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Listed Under: Dessert

Market Meals – 24K Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Turning 40

By Summer Miller, author of New Prairie Kitchen

My husband turned up the volume on the Bluetooth speaker he gave me for my birthday. This is significant because he has never turned up the volume on anything before. He always turns it down, and this has been a source of contention in our 15-year relationship. But today he turned it up, and I watched in amazement as our unassuming household transformed into a dance party of epic proportions.

My son, as if on instinct, played air guitar. Never mind, that it was during the piano heavy prelude of the song. His little arm swung wildly around in circles carefully strumming invisible strings at each rotation. My daughter immediately dropped what she was doing to dance with her Daddy, as little girls do. I stood in the kitchen singing loudly, and soaking in the sudden explosion of joy that consumed our household.

Photo Credit: Dana Damewood

I have the great privilege of turning 40 this week, and all I can think is, “Thank God, I made it this far. Thank God, I’ve been gifted all of these years.”

I know so many people who weren’t.

My sister died at 23 from cancer. A chef who I adore and admire lost her husband in his 30s to the same disease, and I lost two friends to murder in separate incidences while they were both teenagers.

I have traveled to places far from home, trusted strangers, and believed in my fellow man. I got drunk. I smoked cigarettes because I thought it showed the fierceness in my spirit. I was 24 years old the first time I hiked a mountain, and I knew I would never buy another pack. I knew I would hate myself if I’d missed that view or any views I would seek in the future because I chose a cigarette over everything the world offered me. It was the worst kind of wastefulness – being indifferent to the beauty that surrounds us in the music we hear, the topography of our loved one’s faces, age spots on my own skin, the trail that takes me to a place I’ve never been before simply because someone else loved it too, and I followed the path they carved. I traveled extensively in my late teens and early 20s because I filled out a credit card application on a college campus. I didn’t buy nice clothes or furniture. I bought plane tickets, and slept on the couches of new friends, and old friends and in subpar slightly terrifying hotel rooms, but I saw Chris Isaak play on Puget sound, and picked up hitchhikers and stumbled into some crazy party in the woods in Oregon. I hiked a mountain in South Africa, and watched the sunrise over the Strait of Gibraltar. I visited the homes of poets in Chile, and then I came home.

I worked four jobs to pay for those adventures. I met a boy. We married, and had babies. I have loved deeply, so passionately and with such fits of devotion it has brought me to my knees. I carry the scars of childbirth on my body and in my heart, but I would tear myself open one thousand times if I knew the two children I bore would be the result of my actions. I became fearful when I had children, and it seemed every fiber of my being had transformed into something so unrecognizable to me. I had to get to know this new woman. We all did. This wasn’t a new version of me, this was an erasure of everything I was up until the day my first child was born. I fail and succeed daily in my marriage, and I am eternally grateful for all of it. For every misstep of my youth, every reckless moment, for the idiocy of my early years in business and love, and the grace those wiser than myself granted me.

This is the sum of my life.

It’s what we are doing here, isn’t it? To bask in it. To revel in goodness, and smiles and sunshine. To trust our fellow man. To accept our weaknesses, and failures and terrible mistakes. To learn our lessons and take our lumps then find deep and lasting gratitude so we can grant grace to others. It’s why I am here.

I’m 40 and all I can think is, “Thank God, I made it this far. Thank God, I’ve failed so many times — failures of kindness, inhibition, common sense, and grace. Thank God, I’ve learned so many lessons from people who loved me through it.” I feel a great responsibility to everyone who didn’t make it to 40. I don’t care about the grey hairs on my head or where the crow’s feet have landed. I care that I can laugh. And play. And give. And love. I’m grateful for being. I’m grateful I have what matters most, a world full of beautiful people and places asking me to pay attention and notice them. My hope for the next days of my life, however many they may be, is that I don’t forget it.


24K Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves 8

This cake was developed by the ever-talented Kristine Moberg at Queen City Bakery, in Sioux Falls, S.D. She was kind enough to contribute her recipe to New Prairie Kitchen, and I look forward to eating a slice every summer as a special, indulgent birthday treat. I hope you love it as much as I do.

 


This cake is the best way to eat your vegetables. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.

— Kristine Moberg QUEEN CITY BAKERY | SIOUX FALLS, SD

CAKE

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1¾ cups granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon orange zest

1½ cups sunflower oil

4 eggs

4½ cups grated carrots

½ cup shredded sweetened coconut

¼ cup crushed and drained canned pineapple

ICING

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 pound cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

12 ounces confectioners’ sugar, sifted

TO MAKE THE CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter 3 8-inch round cake pans, then cut out a circle of parchment paper to cover the bottom of each.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and orange zest. Whisk in the oil and eggs until well combined. Using a spoon or stiff spatula, add the carrots, coconut, and pineapple; stir until combined. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Do not overmix, as doing so will result in a tough cake.

