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Finding Meal Time Inspiration at the Farmer’s Market

I like to guide my recipe inspiration and food choices by what is seasonally available. In my opinion, there is no better place to seek seasonal food inspiration than at the local farmer’s market.

Exploring the Boulder County Farmer’s Market has been on our to-do list since before we moved here. Unfortunately, hot summer temperatures and getting settled from our move was in our way for a while. Finally the perfect day came up. High’s in the 70’s were in the forecast. I knew this was our chance!

Fortunately, my instincts were right. It was the perfect Saturday afternoon family outing. We found so much inspiration at the Farmer’s Market. Inspiration for our next meal and for a little family fun.

I went into the outing with the intention that I would let the kids have pretty much all the say in what we shopped for (within reason). My reasons were simple: I wanted to see what items were inspiring to them.

Our Food Inspiration

  • Lemon Chive Angel Hair Pasta
  • Fresh Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
  • Peaches, Peaches, and MORE Peaches!
  • Sweet Corn on the Cob
  • Apples

Madeline Loves corn on the cob so we snatched up a large bag stuffed as full as we could manage with sweet, organic corn. It was “fill a bag for $6.” I stuffed that bag and stuffed it until it was totally packed. We got a whole bunch of corn out of that.

She also loves pasta and the Lemon Chive Angel Hair pasta sounded like a fun variety to try. And of course, who could pass up two of summer’s finest options – tomatoes and peaches? (Unless your name is spelled L-O-G-A-N).

With these picks we were inspired to have a simple dinner Saturday night of turkey sandwiches on local sourdough with fresh sliced peaches and corn on the cob. The following day we enjoyed more corn on the cob with our Garlic Rosemary Pork Chop Dinner and whipped up a delicious Peach Berry Cobbler with Sour Cream Biscuits with the peaches we had left for dessert.

peach berry cobbler recipe sour cream biscuits

Madeline’s birthday was a rainy day which quickly led me to the decision that soup, of some sort, was a must for dinner.

I decided to use the remaining corn for a Corn, Potato and Kale Chowder. Fresh dinner rolls were served on the side. The choice of corn was inspiring for sure. I know I would not have thought to prepared that delightful chowder if we hadn’t already had corn from the market.

A few days later I whipped up a pasta dish with the Lemon Chive Angel Hair. I made it up as I went using what we had available. It was fast, easy and tasty! The outcome was Lemon Chive Angel Hair with Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce topped with Tomatoes and Green Beans.

There is never a trip to any kind of food shopping without Logan requesting apples. They are his most favorite fruit. Although I love fall weather, I have been too busy trying to eat up the last of the summer produce to think about fall’s offerings. Summer is kind of my favorite food season.

Logan has inspired me to embrace fall and the food it has to offer. I can see some Apple Streusal Muffins in our near future…that is unless Logan eats all the apples before I have a chance.

It was such a fun experience to pick out inspiring food and then plan the menu around what we shopped for rather than writing a plan and shopping for the ingredients. I definitely look forward to future visits to the farmer’s market here in Colorado.

Our Family Fun Inspiration

It is very easy for our family to get stuck in ruts with our family fun. We usually begin the weekend with the requirements of getting our chores done.

It’s been important for me for the kids to contribute in this way rather than getting used to me doing it all. They are old enough to clean bathroom sinks and counters, sort and fold laundry, assist in unloading or loading the dishwasher, clean up their rooms and other messes they created in the house.

Unfortunately, Logan and Madeline don’t like this frame of mind as much as I do. We have had many weekends where we say “After chores we can do something fun,” but then the chores take ALL DAY and we have no time left for fun.

Our Saturday at the Farmer’s Market helped break us out of that rut. Things got done and people got ready earlier because we had a busy day ahead of us and did not want to cancel our plans. It was inspiring to see how having a specific plan in mind vs. “general fun” got the job done faster.

The kids found the creek and grassy park area next to the farmer’s market inspiring for their fun. It didn’t matter that the water was cold or that their clothes were soaked.

They had a great time crossing the creek, collecting rocks and just being kids. Madeline, of course, had to pet every dog that came her way (12 total – according to Logan). I don’t think they could have asked for a more fun or inspiring day.

Sometimes the inspiration for fun lies in the simplest of places. I think we often get caught up in planning the next big adventure or a special outing, when we could have provided our kids with such a fun opportunity in a seemingly ordinary place.

We could have stayed there even longer, but eventually someone needed to find a bathroom so we decided it was best to get going, but I know they will remember that afternoon and ask to go back again.

How does the Farmer’s Market inspire you?

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Meagan Marion

Friday 26th of October 2012

The farmer's market is the best place to go for seasonal food inspiration! Your corn chowder recipe sounds delicious, I usually add a bit of green and red peppers for added flavor.

Jack Tyler

Sunday 14th of October 2012

I definitely agree that there is no better place to seek seasonal food inspiration than at the local farmer’s market. Their veggies are what my children's favorite now. A great place to spend a quality time with your family. Keep up the good work Katie, and thanks for this blog.


Tuesday 9th of October 2012

Love your site, particularly as a vegan who is always looking for inspiration re finding new and fresh ways to eat. Keep up the good work and thanks for this blog.

master chef

Wednesday 26th of September 2012

WOW, looks amazing :) Love your blog

Roughly A Runner

Tuesday 25th of September 2012

I love getting inspired at the farmer's market! I live in Santa Monica, CA and we have a HUGE farmer's market, so I love going and seeing what's in season. I usually end up buying whatever veggies or fruits look good that day, then get home and find something to make. Your recipes sound amazing, I am definitely going to try the corn chowder!! This time of year is so great- corn, tomatoes, peppers! Yum!