Special Saturdays

farmer's market peaches

There is nothing I love more than a good Farmer’s Market. Saturday mornings and farmer’s markets go together like grilled cheese and tomato soup. Sure, one is fine without the other – enjoyable even. But put them together and you have something special, and this past Saturday was just that – special.

It’s rare that we are able to do anything last-minute these days. With a rambunctious two-year old boy and a very scheduled three-month-old girl, outings take advanced planning. Who am I kidding? A shower, a bathroom break and even a moment to brush my teeth in the morning all take advanced planning! However, the stars aligned this Saturday morning and when both babies had been fed and BJ and I had downed our first round of caffeine, we loaded up the car and headed into the Village for our first trip to the Laguna Beach Farmer’s Market since Allie came along. It was a gorgeous summer day- blue skies, warm air, cool breeze. Tourists were still asleep and had yet to descend on the tiny town, which meant there were plenty of parking spots. God was smiling down on our gutsy little adventure for sure.

After pulling into a fabulous spot, BJ loaded both kiddos into the stroller and I hit the ATM so I would have plenty of cash. Everyone at the market was in a lovely mood; how could they not be with the aroma of perfectly ripe peaches, succulent basil and sweet tomatoes wafting through the air? Oh take me back!

loryn-at-farmer's-market_forweb

 

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I’m kind of a spazz at the market. There is no method to my madness- I just pick what looks good at each stand, not wanting any one vendor to be left out. Sometimes I legitimately sympathy-buy. That’s when I go for the onions. I could have shopped for days but knowing we will be heading out of town this week, I tried to be sensible and only buy what I would actually have time to cook. I also tried VERY hard to stay away from the flowers…So hard! I did come away with a ton of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers the size of baseball bats…ok maybe t-ball bats…purple basil, mint, cauliflower, almonds and some gorgeous bunches of scallions.

farmers market tomatoes

 

farmers market cucumbers

 

I’m ready to cook! Except I’m not. It’s been getting hot in the afternoons and when I turn on my stove or oven the house heats up like no one’s business. So I’m not going to cook. Instead, I’m going to let all of this glorious produce speak for itself and make three beautiful gazpachos. A classic red, a lovely green, and a fun white one. I’ve never made gazpacho so I’m excited! I’m also excited that this trip to the farmer’s market is not going to sabotage my weight-loss plan. Oh speaking of weight loss and sabotage, did I mention the prosciutto empanada BJ and I shared while strolling through the stands? Holy buttery, flaky, salty goodness. Yum. I cried a little when it was gone. But how fun is that? Not only can you get ridiculously fresh and fabulous fruits and vegetables, you can hit up an emapanda stand or the tamale cart and EAT while you shop. Kellan’s favorite is the popsicle cart. He may or may not have enjoyed a strawberry lemonade popsicle at 9am. Don’t judge.

I’ll let you know how it goes with the gazpachos and will share the three recipes in the next week or so. Hopefully BJ will humor me. I suppose I can always hand him some tortilla chips and call it salsa. We shall see! 🙂

What’s for dinner?

I’m the last person who has to ask the age old question, “What’s for dinner?” I’ve spent the last year and a half creating weekly meal plans for Menu Therapy subscribers, so my recipe repertoire is packed full of dinner ideas. With the click of a button I can search through the recipes on my computer by keyword and find something that hits the spot that night, and that’s only if I’m not already following the weekly meal plan I planned out for others! Our options are endless.

So what happens when the meal planner becomes the meal…plannee? I don’t think that’s the right word but you get my drift. What happens when the wife, mama, meal planner and meal preparer gets put on bed rest? Chaos, that’s what!

I kinda knew it was going to happen. I could feel it in my bones, or in my uterus anyway. I had a positive attitude, I tried to take it easy, I drank more water than a marathoner and yet it still happened. Seven months pregnant, way too much amniotic fluid in my already fussy uterus, 2 visits to labor and delivery, and doctor’s orders to take up permanent residence on my couch. Ugh. Definitely not the worst thing in the world and I’m counting my blessings that our baby girl is healthy, but definitely not the easiest thing in the world either. During a normal week I take care of our two year old, grocery shop, keep the house in order, write meal plans, cook and photograph meals, clean up an insane amount of toddler messes, and ALWAYS put dinner on the table no matter what. Now I can do none of that. Nada. My husband has picked up the slack in a major way, taking on all of those tasks while continuing to excel at his full-time job. He’s my hero. My parents will be here in a week and that will be a well-deserved break for BJ and lots a fun for Kellan. Poor buddy, he will finally have some undivided attention and so much action and excitement that maybe he’ll actually start napping again. (Please God, let him start napping again, now is not the time!)

I’ve been chilling on the couch for a week now and I want you to know I have not had to ask, “What’s for dinner?” one single time. Not once! Until my parents can get here and fill in the gap, my absolutely amazing friends who live in GEORGIA have taken care of our dinners. That’s right…they are feeding my pregnant self and family across the country in California by the simple click of a button on their computer. Isn’t that amazing? First of all it’s amazing that I have such loving and generous friends who would be so thoughtful, but secondly it’s amazing that it’s apparently such an easy thing to do. Who knew? They have used this awesome website called Restaurants on the Run, where they can find participating restaurants in our area and pre-order meals to be delivered to our home on specific days. How awesome is that? Every night around 5:00pm our doorbell rings and the same delivery guy is out there with another delicious dinner.

rotr

It’s seriously the best thing ever. I’m so excited to know about this because I can see it being super helpful in the future when I get the chance to return the favor. In fact, I have a friend in Atlanta who is expecting TWINS in April and I can’t wait to take care of her and her sweet family in this way when the little babes are born.

So now, I hope you’ll cut me some slack if the food photos and recipes are less frequent over the next few weeks, although I will do my best to stay in touch. You can see I have a pretty legit excuse. 🙂