Archive for the ‘Fruits’ Category

Peaches originated in China and are the oldest cultivated fruit.    They have been called the “Queen of Fruits.”  The lines to purchase peaches at many area farmers markets would indicate that is a good description of this popular fruit.

ImagePeach trees are a member of the rose family and peaches are classified as a stone fruit, or drupe.  They’re  divided into two categories—freestones and clingstones.  The flesh separates from the pit in freestones and they are preferred for eating.  They are commonly sold in stores and at markets.  The flesh sticks to the pit in a clingstone and they are often used commercially for canning.  Both freestones and clingstones can have white or yellow flesh.  White peaches are usually lower in acid.  Yellow peaches are the most popular in the United States.  The freestones are in season right now in both yellow and white.  (photo – peaches picked and more ready for picking at Pates Orchard in Stockton, Missouri)

It is hard to choose a peach by the exterior color because color varies by variety.  A nice peach aroma is a clue to choosing a tasty peach.  A peach should give slightly when squeezed in the palm of the hand but please don’t squeeze them at the market.  Market peaches are picked ripe and are fragile.  A gentle squeeze will leave a bruise which neither you nor the next customer will appreciate.

Peaches become softer after picking, but don’t actually ripen or become sweeter.   They can be softened by placing them in a loosely closed paper bag for a few days.  They are best stored at refrigerator temperature in a produce drawer.  Under ideal conditions, they will keep for about a week.   Peaches should be washed immediately before use.  Dipping them in boiling water for one minute and then immediately in ice water will make the skins easier to remove.   The addition of a citrus juice will help keep the fruit from browning if it is not going to be served immediately.

For full flavor, remove the peaches you plan to use from the fridge the evening before serving.

Peaches are an excellent, low calorie choice for a snack.  A medium peach is less than 40 calories and is a very good source of Vitamin C and a good choice of Vitamins A and B, energy, potassium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and iron.Peaches do not have any cholesterol, saturated fat, or sodium.  Peaches are in season, so visit your local farmers market and purchase a delicious, guilt-free snack.

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It’s strawberry season in Southwest Missouri and there is nothing better than a local berry so be sure to stop by your farmers market and enjoy the season.

Market Lady Trish Reed shares this recipe:IMG_0413

Cheese Cake Stuffed Strawberries

 1/2 tablespoon vanilla

1 box instant cheese cake pudding

Pint of heavy whipping cream

1 package of whipped cream cheese (8 oz)

2 quarts of fresh strawberries

 In a bowl combine all ingredients except fresh strawberries, put mixture in gallon zip lock bag, refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

 Wash strawberries and pat dry.

 Remove stem, invert and cut into quarters but not all the way through so the quarters stay together.  Put in fridge until cheese cake mixture is ready.

 Cut one corner off zip lock bag, and squeeze into opened quarters of strawberries.  Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

 Find more tasty recipes and tips at:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Market-Lady/132618160144643

trish reed

Market Lady Trish Reed


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A visit to a market will allow you to reap the best of locally grown products.  This mild winter and warmer than average spring has jump started everything it seems.  But, I’m not complaining.

The past three weeks I’ve been enjoying the sweetness of market strawberries.  Strawberries to me signals the start of the summer season!

If you haven’t had the chance to get out to your local market, now is the time.  Produce is rolling in at markets, so you better get your shopping on soon.

Here’s a fresh strawberry dressing that has been a staple on our dinner table for weeks now.  Maybe it’s my pregnancy cravings or maybe it’s the fresh taste, but I simple can’t get enough!

Market Salad with Fresh Strawberry Sauce
1 bunch of salad mix from market
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced thin
1/2 cup toasted almonds or walnuts

Fresh Strawberry Sauce
7 large strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
1 tablespoon of a high-quality balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon canola oil

Clean and rinse the salad mix to large bowl.  Add chicken slices and nuts.

For sauce: Place strawberries, vinegar, pepper, sugar and salt in a blender or food processor; process until pureed, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. Add oil and process until smooth.  Drizzle over the top of the salad and enjoy!

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Our family has always eaten well, but too much of anything isn’t a good thing. So, that’s why we’ve decided to make healthier eating choices. Now, don’t think that means you won’t see me post deliciously divine desserts from time to time, but eating healthier has been a goal for my family and this recipe is a perfect start.

This is a Weight Watchers recipe that a friend passed along to me.   I decided to try it after she raved about it at a recent lunch.   These muffins with homemade strawberry sauce are amazing and healthy!

I was stunned on how good the strawberry sauce was…..I could have just eaten it alone. The best part is it’s strawberry season in the Ozarks…look for strawberries to be ripe for the picking soon, although I’ve seen two markets already have them for sale.

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Lemon Yogurt Muffins with Fresh Strawberry Sauce
from Weight Watchers

2 spray(s) cooking spray
2 cup(s) strawberries, finely chopped, divided
2 Tbsp strawberry jam
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cornstarch
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
2 large egg(s)
8 oz Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free Lemon Yogurt, or similar product
1/3 cup(s) sugar
1/4 cup(s) canola oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest, or more to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-hole muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup strawberries with next 4 ingredients; set over medium-low heat. Cook until boiling, whisking constantly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup strawberries; set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs; whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients and spoon in egg mixture; gently fold to combine.

Fill each muffin hole 3/4s full with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from oven and serve each muffin with 1 heaping tablespoon strawberry sauce on top.

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Pork Loin with Roasted Apples

Cooking with fresh products truly makes any dish tastier.  I am always trying to find new ways to incorporate local products in my meals, whether that is adding a local vegetable for a side, preparing meat that comes from a area farmer, using eggs from Martha down the road or even indulging in locally made spirits – there is always room on the plate for local food.

