Sunday Morning Pancake Mix – Vendor Highlight – East Nashville Farmers Market

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Samantha Williams has a sunny smile and a winning spirit about her. She told me that she started Sunday Morning Pancake Mix as an experiment on her kitchen counter. Her husband had started making pancakes every Sunday for their family, and it made her start thinking. She enjoyed having this fun new tradition, but what was the cost to her family nutritionally?

As a compromise, they began mixing whole grain flours. Soon they were milling bulk grains in a one-cup coffee grinder. Their final recipe includes nine freshly-milled, organic grains: wheat, rye, buckwheat, barley, brown rice, oats, spelt, milo and cornmeal–with a little flax for good measure.

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Samantha’s goal was achieved – they had turned an over-processed, nutritionally-deficient breakfast staple into a wholesome, nutritious meal that is still easy to prepare and is locally sourced. She describes the finished product as “heavier than a regular pancake but lighter than a hoe cake with a delightful flavor and hearty texture.”

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You can find Samantha and her beautiful pancake mix (and usually a kiddo or two) at the East Nashville Farmers Market each week as well as on her Facebook page: My Friend Who Loves to Cook. You should also know that Samantha isn’t finished with her kitchen experiments; she has a gluten-free product in the works as well!

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Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese – Vendor Highlight – East Nashville Farmers Market

Meet Jennifer Starks, of Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese:

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Her friendly face and bubbling personality won over my little lovebug in about 5 seconds flat. My camera, however, could not hold his interest. Jennifer does the Tennessee Sales and Marketing for Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, and you can find her at the market every week offering delicious samples of amazing cheeses such as these and more:

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Kenny’s Cheese was inspired by a trip to Europe fifteen years ago. Kenny Mattingly decided he would try using the milk from his family farm of 120 dairy cattle to produce Gouda cheese using Old World, handmade techniques. As you can see from the varied menu above, the venture was a success, and they now offer a much wider variety of cheeses. I’m a huge fan of the new Yazoo Sly Rye Cheddar as well as the Tomato Basil. Truth be told, I have yet to find a Kenny’s Cheese that I haven’t liked!

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All of Kenny’s cheese are made from raw milk which preserves the naturally beneficial enzymes in the milk that aid in the digestion of lactose and promote the absorption of calcium while providing a richer depth of flavor that you have got to try to believe. Additionally, Kenny goes a step further and uses vegetable-based rennet to coagulate the cheese keeping their products vegetarian-friendly.

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All of their cheeses are aged, hand cut, and packaged on the family’s 200-acre farm in southeastern Barren County, Kentucky near the community of Austin. You can taste the care and passion that they pour into their products.

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This week, my family and I tried out one of the farm’s newer cheese offerings – their Fresh Mozzarella. I tried a slice, and it was amazing (I know, I know – I keep saying that, but it’s true!). The cheese was milky and fresh and creamy. However, what you need to know is this: My husband is the definition of a picky eater. He only eats cheese melted on or into his food, and he’s ridiculously picky when it comes to his mozzarella. He has officially declared this to be the best mozzarella he has ever put into his mouth! We made chicken parmesan with the fresh mozzarella melted over the top. It browned beautifully and melted perfectly. As you can see, I couldn’t wait to take a picture until after I’d dug in:

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I can’t wait to get to the market today and try another of their cheeses! Maybe I’ll choose the havarti . . . or the horseradish cheddar . . . or maybe the new curds?

Easiest Tomato Sauce

Our fabulous neighborhood just celebrated its 10th Annual Tomato Art Fest, and I really hope you got to get out and enjoy it! In honor of the celebration, I wanted to post a tomato-centric recipe. This is the go-to tomato sauce in our home. It’s easy and delicious and can handle any number of additions. It uses the whole tomato (no peeling or coring!), and if you don’t have quite enough tomatoes, you can throw them in the freezer whole and defrost them when you’re ready to make this recipe. Simplicity. Makes life better!

Easiest Tomato Sauce

  • 4-5 pounds of tomatoes
  • 3-4 shallots
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • salt
  • crushed red pepper
  • dried basil
  • dried dill
  • olive oil

Mince shallots (or onion – we use shallots because my hubs is allergic to onion) and garlic. Saute in about a tablespoon of olive oil for about three minutes – until translucent and fragrant. If you have an immersion blender, you can transfer these now to a 2 quart sauce pan (or you could just saute them there in the first place). If not, transfer to a stand blender. Add the tomatoes two or three at a time (remove any stems or bad spots) and pulse until smooth. Pour the puree into the 2 quart sauce pan. Continue to puree tomatoes and add to pan until all are pureed. Place pan over a medium heat. Season with salt, pepper, basil, and dill to your personal liking. We like a heavy dose of dill in our house. Bring the sauce to a low simmer and allow to reduce until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Other optional additions could be (cooked) ground meat, spinach, diced veggies, mushrooms, or quartered or diced tomatoes if you prefer your sauce chunkier. We have been known to run two pots of sauce as I prefer chunky and the hubs likes it smooth.

One other tip is to create a large batch and then freeze the sauce (I like to do 2 cup portions) for later use. It’s always nice to have prepared tomato sauce on hand. Having sauce that you prepared (and for which you controlled all the ingredients) makes it twice as nice!

Recipes: Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos

It’s obvious that I’ve become slightly obsessed with quinoa, isn’t it? I actually have a new recipe that I want to try using farro, but I haven’t yet been able to find it. Let me know if you know where I can get some! This recipe is my version of one that I found online in an effort to make the most of the veggies I had on hand. We had made a large pot of tomato sauce from all the tomatoes we’ve gotten lately (we make a big pot and freeze it in 2 cup portions), and I had poblanos, onions, and bell peppers. This didn’t turn out to be the most beautiful dish ever created, but it more than made up for it by being DELICIOUS!

 

Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos

  • 2 cups tomato sauce (I’ll post one of our recipes soon)
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I cooked mine in vegetable broth for additional flavor)
  • 1 large green onion, or 3 small ones
  • 1 small bell pepper (preferably red or yellow)
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 1 ounce queso fresco
  • olive oil
  • salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dice the bulb(s) of the green onion. Chop and reserve the green parts. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and dice. In a medium pan, saute the pepper and onion in olive oil over a medium low heat for about 5 minutes or until soft. Quarter the plum tomatoes and add them and a pinch of salt to the mixture, cooking until the tomatoes break down – about 2 more minutes. Add the quinoa (and any other cooked veg that you like) to the mixture. Stir to combine and turn off the heat.

Split the poblanos and remove the seeds. In a 9×9 pan, layer about half a cup of the tomato sauce across the bottom. Nestle the poblano halves in the sauce. Ladle the quinoa mixture into the poblano halves. Ladle enough tomato sauce to lightly cover the poblanos over the top. Dress with the green onions and crumble the queso fresco over everything.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve! (Should make enough for 2 meals or 4 sides.)

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