Tag Archives: farmer’s market

MIMM: School’s Out, Let’s Celebrate!

The winner of the Brilliant Options Wellness massage giveaway is Anna! You will be contacted about scheduling with Kellie your free 30 minute massage – congrats!

I have a lot of marvelous to share! I did a great job this weekend of balancing me-time with friend-time. I gave myself permission to celebrate my accomplishments and felt lots of love and gratitude for the people in my life who made them all possible. I’m continuing to de-grandma on weekends and stay out having a good time, and I’m determined to keep up that trend as long as the (slowly getting there) warm weather keeps giving me energy to stay up later and go go go! But I also spent plenty of time staying put put put, at the house on Saturday during the day and Sunday in the evening.

Thanks for hosting the marvelous party, Katie!

Marvelous is…FINISHING GRAD SCHOOL! Yes, I got A’s in both of my last semester courses and completed my MBA at University of Hartford with a 3.94 cumulative GPA. It feels so good to be done but it won’t really hit me until a few more weekends/lunch breaks without homework I think…or until I get my diploma in the mail. No I am not walking in the ceremony because really, ain’t nobody got time for that.

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Blending at the Coventry Farmer’s Market

Check out fellow FitFluential Ambassador Tara‘s recent link-up of body weight workouts! It includes my hotel room workout 🙂 perfect for your summer vacations!

Color Me Rad Giveaway WINNERS!

Thank you those who participated in the giveaway for two free race entries to a Color Me Rad 5K! I received 38 total comment “entries”, and used a random number generator to pick the two winners:

Congratulations to Valerie and Angela! Please email me at caitplusate@gmail.com so that I can send you your promo codes to use at checkout when you are registering for your race!

Now on to today’s post…

So you may read this post’s title and say…blending? Blending what?! Blending with my best blend, Heather! She came to visit me last weekend, and we had an amazing, fun-filled Sunday. It really turned out to be a fantastic time, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that it started pouring the rain when it was time for Heather to drive back to MA. The weather knew how I was feeling!

Matching shorts/dress colors were a total coincidence!

I took my flower child (she pulls off that look!) to her favorite Glastonbury spot, and one of mine, Daybreak Coffee Roasters! Last time Heather visited she fell in love with the local cafe, so a trip to get their coffee and blog AKA what I do many weekends was at the top of her list.

She selected Southern Pecan, made in the French press!

My usual coffee with a splash of steamed skim and sprinkle of cinnamon in a big old mug! I had the Creme Brulee, mm.

After a few hours of tech time and caffeinating (that should be a real verb) ourselves, we set off to a destination I’ve been dying to show Heather, the Coventry Farmers’ Market. This is by far the best farmers’ market I’ve EVER attended – and it must have been everyone else’s best as well, because we ended up waiting in traffic for about 30 minutes on the windy one-lane road leading to the parking area! Finally we found a spot on the side of the road and walked the remaining 1/2 mile…fine with us, it was a gorgeous day. A tip to any CT residents who want to attend – it starts at 11AM, but aim to arrive by 10:45AM at the LATEST!

Matching Oakley bags from the TIU Meet-Up to carry our stuff – pure coincidence!

One of my very first blog entries was actually about the products I found during my first trip to the Coventry Farmer’s Market! How funny – last time I went I was a new blogger, and now I have all these amazing experiences and new friends under my belt as a result of starting Cait Plus Ate. Who knows where I’ll be next time I go?!

BB takes pics and the crowd lines up at the Agave cart.

We were in heaven! The market was hoppin’ – it was opening day of the season after all.

Loved the wooden signs decorating the RIPE natural drink mixers booth. Unfortunately those were the names of mixers, not actual drinks.

There were many food carts! This cart even served up a tofu roll.

Heather enjoyed a fresh fruit smoothie from Raw YouNiverse, and I enjoyed a sample of their kale chips ($10 a bag though…)

The Fish Market is there each year with the freshest of seafood.

These stuffed breads sounded to die for!

Freshly baked pastries and loafs.

