In July, Milly and I were invited to join the Utah Food Bloggers for a tour of some of our host’s favorite food stops in Cache Valley.
Since we call Cache Valley home, we couldn’t resist joining in to learn more about the delicious side of the neighborhood.
We were not disappointed.
Food Stop 1 – Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market
First thing Saturday morning we met with the other bloggers for a tour of the Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market. Markets always remind me of shopping in Italy. I love walking along the outdoor aisles, finding vegetables in one booth next to hand-squeezed lemonade and beautiful hand-crafted woodwork.
I find the randomness charming – and there’s something appealing to me about the artisans who work in seeds and earth mingling with those who work with needles and thread, or ink and brushes, or even whisks and spoons.
Lost Creek Farm was one of my favorite booths. The produce was appealing. The friendly staff shared suggestions for preparing a variety of squash that we hadn’t tried before. There’s lots of garden fresh produce at the gardener’s market, but I liked this one best, mostly because one of these smiling faces is my sweet Aunt Marie. Aren’t these two beautiful?
Food Stop 2 – Stacked Pancakes
Deep in the heart of the Cache Valley Gardener’s Market is a man who mixes pancake batter with a power drill. Which is, of course, as it should be.
You can watch your breakfast|lunch|snack cooked to perfection right before your eyes on the giant outdoor griddle. This booth had a line the entire time we toured, and for good reason.
The pancakes are delicious alone. But topped with a couple of their hand-chopped toppings and drizzled with their homemade buttermilk dressings, they’re irresistible.
I’ve heard rumors that when the gardener’s market closes this fall, Stacked Pancakes will have a winter home! It looks like it will be someplace warm where people can enjoy their short or long stack out of the wild Northern Utah winter weather. I can’t wait to learn more!
Food Stop 3 – Butcher’s Bunches
Next, we headed north to the Butcher’s Bunches kitchen to learn how Liz makes her famous jams.
We were lucky to catch her on a day she was trying out a new recipe. This pie-inspired mixture of blueberries, pineapple, and toasted coconut was as beautiful as it was delicious.
One of my favorite things about Butcher’s Bunches is that Liz creates jams with all-natural ingredients, and most of her jams have no added sugar. She let us try several of her most popular flavors and they were fantastic.
My favorite was strawberry coconut. Well, it was favorite until the new jam was ready to try. Oh. My. Goodness.
I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this company before! I love that from their small beginnings they’ve made a big impact. The SWAG bags at Sundance Film Festival have even included their jam! It is shipped all over the world, and you can find it in grocery stores all over Utah as well. In Logan, they still have a booth at the gardener’s market.
Liz is delightful, and despite the fact that the rich and famous eat her jam on bread at tea time, she’s still warm and down to earth and has the most welcoming, friendly smile.
While she creates the recipes, it’s usually her son, Kenneth, who names them. I really love their story and the fact that Butcher’s Bunches is really Kenneth’s company, a way for his family to keep taking care of his special needs even after they’re gone.
Food Stop 4 – Gibbons Green Gate Farm
A little bit north of Logan, and a wee bit south of Smithfield, lies an idyllic little farm that opens its dining room to guests on weekend mornings and occasional evenings.
Gibbons Green Gate Farm is a small, family run operation with gardens, chickens, sheep, fields, greenhouses, and stretches of green lawn. If I had to pick one word for it, I think it might be “peaceful.”
We completed our tour by climbing the stairs to the Carriage House Kitchen where Milly settled on her own word for the place.
The farm-style tables featured bouquets of flowers from the cook’s garden. The cottage feel was just too charming for words. Well, except one word. Milly assured me that this place is the perfect example of hygge, the Danish word that has no equivalent in our language, but means something like cozy and warm and family and comfort and friends and contentment. This place is hyggeligt.
I fell in love with the kitchen, and the chefs whipped up a couple of breakfast specialties for us to try. My very favorite thing was fresh eggs cooked with pepperoni and topped with feta and a couple of kalamata olives.
It was so unexpected and so delicious. I can’t wait to go back with my family!
Food Stop 5 – Cafe Sabor
When we saw the agenda for our food tour most of the stops were new to me. I was delighted to see Cafe Sabor included too, as it’s one of our favorite date night restaurants. The old train station that houses it is really quite beautiful, and I love the friendly, open atmosphere.
Even on busy nights, you can hold a conversation without raising your voice. It also easily accommodates anything from a large family party to an intimate party of two.
Of course, the most important thing about a restaurant is the food, and it’s fantastic.
We always order their fresh guacamole to eat with our chips and salsa, and end up having to take half of our dinner home. We can’t help ourselves. It’s our favorite thing. I don’t think any of us has ever ordered anything we didn’t love!
Cafe Sabor provided us a lunch which included a starter of shrimp ceviche with our chips and salsa. We then chose from several of their best-selling dishes. I opted for the Baja Chicken Pasta which is one of my favorites. Milly chose something she hadn’t tried before, the Carne Asada. The whole group sat together on the covered patio and it was fun to chat and get to know each other better.
By this point the boys at home were a little jealous of our delicious adventures, so we ordered their dinner to take home with us.
It’s important to maintain friendly family relationships. Especially when you’re a blogger. And you’re going to be spending a lot of time at the computer writing about food while they fend for themselves.
Food Stop 6 – KettleCopia
Before we left, we met Craig Winder. His family mixes up batches of kettle corn in a giant kettle for Utah State University games. And sometimes lucky neighbors.
Next time you’re at an Aggie game I definitely recommend giving it a try! He gave us each a bag to snack on during out long drives home. Since our home is barely 5 minutes away, we saved it for a family movie on the couch that evening. There are plans to expand KettleCopia’s production, and I’ll definitely be watching for that!
BONUS! Other Cache Valley Food Sponsors
I definitely want to include special thanks to sponsors who contributed to our little gift bags! Cox Honey’s little honey jar, Lee’s caramel popcorn, Cafe Rio’s dinner invitation and all kinds of interesting information from Cache Chamber of Commerce were perfect! And thanks to Michelle De La Cerda of The Complete Savorist for making all of the arrangements, and to Darla Bentley of Blue Breeze Travel for helping and providing an extra set of hands!
What we learned
We love living in this beautiful little corner of the world! We’re blessed with majestic mountains, wildlife and farm life, and a quiet, friendly lifestyle that’s difficult to find in many college towns. Sometimes it gets so comfortable, living here, that we forget to discover and explore.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Cache Valley, we hope this gives you a few delicious ideas for your next adventure.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Cache Valley, we hope you’ll find it as enchanting as we do.
And if you need a new little corner of the world to explore, come on by! Hike in our mountains, enjoy our scenery and delight your taste buds with some of these fantastic foods.
You will definitely NOT be disappointed.