Farmers’ Market Ratatouille

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Hi, my name’s Emily and I am a farmers’ market junkie. No really, I have a serious problem. When May arrives and my local farmers’ market reopens for the summer, I visit every week. Sometimes twice. It takes me hours to peruse every stand and talk to every farmer. I usually spend way too much money buying way too much produce - more than my family could possibly eat in one week. When I get home I artfully arrange my trophies in cute little baskets on my countertop, and because I’m a total geek, I take pictures of my displays and text them to my husband with cheesy notes that say: “Look what’s cookin’ tonight!” or “Got Produce?” His replies go something like, “Um, that’s a lot of peppers, honey.” By the end of the week I’ve only used about half of what I bought, and I’m left with extremely ripe, eat-me-right-now veggies that are in threat of going to waste. Which is how I found my other addiction: ratatouille. This super healthy, one-pan meal uses up all my leftover odds-and-ends-produce, freeing up my counter for another visit to the market.

 Farmers’ Market Ratatouille

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This vitamin-rich dish can serve as a vegetarian entrée (say on Meatless Monday), an accompaniment to grilled meat, or an easy sauce when thrown into a pot of cooked pasta. Sometimes I even spoon it over a slice of toasted baguette for a quick lunch. 

Farmers’ Market Ratatouille

Serves 4 as an entrée or 6-8 as a side dish

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 zucchini squash, diced
  • 2 yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 small eggplant, skin on, diced
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, minced (or another fresh herb such as oregano, basil, or parsley)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh crack black pepper

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In a large straight-sided skillet set over medium-high, heat oil until shimmering. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add remaining ingredients to the pot, stirring and cooking for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything has softened, about 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread to sop up all those lovely juices.IMG_7146

Local Farmers’ Markets

These days almost ever town in America has a weekly farmers’ market (typically open May through October). My local market runs twice a week during the summer, which is a great way to feed my addiction, but come December I start itching for a fix again. Thankfully, I’ve always lived within a stone’s throw of a major city that has a year-round farmers’ market. Usually housed in an permanent structure, these markets are just like the townie ones only on steroids. In addition to selling produce, farm-fresh eggs, and meats, many of these larger markets will offer an array of other attractions such as local cuisine, homemade soaps and lotions, art, flee market items, and rides & games for the kids. I’ve visited quite a few over the years, but my favorites are Pike Place Market in Seattle, Union Square Greenmarket in NYC, and City Market in Kansas City, MO, which I’ve visited a few times this season already…IMG_0070 (1)

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*To find a farmers’ market in your area, click here.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

To all of the mothers (or soon-to-be mothers) out there, I wish you a happy day!

Mother’s Day Dim Sum in Kansas City with the toddler:20140511-144724.jpg

Yes, those are chickens’ feet…20140511-144858.jpg

…and yes, she did try them…20140511-145000.jpg

…and yes, she is too cool for school!20140511-145051.jpg

Happy Mother’s Day! Love, the SoupBowlRecipes Team!20140511-145203.jpg

Palm Springs Family Fun!

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Palm Springs Family Fun!

After four straight days of lying by the pool, playing games, and binge-reading gossip magazines, we made the unanimous decision to get off our lazy bums and enjoy the rest of what Palm Springs has to offer. Here’s what we did…

Hiking Indian Canyons – http://www.indian-canyons.com

Indian Canyons, once home to the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians, offers miles and miles of beautiful hiking through desert and mountains, and gives you a glimpse into the lifestyle of its former inhabitants with remains of rock art, house pits, irrigation ditches, and so on. Note: It’s best to do these hikes early in the day, as much of the trails aren’t shaded and can get pretty toasty.

{ Yep, we’re climbing that! }image

{ Such interesting topgraphy here }image

{ Is it just me, or does this rock look like a beautifully marbleized rib eye steak with a parsley garnish? }image

{ My 7-year old nephew blazing the trail }image

{ One of the many house pits we saw }image

 

Palm Springs Villagefest – http://www.palmspringsvillagefest.com

Every Thursday evening starting at 6:00 p.m., downtown Palm Springs closes its main street (Palm Canyon Drive) to traffic and opens it up to pedestrians. Over 200 booths of art vendors, food purveyors, musicians, and palm readers line the street — and with shops staying open late (10:00 p.m.), you’re guaranteed a night of entertainment the whole family will enjoy.

