Monday, December 19, 2011

Findlay Market Gift Certificate Bonus Bucks

Did you know Findlay Market offers gift certificates in $5 denominations that are redeemable at any Findlay Market merchant, indoors or outdoors? You can order online through the website or purchase at the Findlay Market information center. These gift certificates are great to give and to get any time of the year but are especially rewarding now because Daisy Mae's has enhanced the benefits!
Tuesday through Friday in January and February, each $5 Findlay Market gift certificate will be worth $6 in fresh produce at Daisy Mae's. Redeem as many as you like...You can even buy more to replenish your supply. We're offering this unique reward not only to thank our loyal customers, but also to encourage new visitors on weekdays in the winter months. We get a little lonely on cold days when folks forget that Findlay Market is a year-round destination. We're thinking (and hoping) that by offering an extra incentive to shop throughout the week, we'll help spread the word that Findlay Market is open every day except Monday.
Neither rain, nor snow, now sleet, nor gloomy days will keep Daisy Mae's from providing the Cincinnati community with fresh fruits and vegetables. Visit us on the Race Street end of the market house under our covered, heated tents.

Monday, December 5, 2011

'Tis the Season

If you're anything like I am, you may be looking for new ideas for Christmas gifts. I always need a couple small things that serve as not only Christmas gifts, but also as gestures of thanks for the little things that people do for me. You know the ones I'm talking about...administrative assistants, delivery personnel, neighbors.
We've come up with two no-stress shopping gifts for your holiday giving. First, is our Gift Box that contains 20 pieces of fresh fruit for only $15. Delivery is free to most downtown Cincinnati locations.

Our second suggestion is our exclusive wooden gift box containing 4 of your favorite Yoder's Amish jams, jellies, or butters. This keepsake box looks great on the table and can be refilled with other jars when your supplies run low. Price of the wooden gift box, made by the Cooper elves, is only $20 including your choice of Yoder's products

For further information, call Barb at 513-602-5602...Or better yet, stop by our Findlay Market stand to see samples and place an order. 
Happy Shopping!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Findlay Market Myths Revisited

In 2009, I wrote a post about Findlay Market myths. After taking a look back at that post, I think we've made some progress in the last two years.  By looking at the graph below, prepared by Cheryl Eagleson, Marketing Director for The Corporation for Findlay Market, you can see that traffic has increased every year since 2006. We seem to be destroying some of the myths about location, parking, safety, and atmosphere as Findlay Market continues to attract more and more visitors each year. 

We need to continue to work, however, on busting the myth about Findlay Market as a "weekend only" destination. You can see from the chart below (also prepared by Cheryl Eagleson) that the traffic count on Saturday is more than twice that on other days. We love the fact that Findlay Market is an "attraction" for out-of-town visitors, students, and suburban families as it also continues to grow as a shopping alternative to grocery stores and malls. But we only wish that more shoppers would realize they can stop by Tuesday through Friday as well as on the weekends.

When the days get shorter and colder, many people just plain forget about Findlay Market. At Daisy Mae's, we have made it a goal to remind customers that we are open every day except Monday. You, too, can help the merchants at Findlay Market by reminding your co-workers, neighbors, and family members that this historic market is convenient and available year-round. It's possible to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, seafood, bread, pastries, gelato, waffles, prepared meals, tea, coffee, wine, and gifts from 9:00 am-6:00 pm on Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 am-6:00 pm on Saturday, and 10:00 am-4:00 pm on Sunday. 

Do your part to promote this historic landmark. Be a market myth-buster and spread the word that Findlay Market is open every day except Monday, year-round. 

The merchants will thank you. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daisy Mae's Market Salutes Our Veterans

As the nation pauses for Veterans' Day on November 11, we salute those who have served in the military, past and present. We owe thanks to these men and women who have sacrificed for us so that we can maintain our American way of life. In recognition of all Veterans, Daisy Mae's Market is donating 11% of our sales on 11/11/11 at our Findlay Market location to Hope for the Warriors®. Hope for the Warriors® is a national, nonprofit organization that supports wounded U.S. service members, their families, and families of the fallen. Check out the Hope for the Warriors® website for more information, and then visit us at Findlay Market on Friday to make a financial contribution to this highly-rated and most worthwhile organization. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We're Celebrating Two Years at Findlay Market!

This week marks our two year anniversary at Findlay Market. So much has happened since November, 2009. We started with a few rolling carts, added some permanent racks with removable bins, decided to double the size of our stand, bought a building for storage, and installed a walk-in cooler. We've been able to make steady progress while building a fantastic loyal customer base, expanding our services to include personal and corporate deliveries, and hiring a terrific staff.
However, our progress has not been without challenges. We've learned to deal with every weather extreme...from 100 degree temperatures to freezing cold and snow. We've also fought winds that have twice destroyed our tarpaulin tents and forced us to reorder, regroup, and rebuild. Each time we've experience a setback, we learn a little bit and we become a little more determined to be successful.
This week we sit back and reflect. We have 1166 Followers on Twitter, 574 people who "like" us on Facebook, and I'd venture to guess, several thousand face-to-face friends that we've met during the last two years. All of you have reinforced our feeling that quality, consistency, and availability are all important when selling fresh produce. However, each day we're also reminded that developing a small business is all about the relationships you develop along the way.
This week we celebrate. We celebrate us, and we celebrate you...our loyal customers. To help us celebrate, we invite you to pick up a 6-pack this week! We're offering six Ohio-grown apples of your choice for only $2. Mix and match, or choose your favorite...Either way, this 6-pack's for you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

