Friday, August 21, 2015

School's in Session with Sweet Polenta Blueberry Cake

This cake is delicious.

Find Terri's delicious Sweet Polenta Blueberry Cake recipe here.

Don't have a kitchen scale? Get one (you'll thank me later) or visit this website for easy conversions (I have made a cheat sheet in my kitchen so I don't have to keep clicking back).

School's in session, my kitchen is quiet (for a wee bit) and I'm so happy to be full throttling into Fall.

Here are a few things I'm excited about:

  • Our school district's meal provider Preferred Meals is now providing sugar content information for parents. Check out the menus here. Our district has also begun an email list for parents and caregivers who would like to receive ingredient information in addition to nutritional content. Click here to sign your District 76 family up for communications from the Preferred Meals Team. I am hoping to get in on the school lunch action as soon as that first email comes in! 
  • Introducing The Chef Ann Foundation. They are a non-profit organization that helps schools transition from serving unhealthy processed and packaged foods, to scratch cooking with fresh produce and wholesome ingredients. They carry out that vision by actively supporting school districts nationwide through grant programs and by providing tried and tested tools for school food change and #foodtruth! Sign up for their delicious newsletter here.
  • Food Day 2015 is coming up fast! As a member of the planning committee for Chicago Food Day (October 22-24th), we are gearing up and actively seeking exhibitors, sponsors and partners to help us create a Farm-to-Table experience across the Chicagoland area. Learn more here! Applications are due September 1st. #FoodDayCHI

Welcome back and let her rip!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Part 5 | #FoodRevontheFarm + The Kitchen Notebook

Dear Terri and Prairie Farm Corps crew,

It is so weird having you all gone. These are my favorite pictures from our celebration dinner cooking marathon and my last day with you guys harvesting vegetables for the Libertyville Farmer's Market.

Now that we have cooked and dug in the mud together, I just want to do it over and over again.

So that's what I have done. Made some videos so we can relive our Summer together whenever we want! HA! I dreamt of making these videos when I started meeting with Eric and Erin over a year ago in the yellow farmhouse. 

...Terri, how many times have we said "we've known each other from a past life"!?  

I could write for days upon days about our 8 weeks together. Terri, I'm looking forward to writing more about the favorite recipes we cooked (I'm going to make these dishes with my kids!) over the next year from The Kitchen Notebook. It'll surely be something to keep us warm when the weather turns cold:) 

OH Crew, what fun we had cooking and eating together! Here is my mini film, made around music in hopes of capturing the magic that grew in each of us. It's my gift to each of the Prairie Farm Corps crew members, for the Liberty Prairie Foundation and for everyone around the globe who is inspired... 

to gather more often at our family tables together,
to cook more often from scratch,
to spread farm to table food education.

I give HUGE big love to each and everyone one of the crew. I miss you dearly and I'll be thinking of our Summer together every time I cook, for you are now part of my connected and wonderfully cooked life.

To the mullies we go...



Thank you Food Revolution for the honor of hosting the first #FoodRevTakeOver on Instagram. We had a blast sharing it all with YOU!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Part 4 | #FoodRevontheFarm - The Kitchen Notebook

7.8 | Part IV - Food Revolution Wednesday

.Potato salad with pickled onions and black olives
.Charred cipollini onions
.Salted kohlrabi pickles (we made them for the next day!)
.Lindsey's Crab n Veggie Cakes
."Fagiolini sotto eceto" - Green beans marinated in vinegar salad
.Sweet polenta lemon-vinegar blueberry cake

"I started making my mother's recipes when I moved out on my own - sometimes because I felt homesick - other times to carry on the Summer tradition. My brother did the same with his family. My children in turn know all about potato salad and marinated green beans as the beginning and the essence of Summer and of shared time together. In the spirit of the holidays and simple Summer picnics this week's menu give potato salad center stage."
-Terri Salminen (Find her beautiful Jamie Magazine blog here - Just cut/paste to google translate  or let your browser do the work!)


Dear Terri,

This is so funny writing to you today, as you're HERE next door, also writing to furiously catch up as I am right now. It's been wonderfully busy with you so far. I can hardly believe my luck in life as I have you, my dear friend, in.the.flesh working right alongside me. The air crackles as I teach and learn with you. Can you feel it?

I don't want to think about being in the kitchen without you now that I have you beside me. 

Here is my much belated week 4 recap, the last week before you arrived to the mullies and to the Prairie Farm Corps team. 

I don't know if I will find the time to write to you again here (while we're working together) as I want to soak you in like french toast. In the meantime, let's have tons of fun taking over the Food Revolution's Instagram page together! We must capture and savor every moment

Maple - Vinegar marinade making.

Mia loves making dessert and she certainly rocked making your sweet polenta lemon-vanilla blueberry cake. We decided her future cake shop will be called, "Make Mia Cake".

Kiyan prepared this entire pan of spuds for your epic potato salad

We are working hard to make our "cat's claw" muscle memory Terri!

After tearing up over onion cutting, Kiyan and I try the freezer trick for our poor eyes. It sorta kinda helped.

Rainbow chard from the farm is so beautiful. Kiyan is a pro now at removing the leaves from the ribs.

Such beautiful work Mia!!

I could not have been more excited to teach them how to make my crab n veggie cakes. Natalie you formed some lovely patties my dear. Baking them is absolutely the way to go. I fried them first and we all decided to give baking a go. I may never fry up my cakies again!

I am so proud of the presentations this kitchen crew made for our crew at lunch time. It makes me so happy to watch them read through your kitchen notebook for reference and then teach the rest of the students a thing or two of what they have learned in the kitchen. 

Mia LOVES roasted onions now - clapping my hands and jumping up and down!

Fresh rosemary on a cake!? Yeseerrrreeeeee bob! Absolutely brilliant and delicious!

There's no more talking to you on the line! YOU'RE HERE!!! I have so much to write about now that we have taken a billion pictures from our first week together. I don't want to miss out on one second though. I know I'll have time after you leave. I am desperate for this next week to last longer than the first... I have fallen in love with you and our Prairie Farm Corps crew. 


Leslie, Natalie, Mia and Kiyan made this gorgeous foraged mulberry icecream + Epic Chocolate Beet Cake last Thursday. Isn't it gorgeous!!? We must have the kids keep picking these while they are still good and freeze them for our celebration dinner in August. Summer please slow down!