Solstice Greetings!

Hello Friends and Family! ❤

‘Tis I, your friendly neighbourhood chef and community mom. On this week’s adventures, we are learning about sap production, specifically from a Box Elder tree! Takes a bit more sap from the B.E. tree to boil down into something viable, but the cool thing is it turns this really beautiful gold – caramel color and tastes reminiscent of butterscotch.  When my husband told me this was a thing, I was skeptical but researched it myself and sure enough, he was right. After burning the first batch [I knew better, but left it anyway], I’ve managed to make a decent round #2. We are still getting sap and boiling it down, and will likely tap the good maple in the front yard yet too.  The other maple, while full and beautiful, is too full and has too many small suckers that were left to their own devices.

 

Post holiday post

Hey fam! I hope you all had a pleasant holiday season! Sometimes a lot of us struggle during the holidays, myself no exception. Usually tis the season for going into debt, panic attacks over money, relatives, and how we think things should be as opposed to how they are. Our emotions can get in the way of what *should* be some enjoyment. The reason we all get together is because we love each other and want to enjoy one another’s company… Which we can do year round regardless. The holidays seem to enforce a sort of unwritten obligation to our families (sometimes the toxic ones, unfortunately). Anyway. What I’m trying to say, is that my holidays were good. Not perfect, but like so many others we have issues within our own immediate family. Hopefully, in time, they will resolve. Until then, keep on keeping on I guess.

Onto business, and planning for the new year.

There are instances when I’m doing a gig, and the spread turns out SO FREAKING GOOD, yet not a single photo was taken. That would be me, this weekend. Good gods. Theres only so many hands, and when I’m struggling to get things out on time, there is not enough hands to stop and take a photo for posterities sake. Ah well.

The one photo I have is the soup I’ve reheated today. And one snap I snuck this morning of my new favorite scone.

I made 2 soups for the farm law workshop at MFAI this weekend. Chicken and squash. Those scones I was referencing? Blueberry banana 😍😍😍 they were fantastic!! I really wish I would have made a full (giant) batch now. Darn, I guess I’ll have to make them again! Ha!!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend, I’ll catch you soon! Love you!

3rd time is the charm?

Cookbook. For real.

Have you ever been published? Do you have any tips or tricks? I think I’m about halfway through my book proposal right now. Are there any dishes I’ve made that are a MUST for inclusion? Reach out.

Thanks, love you!

Well, I did it…

I held my first pop-up dinner at MFAI!

And for my dear friends that showed, they got a real treat!

Just a quick 4 courses, BYOB business.

Ehhhh yea I had a typo. I thought I ordered carrots (nope) and totally neglected to add Romanesco in the appropriate place.

Do not adjust your screens: these colors are vivid! 😍

Spiced popcorn.

Aronia berry reduction.

Veggies, prior to roasting.

My little helper, all too excited to walk over after school today.

Course 2.

Course 3.

Personally I didn’t get plated pics of the first or last courses, but I know my guests did. Maybe there will be an edit in the future to include those.

I want to thank the farmers,for providing, and for my friends, for showing up.

Thank you. I am ever so grateful.

Fin.

First Pop-up Menu

This could be rather important to those coming to dinner at MFAI next Friday [December 8].

PLEASE ARRIVE BY 6:30PM

DINNER SERVICE STARTS AT 7 SHARP

 

4 COURSES + BYOB + $40 + gratuity = GOOD TIMES HAD BY ALL

 

warm braised green salad * walnut vinagrette 

roasted roots harvest hash

roasted local cornish hens with a local, organic mashed potato

flourless chocolate cake, organic crema

 

[*please alert chef to nut allergens ahead of dinner]

 

If you have not made your reservations, please do so immediately via messenger, standard messaging or even the out-dated phone call!  Get placed on the guest list so you don’t end up hungry!

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE!

#todayIlearned…

That one can EAT DAHLIA TUBERS.

Not a joke. Apparently can be done.

