Archive for June, 2011
Farm Direct is a growing trend in our global economy. Going directly to the farmers, cutting out the middlemen who seem to find any way to hike prices higher than need be. Many agricultural communities are already offering CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture). CSA’s thrive in areas where consumers who are so passionate about direct farmer relationships that they become stakeholders in a farm’s harvest. These food lovers go beyond the farmers’ market to buy weekly, monthly or annual shares in local, seasonal fruits, vegetables, flowers, meat, dairy and even seafood. Coffee beans are not locally harvested so how does one support global coffee farmers?
The good news is that today CoffeeCSA.org launched the world’s first coffee CSA, connecting America’s coffee lovers with coffee farmers around the globe via the web.
CoffeeCSA.org is a community supported agriculture model that allows consumers to subscribe to regular deliveries of fresh-roasted coffee from small-scale farmers. CoffeeCSA is a project of Pachamama Coffee, the first global cooperative of coffee farmers, consisting of more than 140,000 small-scale farmer-owners in Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Ethiopia. Founded in 2001, Pachamama is the largest farmer-owned co-op based in the US. This authentic connection with consumers is unprecedented in the coffee industry, empowering farmers to differentiate outside of the commodity crop model and deal directly with consumers. All coffees are shade-grown and Fair Trade Certified, hand-roasted in small batches and available on the CoffeeCSA website; http://www.coffeecsa.org.
By offering CSA subscriptions to independent, family-owned coffee farms, CoffeeCSA gives coffee lovers the opportunity to invest in and enjoy the harvest of small-scale coffee farmers, helping them earn more money and preserve family farms for future generations. 140,000 farmer-owners grow coffee for CoffeeCSA on small farms whose size ranges from from one to 10 acres. “For people who treasure their coffee experience, CoffeeCSA is a powerful way to make a direct connection to the farmer,” said Thaleon Tremain, CEO, CoffeeCSA.org. “Subscribers secure their own personal share of a specific coffee harvest and support an individual farmer who works hard to grow the finest single-origin coffee available today. This is a real relationship, and a commitment which goes far beyond a label on a bag.”
Small-scale coffee farming is financially risky. Direct relationships with American coffee lovers can ensure stability for growers who struggle to cultivate a sensitive agricultural crop in a volatile global market. “I am proud of the coffee I grow, and I am proud that I make my own independent decisions as a coffee farmer.” said Catarina Yac, coffee farm owner from Santa Clara Laguna, Guatemala. “But I also like to learn from other people. I look forward to connecting with Americans who buy my coffee!”
Once you have tasted Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (aka Nutella) you simply can’t put it down!
Homemade Nutella is great as a dip for fruit, spread onto your favorite bread, or, let’s be honest, eaten straight with a spoon.
Add it to Mascarpone cheese and spread onto sourdough with a couple slices of ripe bananas…..grill both sides for an amazing sandwich!
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Note: Use good-quality cocoa powder, such as Scharffen Berger.
2 cups raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil, more as needed
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts evenly over a cookie sheet and roast until they darken and become aromatic, about 10 minutes. Transfer the hazelnuts to a damp towel and rub to remove the skins.
2. In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts to a smooth butter, scraping the sides as needed so they process evenly, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the cocoa, sugar, vanilla, salt and oil to the food processor and continue to process until well blended, about 1 minute. The finished spread should have the consistency of creamy peanut butter; if it is too dry, process in a little extra hazelnut oil until the desired consistency is achieved. Remove to a container, cover and refrigerate until needed. Allow the spread to come to room temperature before using, as it thickens considerably when refrigerated. It will keep for at least a week.
Each tablespoon: 109 calories; 2 grams protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 13 mg. sodium.
The owner of Local Roots Food Tours, Lisa Armstrong, had the opportunity to chat with Kat Maudru from 96.9 The Eagle for a segment on her Public Files. Learn more about how these Sacramento Walking Food Tours were created and the uniqueness they are offering to the Sacramento Region for anyone who likes to eat and explore what is outside their backdoors!
It’s local, it’s free and it is going to be FUN! Need we say more?
Bring your family and friends to Marysville’s Peach Festival in Historic Downtown Marysville: Friday July 15th and Saturday July 16th
The 11th Annual Marysville Peach Festival is going to be an exciting event with a wide variety of new and returning craft vendors, food vendors cooking for every taste bud, several delicious choices of peach related foods, and great entertainment for all ages!
Scheduled from 4pm to 11pm on Friday and 10am to 11pm on Saturday,
the event will be on D Street between First and Sixth streets in Downtown Marysville.
Free For Everyone – No Admission – Free Parking!
Family Fun-Great Amusement Rides for kids of all ages!
The 11th Annual Marysville Peach Festival will feature a live entertainment stage at the corners of 6th and D Streets, with a wide range of live acts performing both days of the festival.