No on Issue 48

We just returned from a few days in Washington, DC. I'm sure I've been to our nation's capital at least 10 times in my life. Each time I'm there, I marvel at how easy it is to get around using the city's Metro system. The system is color-coded, inexpensive, runs regularly, and features a friendly support staff more than willing to help the visitor figure out how to purchase a ticket or get from one place to another.
Each time we visit DC, we're amazed by the traffic. Cars are everywhere...from the interstates to the urban core. Locals think nothing of commutes lasting more than an hour. Gridlock seems to be at every corner. Stop-and-go is the only way to move on the interstate. And parking, if you're so lucky to find a spot, costs as much as a tank of gas!
As typical Washington, DC tourists, we never considered driving anywhere. Instead, we parked our car at the hotel in suburban Arlington and never touched it until it was time to go home. Why would we want the expense, uncertainty, and stress of driving around the city? It was so much easier to just walk to the Metro stop, purchase a ticket, get on the train, and get off at our destination. I'm sure when traffic and time were considered, no trip on the train took any longer than a similar trip would have taken by car.
As Cincinnatians consider Issue 48, I hope voters realize the true implications of this issue. Whether or not you're in favor of the Cincinnati streetcar that will run initially from Downtown Cincinnati to Findlay Market, a "Yes" vote would prohibit "spending any money on a system of passenger vehicles operated on rails constructed primarily in existing public rights of way"...until December 31, 2020. In other words, a "Yes" vote will prohibit any spending, public or private, on any sort of public rail transportation system that may be developed for the next 9 years! A "Yes" vote will handcuff Cincinnati so that no alternative means of transportation can be considered until 2020.
Imagine the traffic. Imagine the time wasted. Imagine what might be invented in the next ten years. Imagine what Cincinnati might miss. Imagine going backward instead of forward.
I urge you to vote "No" on Issue 48. Let's keep Cincinnati moving...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Taking the Mystery out of Kabocha Squash

Today we added a new stop to our delivery route, and I met a wonderful woman who I'm hoping becomes a satisfied, long-term customer. We were casually discussing Daisy's Delivery, and I was explaining how the price list is updated and emailed each Monday. My new friend asked if the items on our weekly price list change often. I replied that the majority of items stay about the same, but as the seasons come and go, we also see some varieties of our fresh produce come and go. I told her how we had recently started carrying some of our fall squashes, like Kabocha Squash. At the mention of Kabocha Squash, she had a bit of a puzzled look on her face, but I assured her that she wasn't alone in being unfamiliar with Kabocha...and we preceded to talk about how it's fun to try new foods. We even joked a little that it might be fun to add a "mystery item" to our weekly price list in order to convince customers to "think outside the box." Wouldn't it be curious, for instance, to get a vegetable in with your delivery order that's a little out-of-the-ordinary and requires some creativity in the kitchen...

I confess that Kabocha Squash was new to me as well a year or so ago. However, we did some research and found a simple recipe for delicious Oven Roasted Kabocha Squash. The most difficult thing about this recipe is cutting the squash into wedges as the skin, though edible, is rather thick. After that, it's easy to just add a little salt, pepper, and oil, and roast until the squash is soft.

So as you head to Findlay Market this week, think about trying something new. And as I'm planning for next week's email update, I'll be thinking about a "mystery item." What do you think? If a "mystery item" on our produce list was $2, would you be daring enough to try it?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs=Inspiration

:( Steve Jobs
I got the news from my daughter at college...a simple text message on my iPhone. Even though the news was expected, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was dead.
As I began to read the tweets, posts, and articles about Steve Jobs, I thought back to 1985...Barry and I were living the DINK lifestyle (dual income, no kids). He worked at Cincinnati Milacron and I taught public school. Our days were predictable; money was available...and then, everything changed.
Barry brought home our first computer...a Mac. He apologized for buying something so unfamiliar and so different from what he had used at work; however, he explained how user-friendly the Apple computer was and how I'd learn everything I needed to know in just a few days. With that, off we went into the world of entrepreneurship...first in the homebuilding business and most recently, adding a second business in fresh produce. We couldn't have done it without our Apple and Mac products...and maybe we couldn't have done it without the inspiration of Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs is credited with all kinds of technological innovations. What's sometimes overlooked is his role as a model for everyone interested in business.  He surrounded himself with good people, encouraged innovation, stayed true to his goals, and dared to dream. I have no idea how influential Steve Jobs was on a daily basis at Apple, but I do know the man could sell and was a master at marketing. Every time he took the stage to announce a new product, I wanted that product...whether I needed it or not. I admired his style, relaxed yet so sophisticated. I admired his communication skills and the simplicity of his products...and I even admired the packaging of the products.

And "one more thing"...
Prior to the Mac revolution, anyone in business was portrayed in the vein of Ward Cleaver...straight, boring, and representative of "the establishment." Thanks to Steve Jobs, it's now cool to be in business.