Pour a scant 2¼ cups of cake batter into each prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from the pans.

TO MAKE THE ICING

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is smooth and has absolutely no lumps, about 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl; add the cream cheese and cream until combined. Scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and mix again. Scrape down the bowl. With the mixer running, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Scrape down the bowl, then mix for about 2 more minutes. Be careful not to overmix, as the icing will lose its structure.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand. Spread some icing on top of the first layer. Place the second layer of cake on top of the first and top that layer with icing as well. Place the third layer of cake upside down on the second; this will give you a nice level top to your cake. Plop quite a bit of icing on the top and, using an offset spatula, work the icing out to the sides in a circular motion. It’s OK if icing hangs over the sides of the cake. Continue working the icing over the top and down the sides of the cake. Finally, smooth out the sides and add more icing if needed. Serve. As mentioned above, you can also refrigerate the cake if you want to serve it later—just make sure to serve at room temperature.

Recipe Credit: New Prairie Kitchen via Kristine Moberg


Love this Market Meal? Tell us about it on Social Media! Tag the Omaha Farmers Market on Facebook and Instagram, tag scaldedmilk_ on Instagram and tag New Prairie Kitchen on Facebook.

Check out Summer’s website!

Make sure to use #OmahaMarketMeals!
Listed Under: Dessert

Market Meals – Honey Raspberry Marshmallows

Selling Marshmallows at the Market

By Summer Miller, author of New Prairie Kitchen

Long before I wrote New Prairie Kitchen or drafted recipes for magazines, and farmer’s market blogs, I was a vendor at the Omaha Farmers Market selling bags of marshmallows tied with an orange ribbon. My boutique bakery was called Orange Poppy, and on Saturdays in the early spring and fall I set up my table and umbrella, then filled wire refrigerator baskets to the brim with marshmallows of every flavor imaginable – apple cider, chai, and peppermint in the fall, honey raspberry, chocolate, and vanilla bean in the spring. I added other flavors like toasted coconut or lavender honey when the mood struck me.

I’d spend the entire week destroying my kitchen with pans of sticky, sweet confections stacked on every counter top and worked late into Friday evening cutting, counting, filling and labeling every bag. I loved making them, and I still do, but the morning comes early when you are up late with a baby, and trying to be an entrepreneur. I was frustrated when people sampled one of everything knowing they weren’t going to spend $6 on a bag marshmallows or they would let their army of children clean me out. I needed those samples to sell my product, and they treated my hard work like a free candy buffet. On the other hand, I also gained a loyal following of people who not only connected with the treats I made, but also with me. I loved seeing their faces each week, and providing a little bit of whimsy for their day. The more people got to know me, and my product the less the samples mattered.

The experience provided a deeper understanding of the farmer’s market experience from the other side of the table. If it rained, and no one showed up to the market at least my confections had a shelf-life, and could return another week. That’s not always the case when it comes to fresh produce or freshly made cookies and pies. The whole experience made me realize how hard everyone at the farmer’s market works to bring their goods to the serious shoppers and the casual people gazers who stroll the streets of the market every weekend. My experience was an early step in the journey toward writing about farmers in New Prairie Kitchen. I wanted you to know them as I had. I wanted you to understand what it means to buy something from them, and how important your dollar is to their livelihood.

I only lasted one season as a farmer’s market vendor. My husband wanted our kitchen back, and I was pregnant with our second child. When I looked at my five-year plan, building a successful candy business wasn’t part of it. I continued to sell my marshmallows to a small, but loyal following around the holidays, and spent my weeks writing a book rather than tying orange ribbons in bows. These soft, flavorful confections are still a family favorite, and taste nothing like what you can buy in the stores (although marshmallows have gone a little more gourmet in the eight years since I was at market). I think homemade is best, which is why I’m giving up one of my favorite marshmallow recipes, Raspberry Honey, to make your summer s’mores and long nights around the fire a little sweeter.


Honey Raspberry Marshmallows – Makes about 50 Marshmallows

These marshmallows are made with honey, which I stock up on every year at the Omaha Farmers Market. They take 24 hours to dry, so give yourself a little time. If you plan on roasting them over an open fire be aware that they are incredibly soft, and melt faster than a grocery store marshmallow. You can give yourself a little extra leeway by leaving them out on the counter top for a day or two after they’ve been cut.


