Debuting Nourish and the Culinary Art Car or Han Solo and Sulu got nothing on me!

Debuting Nourish and the Culinary Art Car or Han Solo and Sulu got nothing on me!

 

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Hey everybody!  Saturday was Nourish’s opportunity to unveil the Culinary Art Car at one of our events.  The Culinary Art Car is a kinetic sculpture through which messages of sustainability, healthy eating and local foods are brought to our community through this collaboration between the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Lakeshore Technical College. Last year at the fundraiser (which is coming up on October 3 this year).  A Plymouth family had the winning bid to bring us and the Art Car to their home for a catered party!  It was a great event with a ton of fun had by all and the food was well liked!  We served curried chicken salad in cucumber boats, sweet potato and horseradish croquettes, blueberry cream cheese wontons, caesar salads in parmesan cups, mini BLT quiches, and trio of brushcettas (tomato basil, mushroom, or white bean).  All items were, of course, focused on local grown and sourced food.  We had produce from the farmer’s markets, Springdale Farm, and our home garden.

 

 

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Piloting this “sexy beast”, as designer Mac Maker put it, is one of the highlights of my career!  Such an honour to drive this masterpiece around.  People stop, stare, smile, wave, give a thumbs up, and then giggle or chuckle when I press the crazy horn!  None of this would have been possible without the great volunteers we had from auction to prep to execution and of course, clean up.  I am blessed to work with people that there because they WANT to help and truly put the concerns of others before themselves.  Sounds like what restaurant service ought to be, but I digress.  If you or your group would like to volunteer, please contact me.  There are many opportunities available.  Thank you all for your help!

 

 

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Sheboygan Farmer’s Market on July 20th

Sheboygan Farmer’s Market on July 20th

Hey everybody!  Had a ton of fun in Sheboygan area this weekend.  Camping, farmer’s market, and a brief demo at the Midsummer Festival of the Arts to mark the the debut of the culinary art car!  Amy helped with all of it, also.  One of my favorite things about working with Nourish, is the opportunities presented for Amy and the boys to hang out with me!

We sampled a wonderful cucumber salad with apple cider vinegar, honey, and dill.  The best was the looks and questions we received after telling folks the other item was Chocolate Beet Cake.  All who tried it loved it, though!  I will get the recipes posted here or you can click through to nourishfarms.org.

Here is the recipe for the Beet Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

·
o 4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks
o 2 cups all-purpose flour
o 1 1/2 cups sugar
o 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
o 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
o Salt
o 2 large eggs
o 3/4 cup warm water
o 1/4 cup safflower oil
o 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
o Vegetable oil cooking spray
Directions

Cover beets with 2 inches water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 30 minutes. Drain. Puree beets in a food processor until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups beet puree (reserve remaining puree for another use).
Coat a 9-inch round cake pan (3 inches deep) with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment, and coat with spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn out cake from pan, and discard parchment. Let cool completely, right side up.
Trim top of cake using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Transfer cake, cut side down, to a cake plate.

Finish with your favorite frosting or simply powdered sugar!

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Thanks to all who came out.  We will be out again on August 2 from 8:30am-1:30pm.  Here are some pictures of the food and people we saw!

 

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Farmer’s Market Finds on Fox 11!!

Farmer’s Market Finds on Fox 11!!

I was invited back to Good Day WI for a couple segments with Emily Deem.  We talked about fresh food, hunger, and shared a few recipes!  Check out the videos here.

And then this great still from the television!

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Summer Berry Sangria with Rhubarb
1 250ml bottle of red wine
1/4 cup pomegranate or other flavored vodka
1/4 cup triple sec or other orange flavored liquor
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup blue berries lightly pressed
1 cup sliced and and macerated strawberries (to macerate, sprinkle sliced berries with a couple teaspoons of sugar and let sit for 30 minutes)
1 cup raspberries lightly pressed
1 cup diced and pressed rhubarb
Combine all ingredients.  Taste and adjust sweetness with honey as preferred.
Vanilla Beet Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons assorted herbs (sage, basil, green onion, lavender)
1 cup chopped canned or roasted beets
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Salt and pepper
Blend ingredients in a food processor or your favorite blending gadget until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Use as you would any salad dressing or dip
Cherries and Berries and (flaming) Booze, oh my!

Cherries and Berries and (flaming) Booze, oh my!