P.S. I'm a Mac.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fun with Fennel, Revisited

At Daisy Mae's Market, we contend that food is fun. We enjoy talking about food, learning about new varieties of fruits and vegetables, and experimenting with different recipes. A year or so ago, I wrote a post about fennel, and I got several comments from friends about the title of that post. Since then, my silly little "Fun with Fennel" phrase has been repeated more than a few times.
If you're unfamiliar with fennel, it is a hardy root vegetable that consists of a white or pale green bulb with stalks. Even though the stalk, leaves, and seeds are all edible, we tend to use the bulb most commonly. The bulb may be sauteed, stewed, braised, grilled, or even eaten raw.
Last week Mr. Daisy Mae stumbled on a new (fun) combination of ingredients that made a terrific side dish. He chopped the bulb of some fennel, a few carrots, and some fingerling potatoes and tossed them with olive oil. He then added a little salt and pepper and sprinkled with rosemary. After roasting for 25 minutes or so in a 350 oven, all the flavors had blended together beautifully. The fennel adds a very subtle, distinctive taste that takes the potatoes and carrots and makes them special. And the rosemary seems to tie it all together...and adds to the fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When MLB Gives You Lemons...

You've probably heard that Major League Baseball released the 2012 schedule that includes Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, April 6. If you've spent any time in Cincinnati at all, you know that Opening Day here is special...It's different than any other Opening Day in any other major league city, and it includes a huge parade sponsored by the merchants of Findlay Market.
However, this year's Opening Day date of April 6 presents several conflicts. Not only is April 6, 2012, Good Friday in the Christian calendar, but Passover begins at sunset on that date in 2012 as well. For the merchants at Findlay Market, the Friday before Easter is traditionally one of the biggest sales days of the year. The thought of trying to organize the Opening Day Parade in the midst of this popular shopping day seems impossible. The conflicts are numerous and even though Major League Baseball has stated that the dates are "tentative," the potential for disrupting the long-standing tradition of the Findlay Market Opening Day parade exists.
Scott Sloan and Tracy Jones spent the better part of their 700WLW radio show today discussing the conflicts. They suggested a solution that would include a split-squad exhibition game a few days before the actual Opening Day with proceeds going to the Reds Community Fund. I'd love to see it happen...But I'd take it a bit further. Wouldn't it be great to have the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade include real Reds players? Not one or two...but the whole team just as it was done originally in the late 1890's. I'm sure thousands of Cincinnatians would turn out to support the team and to celebrate the official start of the baseball season. Fans would line the streets for the parade and then fill the stadium, and the children of the Tri-State would benefit through the Reds Community Fund. The national spotlight would definitely be on Cincinnati, and we could show the rest of the league that we love our Reds' traditions. What a boost such a gigantic pep rally could give the team! And maybe with a little luck, the enthusiasm could carry over throughout the season, and we could all celebrate a World Series Championship with another parade to Fountain Square in the fall.
Let's put our heads together and figure out how we can turn this conflict into a winning situation for all of Cincinnati...After all, when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

See You at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati!

Oktoberfest season has arrived in Cincinnati. It seems each fall weekend a different German Society or parish is hosting a festival featuring German food, beer, and gemütlichkeit. This weekend is the granddaddy of them all: Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. This annual event brings thousands of people to the streets around Fountain Square to share a beer, listen to a German band, or munch on sausage and sauerkraut.
In honor of Oktoberfest season, I'd like to introduce you to the Daikon radish. The Daikon is fast becoming a favorite on our Findlay Market stand. Yes, I know the Daikon radish is among the most popular vegetables in Japan...and yes, I realize that the name itself is taken from the Japanese "dai" meaning "large" and "kon" meaning "root." And, yes, many Asian recipes recommend using a Daikon radish. But did you know the Germans love the Daikon as well? Especially in Bavaria, this root vegetable has taken on a special role and goes by the name of "Radi."
To the Germans, radi is "a thinly-sliced white radish." Now here's the best part...The radi is lightly salted and eaten raw--as a snack while drinking German beer!
So here's to our German friends for finding a great way to enjoy a Japanese favorite...Prost!

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Sandwich By Any Other Name...

Mr. Daisy Mae is famous, at least at our house, for his "Big Sandwich." Some people would call it a sub or submarine sandwich. Others might call it a hoagie, hero, grinder, poor boy, blimpie, or even a torpedo. But at our house, we've settled on the ultra-descriptive term--BIG SANDWICH.
I can't remember exactly when the Big Sandwich came into being, but when the kids were teenagers, the Big Sandwich made a regular appearance on our table. Maybe it was because once the kids could drive and had part-time jobs, they seemed to be making trips to the nearby Subway restaurant fairly often. As any smart parent figures out, the key to continuing your relationship with your growing children is to feed them well, feed them often and most importantly, feed them for free!
Well, those of you who know Mr. Daisy Mae know that he's quite a competitive guy. I suspect Mr. Daisy Mae got tired of hearing the kids say they'd stopped at Subway. He begin to tinker with making his own version, complete with homemade bread, to prove that he could make a sandwich better than any restaurant. Before long, he had all of us requesting the Big Sandwich. Accompanied by sweet potato fries or pasta salad, the Big Sandwich became more than a meal. It became a conversation piece...Who likes what on it? Should we toast it? How about if we grill the bread? Let's kick it up a notch. Let's try a different sauce...
With the help of the Big Sandwich, we got to spend a few more evenings at the table with our kids, and we found something we could enjoy together. Call it what you may but a sandwich by any other name is still as sweet...

