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Dog Days of Summer – Frozen Treats for Your Pup

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August in Louisiana can be downright brutal, even if you aren’t wearing a fur coat! It’s important to be aware of your pet’s exposure to heat during the summer months.

Try to exercise your pet in the early morning or late evening hours and avoid the heat of midday. Make sure to take regular breaks in the shade during extended periods in the sun. Have plenty of fresh clean water available – you can even put a few ice cubes in to help cool them down.

Here are some good pet safety tips for the summer:

But if you really want to treat your pup, try whipping up some of these frozen treats! You can puree ingredients together in a blender or food processor, or just mash it up with a fork. I kept ingredients simple to appeal to a broad range of dogs and their diets. In my experience with dogs the simpler, the better.

Freeze in clean ice trays or food-grade freezable molds like these for 2 hours or overnight. Store in an air-tight bag for freshness. Can keep frozen for up to 2 months.

These mixes all average about the same amount – about four 2 oz molds.

PB & Jelly

  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened pure peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened pure coconut water

Antioxidant-rich blueberries, electrolyte-rich coconut water and every dog’s favorite – peanut butter! Add coconut water until mix is pourable.

Banana Pumpkin

  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree – NOT the pie mix with spices
  • 1 banana
  • 2 – 3 Tablespoons unsweetened pure coconut water

Pumpkin puree is full of good fiber and a high source of Vitamin A!

Sardine Apple

not for the faint of stomach

  • 1 3-4 oz can of sardines in fresh water, no salt added
  • 4 oz unsweetened apple sauce

A fishy treat your pet will melt for! This shouldn’t need extra liquid to puree, but if it does you can add a little water, coconut water or a splash of beef broth.

Amelia Bearheart, our 10-year-old pup

PB Pumpkin & Beef

  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree – NOT pie mix
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened pure peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium beef broth

Beef broth, especially bone beef broth, is full of great nutrients and minerals!

Amelia Approved!

Farmers Market Recipes Healthy Living Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

Farmer’s Market Recipe: Watermelon Fruit Salad (with fruit bowl!)

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Inspired by fresh seasonal ingredients found at the Covington Farmer’s Market

This is a simple Southern favorite that is sure to be a hit during the hot summer months!

Watermelon Fruit Salad1 medium watermelon
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh blackberries
¼ cup fresh mint
5 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs course sea salt
1 tbs local honey

Chop the mint into ribbons and mix with the lime juice, salt and honey in a jar. Seal and place in the refrigerator.

Cut the watermelon in half lengthwise and scoop out the red meat with a large spoon. You will be using one of the halves as your fruit bowl, continue to scoop that half well into the white rind. You may want to cut a small sliver off the bottom side of your bowl for it to stay flat.

Cube the watermelon meat (or ball with an ice cream scoop) and place into another large bowl. Add in the blueberries, blackberries and the mint-lime marinating in the fridge. Mix well. Put your watermelon fruit salad in your watermelon bowl, and serve garnished with a fresh mint sprig. Best enjoyed fresh!

Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Covington Farmer’s Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Wed Farmers Market signHi, friends and Happy Tuesday!  Are you ready for a great lunch? Well, tomorrow’s almost here bringing all kinds of goodness from your market vendors. I usually go with a plan…what do I want for the rest of the week? Wednesday’s lunch – maybe a Mediterranean salad with pita bread and hummus. Since Frankie is serving fresh fruit kabobs with sour cream & brown sugar dipping sauce, I’ll get that for breakfast on Thursday with a delightful pan seared salmon salad from Kandi for lunch. Friday morning will see pork with hash browns (I’ll have to do those myself) on the breakfast menu (I’m very non-traditional) and a Creole tomato sandwich for lunch – YUM! I believe that Natalie will be back with fresh veggies so I may add a few slices of crunchy cucumber “chips” on the side.

Cat Lane & Reaper Cheaters will play at the Covington Farmer's Market this Saturday

Cat Lane & the Reaper Cheaters will play at the Covington Farmer’s Market this Saturday

Saturday morning will awaken with the lively music of Cat Lane and the Reaper Cheaters flowing from the gazebo. So grab your coffee and spend a relaxing morning with us. Wildcrafter Smoothie and Juice Bar in Covington will be in the demo tent sampling and selling their delicious and healthy drinks. Can’t wait to try those!

corn-corn-on-the-cob-corn-kernels-food-eatMake a fresh salad with chunks of cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, banana peppers, and tomato with a splash or two of one of this markets amazing salad dressings such as Gina’s Roasted Tomato & Garlic or Nanette’s Spicy Raspberry Vinaigrette. You’ll need a healthy beverage with that, so try Sam’s ultra-fresh coconut water, Amanda’s new green juice, Simply Pure’s Tiger Stripes, or Susan’s Peach Kombucha. Good news! Kombucha Girls has their Master Tonic available again! Can’t beat fresh juices on a warm spring day! Cool off with a refreshing fruit popsicle from Amanda or a hand-shaved snowball from Stephanie.

