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The Farmers' Market 
Sep. 16, 2010 1:45 am 
Updated: Sep. 29, 2010 8:28 am

On Tuesday I ventured to our local farmers market in search of pumpkins that I could turn into pumpkin puree since I can't seem to find any in the stores. I knew that I needed a different kind of pumpkin than the ones you carve jack-o-lanterns with, I just wasn't sure what kind, or if they would even have any at the farmers market, since the grocery store only had the little decorating pumpkins so far this year. The town I live in has a farmers market of sorts, but its not much to speak of and is more a place for people who have placed orders with the co-op online to pick up what they ordered. So, I drove the 30 minutes to downtown Little Rock where there is a space that the city created just for the farmers market. It gets used for other things too, but its a pretty neat area, and definitely admirable that the city cared about having a place to host the market. It goes on 2 days a week, Tuesday and Saturday, with Saturday being much bigger of course. 

This is the building that runs next to the outdoor area where the market is. Inside this building is an interesting array of food vendors. It kind of reminds me of a food court, but without the obligatory chick fila. There is an Indian place, a Cajun place, sandwiches, vegetarian, Asian... lots of interesting stuff. You could even buy uncooked bacon to take home, or cupcakes from a local bakery. This is a picture of the inside. Its open every day, but closes at about 4pm, I think. 

Anyway, the only thing I bought from inside was some coffee. Normally, I just buy plain old coffee from the grocery store. I drink way too much of it to spend a ton of money on it. I do, however love me some hazelnut, so every now and then I splurge on an expensive bag of hazelnut coffee. 

I wandered inside and stood before a display of coffee. The bags had the name of the retailer on them, as well as the place where the coffee was roasted. I asked the man at the counter where it came from, and little did I know, there is a place in Jacksonville, AR that they get it from. I bought a bag of my treasured hazelnut, and it was cheaper than any specialty coffee I can get at Kroger, thats for sure. This is where the coffee came from. I brewed a pot this morning, and its pretty good. I always feel good about supporting a local company, and am glad I found this. I may just order coffee directly from this website from now on. Hooray for finding things you didn't know existed before!

I went on outside to get down to business... I did after all, come for pumpkins. It wasn't very busy because of it being tuesday, but I spotted some pumpkins right away. I started asking about which kinds of pumpkins I needed, and quickly found out that I need "sugar" or "spice" or "pie" pumpkins. All the same thing, just called different names depending on who you are. They are smaller than regular pumpkins, but not teeny. Apparently, the big pumpkins are usually too big and stringy to bake with good results. Here is an AR article about baking with pumpkins.<  The farmers were very helpful in explaining to me that the greener the stem on a pumpkin or squash, the fresher and more recently picked it is, which is a good thing right? As it turns out, none of the pumpkins available at the market were the ones I needed. One farmer said that they just weren't ready to harvest yet, but that he should have some in the next week or so. I ended up buying quite a few things anyway, since I was there and all. 

Downtown Little Rock is actually kind of quaint and cute, so I took a few photos of the scenery. 

It was a nice, warm but overcast kind of day, so I took the time to wander around downtown by myself a bit. I stepped into a few shops, and had a bowl of soup for lunch. Sometimes its nice to explore a little. 

I got home and unloaded everything. I ended up with enough stuff to keep me busy creating fresh foods for myself this week. It may not look like much, but its just me here this week, so its plenty, and all for about $14. Including the coffee. 

A few tips for a happy farmers market experience: 

1.   Bring your own grocery bag. Otherwise, every single time you buy something, they will bag it individually in those plastic grocery sacks. I have a giant canvas one that I got from Kroger that I love. I can fit all my farmers market finds in one bag. I usually bring a few plastic grocery bags as well, in case I buy a bunch of something small, like cherry tomatoes, or if something is damp, like greens. 