{ Some of the louder pieces of art Villagefest has to offer }image

{ The Toddler twirling among the art and enjoying the attention she was getting from passerbys who gathered to watch her spontaneous performance }image

{ Oh, I definitely have to get me one of these! }image

{ Handmade pillowcase dresses. Btw, I just noticed the “No Pictures” sign – Oops! }image

{ Paella with chicken, clams, and prawns, oh my! }image

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{ This year I noticed a street running perpendicular to Palm Canyon Drive that had booths filled with farmers’ market items like fresh produce, organic honeys, flavored popcorn, and awesome beef jerkey }image

{ My Toddler wasn’t so sure about meeting Charlie Chaplin }image

{ Winding our way back home after dark }image

{ …buuuut, we couldn’t resist roasting pink marshmallows at this firey booth before calling it a night }image

 

Vintage Shopping Whether you’re in the market for kitschy antiques, vintage cars, or second-hand clothes, Palm Springs has it in spades! Below are some frocks I just had to share with you…

{ A dress, hat, and accessories worn by Lucille Ball on the I Love Lucy show }image

{ Silver go-go boots straight out of the disco era — too bad they weren’t my size otherwise you’d see me wearing them in my next blog post }image

{ And some other funky finds from Villagefest }image

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Cool, right? Yeah, I thought so, too!

Ok, now back to the pool. Hmm, I wonder if my lawn chair missed me while I was gone?

More from Movie Colony

More from Movie Colony image It’s another beautiful day in Palm Springs! Here are more vacation photos from our little palace located in the luxurious Movie Colony neighborhood (plus a yummy little poolside dish my aunt prepared for us).

{ Welcome to Movie Colony }

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{ The Toddler and Grandma coordinate their vacation attire }

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{ Looking down a hallway lined with Persian rugs and fine artwork } image

 

{ Our feathered friends are even kickin’ it in style with this two-story high ornamental bird house } image

 

{ A close-up of the mini avian palace } image

 

{ The view from my office } image

 

{ Cousins }

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{ Three peas in a pod }

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{ Surrounded by luscious succulent plants… } image

 

{ …and beautiful pottery } image image image image image image image

 

{ Blogging and jogging, because you can’t drink daquiris all day and expect to still fit into a bikini }

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{ And last but not least…snacks! } image

Easy Mexicorn Dip

  • 2 cans Mexicorn
  • 2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups mayo
  • 1 4-oz. can diced jalepeños
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (optional)
  • Corn chips (such as Frito scoops) for serving

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in a large ovenproof baking dish. Bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve with corn chips and Mexican beer. Kick back and enjoy the rest of the day.

Blogging from Movie Colony

Blogging from Movie Colony

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Every year since I was in middle school my family has spent Spring Break in Palm Springs, CA. Even as my sister and I grew older, went off to college, got married and had families of our own, my parents still upheld the tradition of bringing everyone together for a sunny vacation. At first we’d rent a small time-share condo that was close to town so that us girls wouldn’t have to rely on my parents to shuttle us back and forth when we wanted to go shopping or seek out boys our own age. Over the years as our vacation needs evolved (private pool, separate bedrooms for the kids, enough bathrooms for everyone) we graduated to a larger house. Not all have been great (I distinctly remember having to sleep in a room with a creepy clown motif one year), and others have wonderful. This year is spectacular. Beyond spectacular! The house (palace, really) is located in a part of town called “Movie Colony” named because of the high profile neighbors it once boasted. It’s filled with beautiful artwork, Mexican pottery, and unique mementos from famous guests that once visited. It was built in 1929 in the Spanish-Colonial style that was (and is) so popular in the area. It. Is. Beautiful! But it’s not about the house (mostly not), it’s about the fun had within. What once started as a week of excessive tanning and boy-hunting has slowly evolved into a relaxing retreat for loved ones to catch up, swim, and enjoy good food. Below are photos I took around the property this morning. Later this week I’ll be posting more photos and recipes for sunny, light, California inspired dishes. Enjoy – I know I will be!

