Posts Tagged ‘westmoreland berry farm’

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.

Mood-Changing Meals (Pancakes with Strawberries … for Dinner!)

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

So the boy has developed this charming habit lately of coming to the table when called for dinner, taking a cursory glance at his plate, and then declaring, “I do not like that! I do not even eat that!” Sometimes, this is followed with continued whining and stomping around, other times it’s followed with him eating a few bites while continuing to protest between mouthfuls that “I do not eat this.” (Despite the obvious evidence to the contrary.)

Now, it’s been a stressful couple months in the FoodieTots household. A death in the family, a move to a new house in a new neighborhood, and of course the impending arrival of the newest Foodie Tot. The boy hasn’t been sleeping well (anyone have a cure for toddler insomnia??), and we’re trying our best to maintain some degree of patience. But after the new, longer commute home from work, cooking a meal in our not-yet-entirely-unpacked kitchen and dining room, and getting something on the table to eat, these tantrums are more than a little disheartening.

After a regrettable week (or so) of take-out/eating out during the move, I’m trying to get back on track with home-cooked meals at least five nights a week. So rather than give in to the pizza parlor temptation, Monday night I made pancakes for dinner. And not just any pancakes: big, fluffy pancakes topped with lightly sweetened strawberries and whipped cream. That’s right, whipped cream for dinner. And when the boy came stomping into the kitchen to see what horrible injustice I was preparing to dish up, the sight of the beater whirring in the KitchenAid was an instant mood changer.

(The strawberries came from Westmoreland Berry Farm this week, at the Alexandria West End market.)

Recipe: Our Favorite Pancakes with Fresh Strawberries

Notes: You can make these with half whole wheat flour. I “lightened” them up with olive oil, and sweetened the whipped cream with vanilla but no extra sugar. For the strawberry topping, I sliced a cup of strawberries and sprinkled with a tablespoon of sugar, then let stand while I prepared the pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups organic unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive  oil

Instructions: Lightly oil skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg. Add milk and oil and mix well. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (some lumps will be left). Pour about 1/3 cup batter per pancake into the skillet, and cook until bubbles begin to form and pop around the edges. Flip and cook another minute. Serve warm, topped with strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy! (Makes about 12 3-inch pancakes.)

I can’t serve whipped cream for dinner every night, so please share — what tricks do you have to fight the dinner-time blues?

Shared with Real Food Wednesday hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

At Market: Squash Blossom Succotash (and get ready for Farmers Market Week!)

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

July at the Markets: Summer harvest is in full stride now at the Alexandria/DC markets, with sweet corn, summer squash, and the first heirloom tomatoes making their debut. Blueberries and raspberries will soon be gone, and early varieties of apples are already turning up.

I intended to make Oyamel’s squash blossom soup with my recent market bounty, but instead decided to make a succotash to fill some buckwheat crepes. Sort of a repeat of last summer’s Chesapeake Crepes, with the addition of okra and the blossoms. I picked up okra and multicolored jalapeños at Sunday’s West End Alexandria Market, and the squash blossoms I scored two-for-one from Westmoreland Berry Farm as it was getting close to closing time. The bicolor sweet corn came from Long Meadow Farm at last Wednesday’s King Street Market.

Cooking with squash blossoms: Sure squash blossoms look pretty and have a heady sweet fragrance that screams summer, but are you wondering what to actually do with them? They have a mild flavor that benefits from a simple preparation – stuffed with goat cheese or ricotta and quickly fried is a classic Italian dish, but you can also use them in soups or other dishes more like an herb. The blossoms are very delicate and are best used the day of purchase. If you don’t get to them that day, be sure to put them in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook them, pull the flower open gently to avoid ripping and be on the lookout for little, uh, critters (the downside of buying organic) while you pinch and gently remove the stamen. Then carefully fill and fry or bake for stuffed blossoms, or slice them up for this recipe.

Recipe: Squash Blossom Succotash

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ears corn, kernels removed
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pint okra, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 squash blossoms, thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves basil, torn
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions: Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add corn and jalapeño and cook several minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add okra. Cook 3-4 minutes until corn is beginning to brown and okra is just tender. Stir in tomato, squash blossoms and basil and cook 1 additional minute, then remove from heat. Sprinkle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.

To make crepes: prepare buckwheat crepe batter and cook crepes on one side. Flip and sprinkle cooked side with grated cheddar cheese and a large spoonful of succotash. Cook about a minute and fold, then remove from heat. I folded the toddler’s in half like a quesadilla. He doesn’t usually eat tomatoes and had never eaten okra, but he devoured this and asked for more. I have to give credit to Mr. Tom’s cheese, it makes everything go down easier. Enjoy!

More squash blossom recipes:

Farmers Market Week is coming! National Farmers Market Week begins Sunday, August 2. Visit a farmers market near you and let me know what’s new! See something unusual? Ask here and I’ll tell you what to do with it.