Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Meal Planning - week two

So, I ended up planning meals again for the week and went to the grocery store last night and farmer's market today. I got all kinds of goodies - like a beautiful whole chicken and bosc pears and some HUGE sweet yellow onions. I also got some heirloom tomatoes and an avocado for sandwiches along with this oatmeal bread that I really love.

So... This week I've planned 4 meals again - mostly based around a roasted chicken. I'm thinking about maybe doing some homemade pizza on Saturday night if I'm around.

Tuesday (tonight) - Roasted salmon with a maple glaze served over garlicy grains and rice along with broccoli with olive oil and lemon zest.

Wednesday - Roasted chicken with fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme) and roasted bosc pears and shallots served with a spinach/arugula/radicchio, apple, and goat cheese salad and a honey balsamic vinaigrette.

Thursday - Open-faced roasted chicken, apple, and provolone sandwiches on oatmeal bread along with spinach, heirloom tomato, and cucumber salad with apricot/honey white wine vinaigrette.

Friday - Roasted chicken, fresh strawberry, goat cheese, and spinach salad with honey and shallot balsamic vinaigrette.

Yup, I really love making salad dressings from scratch. I mostly end up making a vinaigrette of some sort, but usually go with a balsamic vinaigrette that I love. When I was at the store I almost got a blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar for dressings and noticed an apple balsamic as well... Maybe next time. They both sounded really good.

Here's to good food.
- Cait

Meal Planning - week one

I've been busy actually doing things - so I haven't been updating this blog at all. Oops! Last week I started actually doing some meal planning... I wrote down what I wanted to make in a little pocket calendar and it went over pretty well... Sometimes my meals are planned, but it's usually a last minute - oh I need to run to the store to get _______ to make whatever it is for dinner. I guess I got a little inspired and decided to plan meals for most of the week. I only planned until Wednesday figuring there would be leftovers.


Sunday night - Shrimp and corn chowder served with corn bread along with a spinach/arugula/radicchio salad with apple, goat cheese, and a balsamic fig vinaigrette.

Monday night - Meatloaf served with baked macaroni and cheese and sauteed green beans.

Tuesday night - Pear, sharp cheddar, and ham panini on fresh baked country bread along with a baby romaine and roasted beet salad with a balsamic honey vinaigrette.

Wednesday night - Old school chicken cacciatore served over creamy polenta.

So far, there isn't anything left over - the shrimp and corn chowder went over super well and the pot was scraped clean!

I used leftover meatloaf in amazing sandwiches - which my boyfriend loved and said how they were actually moist. I used fresh country bread sliced semi-thick which was toasted and rubbed with a garlic clove along with meatloaf slices, a pile of caramelized onions, topped with provolone cheese and placed under the broiler until the cheese was nice and gooey. I threw on some sliced heirloom tomato after the cheese was melted and topped it off with another slice of garlic rubbed country bread.

It was a good food week!

Here's to delicious food.
- Cait

Monday, April 27, 2009

Strawberry Festival - Peddler's Village - May 2 and 3, 2009

Peddler's Village hosts many different festivals throughout the year. I used to go to them when I was younger and always loved going to their Apple Festival. They had all kinds of apple goodies, my favorite being a warm apple dumpling served with vanilla pudding. Every strawberry season they celebrate the lushes fruit with a festival of it's very own. Yum.

Strawberry Festival 2009
Saturday May 2ed
Sunday May 3ed
10am - 6pm both days

Strawberry Festival plays host to delicious strawberry treats like pastries, strawberry shortcake, strawberry fritters, and strawberry jam but it's also a showcase for juried artisans. There's going to be live entertainment, pie-eating contests, and artisans demonstrating their trade. There will be great strawberry goodies to bring home too.

Peddler's Village is a great food and shopping destination. There are all kinds of little shops selling everything from kitchen goods (pots, pans, knives), a shop selling lamps, a wonderful toy store, hobby shops, and places with one of a kind artisan jewelry, woodworking, glass, and ceramics. There's also a nice coffee shop, a store with some beautiful cut flowers and flowering plants, and Giggleberry Fair (with a carousel, games, and obstacle course). It's a great place for the whole family on a normal weekend, but it's even better when there's a festival going on.

Peddler's Village is located at...
Routes 202 & 263
Lahaska, Bucks County, PA

The festival is going to be a great thing to check out and a nice way to spend a Saturday or Sunday. If you're traveling from out of the area, there's an inn right in the village - Golden Plough Inn. The inn has 71 rooms and is in a great building.

Below is a YouTube video of highlights from the festival...

