Carter Cooks: Sausage Balls

Carter Cooks

So this is one of the ultimate Southern potluck foods. It’s perfect for church dinners, basketball games (NCAA championship is tonight!), funerals, and any get together with children. The traditional recipe is bisquick, cheddar cheese, and a pound of sausage. I wanted to try something a little different. Below is a homemade buttermilk biscuit with local sausage, goat cheese and chili powder. I think the creamy texture of the goat cheese really complements the flavorings in the sausage you can get at the market. I hope you enjoy this snack treat. It also freezes well. So think of making a double batch and freezing the second one, if you can get them to last long enough to cool. Another variation would be to substitute feta cheese for the goat cheese. Just something to think about experimenting with!

Sausage balls

From the market


Chili powder

Goat cheese




From your pantry

Baking powder

Baking soda


  1. In a skillet, brown sausage. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Make biscuit dough. In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, 4 tsp powder, ¼ tsp soda, and a heavy dash of salt. Take 4 tbsp cold butter and mix into the flour mixture with your fingertips. You want to do this quickly and the butter should become pea sized or smaller. Pour in 1 cup cold buttermilk. Mix thoroughly. If the dough appears too wet, add a little flour.
  4. Mix dough, cooked sausage, goat cheese, and spices to taste. I would use about 1 lb of sausage, 8 oz of goat cheese, and 1 tsp of chili powder.  Again, if mixture will not form a ball, add flour. If too dry, add a bit of cold water or buttermilk.
  5. Spoon out bite sized balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and dough is cooked through.

Carter Cooks: Spring Salad with Vinaigrette

Carter Cooks

Welcome back and Happy Spring! This is arguably my favorite time of year, especially with 2013’s lackadaisical winter.  There is nothing I love better than coming out of yoga on Monday evenings at 8 o’clock to a still bright sky. The endless conversation I have with myself on the drive home is what do I feel like making after a long day in the office, a great yoga practice, and the prospects of an early bedtime. Perhaps it’s the yoga or the spring sunshine that makes me want salads in everyway shape and form.

I really enjoy salads. They are a great stand-alone meal if beefed up properly or the perfect side dish to any main course. Spring is a nice time for salads because the lettuce is so sweet and fresh. I learned to look for unusual items to toss in my salads either for kick or protein to make them last a little longer. Also, making your own dressing is so much less expensive than store bought and there is less waste if you only make enough for dinner and lunch the next day. The same can be said for croutons. If you have day old bread, slice it and toss it with oil, salt, and pepper. Broil the chunks for a few minutes and voilia, croutons.

We are excited to see the market start back this week. Make sure you swing by on Thursday!

Spring Salad with Vinaigrette

From the Market

Salad greens

Spring vegetables


Feta cheese


From your pantry

Nuts, pine nuts or walnuts work nicely

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar



Salt & Pepper

  1. Wash and dry your lettuce. Chop any desired vegetables. I like cucumbers and tomatoes. But, it’s a little early for these. Look for sun-dried tomatoes that were put up last year and early produce like asparagus.
  2. Add nasturtiums if using. Nasturtiums are an edible flower in season right now. They add a nice spicy kick and a beautiful color to the salad.
  3. Toast nuts in a dry frying pan. Place 2-3 Tbsp of desired nut in a dry skillet on medium-high heat. Toast until fragrant, stirring regularly, about 4 minutes.
  4. For croutons, slice older bread into desired size. Toss, just to coat, with olive oil, a little salt and pepper. Toast on about 375 until crisp (approximately 5 minutes). Be sure to stir have way through.
  5. Add feta, toasted nuts, and croutons to salad.
  6. In a mason jar add equal parts oil and vinegar (1/3 c. each), 1 Tbsp sugar (less if you don’t want it too sweet), 1 Tbsp mustard (I use a stone ground mustard), 1 tsp salt, and pepper to taste. Cap the jar and shake vigorously until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  7. Add dressing to salad and mix to taste.
  8. Enjoy!

