Post image for April at the Hollywood Farmers Market and Some Tasty Spring Links

We squeezed in a quick visit to the Hollywood Farmers Market, when we were in Los Angeles last weekend. Just off Hollywood Boulevard, its sidewalks festooned with stars from music, film and television, lies a deceptively large and diverse Farmers Market.

For what seemed like blocks, we strolled Ivar Avenue taking in stall after stall of produce, farm-raised meat and poultry, fresh seafood, freshly-baked breads, flowers and more. In between stalls, musicians playing country swing and acoustic R&B, serenaded us as we bought apples, cherry tomatoes and juicy sweet oranges. We didn’t have time to stop by the stalls filled with aromatic prepared foods, but sampling Russian dumplings and other locally-prepared ethnic treats are at the top of our list when we return to LA.

Here is a quick snapshot of our all-too-brief visit to the Hollywood Farmers Market:

I’ll be back soon with a new recipe. In the meantime, I wanted to share a few spring — and holiday — treats that have caught my eye during the last few weeks.

Jamie Schler of Life’s a Feast shows off a lovely, towering Lemon Almond Sponge Cake with Warm Lemon Sauce for Passover and shares heart-warming, evocative stories of her youth. And, if you’re craving chocolate, check out Jamie’s Cocoa Espresso Almond Passover Sponge Cake.

When I want to whet my appetite, I scroll through my friend Susie Kauck’s site, Return to Sunday Supper. Her Lemon Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze is a beauty.

I had to include Chocolate Cake with Candied Kumquats and this Daffodil Cake from Deb Ryan of East of Eden Cooking, because they’re both show-stoppers.

I’m a cannoli fiend and a Biscoff cookie fan, so Cathy Barrow’s (AKA Mrs Wheelbarrow) luscious, original Biscoff Cannoli Tart turned my head.

And, we can’t live on sugar alone. Laura Kumin of Mother Would Know has Asparagus Mini-Quiches for you. Hers have an impossible-to-resist crispy potato crust.

Jennifer Farley — she of Savory Simple — paired some of my favorite ingredients in this Grilled Flatbread with Port Onion Jam, Burrata and Apples. This is on my short list.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

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March at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market

March 31, 2014
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As we close out March, the Santa Barbara Farmers Market is a riot of color. Take a look. I hope March goes out like a lamb where you live. Have a good week!

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Ricotta Frittata with Fava Beans, Asparagus, Mint and Pecorino

March 27, 2014
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Dinner inspiration comes from the most unlikely places. Last week, it came from a tweet from one of my favorite twitter accounts, @sh*tfoodblogger. The tweets can be spectacularly vulgar, but many are hilarious, biting insults lobbed at food world luminaries. There are no sacred cows. In this case, though, it was a safe-for-all-ages tweet stringing [...]

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Tuna Tartare on Greens with Persian Cucumbers and Avocado

March 17, 2014
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Last weekend, friends joined us for a homey meal. The kids and their parents snacked on Baba’s small batch hummus from the Farmers Market, while I put the finishing touches on my mother’s marvelous brisket and buttery egg noodles. Simple, roasted early-spring asparagus added brightness to the plate. Caramel-y, brown butter chocolate chip cookies and [...]

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Meadowlark Lime Pound Cake

March 10, 2014
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On Facebook a few weeks ago, I posted a photo of a slice of Meadowlark Lime Pound Cake. I noted that the lime farmer — Orr Family Farms is located on Meadowlark Lane — shared a copy of the recipe with me when I was filling my bag with her fragrant, shiny limes. She explained [...]

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Greens-and-Things Breakfast Bowl

March 5, 2014
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One of our favorite places for breakfast in Santa Barbara is The Shop Cafe, which serves hearty comfort food, homey, lip-smacking baked goods and great coffee. Veterans of venerable Santa Barbara institutions such as the San Ysidro Ranch and the Wine Cask, owners Chris and Amy Vigilante, Scott Manser and Dudley Michael, have established a [...]

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February at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market: Spring has Sprung

February 24, 2014
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We’re still enjoying traditional wintry fruits and vegetables, but spring has arrived at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market. Here’s what February looks like: I hope spring is on its way where you are. Have a good week!

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Orange Marmalade Cake Featuring Red Hen Cannery’s Orange-Vanilla Marmalade

February 17, 2014
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I got hooked last summer on Red Hen Cannery’s fruit jams and preserves when I sampled the local company’s unforgettable Strawberry-Meyer Lemon Marmalade at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market. The rose-colored confection perfectly balanced tart and sweet. And, how could I resist a company whose motto is “Fruit as Poetry”? So, last weekend when I [...]

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Carne Adovada — New Mexico-style Pork with Red Chiles

February 12, 2014
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Matthew returned from a trip to Phoenix last week raving about the Carne Adovada he ordered at a popular restaurant called Dick’s Hideaway. He couldn’t get enough of the boldly-flavored, chili-like medley. For the uninitiated, New Mexico-style Carne Adovada features hunks of browned pork simmered until tender and velvety in an intensely-flavored, spicy and sweet [...]

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Santa Barbara-style Shrimp and Grits

February 3, 2014
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I spent the better part of last week at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. My 86-year-old father underwent successful heart surgery. His aortic valve was replaced — his third. This time, despite his age and the risk, waiting while my father was in surgery felt easier than it did 15 years ago. [...]

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