This week’s meals were brought to you by…

After a few weeks away from the kitchen, this weekend saw a welcome return to my regular foodie routine. With all the cooking and baking I had to do for the holidays, I was feeling a bit uninspired and burned out, but that’s nothing a good trip to the Rochester Public Market can’t fix. And from the looks of my bounty, 2012 is off to a very local, fresh and organic start!

I was able to get all my meat from local farmers this week. This included a nice sirloin steak from Seven Bridges Farm in Lima, pork breakfast sausage from Oink and Gobble Farm from Interlaken, and bacon from a farm that starts with an “H” who’s name I can’t remember (and there’s no label on the package). He’s the farmer who sells meat out of coolers at the market. Anyone know who I’m talking about? We got our milk from Ithaca Milk Co. Unable to find organic, grass-fed drumsticks at the market, I opted for Wegmans organic brand, which were reasonably priced.

Among my other finds this week, I picked up some awesome raspberries and blackberries for 2 for $3. Normally you need to be careful about purchasing market fruit because often times, the produce is on its way out, but these berries were nice and fresh and should stay good well through the week. Arriving at The Ravioli Shop less than an hour before it closed on Saturday, I was able to score half of a huge loaf of freshly baked bread for free!

The bread was sliced and topped with roasted garlic (baked in my new garlic roaster) and feta cheese. I marinated the steak in Worcestershire sauce and Stuart’s Seasoning for Roadkill  to be eaten later in the week. I pulled out my dehydrator to use up some apples, bananas and mangoes which were about to go bad. And the berries went on top of the homemade waffles I made for breakfast on Sunday, accompanied by the sausage. Here’s the waffle recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Add a drop of almond extract to the mixture if you want to kick it up a flavor notch.

In search of a quick and easy dessert for a Sunday dinner party, I whipped up a double batch of Ghirardelli brownies. To make them extra special, I used less oil and a full can of cherry pie filling. I also squeezed the juice of two oranges into the mixture. The result is a fluffy and delicious brownie that goes great with Turkey Hill’s All-Natural Vanilla Bean ice cream, which contains just cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and vanilla bean.

Perhaps this locavore kick is inspired by my reading of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  Whatever the cause, my body, my waistline, and the environment are all benefiting. Eating well is not cheap, nor is it easy, but to me, the payoff is well worth it.


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