Liz told me this past weekend that Jubilee Farms will have organic, non-GMO corn available this week and next. So take advantage and get lots of ears while you can. Newly-picked corn grilled in the husk sharing your plate with sliced zucchini and green onion sausage right off the pit – uh-huh, I know you’re smilin’ too. Your veggies are great roasted as well – tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, and eggplant tossed with olive oil and a salt-free seasoning (Spicy Lady, me) and popped into the oven until they reach perfect deliciousness. Serve with a smile.

BlueberriesI haven’t even mentioned a fourth of the delights you’ll find at the Market like Lolly Marie’s creamy caramels, Bear Creek Road’s soft pretzels stuffed with seasonal fruit, coffee milk from Mauthe’s, blueberries, peaches, or plums. You’ll just have to come out and see for yourself.  Just remember to stop by and say, “hello”. Personally, I can’t wait to find out what’s new this week!

Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Healthy Living Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Covington Farmer’s Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Wed Farmers Market sign

Happy Tuesday, friends! There’s a lovely day at the market for you tomorrow, full of music and fresh veggies and wonderful food. Take some time to have lunch with us. Feast on a new creation from Kandi – a shredded cabbage salad with shredded carrots, chicken, red onions, cilantro, mint, and Chinese cilantro all lightly seasoned with a side of fish sauce. And so tasty too! Nanette is making a refreshing watermelon gazpacho to lighten your meal. Add one of her remarkable chicken salad wraps to go. Jeff is preparing that crunchy broccoli salad that’s so delicious to go with his smoky pulled pork. Maybe a few chicken tamales would be more to your liking. Finish with a slice of lemon blueberry bread from Frankie (and save the rest for during the week). And then I suppose you do have to get back to work…heavy sigh. But wait! Don’t forget your veggies! Pick up some new potatoes and bell peppers from Mr. Houston or a few Creoles and peaches from Greg Miller. Natalie will be back next Wednesday with zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, and yellow squash.

I am planning for a lucky Saturday with the Lucky Dogs bouncing out their tunes from the gazebo while gentle breezes and friendly smiles sprinkle your morning. Grab your coffee and stay awhile. Norma Jean Marcon of Norma Jean’s Cuisine will demonstrate how to make the perfect Salade Nicosia using the bounty of the Covington Farmers’ Market.

Fresh picked chanterelles at the Covington Farmers Market

Fresh picked chanterelles at the Covington Farmers Market

And bounty we do have! Last week, Nick put out baskets of heirloom tomatoes – tiny orbs of yellow, pink, red, and chocolate all sharing their pint of space. There are tomatoes a plenty from JR Bardwell, John Bartlett, the Clecklers, and Greg Miller. Yes, Greg is back and he also has peaches and Chanterelles. Yippee! But he’s not the only one. Chanterelles also joined James’ lions mane, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms and I found them on Nick’s and John’s tables as well. I’ll have a new seasoning on Saturday that will take those mushrooms on a magical mushroom tour (or somewhere close to there). Or, you can try one of Spicy Lady’s seasonings. Cheryl is sure to have one to go with any veggie at the market and still keep your taste buds hoppin’.

Potato Yukon Gold from Bartlett Farm

Potato Love – Yukon Gold from Bartlett Farm

You will find many varieties of squash around the tables and I’m sure you’re looking for unique ways to prepare them. I came across a couple of sandwiches that would fit the bill perfectly. I’ll post the photos below. The first one comes from our terribly missed friends at Slice of Heaven (now inconveniently located in Oregon). Brandon and Marietta used sautéed greens, which may be a little hard to find at our market these days but sprouts (Sam) or shoots (Nick) will be a wonderful substitute. He then added cheese (Mauthe’s or Farmhouse Dairy), onions, pesto, red peppers and grilled for a very tasty veggie sandwich. Nur sautéed tomatoes and zucchini and spread her bread with hummus. You know that we have the best bread around so no matter which you choose, you will come out a winner. Each sounds so delicious and simple and you can vary the veggies to suit your tastes.

Those aren’t the only veggies gracing the tables. Mr Houston has purple bell peppers, JR has eggplant, John Bartlett has Yukon Gold potatoes (and the red ones too), Eddie has fresh garlic, Nick has cute little heirloom squash, and Natalie is back with zucchini, cucumbers, squash and more.

Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm table last Saturday - mushrooms, blueberries & chickens!

Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm table last Saturday – mushrooms, blueberries & chickens!

What will make your market merry? Mushrooms, raw honey, avocado salsa, Japanese maples, fresh juices, Kombucha, special treats for your pets, muffins, fresh bread, and cookies all wrapped up in a glorious Saturday morning!  I know, I know…I can hardly believe it myself. If you’re not there, you’re gonna miss out.

Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Covington Farmer’s Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Happy Tuesday, friends!

Blue skies smilin’ at me…nothin’ but blue skies do I see. Yes, I’m about as sick of this rain as you are. I hope you all weathered Monday’s fierce storms with no damage.

Pulled pork from Chompers BBQ - food demo this Saturday

Pulled pork from Chompers BBQ – food demo this Saturday

We will have an incredible line-up of deliciousness on Wednesday – smoky pulled pork and potato salad from Chompers, a hearty minestrone soup from Nanette, Kandi & Joe’s exotic pan seared salmon salad, Frankie’s amazing banana pudding, or a tasty tamale from Rebecca, and toe-tapping music from the Wednesday Market Gang. Is it any wonder why those blue skies are smilin’?

Pot Luck String Band at the Covington Farmer's Market this Saturday

Pot Luck String Band at the Covington Farmer’s Market this Saturday

The sun will be out in full force this Saturday and so will your Farmers’ Market Vendors. And with that sunshine will come the lively tunes of the Pot Luck String Band singing out from the gazebo. Jeff and Kristen with Chompers BBQ will park their smoker on Columbia Street and start dishing out incredible pulled pork. You can sample all of their delightful BBQ sauces (even the new Cajun Carolina sauce) to see which you like the best. So, what are ya waitin’ for? Oh yeah, there’s still a few days left till Saturday.

Even if you missed out on Wellness Day last weekend, we still have all of our regular vendors and they have lots of good things in store for you. Sam has been offering fresh coconut milk (really fresh…he cracks the coconuts right there!) You can even enjoy the by-product in the form of crunchy coconut chips. Johnadale Farms is not only offering strawberries but strawberry jelly and jam plus blackberries and blueberries.

Strawberry Hibiscus Tea Meringue Pie from Bear Creek Road

Strawberry Hibiscus Tea Meringue Pie from Bear Creek Road

Jennifer (Bear Creek Rd) makes a tasty tart of tomato, eggplant and mozzarella and who can resist her little clouds of rainbow meringue – lavender vanilla bean, chocolate mocha? Brighten up your morning with Sacred Earth’s very popular Spring Detox granola bar. Stop by Kombucha Girls for an uplifting drink. Susan and Liz have many flavors available – both kombucha and water kefir. Right next door are the ever-popular Popsicles in summery flavors from strawberry to pineapple to avocado or coconut. They sure are a favorite on a sunny day. Snowballs are here! Yes, Stephanie shaves ice with a hand cranked snowball machine for a cool, satisfying treat.

Now that the sunshine is back, you’re probably in the mood to get out and grill. Well, this is the place for it. You’ll have to try out Chomper’s BBQ’s new Cajun Carolina BBQ sauce, quite the change from their tomato based blends. I’m thinking it will be great on grilled pork chops or sausage (Jubilee Farms). You might want to check out their hogshead cheese. Delish! Don’t wait; they won’t have it for long. A spoonful of my delicious sauerkraut (cultured veggies) would go nicely with those grilled sausages too. Ground beef, lamb, or goat (Farmhouse Dairy) makes perfect burgers for the grill. Try mixing in a little of Bechac’s Bleu Cheese dressing. Spicy Lady makes a snappy BBQ seasoning that’s perfect on meats or veggies.

Speaking of snappy, Dee has crunchy dilled green beans, mildly spicy pickled garlic, and tangy pickled asparagus for your snackin’ pleasure – gotta have something to munch on while you’re grillin’. While you’re over that way, treat yourself to some of Spanish R Us’ refried beans, salsa, guacamole, and chips. Now that’s snackin’!

Lots of yummy veggies for the grill as well, such as heirloom yellow squash, red potatoes, and bell peppers, and we will be seeing lots more coming soon. In fact, the Bardwells should be back this week or next. Cynthia is back, too, with fresh homemade pasta, assorted baked pasta dishes, and (of course) her wonderful meat sauces. Oh, man. There’s soooo much here to enjoy. Come by and spend the morning with us. You can sleep in on Sunday.

Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org