Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The importance of eating local foods

Event announcement from a press release from MyPersonalFarmers.com:

THE IMPORTANCE OF EATING LOCAL FOODS, AND THE CHANGING FARMLANDS OF THE HUDSON VALLEY

Maryanne Hedrick, owner of MyPersonalFarmers.com, is a guest speaker at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture, speaking on the importance of eating locally, ways to do so within the Hudson Valley, and the importance of helping Hudson Valley farmers continue their food farming. Her innovative company connects consumers to local farmers and is helping to create a true local food web.

Light refreshments will be served. Although there is no charge, advance registration is recommended at www.stonebarnscenter.org.

Date: Saturday August 23

Time: 1-2PM

Location: Stone Barns Center for Agriculture
630 Bedford Road
Pocatino Hills, NY

For more info: www.stonebarnscenter.org

Let them eat cake

My two-year-old loves Blue and Barney almost as much as she loves Mommy, Daddy and her brother. For her birthday I made her two cakes - one on her actual birthday and one on the day of her party. The Blues Clues cake above was easy to make. I cut an image of Blue from a coloring book, layed it on the cake and sprayed Wilton Color Mist Food Color Spray around it. I removed the coloring book image and filled in the space with blue icing mixed from white icing from a can and food coloring. I mixed a tiny bit of pink icing for the tongue. This cake was much easier than the cake I did for her party which featured Barney, Baby Bop and BJ. I had to cheat and use some plastic cut-outs for that one.

Southern summer BBQ extravaganza

My daughter's second birthday party inspired me to put on a Southern comfort food feast. Being from the Northeast, I don't typically prepare these foods, but I was looking for some inspiration to get me out of the burgers and dogs rut. The Suffern Farmers Market has some interesting offerings, including a stand that sells spicy barbeque sauce, ribs and brisket. I decided on a Southern BBQ theme. That's my Pineapple BBQ chicken (above) adapted from a recipe I found here. I left out the flour but drained the pineapple.
Here is some good 'ol homemade, super creamy mac and cheese as well as my Beefy Cheesy Corn Bread adapted from another recipe. This was posted previously on this blog here. In the slow cooker pot are my BBQ Turkey Meatballs which I adapted from a recipe I found here. I left out the tapioca and substituted apricot jelly for the apple jelly. My mother said they were the best meatballs she ever had which she felt bad saying since my grandmother in heaven can hear her.

I also served baked beans, burgers and hot dogs as well as all the yummy dishes brought by friends and family including those below.

My aunt made a delicious red potato salad. If I get the recipe, I will post it. (She also brought her kids who are teens/young adults and a source of entertainment for my daughter so I could cook and clean!) My sister-in-law brought the appetizers - a layered taco dip with whole wheat tortilla chips, spinach dip in pumpernickel bread, and some hot hors d'oeuvres. My other sister-in-law brought a pasta salad as did my mother-in-law who also brought a chick pea salad. My parents brought a cheese and fruit platter.

It was a feast. My biggest mistake was preparing a chicken leg quarter for each guest. Every family left my house with chicken in a baggie. The good news is we have been enjoying the leftovers every day since!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Free cupcakes and cookies at Connie's in Mt. Kisco

Tomorrow, Thursday, June 17, is free cupcake and cookie day at Connie's bake shop in Mt. Kisco, NY. Connie's is a "socially responsible" bakery that gives 100% of profits to charity and hires people who have met obstacles in the past and gives them a one year baking apprenticeship. Take a look at their website for location and more information.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Public interest groups call for system of tracking produce

In the wake of recent massive food recalls, two public interest groups are calling for a system of tracking produce.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Consumer Federation of America, in a letter to the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), argue that if produce can be tracked through the supply chain back to the farm, investigators would have an easier time nailing down the source of outbreaks of Salmonella, E. coli, and other dangerous pathogens.
Using the same system that allows a supermarket cashier to identify a piece of produce at the checkout counter could also allow investigators to trace the origin of unsafe food, the two consumer groups say.

They pointed to the latest salmonella crisis, in which investigators' attention has recently shifted from tomatoes to jalapeƱo peppers after hundreds of consumers were sickened and millions of tomatoes were destroyed.

The complete article and other links regarding food recalls can be found on http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/07/fda_salmonella10.html

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Take me out after the ballgame

I'm baaack! Hope someone missed me! Between the end of the semester at the University and Little League baseball season for my son, I have been quite busy. But I am ready to get back to blogging ... and cooking! I have missed both as they are both good stress relievers for me.

So, down to business. Now that summer is in full swing, I have been experimenting with interesting things to do with salads - both pasta salad and green salad. My husband and I both like to eat salads for dinner, especially in summer. We are not vegetarians, but get tired of eating meat every night. Last night I opened a can of chick peas and drained them, minced two cloves of garlic and sprinkled some basil and kosher salt over them and mixed it all together. I washed some red lettuce, topped the lettuce with the chick pea mixture, slivered almonds, feta cheese extra virgin olive oil, raspberry vinegar, salt and pepper. It was a satisfying, but not too filling, meal.

embracing a sustainable lifestyle as a Locavore ... using locally grown and produced ingredients whenever possible ...

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