Mr. Daisy Mae's Big Sandwich
Yield: 4-6 sandwiches Prep Time: 20 min. Total Time: 20 min. Peppes
1 loaf Italian or French bread, unsliced 
3⁄4 lb. roasted turkey, sliced 
1⁄4 lb. hard salami, sliced 
6 slices of crisp bacon
2 slices Provolone, American, or other cheese 
Several pieces of Iceberg lettuce, shredded 
1 cucumber, sliced 
1 tomato, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced 
1 red onion, sliced 
2 Jalapeno peppers, sliced (optional) 
Mustard and/or mayonnaise, to taste. 
Olive oil and oregano, to taste
1. Preheat broiler. 
2. Slice the loaf of bread lengthwise and place open on baking sheet. 
3. Spread both halves of loaf with mustard and/or mayonnaise. Layer meat
topped with cheese on each half. Place open-faced in broiler just until
cheese melts. 
4. Remove from broiler and add vegetables. Sprinkle with olive oil and
oregano, and close up the sandwich. 
5. Cut big sandwich crosswise into individual portions and serve.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

More Findlay Market Progress

Maybe it's the fresh paint or maybe it's the shiny cooking utensils, but every time a new merchant opens at Findlay Market, it seems to give the rest of us a burst of energy. This week we're getting a double burst as two new businesses are opening their doors. Mama Lo Hizo will offer Mexican fare, and Queen City Cookies will bring cookies and schnecken to Findlay Market.
I'm thinking back to the excitement we felt when we launched Daisy Mae's Market almost 2 years ago. In the midst of doing the million or so things required when you start a new business, we were thrilled to be putting our roots down at Findlay Market. We felt extra pride in knowing that our little business would be a piece of the puzzle that preserves this historic Cincinnati landmark. After years of observing from the outside both the good times and the not-so-good times in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, we were excited to be investing in the area and doing our part to contribute to Findlay Market progress.
Each time a new business opens at Findlay Market, we feel the energy generated by fresh ideas, new foods, creative marketing, and shared goals. As we welcome Mama Lo Hizo and Queen City Cookies to the Findlay Market family, we hope these new merchants are feeling the same sense of excitement and pride we continue to feel.
Findlay Market is a special place, alive with new things and ever-changing, but also with deep historic roots and traditions. If you haven't visited in a while, it's time to come back. And even if you were just here last week, Mama Lo Hizo and Queen City Cookies are two new reasons to come back again.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Classic Gazpacho

One of the best things about having a small business is the support you receive from friends. It's always fun when people ask how things are going or inquire about our progress at Findlay Market. Since we've always surrounded ourselves with people who enjoy cooking and eating, we've found our friends are a great resource for product suggestions, marketing ideas, and recipes.
Last week my friend Eleise Quinn suggested we feature a gazpacho recipe she received from a relative who had found it in Bon Appetit. Not being a fan of "cold soup," I had steered clear of gazpacho for years. However, Eleise assured me that this gazpacho was especially good...and I must report, it's terrific!
So as we feature Classic Gazpacho as our Recipe of the Week (Week of 8/15/11), I give a tip of Daisy Mae's hat to our friends who help us in so many ways.
Thanks for the recipe, Eleise!

Classic Gazpacho Bon Appétit | July 1991
Yield: Serves 6

2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound)
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded
1 medium onion
1 large roasted red bell pepper (available in jars)
3 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

Cut 1 tomato, 1/2 cucumber and 1/2 onion into 1-inch pieces and transfer to processor. Add bell pepper and puree. Transfer to bowl. Add tomato juice, cilantro, vinegar, oil and hot pepper sauce. Seed remaining tomato. Dice remaining tomato and cucumber and onion halves and add to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.) Serve well chilled.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's So Fun About Findlay Market?

I've finally figured it out...At least I've figured out one of the reasons that Findlay Market is so much fun. Everyone knows the food at Findlay Market is fun. But it's not just shopping for food that's fun. It's eating the food that's available at Findlay Market. And it's not just sitting down at a table to eat...It's WALKING AROUND WHILE YOU EAT!
Yes, that's a huge difference between a big-box grocery store and Findlay Market. When I go to Kroger, I go with a purpose. I'm in and out as quickly as I can go...And even if I wanted to carry a sandwich around while I shopped, I'm pretty sure they'd frown on that.
But at Findlay Market, things are different. Last weekend I began to pay attention to what shoppers were eating as they made their selections at Daisy Mae's Market. I started noticing why they were juggling with their purses or struggling to take a bag because their hands were full...They were EATING. They were EATING AND SHOPPING at the same time! Good or bad, it's the ultimate example of American drive-through, multi-tasking mentality.
Here are a few of my recent observations:
1. Early morning shoppers often have coffee...maybe from Dojo Gelato or Bean Haus.
2. Around mid-morning, you see pastries or bread from Skirtz & Johnston or waffles from Taste of Belgium.
3. Once lunchtime rolls around, shoppers may have gyros from Areti's, mac and cheese from Gramma Debbie's Kitchen, a Banh Mi from Pho Lang Thang, or a fresh burger from Eckerlin's grill.
4. During the afternoon, the eating continues with cheese from Gibbs, roasted nuts from Dean's Mediterranean Imports, soup from Frank's Fish & Seafood, or salad from Fresh Table.
5. And, of course, you'll see kids of all ages eating apples, candy, popcorn, cookies, and ice cream at all times of the day.
So I suggest the next time you're hungry, come to Findlay Market. And if you'd really rather not walk and eat, there are some great places to sit down and enjoy watching everyone else!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Remember When...

