I am finally doing my first cooking class/pop up supper club to benefit the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry. This is event is a trial run for a small group at my home. I am opening a cooking school on my ranch in September and am planning to do a larger event for Hunger Action Month.
As stated on feedingamerica.org, “September is Hunger Action Month-a month where people all over America stand together with Feeding America and the nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger. It’s a month to spread the word and take action on the hunger crisis, and dedicate ourselves to a solution.”
My trial event is this Saturday, July 27th 2019. I will be featuring an Italian menu paired with Texan wines from Messina Hof.
I am happy to say that the event sold out before I even had a chance to send out e-mail invites. Believe it or not, besides being delicious, the whole menu is gluten free. The main course is the first recipe that I posted on my blog, Stuffed Dover Sole.
Today is 4 July 2020. I am updating this post to direct you to the Berries & Fennel Scented Zabaglione recipe from this menu. I decided to post this very special, red, white and blue, Keto friendly dessert recipe in honor of our Independence Day.
I am in charge of the food and my husband is in charge of the drinks. In addition to the wine, he will be making cocktails and mocktails. Some of our guests don’t consume alcohol, so we want to accommodate everybody.
Tresha Silva, the director of the food bank, has kindly offered to help me serve. I am very excited that I finally managed to make time in my life to do this. There is a lot of work to do between now and the event. I will let all of you know how it went. I have never done a cooking class/pop up supper club before.
WISH ME LUCK !!!
Every year the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry (BCEFP) hosts the EMPTY BOWL PROJECT to raise funds for our local food bank. It is their biggest fundraiser for the year. Local restaurants and caterers volunteer to make soup to be served at the event. People in the community buy tickets to taste the soups and vote for their favorites.
In addition, local artists create ceramic bowls that are part of a silent auction.
Photo by Terry Hagerti
Photo by Karen Kahan
All proceeds from the silent auction and the tickets go directly to our emergency food pantry. The goal for this year was to raise $30,000. I am very happy to report that we exceeded our goal. 700 people attended at $20 a ticket–so that was $14,000. The rest came from the silent auction, donations, and business and individual sponsorships. It was so much fun!!! Thank you to everyone who contributed.
This year, I was asked if I would like to participate by serving my Autumn Dal (split mung beans with kale). I have never made soup for 700 people, so I was a bit nervous if it would come out right. But I went for it and said yes. If you read my welcome page, you will see that I promised that there would be some community projects associated with this blog. I have always wanted to give back to my community, so I was thrilled to have my first opportunity to help. I will be doing more projects with the BCEFP. I will blog about them as I do them.
The timing of the 2109 EMPTY BOWL PROJECT was very special to me. It just so happened that my family was visiting me from Chicago during the week that the event was taking place. The Empty Bowl Project turned into 4 generations of soup for me.
The recipe started with my Nani-ji (grandmother), then my mom, then me and now I am passing it onto my niece, Leilani. She wanted to help me make the soup and I was grateful for her help. Leilani painstakingly spent two hours cutting up the greens.
I really enjoyed making the soup with Leilani. She was so eager to learn and help.
My dad helped me serve the soup.
It was a HEARTWARMING family and community experience. I look forward to doing it again next year.
On Saturday, my husband went down the road and brought home these beautiful vegetables from our neighbors, Fruitful Hill Farm. We a lucky to have such nice neighbors.
I was inspired to make 6 dishes. I did a marathon cooking session which included creating, testing, cooking and photographing the 6 dishes. I will be posting one dish per week for the next six weeks.
Here is a list of the dishes I created:
- CURRIED BABY TURNIPS–TOPS AND ALL
- SWEET POTATO & KALE TIKKIS (CUTLETS)
- CARROT TOPS & CORIANDER CHUTNEY
- CARROT TOPS & PARSLEY PESTO PASTA
- COLLARD GREENS & CHICKPEA STEW
- MUSTARD GREEN SAAG PANEER
Nothing went to waste. I used every part of the vegetables. I also made Roasted Carrots but I did not list it because it is a recipe I have already posted.
I had so much fun doing this marathon cooking session. I am looking forward to sharing the dishes with you. Please look out for them. I hope you like them.
A big thanks to the folks at Fruitful Hill Farm for growing the vegetables!!!
Roasted vegetables are my favorite, especially in the autumn and winter. They are delicious and easy to make. I found some beautiful golden beets at the neighborhood farm stand. I decided to roast them and use their fresh leaves in a chimichurri. Nothing goes to waste around here. Either we eat it or we feed it to our animals.
- 4 medium beets. Their tops will be used in the chimichurri
- fresh leaves from the tops of 4 beets
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves (leave this out if you don’t like cilantro)
- cilantro stems chopped up (cilantro stems have a lot of flavor)
- 1 serrano chili (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 2 Tbsp. of my Italian Spice Mix for coating the beets
- 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to coat the beets
- 1/4 cup of olive oil for the chimichurri
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
PREPPING THE BEETS:
- Cut off the tops and bottoms of the beets
- Save the fresh beet leaves for the chimichurri
- Coat the beets with olive oil amd my Italian Spice Mix
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Roast in a 400 F oven until fork tender (about 15 to 20 minutes)
MAKING THE CHIMICHURRI:
While the beets are roasting make the chimichurri.
- Toast the cumin seeds. Let them cool to room temp. Grind them into a powder in the spice grinder.
- In a small food processor add the following:
- beet leaves
- parsley leaves
- coriander leaves and chopped up stems
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 serrano chili, roughly chopped
- chili flakes
- toasted cumin powder
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
Whiz everything up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the roasted beets into half inch slices.
I prefer thicker medallions. If you want to make them thinner that is totally fine. Place the beet medallions on a platter and top off with a dollop of chimichurri.
This is a delicious appertizer or side dish. It can also be served as a main vegetarian or vegan dish if you increase the portions size.
Spring is here. My husband fired up the charcoal grill for the first time this year. I was inspired to do some quick and easy meal prepping for the week.
Take whatever fresh veggies you can find. Slice them into thick pieces. If you have peppers, leave them whole. Just poke a hole in each pepper so that it does not explode during the cooking process. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with my Italian Spice Mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In the photo above, I have tomatillos, baby carrots, baby turnips, eggplant, and a variety of peppers and squashes. I also have Roma tomatoes but my husband put them on the grill before I had a chance to take the photo.
Grill the veggies till they are tender and charred. I prefer charcoal but you can use whatever you like.
Once all the veggies are done. Make a plate for today’s meal and refrigerate the rest in glass containers covered with plastic wrap.
Then all you have to do for the rest of the week is reheat the veggies and add proteins. My husband also cooks different meats on the grill and reheats them later in the week. I prep seafood for myself and cook what I need as my protein for the week.
Delicious, healthy and quick meals are easy to put together all week long.