Gourmet truffles and coffee.

These nice folks from Norm’s Best let me sample marinated mushrooms, jalapeno jams, and award-winning BBQ sauces.

Loved the way these jams and jellies were packaged.

Sampled some amazing maple garlic salt (yup) and maple peanut brittle here.

Beautiful bottles of oils and vinegars!

Adorable tea packaging.

I’m such a salt fan that I had to pick up a tiny jar of smoked sea salts. Any new kind of salt is a must-try in my book! Can’t wait to try this on a meat or seafood from the grill.

Beeswax candles – they smelled amazing!

I purchased one the above votive beeswax candles from Swift Farm. The man working there gave Heather and I some very interesting info on candles. I burn them every morning and evening, and usually buy them from Bath & Body Works. Those are parafin candles. Apparently they are not only the most common, but also the most HARMFUL to the air. According to the Swift Farm rep, the second-best form of candle to burn is soy, but most are NOT non-GMO. That leaves us with the best kind to burn – 100% beeswax, completely natural. And they really do smell fantastic! I’m going to “burn through” the rest of my B&BW candles, but what he had to say was interesting and I’ll have to reconsider whether or not I want to purchase any more from there in the future.

I also bought a natural lip balm from Swift Farm. The ingredient list is amazing: almond oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, comfrey oil, vitamin E oil, and rosemary & peppermint essential oils. It feels so soft on my lips, smells great, and gives a slight, satisfying peppermint tingle. Crazy though how those with nut allergies would need to avoid this lip balm. I could easily forget about the almond oil and am worried I’m going to give some to a nut-allergic friend who asks to borrow some!

Pita pizza and the fated last tabbouleh!

Last year I visited Iffat, a hilarious, friendly man who runs the Lazizah Bakery in Yantic, CT. They are famous in the state for their falafel, but don’t sell it at the farmers’ market because Iffat would have to make it in Yantic and bring it to Coventry since the fryer isn’t portable. He’d rather NOT sell a lower quality version of his most famous product than make the money he could probably make if he sold pre-made falafel. I admire that!

Iffat was just as fun as he was last year, calling Heather and I “beautiful girls”, and answering my questions about the above herbed pita, which I purchased and made into a FAB shrimp pizza for dinner a few nights later with my mom.

 There was just one case of tabbouleh left, one of Heather and I’s favorite Mediterannean foods, so we decided it was fate that we split it!

It was impossible not to take the Strawberry Salsa and Dandelion Green & Carrot Top Pesto home with me!

I had told her all about Yummy Hummy, another booth that impressed me last year. We sadly arrived too late to get the carrot & ginger hummus we’d heard would be offered (of course, it was sold out!) but there were still some unique products left that I snatched immediately – strawberry salsa and dandelion green & carrot top pesto!

Heather called this the best hummus she’s ever had – says a lot coming from someone who considers it a food group.

Heather purchased some hummus and swooned over it. Yummy Hummy is a great, humble company and they make so many unique hummus flavors! Others that I hope to find at a farmers’ market to purchase someday: spicy sesame, lemon cilantro, summer squash & curry, beets & scallions, pumpkin spice, acorn squash & black pepper, and MOJITO!


Last season I purchased dill pickle chips from Christine’s Country Kitchen, so I knew I wanted to try to get different selections this time around. Plus I’ve only grown MORE adventurous with food in the last year, so it makes sense that I ended up expanding outside of my pickled horizons. Of course I selected a jar of garlic pickles first, but I followed it up with sugar-free pickled beets and sweet & spicy mustard! I’ve been rocking the pickles and beets in my salads…I still don’t think I enjoy eating beets alone, but am now at the point that I’m loving them in my salads. I’m a mustard fanatic and sampled many at this booth, but ended up choosing the sweet & spicy.

The most touching moment of the day came courtesy of Shayna B’s Gluten-Free Bakery. All their treats are also VEGAN, which was great news for Heather, who had not had the best of luck at the farmers’ market finding baked goods or any breads that fit the vegan bill.

