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Thanksgiving cranberries…

November 22, 2016


We will have everything on hand to help you prepare for Thanksgiving at tomorrow’s Uptown Wednesday market.  We did want to remind everyone that we will not be at the Old Town Scottsdale Market this Saturday, November 26th, in order to give our employees the holiday weekend.  We will resume our regular Saturday schedule next week.  John’s Amish will be at the Uptown Saturday market during his normal hours, should you need anything from the farm.

For our Uptown shoppers make sure to get there early tomorrow, because the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is always one of our busiest markets during the year.  We will open at 8:00am.  That said, it is also a personal favorite, because it is fun to hear what everyone is making for their meal and their plans and traditions for the holiday.

Conventionally grown cranberries are known to have the high levels of pesticide residue, buying organic cranberries is one of the best things you can do for your Thanksgiving meal.  While it will be too busy for samples at the market tomorrow, here is a recipe for cranberry sauce that has become a tradition in my household.  I generally make this the night before, since I like to serve it a little chilled, but it is also easy and quick enough to make on Thanksgiving Day.

Cranberry Sauce

1 lb organic cranberries
Zest two organic Navel oranges
Juice four organic Navel oranges
Zest half a Persian lime and Lisbon lemon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

Add all to a sauce pan and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 15 or 20 minutes.  You will hear the cranberries start to pop, which is normal.  Stir occasionally.  Remove from heat and allow to cool fully before serving or refrigerating.  It will thicken when refrigerated.


See you tomorrow at the market and have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Uptown Wednesday Farmers’ Market
Wednesdays from 8:00am – 1:00pm
Located on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Bethany Home Road. On the grounds of the North Phoenix Baptist Church.

Thanksgiving starts at the markets…

November 19, 2016

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Tomorrow we are bringing more than we ever have before to the markets to help you get ready for Thanksgiving.  We have been picking and harvesting from both farms so we can bring three filled trucks to the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market tomorrow.  There will be beautiful organic sweet corn, along with organic yams and cranberries for your holiday side dishes, along with a large selection of apples for pies, fresh salad greens, and everything else you could need to put on a beautiful spread.  Noble Bread will have a large assortment of breads as well.  And for our Phoenix shoppers, John’s Amish Country will be ready for you at the Uptown Market.

The Old Town Scottsdale Market opens at 8:00am and goes until 1:00pm, but make sure to get there early because it promises to be a busy one.   We are ready for you!

McClendon’s Select Market Schedule

Uptown Wednesday Farmers’ Market
Wednesdays from 8:00am – 1:00pm
Located on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Bethany Home Road. On the grounds of the North Phoenix Baptist Church.

Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market
Saturdays 8:00am – 1:00pm
Located on the Southwest Corner of 1st Street & Brown in Scottsdale. Brown is one block East of Scottsdale road. 1st street is two blocks South of Indian School road.


John’s Amish Country for McClendon’s Select Market Schedule

Uptown Saturday Farmers’ Market
Year Round Every Saturday 9:00am – 12:00pm
Located on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Bethany Home Road. On the grounds of the North Phoenix Baptist Church.

Meyer Lemons are back!

November 15, 2016

Beautiful Meyer Lemons are back in season and will be at the markets this week.  These fragrant, mild lemons are a personal favorite.  Every year around this time Marsha and I spend an afternoon preserving Meyer Lemons so they may be enjoyed long after their season.  You can find the recipe to preserve them previously on the blog here.  I am also hoping to make them into a marmalade at some point.  I will share the recipe and notes if I do.  The beauty of Meyer Lemons is that their mild, fresh flavor goes so nicely with so many things, that you can use it without worry of them being overly tart.  We add them daily to sparkling water, squeeze over a salad, add slices to roasted chicken or salmon, zest for salad dressings.  They become a daily staple in my house this time of year.

And, this week at the markets Mary will be sampling a Brussels Sprouts Slaw from Noble Eatery.  This is a quick side dish that you could make ahead for Thanksgiving.  To soften the Brussels Sprouts, you could quickly blanche them in boiling water and then dunk into ice water.  Also, if they are chopped ahead of time, add lemon juice to keep the leaves from browning.

Brussels Sprout Slaw

1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T Honey
1 clove garlic minced
1t Brown Mustard
1LB Brussels Sprouts, chopped fine
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup chopped Pecans
Whisk olive oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, and mustard together in a bowl until dressing is smooth.  Combine chopped Brussels Sprouts, dried cranberries, pecans, in a bowl; add dressing and toss to coat.

Noble Wheat Berry Salad…

November 8, 2016


This week at the markets Mary will be sampling a Wheat Berry Salad from Noble Bread.  This is the perfect meal for this time of year with all of my favorite flavors of the season, hearty grains, roasted squash, toasted seeds, fresh corn.  This would make an excellent side for Thanksgiving, or perfect as a make ahead meal for weekday lunches.  Stop by and try a sample!

Noble Wheat Berry Salad

2 cups cooked wheat berries (Organic Sonoran White Wheat)
1/2 cup roasted purple yams or Kabocha squash
1/2 cup sweet corn cooked
1/4 cup roasted peppers
1/4 cups toasted seeds (Noble used sesame and sunflower, but pepitas would be nice too)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

For the Wheat Berries:
Bring one cup of the raw wheat berries and 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. (One cup of raw wheat berries yields two cups cooked.)  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Allow the wheat berries to cook until tender and most of the water has been absorbed, about 40-50 minutes.  If they are not tender, add more water and time to the cooking.  Wait until all water is absorbed and then remove from heat and all five minutes to cool.

