Classic Sunday Breakfast

Making breakfast for my family happens about once a week. So hey, let’s make it special and keep it simple. This morning, I whipped up a classic full of good fats, bad fats and locally sourced superstars. Just look at the color of those yolks! Thanks Moon Valley Farm.

Bacon, we all love it. Thick cut Applewood smoked bacon is my favorite, the smokiness pairs nicely with the salty richness of the meat. To make it special, I sprinkle hand cracked black peppercorns over each bacon strip while the fat renders slowly over low heat.

Cooking Tip: start the pan on low and increase the heat slowly. Result: less bacon shrinkage.

To balance the intense flavors of the bacon, I love farm fresh eggs, cooked to order. Mikey likes his sunny side up, I like mine over medium.

I also want a few healthy options, this morning avocado was at the top of my list. Scoop a little salsa on top for an added layer of flavor.

To bring it all together, toast up some fresh bread. Pane bello slices spread halfway with Heartland Family Farm’s Red Raspberry Jam are a wonderful addition to the meal. Low in sugar and high in pectin, this zippy jam has an addictive tartness from the ripe red raspberries, I’m in love.

All the flavors go so well together. Dip the bacon in the red raspberry jam, spread the avocado on the toast and dip everything in the technicolor orange yolks. Happy Sunday!

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Styling ::: Local Flowers

A big bouquet of fresh flowers, what’s not to love? Flowers make people happy. Just yesterday a lady called me a “picture” as I carried an armful of flowers through the Farmer’s Market. My love affair with local flowers began about five years ago. I started a catering company and ordered flowers weekly for tastings and events. Every Wednesday I would wait for the flowers to arrive, happily close my spreadsheet, forget my email and immerse myself in beautiful blooms. Using local flowers allowed me to create a steady revenue stream for my business, support local farmers and delight clients.

Fresh local flowers from Heartland Family Farm

Fresh flowers from Heartland Family Farm

This weekend, I had the pleasure of styling a wedding reception for a beautiful couple. I selected a hippy-chic theme full of eco-friendly elements, reflecting the bride and groom’s love of music, local culture and family.

Early Saturday morning I stopped to see my flower guru, Sara McGee of the Heartland Family Farm. Sara has been my local flower supplier for over 5 years, bringing me buckets of lush ruffled peonies, fragrant bells of ireland and everything in between. Sara’s flowers are beautiful and fresh. I also procure flowers from Harvest Moon Flower Farm. Linda Chapman is an amazing artist and I swoon over her arrangements every Saturday. Linda took me on a tour of her farm a few years ago. If you ever have a chance to take a tour, do so! The farm is breathtakingly beautiful.

Here are 3 of my favorite details from the reception :

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1. Arranging the flowers : I worked on a picnic table and my supplies included: 11 large ball jars, a pair of sharp scissors, one overstuffed bucket of fresh local flowers and water.

Technique : Fill the jars with water halfway before placing the flowers. Snip off the ends of the flowers if need be. Start with a focal point flower, here I used the peony. Work in circular pattern adding blooms as you slowly turn the bouquet. My flower style is organic and free form, striving for lush arrangements that aren’t too perfect. The goal is to let each bloom shine.

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2. The table decor : A mixture of tapestries were set as tableclothes. So many beautiful colors and patterns adorned the tables and the designs worked beautifully with the flowers.

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3. The drinks : An infused water bar provided mint & lemon water and blueberry & strawberry water. For more ideas on infused water, see my post here.

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If you have a chance, stop by the Farmer’s Market and pick up a BIG bouquet of flowers. Spend a little time arranging the blooms and spread the arrangements around your house. Flowers are a great way to bring fresh positive energy into every space, delight the senses and make people feel special.

Farmer’s Market 7.7.12

It was 86 degrees and felt like 93 when I arrived at the Farmer’s Market this morning. With the drought and the heat I didn’t want to miss a chance to support the Farmers!

This week I scored some beautiful baby spinach, mustard greens, swiss chard, farm fresh eggs and candied onions. The highlights: gorgeous chioggia beets from Freedom, Indiana, a green centered sunflower bouquet and fennel from Heartland Family Farms. I bought a chili pepper garland from the Chili Pepper Lady. I am not a fan of buying spices in small plastic bottles, it is wasteful and the spices are not always the freshest. Now I can grind peppers for chili powder or chop them to top pizza, risotto and just about anything else. My favorite lettuce lady with the cute baskets was sold out of most varieties by 9am. Note: on hot days arrive early.

I could barely wait to get home and plop my bouquet in a blue ball jar. I whipped up some fennel frond pesto this afternoon for Grilled Pizza tonight (recipe below) and I plan to top it with fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes. As I craft my menus for the week, I will post the recipes.

Remember the next Farmer’s Market is on Tuesday evening at Bloomingfood’s West. The cute lettuce lady is always there and the high for next Tuesday is only 87 degrees. Take a minute this weekend and do a rain dance!

 Fennel Frond Pesto

Chop fennel fronds, enough to measure 1 cup. Put fronds in food processor and add 1 small clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper. Process until finely chopped and add 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano Reggiano. Process until it looks like pesto and season with more salt to taste. This is great on pasta, pizza and eggs.