This weekend, we had beautiful weather in Northeast Ohio. Today, I took advantage of that weather to rake leaves, put away lawn furniture and just generally get my yard cleaned up and ready for winter. Necessary, but not too exciting.
Saturday, on the other hand, I spent a wonderful morning with my sister. The weather was sunny, but brisk and chilly – just a hint of fall. It was the perfect morning to go for a walk in the Cuyahoga Valley.
We started our walk along the Towpath Trail at the Hunt Farm Visitor Center and headed toward the Ira Road Trailhead, over Beaver Marsh. The trail follows the path of the Ohio & Erie Canal for more than 80 miles through four counties. Needless to say, we stuck to a small portion of the trail that morning! There were a few other people along the trail, but overall, it was a beautiful, peaceful morning.
Spending time with my sister is always great, but when we have a chance to just relax and enjoy the outdoors, it doesn’t get much better than that!
After our morning walk, we headed a few minutes away to the Countryside Farmer’s Market. This local farmer’s market is year-round, and this Saturday happened to be a first Saturday in their indoor location: Old Trail School on Ira Road. Now, from now until April, it isn’t open every Saturday, but it is open once or twice a month. I’m happy to have a farmer’s market over the winter at all!
We had been to the market in the summer, but never in the indoor location. It was fabulous! Many of the same vendors we saw in the summer – Basket of Life Farm, Morningside Farm, local breads, local cheeses and local crafters. Plus, the school itself was beautiful.
I bought some apples for a Thanksgiving dessert, some lovely spinach, we both got some great looking lettuce, and my new favorite indulgence – pumpkin chevre. That’s right – pumpkin goat cheese. I tried a sample, and after that, I had to buy it! It was amazing.
After my yardwork today, I wanted to use some of my farmer’s market goodies for dinner tonight.
I used the lettuce and a kohlrabi that I had from my CSA to make a salad. I made a garlic-lime vinaigrette to go with it (lime juice, honey, minced garlic, salt, pepper, a splash of rice vinegar and olive oil – yum!).
I had some cheese tortellini in the refrigerator, so I sautéed some shrimp with herb butter (made early this summer) to go with the pasta. It was a nice combination with the fresh, light salad.
After dinner, I started thinking about that pumpkin chevre…and I made an extremely decadent dessert. Simple, but absolutely delicious.
Along with the goat cheese, I got out graham crackers and a bar of dark chocolate (do you see where this is going?)
I took a graham cracker, spread some pumpkin chevre on it, than topped each cracker with a square of chocolate. Kind of like a s’more where the goat cheese replaced the marshmallow. I made three, and I could have eaten more (but I didn’t!). Yum. Yum, yum.
What a fantastic weekend!