For the Yams:
Scrub the yams well under running cool water and pat dry with a towel.  Wrap each yam in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet.  Cook in the oven at 325-degrees for one hour.  Check yams by inserting a knife to see if they cut easily.  After they cool, peel yams and cut into cubes.

For the Corn:
Bring a pan of water to a boil and add shucked ears of corn.  Once the water starts to boil, remove the ears of corn.  May take 1-2 minutes depending on amount of water.  Allow to cool and then cut off the kernels.

For the Bell Peppers:
Preheat oven to 500-degrees.  Place whole peppers on a sheet pan and cook for 30-40 minutes until skins are wrinkled and charred.  Turn twice during roasting. Remove stems and skins from each pepper and dice.

For the Salad:
Combine all ingredients, tossing with olive oil, vinegar and salt to taste.  The wheat berry bowl can be served warm or cold.

Don’t let the name fool you…

November 4, 2016


Sean, Aidan and I took a road trip over the weekend to see an old friend and to visit a new place. Welcome Diner recently opened a location in Tucson and we have been dying to go.  Since they opened four weeks ago I feel like I have been bombarded with social media posts of incredible looking dishes and rave reviews.  We will always travel for good food and especially to support a long-time customer.  The Welcome Diner in Phoenix is one of our earliest restaurant customers, going back to the start when Bob was delivering to restaurants himself.  Much has changed for both of us since then.

Welcome Diner Tucson is in the renovated Chaffin’s Diner on Broadway, that was originally a pancake house in the 1950’s, a local spot Bob remembers from his youth in Tucson.  The new diner still has a mid-century aesthetic, but has an innovative menu that incorporates both the classics along with some incredible modern dishes.

While there are definitely diner mainstays like Grilled Cheese (Aidan’s pick) or a selection of burgers, make no mistake in thinking that this is typical diner fare.  First, Aidan’s Grilled Cheese was out of this world.  Although I will have take his word for it, since he ate so fast there was nothing to share.  But secondly, at what diner have you ever seen a Jackfruit Po-Boy, Tempura Broccolini, or Baja Clams in a Lemongrass Broth?? This diner is a blend of the old and new and they are quickly gaining a following because of it.

We started with the Pulled Pork Fries that came with Carolina BBQ sauce and slaw.  A wonderful, tangy combination that could be an entree in of itself.  I had the Vegetable Cassoulet, which I am still craving, that was a hearty dish with white tepary beans, pumpkin and topped with a creme friache over a grilled flatbread.  It was a perfect fall dish without being too heavy.   Sean went with the Pork Posole Rojo, which won him over.  We were then delighted with a trio of desserts that were some of the best I have ever had.

All were unique and complex and a beautiful combination of surprising flavors.  Any of these desserts could easily sit on the table of any five-star establishment and be a star. The Jackfruit cake with kafir lime powder, tepache gel, prickly pear slush was an instant hit, and was inhaled immediately by Aidan. We then all had to fight for bites of the Pumpkin doughnuts with cinnamon panna cotta, chocolate oil, grapes, and the Brown Butter Lemon Chess pie wth blackberry white sage compote and pistachio brittle.  This may be food in a diner, but this is not diner food.  What they are doing at Welcome Diner is truly something special and fun.  A dear friend Bernd joined us for the evening, an as a Tucson local he is already making plans to return.

If you are in Tucson, Welcome Diner is well worth a stop.  And if you are not in Tucson, it will well worth the trip.  They are currently open from 5:00pm to 2:00am, but will be opening for breakfast and lunch soon.  We are already wanting an excuse to return!

Welcome Diner Tucson
902 East Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ

(P.S.  Hi Dr. Lee – sorry I haven’t written about restaurants in awhile.  I am trying to change that!)

Arugula Pesto Recipe

October 28, 2016



Tomorrow at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market Mary will be sampling an Arugula Pesto on Noble’s Country Bread.  This recipe is a nice alternative to a traditional pesto made with basil, as the Arugula gives a slight peppery kick.  You can, however, substitute the arugula for basil and make this the traditional way too.  With the abundance of arugula and basil we have during certain times of the year, I like to make double and triple batches and then freeze some for later.  Directions to freeze are below.  Just make sure you put it in an air tight container, or a baggie and squeeze an remaining air out before freezing.

Arugula Pesto Recipe

• 2 cups Organic Arugula
• ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
• ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
• 1 clove garlic, peeled
• ½ lemon, juiced
• pinch of kosher salt
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1. In the bowl of a food processor, add the arugula, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, lemon and kosher salt and pulse for 30 seconds to one minute.

2. Turn the processor onto blend and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture and process until blended. Season with salt and blend once more.

3. May be refrigerated for one week. To make ahead and freeze, cut the olive oil by half, and then add remaining half when thawing at a later date.  Can thaw under warm water or in a sauce pan over low heat.

Beets and Burr Gherkins…

October 25, 2016

This week at the markets Mary will be sampling Burr Gherkin cucumbers and pickles.  Burr Gherkins are funny little spiky cucumbers that hide under a ground cover (pictured above), but are delightful to eat raw, cooked or pickled.  Cotton Country has been pickling these for awhile.  You can cook them as you would a zucchini.

We will also have beautiful bunches of beets, including Gold, Chioggia (striped), and Red beets.  The tops are excellent for sautéing, in fact, Bob likes beet tops better than sautéed spinach.

Come stop by tomorrow!