Farmers’ Market Corn and Peach Salad

Farmers Market Corn (9)

This salad is the direct result of a trip to the farmer’s market. I hesitate to give an exact recipe, since the hope is that you tailor your family’s meal after what you find at your market! So consider the recipe below as a guideline only.

We set out with the intention of making a Corn, Nectarine, and Blueberry Salad that I’d spotted in a magazine, and I printed Travis a picture of each ingredient we hoped to find. This turned it into a neat scavenger hunt.

Farmers Market Corn (1)

Any similar hunt will be a great way to engage kids with the market and the sellers! If you don’t have exact ingredients in mind, then challenge your kids to find things you spot along the way: “Find me a root vegetable” or “Find me something red!” you can say.

Don’t forget to check out the other fun that a farmers’ market has to offer while you’re there.

Farmers Market Corn (8)

Travis got to sample fresh lemonade, pick out a toy made from organic catnip for our cat, check out homemade crafts, and more. Nibbling a bite of fresh basil was a must!

Farmers Market Corn (4)

Babies love the scents and sounds of a farmers’ market, too, so consider adding this to your summer hit-list of baby field trips!

Farmers Market Corn (6)

As it turns out, we couldn’t locate everything on our scavenger hunt ingredient list, but we did find perfect corn, and the biggest scallions we’d ever seen!

Farmers Market Corn (7)

So when we got home, we improvised the salad. We had beautiful local peaches in place of the nectarines, and no blueberries (but the salad was just fine without them!), and added lots more basil and scallions than called for since we had a big bounty. I present to you, our Farmers Market Corn and Peach Salad.

Farmers Market Corn (2)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ears fresh corn
  • 2 peeled and chopped ripe peaches
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  1. Cut the kernels from the corn cobs and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Farmer’s Flatbread

Farmers Flatbread (11)

This gorgeous flatbread recipe from Raddish Kids has all the flavors of summer rolled into one bite – perfect for the Garden Party-themed kit! Travis loved helping, although he did tire out about halfway through as can sometimes be the case with more complicated Raddish recipes. But when we cook together, I love simply seeing him get his hands in there, learn a skill or two, understand where food comes from, and have tons of fun!

Farmers Flatbread (2)

As a vegan family, we had an extra step to start out: tofu ricotta in place of regular ricotta cheese. In a food processor, combine 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 1 (14-ounce package) firm tofu, an 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Anything with the food processor is a big hit around here!

Farmers Flatbread (3)

Process until smooth and creamy and refrigerate until ready to use.

Farmers Flatbread (4)

To prepare the flatbread dough, combine 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in 3/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons olive oil, to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured cutting board and knead for about 4 minutes. This was definitely Travis’s favorite part!

Farmers Flatbread (5)

We read the kneading instructions on the back of our recipe card, adding more flour as needed, but really he just loved getting his fingers good and messy!

As a result, our dough wasn’t perfect, but that didn’t deter us. Again, the idea with these recipes is the fun and the learning. So as best we could, we rolled it out into an 11×16 inch rectangle and transferred to a baking sheet. I admit we patched a few holes in the dough!

Farmers Flatbread (6)

To prepare the white sauce, whisk together 1/2 cup prepared tofu ricotta, 1/3 cup plain non-dairy creamer, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Spread over the dough, leaving a little crust at the edge.

Farmers Flatbread (8)

Sprinkle with 2 cups shredded Daiya mozzarella, 3 tablespoons vegan Parmesan sprinkles and 1 cup frozen corn. Add 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes. Bake at 425 degrees F for 22 minutes.

Farmers Flatbread (10)

Sprinkle with 8 minced basil leaves and serve!

Farmers Flatbread var.JPG

I had one very proud chef, who also enjoyed the farm vocab quiz and the farmers’ market facts on the recipe card as we dined.

Farmers Flatbread alt.JPG

Early Explorers Food

LP Food final

Travis’s latest kit from Early Explorers was about food around the world. It’s not that the information was disappointing (quite the opposite!), only that it was a bit redundant since Travis and I cook together frequently, whether simply for fun or with our Raddish Kids subscription. So while the packet was full of fun facts, projects, and suggestions, it didn’t grab Travis’s interest like previous topics from “Max and Mia” have. Also, because the projects were all culinary, my usual categories of “craft” and “science” didn’t exactly apply here, so I use the terms loosely.

First we went through our usual packet goodies, including stickers for the map, and enjoyed the activities in the booklet

LP Food (5)

Food Craft:

For a craft, we made the booklet’s frittata recipe (a culinary journey to Italy), but we needed to adapt it significantly for a vegan version!

I helped Travis blend up what I know works as a vegan frittata base: In a blender, combine 1 package firm tofu, 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Blend until smooth. Stir in 3 slices chopped vegan ham (we used Yves Veggie Canadian bacon) and 1/4 cup shredded Daiya mozzarella. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

LP Food (9)

Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes, until set. These were a huge hit with a very proud Travis!

LP Food (11)

Food Science:

Again, I’m using the term “science” loosely; this activity is more of a social science. Pick a country you love, and cook a meal! We chose India, since Travis is one-quarter Indian and wants to learn more about the country. Little Passport’s website featured this easy dahl recipe.

Sizzling the onions was Travis’s favorite part; he loved watching the onion pieces change color over time. I couldn’t drag him away from the stove!

LP Food (13)

We enjoyed serving the dahl with pita bread.

LP Food (24)

Food Keepsake:

The little gift inside Travis’s package this month was a delight: mini erasers in the shape of food! Way more fun than erasing, he loved just playing with them.

LP Food (4)

Food Field Trip:

We visited a new restaurant of course! This was a special treat, heading downtown after school instead of straight home for lunch. We selected an Indian restaurant in town.