Friday, July 15th at 9PM
The Chris Gardner Band
Saturday, July 16th at 9PM
We are thrilled to announce Local Roots Food Tours will be featured on the airwaves this weekend on 5 local radio stations w/ Kat Maudru’s Public Files!
FEATURED RADIO SEGMENTS:
KSEG (96. THE EAGLE): Sunday, 6:30am -7:00am
KDDO (The New 94.7): Saturday, 6:30am – 7:00am
KCTC/ESPN (1320AM): Saturday, 6:00am- 6:30am
KDND (107.9 THE END : Sunday, 7:30am–8:00am
KBZC (106.5 The Buzz): Sunday, 6:00am-6:30am
Our owner, Lisa Armstrong, was invited to 96.9 Eagle by Public Affairs Director, Kat Maudru to talk about our walking food and culinary tours. Kat has some terrific questions for Lisa and threw in a few tidbits or two! The primary theme was Local Roots Food Tours mission of getting back to the roots of our surrounding communities’ agriculture and history. Our trained tour guides get each tour participant to slow down and SAVOR each fresh signature dish and LEARN more about the chef’s passion in each dish created at each of our stops as well as what mom and pop owners believe makes them unique in their eateries. Each participant is encouraged to EXPLORE these hidden gems in Sacramento’s beautiful neighborhoods all while CONNECTING it all together……the roots of our food and the roots of the people who make up our amazing communities.
Our summer food tours are in full swing; we offer Tues, Thurs, Friday and Saturday tours. We begin early in the day and end before the heat is at its peak in downtown. 90% of our tour route is under shade with Sacramento’s beautiful tree-lined streets. Each location is air conditioned and serves refreshing ice water (or chilled wine!). Take advantage of our SUMMER SIZZLE TICKET SPECIAL from now until JULY 5th. Use discount code: “SIZZLE” to get 25% off our regular adult ticket price!
As they say at Eagle 96.9; “ROCK ON!” Hope to see you on a food tour this summer!
Come out and visit your local farms and you will be able to buy some seasonal products from them. Featured farms are Steamboat Acres-Oganic pears, Fra…ncis Ranch- Organic Vegitables, Double M Farms-Free Range eggs, U-pick pears, Giacoma- Natural Honey, eggs, R. Kelley Farms- U-pick vegitables, Maggi’s Farm-pears, Ceccarelle Hood Ranch-pears
The mission of the Sacramento River Delta Grown Agri-Tourism Association is to promote agricultural sustainability and profitability of local farmers in the Sacramento River Delta area through agri-tourism and agri-education by providing public accessibility to local farms while enhancing the public’s awareness of production agriculture and the enjoyment of the rural farming experience.
If you usually hustle past the jicama in your market’s produce section, it’s time to learn how to make the most of this mysterious-looking root. Jicama, a brown-skinned, turnip-shaped tuber native to Mexico and South America, has white flesh that’s crisp, juicy, very mild, and almost sweet. A member of the bean family, the plant’s only edible part is its root, as the leaves and seeds contain a mild toxin. The root, however, is a fiber-rich find that’s also full of potassium and vitamin C.
When you find it in your farmer’s markets look for firm, dry, slightly shiny jicama roots without bruises or shriveled skin. Store whole jicama roots in a dark, cool place, like a cupboard; they’ll last a bit longer there than in the refrigerator. Unpeeled jicama will stay fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks.
To prep jicama, first remove all of the skin with a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife, then slice the flesh as desired. Bonus: Jicama doesn’t turn brown or become soggy after cutting like avocados or eggplants.
Crisp jicama makes a refreshing addition to crudité trays and salads, and can sub for cucumber in sushi rolls. Like water chestnuts, jicama will stay crisp in quick-cooked dishes like stir-fries or sautés.
Jicama is underused in cooking — a real shame, since it’s such a wonderful root vegetable with a crunch, crispy texture. This salad (which is more akin to a “slaw”) highlights the best of the jicama’s characteristics and makes a nice side for any fajita or grilled meat.
JICAMA SALAD RECIPE
- 1 large jicama (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and coarsely shredded
- 2 large carrots, coarsely shredded
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red or yellow pepper, julienned
- 1 lime, zested
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon ground pure ancho chile
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, combine the jicama, carrots, onion, and pepper. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the lime zest, juice, oil, honey, and chile. Pour over the vegetables and toss. Add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate about 30 minutes before serving.
Note: If you want to go with a more fun and varied texture, add a chopped avocado, cut slices of an orange, or even a couple of chopped tomatoes just before tossing.
Are you hungry? Do you like to eat?
Local Roots Food Tours in Sacramento is offering their best food tour ticket deal ever!
SUMMER SIZZLE FOOD TOUR ADULT TICKETS are available NOW for a limited time. Sale ends July 12th, 2011
$42.00 adult discount tickets by using special code “SIZZLE”! Hurry, sale ends soon!