Ingredients:

cooking spray

1 cup cold cranberry juice, divided

3 packets of unflavored gelatin, about 3/4 ounces

3/4 cup freeze dried raspberries, divided and turned into powder

2 cups sugar

¾ cup honey

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon raspberry extract

½ cup powdered sugar for dusting

Special Equipment:

Stand Mixer

Candy thermometer

Parchment paper

Cake Pan

Fine mesh strainer

Bench scraper to cut the marshmallows


Instructions:

Lay parchment paper in a 9×13 inch cake pan making sure to cover the bottom and the sides. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add a ½ cup of cold juice and sprinkle gelatin packets over it. Let it bloom while you prepare the rest of the candy.

Take a second sheet of parchment, fold it in half so there is a crease in it. In a spice or coffee grinder add ½ cup of the freeze-dried raspberries. Pulse them until they are dust. Pour them through a fine mesh strainer and sift them onto the parchment paper. Discard the seeds. If a few seeds get through don’t worry about it.

In a medium saucepan combine honey, sugar, salt, the remaining juice and raspberry dust over medium heat stirring gently. Once the sugar begins to melt stop stirring and bring the liquid up to 240 degrees.

Pour sugar liquid into the mixer with speed on low. Once the mixture begins to thicken increase speed to high and beat for about 13 minutes. Add the extracts and beat for one minute more.

Using a spatula scoop mixture into prepared pan. Grind the remaining ¼ cup raspberries and sift over the top of the marshmallow. Let sit uncovered on the counter for 24 hours.

Flip marshmallows out of pan onto a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar. Dust the other side with powdered sugar as well. Using a pastry cutter slice marshmallows. Roll each in powdered sugar. Store in a Ziploc bag at room temperature for up to one month or freeze for up to 4 months.


Love this Market Meal? Tell us about it on Social Media! Tag the Omaha Farmers Market on Facebook and Instagram, tag scaldedmilk_ on Instagram and tag New Prairie Kitchen on Facebook.

Check out Summer’s website!

Make sure to use #OmahaMarketMeals!
Listed Under: Dessert

Summer Fruit Hand Pies – Whole Foods Market Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups chopped summer fruit, such as peeled and pitted peaches or nectarines, strawberries or pitted cherries
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup crushed vanilla wafers or ginger snaps
  • 2 recipes prepared pie crust (or two rolled out 9-inch crust)

 

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a floured surface, roll out dough until about 1/8-in thick. Cut into twelve (5-inch) circles, rerolling dough as needed. In a medium bowl, toss together fruit, sugar and flour. (Do this just before filling the pies; if done too far in advance, the mixture can get too juicy. Use less or more sugar, as desired, depending on fruit’s natural sweetness.)

Working one at a time, spoon some filling into the center of a circle of dough; brush edges with water. Fold over into a half moon and crimp edges to seal. Brush top with heavy cream, sprinkle with cookie crumbs and bake on a large, parchment-paper-lined baking sheet until golden brown, about 35 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

Per Serving: 220 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 170mgsodium, 29g carbohydrates, (1 g dietary fiber, 11g sugar), 2g protein.

SPECIAL DIETS:

Vegetarian

 

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Listed Under: Main Course

Dry-Aged Steaks with Grilled Salsa – Whole Foods Market Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 1 bunch green onions, trimmed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
  • 4 (10-ounce) dry-aged New York strip steaks, each about 1 1/4-inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime

 

METHOD:

Prepare a grill for high-heat cooking. Brush tomatoes, corn, green onions and jalapeño on all sides with oil. Place the vegetables on the grill and cook, turning them frequently and removing them as they become soft and charred, about 5 minutes for green onions and jalapeño and 7 to 8 minutes for corn and tomatoes. Transfer to a cutting board.

Meanwhile, sprinkle steaks on all sides with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper. Place steaks on the grill and cook 3 minutes; rotate each steak about 90 degrees (this will give you nice grill marks) and cook 3 more minutes. Flip steaks and repeat grilling and rotating process, cooking until steaks reach desired doneness, about 5 minutes more for medium-rare (145°F internal temperature). Transfer steaks to plates and let rest 5 minutes.

To make the salsa: Remove skin from tomatoes and dice the flesh; place in a large bowl. Cut kernels from corn ears and add kernels to the bowl. Slice green onions and add to the bowl. Split jalapeño and remove seeds and stem; finely chop flesh and add half of it to the bowl. Toss salsa with lime juice and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Taste the salsa; if you would like it spicier, add the remaining jalapeño. Serve salsa with steaks.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

Per Serving: 490 calories (180 from fat), 20g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 175mg cholesterol, 620mgsodium, 14g carbohydrates, (2 g dietary fiber, 5g sugar), 62g protein.

SPECIAL DIETS:

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free

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