Here's to berries and full bellies.
- Cait

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Went to Shad Fest Today

This is gonna be a quick post because I'm tired from being out in the sun all day today. By tired, I mean I keep falling asleep!

Okay! I went to Shad Festival for the first time today. I've gotta say, it's worth the drive. I walked around, got a gourmet dog cupcake for my dog, went on a steamboat ride, and ate. There were big blowup slides, and this bouncing flipping thing, and another blow up ride for kids to play on. There were bands playing and people drinking. There were activities for kids like sand art and fishing games... Tomorrow is gonna be the rubber duck race. I'm not sure how they release the ducks in the river, but that could be fun to watch. There are cash prizes for the winning ducks and the money raised from buying the ducks go to children's education.

The location is dog friendly. Tons of people were walking around with their dogs, which all the little kids around loved. There's even a "get your picture taken with a wolf" tent.

There were some things going on over at the River Horse Brewery in Lambertville. I'm pretty sure that's where most of the bands were playing and of course there was drinking going on. My boyfriend and I were gonna check it out, but there was a long line to get drink tickets and we had his son along. What 2 year old wants to wait in line so the grown-ups can check out so locally brewed beer? There were people with strollers and kids at the River Horse so if your kid is napping or in the mood to hold still for a bit - don't let it hold you back.

We ate grilled london broil sandwiches, fries, my boyfriend had a pulled pork sandwich, and I had a sandwich from No. 9 Restaurant. I gotta say, my favorite was the braised beef and horseradish creme. I'm pretty sure it was made with the braised shortribs, or prehaps they braised some other cut. The beef was just and tender as their braised shortribs though (my favorite dish I've had there). They also had an oyster poboy sandwich (which I would have also liked to try), some kind of seafood chowder (lots of people were getting it), and of course Shad. There was a blackened Shad sandwich (saw other places serving that up too) and a Shad po boy sandwich. The only problem was that they ran out of the Shad by the time we got around to eating. Hopefully they'll get more for tomorrow! We also enjoyed lemonade and Wild Bill's soda, both of which were great treats on a hot day. The soda was EXTRA cold (my favorite flavors? root beer and birch beer).

There were also hot dogs, burgers, mexican food served up by a local mexican restaurant, flavored nuts, taco salad, fried oreos, japanse food, and a few other things - all served on the street! If you live in the area - it's worth going just for grabbing lunch or dinner. If you don't live in the area, it's still worth going to enjoy the food and the rest of the activities. If you're looking for gifts for upcoming birthdays or Mother's day, Father's day, or maybe a graduation there are artists and crafters selling their goodies.

Oh, and if you wear out Lambertville, you can walk across the bridge into New Hope to explore there too!

Seriously, GO!

Here's to the Delaware River and the towns that sprang up along side it (and full bellies too).
- Cait

P.S. I took a bunch of pictures, so I'll be blogging some later.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reminder - Shad Fest

Shad Festival banner. Roe is a delicacy, The Hamilton Grill is going to be doing a shad roe cooking demonstration.

Well, I said I'd post again before the weekend festival as another reminder...

April 25th and 26th
12:30-5:30 both days
Lambertville, New Jersey

These are the banners and Welcome to Jersey sign right after you cross the New Hope / Lambertville bridge. It's the main street through Lambertville.

To view my previous posts on the festival...
Shad Festival - Lambertville, New Jersey - April 25th and 26th
Shad Festival 2009, Lambertville, New Jersey

Fishermen fishing for Shad under the New Hope / Lambertville bridge.

To check out information about the festival on the Lambertville.org site.
Entertainment Schedule
Art and Crafts

Chamber Member Businesses
General Information

New weekend weather report, as of tonight!

Here's to festivals with food and full bellies.
- Cait

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Magazine Wednesday - Martha Stewart Living - Sauteed Peas and Scallions

I have a ton of food magazines, but Martha Stewart Living is one of my favorite magazines to find food inspirations and recipes. One thing I really love about Martha Stewart Living is the pull out recipe cards. It has been years since I started collecting them and I'm still going strong. Every time I get a new Martha Stewart Living magazine I read through the whole thing once, then remove the recipe cards and put them in a safe place.

Peas are great. This past early fall I had amazing split pea soup at a restaurant in New Hope. Peas are simple to cook, especially if you use thawed frozen peas. Fresh peas are going to be popping up in markets before you know it. I think fresh peas would be well worth the time and effort shelling them. I can't wait to be able to pick some up at one of the farm stores by my house. Maybe I could even find a place to pick my own!