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Hey everybody!  We are starting to see more fresh produce at the farmer’s market and in our backyards, but it still seems pretty slow.  The rest of the summer I am conducting Garden-to-table classes at Cook’s Corner ( cookscorner.com)  in Green Bay on Wednesday evenings.  The last class was about Cherries and Berries.  We updated some classics by adding rhubarb to a cherries jubilee and prepared balsamic and black pepper macerated strawberry shortcake.  Here are the recipes, and check out the upcoming classes!  I would love to see you!

 

Chef Todd

 

Cherries Jubilee

Ingredients
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pound fresh, ripe sweet cherries, such as Bing
1/2 cup sugar
1 lemon
1/3 cup golden rum and/or brandy
Directions
Evenly scoop the ice cream into 4 dishes or decorative glasses and put in the freezer until ready to serve (this can be done up to 4 hours ahead).

Wash and pit the cherries. Put the cherries and sugar in a large skillet. Peel 2 strips of zest from the lemon in wide strips with a peeler and add to the cherries. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the top. Stir to combine evenly. Cover and cook the cherries over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium-high until cherries get juicy, about 5 minutes more.

To flambe the brandy: If cooking over a gas flame, pull the pan off the heat and add the rum. Ignite the alcohol with a long match or one held with tongs. Swirl the pan slightly until the flames subside, about 30 seconds.

If cooking over an electric stove, put the rum in a small sauce pan. Warm it over medium-low heat and carefully light it with a long match or one held with tongs. Pour the brandy over the cherries, and swirl the pan lightly until the flames subside, about 30 seconds.

Ladle the cherries and their juices over prepared ice cream scoops. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic and Black Pepper

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

Whipped Cream, recipe follows
Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions
Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar, balsamic, and pepper and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes.

Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.

Whipped Cream:
Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Volunteer Day with Nourish!

Volunteer Day with Nourish!

The kids volunteered with NOURISH Farm to Family Philanthropy on Tuesday. They toured and helped out some on the farm and then brought the goods to the Salvation Army and helped prepare a fantastic dinner of garden fresh salad, pasta and chicken with local basil and garlic scape pesto, rhubarb focaccia bread, and lemon and local rhubarb bars! It’s a great family experience. We have plenty of volunteer opportunities for families as well as chefs, contact me if you are interested.

 

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Garden Update

Garden Update

IMG_6986Hey everybody! There is nothing better than to toil in the soil! We have been working hard the last few weeks and loved every moment of it.

Despite the weather working against us for the most of the spring, we are happy to report we are looking better than we have the last few years at this time.

We started peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, watermelons, and pumpkins in the house some time ago. We transferred them to the garden over the last week and sowed seeds for corn, summer squash, carrots, potatoes, peas, green beans, black beans, and, of course, romenesco broccoli.

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I can’t wait to witness this one growing and discover how it cooks up! I swear it looks like something off an Allman Brother’s Band tour poster!

We spent a lot of time re-setting the raspberry and strawberry rows. We felt with better organized rows it would be much easier to harvest the fruit. The plants took to the change really well. We ended up with an extra row of raspberries and two more rows of strawberries. That includes giving away some and planting others in different areas such as the edge of the woods and patio planters.IMG_6971

 

The asparagus has been up for awhile.  We harvest about 4 dinner sides a week!IMG_6973

On the downside, we lost all but the garlic chives and dill in the herb garden due to the bitterly cold winter and the lilacs were ravaged by the last frost. We love cutting sprigs and bringing that beautiful scent into out home. We will have to ration them this year! We replaced many of the herbs with both seeds and some 3 inch potted ones. Mint, sage, purple ruffled basil, sweet basil, rosemary, cilantro, thyme, and Italian parsley are all looking wonderful!

The trees look beautiful in full bloom. My favorites are the cherry blossoms but they are all just so neat. IMG_6927IMG_6981IMG_6983This is our oldest, largest, and most awe inspiring apple tree. Man, the stories to be told if these trees could speak!

Amy has worked tirelessly on the flower beds and they look great. The daffodils and tulips are up and some annuals were planted to add color. We lost a rose bush but the others seem to be coming along.IMG_6888IMG_6985

IMG_6984We approach these projects with the mindset that we do not know everything we need to, but we will work hard and keep reading and researching how to do it better. Every year seems to be more efficient and rewarding, and, frankly, that’s enough to us!  On top of all that, working the garden turns into some quality family time.  The boys love to help and even Pippe, the garden cat is always somewhere close!IMG_6935IMG_6934