Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unusual Location

Here's part of a story by Kathy Stephenson that was in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning:

The Broadway Pharmacy and Market in downtown Salt Lake City has long offered filo dough, grape leaves, feta and other imported Greek goods. But now the shop has upgraded to include fresh local produce and Utah products. The walk-in cooler that once was used for beer is now filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. The market shelves also carry 20 new Utah-made products including My Dough Girl Cookies, Clifford Farm eggs, Butcher's Bunches jams, Amano Chocolate and more. The Market, 242E. 300 South, is open every day but Sunday. Call 801-363-3939 for details. END ARTICLE

Farmers' markets are showing up everywhere! Or at least parts of them are showing up in many places. People want fresh food, they want products that come from local growers and vendors. It's a good trend.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hawaii Market

Following is a link (well, an address to copy and paste at least) to a video about a market in Hilo, on the big island of Hawaii. I am continually reminded that it is the market vendors who make them so spectacular. You will find this fascinating.


Saturday, April 10, 2010


So, when I signed in to the blog today, a bunch of comments showed up -- comments I hadn't seen before, comments from earlier posts. Either there was a hiccup in blogger or I was doing something wrong when I signed in. I really want to blame blogger, but I know me well enough to know chances are it was operator error. Sigh.

Thanks for the comments everyone! How nice to talk to old friends and meet some new ones.

Have a great day!


Friday, April 9, 2010

"Spring" Break

Let's see, in Salt Lake City we started off this Spring Break week with a crazy blizzard that left about four inches of snow on the lawn. Fortunately, the driveway snow melted quickly. The skiers and snowboarders were very happy. Today, the snow is all melted and I have a couple windows open. I am feeling the full force of Spring Fever. It will be cold by this evening, but I'm enjoying the fresh air while I can.

Building my favorite to do list:
- Hummingbird feeders need to get hung.
- I probably should have already started some pumpkin seeds, but I'll get that done this weekend.
- Exchange short-sleeved shirts with sweats.
- Get the dirt in my small garden ready for planting.

So glad warm weather is almost here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Market

For part of the day yesterday I stopped by some local Salt Lake City bookstores and asked to sign their in-store copies of FARM FRESH MURDER. It was fun -- and I really have to comment on how wonderful all the Barnes and Noble people were. They knew I'd never done that sort of thing before and they really made me feel welcome. Thanks for that.

Anyway, as I was driving down State Street, across from Fashion Place Mall, I noticed something I'd never seen before. Sunflower Farmers' Market. It's an indoor market, that is like a grocery store, but kind of not.

I only had a few minutes, but I ran in and looked around quickly. Everything seemed pretty fresh and at first glance, the prices looked pretty good too. I need to explore it further. Apparently, they are a chain -- locations only in the western United States at this point. Here's their web site:

It's a trip from my house, but I'll definitely give it a second look.

Anyone know anything about it?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


FARM FRESH MURDER hits the stores today. Yay! Really, yay!

I'm a guest blogger on my agent's web site today. "How to Do Almost Everything Wrong and Still Get Published . . . Someday."

Thanks, everybody!

Monday, April 5, 2010

One Day - Countdown

Today's Market: Bailey's Farmers' Market in Monson, South Carolina -- the market in FARM FRESH MURDER

Bailey's is the fictional market I created and placed in the fictional town of Monson, South Carolina, though South Carolina is a very real and wonderful place.

Bailey's is a long, u-shaped market full of all the things good farmers' markets have: fresh foods, creative art, beautiful flowers, and a many creative and hardworking vendors. Becca Robins, the protagonist of the farmers' market mysteries, makes and sells jams and preserves. She also grows strawberries and pumpkins, has had some trouble with relationships in the past, and when one of her good friends is accused of killing a fellow Bailey's vendor, she springs into action to help solve the crime. Though she runs into her fair share of trouble on the way, she turns out to be a pretty good investigator in her own rights.

I've loved getting to know these characters.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words of encouragement regarding FARM FRESH MURDER.I appreciate all your support.

Today's recipe: Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries -- they're not as difficult to make as you might think.

