HOW TO HAVE A GREAT LUNCH, CREATE SOMETHING AND ENTERTAIN OURSELVES SEVERAL HOURS…ALL FOR $25

Cherries and weed flowers .

Many cities have farmers markets during the season that offer an abundance of produce. We are fortunate to have a weekly market year round and thus I admit its easy to pass on a Saturday and stay in jammies curled up with a book. However, every time I go I realize how much enjoyment these markets give.

Getting to know the vendors, and learning about the love and labor they put into the goods they sell, is a big part of the charm of buying locally for us. It’s also easy to buy too much and spend more than intended. Therefore, I take the amount of cash I’d like to spend. An hour at the market is almost like a scavenger hunt…here’s what we found for $25 this week.

French Mustard Jars with Green Plant
The flowers at the market are always a little bit “weird” compared to what we can but at the grocery. I’m all over this and usually have an idea of what I’d like to re-create. Inspiration comes from so many places! Elsie Green is a site I follow simply because so many things remind me of places we have traveled. In France, these little pots are what mustard comes in. Love it when a container excites me as much as what came in it! What memories! So this week I was basically looking for weeds. Fresh flowers are a splurge we take pretty seriously here. The Rooster always comments when we miss a week!
Tamale with mole sauce and carrot salad
Ooooh so excited to share that our market has a new vendor doing authentic tamales. Eventho we cook so many fantastic meals at home, there are some things better left to the experts. Especially foods from other countries. Food at the market is kinda like “street food” that totally captures us with the aromas. This week I decided early on at the market that I would take this meal home for lunch. There was enough to feed both the Rooster and I. It came with a mole sauce and a slightly spicy carrot salad. Totally amazing! $14
The “weeds” at the flower booth were $6. More about the chips below…but wanted to share this Plain Jane kraut (jar) we also buy at the market about twice a month. Major flavor, so many health benefits and our own way to reuse a container with memories.

Green flowers and dark chocolate mini chips
We do not buy too many things that are fat free, gluten free, sugar free or any of the many other “free” offerings out there. We are in the camp of using the best quality ingredients we can buy and consuming in moderation. While this might not work for some, it’s been a lifestyle we can be consistent with. One exception are these mini dark chocolate chips from Whole Foods. We buy them because they are 10x better than the ones loaded with sugar. We don’t bake often but toss these mini treats into yogurt, onto ice cream or sometimes just in a dish all by themselves. Picked these up on the walk home. $3.95

Cherries, chocolate and flowers.
With some small white containers from Trader Joe’s, from plants that didn’t survive, and the mini chips that just wouldn’t fit in the jar, I added a few cherries that needed to be eaten today and set off to create. I swear cherries are about twenty cents apiece this year and I am not letting a single one go to waste. After the tamale this chocolate/cherry combo was just about perfect.

Cherries and weed flowers .
Not bad…maybe not as simple/chic as Elsie’s but very happy with our weed mimic for the week. Plus lot’s of entertainment and a great meal. $25

Wild flowers and candle.
Ready for our close up Mr. DeMille.

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