Farmer’s Market Find: Rose Germanium and Hot Chocolate

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I really had no desire to get out of bed early on Saturday morning. It was raining, cold, and dark. Though, I really wanted to get Recchiuti’s hot chocolate, farm fresh eggs, and a few other things that I would need for a holiday brunch potluck.  I am so glad I went to the Ferry Plaza Market because:

A little mistletoe action by the doorway to get the party started.

I have a good Aloe Vera story, but will save it for later. I was surprised to see it being sold at the Farmer's Market. It's grown locally but is native to dry, warm weather.

I bought this beautiful Acme bread to complete a cheese platter.

Rose Germanium. It's really special and good for tea and baths.-Eatwell Farms

Inside the Ferry Building

Pineapple Mint and Edible Flowers, a sweet holiday gift from Heirloom Organics.

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Recipe

Ingredients Serves 2.
1/4 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups whole, organic milk
2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
8 ounces semi-sweet cacao chocolate*, chopped
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Add water and cinnamon sticks to a stainless steel pot and place over medium heat. Once the cinnamon sticks open up, add the milk and vanilla.
2. When milk mixture is hot, add the chopped chocolate and salt. Stir constantly with a whisk or blend with an immersion blender until the chocolate is incorporated with the milk.
3. When mixture is starting to simmer, take off heat and serve.

*For the best results, use fairly traded, minimally processed chocolate. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.

Happy Holidays!

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Eating Beyond The Holidays (With Recipe)

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A few weeks ago I attended a Thanksgiving cooking demo at We Olive SF, a sustainable olive oil store. Teresa studied holistic nutrition, manages Oak Hill Farm’s CSA program, and has started Can Can Cleanse. Teresa showed us how easy it is to prepare seasonal food for a holiday gathering. It got me to thinking that often times, Seasonal Food is also known as Holiday Food to be only consumed on holidays. Well then, what about rest of the season? We don’t need to wait until Thanksgiving or any holiday to eat fresh, homemade dishes. Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, are available throughout Fall and Winter and there a ton of ways to enjoy these foods.

The dishes served at the holiday dinner table are richer and more decadent (more fats and sugars), which makes that meal so enticing and is nothing to feel guilty about. Though, the same ingredients can be prepared in a healthier way for daily consumption. The food that is grown locally and seasonally should be eaten everyday and not just saved for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  The turkey or ham may take center stage, but the abundance of vegetables (green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, potatoes, Brussels sprouts) really make up the holiday table.

It’s always been all about the vegetables.

Butternut Squash soup is easy to make, delicious, and very healthy.

Brussels Sprouts are another typical holiday side dish that can be enjoyed any night of the week. Brussels sprouts are easy to pack also, so you don't have to resort to fast food for lunch.

Homemade Cannellini Bean and Rosemary Dip

Winter Squash Salad with Arugula, Feta & Pine Nuts

This recipe is modified from Teresa Piro’s Thankful Soups and Sides cooking demo at We Olive SF. It is a mouthwatering salad that looks really pretty and elegant. The salad is packed with antioxidants and flavor that you will want to eat it everyday. The warm squash makes the salad perfect for a cold, winter evening, also.

Ingredients
2 cups Delicata squash, seeded
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup feta, crumbled
2 tbs pine nuts, toasted

1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup arugula

Preparation
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut squash into 1 inch squares. In a large mixing bowl,  toss squash,  sea salt, black pepper, and  olive oil to coat the squash well. Evenly lay out the squash on a baking sheet. Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until soft, but not mushy. Remove from oven and let squash cool slightly.


3.  In the same mixing bowl, add roasted squash, feta, toasted pine nuts,  pomegranate seeds, extra virgin olive oil and gently toss. Garnish with arugula and serve.

A warm winter salad of squash, arugula, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds is soul satisfying and super simple to make, and is a perfect everyday meal.

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