Monthly Archives: March 2012

When In Rome…

…or Florida, to be more exact.  I may not always succeed, but I do try to practice what I preach.
On my recent visit to the Sunshine State, I wanted to find a local farmer’s market and was pleasantly surprised to find one that is a permanent fixture as opposed to only being set up once or twice a week.

Marando Farms offers not only local produce, but they also have local honey, farm fresh eggs and the best part of all…  a community garden.

If you are in the area or vacationing nearby it’s worth the trip to see this little gem.

Supermarkets simply do not carry the varieties of produce that are available at Farmer’s Markets. 
Because the food we buy there isn’t mass produced, the farmers are able to bring in smaller quantities of different  crops.

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My Lost Shaker of Salt…

Vacation.  Just the word alone makes us feel lighter, happier and less stressed.  Why is it that we allow ourselves things on vacation we rarely would otherwise?


We indulge in foods we normally deprive ourselves of, we sleep late, we are a little more laid back and allow ourselves a few adult beverages with colorful umbrellas peeking out of them or in my case, a salted rim.

Coming back to reality from vacation is rarely a pleasure, but what I’m trying to learn is how to have a “vacation” frame of mind even when I can’t get away.

Not that I’ll be quitting my job and spending my days on a beach, as lovely as that sounds, but trying to allow myself a bit more leeway when it comes to certain things.

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Beef Barley Soup

 I turned 40 a few days ago (gasp) and when I was younger I had always used that particular age as a benchmark for being “a real grown up”.   I would venture to say that it technically makes me one by my way of thinking but to be perfectly honest, that is entirely debatable.

 That being said it led me to thinking about some of my favorites from childhood.   We all grew up with soup in that red & white can and while I am a steadfast lover of tomato, one that was always in the regular rotation for me was beef barley.   I know…  most kids would’ve picked chicken noodle and given my adoration for all things starch it would be the obvious choice, only it never had enough noodles.

There was just something about that broth, it was sweet and tangy from the tomato and the barley was just chewy enough to give it texture.  It may not be haute cuisine or even slightly elevated, but I loved it.