16 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1 pound fresh strawberries - keep the leaves on but rinse and dry the berries.
wax paper


1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding the strawberries by their leaves, dip the them 1/2 to 3/4 of the way into the chocolate mixture. Let some of the excess chocolate drip back into the mixture.
3.Place them on a sheet of wax paper to cool.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Countdown - Two Days

First of all -- Happy Easter, everyone!

Today's market: Anchorage Farmers' Market in Anchorage, Alaska (

The market is located at 15th Ave. at Cordova Street in Anchorage.

I'm always surprised by Alaska. When I started researching farmers' markets I didn't think I'd find much of anything in Alaska. It's cold and dark for so much of year that even if there was a market there, surely it would be an inside market. Nope, there are actually a number of markets in Alaska, lots of them out of doors like the Anchorage market. In fact, the Anchorage market runs from the beginning of May until October, just like most of the other seasonal markets in the lower 48.

This picture does illustrate a few differences, though:

The truck says, "Arctic Organics" and it looks like at least one person is wearing a winter coat.

I also love moose. This one is particularly cute:

I was also surprised at how much is able to grow in Alaska. Here's a list of some of the items sold at the market:
tomatoes, broccoli raab, green cabbage, radicchio, and daikon, kohlrabi, zucchini, broccoli, Market Express ("snow apple") turnips, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, Rainbow chard, kale (green, Redbor, Red Russian, and Toscano), spinach, various leaf lettuces, butter lettuces, romaine, greens mix, dandelion greens, arugula, scallions, tat soi, radishes, and nasturtium blossoms.

Herbs include: Genovese basil, marjoram, thyme, epazote, Italian and regular parsley, summer and winter savory, lemon and anise basil, sage, lovage, cilantro, chervil and chives.

Apple trees, too!

Anyone know what daikon or kohlrabi are?

Today's recipe:

Roast Salmon Fillet -- this is not something I created. I got it directly from this site:

I've made it before, though, with salmon direct from Alaska. My in-laws live there -- they're fisher-people and every once and a while they bring us fresh fish.

4 ea - 7 oz salmon fillets
4 tbs. flour
1 teas. ground fennel seed
1 teas kosher salt
1/4 teas white pepper
olive oil for searing

Directions: Combine all ingredients to make seasoned flour. Coat salmon in flour mixture and shake off excess. Heat oil in a heavy skillet until a light haze forms. Place salmon fillet skin side up in pan and sear until well crusted. Turn over fillet and place in skillet in a 400* oven for approx. 8-10 minutes or just until done.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Three Days - Countdown

Today's Market: The Atlanta State Farmers' Market

This is considered THE big market in Georgia.

Located at 16 Forest Parkway, in Forest Park, Georgia, the market takes up a vast 150 acres. It is considered one of the largest of its kind in the world. It is open year-around. Huge truckloads of produce are delivered to the market each day.

It features a garden center (I read lots of comments from people who buy their yard plants there - the selection must be huge), wholesale and retail activities, and is a major marketing hub and distribution point for fresh produce in the Southeast and throughout the country. It also has a restaurant that serves meals prepared from market foods -- sounds like a great idea.

Also in the comments I read -- haggling is the only way to go at this market. The vendors are prepared to negotiate, and there's lots of competition.

Some businesses only operate from the market:
General Produce, Inc., the largest full line wholesale produce house in the southeast, is located on the grounds of the Georgia State Farmers Market in Forest Park, Georgia. The Georgia State Farmers Market is located just 10 miles south of Atlanta and is the largest in the United States. We offer a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables year round from the best growers and shippers in the world.

Must be a great place to shop.

Today's Easy Recipe: Tastes Just Like Fried Chicken . . . But Isn't Fried
Again, this is another one of my son's favorite recipes. I found it on a website some time ago, but I didn't keep the exact address. I serve this for dinner, or I use chicken strips and serve it as finger food for things like Super Bowl parties, etc. The strips are great with ranch or bbq dipping sauces.

