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Food Finds & Farmer’s Market Finds

We are blessed here in Northern California to have the Farmer’s Market available all year long. There are only about half the amount of vendors during the winter months with less selection of course but it’s still worth while to attend. Earlier this week daughter Katy picked me up and we made our way to the Farmer’s Market near my house. I hadn’t been there since before foot surgery. The air was crisp, the sun was shining and we were met with a variety of beautiful locally grown citrus fruits.

Mandarins

This is one place where you can feel good about the samples. Vendors were handing out Mandarins as you passed by their booth to entice you to purchase. The flavor varied from very tart to juicy sweet. We ended up with a bag of easy peel sweet mandarins grown just a few miles from here.

Mandarins

Enjoy at breakfast, snacking or dessert. Beautiful in a fruit salad or tossed with baby greens and dressed with Liquid Gold Salad Dressing. The warmer days and cool nights of the foothills is the perfect climate for creating juicy sweet mandarins. If you don’t live in CA your market will most likely have “cuties” that are an easy to peel small citrus fruit like these mandarins. Ooooooh so good right now!

Ca Citrus

Look at how huge the grapefruit on the left is! In the middle is a regular sized grapefruit and the mandarin is there to help show the size of the other fruit. Citrus fruits are packed full of Vitamin C, fiber and phytonutrients. Grapefruit may interfere with absorption of some medications so if you are taking any prescription medications be sure to check with your doctor before eating grapefruit.

Golden Mellow Grapefruit

One of the perks of shopping at the Farmer’s Market is trying different varieties of produce that are grown in small quantities that would never show up in the grocery store. Such as this Mellow Gold grapefruit. It is huge – filling this large cereal bowl. This is a low acid grapefruit, extremely juicy and satisfying. It’s grown at one of my favorite orchards called Twin Peaks. We buy produce and jam from them all through the year.

Grapefruit

I don’t remember the name of this grapefruit – I need to take photos of the signs at the market. It was amazing – so juicy good! Note that this grapefruit is in a small dessert dish not nearly as big as the other grapefruit I bought. That is a grapefruit knife – it has a serrated edge making it super easy to cut the grapefruit segments. I have no idea where I bought them but we have had these for at least twenty years! You may not have year round Farmer’s Markets where you live so check out the produce department at your grocery store and get some citrus fruits – it’s their time of year to shine. :)

Real Food Cookbook

The Real Food Cookbook was my Christmas gift to my local friends this year. It was written by two women who documented a years worth of visiting one of the local Farmer’s Market here each week. They purchased everything needed to serve dinner to a different group of people each Monday. The book documents those meals, recipes and how they used locally grown food. Its a fabulous resource for what to do with some of those lesser known foods found at our Farmer’s Market or the local CSA boxes that are home delivered from local growers.

Kirkland Organic Eggs

Eggs are an easy protein source to have on hand. So versatile and easy to cook. We like these organic eggs from Costco.

Kirkland Organic Eggs

These have a very hard shell – takes a good wack against the counter top to crack them open. Perfect for using in one of the most popular recipes from this blog Sausage Cheese Egg Muffins.

Kirkland Organic Eggs

Egglands Best Eggs

If I happen to be shopping at Sam’s Club I will buy the Eggland’s Best Eggs. These are also sold at most grocery stores.

Egglands Best Eggs

The Eggland’s Best eggs have less cholesterol and fat. I love that!

Going to the Farmer’s Market this week with daughter Katy was an amazing outing. It’s funny how when you have been stuck at home for weeks any outing is like a new adventure! Son David took me to Target yesterday! I was in heaven – it was fun. It wore me out and I crashed early last night. There is not a lot of cooking going on around here. I really don’t feel inspired to cook right now. It just seems to take so much effort and by the end of the day I am tired and not wanting to cook fussy meals.

Oven baked fish and vegetables

I’m sticking with easy meals like this oven baked fish and vegetables made one night earlier this week. A bag of trimmed fresh green beans, a pint of salad tomatoes tossed with garlic infused olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper cook alongside the fish. A one pan meal.

Fajita Salad

This salad was super easy to assemble. Hubby Tom cooked Trader Joe’s Carne Asada which comes already marinated. Meanwhile I sautéed some thinly sliced onions and pepper slices. He wrapped his all up in a hot flour tortilla while I opted for a fajita style salad. Filling, fabulous and fast. Plenty of leftovers from both meals pictured so we had more easy heat and eat meals later in the week.

Nutmeg Notes

Don’t laugh when I tell you that I feel at times as if I am residing inside someone else’s body right now and she is old and slow! It’s been months since I have been able to exercise and my body is getting soft and mushy. My left knee is making a strange clicking noise when I walk. Most likely from my walking stride being off due to the boot/shoe I have had to wear and the resulting limping. Plus I tend to put more weight on my left leg when standing to take the pressure off my right foot. Uggh! I’m hoping it clears up now that I can wear a regular shoe and stop limping around.

