Free Cake!!

Not only do we have free cake at our birthday party, (if you come a little early, you might hear Mayor Bruce Bassett congratulate our Market board of directors and the whole MI community for supporting our market for the last 5 years,) and a chef demonstration at 11:30, we keep the party going into the night with a food truck round up at Music in the Park! That’s right, folks, you don’t have to cook lunch or dinner if you don’t want to, just leave it to the pros. (I highly recommend the seared ahi tuna from Big Food, either on grilled flatbread or on a bed of rice.)

My market plan is to drag my friend Lauren, who has NEVER BEEN TO THE MARKET (how can that be?  I don’t understand!) out for a little paddle board in the morning, then over to the market for some cake.

5th anniversary cake and berries?

Not sure we’ll have cream, but we will have cake and berries!

She will be so dazzled by the glistening array of fresh produce and delectable delights, she’ll be inspired to plan a week’s worth of menus.  Some juicy tomatoes, nectarines, bright peppers and crunchy snap peas, a little fresh pasta and salmon, some organic meat and chicken, a little crusty bread and organic goat cheese, a few salted caramels and then some aromatic coffee, she’ll find it all.  She’ll be blown away by the Piccola wine in a bag, and Camp Robber jams, and she’ll have to try some of Purdy’s Pickles.  Lauren is an amazing cook, and will likely appreciate the ease of picking up prepared hummus and salsa and granola.  She will, of course, want some beautiful fresh flowers.  Maybe she’ll be so grateful I convinced her to come, she’ll even buy a bouquet for me!

You should bring a friend along tomorrow, too.  We can all meet up for cake! After we fill our market bags and bellies, we can all go home and take a nap, and regroup later at Mercerdale Park for some pizza or veggie quesadillas or gourmet burgers, and listen to Garrett & Westcott (Garrett and Westcott Home) croon the blues. Afterwards, we’ll dance our way home and sleep like well-fed, happy babies.

  • 10:45 – 11:00 Bruce Bassett  Congratulate the MIFM Board  and the community supporting market for the last 5 years
  • 11:00 – 11:15  Recognition to Aljoya as the Golden Apple Sponsor
  • 11:00   to 1:00 or when supplies run out:   Sampling Berry Shortcake until supplies run out (Kari Fisher and Jackie
  • 11:30 – 12:00  Chef Nathan – Salmon over Green Tea Noodles
  • 5:30 – 8:30  MI Food Trucks & Mostly Music in the Park, Come for Dinner & Music
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5th Birthday for our Market!

We will be celebrating with a special birthday cake with fresh berries which we will share with everyone at 11AM. Please join us!

This Sunday, August 12, is the 5th anniversary of the Mercer Island Farmers Market. To help us celebrate, our longtime friend and supporter, Chef Nathan Zielski from Lilly’s at Aljoya, will show us how to make his sublime Pacific Rim Salmon with Green Tea Noodles. (I’ve eaten this dish at Lily’s, and it is SO good, you’ll want to stop by and learn his secrets!) 

Garrett & Wescott will be on hand to sing some blues, and at the kids’ table, Judy Witmer will demonstrate how to make very berry ink.

If you haven’t been to our market in a while, be sure to check out some of our newest vendors.  I love the salsa from the Seattle Salsa Guy.  I eat his salsa with a spoon, like gazpacho, or put it on scrambled eggs or grilled chicken.

Because I am currently on a gluten free kick, I’ve had to break my normal routine of starting my market day with a cranberry orange scone from Snohomish Bakery (it’s just temporary, Snohomish! I’ll be back, I promise) and check out alternatives. I used to be one of those uninformed haters who disparaged gluten free bread (“Why bother?”) until I tasted Manini’s. It looks good, it smells even better, but still, I was like a suspicious kid, afraid to even taste it. Silly me! Their gluten-free bread really is delicious, soft and pillowy yet firm enough to stand up to a tomato sandwich.

My friends and I rave about Abu Eden’s hummos. Seriously, everything they sell is delicious, and fresh.  I’m also avoiding caffeine for a while, and I found just the thing to pick me up and soothe my head at Theo Dorre’s Tea: an herbal tisane.  Each week she comes up with a new alchemy from the season’s harvest.  Check out what she has this week.

5th Anniversary Fun at the Market

This Sunday, August 12, is the 5th anniversary of the Mercer Island Farmers Market. To help us celebrate, our longtime friend and supporter, Chef Nathan Zielski from Lilly’s at Aljoya, will show us how to make his sublime Pacific Rim Salmon with Green Tea Noodles. (I’ve eaten this dish at Lily’s, and it is SO good, you’ll want to stop by and learn his secrets!) 

Garrett & Wescott will be on hand to sing some blues, and at the kids’ table, Judy Witmer will demonstrate how to make very berry ink.

If you haven’t been to our market in a while, be sure to check out some of our newest vendors.  I love the salsa from the Seattle Salsa Guy.  I eat his salsa with a spoon, like gazpacho, or put it on scrambled eggs or grilled chicken.

Because I am currently on a gluten free kick, I’ve had to break my normal routine of starting my market day with a cranberry orange scone from Snohomish Bakery (it’s just temporary, Snohomish! I’ll be back, I promise) and check out alternatives. I used to be one of those uninformed haters who disparaged gluten free bread (“Why bother?”) until I tasted Manini’s. It looks good, it smells even better, but still, I was like a suspicious kid, afraid to even taste it. Silly me! Their gluten-free bread really is delicious, soft and pillowy yet firm enough to stand up to a tomato sandwich.

My friends and I rave about Abu Eden’s hummos. Seriously, everything they sell is delicious, and fresh.  I’m also avoiding caffeine for a while, and I found just the thing to pick me up and soothe my head at Theo Dorre’s Tea: an herbal tisane.  Each week she comes up with a new alchemy from the season’s harvest.  Check out what she has this week.

