The Hilton/Nectar Restaurant has a weekly farm-to-table menu as well as creating menus for special wine tasting events. The emphasis is on local.

“Introducing Nectar restaurant & lounge, offering a contemporary yet relaxing dining experience. Using only Sonoma County products, our Executive Chef has created a seasonal menu with intriguing ingredients. Try our specialty cocktails paired with flavorful appetizers from the Lounge. Find out more about Nectar’s limited seating Wine Cave Dinners by going to this web site.”

Chef Jakushak is a Saturday market regular. His menu this week included squash blossoms from Redwood Empire Farm stuffed with one of Springhill’s fine goat cheeses.
Beautiful strawberries from Wild Rose Ranch, fava beans from Bernier and mushrooms from Bohemian Well Being Town also ended up in his shopping bag.

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May

31

2011

What’s News at the Market

The Press Democrat is doing a great job of keeping people up-to-date on market goings on.

“One of the biggest changes in our farmers markets, especially the larger ones, is that they are now among the best places to shop for healthy proteins and fats. Everything from locally-produced olive oil, local organic butter and pastured eggs to dried beans, tree nuts, seafood, pastured poultry, grass-fed lamb, beef and bison and local pork is available. The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market offers a huge diversity of these products, especially on Saturdays, when the market is now open an hour later than the Wednesday market, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market closes at noon on Wednesdays.” read more

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There are lots of new vendors to try and always check with your favorites to see what’s new

The Saturday market now includes Not Yer Momma’s Granola and Paella!

The Saturday market is open until one.

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Here’s what you missed if you let a little rain keep you from the Wednesday morning market. New to the market and not afraid of the rain is Mama Tina’s Ravioli. Cuz you wimped out you missed a chance to taste some of the best ravioli and sauces ever. Here and here are some reviews of Mama Tina’s Ravioli. The biteclub has the full story on Mama Tina You will not be able to go home empty handed. Follow Mamatina on Facebook

There was beautiful luscious lettuce from Amstrong Valley Farm and the first raspberries of the season from the Sebastopol Berry Farm. Cherries and nopales high light the variety at the market every Wednesday.

Not too mention the best $2 dollar lunch in the area – any of the tamales from Mi Fiesta.

Next time put those boots on.,,,

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May

23

2011

Don’t Fear the Fava Bean




The fava bean is a vegetable superstar. Not only does it taste good but it’s good for you and acts as a cover crop.

Quite a few of the Market’s farmers have them fresh in the pods and a few offer and -out-of-pod experience but you still have to peel the beans.

Despite being called a bean, the fava is actually a member of the vetch or pea family and actually has more in common as far as taste is concerned with the common pea than with other beans. Although the appearance of the shelled bean looks similar to a lima bean, it tastes more like an English pea.

Fava beans have no cholesterol but lots of protein, are high in fiber, iron and calcium, are low in fat, and probably fit the criteria for being a super food. A cup of shelled and peeled fava beans contains 512 calories, not a low number but remember that they are rich in protein, they are small, and we usually eat them in small quantities, not by the cup.

How to Store
To store fava bean pods, place them in a plastic bag in the crisper section of the refrigerator right away. The pods will keep for five to seven days in the refrigerator.

Store cooked and peeled fava beans in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to five days at most.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

How to Prepare There are three steps to preparing a Fava Bean:
1. Removing the beans from the pod.
2. Blanching the beans to soften for easy removal of the outer shell.
3. Peeling off the outer shell before eating or cooking to end with a bright-green, bean!

Or you could go the Cindy Palcyn route as recommended in this Sunset Magazine article

grill them, serve’em in the pod and have people peel their own.

Here are some more easy cooking and eating tips from Redwood Empire Farm, a Saturday vendor at the market.


“Fava beans
can be served simply boiled, mashed and spread on crostini, or added to spring stews and soups. They are often paired with artichokes or other spring vegetables such as peas and morels. I once made a fabulous osso buco with fresh fava beans.

As a matter of fact, Italians credit the fava bean as a factor in saving Sicilians from starvation during a time of famine. Since then, the fava has been considered good luck. Now that luck – and magic – is being enjoyed at more American tables.”

