Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Soffritto Sister Diaries | A Prairie Farm Corps Reunion in Pictures

Once again, the Prairie Farm Corps lit me up! 

Terri and I were so excited to come for a day and help prep for their annual Celebration Dinner - Terri made several vinaigrettes and a gorgeous hand chopped pesto with the students while I made two batches of homemade ice cream and prepped a bunch of ice cream starters for later freezing + churning.

Veronica, your Celebration Dinner kitchen team rocked out an epic feast and it was crazy fun to help you prep for it all. I am in awe of each one of you and the beautiful spread you shared with your friends and family to honor the incredible Summer you created together. 

Thank you Eric, Veronica, Amanda, Natalie, Shannon, Miya, Karina and Natalie for always inspiring me to cook with more vege and for rocking out a group of incredible students who will continue "waterfalling" out the importance of organic farming and the love of cooking from scratch!

Nurture the soil - Nurture the food - Nurture the soul - Nurture the community

I get goosebumps just thinking about how many people each one of you will inspire after you tell them about your Summer on the farm. We may never know how far and wide our impact will go... so keep sharing and passing down your favorite recipes and the skills you learned!

The Lake County Food Revolution = YOU!

To the mullies we go,

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fresh Start Grill off Champions | A Porked out Waffle + Chutney

More Guts More Glory.

I almost said no. I had never competed in a cooking contest before. Could I pull it off? Would I embarrass myself? Who am I -Just a passionate Food Ambassador and home chef... not professional- to do something like this?

And then, of course, I started thinking about athletic competition... the challenge, the unknown, the thrill, getting to meet new people... and I thought about how I coach my pitchers, how I want them to mentally and physically show up on the mound amidst fear & unknown outcomes...  I thought about how much I love talking to people about food, how many successful market demonstrations I have been a part of (thank you Melissa!!) and my love for spreading awareness of Jamie Oliver's global Food Revolution Campaign.

Well, hell YES I'll do it.

I didn't want to cook alone (It's so much more fun pitching to a catcher!). Enter in Christina Erickson, amazing girlfriend, Lake County Food Revolution teammate and Stevenson High School Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher. Thank you for saying YES and for teaching me how to start a grill with charcoal!

Throw like a girl.
Grill like a girl.

We planned (Christina's husband Kurt was a fellow brainstormer), we tested (Chris and Kurt both about passed out from the gloriousness of our dish), we conquered. 

So without further ado, here she is in her full paper plated glory.

Introducing the Fresh Start Business Incubator's 3rd annual Grill Off Champion Dish! 

A Porked-out Waffle + Chutney 
I try and cook with as many organic ingredients as possible to protect gut health. Veggies are best but sometimes, you need a little comfort food.
Recipe is listed in layered order. 

• A gluten free waffle + bacon

3.5 c Pamela's Gluten free flour pancake mix (Pamela's all-purpose flour mix is awesome too (batter will be much thicker FYI. Just increase baking powder to 2 T.)
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 organic, pasture raised egg yolks (whites separated into another bowl)
3.5 c organic rice milk (regular dairy milk works fine too)
1 c organic butter (avocado or coconut oil works well to make it completely dairy free)
1 package cooked and rough chopped Applegate's Organic Sunday Bacon

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Whisk in vanilla, egg yolks and rice milk. Whisk in melted butter (My Grandma Dorothy's top waffle tip: If using hot butter, do this last as it will clump if you do it before the cold milk!). Let batter sit and thicken up for at least 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, whip up the egg yolks into stiff peaks. Fold in egg whites + bacon bits. (Tip: You should have little clumps of egg whites throughout your batter.)

• 12 hour honey marinated pork tenderloin
(I could only find hormone + nitrate free within my budget. I sure wish I could have found antibiotic free!)

For every two pork tenderloins, marinate them in a plastic gallon bag with the following ingredients:
1/2 c local honey
1/2 c organic gluten free soy sauce
1.5 lemons juiced
4-5 small cloves of garlic

• An organic nectarine, peach and plum chutney (Inspired from this recipe.)

1 cup organic goji berries
1.5 c organic diced onions
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp sea salt
6 organic nectarines pitted and diced
6 organic peaches pitted and diced
4 organic plums pitted and diced
1/2 c organic maple syrup
1 c organic lemon juice
1 c organic apple vinegar
4 cloves garlic rough chopped

Dump everything a big stock pot, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is reduced to your desired "chutney" thickness. Christina and I decided to puree this, however you can certainly leave it chunky for your dish!

• Organic apples (sliced into matchsticks)

Sage salt (Christina and I chopped up my fresh kitchen garden sage!)