Quinoa, bunt cakes, and strawberry tarts.

We started chatting with the owner and she was so kind and appreciative of our passion and desire for healthy, natural, wholesome food. We each received a sample of the Wendy Bites, in the bottom row of the picture below, made with fantastic vegan and gluten-free-friendly ingredients like garbanzo bean flour. A nut-free version without the almonds was even available, though I have to admit the bites I had with the almonds were the best ones 🙂 Heather decided to buy a package of Wendy Bites, and when we came up 50 cents short, they let us purchase the Wendies anyway! We couldn’t believe how kind the folks of Shayna B’s were and could tell that they really, really just wanted their treats to reach as many happy people as possible.

Fresh vegan and gluten-free granola and Wendy’s Bites.

After visiting Shayna’s we decided we’d spent enough of our life savings for one day. My bag sure was heavy!

SOOO much loot. Shoulder raisin’ it!

On our way back to the car we remembered that there were BABY ANIMALS at the market that day! We passed them at the entrance and stopped for some playtime.

Making the same face as this llama, inadvertently.

The kind of picture that could get me on a most wanted list.

Self-taken Caitlin and a llama photo fail.

I wanted to take him home with me!

Just a goat on a leash!

He kept trying to eat my shorts!

He really wanted to eat my Forever21 rose ring!

A little more success taking self-taken photos with the goat.

See, I’ve been known to rock the poses with farm animals before. Behold, my last trip to the Central Park Petting Zoo…

Come on alpaca, didn’t you get the kissy face memo?

Photo-bombing this sheep pic.

After I was done making a fool of myself, we walked back to the car and went to West Hartford’s quaint Blueback Square, another CT gem I wanted Heather to visit, to meet up with our girl Jenny. I met her through Heather and am so grateful – she rocks and we’ve already become fast friends.

We snagged iced tea from the Green Tea House and took it outside to enjoy the last rays of sunshine before the impending downpour.

The blend I selected – not as good as the Banana Split/Monkey’s Chocolate combo from last time!

So fabulous to chat and sip with these girls. Great end to the day – actually, the day ended with Heather and I literally jumping into my car and closing the sunroof right as the downpour began, but you know. Good friends, good timing.

Babes in Blueback.

After Heather (sadly) departed, I laid out my farmers’ market finds and immediately started planning how I’d incorporate some into that evening’s dinner.

I topped a leftover salmon burger with the strawberry salsa, and my mom roasted up the zucchini and squash (I got a ton for just $3.50). OMG! An amazing, amazing meal. I was in heaven the whole time.

Capped off with a glass of rioja. Also had a turkey burger and beans.

What’s the best find you’ve gotten at a farmers’ market?

Farm animals…love ’em or hate ’em?

Rain Can’t Stop BBQ at Mohegan Sun

There’s a great discussion about preferences, use, opinions, and more regarding SOY PROTEIN in the comments of yesterday’s post. Don’t miss it!

Check out my pre-BBQ-fest post here for info on this event and my thoughts before attending!

I woke up on Saturday and was quite bummed to see that the weather was NOT cooperating for the outdoor Mohegan Sun BBQ Fest. I received an email notifying me that the start time was being delayed until 3PM, since the weather was calling for the rain to stop by late afternoon. All day long it kept pouring down, and I have to admit I was doubtful, but I still hit the road for the casino with my foodie-friend Jeff by my side. We planned to get a drink and play a little craps before the festivities began.

Anyone who has ever been to Mohegan Sun Casino is surely familiar with the gorgeous waterfall by Todd English’s Tuscany. We sat at the bar outside the waterfall and ordered unique cocktails from Tuscany’s drink menu, which I was very pleased with because I’d already stalked that menu online and knew it was right up my alley.

Jeff’s Black & Blue Mojito and my Pisco Pumelo

The cinnamon sea salt rim on the Pisco Pumelo called to me! I ordered it sans grapefruit juice, so it was just Pisco Porton, lime juice, and ginger-spiced syrup (which I sadly couldn’t taste at all). It was essentially like a margarita with a cinnamon kick. I loved it, so refreshing!