2.    Don't be shy. Ask the person running the table if they are the farmer. If not, where did the food come from? Do they know if the farm is organic? How long ago was it picked? Ask lots of questions and get to know and trust the farmers you buy from. They will appreciate your loyalty, and you will appreciate knowing where your food came from. This will also help you avoid the bigger sellers who truck their stuff in from who knows where. One guy had georgia peaches the other day, complete with stickers.... I can get those at the grocery store, thank you very much. 

3.    Understand that some things are going to be more expensive than they are at Wal-Mart. This is is simply because you are paying for quality. Major grocery stores get their produce from large farms who are able to produce things cheaper. If you are getting an organic product from a nearby small farm, then chances are, someone worked really hard on it. You may pay more, but the health benefits are better for you and your family, and you are helping to support the local industry. 

4.   The earlier you go, the better, especially on a busy Saturday. By noon, most of the good stuff will be picked over. 

5.    Also, understand that you may not be able to get strawberries and spinach in October, or squash and apples in May. This is because those things aren't in season at the time. (They may be in certain areas where the weather is warm year round). When you get those things from a grocery store out of season, they have likely come from very far away (or were grown indoors). 

6.    Have fun! I am not saying you should buy everything from a local farmer, just that in most places, its available to you in the summer, so why not take advantage. We don't have things like apples here yet this year, so I still have to go to the grocery store for certain things. 

What to do with all this loot?? 

I sauteed a few of the zucchini for my dinner tuesday night along with these baked chicken nuggets. I just sliced the zucchini, and cooked for about 5 minutes in a little olive oil with some salt, pepper, and a smushed garlic clove. My computer is trying to tell me that smushed isn't a word, but I don't care. Its a word I use daily! I refuse to correct it. Take that computer! What were we talking about? Zucchini. I was a little upset because they had a bitter taste. I am not sure what causes this, it could have been a lack of water when they were growing, or that there was some sort of chemical that I didn't scrub off well enough. Either way, I ate some, but couldn't get over the bitter taste. I hate it when things like that happen, and plan to ask the guy I bought them from about it next time I see him. 

The chicken was a new recipe for me, and it was ok. I liked the idea of it, because I love fried chicken but accept the fact that its terrible for me. I also like chicken nuggets (call me a child, I don't care), but hate that they are usually made with all kinds of processed meats and strange unidentifiable ingredients. I figured I could give this recipe a try, and eat the leftovers on top of a salad. I didn't follow the recipe because I was trying to lighten it up a little. I used milk instead of butter when breading the chicken. I think that was probably a mistake so if I make it again, I will just use the butter. I also baked them on a rack instead of directly in the pan, because a lot of reviews said this would make them crispier. However, mine weren't that crispy anyway, so maybe I should just start following recipes. I don't know if I will ever learn. I will probably try this again, because it was quick and relatively simple, but it needs a little adjusting. 

Back to the produce! I roasted the butternut squash on wednesday. I just sliced it in half, scooped out the seeds, put a little margarine in their place, and baked cut-side down in an 8x8 dish. I think I did 375 for about 30 minutes, and it was plenty of time. You will know its done when you can easily insert a fork. 

I ate some of the squash completely by accident! I got a phone call right as I was taking it out of the oven, and I was kind of hungry, so I stood there and ate it right out of the pan with a fork. It was so good just plain like it was. My plan for it was soup however, so once I realized what I was doing, I put down the fork and saved the rest. 

I made this  
butternut squash soup recipe with what was left. My squash was small, so after eating some I only had about 2 cups. I just cut the recipe down to 2 servings. It is actually a pretty good soup. Next time I will leave out the cayenne, because it just wasn't to my liking in this recipe, but other than that, it was a great way to use a butternut squash. Simple too, I think it only took about 10 minutes, since I had already baked the squash. I cooked the onion in the margarine and then added all the other ingredients except the cream cheese.

I let that boil for a minute, then lowered the heat and added the cream cheese. I used the 1/3 less fat variety. Here is where it gets fun. My best friend got me an immersion blender for my birthday last February. (because best friends know you need things like that for those rare times you make soup that needs to be blended). So, I just got out my trusty immersion blender, and blended it all up right there in the pot. 

