Posts Tagged ‘strawberry’

Scenes from Mosaic Central Farm Market

Friday, May 16th, 2014

May, as you locals know, brings opening day to the rest of the DC region’s seasonal farmers markets. Brand new this year is the Mosaic Central Farm Market in Merrifield’s Mosaic District. If you follow us on Instagram (@foodietots), you know the Mosaic District is one of our family’s new favorite hang-outs. From fast, healthy lunch options at Cava Grill, Sweetgreen and Chipotle to Friday night outdoor movies on the big screen — last weekend I enjoyed a date night with the foodie boy to watch E.T. — it’s not hard for us to find an excuse to stop by. You’ll likely catch us there on sunny weekends, in particular, when the kids can be found splashing in the water fountains while mom and dad enjoy iced coffee from Dolcezza. (And yes, there’s also a big Target there for those less glamorous essentials and MOM’s Organic Market for our organic pantry staples. And an Angelika Theatre, where we escape for date nights without the kids.)

Mosaic Central Farm Market from Colleen | GlassBottle on Vimeo.

Central Farm Markets, which currently operate locations in Bethesda and Rockville, is now operating a Sunday market along District Avenue each week from 9am to 2pm. The first week was bustling, and I was pleased to recognize a few favorites from other markets, like Toigo Orchards, Twin Springs Fruit Farm and Westmoreland Berry Farm (they’ve got asparagus & strawberries) and two new-to-me, certified organic farms, Bending Bridge Farm and The Farm at Our House. All-natural meat vendors include Cibola Farms and Springfield Farm. One of our favorite pickle stops, Number 1 Sons, is there too.

Mosaic Central Farm Market -- Opening Day -- FoodieTots

There are prepared foods, too — I brought home asparagus ravioli from Ovvio Osteria — and Nicecream, the made-to-order ice cream sensation that launched last year. Rumor has is it their new shop is now open in Clarendon, too. We enjoyed the strawberry ice cream at market and look forward to sampling many more flavors as the weather heats up.

Nicecream at Mosaic Central Farm Market | FoodieTots.com

Did you hit the market this weekend? We finally scored some strawberries! All our cold and rainy weather has put a damper on strawberry season, but local pick-your-own farms are opening very soon. Asparagus season lasts for a few more weeks, so stock up while you can.

Kids Cook: Strawberry Radish Salsa {and Delaplane Strawberry Festival}

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

We took advantage of the unusually mild weather this past holiday weekend to finally check out the Delaplane Strawberry Festival in Virginia’s Fauquier County. The annual event is packed with old-fashioned family fun, from the cupcake walk and face painting to tug-of-war, potato sack races, hay rides and pony rides. There were food vendors and live music, too. There’s not much better than chowing down on crab cake sandwiches while the kids dance to bluegrass under a bright blue sky.

foodietots @ the delaplane strawberry festival

We capped the day off with strawberry sundaes. Unfortunately they’d sold out of fresh berries, and other local farms were struggling to keep up with demand over the busy weekend. Our cool spring has delayed our summer berries and fruits, but I hear there will be plenty of berries available by this coming weekend.

Whether you pick your berries at the farm or just pick them up at market, here’s a fun salsa recipe that incorporates the radishes that are also in season.

Strawberry Radish Salsa

Recipe: Strawberry Radish Salsa
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped radish
  • 1 finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, combine chopped strawberries, radish and green onion.

2. In an even smaller bowl, whisk together honey and vinegar until honey is dissolved. Pour mixture over strawberries and stir gently to combine.

3. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.

~

view from Sky Meadows State Park

That’s the view from Sky Meadows State Park, where the festival was held. Mark your calendars for Memorial Day weekend, 2014. We’ll see you there!

(As a reminder, here are some of our favorite places to pick strawberries in Northern Virginia — but remember to ALWAYS call first to confirm availability before you make the trip.)

Where to Pick Strawberries This Weekend {Virginia}

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the pinnacle of strawberry season here in the DC area, though our earlier-than-usual spring means we’ve already been enjoying them for weeks. (As evidenced by, well, my last ten posts, give or take…). Assuming you’re not sick of them yet, here are a few favorite places to get out and pick your own in Northern Virginia:

strawberry patch at wegmeyer farms

  • Great Country Farms Bluemont, Va. (note: GCF charges admission, but is basically a farm adventure land for the kids. Check the website to see about special events.)
  • Hollin Farms Delaplane, Va. (also has pick-your-own seasonal vegetables)
  • Wegmeyer Farms Hamilton, Va. (see comments below)
  • Westmoreland Berry Farms Oak Grove, Va. (on the Northern Neck, they serve barbecue fare and ice cream/strawberry shortcake in season)

foodie tots at Wegmeyer Farms, Va.

