Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Soffritto Sisters | A Fremont Community Garden Tasting Event

These were the pictures I took last May as I shopped alongside my "Soffritto Sister," Terri Salminen at her favorite farmer's market in Amsterdam. I am so excited to pick her up at the airport TODAY.

And I'm thrilled to announce we have a super fun garden event planned this weekend

Terri and I will be visiting garden manager Alicia Dodd and friends at The Soffritto Sister's Garden Tasting Event (Facebook event page) on Sunday July 24th from 10:30am-12:30pm during normal volunteering hours to help inspire YOU to grow, prepare and eat your beautiful raw garden produce. 

We are keeping it SIMPLE:) Terri and I will prepare a few raw, simple and delicious recipes for you to enjoy samples, recipe ideas, cooking tips and more! What underutilized, beautiful produce and edible flowers can we inspire you to cook with? We'll be creating dishes straight out of the garden for everyone to taste - We can't wait to meet you! Our recipes will be posted on the Food Revolution Lake County Facebook Page (to save paper of course!) and also given to the community garden recipients. 

All are welcome to this FREE, kid friendly event. 

The Fremont Township Community Garden is a multi-functional garden space that provides produce to the township food pantry clients and low income seniors and provides opportunities for enjoyment and learning for the entire community. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to cook at the garden! For more information on volunteering opportunities with the garden manager Alicia Dodd (she is INCREDIBLE!) or anything else, visit and/or their Facebook page here.

I can't wait for our Summer 2016 adventure in Lake County to begin! Local farmer's markets WATCH OUT... Our plan is to shop for good local food and cook our little fannies off together! (Hmmmm I think I better delete some content off my phone to make room for all the pics and videos we're going to take!)

And Terri, I'm kinda sad you won't have to push me around everywhere this time:) But thanks to the inspiration you gave me in the Netherlands, we will have our own BIKES to get around on this Summer!!!!

Vroom vroom.

To the mullies we go...


Summer Salads | Part 2 - Warm Bacon, Fennel and Spinach Salad

This one is for YOU Stephanie Taylor Moss! You must let me know if you try something like it sister sledge!! I just know you'll add in a little gumption of your own...

A Warm Bacon & Fennel Spinach Salad

8 oz cremini mushrooms (Sandhill Family Farms)
1 onion
1 fennel bulb (SFF)
1 package locally raised (antibiotic and nitrate free) bacon (SFF)
fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves
3-4 healthy handfuls of spinach
sea salt

Cook the bacon. Meanwhile, slice the fennel bulb and dice stalks thinly. Reserve some fronds (fronds = the dill look-a-like parts of the fennel - It's true, I had no idea what fronds were a few years ago). Dice or slice the onion. Mince the garlic. Slice the mushrooms. Strain the bacon on paper towel and leave some of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the fennel, onion, mushrooms and garlic to the skillet and cook low and slow (don't forget to season with salt and pepper!) until evenly cooked and just starting to caramelize (about 30 minutes). Chop up some fresh parsley and add in with about 5 minutes left to cook. Take off heat and sprinkle in some fennel fronds.

I tossed this warm mixture in with baby spinach and it was the first time I have gotten Abbie to give me a thumbs up on spinach salad (I guess it was all about the bacon baby). Mac was having a bad day with his retainer... And Chris, well, he does not eat mushrooms. Crazy charlie. I LOVE mushrooms!

To the mullies,

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Salads | Part 1 - A Soffritto Quinoa Salad

Another 4th of July has come and gone. It's just so crazy how the time, the family, the friends and the food all merge together into one big crazy blob.

I cleaned out my pantry.

I did that a few weeks ago and it pretty much changes MY LIFE every time I do it. I am on a mission to control food costs and this is my ground zero. (I found four - FOUR -bottles of toasted sesame oil... I have no flipping idea how they all got in there...)

I'm on a mission to control my pocket book and begin again. I keep a little notebook in my purse with a clip on the side. It holds my ledger for the week (money I bring in and out) plus receipts. I'm making it a game (and you know how much I love to compete in a good ballgame) to control my dementia ridden pantry. No more overbuying Lindsey!

Here is the first installment of three delicious salad recipes I want to share with you. I hope you enjoy making them as much as I do! The kids are still at "bite size tries". I am hoping someday they go for a "nice size bowl." Pretty please!

This trifecta of flavor made a lovely addition to my neighbor's 3rd of July potluck celebration! Enjoy!

A Soffritto Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked organic quinoa
1 package organic feta cheese
1 bunch carrots (Sandhill Family Farms)
1 onion (red, yellow or white)
1 bunch rainbow chard (SFF)
1/2 red pepper
1/2 orange pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
2 cloves garlic
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Cook the quinoa to the package instructions with organic vegetable stock instead of water for extra flavor. Add 1/2 tsp sea salt to the stock. Dice up the carrots, onion and peppers. Separate the chard leaves from the ribs. Dice the ribs. Rough chop the chard leaves and set aside. Mince the garlic. In a separate skillet, heat 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over med low heat and add the diced carrots, onion, chard ribs and garlic. Add a healthy pinch of sea salt and pepper. Saute low and slow for about 30 minutes being careful to turn down heat if the vege begins to carmelize. Once the vege is evenly cooked and just beginning to carmelize, add the chard leaves and lid for 2-3 minutes to soften the leaves and retain the vivid green color. Don't forget to season to taste! Grab your serving bowl and add the quinoa and cooked vege together. Break up the feta block (if needed) into small pieces and add to the bowl. Serve room warm, room temperature or cold!