Join us this summer on a 3 hour guided culinary walking adventure that walks you through heavily shaded streets in Sacramento’s most historical and cultural neighborhoods all while eating and drinking at hidden gems. Learn what continues to make Sacramento a unique and delicious city, one taste at a time.
Our three-hour City of Trees Food & Cultural Walking Tour is intimate in size (17 max on every tour)…..this is not your large group food crawl tour….it is a great opportunity to slow down and go behind the scenes and experience 8 individual servings at 6 different locations (all with air conditioning and seating)….no running out of food and literally…no running allowed! It’s all about savoring each bite that is specially prepared for our tour groups, learning about mom and pop eateries and restaurants that only the locals are lucky enough to know about-until now, exploring really cool neighborhood streets that are quiet, peaceful and surprisingly full of fun facts. We make sure every tour participant connects to the whole food tour experience which shows in previous participants raving reviews over our walking tours!
Get tidbits of Sacramento’s history and beautiful architecture while tasting the scrumptious foods that make Sacramento’s culinary scene a regional treasure. You’ll taste farm fresh ingredients that inspire local chefs. Our tour will take you on a gastronomic adventure off the beaten path. Tours are offered throughout the week. Check our event calendar to see available tour dates. Advanced ticketing is required so hurry and take advantage of our SUMMER SIZZLE TICKET SPECIALS!!
Apricot and Lavender together…..who would have thought!!
APRICOT and LAVENDER CHUTNEY
2 tbsp butter, 1/2 leek, diced
1 tsp. lavender flowers, chopped
4 cups apricots, pitted and sliced
1 tsp honey, salt and pepper to taste
In a saucepan, heat butter and lightly saute leeks, about 5 minutes. Add lavender and cook until fragrant. Add apricots and continue to cook until just heated through. Season to taste with honey. Add salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and set aside.
California Apricots are in season! Local markets are offering some of the sweetest apricots in the area. Are you ready to start using such an amazing fruit in your kitchens?
The apricot is one of California’s prized specialty crops. In fact, California produces a remarkable 95+% of all the apricots grown in the United States. There are over 300 growers producing apricots from orchards covering 17,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley with the leading production area being Stanislaus County. California apricot growers produce a number of apricot varieties. The most dominant variety planted and produced in California today is the Patterson developed in 1969 by Fred W. Anderson. A consistent producer and very versatile, the Patterson is used for canning, freezing, drying, concentrate and fresh shipment. Eagerly awaited as one of the first summer fruits, the apricot has a relatively short fresh season.
APRICOT SHOPPING TIPS:
- Look for plump, fairly firm fruit with an orange-yellow to orange color.
- Fully ripe fruit is soft to the touch, juicy and should be eaten as soon as possible.
- Keep apricots cool to prevent over ripening. Store ripe apricots in the refrigerator where they may keep for up to a week.
- Place hard apricots in a paper bag and let ripen for a day or two.
- To freeze fresh apricots, simply half the fruit and place on baking sheet until frozen. Then pack in a plastic freezer bag.
- Avoid green fruit which will not ripen.
DRIED CALIFORNIA APRICOTS
It takes about six pounds of fresh apricots to make one pound of dried apricots. A concentrated source of fiber, dried apricots enjoy the distinction of being one of the most nutrient-dense dried fruits. Sweetly tart, they are lauded for their flavor as well as their excellent snacking and baking possibilities.
Every summer, Outstanding in the Field hit the road to bring farm to table cooking back to the source. Their mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. Owner Denevan and his crew of cooks, servers and coordinators travel all across America and beyond. They host alfresco dinners at long tables in the middle of farm lands; whether it be a cornfield, pasture or vineyard, they set up a creative long table, chairs and all place settings. Uniqueness at its finest! Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls.
Chefs from nearby restaurants in the area they are offering the dinners create dishes from local ingredients. Just picked berries, organic greens, free-range meats and local wines just to get you started. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table. It takes a lot of ingredients to make a farm dinner. Some of the more important ingredients are people. Farmers work hard throughout the growing season, reap the harvest and take it to market for all of us to enjoy. Food artisans and chefs transform the harvest with creativity, respect for ingredients, attention to craft and a desire to give nourishment. These are the people that make it all possible. These are the wonderful people who have dedicated their lives to work that benefits us all. They grow, nurture, create, ferment, chop, boil, bake and plant their way into our lives.
The purpose of Outstanding in the Field events is to recognize these contributions to the table. As the sun sets, guests grab plates, sit down and meet their table-mates. While consuming their five-course meal with a local wine pairing the guests will be educated on where the food comes from and a chance to chat with new friends until the rooster crows! This year Outstanding in the Field is putting on dinners in 30 states plus Canada and Europe. For tickets, visit http://www.outstandinginthefield.com