March 28, 2012

Though most fruits and vegetables are available year-round nowadays, they taste so much better when locally grown and purchased in season."  There's almost nothing better than biting into a ripe & juicy strawberry, a tender piece of spring asparagus, or a warm piece of fresh rhubarb pie."  My mouth waters just thinking about it!

And in Orange County, we are seriously lucky."  While much of the country continues to endure rain, sleet and snow, we're heading to farmer's markets to shop from the most beautiful and delicious Spring produce."  It's quite a treat.

Whether you're a local or visiting, finding and preparing produce is easy."  Just a few minutes of effort - in your kitchen or even your hotel room - is all you need to whip up a colorful, flavorful snack or meal that's sure to please any palate."  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crostini with Fresh Mint -- The best part about this easy appetizer is that you can find every ingredient at the farmer's market."  Simply slice a baguette, slather each piece with soft goat cheese, then top with sliced strawberries and a fresh mint leaf and drizzle with honey." 

Strawberries with Sour Cream and Brown Sugar --"  It doesn't get easier than this."  After rinsing and hulling your strawberries, dip the tips into light sour cream and then a little brown sugar."  Pop the whole thing into your mouth for a juicy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor!

Steamed Eggs with Asparagus -- All it takes is a microwave to make this high protein breakfast for snack!"  Cut or break off the ends of one bunch of asparagus spears, then snap into 1-inch pieces and place in some water in a microwave-safe bowl or mug for 3-5 minutes or until soft."  Drain."  Place a couple of eggs in the bowl or mug, whisk with a fork, then add the asparagus pieces. Microwave for ~2 minutes or until egg is cooked through and you have an asparagus "omelet.""  For more flavor, add shredded cheese or chopped fresh herbs.

Rhubarb Applesauce -- Make a big batch of this simple and unique fruit sauce and watch it disappear in no time!"  Or, make a single portion using the microwave in your hotel room and enjoy every warm bite for breakfast, a snack, or dessert."  No matter where you enjoy it, you'll be wondering how you can ever eat regular applesauce again!

Snap Peas with Veggie Dip -- When produce is at it's peak, eating it raw is often then ultimate pleasure."  In springtime, snap peas are extra sweet, crunchy, and provide the perfect afternoon snack when dipped into one of these easy homemade veggie dips."  Even if you simply buy a seasoning packet from the farmer's market or grocery store and mix it with a container of Greek yogurt, you'll be blown away at how delicious this easy snack really is.

What are your own favorite ways to enjoy Spring produce?"  We'd love to hear what you like to eat on the road or at home when this season strikes!