Saturday, November 30, 2013

who loves some t-day food bombs?


what does that look like to you?

i'm still puking in my mouth a little...

it was supposed to be smooth, creamy butter frosting.

see, i attempted to swap coconut oil for butter.  i also tried a new brand of organic powdered sugar. b.i.g mistake, major major BOMB.  this disgusting concoction blew up right before i needed to get my arse next door to my parents house for out 1pm turkey dinner.  gag.

so i regrouped, swore a little, put my game face and followed the damn recipe.  thank heavens i had another bag of powdered sugar.

the day was saved.  i have perfected my grandma's sour cream cookies.  they were completely sold out in less than 30 minutes.  pigs.  pigs i say.

remember that pretty perfect little green bean casserole i made?

i was so excited to heat up some leftovers last night with friends.  

i didn't put my timer on.  i mean, who needs a timer?  i totally remember my stuff.

an hour + later christina asked, "why is your oven still on?"



so mad i could spit.

gotta love food bloopers.  i have way too many of them and i've decided to share them from now on.

how bout you!?  any epic food failures on turkey day?  i'd love to hear about them:)

let's laugh.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

thanksgiving 2013

 my wedding china is gathering dust and i'  espresso truly tastes better with your pinkies up. the walters gang is in from colorado and it's time to show them how to make some waffles.  

this is what a quadruple batch of gluten free waffles look like.  get the epic flour mix here.

a cranberry relish from food rev ambassador terri salminen

mr oliver's butternut squash soup recipe.  i added one sweet potato, that's it.

my grandma dorothy's sour cream cookies... i make em with plain sheep's milk yogurt now and they are gluten free to boot!  mouth watering, aren't they:)? 

so very lucky to everyday.

we made some shake and bake popcorn and having a sleepover tonight.  

it's been lovely sharing these last few days.

so happy to be going to bed now.

for i'm making some more waffles in the morning for my animal house.

muchas gracias mi amores,


Saturday, November 23, 2013

daddio will only eat salad with french dressing - what a turkey!

do you have your thanksgiving meal planned out yet?  here's a food revolution inspired salad for your turkeys.  looking for other real food recipes for thursday or any day for that matter?  check out the global ambassador pinterest board - i dare you to stop pinning!

i really want to get my family eating colorful salads more often.  chris will only eat salad greens with the uber sweet red french dressing.  we used to buy the catalina french dressing and i can still remember throwing out the expired bottle when i cleaned the fridge out a year ago.  i have just never looked to replace it.  so i found a basic french recipe and made it my own.  

here is the back and forth after i served up a bowl and daddio picked at it a bit:

chris: "holy !~*$ is this dressing good.  but next time honey, hold the veggies... i just want the lettuce & sweet nectar, mmmm-kay?"
me: "what the heck is wrong with the veggies i picked!?!?!?!?"

chris: "there are just too many textures for me to handle in each bite."

see what i mean vern!?  my kid #4.  baby steps lindsey, baby steps... deep breaths... i love my kids.

so, i served him up plain romaine lettuce with his sacred french dressing.  bam.  how did the kids do with their colorful salads?  abbie came in first with two helpings, tommy and mac battled through one.

not too shabby!  

A Thanksgiving Chopped Salad with Homemade French Dressing 

2 heads romaine lettuce chopped
1/2 head small red cabbage chopped finely
1.5 c cucumber sliced 
1.5 c carrots sliced
2-3 pomegranates seeded
2 persimmons diced
1 carton cherry tomatoes halved
1/2 c raw pumpkin seeds (optional)

toss all ingredients together or bowl separately for guests to build their own individual chopped salads!

