Another Monday, another edition of Monday stuff! I hope everyone had a nice long weekend! I unfortunately didn’t have a long weekend, but I did have a great one! Despite possibly spraining my toe (soccer with Frankie and Jake), I was able to check off almost everything off my list, and I made some new discoveries!
Our originally plan was to go to the museum, get out of the house a bit…you know. Not be stuck inside working 24/7. WELL. We flaked out on the museum, but I created an AMAZING turkey burger recipe (coming soon), so I guess a win? We were exhausted from running around and from our insane Saturday morning workout.
Last week was a little rough, physically from switching up my work outs, and because I lost my dog Patches. Patches was the dog my family has owned the longest, he was going to be 17 years old later this year, and he was just the biggest lovebug anyone has seen. He was hilarious, always getting into something crazy, and we had a running joke in our family that he would live to be 50 years old. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it as long as we had hoped. He lived a great life, but it was his time, and it hurt like hell to lose him. We lost one of our other dogs, Lilah a few months prior to a heart condition so it hasn’t been exactly great luck for my parents.
(P.s. the picture with the sticker, he was digging in the garbage and I told him I heard what he was doing and he pretended like he wasn't doing anything. He walked out of the bathroom with a "Made in China" sticker stuck to his mouth. He was hilarious.)
I think the most difficult part of living so far away from family is missing big moments like this. I wasn’t there to say goodbye to Patches or Lilah, I missed the birth of my new baby cousin, countless family parties, you name it. BUT. We are heading home soon, and I cannot WAIT to be back for a visit. While we adore our life here in California, we really need some Milwaukee love!
Depressing dog information aside, everyone is doing much better, and I was able to do something I adore this weekend which really helped take my mind off of the loss.
WE WENT FOOD HUNTING!
Food hunting, you ask?
Oh yes. Every few weeks or at least once a month, I make a trek to a specialty grocer to check out what they have, try new items, and search for something specific. Along with that pit stop, we went to the Little Italy Farmer’s market. We go to the farmer’s market quite often, but I finally brought my camera so I am able to show it off a bit.
There is an amazing farmer’s market back home in Milwaukee (we would go up on the weekends when we lived in Chicago, that is how much we missed it) but it is only open part of the year. We are very blessed to live in an area with abundant produce all year round, and our market does not mess around. Not only do they have the most amazing local food vendors, they have rows and rows of local farmer stands loaded up with my little piece of heaven. AKA all this beauty:
At the specialty grocer (shout out to Specialty Produce), I was in search of one of my favorite and literally one of the most seasonal items EVER: RAMPS. Wild leeks. If you have never had a ramp…ugh. I implore you to snap them up if you spot them during early spring. They are foraged in wild areas in the Midwest and East coast. We were first introduced to them back in Chicago, when we would frequent this grocery store in Naperville called Standard Market. I picked them on a whim (I had heard the rumors of their incredible taste), and we were floored.
Ramps are one item that you can believe the hype. But unfortunately, they were not in yet, because that half of the country can’t stop being cold and snowy. Sad face.
BUT BUT BUT. I did find TORPEDO ONIONS! These little darlings are originally native to Torpea a town in Calabria, Italy, and I had read about them in numerous cookbooks, but I had never seen them in real life. I also embarrassed Jake the moment I found them.
I walked into the “Farmer’s Market” cooler at Specialty Produce, in desperate search of my beloved ramps, and I spotted these pretty things. Could it be? Red torpedo onions. I literally screamed “OH MY LORD TORPEDO ONIONS” and started grabbing at them, searching for the perfect set. I turn around bounding to Jake, shoving the onions in his face, “LOOK WHAT I FOUND!” I half shouted as the stocker glanced at us, Jake rolled his eyes and continued to look for ramps. This is a common occurrence for us, Jake is used to it by now, the only time he ever cares is when I dance too long after finding something.
Oh yes, I dance in the grocery store. Literally always. It is one of my happy places. I get it from my Grandma.
To prepare them, I cut them in half, drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled with salt & pepper, added them to a pan with baby potatoes and topped them with fresh rosemary. I roasted them in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. I removed the onions, then popped the potatoes back in to finish roasting.
These onions are unlike anything I have tasted before, with simple seasoning, the onion's flavor was screaming at the top of its lungs. Although it is a variety of red onion, it doesn't have the same strong red onion taste or pungent scent. Most onions are very soft and silky when roasted whole, but these torpedo onions are on another level. Creamy, tender, and buttery, it is the type of onion you can make as the star of the dish. Jake was in love as well, and my mind was racing a million miles per hour with all the tasty dishes I will create (I already mentioned a torpedo onion lasagna, so we will see how that turns out).
Long story short: YUM.
I already want to go back to Specialty Produce to find more items to play with. But I have to go ice my foot. This is what you get for playing soccer with your dog and boyfriend. I tried to show off and end up jacking up my foot.