Appalachian Farmers Market Association Winter Conference

(David, Jen and Haven)

A small group of us had a wonderful time at the Appalachian Farmers Market Association Winter Conference in Bristol yesterday. We got some good ideas about how to promote our Market, as well as practical tips on whole farm planning, starting a farm, etc. There are so many terrific resources for beginning farmers, people interested in local food and folks trying to run Markets. Most importantly, the event got us excited about the upcoming season! We hope to see you at the Market this spring. 

photo (58)

Eating Alabama

Last night, ETSU hosted Andrew Grace (director and producer of Eating Alabama). What a great story about farming and the joys of eating locally grown food. There was a great turnout and it certainly got me excited about the upcoming Market season. Check it out if you haven’t already. – Rachel

Spring 2013 Vendor Applications

ImageApplications for the spring 2013 Market are now available! Complete yours here today!* We’ll accept applications through February 14. Please send any questions to -or- call 828-808-7913.

*If you would prefer a print copy of the application materials, please the Market manager (Rachel at or 828-808-7813) and she will mail them to you.

Carter Cooks: Swiss Chard and Poaches Eggs

Carter Cooks

I think I’ve mentioned before that I love breakfast for dinner. This dish is a nice compromise. It’s a little breakfast like, but definitely different enough to be served for dinner. The fall is a great time for greens. We often forget about how nutritious these vegetables are. They are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. When I first started cooking vegetables like chard, kale, mustard, and collards, I was a little intimidated by the amount of room they took up in the fridge. I was more surprised by how much they cook down. If you’ve never cooked these, try them out this week at the market. You may be surprised by how much you like them.
We are sad to see the Market at ETSU close this week, but are busy making preparations for the spring. Make sure you stop by for the pumpkin carving contest this Thursday.
Swiss Chard & Poached Eggs

From the Market
Swiss Chard
Green Onions
Chili pepper
From the Pantry
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil

1. Boil water for poaching eggs. Chop chard and onions into rough pieces. Deseed chili and slice into small chunks.
2. In a sautee pan heat olive oil. Brown minced garlic for approximately one minute.
3. Add onions, chili pepper, and chard stalks. Sautee until soft and onions are almost translucent. Use the wine to deglaze the pan. Salt & pepper to taste.
4. Add the rest of the swiss chard to the pan. Mix well and steam until soft.
5. Meanwhile, crack egg into boiling water and poach to desired consistency.
6. Serve with toasted bread.

Carter Cooks: Stuffed Peppers

At the last market I got to perusing Jeff’s cookbooks (of Chapo’s Chilies), they had some amazing stuffed pepper recipes. I thought I’d give it a try.  In perusing my own set of cookbooks and the internet, I discovered that there are as many ways to stuff a pepper as there are southern cooks. It seems to me that everyone does it differently and with their own tastes in mind. So I would recommend that you use my recipe as a guide and adjust accordingly.

I personally think onions are medicinal and will put them in anything savory. Additionally as a born and bred southerner, I love the pig. Typically, I’ll try to sneak cheese into any dish. But for some reason I didn’t have any in my larder, so I left it out. By now, you should have noticed that I tend to be a use what’s on hand kind of cook. If you think the flavor profile works, go for it. Cooking is all about improvising. As Julia Child once said “If you’re alone in the kitchen, who is going to see?” Don’t worry about making mistakes; the one’s you cook for will still be thankful that they were on the receiving end of a home cooked meal.

Stuffed Peppers

From the Market



Herbs (parsley, for example)


From the Pantry


Tomato sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Wash peppers and slit along the spine to remove seeds. Leave the tops attached. The peppers will splay open when cooking if removed.
  3. Cook rice and set aside.
  4. Brown sausage, breaking up the sausage into small pieces.  Drain and reserve a little of the fat to cook the onions in.
  5. Chop onions and sauté in sausage grease. Add cooked rice and sausage to the pan. Add a little tomato sauce to help hold the ingredients together. Season with herbs, salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Stuff rice mixture into slit, deseeded peppers. Rub peppers with oil and place on a baking sheet. Optional: Drizzle tomato sauce over filled peppers.
  7. Bake until peppers are tender approximately 40 minutes.

Note: The rice mixture can be made ahead of time except for the tomato sauce.