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Valentine’s Day gifts from Farmers Market

Strawberries 5-13-2012-2-rgbWith Valentine’s Day approaching, what better way to show your loved ones you care than by making them a delicious culinary masterpiece that you’ve prepared with fresh locally-grown produce from the farmers market. Fresh lettuce and greens, plump strawberries and juicy oranges, and local cheeses are all here.

Alhambra Valley Beef has wonderful cuts of grass-fed beef from right here in Martinez. Great Valley Poultry from Manteca is the place to come if you’d like to prepare a recipe including eggs. And J&M Farms from Reedley is a must for spring greens of all kinds.

Special gifts abound at the market as well. Make up a beautiful basket of handmade soaps and lotions from Delta Moon Soaps, a box full of fresh seasonal fruits, or pick up a colorful orchid from Fleur de Lyse. Gather some gourmet food items, cheeses from Valley Oak Farm, and bread from Feel Good Bakery for another gift idea. You’re sure to find something for your special valentine.

The best produce from local farms make the tastiest dishes, so stop by the Martinez Sunday farmers market for the very best produce and gifts.

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Chocolate-dipped strawberries are synonymous with romance and Valentine’s Day. The Martinez Farmers’ Market offers gorgeous strawberries from Ruiz Farm out of Santa Maria. Here’s a recipe:

Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

12 California strawberries, washed and dried

8 ounces dark chocolate

4 ounces white chocolate

1 tablespoon flavored liquor (optional)

Variations:

shredded toasted coconut

toasted nuts

crushed candy cane

puffed rice cereal

granola

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a small pot of simmering water. In a separate bowl, melt the white chocolate. Holding the strawberry by the crown, dip the strawberry into the dark chocolate. Lay strawberry on parchment paper. Lightly drizzle white chocolate over the dark chocolate to set.

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