No market this week!

Enjoy the Blue Angels tomorrow, and join us next week as we celebrate our 5th anniversary with Chef Nathan Zielske from Lily’s Restaurant, who will share his recipe and demonstrate how he prepares Pacific Rim salmon with green tea noodle salad.  We have lots of fun in store for you, including berry shortcake for all, so stay tuned for more details.

Sensitive In Seattle Likes Our Market!

This week we are sharing excerpts from a post by Marla, a wonderful blogger who writes about living with food sensitivities in Sensitive in Seattle (Better living through better eating | Sensitive In Seattle).

Gluten-free Strawberry Apricot Muffins: A Taste of Summer

Posted on July 22, 2012

This weekend was the first time I was able to check out the Mercer Island Farmers Market.  It’s a pretty cool little market!  About half of the vendors are organic and there are TWO organic berry vendors.  There’s also smoked salmonManinis Gluten Free, fresh made gluten-free soup, and Abu-Eden Hummus, who also makes gluten-free falafel.  I spent way more than I had planned but I came home with a full market bag: falafel & babaganoush, organic red bell peppers, smoked salmon, a flat of organic strawberries & raspberries, and organic apricots and cherries.  Maninis had apricot muffins at their booth today and I got inspired.  I was so excited to have time to bake this weekend that I went straight to the kitchen and baked up these beauties.  They taste like a summer pool party in my mouth and I think you’ll enjoy them just as much as I do.

This recipe is very versatile, so feel free to use any combination of fruit that you have on hand.  Makes 6 jumbo, 8 medium or 12 small muffins.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, preferably on the convection setting.  Grease or line your muffin tin of choice with paper liners.

6 oz gluten-free baking mix of choice (a blend of flour and starch)
2 oz quinoa hot cereal flakes
1.5 oz blanched almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or 1/2 cup and omit the agave nectar)
1/4 cup agave nectar (or 1/2 cup and omit the maple syrup)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 heaping cup chopped strawberries, patted dry
1/2 heaping cup chopped apricots, patted dry

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the almond meal, quinoa flakes, flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, sea salt, and cinnamon.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on low the maple syrup, agave, beaten eggs, and vanilla. Once combined, add the oil.  Mix well and then add the dry ingredients.  Beat the batter until it is smooth.  Stir in the berries and apricots.

Spoon the batter into 8 or all 12 muffin cups.  Bake in the center of your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the muffin tin on a wire rack for a few minutes before turning them out to cool completely.

Soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free, peanut-free

Cat/Cows and Jazz Squares at the Market 7/22

Stretch and bend! and jump! jump! jump! It’s time to pull out your yoga moves and jazz hands. This Sunday at the market we celebrate Mercer Island in Motion, with help from Lori Hallow and Maria Bliss, and the Texas Swing sounds of Fred Fast and His Frettin’ Fools. All ages are invited to participate.  

In addition to our Sampling of Summer Drinks – Infused with fresh market herbs and fruits, we will also be sampling berries! 

Other market news:

Alvarez Farms will have Cukes, carrots, green beans and new crop garlic, Walla Walla sweet onions, all varieties of squash, garlic braids, and 10 varieties of new crop potatoes. If you have a favorite recipe for potato salad, please share it below, and we will post on this blog.

Heaven Scent Lavender will have fresh lavender bouquets for sale.

Here is a list of our 2012 Winners from the Pie and Dessert Baking Contest:

PIE

1st PlaceSummer Harvest Berry Pie            Tanya Bednarski and Miranda Johnson (13 yrs old)

2nd PlaceRaspberry Cream Pie                    Ellena Jones

DESSERT

1st PlaceNectarine, Blueberry and               Cynthia Shifrin

Strawberry Galette with

Macadamia and Oat Crumble

 

2nd PlaceRaspberry Peach Crumble             Kindred McQueen

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

1st PlaceRaspberry-Filled Devil’s Food Cupcakes             Carina Williamson

 

Missing Mercer Island

I have been waiting seven long months for the return of the farmers market to Mercer Island – it is one of my favorite things about living here. (Other favorites include paddle boarding on Lake Washington, all the cashiers at the north end QFC, cocktails at Stopsky’s, and the MISD music program.)

So opening day is this Sunday, and I am out of town!

Granted, I am in very lovely Knoxville, TN for the US Rowing Youth National Championships, where things are warm and sunny, but I really want to be back on the rock for Sunday. What I most want is to catch up with all my market friends, those people I rarely see during the rest of the year, but run into just about every Sunday, like Howie and Gina Schneiderman. I want to have a chat with the friendly family from Crown S Ranch, and exchange pleasantries with the cute Italian pasta seller.  I want to reserve my order for 4 orange cranberry scones from Snohomish Bakery and  sample some spiced apple cider from the cider guys.  There are two empty  cider jugs in my garage, taking up space since last Thanksgiving, waiting patiently to be refilled.  I want to dance in the street, or at least tap my toes and enjoy the live swing music, and the little kids who dance with abandon. I want to see what the Master Gardeners have going on, and check out all the new food trucks I’ve been reading about.

The Mercer Island Farmers Market continues to evolve and improve, and each year I love it a little bit more.  You won’t see me this weekend, but look for me in July, pulling my red wagon, sitting on the curb eating my lunch, or socializing my way down the stalls. If you go on Sunday, and you really should, let me know what looks good. I’m thinking of all my favorite summer recipes: bruschetta and spanikopita, fruit crisps and pasta primavera, swiss chard quiche with goat cheese, my kids’ favorite purple potato salad with yogurt and scallions and mint.  Sniff  the flowers for me, hug your friends, welcome back the wonderful farmers and vendors, and tell them I say hello.