YLNI Farmers Market In Full Swing
Jun12

YLNI Farmers Market In Full Swing

Downtown Fort Wayne has the PERFECT place to grab a morning cup of coffee, a bite for breakfast, some groceries and a little something extra for yourself too! The YLNI Farmer’s Market on the corner of Berry and Barr is a HUGE gathering of local farmers, entrepreneurs, bakers and craftsmen that set up shop from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays in the summer. My best advice is to arrive right at 9. On my visit to the farmer’s market I left around 9:45 and the street was packed! Some vendors even had items crossed off their menus because they had ALREADY sold out. Like the saying goes, the early bird…well, you know…the early bird gets the last fresh snickerdoodle! Here are some finds from my most recent trip to the YLNI Farmer’s Market: I made off with a bath bomb from Redmaster Fusion that, no joke, smells like Fruit Loops . The owner, Kerry Redmaster, started her shop 8 years ago making soy candles and expanded from there. One of the coolest things I have seen is her creation of a bath bomb/soap bar. Just throw the whole thing in the tub and when the bath bomb fizzes out, you are left with soap- Genius! Visit her shop at https://www.redmasterfusionllc.com/ or in person at 537 W. Jefferson Blvd. Did I mention there is a surprise in the middle of her bath bombs? For my kitchen table I purchased some pea shoots and pine berries. Pea shoots taste just like peas, and are loaded with even more nutrition than the full grown plant. These and other “micro greens” are available at the market, and taste delicious on a salad or in a sandwich! I ate my pea shoots tossed with some mozzarella and parmesan cheese, served over lemon and herb spaghetti. Pineberries are white “strawberries” with red seeds and have the faint taste of pineapple in each bite.  Tea drinkers- visit Teajutsu. Actually, you non-tea drinkers go too, just to enjoy the catchy names! With teas called “I Am Froot” (Guardians of the Galaxy) and “Winter at Hogsmeade” (Harry Potter), it’s hard to resist geeking out with a cup. I purchased the Strawberry Shortcake tea, it tastes as bold as it smells and saves calories. This tea tastes just like the real thing! Your taste buds will thank you for visiting the online shop- http://www.teajutsu.net/. You can even place an order online and they will bring it to the market for you to pick up. (Editor’s note – the Teajutsu is a part of the nearby Fort Wayne Farmers Market, also on Barr Street). The YLNI Market is truly a...

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Indulge in Delicious Baked Delights at Vanilla Bean
May20

Indulge in Delicious Baked Delights at Vanilla Bean

Looking for a sweet treat made from real, natural, and fresh ingredients that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face? Then put that package of Chips Ahoy back on the shelf, toss your Twinkies to the dog, and head over to Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies & Cupcakes at 3410 North Anthony; or give them a call, they deliver locally and ship nationwide. The first things you’ll notice as soon as you walk in are the mouthwatering aroma of fresh baked goodness and a smiling hello. It’s a quaint space, but there’s plenty of room for a few tables and chairs to sit down and savor your dessert. A chalkboard hanging behind the display case lists the options of the day, which while I was visiting included five varieties of cookies and six cupcake choices. They also have biscotti, along with gluten free cookies…I’m reassured by the proprietor they are every bit as good as the gluten-ful versions. I sat down with Co-owner and Marketing Chef, Sandra Wharton, who is as energetic and endearing as you would want in a store full of homemade goodness. Ms. Wharton took the time to walk me through their experience being on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, how their cookies were the talk of the Daytime Emmys gift baskets in Hollywood, and the extensive process they went through to get accepted into the prestigious Specialty Food Association. Those are all very fine accomplishments and points of recognition, putting Vanilla Bean in very rare company locally. However, it seems that while Vanilla Bean is renown regionally and even nationally, it is still a hidden gem in Fort Wayne. My co-workers and I tried a number of different cupcakes and cookies and not surprisingly, we were extremely impressed. After the first bite there’s no doubt that they use real butter and sugar, no artificial stuff or substitutes. Our consensus favorite was the Lemon Ricotta cookie, which was not overly sweet or tart, just a soft, tangy, tasty delight. Not many people have nearly the sweet tooth I do, but there was something for everyone to enjoy. Seriously, I loved everything, enough so that it doesn’t make sense for me to try and describe each one – check out their website and you can see that they’ve already done that for you. All I can say is you cannot go wrong with whatever you choose. Some of my other favorites were the Cinnamon Toast cupcake, the Chocolate Dream cupcake, the Simply Vanilla cupcake, the Cherry Chip Cordial cookie, the Funky Chocolate Chip, Toffee, & Pecan cookie, and the Margarita sandwich cookie – did I mention I have an insatiable sweet tooth? And don’t hesitate...

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