Washington, DC

Hi, I’m Laura and I’m delighted to be contributing to PoP as a guest blogger! I love to talk about interesting food items, like unique grocery shops/restaurants and recipes inspired by those places.

Hailing from Silver Spring, I thought I’d dedicate this first post to one of my local favorites, the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op.

For those of you unfamiliar with this gem, the TPSS co-op is a locally owned organic market, featuring local produce, dairy, meat, and other foods. There are two locations, one in Silver Spring, just outside the DC border in Rock Creek Park, and one in Takoma Park. Right now, I’m loving their pots of fresh herbs outside.

Although I enjoy local produce, I just never have managed to be huge patron of Farmers’ Markets because many of them would require me to Wake Up Early on Saturdays. I consider this a huge waste of Sleeping In Opportunity. So while all those other “early birds” are off at the farmers market, I can just come to the TPSS co-op at any time I want until 9pm and get in on my organic spinach.

One aisle of the store is dedicated to bulk bins. Bulk bins hearken me back to the days of my childhood when my mom would push her cart right past the bulk bin displays of candy. So now that I am a grown-up,there is nothing more satisfying at the grocery store than the Bulk Bin Aisle. I suppose my tastes have developed somewhat, since it is not Brach’s wrapped candies I am interested in anymore, but that by-the-pound Pearl Couscous, Veggie Pasta, or Trail Mix. Spices also come in bulk bins, so you can stop buying overpriced bottles at Giant (seriously, $6 for a tiny jar of ground mustard?), and come here where you can stock up on Garam Masala, Whole Coriander, Mustard Seed, and other such grilling necessities.

So now, you have your bulk-bin pasta and organic produce, what are you to make? How about some Cavatappi with Butternut Squash and Spinach?

Continues after the jump.

You’ll need:

Isn’t this veggie pasta beautiful? It almost is a shame to cook it, but not quite :)

I also am a firm believer in the flavor of grown-up spinach as opposed to “baby” spinach.

And here’s the bootylicious butternut.

Make this dish on Friday, and you may even have leftovers for when you eventually wake up on Saturday.

Still hungry? I talk about more recipes and local haunts at my own blog, Lauralicious In DC.


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