The Mullies Homemade French Dressing 

1 c avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
2 T flaxseed oil (optional)
1 c organic ketchup
1/2 c coconut nectar (or maple syrup)
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c water
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

place all ingredients in a food processor and whiz.  (i halved the recipe for my family of 5 and i still had some leftover).

they had the best time destroying (and eating) the pomegranates... my little kitchen helpers:) 

cheers to a cozy thanksgiving full of lots of love, laughter and lovely food - gobble gobble!



oh dearie me my fellow pinterest addicts.  have you checked your pin totals lately?  i just realized i have over 5300 pins... i am a sick sick girl:)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

it's a beautiful day for sending a letter

i thought i'd share my letter i sent out this morning to get things going with our school food.  it's wonderful to be part of the group who resurrected our district wellness committee (did you know your district should have one too?) and we're starting with school breakfasts.  

i hope it may light up some inspiration out there for other concerned parents who need a little "go food rev team" high-fiving this morning.  this insane story really got me going and a letter was sent home from our assistant superintendent yesterday asking parents for suggestions on how to improve test scores.  

the stars have aligned and i wrote this email last night (into the wee hours).  

i hit send about 15 minutes ago.  i think i'm still on fire.


Dear (insert your school food "movers and shakers" here),

It's time to gather our team and talk about Breakfast.

I became a Food Ambassador for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution last year as soon as I realized the connection between real food, school food and academic success.  Last year, Dr Petrella wrote to the district families and asked us for suggestions on how we could help bring our District test score up from failing marks.  Today, I received a similar letter from Sandy Anderson, our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction.  Her letter asked district parents for ideas on how we can help improve the quality of education for our English Language Learners (ELL) who did not meet this year's State-set achievement targets.  So, here I go...
As we all know, a large percentage of our ELL kids participate in the Free and Reduced lunch program provided by Preferred Foods.  As a first step forward, I believe that by examining & tweaking the breakfast menu options, it will not only help our kids, but it will also to help our teachers and administrators have more success teaching and reaching these students in school.  Case in point - Two years ago, Fairhaven's administrators and staff worked tirelessly to help my daughter Abbie succeed in school before our food change She had been receiving intensive pull out interventions since Kindergarten.  The removal of artificial additives from her diet at the beginning of last year was a catalyst that changed the "game".  Abbie's confidence, test scores and academic performance skyrocketed in dual language after removing the artificial "hand cuffs" from her diet.  The teachers were finally able to break through in two languages!!!  Could there be more Abbie's out there?  Can we help improve our District's test scores by removing artificial color from school food?  Let's find out shall we!?  

For what do we have to lose!?  Let's dream, inspire and take ACTION NOW!
1.  We can adjust the school breakfast menu to remove the worst "fake food" offenders.
2.  We can educate on how to reduce artificial ingredients and move towards eating and cooking more real foods.  It's not about perfection!

First, let us take some time and discuss last year's Wellness Committee's request to remove breakfast items that include artificial colors for the 2013-14 school year.  This conversation can be framed with some background information to get us all on the same page.  I'm sure that are aware of the recent coverage about Kraft Foods taking out artificial yellow #6 out of certain macaroni and cheese boxes marketed to children.  (Here is a link to a video created by Vani (aka the Food Babe) and and article written by Lisa Leake (100daysofrealfood) who are the co-writers of the petition who ultimately forced Kraft to change).  It is a long time in coming, but finally, artificial additives and the negative effects they have on children are receiving the media attention they deserve.  Food change stories are gaining traction all across the nation which focus on the overwhelmingly positive results when artificial color is removed from a child's diet. Here is a recent article from the Today Show's live report discussing food coloring's negative behavioral effects on children.  Moreover, check out this blog like mine which tells the same success story as Abbie's!  The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) - who recently organized the national Food Day - has a lot to say about Food Dyes and how important it is to get these fake additives out of our food, especially off of our children's plates.  In addition, here are two recent articles that are must reads about food additives:  5 Questions on Food Additives with Dr Maricel Maffini and Robyn O'Brien's - Rainbow of Risks It's Time to Cut out Artificial Color.  This is all extremely important information to consider when understanding the Wellness Committee's determination to provide the cleanest food options for all District 76 students.  Thank you for taking the time to read (even if a few) these links.