 Out of my control – much of what is going on with my body right now is out of my control and that isn’t easy to swallow for a controlling personality type. As you might imagine all of this being sedentary has lead to some weight gain – how could it not? Stress, pain, lack of sleep, not being able to move around – much less exercise, holiday eating and well –  there you have it! I have cut back on eating and snacking, trying to get more sleep and drink more water. That is about all I have control over right now. Being able to move more as time goes on will help and once I get the okay to resume exercise that should give me a boost physically and mentally. I look forward to it, although I know it will be slow going and even painful at first.

Good news! I actually got one of my tennis shoes on my post surgery foot! It is one step closer to being normal. My foot still swells and my toes are a little chubby but it’s getting better. No driving yet – that will come in time.

Fewer blog posts have been happening because I don’t feel like I have enough to post about. Hard to believe for someone as chatty as I am. There might be more food find posts than new recipes for a while, but you all seem to really enjoy the food finds! I have received some requests for my own top 12 favorite recipes from last year. I like that idea and I could also do my all time favorite recipes from the hundreds posted here. If you have any post ideas or requests please leave me a comment and let me know what you would like to see here on Nutmeg Notebook.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!

Tami

I’m glad you are here and hope you will leave a comment.

What do you cook when you need a fast and easy meal?


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  1. Sharon says:

    Was wondering if you will consider a return to Cycle 1 of the 17DD when you are ready to quickly lose the pounds you have gained. That has become my go-to solution and I remain so thankful to have found something that works so well for me. If I put on a few extra pounds, I just go back to Cycle 1 until they are gone. Easy, peasy!! I’m on day 3 of a Cycle 1 right now.

    I’m all about knowing my blog friends as total people, not just the focus of the way they have set up their blogs, so I want to read anything you choose to post about. We are all so much more than weight loss or recipes or cooking. Even when you don’t think you have something to write about, just write!! We’ll read!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Sharon, I am planning on returning to cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet. Just didn’t know if it was wise to do that earlier while my body was trying to heal from my bone surgery. Now that I have more mobility and can cook, make smoothies and plan meals I can manage it with success. It does take planning ahead and I couldn’t wrap my mind around it before now.

      Thank you for the encouragement to write anything even if its not a recipe or food review. I feel like I would be letting readers down if I’m not sharing new food related posts and its good to know you don’t mind what the content is.

      I hope all is going well for you in Florida. Enjoy the warm weather.

  2. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    Darn! I’ve been eating Egglands Best because of my cholesterol and was just in Sam’s club yesterday and didn’t even think to look for them there!

    1. Tami says:

      Well next time I guess Karen! The Egglands are my favorite eggs and they are cheaper at Sam’s club. So much better for those of us with cholesterol issues.

  3. Denise says:

    Glad to hear you’re getting out some. I think you should just blog about anything you feel like. You are a great inspiration to me. I broke both my legs a few years ago and I believe I have never fully recooped. I’m still slow and lazy and need all the encouragment I can get. And I get it from you! How about a blog about breakfast? I know we should eat it everyday but sometimes I just get busy and skip it.

    Or maybe a blog on how to organize your time daily. Can you tell I need a jump start?

    Have a great weekend and PLEASE keep on blogging. Denise

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comments Denise. Wow – you broke both legs at the same time! I can only imagine how painful and frustrating your recovery must have been. Once we have broken a bone it seems like the soft tissue around that area always swells and is never quite the same. In 1998 I shattered my left ankle and it still swells at times – so crazy.

      It pleases me to think that in some way I have been an inspiration to you. It is a leap of faith to share my ups and downs in such a public forum. Comments like yours make blogging all worth while.

      A blog post about breakfast is a great idea! My son in law called me one morning and also suggested I post about breakfast ideas. I could use a few ideas myself as breakfast is the most difficult meal of the day for me.

      I could also learn a few things by posting about organization as I have been falling short in the department as of late. I even have a book on that topic to draw from.

      You have inspired me with some new blogging ideas. Thank you for taking the time to comment. You made my day! :)

  4. Linda says:

    Good morning from a fellow northern Californian! Tammy, I have been reading and greatly enjoying your posts for awhile now, one of your invisible fans! I wanted to thank you for posting during your recovery period with candor about your progress and recovery. Thank you so much for hanging in there–I really enjoy your posts and recipes, especially living in the same part of the state. Your recipes are awesome and just what I need to make healthy living a priority for 2013! Hang in there with your recovery, I can only imagine how frustrating but better, more active days are coming soon! God’s blessings to you and your family–Linda

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Linda! Thank you for coming out of lurking and being visible. :) I always wonder about who is reading the blog that hasn’t commented yet. The most rewarding part of blogging is making new friends. You have made so happy by leaving a comment! This forum allows us to “meet” folks who otherwise our paths would never cross. It’s awesome to know that you also live in Northern CA. We are so fortunate to live in an area that is rich with locally grown food and amazing variety unlike other parts of the US.