My dad recently sent me this picture on the occasion of the last space shuttle launch. One thing led to another and we began talking about how aviation has developed since he was a boy over 80 years ago. He remembered walking with his father to the "Flying Field" several blocks from his Chicago home. There, he saw his first airplanes...biplanes with wing-walkers...that surely must have been part of the barnstorming shows so popular in the 1920's.
Along these same lines, I continue to meet people at Findlay Market who tell me they haven't been to the market for years. Then they proceed to tell me how they used to come to the market with mom or dad, how they'd buy this or that at one stand, what business used to be on that corner...There are folks who remember Over-the-Rhine during Prohibition and others who remember the bustle of Union Terminal train station in the 1930's.
What's exciting is that these visitors have come back to Findlay Market...We've weathered the racial turmoil of 2001 and taken giant steps in the last few years to bring both locals and tourists to downtown Cincinnati. These visitors are finding out that history and progress go hand-in-hand in Over-the-Rhine, and they're flocking to the neighborhood to experience the market, take walking tours, or sip Christian Moerlein in a biergarten.
It certainly makes me wonder what the small children visiting Findlay Market today will remember when they are grown...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime

In 1969, Sly and the Family Stone had a hit single called "Hot Fun in the Summertime." It's one of those feel-good, lazy-listening kind of songs that takes me back a lot of years and reminds me of carefree summers days of no school, sleeping late, and hanging out.
When you're in the fresh produce business and operate a full-time stand at Findlay Market, summer is anything but lazy and carefree. Summer shouts, "Come to the market!" and customers have certainly been heeding the call lately. The last two weeks have been record-breakers as far as Findlay Market traffic, and we're definitely enjoying the influx of new faces and the return of old friends.
Summer also means heat and humidity in Cincinnati. If you're like I am, sometimes it seems too hot to eat much, and often the only thing that sounds good is something cool and refreshing. Fresh fruit and crisp vegetables fit the bill, and this week I've found a summer salsa to share with you as our Recipe of the Week. This Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa from is a perfect match for tortilla chips or can be served with seafood or chicken. Either way, it's kick back, relax, play a few tunes, and try a new recipe.
By the way, if you ask for Daisy's Deal, you'll get all the fresh produce needed to make our Recipe of the Week...and always at a special price. Now that's some "Hot Fun in the Summertime!"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Only in America

I grew up with Sunday School and scribbling on a church program while "listening" to the sermon in an un-air conditioned sanctuary. As an adult, while I'm a bit more spiritual, I often still find my mind wandering as the preacher winds his way to his eventual point. However, several years ago on America's Independence Day, our minister made a lasting impression on me. As he described the blessings God has bestowed on our nation, he spoke one simple sentence in everyday language that has stuck with me since that day. "Only in America," he said, "do we take 15 minutes to decide which of our 15 pairs of shoes we should wear that day." He went on to describe how most of the world is lucky to have shoes at all...and many of those who do certainly only have one pair and don't have the time to hesitate before putting them on to start the day.
Now I'm not a shoe connoisseur. I don't really care much about fashion. But that analogy has made me stop and think more than once since that Sunday morning sermon. Now I notice all the choices that we make day after day and minute after minute. Only in America, do I have to decide which of our 150 channels I should watch on tv. Only in America, do I pick one of 50 kinds of toothpaste at the store. Only in America, do I consider buying topsoil (aka dirt) to add to the garden. Only in America, do I turn the thermostat up or down because I'm a little uncomfortable. Only in America, do I decide what kind of business I want to operate or where I'd like to live or work. 
Americans have got it way too good. We often take our freedoms, our opportunities, and our choices for granted. Independence Day is a perfect time to slow down and appreciate all that we have.  The good Reverend was right...God has blessed America.
Go forth and celebrate...and be thankful. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Our Recipe of the Week--Vegetable Slaw

At Daisy Mae's Market, we're featuring Vegetable Slaw from this week. This would be a terrific side dish to serve at your 4th of July cookout. To get the fresh produce for this recipe, just ask for "Daisy's Deal." You'll receive 1 cabbage, 5 Roma tomatoes, 1 broccoli, 1 cauliflower, and 1 red onion for $8.50. We'll leaving the chopping and mixing to you!

