Farmers Market Cooking – 3 Gorgeous Spring Recipes

CSA Picnic Table 4

Y’all, probably one of the best things I did in 2015 was build a picnic table with my boyfriend! Yes, for reals, we looked up a gazillion plans, went to Home Depot like we knew what we were doing, bought all the supplies and 18 hours later our first picnic table was born! Can you believe it?!? We are such proud parents. Many a wonderful night has been spent sitting around it enjoying long, delicious meals with friends. Bonus points, it is the absolutely most perfect background for showing off my pretty blue and white plates. I just love how they look on this table!

When it came time to shoot the April issue of Austin Woman Magazine, I knew immediately that I wanted my little picnic table to shine! I rounded up three of my most favorite spring recipes for you. Check them out below plus my tips for shopping at the farmers market this spring!

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Semi Homemade Lunch-able

This is one of my secret favs. Simple, throw it together and little bit nostalgic all at the same time. I mean who didnt secretly like lunchables as a kid? As adult, the slimy meat weirds me out and the laundry list of ingredients is well, weird. But never fear! I’ve got just the thing!

It’s easy, it’s kind-of homemade… I mean crackers are not something I usually make at home the reg.

For my semi-homemade lunchable, you’ll need:
Hummus- I make my own using this recipe
Crackers- I went with Triscuits this time
Baby bell peppers
Sharp white cheddar
Cucumber slices
Baby carrots

Throw it all in a little container and it’s perfect for lunch at work, or a snack, or a picnic or road trip… Or I could go on. You get it, they are great for everything!

You could switch your semi-homemade lunchable up and add grapes or berries or even a little protein.


Beer Beef Stew with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

I finally had a couple of my guy friends over for dinner. As my friend Jessica and I were discussing menu options we definitely decided beef was the way to go with these guys. Plus it was a rainy, chilly evening and what better way to warm up than some hot beef stew? Not to mention, this stew was beer beef stew, guy food for sure. Pour this beer beef stew over horseradish mashed potatoes and you’ve got quite the meal!

For the stew, You’ll need:
1.5 lbs stew meat
1 can of beer (don’t use light beer, c’mon y’all!)
4 large carrots
4 large stalks of celery
1 medium white onion
4oz of tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic
4 cubes of beef bouillon+4 cups of water
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter
Worchestire Sauce

For the Horseradish Potatoes, you’ll need:
4lbs russet potatoes
Horseradish (extra hot!)
A little whole or buttermilk
Kosher salt

First, wash the carrots then peel them.

Then slice them up.

Wash and slice celery. Then place in a bowl with carrots and set aside.

Dice up the onion.

Mince up the garlic.

First, we are going to brown the meat. Melt the tablespoon of butter in a large pot that you will also use to cook the stew. Keeps all the flavors in once place.

Throw in half the meat, brown the meat in 2 batches as to not crowd the pot. Just brown all sides, takes 2 or 3 minutes for each batch.

Browning the meat.

Remove browned beef pieces from the pot and cut them in half or bite size pieces. The inside should still be red. Set those aside.

Now, time to sauté the onion. Place in the pot with all the butter and beef juice, stir around for about 2min.

Once the onions start to turn translucent, add in the garlic and stir for about a minute. Careful, garlic burns easily!

Now, add in the 4 beef bullion cubes along with 4 cups of water to the pot with the onions and garlic.

Beer time!

Pour in the whole can.

Next, stir in 4oz of tomato paste.

Add in one to two tablespoons of Worchestire Sauce.

A few shakes of paprika.

The beer will get really frothy as it heats up. This will give off a distinct yeast smell.

Add in a pinch of salt.

Dont forget to put the beef back in!

Stir everything, cover and let simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.

While the stew is simmering, let’s get started on those potatoes.

Wash and peel the potatoes, we want those creamy white mashers for this stew! Dice up the potatoes after peeling.

Boil the potatoes.

After the potatoes at tender, drain them. Holy steam!

Put the potatoes back in the pot and add 2 tablespoons of buttermilk.

Start mashing!

Now add in the horseradish. This is to taste. I like it hot so I probably added 4-5 tablespoons!!

Yum yum!

Ok back to the stew. Add in the celery and carrots after about an hour and half. Simmer for another 30min or until vegetables reach desired tenderness. If the stew has cooked down too much,

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add in a cup of water or half can of beer. I added in an extra half can of beer!

30 minutes later…

Place potatoes in a bowl.

Pour beer beef stew over the horseradish mashed potatoes.

Now you’re ready to eat!