Mill City Farmer's Market Meal

Yesterday my husband and I had a wonderful morning at the Mill City Farmer’s Market. I was asked to shop the market and create a simple meal from what we purchase. We meandered the aisles, chatting with vendors about the mushrooms in season, the best bundle of beets and how to create the best sourdough bread. We spent a couple hours taking it all in, stopping for breakfast to mull over meal ideas and finally filled our basket to the brim with stunning produce.

My Garden Beds

Now the fun part! Let's start talking vegetables! Dreaming about plants is so much fun. I love to think though all different varieties, even way more than I could plant, then hone into the very best plants to grow for our palette, yield, and growing season. I also like to include a few varieties of things I have never grown or cooked to keep things interesting in the garden and kitchen.

New to the Garden

Every year I try to bring in new varieties of fruits and vegetables inspired by something we enjoyed from our local farmer’s market or from our travels. Many of the new vegetables I have chosen this season are from our vacations. I love how these vegetables where discovered through an experience or memory, and cannot wait to see how they grow in my own garden.

Crispy Celeriac Gnocchi with Oyster Mushrooms

The last few days we have opened up the windows, let the crisp spring air into the house, listening to the birds sing, welcoming in the beginning of spring. This time of year I long to be in the woods, seeing what is poking its green tips out of the ground, what animals are stirring, and hypothesize which trees with produce mushrooms this year.

Acorn Dye

I grew up in woods filled with white oak trees. The big beautiful trees would drop their tiny capped seeds each season, covering the ground with a blanket of acorns. As I have experimented more with natural dyeing, I have discovered acorns produce incredible colors in the dye bath. On their own, they produce soft and rich shades of golden brown, and when dipped in a second bath of iron water, they produce stunning shades of gray, from soft and dusty dove to rich charcoal.

A Gardener's Travels: Lispida & Venice

One goal I had for our trip to Italy last year was to experience fruits and vegetables in season in the part of the world that grows them best. As a gardener and cook, you never know what may inspire you, what you may find to grow in your own garden. Having a garden inspired by travel is so exciting, it’s like reliving the experience of enjoying the vegetable in a whole new way. I am so excited to share some of my favorite vegetable flavors and experiences from our trip. Check out the previous post to hear the first half of our trip starting in Rome and driving to Tuscany in our cute little Fiat Fabio.

Honeynut Squash & Leek Ravioli

This year I grew my very first batch of winter squash. I loved watching the vines creep and grow, winding there way up the lattice at the back of my garden bed, and even climbing up the deck stairs! The squash started out so small, swelling throughout the season and transforming into beautifully orange, perfectly tiny honeynut squash.

Homemade Ravioli

 Since Italy my passion for pasta has grown exponentially. I love to find a noodle with the perfect chew, rich egg flavor and ability to hold sauce and butter in a glossy rich coating. It’s important and changes the entire pasta eating experience. With ravioli, the focus is on the creamy consistency of the center.

Black Raspberry Jelly & Dye

Summer in the woods is one of the most rewarding seasons for foraging. This July I visited my parents for a few days and we spent every moment we could gathering from the woods, even putting on ponchos and heading out in the rain. Each morning we would wake up early, sit on their porch and look out into the trees, watching and listening as the forest would wake up. As the sun would rise, we would discuss what we might find on the raspberry and gooseberry bushes, or on the forest floor or base of trees.

Zeus Jones Garden Cocktails

One of the greatest parts of summer at Zeus is cocktails on the rooftop garden. The deck overlooks uptown Minneapolis, with the busy street below and the occasional smell of something amazing cooking at one of the  restaurants. Both ends of the deck have two mini garden beds, making the space like a little summer oasis. 

Homemade Pasta

One of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon is rolling out fresh pasta dough. The process of mixing the elements by hand, kneading it together and rolling it into thin sheets is so satisfying. 

Baby Beet Green Galette

So, as I carefully thinned my beets, I munched on one, mulling over the flavor. After much thought, I landed on this galette - a flaky buttery crust, topped with creamy whipped goat cheese and a mound of lemon-y beet thinnings. The flavors come together to perfectly enhance and compliment the delicate greens.

Radish Greens & Chive Butter

This year, I wanted to try something a bit different. One of my goals in creating recipes for Acre is to try and use the whole plant, not letting anything go to waste. So when it comes to radishes, what do you do with the greens? I have seen them added to salads, or left on the tops of radishes when you roast them, but not much else. This is where butter comes in (sweet, sweet butter). Here is a vibrant spring flavored butter that can be used to spread on your fresh spring radishes, or melt over a bowl of freshly steamed spring peas (or really, anything). I have used a mix of chives and radish greens, as the radish greens bring a bright spring flavor, and the chives add the kick of onion.

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Once I have stalks in my hands, I cannot wait to make rhubarb custard pie. I grew up eating my grandmas recipe, which was tart and simple. Once married, I made my husband’s great grandmas recipe, which was extra sweet and creamy, topped with meringue. I realized I craved something in the middle.

5 Tips for Planting Day

It is Mother’s Day weekend, which means it is officially garden planting weekend! You would feel the excitement this week at our local urban farm supply store, as people loaded up with plants, purchased their spring chicks and hauled giant bags of dirt. As you all are out planting, wanted to do a quick post on some planting tricks I have found super helpful in my garden! 

Amending Garden Soil

It's planting weekend! As many of you head out to the garden beds this Mother's Day, one thing to consider is the soil you are planting your precious veggie babies into. Plants need a mix of different factors to thrive. To set myself up for success, I take a couple things into consideration as a prepare my garden beds for planting: the soil pH, adding compost and top soil, and fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer. I will break down the importance of each, and how I go about adding these to my beds.

Black Walnut-Dyed Cowl Pattern

I am so thrilled with how my walnut dyed yarn turned out, and could not wait to turn it into a usable piece! I love the idea of having knitted items dyed with natural materials - it makes growing and foraging things seem resourceful and more tightly connected to nature. I know, a little hippy, but I am ok with it:)