With fall arriving that leads many consumers back to the stores for all their ingredients, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  Just because the summer harvest is complete, doesn’t mean that local produce and other items are tucked away until spring.  There’s a wealth of new fall harvest items just waiting to be discovered.  Winter squashes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, lettuce and apples are just a few.

Don’t be afraid in trying a new vegetable, you never know what new taste you will find.

Here is a recipe that I stumbled onto a couple weeks ago, while trying to figure out what to do with my surplus of apples.  (I somehow always purchase WAY too many when I stop in at farms.)

My husband and I decided we wanted to try a new pork loin recipe and upon searching for roasted pork loin and apples I found a number of choices, but decided that the following recipe seemed simple enough, but tasty.  And, I was correct.  The sauce that the juices and reduced apple cider create is amazing.  I used 4 apples instead of the 2 that the recipe calls for.

Even our toddler gobbled up this dinner.  I hope your family it enjoys this meal as much as mine did…it’s a keeper.

Roast Pork Loin with Apples
from Food Network
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (2-pound) boneless center cut pork loin, trimmed and tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, thickly, sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 apples, such as Cortland or Rome peeled, cored and cut into 8 slices
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large ovenproof skillet heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Season the pork loin all over generously with salt and pepper. Sear the meat until golden brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate and set it aside.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herb sprigs, and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet. Stir until the vegetables are browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sliced apples, then push the mixture to the sides and set the pork loin in the middle of the skillet along with any collected juices on the plate. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the loin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 140 to 150 degrees F, about 30 to 35 minutes. (See Cook’s Note.)

Transfer the pork a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil while you make the sauce. Arrange the apples and vegetables on a serving platter and set aside. Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Return the skillet to a high heat and add the vinegar scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up any browned bits. Reduce by half then add the cider and reduce by about half again. Pull the skillet from the heat and whisk in the mustard, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Remove the strings from the roast and slice into 1/2-inch thick pieces and arrange over the apple mixture. Drizzle some sauce over meat and serve the rest on the side.

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Apples at the Market

It’s apple season, so take advantage of the fresh local apples in your area.  Pack up the family for a weekend trip to a local orchard for some apple and pumpkin picking- I promise it will provide loads of fun for your little ones.

If you don’t have plans this weekend then you are in luck!  Downtown Springfield will be home to the Food Day Celebration on Saturday from 10 am- 6pm.  I will be presenting some of my favorite fall cooking demos, including this simply amazing Apple & Walnut Salad- that is a hit with my toddler.  Come on out this Saturday and take a taste for yourself!

Apple & Walnut Salad
2 local apples, diced (1/4 inch)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 ribs celery, diced (1/4 inch)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped local walnuts that have been toasted
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup  mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place apples in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.  Add walnuts, celery and raisins and fold together.  In a small bowl combine the sour cream and mayo and then fold together with the apple and walnut mixture.  Season with a little salt and pepper.

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Apple Crepes

Cooking at the Taste of Springfield Event

Apple season.  That is when I know that fall is in full-swing.  Baskets of apples, pies and rich cider all make this time of the year so special.

To indulge in the fall spirit I’ve got a simple apple dessert that will bring a smile to your face!  Apple Crepes are easy to make for a weeknight dessert, but elegant enough to serve for a special dinner as well.

I prepared this recipe at the recent Taste of Springfield event, with suggestion from my friend Marina Backes of Circle B Ranch, and the crowd went wild from the smell of simmering apples in butter and cinnamon.  And to top the dessert I drizzle a caramel sauce over the crepe that really gives is a kick.

Around my house we make crepes for breakfast and dessert.  With all the apples I have from some local stops at orchards- I’m going to be making a LOT of these over the next month!

Apple Crepes
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour, sifted
2 tablespoons sugar (for batter)
4 tablespoons sugar (for filling)
2 large apples
3 tablespoons butter
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Caramel Sauce and powdered sugar for garnish

Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Toss them with 4 Tbsp. sugar and the cinnamon. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan, add the apples and saute until soft. Set aside. Beat the eggs with the milk, add the flour and remaining sugar. Give the batter a few swift strokes to avoid lumping.

Heat a 6-inch non-stick pan almost to the smoking point, add a few drops of oil, then just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan. Allow the crepe to brown, then flip. Repeat the process until all the batter is used. Lay the crepes out on a work surface, place some apple filling in each and roll. Reheat in the oven or serve at once. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with caramel sauce.

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This Blueberry Pie cooking video will help you show off your skills in the kitchen with my tricks to making the perfect pie crust and blueberry filling.  This is a great recipe for the fall when using all those local blueberries you frozen to savor the season.

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Cantaloupe Refresher Video

A great refresher drink from the Laclede County Farmers Market in Lebanon, Mo.

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Homemade Apple Butter

I remember watching my grandmother make homemade apple butter in her farm kitchen.  It would take all day, but it was well worth the work!  She used her Crock Pot to slow cook the mixture, which she said made the taste even better.

She and I would make a trip to a market or a local orchard to pick up our apples and pay a visit to a couple of her lady friends, which she would always have extra apples for.

Local apples will start showing up at the farmers markets and roadside stands soon…so be ready!  This is a perfect recipes for those of you wanting to try your hands at making your own apple butter this season.

Local Apple Butter
5 1/2 pounds of local apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped
4 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a slow cooker place apples.  In a bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook the mixture on high for 1 hour.  Then, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 hours, stirring about every 2 hours.  Uncover the slow cooker and continue to cook for one more hour and whisk the mixture well.

Spoon mixture into canning jars or freeze.  Enjoy all season long!

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