Saturday, July 31, 2010

Farmer's Market Day

Each Saturday morning from May through October, Burlington's City Hall Park transforms.  Stands are set up as farmers, food vendors, and artists set up along the sidewalks surrounding the central fountain.  Two musicians set up in one grassy quadrant.  And then, as if out of nowhere, the city's residents gather to pick the freshest product, local meats, breads, and cheeses there are to find.

I'm fortunate enough to live within walking distance to City Hall so I don't have to worry about finding parking, a commodity that is in short supply in our town.  After I have my morning cup of coffee, my husband and I will walk up the road and take a lap through the stalls.  After we've made a round, then we'll pick  a few stands and stop for a few things in each.  This week, we bought just veggies: golden beets and wax beans from one farmer, garlic from another, and a melange of carrots and baby squash from two more.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Guacamole... the thought of it either makes people grimace ("Eww, green mush??") or salivate. I have to admit that I've only recently converted to the latter category. On a business trip a couple of years ago to Atlanta, we ate at a Mexican restaurant near our hotel. My coworker adamantly insisted that we order the guacamole, which was assembled table-side. I set aside my guaca-phobia and ate a bite; after all, I was raised with the idea that you should take "one big Girl Scout bite" of everything. And... I was in love. The creamy sweetness of the avocado, the slight heat of the chiles, and the tang of lime juice melded together into a heavenly, well-balanced blend.

But among the guacamole eaters of the world, the recipes vary greatly. What type of chile should be used? Is it okay to substitute lemon juice for lime juice? Cilantro or no cilantro? What about other add-ins?  What about consistency?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chocolate-Raspberry Layer Cake

Welcome to the premier post of The Lunchbox Tree!  This is my outlet to post the recipes I try out, as well as discuss all things food.  As I begin posting, I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback.

For the first recipe of the blog, I really wanted to share something decadently delicious.  Luckily, I had to look no further than the June 2010 issue of Bon Appétit to find that inspiration.  I made this cake for a coworker's birthday, to rave reviews.  This is, hands down, one of the best cakes I've ever eaten.

The cake itself is rich, chocolatey, and not-too-sweet.  It's layered with seedless raspberry jam (although I think that seeded raspberry jam would be delicious) and a rich chocolate ganache, and topped with fresh raspberries.  Bon Appétit topped their version with powdered sugar, but I thought that the cake was too pretty to mess with once its crown of raspberries was in place.