Jeff’s loved his Black & Blue Mojito: Malibu Black and Passion Fruit, Absolut Berry Acai, pomegranate juice, lime, and a TON of mint and blueberries. Seriously, there were so many left after he’d finished it, and we transferred them to my drink and “muddled” them into it with a straw, which gave it a nice addition!

After winning $15 on the craps table ($10 of which I turned over to Jeff to pay him back for my beverage), we went to get my media pass and Jeff’s will-call ticket. (Un)fortunately I found out Jeff didn’t need to buy a ticket in the first place because I got a guest pass too, but since I didn’t know that initially, and he’d already paid for his ticket, we just decided to see the silver lining – which was that we did get 8 extra food tickets out of it!

Ready to hit the fest with our passes!

As you can see I was proudly using my Oakley Women bag from the Tone It Up Meet ‘n Greet to carry my event-coverage-essentials!

Despite the rain, the crowds were lined up at the booths, both those from Mohegan Sun restaurants and those from outside vendors, to get in some tasty BBQ eats. Jeff and I wanted to peruse everything first before deciding where to spend our food tickets. We started out at the farmers’ market.

The nuts we sampled from The Nut Lady were super tasty, but we wanted to save room for BBQ and I wanted to save my money for another farmers’ market trip I had coming up!

Some of the market booths weren’t open yet because we arrived right at the 3PM start. That included this extremely sad-looking Italian ice cart…I thought the Porta-Potties made it look extra lonely, ha!

Around this time we received word that members of the media had a tent they could go to for eats, and some custom-mixed drinks (in exchange for some tickets). Yes, please! Especially nice since it was still drizzling off and on and the benches outside were slightly damp.

Seriously nearly died over how smooth and delicious our drinks turned out – made with a little ginger ale and Spiced Cinnamon Red Stag Whiskey by Jim Beam.

The food spread in the tent was pretty impressive!

Cheddar biscuits and cornbread.

Macaroni salad and potato salad.


Vinaigrette coleslaw.

RIBS – what we came for!

We felt pretty smug when we set up our plates and cups and chowed down in the media tent. It’s fun to be a media member 🙂

Me on the left, Jeff on the right.

The verdict? The biscuits were OK, but could have been crispier and warmer. I had the kinda-crunchy exterior but left the rest. Jeff said the cornbread was northern-style – sweet and soft. NOT a fan, glad I didn’t waste stomach space on that, I needed all I could get (you’ll see). My mom’s cornbread is perfect, so savory and I have it burnt to a crisp.

Obviously I loved the veggies, but I have to mention the vinaigrette coleslaw because it really stood out to me, especially since I had expected every booth’s coleslaw offering to be mayo-smothered. This coleslaw was light, fresh, and different than any other kind offered at the BBQ Fest. I legit could’ve had a whole plate of it!

Jeff and I agreed that the ribs were tasty, but not fall-off-the-bone impressive. I liked the sauce on them! But we had some more booths to attack…we surveyed the outside vendors and searched for the one with the cheapest sampler platter, which we ended up saving for last. I love the fun carnival vibe the outside vendor displays gave to the BBQ Fest!

I was psyched to see Tennessee BBQ represented at the event, complete with UT decor. GO VOLS!

You can barely see me! Even though I’m labeled “big”? Ha!

Eek – vegetarians/vegans may want to look away now! Jeff and I were jealous of those with access to the VIP tent, who were apparently the only ones who got the chance to sample the BBQ fresh off this roasted pig!

Something exactly like this is actually what I eat on Christmas Eve every year.

Proud lovers of all meat.

There was a special rib-cooking demo going on around this time!

We hit up the Mohegan Sun food and drink booths and their affordable offerings.

I just thought this packaging was kinda hilarious…and that is seriously a TON of munchkins.

Belvedere “skinny” iced tea and lemonade cocktails!

A healthy looking slider and nice display from Margaritaville.