Vegetable Slaw
Yield: 6 servings    Prep: 30 minutes    Ready in: 30 minutes
3 cups cabbage, shredded
5 Roma tomatoes, seeded, chopped
1 cup fresh broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 cup cauliflowerets, cut into small pieces
½ cup chopped red onion
½ cup fat-free sour cream
¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

In a bowl, combine the cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and onion. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper, and then pour it over the cabbage mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Easy Button

I'm a big fan of Staples. Not only do they have all of the office supplies I need, but they also have a user-friendly website, a good system for commercial accounts, and the simplest way I've found yet to get rebates on products I buy. I also like their marketing...I love the commercial with the parents singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" as they buy back-to-school stuff for the kids. And I especially like their "Easy Button" that is a consistent reminder of how smoothly their systems work.
At Daisy Mae's Market, we've developed our own version of the "Easy Button" by introducing a Recipe of the Week and Daisy's Deal. We'll feature the recipe on our Facebook page or via a link on Twitter, and we'll announce the total price for the fresh produce included in the dish. If you want to try the recipe, just ask for "Daisy's Deal." You don't have to make a detailed list or remember anything...leave the planning to us and just order "Daisy's Deal." When we deliver, you'll have what you need as far as the fruits and/or vegetables to prepare our Recipe of the Week. We promise to select recipes that are easy to prepare and that don't require a lot of other hard-to-find ingredients. Our goal is to make your life a little easier.
This week we're featuring "Grilled Vegetable Medley." It's simple to prepare as you just put the ingredients in aluminum foil and throw them on the grill. The only things you'll need in addition to our vegetables are butter, salt, lemon-pepper seasoning, shredded cheese, and the foil. The best part is that this "Daisy's Deal" is only $10, and we can deliver to most locations in 45202, 45219, 45220, or 45206.
So what are you waiting for? Just email us at to place your order. We've made this as easy as pie!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hey, Kids! Eat Your Fruits and Veggies...For Dad!

With Father's Day approaching, it's time to turn our attention to the Dads. It's common today for Moms and Dads to share equally in preparing the meals. However, when I grew up things were different. Mom was the one in the kitchen and when Dad came home from work, dinner was almost always on the table. The only time Dad got involved in the cooking was on the weekends when he fired up the Weber grill for a burger or a steak. 
As I think back about times around our kitchen table, I do remember my parents coaxing me to try new foods. I'm sure my Dad at one time or another put the peas on the spoon and tried to fly them into the open "hangar." This age-old trick to get kids to eat their vegetables seems to pass from one generation to the next...I remember the same trick when our own kids were little, and I'm pretty sure they didn't fall for it!
This week in honor of the Dads who've been working to provide food, putting meals on the table, and persuading kids to try something healthy, we're having a photo contest. Get that camera ready or dig out those old photos. Post a picture on our Daisy Mae's Market Facebook wall of your kid (or any kid) eating fruits or vegetables. The photo that gets the most "likes" by midnight on Father's Day, June 19, is the winner. Winner gets five bags of our Windy Acres dried fruits and snacks (Dad's love 'em) on the next visit to Findlay the winner also gets major bragging rights for "Daisy Mae's Favorite Kid."  
Happy Father's Day from all of us at Daisy Mae's Market!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Marry Your Fruits and Vegetables

Since I used to turn my nose up at vegetables, I don't remember having many green salads as a kid. I remember nothing but fruit cocktail and jello salads. As I got a little older, tossed salads began creeping into my diet. I remember the first green salads I ate were covered in thick 1000 Island or Ranch dressing and topped with shredded cheese and croutons. Somewhere underneath was a bed of iceberg lettuce with a few slices of carrots or celery. 
Salads have come a long way in the last few years...both for me personally and in the culinary world in general. It's not uncommon for me to have a salad as my entree, and every restaurant in town seems to offer a dizzying array of choices. Now I prefer mixed greens with a light dressing that doesn't overwhelm the freshness of the vegetables...And much to my surprise, some of my favorite salads today include marrying the fresh veggies with a touch of fruit. 
I've really developed a taste for the popular spinach salad with dried cranberries and feta, but last night we discovered a new fruit and veggie salad twist: Grilled Peach Salad. We topped fresh peaches and Romaine lettuce from Daisy Mae's Market with fresh crumbled Greek feta from Gibbs Cheese at Findlay Market and came out with an absolutely delicious summer salad. 
If you're stuck in a mealtime rut, try introducing fruit to the vegetables in your salad bowl. Flavors that you may think have no business on the same plate may actually prove to be a marriage made in heaven. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Taste of Cincinnati-The Sequel

Last weekend was one of Cincinnati's favorite festivals, Taste of Cincinnati. This eating extravaganza takes over downtown Cincinnati during Memorial Day weekend when sampling food and walking from vendor to vendor are the things to do. 
Yesterday when Daisy Mae's was booming with visitors buying fresh produce, it occurred to me that Findlay Market is really an everyday Taste of Cincinnati. People stroll from one stand to the next, sampling food as they explore all the tastes of the market. They discuss different flavors, try foods they've never seen, share servings that are too generous for one, and reinforce the idea that food is fun. And (gasp) they even talk to people they don't know about foods they are eating! It becomes a party atmosphere that definitely resembles the Taste of Cincinnati.
So my question is: Why wait until next May to experience a Taste of Cincinnati again? Come to Findlay Market any Tuesday through Sunday year-round to enjoy the feeling of a festival. You can eat and drink your way from Race Street to Elm Street any time of the year. What better way to get a taste of Cincinnati...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Top Chef, Daisy Mae Style

