Living La Vida Local, Finally

So. Remember, way back in the day, when I issued a challenge? A food challenge, more specifically -- Living La Vida Local. I encouraged you to travel by plane, train, or automobile to your nearest farmer's market and dish up a meal incorporating locally grown ingredients. A fun challenge, to be sure.

But . . . I'm also a rather lame host. I first pushed the entry deadline back from July to something more Septemberish. And then forgot to post the results. Well, here, at long last, they are! I've already chatted a bit about my own entry, a Tri-Color Summer Vegetable Roast that found its way into my bento lunches. The local ingredient in this concoction was yellow summer squash, roasted with bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions with some of my favorite flavorings, including garlic and balsamic vinegar. This squash also found its way into an amazing plagiarized shrimp burrito.

Despite the very extended deadline(s), only one other chef submitted an entry. It is, however, an incredible-looking (and, I'm sure, tasting!) creation. Lia of Swirling Notions brings us the wonderfulness that is her apricot-almond tartlet. Mini tarts? Can you get any more adorable with pastry? I'm tempted to give up my muffin love for these tartlets. Thanks, Lia, your baking looks amazing!

That about wraps up Muffin Love's first food challenge! Thanks for reading about, cooking, eating, and considering local food fun. I had a good time challenging myself as both a chef and a consumer. Besides, you can't go wrong for enjoyment with a good farmer's market.

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