• Organic maple syrup (just a drizzle)

Big thanks to Mariano's Market (Thank you Manager Gary at the Meat Counter!) for making my shopping so easy, ONE STOP and under budget!

To Rebekka, John, Bruce, Zach, Phillip and David - on behalf of Christina and myself, it was a pleasure to meet + cook + eat with you all!

We'll see you next year, for Christina and I now have a trophy to defend!!!!

To the mullies we go,


Have a dream of starting your own business but need a little help? The Fresh Start Business Incubator program is and here for YOU (Link to their incredible wealth of FREE services here). 


It was the biggest batch of waffles I have ever made;)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Soffritto Sister Diaries | A Fremont Garden Tasting - Lemon Zucchini Ribbons


Zucchini noodles are one of my favorite things to make and eat. And it was certainly one of the favorite dishes at our Fremont Community Garden tasting event! Garnished with garden flowers and pantry item staples from Mundelein's very own Corner Health Foods Store it was truly a work of edible art!

I hope you enjoy Terri's beautiful Lemon Zucchini Ribbon recipe today and we hope you are inspired to eat a little more from the garden each week - "More guts more glory" I say!

Feel free to tag us in your zucchini ribbon creations on Facebook or Instagram - We'd love to see what you make - it lights us up to see YOUR plates!

Zoodles up Terri!!

To the Mullies we go,


After I bought the above zucchinis from the Prairie Farm Corps stand at the Libertyville Farmer's Market, we powered down some of dear Jared's Nomad Food Company pies today... man were they good. And the Aqua Frescas?!?!?  Pure raspberry, farm honey and lemon balm heaven in a jar.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Soffritto Sister Diaries | A Fremont Garden Tasting - Sage Sea Salt

Terri and I are so excited to begin posting alongside each other today! We'll be sharing a series of blogs about our Summer of 2016 adventures together nice and slow...

Just how we think you should cook a beautiful soffritto.

Mixing fresh herbs with sea salt was something Terri taught me a long time ago and it's simply wonderful. We hope you enjoy using this simple, beautiful technique to spice up your recipes too!

Enjoy and hop on over to my soffritto sister's blog so you can make some too!

Terri's Sage Sea Salt in a Jar

Stay tuned, there will be more recipes to come from that wonderful morning at Fremont Community Garden - Thank you again for having us Alicia!!

To the Mullies we go,

Don't be afraid of recipes with european measurements:)
20 grams = 1.5 Tbsp
I love this handy conversion website.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Soffritto Lasagna | No Design Waste

Gosh I love making lasagna. I cheated this time and used some jarred tomato sauce as we were playing + crafting all day and I did not have any tomatoes on hand. I hope this recipe makes you want to make it to for your family table:) 

A Soffritto Lasagna

2-3 carrots diced
3 celery or chard ribs diced
1 onion diced
2-3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Gluten free no bake lasagna noodles (I love Capello's brand so much!)
25-32 oz homemade or jarred tomato sauce (try my plum gumption tomato sauce! Or this super easy Food Revolution Classic Tomato Sauce)
1 block swiss gruyere cheese shredded
1/4 c freshly grated, high quality parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute the soffritto of diced vege (carrots, celery/chard, onion) low and slow over medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes until the soffritto is just beginning to caramelize. Remove from heat. 

Begin layering lasagna in your 9x13 in baking dish:
1. Ladle a thin layer of sauce (on bottom of pan)
2. Layer noodles 
3. Spread out 1/3 of the soffritto mixture over noodles
4. Sprinkle 1/4 of the shredded gruyere cheese over soffritto
5. Ladle 1/4 sauce & repeat 2 more times (three layers in total with a layer of noodles to finish)
6. Top with the remaining sauce, cheese and grate as much parmesan as you'd like.

Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for another 10-15 or until cheese begins to bubble and brown. Let sit for at least 10-15 minutes.

Whenever I get together with Laura time passes by so quickly... Coffee, waffles, eggs, lunch, dinner... We always seem to be cooking, eating or crafting while the kids play all day.

Chris asked me if I wanted help in taking down some wooden artwork I had mentioned were too heavy for me to get down by myself and I had gotten tired of looking the various colors of boring brown. Alas, once down, I was not allowed to buy something new.

My chimmie's brain lit on fire and she quickly replied, "That's ok, we'll use some 'baby money'".

Baby money = six 99 cent bottles of chalkboard paint from Hobby Lobby.

So we got our crafty pants on and created something new out of something old.



I'm not getting on those damn ladders again for at least another 8 years.

I miss you Chimmie! Thanks for another epic Summer vacation of food and fresh design fun. BIG love to you, your kiddos + Winston and Lulu Design.

To the Mullies we go,