Our first Mohegan munchie (Meg, do you love that alliteration?) came in the form of two fabulously flaky BBQ Spring Rolls from Michael Jordan’s 23 Sport Cafe. Only 1 ticket for 2 rolls, and there were 2 foodies present…perfect! And that green aioli they were served with? TO DIE FOR.

My drink co-modeling with the food.

The offerings at the below booth from the Mohegan Sun Banquet & Catering Team were so low-priced and so delicious looking. We simply could not pass up 2 of the 3…the Grilled Chilled Jumbo Shrimp and CT Oyster Poboy with Cucumber Slaw and Herb Aioli! I LOVE AIOLI (*cough* mayo *cough*)

My kind of prices!

This shrimp was lookin’ satisfying even in a plastic bag!

That is one gorgeous poboy!

Despite the fact that our tickets purchased three shrimp, the vendors noticed we were two people sharing them, and gave us four. Jeff was the one who pointed that out, and it really impressed me. All it takes is a little something like that to feel true appreciation! And it’s true that I had been wondering how splitting that third shrimpie would go for us #foodieproblems

1 shrimp, 2 shrimp, 3 shrimp, 4! Can you tell I was super enthusiastic about my drink? It keeps showing up.

The shrimp were really good! The cocktail sauce was…well, it was cocktail sauce. I preferred eating the shrimp on its own and enjoying the flavor.

De-tailing my shrimp.

Story behind the above photo…the first time I ever ordered shrimp at a restaurant (yes, I remember), I was at Catsup and Mustard with my boyfriend at the time as well as Jeff, who was there on his inaugural Corey Wry restaurant visit after I insisted that any real Hartford area foodie couldn’t be called a foodie until trying Catsup and Mustard (which has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives). Anyway, Jeff had to get a burger since that’s what they’re famous for, but I’d already tried them and ordered shrimp after recently discovering that I liked some seafood (I was still branching out). I proceeded to eat my first two shrimps off the skewer – including the tails. Joe and Jeff realized I was, well, crunching my shrimp and asked what the HECK I was doing. I was quite embarrassed when I found out I was supposed to remove the tail before eating it.

The Oakley Women bag and hairtie are honestly complete coincidences! Haha

But I knew what I was doing this time – see how psyched I look? I also realize that it took me way longer than it should have to tell that story above, but I was enjoying my path down memory lane 🙂

Jeff looking smug to be at Catsup and Mustard that day, I just realized he looks so different! Can’t believe this was over two years ago.

I’d just turned 21 and insisted ordering a margarita at every meal.

I’m also notorious for raising my eyebrows hardcore when I bite into anything. It’s a weird reflex, as if I think it’ll help get my mouth open wider (that’s what she said).

Not on purpose.

Other evidence of this habit…

Chillin’ with a wing at a Chops ‘n Catch beer dinner.

Apparently I even think raising my eyebrows will make me drink faster!

Clearly the habit was contagious to Jeff.

Raised brows or not, the poboy didn’t stand a chance. The oyster was so well fried, but not too much so that I couldn’t taste the seafood. The cucumber slaw added such a satisfying crunch to the fried exterior and the aioli was, again, dynamite.

Damage, done. Finally the drinks make their exit.

Next up, Jeff and I decided to split a brisket slider from Big Bubba’s BBQ and a spicy pork slider from Geno’s Fast Break. The brisket slider had some tasty meat but the bun was plain, white, and big, which is my usual beef (hardy-har) with sliders. I enjoyed the spicy pork slider much more because it was served on a nice flatbread with a soft, pita-like texture and also contained some crunchy, fresh veggie action.

Brisket on the left, spicy pork on the right.

We decided to take a food break (pacing is required at these kinds of events) and go to the main stage to watch the rib-eating contest!

The contest was headed up by an announcer dressed in his Southern best, including a fancy straw hat, which had its own hat box. We know because we spotted it in the media tent later!

Spotted: hat box.