On a more positive note, some think favas may help in treating Parkinson’s disease, and others use them as a natural alternative to Viagra. Fava beans are rich in L-dopa, a substance used to treat Parkinson’s. Some link L-dopa with libido. Consult your doctor

If it all looks like too much work — The Hummus Guy has prepared fava beans.

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This BitClub article features locally made butter but also try Springhill and McClellands other products. Springhill makes great sour cream. Be sure to ask the vendors and farmers what’s new?

PD’s Bite Club talks locally made butters

Spring Hill Cheese Co: With a slight cheese-nose, this Petaluma dairy mostly sells their cultured butters at farm markets around the North Bay. But there’s a reason you’ll usually find a line at the stands. Using a cheddar culture, their dense butters ripen for three days and make for a spreadable best. springhillcheese.com, 762-3446. Available at the Santa Rosa Veteran’s Hall Farm Market on Saturdays.

McClellands Dairy: A longtime dairy family in the North Bay, McClelland’s branched out into artisan butter production in 2009. Using grass-fed cattle, the small batch European-style butter has serious terroir. In both smell and taste, there’s an essence of grass and hay with an intense, rich butteriness. Made in the coastal hills of Sonoma County, the milk is separated, pasteurized and churned in small batches. The only addition is sea salt from Brittany. Harvest Fair and American Cheese Society winner. Available in plastic tubs and refillable ceramic crocks. Want to meet the cows? McClelland’s offers frequent tours, with the next scheduled for June 5. The tour includes a home-cooked bacon and eggs breakfast and a tour with owner and second-generation farmer George McClelland. 707.664.0452, mcclellandsdairy.com.

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May

19

2011

A compact taste of Sonoma



Walking through the Saturday Santa Rosa Farmers Market it a great opportunity to enjoy tastes of Sonoma. Whenever possible vendors want to share their products with you. Don’t hesitate to ask for a taste. It’s worth it to check on vendors from time to time because they are always adding new things. At the Bellwether Cheese, one of their cheese makers now produces Sonoma Mountain Cheese – in the style of Mexican cheeses. Stop by the Bellwether stand and ask for a taste.

The Saturday market is a great opportunity to catch the works of great local chefs.
Most buy their produce from market vendors.

New to every Saturday market are crepes and from the Big Yellow Truck – Smoothies!

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Thank you John Franchetti for being a regular shopper at the Wednesday market.
Rosso Pizzeria
proudly lists the sources of their ingredients and the freshest ones come from the Santa Rosa Farmers Market.

You can taste this great pizza most Saturday mornings when they bring in their rolling pizza ovens. You can also get their homemade dough, mozeralla and burrata.

Wine country chefs – join us at the Wednesday market. Let the farmers know you are a
restaurant chef for special deals.

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The CalFresh Program, formerly known as Food Stamps and federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to a food budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be now be used to shop at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market (and other farmers markets around the region.

Every food stamp dollar generates $1.32 cents in additional spending. The dollar turns over 1.32 times

California Food Policy Advocates estimates that if every eligible person in the county were to enroll in the program, the local economy would see a multi-million-dollar boon to the economy.

The county is ramping up its outreach to get more people enrolled in the program, but that a number of “barriers” in California hinder such efforts. California is one of four states that requires fingerprinting of applicants and it is the only state that requires quarterly reporting from individuals for continued benefits. Three states have monthly reporting and most other states require semi-annual reporting.

It’s good for the local economy especially local farmers to make sure everyone who should be is enrolled in CALFRESH.

Applying for Food Stamps

Sonoma County

To apply for food stamps in Sonoma County, contact the Sonoma County Human Services Department at:

Food Stamps
2550 Paulin Drive, Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 565-2715 or
(800) 331-2278

For more helpful information visit the web-based Yuba-Sutter Community Resources Directory at: http://www.sonoma-county.org/human/eco_assistance.htm

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The Saturday Market has new longer hours –open until 1 p.m. And plenty of old and new vendors with the perfect breakfast, brunch or lunch -eat at the market or take it with you.,

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