Around our house, Dad has always been the featured chef. When the kids weren't calling me the "Casserole Queen" or complaining about my meatloaf, they were asking Dad to make a pasta, bake homemade bread, or fire up the grill. Even though Dad receives most of the attention in the kitchen, it has never bothered me because I come out ahead when delicious meals appear effortlessly on our table.
Having our daughter home from college this summer has ramped up the cooking again. Not only is Dad back at it making her favorites, but the college kid has become Chef #2. She's taken a real interest in developing her culinary skills, and it's been a welcome relief to have Chef #2 in charge of an occasional meal. Now dinner conversation has turned to marinades, spices, and techniques, and rather than be totally left out, I decided it was time to pull out all my Google and Food Channel resources and join in the fun.
The other night I made a Vegetable and Beef Stir-Fry with Brown Rice that received 5 stars from the other Top Chefs in the family. I started with a flank steak that I marinated a few hours. Then I chopped up a bunch of fresh vegetables from Daisy Mae's Market at Findlay Market.  After a quick stir-fry, I served it over rice and the judges went wild.
I may not be the Top Chef in the family YET, but at least I'm back in the game!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Graduation? Try Findlay Market Stress-Free Party Plan

I can't believe a year has past since we were on the whirlwind graduation circuit. Last May, our son graduated from the University of Virginia. Since then, he has completed a year of real-world employment and traveled to places I've only seen on television. A few days after his UVA graduation, our daughter graduated from high school. She has since completed a year at the University of South Carolina, expanded her horizons immensely, and continues to impress us with her ambitions and creativity. Where in the world has the year gone?
If a graduation is in your family's near future, you may be feeling not only the pressure of change at home, but you may also be feeling the stress of the celebration itself.  
To relieve some anxiety, I recommend you follow the Findlay Market Stress-Free Party Plan. These easy step-by-step directions are sure to make your graduation party a hit!

1. Go to Findlay Market. Park in one of the 3 convenient adjoining free lots, or grab a meter on the street. 
2. Decide on your main entree. We chose fajitas. We got Amish chicken breasts from Busch's Country Corner and flank steak from Mackie Meats. We marinated everything overnight. If you need help with a marinade, talk to the Colonel at Herbs & Spice. (If you prefer more of a traditional cookout with sausages, metts, or brats, check out Kroeger & Sons or Eckerlin Meats.) To make the fajitas complete, we grilled whole peppers and onions, too. 

3. For side dishes, think fresh produce. We served veggies and dip, fruit salad, slices of watermelon, tossed salad, and sweet corn. You can feed A LOT of people with fruits and vegetables at a very reasonable price. You can even call ahead to Daisy Mae's Market at 513-602-5601 and we'll package your order and have it ready for quick pick up. 

4. For dessert, choose gelato from Dojo Gelato, waffles or pastries from Taste of Belgium, or a special cake from Skirtz & Johnston. 
5. Or if you're not quite the planner that I am, just wander around until you see or smell something you like at Findlay Market. Whatever you decide to serve, it's easy to find, reasonably priced, and convenient. You'll be glad you chose one-stop shopping at Findlay Market.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are You Bored?

My dad in Florida told me about a newspaper ad there that encouraged visitors to check out the local Flea Market. It was one of those ads that started on one page with "I was bored..." and then continued onto another page with "the other day"...followed by "so I went to"..."the Flea Market"...and "WOW!" Each part of the ad enticed the reader to go on and find the next part of the message...because you knew something good had to be at the end.
I was thinking such an ad would be perfect for Findlay Market here in Cincinnati. "I was bored...the other I went to...Findlay Market...and WOW!" Food, handcrafted items, beer, wine, music, people-watching, and more are yours for the taking if you make up your mind to put a little "Wow!" in your life. Just like the ad suggested, as you wander the aisles at Findlay Market and turn each corner to see something different, you'll be amazed at the experience. Maybe your "Wow!" at the end of your visit will be a cup of DojoGelato, a taste from Market Wines, a waffle from Taste of Belgium, or a Christian Moerlein from the Biergarten. Or maybe your "Wow!" will be a minute talking spices with Colonel De...Or perhaps your "Wow!" will be picking up a new recipe from the friendly staff at Daisy Mae's Market...
So if you're looking for something new to do, come find your "Wow!" at Findlay Market. We're open Tuesday through Sunday, year-round, and we have everything here...except boredom!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hide and Sneak!

