Farmer’s Market: Today!

Join us every Tuesday from: 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
July 8 to October 28, 2008
St. Ann Arts & Cultural Center
82 Cumberland St.
The market accepts cash, EBT, credit cards, WIC and Senior vouchers, as do all 8 Providence area farmers’ markets run by Farm Fresh. RIPTA Buses: 54, 87

Bike route: Blackstone River Bikeway
Heidi and Meg from URI’s Food Stamp Program were there last week doling out some yummy samples!
Juicy Peaches available now! Can you say, Peach Cobbler??!!
Sweet Corn, perfect for the grill or in some sweet and smoky chowder.
The market is a great place for kids. Bring yours and show them the different shapes and colors, play “I Spy” or have a scavenger hunt while you shop!
Laura G. our trusty Market Manager is there every week saying hi to the kids and answering any questions you may have!
Hope to see you there!

Saturday Market Report: Hope St.

Stopped by the Saturday market today at Hope High. It is always “old home days” when I go. Bound to run into at least one person I know! After saying hi to my friend Perry (who was selling his steamers, oysters and littlenecks), I ran into David Gracer, “The Bug Guy” he filled me on all of the exciting happenings in his Bug world.
I then proceeded to scope out the scene. I like to look at everything first, at all of the stands and then figure out, what I would like, what I need, and which stand I will get it from. Everything looked so good! Woodstock Farms had sour cherries, peaches, summer squash and more. I opted for peaches, tomatoes, green peppers and some squash.
I saw my friend Alden, and we talked about our favorite summer veggies and salads. She purchased some beets today. She told me, she likes to cook them (boil) and then cut them up and leave them in the fridge to use in salads or just to simply munch on. She also told me about this chicken salad she makes mixing yogurt, mayo and curry powder together. She then adds the cooked, chopped chicken, diced mango and some sliced or slivered almonds for extra crunch. Served on some Ciabatta bread (Whole Foods had loaves for $.99!) or a bed of nice greens you have a refreshing easy summertime meal!
Narragansett Creamery was there, selling a wide array of their locally made cheeses. I was dying to try their newest addition: fresh mozzarella. Alas, the line was too long and I needed to get going. Maybe next time! I did stop at the Arcadian Fields stand and purchased some beautiful basil and a Diva cucumber (slightly sweet with no bitterness!). Jim is now busy now making some pesto and I am using the cucumber in some tasty tabbouleh.

Hope you had a chance to visit your local farmers market this weekend and are at home, or at the beach, enjoying the local bounty.
Have a great one!

Chefs offer up the flavors of August in Rhode Island

Local Food Fest restaurantsWe’re lucky to be living in a place that boasts such a thriving culinary scene. Rhode Island’s breezy coasts and fertile inland soils produce fine wines, succulent shellfish, plump fruits and delicate greens. They’re the perfect mix for a cadre of inspired chefs who know how to craft these quintessentially Rhode Island ingredients to thrill any palate.

So it will be a delicious occasion on August 6 when eleven talented chefs gather at the Local Food Fest to benefit Farm Fresh RI. Each paired with a local farmer, they’ll offer a guided tour for the tongue that celebrates the harvest of the fields and waters of the Ocean State:

Buy your ticket online for a flavorful evening at Castle Hill in Newport. Taste the bounty and wide-ranging flavors of summer in Rhode Island.

One more note: the Local Food Fest was the brainchild of Chef Casey Riley, once the Executive Chef at Castle Hill and now Culinary Arts Director for the Newport Restaurant Group. Casey pioneered many of Castle Hill’s relationships with local farmers and we’re excited to have him back as a chef at the Local Food Fest in its second year.

Woonsocket Farmer’s Market TODAY!

Join us every Tuesday from: 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
July 8 to October 28, 2008
St. Ann Arts & Cultural Center
82 Cumberland St.