For those of you who don't know about the immersion or "hand" blender. Its basically a mini-blender on a stick that you can use to blend up things such as soup without having to transfer it back and forth to a blender or food processor. I have used it for blending up salad dressings and marinades that have onions and garlic in them as well. My grandparents use theirs for smoothies and powder-type protein shakes. It has many uses, but I will be honest and say that I don't use mine too often. Its nice because you can blend something up a lot, or just a little. Here is a link to the Oster website. Oster This is the same one that I have, and unless you will be using it a lot, I don't think there's much reason to pay more for a fancier one. 

Back to the soup. After I blended it, I let it heat just a little, but the recipe directions say not to boil again. Probably because of the cream cheese. I know some dairy products get "grainy" if you let them boil. Then, I tasted it and added a dash of garlic powder. It sure was a pretty soup. 

So there you have it, another example of something fresh and tasty that is also quick and easy to prepare. I think it would be a complete meal if you added a grilled ham and cheese, or a salad with some leftover turkey or chicken on it. I was happy with just a nice slice of bread. Granted, I eat vegetarian quite a bit, but understand that a lot of people need meat to make a meal. 

I am not sure what I will end up doing with the rest of my farmers market produce. The potatoes will probably end up being crash hot potatoes because I have an obsession with them. I don't usually buy so many cucumbers, so I might slice them up and marinate in a little vinegar with some of the tomatoes. I am open to suggestions on the eggplant. Anyone got ideas?? And of course, we all know the coffee will be injected daily. lol

I hope enjoyed you glimpse into my local farmers market. If you want to find one in your area, this is a good place to start. I searched online and found quite a few cities in the U.S. who have really large farmers markets. Some of them open year round. I wish I lived in one of those places. Check out this site Anyone live near one of those markets? 

I guess it wouldn't be right to leave you without a pic or two of the pups. Lets see.... this is what Ellie did while I made the soup. She has a bed in the kitchen (red to match my towels of course, lol) because she can't stand to be without me, but gets tired while I'm cooking. Yes, those are my hair ties in the picture. She stole them from off the couch where I left them earlier because she is a puppy and thats just what she does. Though I am not sure what the appeal was, or why she decided to bring them to bed with her. I stole them back. 

And a little later she decided to go bug Miles, who is easily annoyed, but for some reason puts up with her. 

He looks like he is hiding all the toys. Probably because I'm not the only one Ellie likes to steal things from. I think he secretly likes her, but don't tell him I said that ; ) Thanks for reading again guys! I have no idea what's next, but I will try to make it worth reading. 