The internet said so here, here and here.

So I tried it. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

Peel. As you would a potato (the skins are quite bitter, as i read.). And prepare as you would any potatoes.

These I wanted to try with some insanely fresh rosemary from Michael Fields… Sauteed some garlic, dumped in some butter and olive oil.. Added the tubers and some water. Covered, let it poach til tender. I did add some salt and pepper but not much.

Other weird yet delicious things on tonight’s menu:

~curried beef

~braised cabbage with fennel & caraway seeds and Serrano- tomato salsa.

~peanut butter cookies (thanks Krystal!) With cherry cordial kisses

Dinner was hella good, AND I LEARNED SOMETHING.

#doyouevenharvestyouryardBRO

Its been a minute!

Hello friends & family! I’ve been takimg some time planning for winter and helping my lady chefs. Holy crow, who knew that getting together with your girlfriends could be so much damn fun?! A little behind the scenes action for you over at the liars club in Burlington.

New scone menus!

Hi kids! Published just today, spanking NEW menu choices for November and December scones!! Check them out, tell your friends. Order yours today!!

This is Jack, my youngest son. He helped me last weekend for those quick lunches. All he could talk about is how he used to help me, “back in the day” when he was so small. So young, he came to work with me before I actually needed to be there. He would help me set up, and then I ran him to the sitters so I could work through lunch.

Back then, I used to tie a dinner napkin around his waist. Now, he just uses my old chef coat. I’m so glad I was able to keep dreamimg. Kept grinding, no matter how difficult it was. Even at a young age, he believed in me. Now he sees the fruits of our labour and is excited for more.

I introduced him to some new chef friends at brunch last weekend. He just thought it was so cool to have an apartment above her space- he told me that’s what he wants when he is older. He can live above his restaurant and chef his little heart out.

Those comments gave me pause and made me swoon simultaneously. I’m glad to share this love of food with my kids (wish they would eat their veggies!)… And do I want more for them? Absolutely! But, I want their happiness most of all- by which ever form it takes.

What makes you happiest? Let me know- drop a comment or send me a message. Love you!

Newly wed.

Hey all! I know it’s been a short minute since you have heard from me. Karl and I spent last weekend with dear friends and family celebrating our nuptials; we eloped back in September while in Colorado for his friends wedding reception.

When in Rome… Or, in this case, Colorado- you can get married on a mountian! And since CO doesn’t require an officiant or witnesses, you can be quick and intimate about it. Say your words, sign the paper, return it to city hall. Get the shiny embossed copy the next business day, or wait until your friends drive to Wisconsin for your wedding reception. Either way, it can happen how ever you want it, and it happened for us.

I am so thrilled. This is my husband Karl. He is fabulous. And I love him. So very much.

Now that we have sufficiently celebrated with a trifecta of awesomeness: foods + friends+ musics = I can get back to work.

We threw a pretty epic little house party to celebrate.

This week though!

Nice little set of lunches for the early weekend, for some day long meetings. These folks prefer to eat more organic, with most leaning toward vegetarian and gluten free. I do like to incorporate some meat for those that do partake (usually on the side) so I make sure I get the best from our local producer Hometown Sausage Kitchen. I used produce from Lotfotl and garlic from Rohrganics. There’s this guy,-Mike- who works out of the same kitchen that I do, he makes this really incredible hummus. It’s so good, I literally dont make it- I just call him.

Oh! I made my first batch of gluten free crackers! I used the same amazing recipe that I shared with you a few blog posts back, with a gluten free flour blend I had found at Costco. They turned out perfect. The only thing is do different is grate some garlic cloves right on top before adding the salt & pepper.

Also my biscuits are being featured at a local community breakfast (over in Rochester). The great thing I’ve discovered about being a small business owner is the level of support that I get from other small business owners. Its a growing network and we all want to see each other succeed. Pretty radical!

Well, I think I’m going to wake up my kids, and go see what this brunch is about. Have a great week!!

Love,