LP Food (15)

Travis loved the adventure. He got to sip mango juice…

LP Food (16)

…and dine on samosas and aloo gobi. This was possibly the best lunch date I’ve ever had, and certainly the cutest.

LP Food (17)

Food Further Activities:

As always, we didn’t stop there. Next up we went to our local farmer’s market, where Travis loved learning about local food and tasting samples.

LP Food (7)

He was particular intrigued by a local homesteader who made jellies!

LP Food (6)

There was also a card game in his package, a food-themed riff on classic Memory. It was fun both to play, and to sneak in some learning. A match!

LP Food (3)

We also made a list of his favorite foods, including avocado toast and sesame tofu. Wanting further exploration, we headed over to Little Passport’s blog to learn more about what people eat in other countries on specific occasions. Travis got a kick out of some of the world lunches.

Finally, I had ordered the sushi kit (and sushi erasers!) from Little Passport’s shop as an extra, which let us have a Japanese sushi night at home. This was easily Travis’s favorite; he was intrigued when we opened up the box, especially by the rolling mat!

LP Food (25).jpg

The kit had us mixing up a rice vinegar sauce, simmering the provided rice, and then spreading it out to cool off.

LP Food (21)

Place a sheet of nori on the rolling mat, and top with rice and sesame seeds.

LP Food (22)

We added California roll fillings (avocado and cuke), then rolled!

LP Food (23)

I was so proud of how adventurous he was eating these, and he was so curious about where they eat sushi, and where the seaweed was from.

So yes, it took us nearly a month to work our way through all these activities, but it ended up being good fun.

 

 

Get Out and About

Art Gallery (8)

Veronika is four months old, and that’s a great age for field trips! Although I posted a few suggestions for getting your infant out and about early on (to museums or plays, for example), let’s be honest; Veronika slept most of the time.

But now she’s wide-eyed and alert for roughly 2 hour stretches, and it’s a great time to revisit some of these old suggestions, plus add in a few new ones.

To wit, when I took her to an art museum this time, she didn’t doze off in front of the canvases. Instead, there was lots of wide-eyed gazing at the bright colors on the wall, even if she didn’t know what she was looking at.

Art Gallery (9)

Or she occasionally preferred devouring a toy over admiring the art.

Art Gallery (3)

Our particular local museum is perfect for families with children, with just two rooms, and activities for the big kids. Veronika loved watching Travis craft…

Art Gallery (7)

… and paint on a digital computer.

Art Gallery (6)

Whoops, she was sleeping by the time we were at an art gallery down the street! But that’s the other great thing about field trips with your 4-month-old. They still nap easily on the go, and hopefully she soaked up some of the ambiance.

Art Gallery (11)

Another place to take baby at this age? A sporting event! This can mean a local high school game, or a minor league stadium, both of which are family-friendly. In our case, we hit up a local tennis expo.

tennis (2).jpg

Another great option is a local market. We love our town’s farmers’ market, so I was thrilled to learn an indoor version is held in winter.

Art Gallery (15)

Both kids loved this; Veronika got to take in the sights and smells – vibrant red apples, the yeasty aroma of fresh-baked bread – and Travis got a morning of culinary exploration and taste testing. Many markets – including ours – also feature musical entertainment, so check your local listings.

Art Gallery (13)

Finally, we headed to a garden center. As with the farmers’ market, there were so many sights and smells here for a baby to soak in.

Garden Center (12).JPG

We got lucky that the annual flower show had just opened, and was divided into areas featuring each of the five senses. Veronika got to smell flowers up close…

Garden Center (1)

…pause to hear waterfalls splashing in the “sound” area…

Garden Center (11)

…and marvel at butterflies and colors in the “sight” portion.

Garden Center (15)

Where else have you taken your little one? Please share in the comments!

Farmers’ Market Fun: Homemade Fruit Leather and Apple Chips

Fruit Leather (4)

Farmers Markets are fantastic this time of year, featuring the last of the summer fruits (think berries, peaches, and plums) and the first of the fall harvest (apples!). To celebrate the end of summer, we headed to the market on a warm Sunday morning, then brought our bounty home to turn it into delicious fruit leather and other snacks.

Fruit Leather (5)

Bonus: The following recipes are perfect for packing in your kids’ lunch boxes for school.

For our first batch, Travis and I used peaches. He was so proud helping me peel the skin from 4 large peaches (parents, use discretion on whether or not your child needs help with this tool).

LP Jobs (3).JPG

I sliced the peaches and Travis was in charge of transfering them to the blender, so proud to do so!

LP Jobs (4)

We added 2 tablespoons agave nectar and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. It was Travis’s very important job to be the taste tester, and I asked him if it needed either more agave or lemon. Nope, just right!

LP Jobs (5)

Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap. Bake at 170 degrees F for 4 hours, leaving the door of the oven cracked open just slightly (this step made me slightly nervous, but I guess it can be done!).

Fruit Leather (1)

Cut into slices (leave the plastic wrap on for easy backing) and store in an air-tight container.

Fruit Leather (3)

To prepare an apple chip version, we pureed 5 apples (cored but not peeled) with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Note: next time I would use less water.

Apple Chips (1)

Pour into a 13×9-inch baking dish lined with plastic wrap. Again, bake at 170 degrees F for 4 to 5 hours, leaving the door cracked. Because I used too much water, our apples turned out more like another fruit leather, not true apple chips. But still yummy!

Apple Chips (2)

Don’t stop there! Try strawberry fruit leather in late summer, or pear fruit leather as autumn arrives. For the strawberry version, use 4 cups strawberries in place of the peaches. We had to give this one a full 6 hours in the oven!

Fruit Leather alt.JPG

The pear version ended up being our best and favorite! For this one, I used 3 pears and cooked for 4 and 1/2 hours.

Pear Leather (2)