{ One of the many living rooms }

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{ A large dining room in case we ever choose to eat indoors }

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{ The kitchen I will be cooking from this week}

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{ A pantry full of fun, festive serving platters }

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{ The office where I’ll be blogging from }

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{ The Toddler enjoying an alfresco lunch }

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{ The Mexican Courtyard  }

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{ The back gate, but why would you ever want to leave? }

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{ My too-cute-for-words nephews up before dawn patiently waiting for the adults to take them swimming }

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{ The house is full of tiny doors and hidden rooms, perfect for a game of hide-and-seek! }

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{ And finally the pool! }

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More to come tomorrow!

 

Stuff My Kid Eats: Pork Medallions with Chickpeas and Cabbage

Warning: Vegetarians turn back now; this post is about pigs. Lots and lots of delicious pigs! 

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{ My toddler at the Pork & Pickle }

My toddler loves pigs. Absolutely loves them! I’m not talking about the cute, little pink guys that appear in most of her story books (although she loves those, too), I’m talking about the kind you eat. Bacon, ham, pork, you name it, the child will gobble it up, no questions asked. During our most recent travels, we ended up with a couple hours to kill in the Kansas City International Airport, and found a real gem of an eatery, Pork & Pickle, which serves, you guessed it…pork and pickles (among other things). It’s located on the second floor of the Southwest terminal, and once you emerge from the wood paneled elevator, you almost forget that you’re eating in an airport. Almost. The menu had a nice variety of pork that spanned from BBQ to brats…and it got me thinking: I need to cook more pork! It’s a healthy alternative to red meat, it’s more fun than chicken, and it gets my toddler to come to the dinner table without complaint. And then, almost as if it were meant to be, the Fine Cooking magazine I brought with me to read on the plane had a great looking pork recipe. I love it when things work out like that, don’t you? Anyway, I tried it out as soon as we got home, and it turned out to be one of the best pork dishes I’ve had in a long time. And my toddler loved it, which makes it a win-win for me!

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Pork & Pickle in the Kansas City International Airport }

Pork Medallions with Chickpeas and Cabbage

Chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) can be a bit bland on their own, but when baked under tenderloins of sizzling, salty pork, they just explode with flavor. This dish is not only delicious and easy to make, but it’s elegant looking as well, which means you can prepare it for your family one night after work, or save it for the next time you have company. Either way, you’ll look like a rockstar in the kitchen! The original recipe called for using dry chickpeas, soaking them overnight, then cooking them on the stovetop for an hour prior to making the rest of the meal. That method sounded delicious, but, really?! It’s more time than I want to spend on a weeknight dinner (also, my local grocery store doesn’t carry dry chickpeas), so I altered the recipe to use canned chickpeas instead. With that being said, anyone who would like to try the long version gets extra credit – and you can find the recipe here. (Recipe slightly adapted from Fine Cooking.)

Pork Medallions with Chickpeas and Cabbage

Serves 6

  • 2 15-oz. cans of chickpeas, with canning liquid
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 1-lb. pork tenderloins
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • ½ small head Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (6 to 7 cups)
  • 6 thin slices prosciutto di Parma (3½ oz.)
  • 6 oz. coarsely grated Italian fontina cheese (about 2 cups)

Position rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add chicpeas (with canning liquid) along with the bay leaves, thyme, and garlic. Heat until just starting to bubble, then reduce temperature to low and simmer for 20-40 minutes, or however long it takes you to prepare the rest of the dish. Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid and garlic, discard herbs. Smash the garlic (it should be very soft, almost paste-like when smashed), chop, and set aside.

Meanwhile, trim and slice each tenderloin on the diagonal into 3 thick medallions (for a total of 6 medallions). Place each medallion on a cut side, and using your hands, gently press on each to flatten slightly. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter and oil in a 12-inch oven proof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in two batches, cook the pork, flipping once, until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion and ¼ tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the cabbage, ¼ tsp. salt, and ½ cup water. Stir, cover, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the chickpeas, reserved cooking liquid, and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the pork (and any cooking juices that have accumulated on the plate) over the cabbage and chickpeas and top with each piece with a slice of prosciutto and a mound of grated fontina. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the pork reaches 145°F on an instant-read meat thermometer, about 15-17 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Spoon chickpeas onto plate, then top with pork tenderloin.

Sidekick: Pair with a glass of Pinot Noir, Barolo, Syrah, or Chardonnay.