A few things to note for a successful berry picking trip:

  • Go early and ALWAYS call ahead to check picking conditions. The farms around here tend to get picked out quickly on nice summer days, and this weekend is sure to be busy.
  • Dress the kids in dark colors (or red) to avoid stains and wear appropriate footwear (e.g., not the flip flops my toddler refused to change out of. They were new, after all, and a girl can’t be separated from her new shoes.).
  • Bug spray and sunscreen/sun hats are a must.
  • You can’t plop a toddler down in a field of the freshest berries she’s ever seen and not expect her to nibble — so be courteous and round up your tab at check-out to cover any excessive in-field consumption.* And if you hope to have enough leftover for jam, you might want to buy twice what you think you’ll need.

We went to Wegmeyer Farms earlier this week, an easy under-60-minute drive from Arlington, and loved it. The berry patch is a manageable size (and easy walking distance from parking) for younger kids. There are a couple picnic tables but unlike some of the larger farms (Great Country and Westmoreland have full-service concessions) you’ll have to pack your own lunch.

The 19th Annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival also takes place this weekend, May 26-27, if you just want to spend the day in the country and celebrate nature’s most perfect berry.

If my kids leave any, we’ll be making strawberry shortcake this weekend. You?

virginia grown strawberries

*The foodie tot heard the farmer say, “Go ahead and taste ‘em,” and promptly shoveled three in her mouth.

{At Market} Strawberry Horchata

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

I still can’t believe how early strawberry season began this year. We got our first Virginia berries of the year at the Falls Church Farmers Market last weekend, and a few more this weekend. The foodie tots have been ecstatic. The first week, they downed a pint at breakfast as soon as I returned from the market. This past weekend, the toddler went with me and somehow managed to leave strawberry stains on the front and back of her t-shirt, and stroller seat, just while snacking on a few as we shopped. (She was also a big fan of the fresh mini cider doughnuts from Mama’s Donut Bites, new at the market this year. Also spotted: asparagus, ramps & morels — the locavore’s holy trinity of spring.)

falls church farmers market, april

I’ve been wanting to make horchata, a frothy rice-based drink I first tasted in L.A., for an embarrassingly long time. Like, since my last trip to L.A. In 2009. Ahem. Anyway, the drink is simple enough to make but requires advanced planning and patience as the ground rice and water must soak overnight. So it’s a good opportunity to give the kids a lesson in delayed gratification. It’s a fun recipe for kids who enjoy pressing the buttons on the blender, too. It’s lighter than a smoothie and its sweet, refreshing taste goes well with spicy tacos.

While some recipes call for almonds, I chose one that used only rice to keep things simple. I added fresh strawberries which helped sweeten the drink, so it requires less added sugar. (If your berries are very sweet, you may get away with using even less sugar.) You may be tempted to taste the preliminary soaked rice concoction …. (I confess, I did it.) If you do, don’t despair. The drink vastly improves once sweetened. I don’t plan to let another three years pass before making this again — in fact, I’m already envisioning sipping a watermelon version on the deck later this summer.

strawberry horchata @foodietots

Recipe: Strawberry Horchata
adapted from A Wooden Nest

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup whole milk

Instructions:

1. Place rice in blender and grind to a fine meal. Add to water in a pitcher, drop in cinnamon stick and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

2. Pour mixture back into the blender and blend until cinnamon stick is finely chopped. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the rice solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids.

3. Return strained mixture to the blender and add sugar, strawberries and milk. Blend on high speed until well combined and frothy. Chill before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Can’t wait overnight? Try our Strawberry Agua Fresca recipe.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! {and Yink’s Pink Ink Drink}

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

We’re big fans of Dr. Seuss around here. The boy has been looking forward to PBS Kids’ Cat-in-the-Hat-a-thon all week — and, he even has the day off school so he can camp out in front of the tv in his pjs to watch. Meanwhile, I made a Seuss breakfast: Lorax pancakes, green eggs and ham, and pink ink. You know, of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish:

This one, I think, is called a Yink.
He likes to wink, he likes to drink.
He likes to drink, and drink, and drink.
The thing he likes to drink is ink.
The ink he likes to drink is pink.
He likes to wink and drink pink ink. – Dr. Seuss

This breakfast smoothie is fast to whip up. And the best part — it’s all natural, no food dyes needed.

yink's pink ink drink

Recipe: Yink’s Pink Ink Drink

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

Instructions: Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth and frothy. Pour into glasses, add a straw, and enjoy! Makes 2 small smoothies.

natural green eggs and ham

What’s the most read Dr. Seuss book in your house? Ours is probably Green Eggs in Ham, but One Fish Two Fish gets a lot of air time as well. Most exciting is that the boy is just about ready to start reading them to us — can’t wait!