound boxes of field tomatoes. The perfect Primo Reds are $20 a box and the second is $15 a box (that’s 60 to 80 cents a pound!). Email to reserve your box(es) and mention which market will be your pickup (14th and U or Bloomingdale market on Sunday) to [email protected]

Sliced, Diced, Roasted, Canned, Grilled

What to do with a 25 pound box of tomatoes? Well, my favorite preparations include:

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