Sep. 16, 2010 1:46 am
I am so sorry the type is so small in most of it. This blog thing is really frustrating. I just couldn't get it bigger without it being huge. I will continue to make improvements as I get more used to the system, I'm sure.
Sep. 16, 2010 2:59 am
Hey Rose, the type is fine. Our favorite Saturday mornings are spent downtown at the Farmers Market. Love produce pics! I may just have to try some kind of squash soup this fall. Thanks, and have a great day. Maggi
Sep. 16, 2010 3:20 am
Sounds like you had a very good day at the Farmers Market. Nice blog.
Sep. 16, 2010 3:44 am
Good blog, very interesting to read. Your dogs are amazing.
Sep. 16, 2010 4:17 am
Do you want me to send you some cans of pumpkin? lol I'll be happy to!
Sep. 16, 2010 4:42 am
Fantastic blog, Rosepuddn! I feel as though I, myself, visited the Farmer's Market with you. Great writing and splendid photos as well. It's reassuring to see that other people come home and arrange their produce like flowers and photograph them, too! lol
Sep. 16, 2010 4:50 am
Oh, forgot to mention the adorable photo you use. Your babies are just so sweet!
Sep. 16, 2010 5:55 am
Those pups of yours are way too adorable, Rose. I'm no help with ideas for the eggplant as I cant'stand them. Have you tried Uncle Bill's Chicken Strips? We like them. They're tender and delicious. That soup looks good. Great blog, again! I like all the pics you include.
Sep. 16, 2010 6:07 am
Hooray for the Rivermarket and a local Arkanasan-ish! :D Did you happen to see *the* little rock for which the city is named? Eh ... There's a place near the base of Pinnacle Mountain that you can rent plots of land to grow your own produce (I think its like $60 a year and that pays for utilities). Methinks that is where some of the local produce comes from. Good, rich river soil down thataway ;) From what I've heard from my grandfather, that place has been there for quite some time. Thanks for the pics and sharing your tips! Your pups are precious! (And your food looks good, too lol)
Sep. 16, 2010 6:28 am
Just lovely! The soup looks fantastic and so does all the farm fresh produce. I feel like I just went on a mini stateside walk. Thanks, I enjoyed it very much.
Sep. 16, 2010 7:23 am
Hi Rose. I loved waking up to your blog this morning. I felt like I was right there in Little Rock with you. And thanks for the tips on how to get the most of your farmer's market experience! The tip about bringing a big canvas or cloth bag with you is a great one. Looking forward to more blogs from you.
Sep. 16, 2010 8:27 am
I used to use cream cheese in my butternut squash soup but found it to get too heavy even when I used Neufchatel Cheese. Now I use apples and it halps to thicken and goes very well with the butternuts. Great blog. It's been a while since business took me to Little Rock so now I think I need to go back.
Sep. 16, 2010 9:25 am
I'm making my butternut squash soup Asian style today by adding, among other things, roasted garlic rice vinegar.
Sep. 16, 2010 9:52 am
Rose, the pumpkin is a sugar pumpkin that is used for cooking. You can find them in your local Sprouts or organic stores most often. They are not quite ready for harvest, but in the next couple of weeks you should see more. You may be dissappointed in the results of a pumpkin pie using one, however. The flesh is difficult to get just right. However, canned pumpkin can be simmered on the stovetop before you mix it with pie ingredients. Simmering it for a few minutes removes the tin smell and aftertaste and your pumpkin really freshens up. It does actually work much better than fresh - and that's saying alot from me since I bake most everything from scratch. That's just one thing I've found doesn't work quite as well.
Sep. 16, 2010 10:56 am
When I make a pizza with lots of toppings, I'll put eggplant next to the crust to absorb some of the water from the toppings. I went to the Local Harvest site and was surprised that there was so much available in this area. TYhanks for that tip!
Sep. 16, 2010 12:41 pm
Those hounds are too cute! And, great blog, by the way, can't wait to read more of them!!
Sep. 16, 2010 2:38 pm
Great Blog ~ I love Farmers Markets too. We used to have a huge one in Bakewell, Derbyshire where I lived before moving to the states. You would always find me there, carrying my large wicker shopping basket!
Sep. 16, 2010 2:59 pm
Thank you for the trip to Little Rock. I loved the pictures. I also love butternut squash. Yours looks fabulous.
Sep. 16, 2010 3:59 pm
Thats awesome, I have some work to do LOL
Sep. 17, 2010 5:13 am
I have been to that market many times. I work only a few blocks from it. The Biff's coffee is good. I know the owners. I went to school with the son's owner. Where I work, I have been purchasing it from them for over 20 years. I stopped by Krogers in Sherwood on the way home yesterday and they had bunch of punkins (as my kid use to say) surrounded by mums outside. It really got me into the fall feeling even though it was 95 degrees outside.
Sep. 17, 2010 8:58 am
Rose, Fun to read your blogs. I'm not a native Arkansan but I live in Bentonville now and I also lived in Little Rock about 7 years when I was in my 20's. We had cooking pumpkins at our farmer's market last Saturday so they can't be far away for you down there! As for the eggplant, I like to grill slices of it along with some portobello mushroom slices and whatever other veggies you like (usually tomato, onion and basil for me) and use them on a pizza. I don't do dairy so I don't even add cheese on it, just tomato sauce and a homemade pizza crust. But I'm sure it would be great with cheese too! I like the all veggie version, but the portobello mushrooms give it a meaty flavor so even my meat-loving husband enjoys it! Best of luck with your endeavors. I am thirty-something but also appreciate simplicity in my life and fight to maintain it for the sake of my great family! I know that their health is better for it - physically, mentally and emotionally!