      What a delight to know you enjoy the recipes posted here. I hope you will continue to comment in the future as the feedback from readers like you is what keeps me blogging! Wishing you a healthy 2013!

  5. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    All this time, I thought Satsumas were a Louisiana thing!

    I read somewhere that the Central Valley was getting hit with a big chill. I hope not, for the growers’ sakes and for ours!

    So glad you were able to get out and burn off a little cabin fever, Tami! I was only on driving restriction for a couple of days when I had my foot surgery, so I didn’t have to deal with being housebound. I would’ve been blue, had that been the case.

    1. Tami says:

      Yes Cammy we are having a big chill! It got down to 29 last night, hubby Tom had to cover our Meyers Lemon Tree last night and it looks like there is more of the same ahead for a few days. Not good news for the citrus growers or us as consumers.

  6. Sue says:

    I also enjoy your food find entries. I was able to find the garlic infused oil at Sprouts. I bought a Misto at Costco, and we now roast vegetables using your method. Thanks for that suggestion.

    I am now participating in Bountiful Baskets, and today in our fruit basket was a green citrus labeled oroblanco. It looks very similar to your mellow gold grapefruit.

    I would like to see a post on visiting San Francisco or the areas surrounding it. I remember you mentioning that you travel there occasionally. We are planning to visit there in the summer. We have similar interests…walking, nature, and trying new food. So any suggestions, such as must see places or restaurants would be appreciated.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Sue,

      Glad you found the garlic infused oil at Sprouts. I haven’t been to our Sprouts in over a month! Once I start driving again I will make my rounds to all my favorite places to shop again.

      I have never heard of an Oroblanco – let me know how it tastes.

      We do enjoy San Francisco and there are some posts on the blog about some of our past visits that you might enjoy reading:

      http://nutmegnotebook.com/2011/09/good-times-in-the-city/
      http://nutmegnotebook.com/2011/07/bbq-turkey-burgers-muir-woods-hike/ – this is one of my most favorite places to visit in Northern CA
      http://nutmegnotebook.com/2011/07/fresh-strawberry-ice-cream-hiking-mount-tamalpais/
      http://nutmegnotebook.com/2011/07/hiking-in-san-francisco-and-dinner-at-el-paseo/
      http://nutmegnotebook.com/2010/09/san-franciscos-chinatown/
      http://nutmegnotebook.com/2010/09/breezy-in-the-bay/
      http://nutmegnotebook.com/2010/08/saying-adios-is-difficult/
      http://nutmegnotebook.com/2010/04/san-francisco/

      How long will you be in San Francisco? There is so much to do and see, it would take many days there to cover it all. Of course you want to see all of the usual tourist attractions such as Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Park which is filled with amazing museums, walking paths, a conservatory and a Japanese Tea Garden just to mention a few of the highlights. Other attractions include Alcatraz Island which requires a boat ride out and a tour so it takes up a chunk of time and although interesting if you don’t have several days in SF I would skip it, Pier 39 – a big tourist hot spot filled with touristy shops but we do like to eat at the Pier Market and order the salmon -and enjoy awesome sourdough bread, Fisherman’s Warf – sample some crab right there on the street and be sure to get some sourdough bread from Boudin’s Bakery – best bread ever! Coit Tower- an amazing view, Ghiradelli Square for awesome chocolate, Unions Sq for shopping galore! Ride a cable car for the experience, it’s actually really fun. Treasure Island is reached by a ferry, you can rent bikes and ride all over the island but it’s quite hilly and aggressive. You will be close to Napa Valley and wine country if you are into wine tasting – must make reservations ahead of time now to do that.

      Also along Embarcadero walk down to Ferry Building Market Place – on Saturday morning there is a Farmer’s Mkt, the inside of the building is filled with food related specialty shops and restaurants that are open everyday. Across the street on the weekends there is usually a street fair featuring local crafts and arts.

      Great idea to turn this into a blog post but I want to give you the links and ideas now so you can read up on them and ask me questions if you wish. San Francisco is hilly and you will walk everywhere so bring your most comfortable walking shoes, dress in layers as it can be quite windy and it cools off drastically in the evening. Feel free to ask me questions. :)

  7. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    Sorry so late. Been a bit busy! SO GLAD YOU GOT OUT!!! Beautiful pics & finds.

    On the other stuff – HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I totally get how you feel & although I have not been out for that long, my mind works like that too…. at least a shoe on ya & just hoping the healing continues & you can get back to some normalcy.. HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGS Tami!!!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Jody! Being busy is good right? Yep – it’s good to finally wear a shoe. Funny how we take such things for granted.
      Thanks for the hugs.:)

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