The market accepts cash, EBT, credit cards, WIC and Senior vouchers, as do all 8 Providence area farmers’ markets run by Farm Fresh. RIPTA Buses: 54, 87

Bike route: Blackstone River Bikeway
At last week’s market Hill Orchards had juicy Peaches and were selling the first of this season’s sweet corn. Almost all of the farmers had cucumbers, and Summer Squash for sale. Moosup Farm featured gorgeous, plump, just picked, blueberries.
Another demo took place this past week: “Veggin’ Out” Cooking & Nutrition Demo by Johnson & Wales Community Service Center, sponsored by RI DOH WIC Program & RI Dept. of Environmental Management.
Cook’s Valley Farm featured These gorgeous new potatoes perfect for a picnic worthy potato salad! They also had spring garlic, fresh onions, summer squash, peas, raspberries and cabbage! I have a regular listener who seeks out local cabbage at the farm stands and markets so she can make her son’s favorite stuffed cabbage dish!
Puzzled about what you see or what to do with your veggies once you get them home? Ask your farmer!!! He or she will be happy to explain what something is, how to cook it and even pass along some favorite recipes.
I’m so hungry now.
See you at the Market!

Beach Bound!

It was another scorcher this weekend so Jim and the girls and I headed down to Roger Wheeler State Beach. in Narragansett. A gorgeous beach with nice facilities, fluffy soft sand and pretty calm waves. Jim and I grew up going to the beaches in New Hampshire (yes, NH DOES have a coastline! 13miles of it in fact) and Southern Maine. Up there, if you aren’t beach-bound by 8 or 9am (at the latest!) you will encounter awful beach traffic and then will be LUCKY if you find a decent parking spot, let alone a good place for your blanket on the beach! With that in mind, we loaded the jeep, filled the cooler, buckled in the girls and hit the road at 8:15am.
We were awfully hungry, so once on Rt. 4, we took exit 6 to Rt.2 South. after 5 miles or so, we spied Allies Donuts (3661 Quaker Lane N Kingstown, RI 02852 401-295-8036)! Ever since moving to Rhode Island 3 years ago, we have heard how fabulous these donuts are: Best in the State!! They live up to their reputation! I love the plain ones – crunchy and slightly sweet on the outside and light and fluffy inside. Half a dozen packed up and two coffees and off we went to the beach.
We knew we were on to a good thing. As families started to arrive at the beach, I spied one group of 3 couples and their kids, with 6 boxes of ALLIES!
Once at the beach, keep that box covered: Seagulls LOVE Allies Donuts!!!!!!
“Gosh, (I said to Jim) I hope we don’t hit too much traffic once we get to Rt. 1” Up till this point we had encountered no traffic to speak of, on a weekend day!! Well, wouldn’t you know it, we breezed on in the parking lot in no time. “If it is this easy(it took about 45-50min. from Providence), we’ll have to come here more often” Jim said. So we happily purchased a state beach season pass (good for all of the state beaches). A true bargain at $30 (you put the pass/sticker on your vehicle) for state residents.
Despite the fact that it was way too windy to read the Sunday Paper, we really enjoyed ourselves! The water was so refreshing. Up on the coasts of NH and Maine, you can (maybe) put your feet in the water. More than that and you might want to consider donning a wet suit. It is THAT cold! Another pleasant observation: It wasn’t crowded! Granted, we haven’t been to Misquamicut Beach or Scarborough Beach : two of the most popular beaches in the State. I hear these two get VERY crowded. Perhaps we’ll give those a try next time. Since we arrived nice and early, we were ready to leave and get out of the hot sun by about 1pm. We were very hungry and decided to have some clam cakes and chowder at another Rhode Island institution:
Aunt Carrie’s!