Sep. 17, 2010 10:47 am
Thank you so much to everyone who has read and commented here. I am so glad you enjoyed it!
Sep. 17, 2010 10:48 am
Monfort--- no reason to send me any pumpkin. I am sure I will live. Supposedly, there should be some on the shelves soon, and in the mean time, I can't wait to try making my own. Thanks so much for the offer though. If I wanted it that bad, I found it on amazon... I just couldn't bring myself to order 12 large cans, when I usually only use half of a small one in a recipe.
Sep. 17, 2010 10:50 am
Lace-- thanks for complimenting my photos and my pups. I think these silly dogs are the best things ever! And I am so glad you made some squash soup.
Sep. 17, 2010 10:53 am
Davidica... I have climbed pinnacle once, have you? The view from up there is very nice. I think my cousin told me about the plots of land and I would love to do that, but realistically, I probably wouldn't make it over there to tend to it as often as needed, so it wouldn't work out. Its interesting that they do that though. Apparently, the land wasn't good for anything else. My cousin said it floods every few years or something, so they couldn't use it to build anything on.... a blessing in disguise if you ask me!
Sep. 17, 2010 10:56 am
Nancypants--- so glad you learned something! your name makes me think of the tv show weeds.---- Doug, thanks for the tip about the apples in the soup. I will try that sometime.--- BellesAZ, thank you for your tips and experience. The main reason I was going to try fresh pumpkin is because of the lack of canned right now. I just can't find any. I understand what you are saying, as I am sure canned is just more consistent, but I still want to try making fresh once and see how I like it. Also, we don't have sprouts here, or any other organic foods store (still a little in the dark ages). We have a very small Whole Foods store, and I checked, but they only had decorator pumpkins. Thanks again.
Sep. 17, 2010 11:02 am
Mike, glad I could help you find a farmers market! Also, I have never had eggplant on pizza, so I might give that a try.--- Apple, I just might have to go buy myself a basket now. The image in my head is entirely too cute.... me carrying a big basket full of fresh veggies. ahhhh----Nana, Barley, and Witchy, thanks for the compliments, I am so glad you enjoyed reading!---- Meme, It makes me so happy to know that you know the owners, I am now even more confident in my decision to buy their coffee. I too am in the fall spirit, who cares if its still hot as July outside, I can turn on the ac and bake!---- Amelia, thanks for stopping by. Thats the second time someone has mentioned pizza for the eggplant, so I might have to give it a try. Although eggplant parmesan is calling my name, so I'm not sure..... Also, thanks for letting me know about the pumpkins! That means I should be able to find some very soon. Does benton have a very big market?? If they do, I might venture there for a look-see. Thanks again!
Sep. 18, 2010 1:42 am
I wish there was a Farmers Market near us we could visit! I enjoyed your blog, and like the pics. I am not usually an animal fan (probably some trauma when I was younger) but your pups are sweet. I have one of those blenders, but never knew it was called an immersion blender! My husband said to his mother one day 'you need a new blender. Why don't we take this one so you can buy a nice new one?' and he did the same for our microwave! Cheeky.
Sep. 18, 2010 9:50 am
Nice blog rose! When dairy becomes grainy it's called "breaking". That happens when there is too much heat too fast. Dairy should be heated slowly, then that won't happen, and rapid boiling is usually a no-no. Happy Saturday! (9/18)
Sep. 19, 2010 11:00 am
Hi Rose! I just got here, so I'm glad you are just starting and I can follow almost from the beginning. I wanted to tell you that some of the most beautiful pictures I have ever taken was at a Farmer's Market! Gorgeous strawberries that I first thought were tomatoes due to their size, and rows of tubs of the most colorful and varied olives I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing your field trip!
Sep. 20, 2010 6:36 am
Thanks for all the information. I visit two different farmer's markets in my area-New York, Hudson Valley region. I abosultely love seeing all the fresh vesgies and fruits. We also hava a wonderful bread bakery that really bake some unusual breads-or at least what I think are unusual. I have tried a few and hope to continue.
Sep. 20, 2010 9:16 am
Hey, thanks for the tips on the farmer's market! We have one in my town every thursday, although it's nowhere near as nice as your pics lol. But it's always nice to buy fresh fruit, and I did meet the fiance there (:
Sep. 20, 2010 9:59 am
Rosepuddn ~ I've climbed Pinnacle many times :o) Its the thing to do I guess lol! And I agree about the land being a blessing in disguise but I feel really bad for those nice houses out there o_0
Sep. 20, 2010 6:30 pm
Great article, and I love the way you write, thank you for all of the helpful information. I just recently joined this year but look forward to participating by adding some of my recipes that others may like. Please keep the great blogs coming.