Falafel Cookies
(Inspired by this Food Revolution Ambassador Challenge World Food Programme Falafel recipe)

severely screwed this recipe up but it ended up all working out! I subbed in 1 bag chickpea & fava bean flour (Bob's Red Mill) + 2 cups of warm water. This was way.too.much.water. So, I let it sit overnight at Christina's suggestion. The next day, I scooped out the dough and rolled it in coarse cornmeal and baked them for 9 minutes at 350 degrees. It was just like making cookies.

Garden Cucumber Dipping Sauce

1 cucumber diced
1 cup organic whole fat plain yogurt
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp dried or fresh dill
1 T mayo (we used soy free vegenaise)
1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
pepper to taste

Mix it all up and serve on the side with the quinoa salad and falafel cookies. This would ROCK with gyros.

I am so happy our cucumbers are coming IN!

To my dear soffritto sister Terri, you KNOW I was thinking of you the entire time I cooked this salad! 

To the mullies...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Food Revolution Day 2016 | Lake County to the Netherlands

Golly gee willacker! Summer is in full swing and it's time to take a look back to one the best months of my life. I hope you enjoy my diary of Food Revolution Day 2016!

I celebrated Food Revolution Day for the first time on Aces Day at West Oak School on May 4th and for the second time at the Liberty Prairie Plant sale on May 14th. Ambassadors Christina and Sara and I braved the unusually brisk weather (yes it snowed!) and we passed out recipes to inspire market goers to buy kitchen garden ingredients together. I am one lucky girl to have passionate teammates like them!!

And then I was off...

I flew standby out to Europe (so crazy thankful to my friend Susan!), got bumped, stayed overnight in Detroit but finally took off on a London flight. And it sure paid off...

It was a very unexpected detour, but on the way to Amsterdam (via the City London Airport), I got to meet the lovely Jo Creed and team, visit Food Revolution Headquarters and sip tea at Fifteen London. Pretty amazing hiccup that I am so very grateful for!

Even thought there was not enough time to cook with them, I got to see a little bit of the Hello Fresh cook off event with Food Revolution team! What fun and what an incredible team building idea to promote employee food education + workplace wellness!

After a final epic picture, and a good bye promise to come back again soon, I finally arrived in the Netherlands to see my dear soffritto sister, Terri Salminen

This is how we roll! Terri + me in her "bakfeit" (cargo bike). Yup I fit just fine in the front.

In partnership with Hutton Europe, Terri's first Food Revolution workplace wellness event went off without a hitch. Chef's Damien Sawyer (left) and Damien Taylor (Executive Chef) were amazing to cook with! I loved connecting with the Hutton team and the Microsoft employees; The energy was fantastic and everyone LOVED the FRD inspired recipes we prepared for them.

Find, prepare and eat all of 10 FRD Recipes! Here is one of the beautiful plates of salmon I prepared and served with my team at Terri's first event at Microsoft NL!

Our second cooking event was located at SAS Institute B.V. Which was absolutely Gorgeous.

Wack the pomegranate! I prepared and served Jamie's SuperFood Salad. YUM.

Gosh I love watching her work! Terri prepared her beautiful ricotta, risotto and strawberry dishes for the employees to enjoy and be inspired!

I made crafty handmade tags for each of our chefs and bloggers who led cooking stations at Terri's Food Revolution Day 2016 Food Symposium (A better description would be a pop up cooking market event!) Over 350 people came to Fifteen Amsterdam event including 50 school children. It was simple amazeballs and I will NEVER forget being a part of epic free food education gathering.

Here is a link to my previous post explaining the who/what/where/how of the FRD event.

I hope you enjoy our video!

I love your face Thomas!!!

20 years ago me and Annemiek went to High School together (she as a foreign exchange student). It was absolutely INCREDIBLE to see her again and catch up after all these years! Thank you SO much for coming to see us Annemiek!!!

It was truly incredible. The work, the effort, the volunteering... I never could have imagined this level of talent and passion spreading and teaching at the same time. We were all so tired, so content, so happy to be together here in our celebration circle. I wish I could go back! Terri, your vision and organization impresses me like know other, I will follow you to the ends of the earth my dear Super Ambassador and Soffritto Sister!

To Chef Ramone Otto and Chef Damien Taylor: Without you both, this would not have happened. I am one lucky girl to have had the honor to cook and play with you both. Thank you for everything. And I sure hope we meet again!

Amsterdam, Haarlem... You have captured my heart.

I even got to cook with her at her beautiful workplace!

I treasure our friendship Terri. You are my soffritto soul sister and I cannot wait to see YOU in July! GET HERE!!!!!!

I'll be seeing you around town, on my fun new Dutchie bike (Found at Higher Gear!) Bringing a little part of Netherlands BACK baby.

To the mullies we go,