The fall semester is over and things are also winding down with work, so I’m finding myself with more free time on my hands than I’m used to, but absolutely loving it! Enough free time that I can take off work early and squeeze in some Christmas shopping and a farmer’s market visit with my mama dearest. But what would Christmas shopping be if I didn’t scoop something up for myself along the way? Teehee… I’m so bad… but it felt so good, and just had to be done.
My new Le Creuset oval stoneware baker dish that will be perfect for the holidays. So pretty. Alas, as I was checking out, the Sur La Table employee told me they are discontinuing my cobalt blue color! EEEEK! What’s a girl to do?
Followed by a farmer’s market trip…
Whoever said it’s too expensive to eat healthy should reconsider. Shop around and hit up local farmer’s markets or look into CSA shares–you’ll save a bundle! I scored all of this today at our year-round farmer’s market for around $25! You seriously can’t beat the prices of local markets. I realize I’m quite lucky for living in beautiful sunny Florida where we have year-round fresh produce. Trust me, if I lived up north I’d be a freezer queen and stock up during season. But fresh stuff can’t be beat!
My grandma asked me the other day if I grocery shop with a meal plan in mind, or just toss what looks good into my basket and call it a day. The truth is, I do a little of both. I definitely grab produce that stands out to me and appeals to my eye. I think it’s part of our biological nature to go for the freshest, ripest and most in-season foods, and I try to listen to my intuition in that sense. Right now our citrus crops are creeping into season and the second strawberry season of the year has also begun! There is nothing better than sweet and delicious fresh strawberries.
Today I grabbed some juicy looking tomatoes, lemons and italian parsley to make quinoa tabbouleh this weekend. I also snagged another red cabbage, curly kale and fennel to make another round of my Merry Christmas Cabbage and Kale dish.
The eggplant and leeks will be used tomorrow for Sesame Crusted Eggplant with leeks–cooking dinner for a special boy again :) I am thinking of roasting up those scrumptious looking portabella caps in some balsamic vinegar as well.
I also grabbed a huge spaghetti squash, and plan to make bean salad stuffed squash with toasted coconut. Mmmm, delicious. If you haven’t tried toasted coconut flakes (sprinkled with a lil cinnamon and nutmeg) on top of squash or sweet potatoes, you must! Because it’s one killer combo!
Is it ridiculous that all I want to do with my newfound spare time is cook? My crazy busy days that often end with beans-out-of-a-can-and-into-the-microwave are behind me for awhile!
Tonight my grandparents treated me and my mother dearest to dinner and a show. We went to see My Fair Lady and had a wonderful time! The ballet last weekend, the theater this weekend… I’m getting spoiled!
Do you plan when you grocery shop or just go with it?
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and happy holidays!