Aunt Carrie’s has been family owned and operated for over 85 years. The restaurant is famed for bringing us the clam cake. Crunchy, fluffy studded with clams and perfect for dunking in their famous clam chowder. Located just a few short minutes from Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett, it was an obvious choice for us. We arrived shortly before the weekend rush. We placed our order at the take-out window and ate across the way at the picnic benches, where we could enjoy our lunch in the shade with cool ocean breezes. They serve lunch and dinner six days a week and along with take-out, they have a very nice dining room as well!
In 2007, they were honored with a*James Beard Foundation “America’s Classics” Award . Deemed the “Oscars of the Food World” , the James Beard award was one of many awards they have received over the years.

Since heading to the beach in, THE OCEAN STATE is so darn easy, I will be making my way to one of the many beautiful beaches here at least once a week, till the season is over. Hope to see you there!

Summer Coolers: Pimm’s Cup

It’s going to be a scorcher this weekend, best to stay in the shade and keep yourself refreshed. I recommend, my favorite Summer Cooler this year: a Pimm’s Cup. Pimm’s is a brand of alcoholic beverages, the most popular being the Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, a gin-based beverage served either on ice or in cocktails. It has a dark tea color, with a reddish tint, and has a slight spice and citrus fruit taste. It was created in 1859 by the English oyster bar owner James Pimm. The recipe is still a secret, and only six people know exactly how it is made!
Pimm’s Cup is most common in England and is one of the staple drinks at Wimbledon and the Henley Royal Regatta, the other one being champagne.
Give this recipe a try and you to can transport yourself to the banks of the River Thames to watch the Henley Regatta, or imagine you were Rafael Nadal taking away Roger Federer’s long running title at Wimbledon!!!!
***Ok, so it won’t magically transport you anywhere but it just might cool you off! Enjoy.

: Pimm’s Cup

  • Fill a Collins glass with ice.
  • Mix 1 part Pimm’s Cup No. 1 with 2 parts lemonade.
  • Stir or shake.
  • Top off with club soda, or use lemon-lime soda for a sweeter drink.
  • Stir lightly — but do NOT shake again.
  • Garnish with a slice of Kirby cucumber; lemon wedge optional.


  • If no lemonade is at hand, use Sprite or 7-Up.
  • To make with ginger ale, use plenty of lemons.
  • Mint, apple and orange can be added.

**Please note, I used a lemon-lime soda and thought it was tasty, but wanted the drink to be tarter. In England their lemonade is sparkling. So if you can find a lemonade soda I would give that a try. The cucumber is so good in the drink!!!

Jen’s Dish Radio Show: Besto Pesto

When the temperature rises in the summertime and the humidity levels skyrocket, I rarely want to “cook” or eat much of anything. Many times I have a hankering for a cool tossed salad topped with grilled chicken, steak or even shrimp. I also find this is the perfect time of year for pasta with pesto! Normally I make my own, but as a busy Mom of two, there are times when i would like to just cook some pasta and pull some pesto out of my frig to top the pasta! What is my favorite ready made pesto? Rhode Island’s own, BESTO PESTO! Recently the ladies of Besto Pesto, Barbara Simon-Olson and Michele Kozloski joined me in the studio to talk about and eat some pesto and to discuss entrepreneurship. Their business was launched in the Spring of 2007. Michele was farming at Urban Edge Farm in Cranston wondering what to do with her organic basil that was thriving in the hot summertime Rhode Island sun. She soon met Barbara who was looking for something new to do after retiring from teaching. Barbara just happened to have a fantastic pesto recipe that she would make for dinner parties and backyard cook-outs. Their partnership seemed a natural fit; so with much desire, but not much “start-up” business experience, the ladies went out with their Pesto looking for a commercial kitchen to start concocting and packaging. They found a great home at the Dartmouth Grange, a certified commercial kitchen in Dartmouth Massachusetts.
A friend created the label, they found the right size container, packed some up and started selling at a couple of Rhode Island Farmer’s Markets. The pesto became so popular at the markets they decided to start peddling it to some area grocery stores! Since Besto Pesto is made with organic garlic and basil and other all-natural ingredients, it was a perfect fit for local stores such as Whole Foods and East Side Market.
Their Lemon Pesto has a refreshing zing to it with a wonderful smell of freshly picked basil. Besto Pesto is terrific enjoyed simply: passed around a table in a bowl to spoon on your favorite pasta. For a wonderful meal, I add grilled chicken to top off the dish. With tomatoes coming into season now, the pesto is also superb drizzled on some slices of crusty french bread that have been topped with slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato. Mmmmmmmm……..