Last night's dinner included Mr. Daisy Mae's Spaghetti Squash, Mediterranean-style.  If you've watched the video, you know this is a simple recipe that substitutes as pasta. Now if I told our daughter we were having squash, she'd turn her nose up quicker than you could blink an eye. However, by disguising the spaghetti squash as pasta, I found everyone wants seconds!
If you're trying to get more vegetables in your family's diet, there are lots of ways to "hide and sneak." Not only can you substitute spaghetti squash for regular noodles in spaghetti and casseroles, but you can also add vegetables to the sauce itself. Add finely chopped carrots, onions, or celery...or if your kids are really picky, puree' the vegetables into a smooth mixture before adding to the sauce. Vegetables can also be mixed in with scrambled eggs or omelets, or they can be hidden in favorite soups. It's also easy to add a few veggies to a pizza...With a favorite pizza sauce and cheese, the healthier toppings can go unnoticed by those who resist eating vegetables.
It's not just picky kids who don't get enough vegetables in their diets. Most of us have trouble fulfilling our daily requirement of fruits and vegetables. (If you're not sure how many servings you should eat, check out this handy calculator.) I've found the easiest way to add fresh produce to my diet is just to have it available. By cutting up raw vegetables and having them in the refrigerator ready to eat, I'm much more likely to snack on this healthy choice. By keeping lettuce and sliced tomatoes ready, or an avocado nearby, I can easily add these vegetables to a sandwich or burger.
When it comes to those of us who know better, it's exactly the opposite of picky eaters...Don't hide the veggies, but rather keep them in plain sight. You'll find you can increase your vegetable intake without much effort, and you'll be sneaking some healthy habits into your routine.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

If I Had a Dollar for Everyone Who Said...

Not a day goes by at Findlay Market without hearing someone say, "I haven't been here for years." Today was one of those days where excellent weather combined with special events to bring a lot of new faces to the market. While musicians played on Elder Street, the smell of fresh sausages on the grill and the thought of cold beer in the Biergarten invited people to not just shop, but to linger a while. And, yes, I heard it more than once..."Why haven't we been here sooner?"..."This is so different from when I was last here"..."We're going to come every week!"...
Old and young, native Cincinnatians and international visitors...professionals, students, families, neighborhood residents...On foot, by car, by bicycle, by bus--it seemed everyone came to Findlay Market today.
If you missed it, vow to come soon to see this special place. If you were at Findlay Market today, tell someone what you saw, smelled, heard, or tasted....and next time you visit, bring a friend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hey, Flying Pigs! It's Not About the Destination

Eleven years ago I ran my first Flying Pig Marathon. If you've ever wanted to know if you're really qualified to include "goal-oriented" on your list of character traits, running 26.2 miles is the perfect way to fine out. Somehow I managed to find time for 6 months of training in the middle of being a wife, a mother, and a business partner. And, yes, I finished the marathon in a stellar 5 hours and 14 minutes.
For those of you getting set for the Flying Pig on Sunday, your training has all but come to an end. This is the week for worrying about "hitting the wall," eating and sleeping right, and figuring out the logistics of race day. Come Sunday, your weeks of training will culminate in a memorable experience. 
As I look back, my journey to the finish line was filled with memories. I remember Sunday training runs that took me all over Winton Woods and took longer than it would take to play 18 holes of golf. I remember race day morning and the excitement in the bathroom lines prior to the start. I remember the relief of hearing a barbershop quartet at the Eden Park Overlook after climbing that first hill. I remember the elderly woman on the curb at one of the last mile markers in Covington who looked me straight in the eye, clapped her hands, and said, "You can do it!" And, yes, I remember the finish line, but not so much for the end itself, but for the sight of a former soccer teammate encouraging me the last few steps. 
So as you Flying Pigs do your thing this weekend, take time to smell the flowers. Sure, your race time is important and the medal is cool, but as my friend Ross has said for years, "It's not about the destination...It's about the journey." 
And now a word from our sponsors: Eat more fruits and vegetables. They make you run fast! 
Good Luck, Racers!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chips and Dip

With another Easter on the horizon, my thoughts turn once again to family, friends, and holiday gatherings. I'm thinking a lot about my Aunt Maxine these days. She passed away on April 7 after living a full and active life most of her 85 years. She left her 3 children, 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and the rest of her extended family and circle of friends with wonderful memories of a caring person who excelled at balancing work and play. 
As a child, I remember many special occasions at Aunt Maxine's. The Fourth of July was always my favorite holiday because we could sit on the back patio and watch the community fireworks over the trees in her backyard. We also spent many a Sunday dinner at Maxine's...and I'm sure we hunted for Easter eggs more than once at her house. 
It's strange what stands out for me when I think about dinners at Aunt Maxine's. I remember that she always had chips and dip. Yes, potato chips and onion dip always seemed special to me. 
As I think about that now, and as I think about all the worry that sometimes goes into a holiday meal, I find myself chuckling that the thing I remember the most is the chips and dip. Maybe there's a lesson there for all of us...something along the lines of "Don't Sweat the Big Stuff." As you gather your family together for your next special meal, don't stress too much over the ham, the turkey, the lamb, or the roast...It might be something as simple as the dip that makes them want to come back for more. After all, it's often the little things that make the memories.

So as a tribute to my Aunt Maxine, I'm sharing this recipe for a special dip from Perfect Entertaining. Who knows? There may just be a dip lover in your family that remembers this for a long time. 

Creamy Cucumber Dill Dip

This dip is easy to make and is refreshing and cool. Try serving it with fresh vegetables, tortilla chips, breadsticks, or crackers as an easy appetizer. The dip can be made up to 48 hours in advance. 

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
2 medium peeled and chopped cucumbers
3 tablespoons sliced scallions
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoons freshly snipped dill weed
Dash cayenne pepper to taste

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy. Cover tightly and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with additional dill sprigs and chopped red bell pepper if desired. 

Makes about 3 cups dip. 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes