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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Farmer's Market Therapy

Whew! We have survived yet another hustley bustley holiday season. Oh the family, oh the friends, oh the food. And then after all the commotion, suddenly it’s a new year and it’s back to reality. As I jump into 2010 I’m excited about a couple of pastry opportunities that have come my way, but along with these good things comes stress.

I was in particular need of some perspective this morning, so I put on my Nikes and jogged to San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza building where a Farmer’s Market was taking place. Just being around such beautiful produce and fabulous foods helps me feel more grounded and inspired.

The lovely citrus fruits are starting to take over…I envision some tartly sweet Meyer Lemon Curd and Blood Orange Ganache in my future.

Oh and the beautiful sweet potatoes (for those of you who watched the most recent White House episode of “Iron Chef”, I apologize for yet another sweet potato reference). But really, they are delicious.

My favorite way to cook sweet potatoes is to cut them into slices, toss them with some grape seed oil (an oil with a high smoke point and neutral flavor), salt and pepper and stick them in the oven (covered with aluminum foil)…then I turn up the heat to around 400 degrees. About 30 to 40 minutes later (take off the foil about half-way through cooking), you will have the sweetest and most delectable sweet potatoes….ever.

The real trick here is to NOT preheat your oven…stick the sweet potato slices in a cold oven and only then should you turn it on. That is THE secret to getting the best and sweetest flavor from these orange beauties.

Now that I've had my Farmer's Market fix, at least until next week, I feel ready to take on 2010 with gusto!


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