This week I want to tell you a bit more about one of my favorite market vendors. As many of you know, I use a combination of SNAP benefits, along with the match from the Everybody Eats program, to buy farm fresh items that will round out my weekly menu. While this helps greatly to satisfy the desire for nutritional meals, there are times when you just plain NEED dessert! That’s where the SweetHeart Bake Shop comes in. They prepare fresh baked items that incorporate products sold by other vendors at Montavilla Farmers Market. Not only that, but they also accept the market tokens that I shop with!
SweetHeart Bake Shop is a home-based, family run, small business located in NE Portland. They sell their products at several Farmers Markets on the east side of Portland, and have been a vendor at Montavilla since late last summer. Aimee Blevins is the Pastry Chef, and you will usually find her accompanied by her husband, Jason. Aimee is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts who has won several awards for her creations. She takes special orders, and her beautiful cakes can be seen on their website: www.sweetheartbakeshop.co
At Montavilla, you can always find a wide selection of Cookies, Sweetie Pies (adorable heart shaped hand pies, with delicious fruit fillings), Tarts, and several flavors of Lemonade (try the basil – it’s amazingly refreshing). Once the weather cools, they will also feature cake by the slice. As Aimee said, cake doesn’t work well when the frosting melts. Fingers crossed that we get lucky and see it in the market before September. I was able to sample some on opening day, and it will be worth waiting for.
After making a purchase from Aimee and Jason at last Sunday’s market, I took some time on Tuesday to visit them at the Lloyd Farmers Market where Aimee was able to sit down and chat with me a bit about her business. Having done some baking in several very small food carts, I had a good sense of how cozy it must be in her licensed home kitchen. What impressed me most was the fact that she not only hand shapes her Sweetie Pies, but has been known to scoop 600 of her cookies in a single week!
Last Sunday, SweetHeart Bake Shop brought us Marionberry Cobbler Tartletts, made with Marionberries from Frog Meadow Farm. They also had Peach Almond Tarts made with peaches from Maryhill Orchards. These same peaches were included in their Peach Raspberry Lemonade. To get a sneak peek at what is coming to the next market, give them a “like” on facebook!
SweetHeart Bake Shop is another fine example of Everybody Wins with the Everybody Eats program.
No matter what method you use to shop at the market – be sure to save room for dessert!
With so many vendors, so many options, and so many gorgeous things to look at and buy, it’s no wonder that everyone’s experience at the Montavilla Farmers market is unique. From our grab & dash shoppers, to those of you who like to linger and stroll, we love to hear about the different ways in which people make our market “their’s”. This week, our lovely volunteer, Zoe Hackett, chef and owner of Coco Catering, has shared a snippet of her market day, and a fun recipe using the goodies she bought at the market!
Every week at the market is a fresh and new experience for me. This week was no exception! Farmer Rick at Abundant Fields consistently brings amazing vegetables. When you are starting with produce as crisp and colorful and harvested right at the peak of their flavor as these, it is easy to be inspired and enjoy every bite!
After poking around and viewing the overflowing arrays of veggies to choose from, I decided to pick out a few bunches of beets. I like a mix of gold and red. When they are only tennis ball sized or smaller you tend to get a hearty but tender leaf and stalk you can use for anything from salads to melted greens to pesto.
Once home, I began by rubbing the rinsed beets with olive oil and lots of kosher salt. I splashed the bottom of my roasting pan with a little orange juice, some zest and a few other fresh herbs and black peppercorns. I covered them and roasted them until just fork tender or roughly 30-40mins depending on the size. And when cool enough to handle I use a kitchen towel (or recycled clean T-shirts I often cut up for kitchen tasks) to rub the skin off and remove the ends. When the beets are cool and trimmed I slice thinly and lay flat on a big platter and finish with a sprinkle of some crunchy sea salt, a drizzle of oil and a squeeze of orange.
Next, (or during the beet cooking process ) I make a pesto or pistou in the food processor with chopped fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon, basil and chives and the most tender beet greens. It’s nice to add something briny like a few spoonful’s of chopped green olives or capers, and then slowly pour in a good glug of olive oil, and a big handful of toasted walnuts while the mixer is going and bring the mix together until just barely spreadable.
I finish the salad with a few dollops of this thick verde pistou laid over the sliced beets and sprinkle with a few more olives. Bon Appétit!