Jeff liked the crazy high-energy of the announcer and thought he was very charismatic, but I just found him a bit ridiculous and long-winded! Still, it was funny to listen to his out-there intro for each contestant, accompanied by “get your game on” music like “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.

I think it took him about thirty minutes to intro all the contestants.

The judges lined up and then the contestants took the stage, including one randomly-chosen member of the crowd named Mitch.

Interviewing the judges.

Stare-down between contestants.

Game face is on as he unpacks his various liquids.

Most competitors showed up with a ton of different liquids! I would not want to fill up on any of those if I was participating in an eating contest, but I Googled it and I guess they help lubricate the throat. Still, I’m not sure what the purpose was behind all the different liquids this guy had! The article I linked here also only mentions water, but most competitors opted for something different.

Mitch, the contestant from the crowd, is on the far left.

Mitch ended up taking a slow pace in the contest and looked very content the whole time. Jeff and I joked that he was using it as a free dinner and seemed quite smug about it.

The only female in the competition.

When this girl came on stage, there were gasps from the crowd and cries of, “She’s so skinny!!!” But don’t judge a book by its cover – I had a feeling she was going to be tough to keep up with.

A rather hilarious candid of Joey Chestnut.

Of course the famous competitive eater and current Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion, Joey Chestnut, came on stage last and received the biggest cheers (and most long-winded, hyped-up intro from Mr. Announcer).

And then they were off! The competition was so graphic that we could NOT look away. And I really mean graphic in some parts…one of the contestants ended up projectile-vomiting on the announcer, who had been standing right in front of him at the time!

The culprit? The guy on the left.

It was also graphic and hard to look away in the sense that these guys were just SO into their rib eating. Joey especially didn’t have a care in the world except getting down as many ribs as possible, no matter how gross he looked doing it or how messy he got!


Had to take a pic of this little girl – blogger in the making?!

In the end, Joey Chestnut was crowned champion of the Sun BBQ Fest Rib-Eating Competition, though the female contestant came in second place and lost by only about 1/4 lb of ribs!

Yeah, I won, so what?

Watching all that rib-eating made Jeff and I not hungry, but also not stuffed any longer, so we decided to get a sampler plate from one of the outside BBQ vendors. My readers know I love my sampler plates!

I think this was called The Panhandler? Only 6 food tickets!

We ended up being completely unable to finish this, but at least Jeff had leftovers to take home. The platter came with pulled pork, ribs, coleslaw, beans, and Texas toast. The mayo-laden coleslaw paled in comparison to that light and fresh vinaigrette coleslaw served in the media tent, and the Texas toast wasn’t toasted at all – but Texas-sized hunks of bread! However, the protein of the platter – the beans, pork, and ribs – was all very good. Definitely better ribs than in the media tent, and a better BBQ sauce. Still, despite how good the meat was, there was a lot left after we filled up!

My napkin pile…

We shared a cup of red wine and a cup of white since it was only 2 tickets per cup, but we didn’t even have room in our stomachs to finish that! Competitive eaters, we are not. The Authentic Red was pretty good but I actually preferred the Pinot Grigio, probably because I just wanted something REALLY light.

We left with fun memories and full bellies – just what we were hoping for. Congrats to Mohegan Sun for putting on a great event despite the rain, and thanks for having us!

What was the best BBQ meal you ever had? How about the best BBQ sauce?

Have you ever had a REALLY good bourbon or whiskey? I’m becoming a big fan lately!

Have you ever watched a competitive eating contest? What do you think of them overall?

Farmer’s Market Finds

On Sunday I went to the Coventry Farmer’s Market, and was in absolute foodie HEAVEN. I entered the premises and was first confronted with an Agave cart selling tacos and burritos. Yes please! I got in line for one before realizing that, duh Caitlin, what other foodie opportunities await you here, especially when you have an Agave LivingSocial deal to use and can go there in Hartford any old time?