Michele is excited to announce the beginning of a new farm venture, Zephyr Farm located in Cranston, RI. The farm will be offering vegetable shares for the 2008 season along with farm fresh egg shares and flower shares. Vegetables including the Basil, are grown without any synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

In addition to Whole Foods and Eastside Marketplace, you can also find Besto Pesto at Farmstead Downcity, and at the Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market and Casey Farm market on Saturdays.

For more information about Besto Pesto, please visit their web-site: or e-mail Barbara and Michele at:

Opening Day: Woonsocket Farmer’s Market!

Opening day at the Woonsocket Farmer’s Market (Tuesdays from 4pm to 7pm) started off with a bang. 50 + people shopped just in the first hour! Some folks had been eagerly awaiting the opening since 3:15 that afternoon (the market opens at 4pm). Last year the Woonsocket Farmers Market was in held in the parking lot of Precious Blood Church and was not very well atttended. This year Farm Fresh RI found a more central location on busy Cumberland St. in the parking lot of St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center.
Celebrating their 25th year of farming, Moosup River Farm from western Coventry (they also run Knight’s Farm stand, cafe and Apple Orchard in Glocester) was there selling beautiful blueberries, potatoes, squash, spinach, chard, green beans and tomatoes!
My friends at Cooks Valley Farm in Wrentham, MA were there selling luscious raspberries red and white baby onions with the tops on, beets with the greens, lovely lettuces, broccoli, potatoes, cucumbers, cabbage and shell peas. Oh and some beautiful big zucchini ripe for stuffing!
The Farm Fresh Table (Rhode Island’s Food Stamp Nutrition Program) will be at the Market twice a month teaching people how to use fresh, local produce to cook dishes that are delicious and nutritious! They’ll have free recipes, nutrition information and food samples. The recipes they demo and hand out are low cost and very easy to make! On this day the Herb Garbanzo Dip cost less than $2.00 to make!

Herb Garbanzo Dip
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, chives, dill, basil etc.)
Rinse herbs in cool water and dry with a paper towel. Open the garbanzo beans. Drain and save the liquid from the can. In a food processor, combine garbanzos, garlic, oil, lemon, salt and herbs. Blend on low speed, gradually adding bean liquid until dip is thick and creamy.

Serve with pita bread, carrot sticks or other cut up vegetables. Or spread dip on a tortilla and roll it up with cheese and fresh veggies.
Makes 8 servings (3 tablespoons each). Per serving: 60 calories, 2g fiber, 2g protein

Alan Hill of Hill Orchards had not only sweet Ida Red apples for sale, but he also had his own Applesauce (no added sugar! made with naturally sweet Cortland apples) and Apple Butter. Oh and some terrific early tomatoes (so lovely and sweet with a sprinkling of salt!).

The market is managed by Laura Genello. Laura will be manning the table and available to answer any questions you may have regarding Senior Coupons, WIC, EBT and more. Don’t have any cash on you but you really want some fresh veggies? Farm Fresh RI accepts credit cards and will turn that into fresh bucks to spend as you wish at any of their markets. The market this week even had some freshly baked dynamite and dinner rolls for sale for $1.50 a bag, from Dupras Baking Co. (Caranci’s Bakery).

I will be attending the market every week to put together the fresh from the market report for my radio show (Jen’s Dish on WNRI/1380am every Wednesday from 9am-10am – to listen live: I look forward to seeing you there!


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