Sep. 21, 2010 1:59 am
Your soup looks delicious and the dogs are precious. I grow my own vegetable garden and I left out butternut squash this season, I am deeply regretting that now.
Sep. 21, 2010 5:34 am
Thanks so much for reading everyone, and for making all three of my blogs hit the most popular link at some point! It might take me a while to post a new one, since I will be going to visit my grandma for a few days, but once I get back I will work on one. Thanks again. It means so much!
Sep. 21, 2010 8:50 am
Great site!
Sep. 21, 2010 9:36 am
Hi Rosepuddn..... Thank you for this sharing your visit to the Farmer's Market with all of us. I just love the pictures!!! Can you believe that tonight I will be making my first trip to our farmer's market--we have it on Tuesday evenings, so I'm heading straight there after work today. I'm so excited, and this article couldn't have come at a better time! Thank you for all the helpful hints--and yes, I have my canvas bags ready to go. I love butternut squash and have used the recipe from AR called Butternut Squash & Spicy Sausage by Minnesota_girl and have been making this soup for years now--my husband asks for it every fall!!! I use sweet italian turkey sausage as I'm not big on the spicy sausage and the turkey sausage has such nice flavor! This weekend I made some butternut squash and remembered from reading somewhere that we can eat the seeds from the squash. So I signed on to AR and found a recipe for roasted winter squash seeds by Blancheskid---so easy, so quick and yummy! I love eggplant, and usually cut it in thin slices the short way and dip it in egg whites, then in bread crumbs (mixed with my favorite spices & some parmesan cheese) lay them on a greased cookied sheet and spray them with olive oil. Bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes on each side---they get nice and crispy and taste delicious. I usually serve them with spaghetti and sauce, or just eat them like chips! OH YUM! Thanks again!!
Sep. 21, 2010 10:07 am
Oh, and I meant to say that I started cooking my own pumpkin last year because there was a shortage. I have already bought my sweet pumpkins and plan on doing the same thing this year. I am currently using last years batch that I froze---I can have pumpkin any time of the year!!! You can also use butternut squash in place of pumpkin in your recipes--I made a delicious butternut bread and just used the pumpkin spices that you would normally use--yummy!
Sep. 21, 2010 12:35 pm
What a cute pup! I love farmers' markets and really enjoyed your enthusiasm! First time to read your blog!
Sep. 22, 2010 8:53 am
hint on the bitter veggies: they were probably grown out of doors, some plants, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach etc... become "strong" or bitter if they receive too much sunlight. also i grow my own pumpkins, have never bothered with a sugar type and dont have any problems of course my pumpkins grow on a shorter season as elsewhere so that may make a difference in stringiness in the flesh. i just use a good blender! your blog was a delight to read, thank you!
Sep. 22, 2010 1:28 pm
Hey there Rosepuddin, I so enjoyed reading your market visit just now. Have to say this Blog thing is new to me but if they are all as wonderful as yours I guess i have been missing out..... anyway I just made mt first apple pie , went apple picking in Easton, CT. and my 7 year old son wanted apple pie. Its in the oven and smells superb. I tried the Festive apple berry receipe, we shall see soon!
Sep. 22, 2010 7:52 pm
youve never heard of pie pumpkins they are available everywhere you write a blog but it sounds like you dont use your computer very much all of your information is readily available if you just look for it
Sep. 22, 2010 11:42 pm
Eggplant casserole is wonderful and something my family loves. And it is oh so simple. Slice your eggplant 1/2 in thick and peel. Lay it on a paper towel, sprinkle it with salt and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. Spray a 9x13 baking pan. Dry off both sides of slices and lay in the pan so they are touching. put in a layer of sliced onions. How many depends on how well you like onions. Then make a layer of cheddar, making sure everything has a coat of cheese. How much cheese is up to taste. Repeat layers until everything is used or pan is full. It can also be made in smaller batches in an 8x8 pan. Kind of hard on the cholesterol numbers , but it is so good. Freezes well in one serving bits for lunches.
Sep. 29, 2010 8:28 am
Thank you to everyone who has commented since I was last here.... I took a little trip to help out grandma. Thanks so much for the info about bitter zucchini and eggplant cooking. I am so grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm you guys have shown for my blog. I promise I will write something new soon! And Ralph--- I do use my computer, quite frequently. I sometimes prefer to do things the old fashioned way, which you might know, had you read my other blogs. You know, face to face human interaction? Going to the source for my answers, not wikipedia. Anyway, you had absolutely nothing positive or constructive to say. I will not be blocking you, but next time, if you feel the need to say something, at least offer a website with the information on it, so that I can go and read, or offer a recipe, because thats all I asked for. Thanks!
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Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
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Conway, Arkansas, USA