How does our breakfast menu shape up!?  Here is the District's online breakfast menu and I would like to offer feedback and ideas for improvement.  It was extremely disappointing to find the lack of information posted on the breakfast and lunch meals for our District.  One has to search elsewhere online to find the full nutrition and ingredient information.  It was interesting to note that there is no sugar amount included in our breakfast menu's nutritional information.  I was able to find this link to research a few current breakfast menu options.  Here are some fake food highlights: 
  • Apple Jacks Reduced Sugar breakfast includes yellow #6, blue #1, red #40.  
  • Fruit Loops includes the soon to be banned trans-fats "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (which is allowed to read "zero trans-fats" because there is less than .5g per serving... a frequent label loop hole), red #40, yellow #6, blue #2 & #1.  
  • Strawberry frosted mini wheats include red #40, blue #1&2.  
Complete nutritional information should be readily accessible on our website for parents due to the increase of allergies and other food sensitivities.  For example, here is an example of Preferred Meal's Toasty O's linkwhich includes the complete nutritional and ingredient information.  
**As a parent of the District and Wellness Committee member, I would like to officially request that this complete nutritional and ingredient information be provided for all district families to access.** 

As a member of the Wellness Committee, I would like to propose that the menu items with artificial colors be removed from the District 76 offerings by January.  There are other menu options that do not include artificial colors such as Rice Crispies, Raisin Bran and the original Mini Wheats (perhaps there are more I have missed!?) that can rotate and stay on the menu.  Furthermore, instead of juice are there any real, whole food options like bananas that we can afford to add within our budget constraints?  Water and milk are fine options for morning beverages.  We must put our heads together and strive to improve the sugary, processed nature of these breakfasts in order to give these students a more nutritionally dense start to their day.    

Hopefully, this email provides Preferred Foods and our District's "movers and shakers" plenty to chew on as we brainstorm how to improve our test scores across our diverse student population.  This is our chance to make change outside of the classroom FOR the classroom!  I hope to see you at our next Wellness Committee and please let us know what you need (whether it be from me, the Wellness Committee, the Administration or the Board of Education) to help make these changes towards more real food for our students - We are in this together!  

Let's go food team 76!!

Lindsey Shifley
Food Revolution Lake County


i'm off to a little "farm to table" field trip now with some other super awesome parents.  i am so excited that i already have my jacket & boots on.  i wonder what i'll learn today:)

let's fly!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

where art thou my chop chop? got local turkey?

it's almost t-day!  are you ready?

i took the kids and went on a road trip to visit my bff laura - aka "chimmie" over veteran's day weekend.  we stayed in our pj's all day on sunday and made these homemade-paper-quilted-turkeys. we found the inspo here while we were on a hayride.  we're trying not to rush the xmas decorations... and i swear, we were only on pinterest for like 2 seconds...

speaking of turkeys...  

do you know where your turkey is from?

for the first time, my parents are getting a local, sustainably raised, organic turkey rather than getting the cheapest deal in town.  

here are some reasons why to kick mass produced meats of your plate by dr frank lipman.  still in the hunt for a local turkey here in illinois?  try caveny farms - they are part of the slow food movement and they raise heritage birds on pasture.  "know where your food comes from.  know your farmer".  

gobble gobble


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

what is THAT doing in my food? answers from dr maffini

what is in the food i buy?
where is my food coming from?
how can i increase my cooking gumption?

those are my big.three.questions and since they are probably on your mind too, i thought i'd start some regular posts full of great links and resources around these uber important food revolution challenges.

here are my working titles (perhaps i'll get even more clever...):

what is that doing in my food?

where art thou my chow chow?

get me some cooking gumption

without furthur ado, here are today's lovely links from one of my favorite websites, healthy child.

5 questions on food additives with scientist dr maricel maffini

avoid food dyes to reduce ADHD

how to avoid risky food additives