So I entered the rest of the market and was blown away. I got to try tons of amazing and unique samples. I had the chance to chat with vendors about their products, personally compliment them on their amazing offerings, and best of all, support them by purchasing some of the tasty treats. No, I don’t know how much money I spent, but I’d say it’s worth it for local stuff that is of a good quality that’s hard to find in the grocery stores. I must have looked pretty goofy, this chick in sweaty workout clothes and bright pink sneakers, walking alone through the muddy fields of the farmer’s market with what was probably a ginormous grin on my face, but I couldn’t help it – this place just made me smile! I highly recommend this market to any CT resident.

Oh and in case you are wondering, after I filled up on samples I ended up settling on a spinach pocket from a Yantic, CT-based Lebanese restaurant owner – soft, pillowy dough filled with spinach, lemon juice, thyme, and other spices. So good, and my cheapest option after I’d already dropped too much of the other kind of dough on the following finds:

Beltane Farms: chive goat cheese!

The guy at the Beltane Farm booth was so nice, and was kind enough to let me know about their wine and cheese tasting happening this Sunday! He let me sample this chive flavor, as well as a dill-wasabi that was out of this world, on some wheat thins. I’ve never cooked with spreadable goat cheese, only crumbled, so I’m curious – anyone got any recipes involving goat cheese in this form? It seems harder to use when you can’t crumble it on top of or into a dish!

Yummy Hummy: pico de gallo

The woman at the Yummy Hummy booth had lots of great samples. They  had already sold out of the pumpkin spice hummus unfortunately but I hope to catch it at my next visit. She sampled her hummuses (hummi?) on veggie chips which was awesome because I’m addicted to them, I buy them in bulk at TJ’s whenever I can. I tried an awesome chipotle hummus as well as a garlic hummus. The chipotle was very unique and the perfect amount of spiciness – I hope to pick some up next time. The garlic was pretty good but not interesting enough or any better than Cedar’s for me to consider getting some. But this salsa really won me over. It was so fresh and chunky, just the way I like my pico. Had to get some!

Christine's Community Kitchen: kosher dill chips!

If you don’t already know, I’m a pickle addict. I’m also a garlic addict. Imagine my delight when Christine’s Community Kitchen’s tent was sampling both pickled garlic and garlic pickles! And then…the guy in front of me bought the last jar of pickled garlic. Thanks, guy! I tried it though, and it was pretty awesome. The garlic pickles however, were meh. I couldn’t get enough garlic flavor! So I went with a jar of the classic dill chips, perfect for my daily lunchtime salad beast.

Mariah's Chow Chow Relish: sweet n' spicy!

Mariah’s Chow Chow Relish is available in four different flavors and was sampled on what looked to me like Food Should Taste Good chips. This was the first flavor I tried (the flavors go in order from sweetest to spiciest and this is the second sweetest) and I jumped on it right away as soon as the woman at the tent said that it goes great in baked potato skins. I am a baked potato addict and frequently fill my skins with salsa or pico of any kind. I tried this relish in my potato skin last night and this woman (Mariah herself?) wasn’t lying – holy crap it was wonderful! I can’t wait to see what dishes I could whip up with this relish too. Any ideas for recipes that call for a sweet n’ spicy condiment?

Capa di Roma Roasted Garlic marinara sauce

Finally, I purchased this Capa di Roma marinara sauce specifically because a) I love garlic, b) the sample of the regular marina was amazing and I knew garlic could only make it better, and c) I knew a spaghetti dish was on the menu that night at home. Their both also had samples of their balsamic vinegar, which I fell in love with, but didn’t purchase since it was a bit out of my price range at $14.

Sunday night dinner

We absolutely loved the sauce, but unfortunately the whole jar was gone after one meal! My mom mixed with with browned ground turkey and veggies, and we served it over whole wheat spaghetti. The garlic flavor was phenomenal!

Steamed broccoli, plenty garlicky too.

My favorite side dish to have with Italian dishes is broccoli! I went back for seconds of that, as well as seconds of the sauce and meat combo. This was one awesome meal – thanks to the Coventry Farmer’s Market for making it even more memorable! And for making last night’s dinner memorable too with that relish!

What’s the best find you’ve come across at a farmer’s market?