This recipe for sauteed peas from Martha Stewart Living is simple and could be done with pretty much any vegetable you could thing of. It would be great with fresh green beans, sweet corn, even asparagus or summer squash. I think the scallions just add something a little special to something as simple as a sauteed vegetable.

Photo from Martha Stewart Living

Sauteed Peas and Scallions

via Martha Stewart Living, April 2005
prep time: 5 mins. total time: 10 mins

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups shelled fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
3 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced diagonally
course salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add peas and scallions. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

I love how this recipe takes something as simple as a vegetable sauteed in butter and adds something a little unexpected in the scallions. I'd even try this with a mix of fresh vegetables, like peas, corn, and red bell peppers. To really heighten the the flavor you could grill sweet corn on the cob before sauteing in butter with the scallions.

Here's to spring showers and full bellies.
- Cait

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shad Festival 2009, Lambertville, New Jersey

So, Shad Festival 2009 weekend is coming up FAST! It's actually this weekend!!! Shad Festival will be taking place April 25th and April 26th from 12:30 - 5:30 PM both days. It's rain or shine but I looked up the local weather forecast for Lambertville, New Jersey anyway (I included a screenshot).

Above is a photograph that I took from the New Hope side of the Delaware River. The bridge connects the "sister" towns. You'll likely be walking or driving over the bridge at some point during Shad Fest if you go. It's a great place to stop and take photographs of the river. You'll probably even get to photograph fishermen fishing for The Shad! That's what the men are fishing for in the lower right-hand corner of my photograph of the bridge.

One of the first things you'll see is the "Welcome to New Jersey" sign once you cross the bridge. Right now a bunch of Shad Festival banners and flags are hung by this sign. I'm sure you'll notice it!

Here's some information about the festival so you know what to expect once you get there (pulled from the lambertville.org site).

In The Food Court: everything from taco salads to fried Calamari! There will also be the tried and true favorites: Hot dogs, hamburgers and fries and fresh lemonade for the traditionalists! And Shad of course!Also featured: beer tasting and wine tasting.

Shad Roe Cooking Demonstration: at the famous Hamilton's Grill on Saturday and Sunday - samples for everyone!

Entertainment: Rock out to the best of local talent, with entertainment throughout the weekend: Check back soon for the schedule for your favorite type of music, there's everything from jazz, and R&B to funky pop rock.

Family fun: Check out the North Union Street Parking lot for the Kid's Bazaar, where you'll find everything haloes to wear, airbrush temporary tattoos, sand art, and kids will also have the opportunity to print their own T Shirt designs and make their own candles. Face painting too! And this year down in Lambertville Station's parking lot -- kids will go crazy for the rides because they're back!

Shad Festival Poster Auction on Sunday at 3 pm at the First Presbyterian Church on N. Union St. Over 130 original works of art will be on display throughout festival weekend. Register to bid at 2 pm on Sunday, and at 3 pm, the auction begins. Proceeds will go to local students pursuing a collegiate career in the arts. There will be both a silent and live auction of posters. All live auction posters MUST BE original works of art. Minimum starting bid at the live auction is $50. Minimum starting bid at the silent auction is $20. All entries are eligible to receive poster prizes!

The Lambertville.org website actually updated their Shad Festival page to include information about the festivals parking situation. It gets really crowded in the Lambertville/New Hope area on normal nice weekend days, let alone during a festival.

"Sections of Lambertville's main streets will be closed for the festival, so do not try to drive all the way into town. Follow the parking signs to our lots and park the entire day for a fee. Shuttle buses will transport you to the festival from the lots located on Route 179. There are other lots located at the Diamond Silver Complex on N. Main St. (Rte. 29) and Arnett Ave. Proceeds from parking support our many civic and volunteer organizations. Throughout Lambertville metered parking with be in effect and violations carry a minimum fine of $25. Cars parked illegally along Route 29 or in "no parking" zones are subject to a minimum fine of $45. Please park in our lots!"

The weather for Shad Festival Weekend is going to be nice!!! The high for both days is in the low 80s and there's only the slightest chance of rain as of today. I'm excited that the weather is going to be nice because yesterday and today have been wet and rainy thus far. Remember to bring sunblock! Even though it's early in the season, the sun is stronger than you expect it to be. I got burned Saturday afternoon and I was only outside for a few hours.

I have some more photographs that I've taken of the Shad Festival signs and fishermen fishing for Shad, so I'll make another post later in the week to remind you all again!

Here's to digital cameras and full bellies!
- Cait

*All photographs in this posting were taken by me, including the screenshot of the weather.com page.