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Dec. 2003

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Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert

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About Me
I am simple girl from Oklahoma. I love love love cooking, and always have. I like that lately I feel like I am getting much better at it. I have always been able to make just about anything with a recipe. I change recipes though, it feels to compliant to follow them I guess. I live with the love of my life, and our sweet bad dog, Miles. I love wine and beer, and finding and tasting new ones. I like doing crafts, helping friends, learning about new people and places, cultures, and religions. I love to travel. I teach daycare.... um, I take a lot of walks. I think thats about it.
My favorite things to cook
Soups Soups Soups and Cookies Cookies Cookies! I know, I know, I am trying to branch out more. I love mexican food, and experimenting with those flavors. I also love italian... who could dislike garlic and tomatoes? I love to bake, but don't have much of a sweet tooth, so I am a good person to be friends with or live next door to. Most of the time I am just cooking for myself, so I am a fan of things that taste even better reheated.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother didn't cook much, which is probably why I love it. She did make the occasional pot roast in the pressure cooker, but I am terrified of them because I once saw her blow a roast all over the ceiling. She did teach me how to make egg noodles and apple cake, so I have a few traditional recipes to hand down. I haven't really created many of my own traditions yet. I make pumpkin cookies in the fall, and pecan tassies for holidays. In the summer, I like to make strawberry cake. I love making cut out cookies and decorating them with my little sister. Oh, and champagne toast on Xmas day......
My cooking triumphs
My chicken enchiladas are to die for. No joke.... As well as that family recipe apple cake I mentioned above. I recently tackled pot pie from scratch with great results. I am cooking a lot more lately, and I love it.
My cooking tragedies
Im perfect... JK! Lets see.... I guess I haven't had anything too horrible happen. I have burned things, but who hasn't? I tend to add too much garlic, which sometimes ruins things. I also never do anything the same way twice... so I will spend my life trying to figure out how I got that chicken salad to taste so good.....
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