4 skinless chicken breasts (about a 1 1/4 pound)
1 cup low-fat milk
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons salt
vegetable spray

- Place chicken in gallon storage bag. Pour in milk and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- Pour vegetable oil in baking pan, coat the bottom completely.
- Place flour, salt and pepper into another gallon storage bag. Shake until all ingredients are blended.
- Remove chicken from first bag (one at a time) and put into flour bag. Coat completely.
- Place chicken in prepared baking dish.
- Coat top of chicken with vegetable spray.
- Bake in center of oven for 20 or 25 minutes, or until chicken is browned on outside and cooked thoroughout on the inside.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Four Days - Countdown

Austin Farmers' Market - another market I've never shopped, but I look forward to doing so someday. I love Texas.

Located at 4th and Guadalupe in downtown Austin, the market is open Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

This is a year-around market -- considering the great weather in Austin, this makes sense. Here's their web site:

They sell a huge variety of foods and crafts, including, not surprisingly, these:

In exploring the web site, I happened upon something called artisinal charcuterie. I had no idea what it was so I did a little research (googled it). Apparently charcuterie is either a business that sells meats like sausages, or it is the stuffing of the sausage itself. The practice of artisinal charcuterie (creating the sausage) is becoming quite popular with chefs everywhere. There is an art to mixing the right kinds of meats to create yummy sausage fillings. Texas is certainly great place for all kinds of meat, so no wonder the market web site lists the charcuterie as something that "must not be missed." I will definitely give it a try.

More pictures:

Quick and easy recipe -- a mix of the hot peppers and some sausage (or artisinal charcuterie if you'd like, and you know where to get some).

Stuffed Hot Peppers (or not-too-hot, if you're like me)


4 to 5 doz. medium peppers
2 lbs. sausage
handfull of plain bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 c. milk
1 pkg. McCormicks meat loaf mix
Salt, pepper and garlic to taste
vegetable oil

Wash and remove seeds from peppers -- slice one side open.

Mix sausage, bread crumbs, egg, milk, meat loaf mix, salt, pepper and garlic together -- I use my hands to mix and squish everything together.

Stuff peppers with sausage mixture -- make sure to "close" the pepper, and place in single layer on baking pan. Pour a little vegetable oil over peppers. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn pepper over, bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oil after baking. Serve warm, cool, or freeze if you like. Thaw and reheat if frozen.

Yummy. Some people like really hot peppers. I try to use only the milder variety. Plus, once the seeds are removed the heat goes down anyway.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Five Days - Countdown

Today's Market: Pike Place Market in Seattle

I visited this market some years ago, but only briefly and without a camera. It is a main ingredient in the Seattle experience, and everyone should take the opportunity to shop it.

It opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It overlooks Ellicott Bay and is spread over nine acres. Ten million visitors pass through the market every year. Considering its location, I imagine the fruits and vegetables are great, but I would think the fish/seafood selection would be extra-fresh.

Here are some pictures:

Here's an interesting fact -- the market is home to nearly 500 low income residents who live in eight different buildings. I'd be curious to know if they work at the market. Anyone know?

Another fact -- this market was home to the first Starbuck's.

Next time I make it to Seattle I'll plan on spending more time at Pike Place, as well as remember a camera.

In keeping with the seafood idea, today recipe: Super Simple Supper Fish

There is a theme to my recipes -- simple and easy, and easy and simple. Oh, and few ingredients.


2 lb. or so fillet of salmon or halibut. I don't really cook any other kinds of fish, but it would probably work with just about anything.


Salt and pepper



Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Put fillet on a piece of foil, skin side down. Place some tablespoon squares of butter evenly spaced over the fillet.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Cover with another sheet of foil. Seal the edges but leave a small opening for steam to escape.

Cook in oven for 45 minutes. Let sit about outside of oven with top foil removed for about ten minutes before serving.

Some people cook this on the grill, but I like the oven better. Some people add lemon slices, but I prefer just butter.

I serve this with some baby potatoes and whole green beans I get from the farmers' market -- I steam the beans.

It isn't always easy to find super-fresh fish in Salt Lake City, but when I do, we tend to have this for a few nights in a row.