Tag Archives: recipes

What if… Restaurants Promoted Cooking at Home?

23 Jan
by Deanne

It seems like a crazy idea for a restaurant to promote cooking at home.  But being concerned about the quality of prepared food that is normally served in restaurants, we instigated a promotion during the month of August and September called The FarmerChef Project. Photo of Pickle Recipe  We recruited two other restaurants to join our restaurant in offering recipes of dishes that we prepared using local ingredients.  Then offered recipes for customers to prepare the dish at home.  Even though the promotion is officially over, you can check out the recipes by clicking on our icon which will take you to the  pinterest page. Logo for FarmerChefs

As part of the promotion we worked with University of Minnesota Extension to help us survey restaurant customers about their preferences for local food and cooking. There is a myth that says people won’t pay for better quality ingredients. Our survey respondents reported that they were willing to pay from 5% to 25% more for a meal prepared with local ingredients?

Would you like to see more restaurants promote cooking at home with local products?  If they did, would it help to repair our broken food system?

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Camelina: Seed to Oil

8 May
by Deanne

Last March, after looking in the Minnesota Grown directory, Francine and I drove out to a little farm just south of Lamberton and met Kathleen Smith.  You might have read our posts about this local grower’s product.  From that original meeting we have created some great tasting recipes like the Sunshine Grilled Chicken Salad, Rhubarb Scones, and Two Sister’s and a Friend Salad in a Jar.  The one ingredient these recipes have in common is an American grown oil that comes from a tiny little reddish brown seed called the camelina seed. 

Camelina-Blog-Post-530x350

Last summer our son/brother, Lucas Bryce decided to capture their family’s story.  While editing the production he got excited about their message and the beauty of their family farm and decided to submit it to the 2013 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.  It was selected as a film to be shown for their Earth Day, Minnesota Made category.

When you submit a film to a festival you are not able to show it publicly until it premiers during the festival.    Now we are finally able to make it available here.  It is titled Camelina: Seed to OilWe hope you enjoy watching the film.

Deanne’s Favorites of 2012

1 Jan
by Deanne

This Real Local Cooking journey has been a fun way to record the things I learned in 2012 and having a blog to chronicle all this learning allows for many moments of reflection.bagel

2012 was a year of change in terms of my awareness about food (something I’d previously never thought much about).  It was also a year in which I (and my husband) put our values into action and  decided to close our drive-in restaurant in August. 

Cooking is where it all began .  I took an interest in cooking again after many years of seeing it as a chore.  I cracked open my Joy of Cooking book and made Chicken Cacciatore and learned how bagels are made by making a batch in our kitchen.

In March I reached out to meet people who care about local food.  I discovered that Kathleen and her family live nearby and they grow and produce Omega Maiden Camelina Oil onA photo of the oil used in the dressing their farm. We’ve enjoyed creating recipes, like scones and dressings, with camelina oil.  We’ve also enjoyed the friendship of Kathleen, her husband Justin, and their sweet daughter, Amana and we got to know the rest of her family when we held our first Veg-In in September.

Saying good bye to Francine in April was a difficult but an important step in my growth as a mother of adult children. 

When Francine moved to England, I had a chance to learn about another culture in many of her posts…this snapshot post stands out as an early memory for me or her first month in her new home.  I also learning about cobnuts in her A What Nut post.

A photo of the granola

In August, the Minnesota Cooks event at the Minnesota State Fair turned out to be educational when I unexpectedly learned more the importance of adding Omega 3 to our diets.  Go Omega Maiden!  (It is a great source of Omega 3.)Photo of 2012-13 Mn Cooks Calandar

As Steve and I dream about the future of our business and clarify our vision for opening a new restaurant this summer, we remember the visits we made at various UK Farm Shops in November.  It was wonderful to  discover that the English have found a nice marriage between restaurants and locally grown products.  

Photo of Cross Lanes Organic Farm Shop

Now, as the new year begins, Steve and I visiting family in California.  We peeled our first pomegranate and made a toast to our dreams for 2013.   

Cheers everyone and here’s to a wonderful 2013!A photo of a pomegranate

Pomegranate Cocktail

(from the book we purchased yesterday, The Art of Real Food)
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Francine’s Five Favorites of 2012

31 Dec
by Francine

This year was a big one for me…I moved to England, got married, became a UK resident and started a job in marketing…phew! 

But in between those huge milestones, life was really pretty normal and filled with boring (and A photo of the castlesometimes stressful things)…things like heaps of paperwork, cover letters and a never-ending, slowly drying pile of laundry (we don’t have a dryer in our flat).

Thankfully sprinkled amongst all of those stressful things were heaps of delicious food, sunshine-y memories and a few castles. ;)

I thought I’d take a moment to share five of my Real Local Cooking favorites from this past year.  It was hard to narrow it down when there are 105 posts (!!) from which to choose, but here they are…

1.  Making a Watermelon Radish Salad was really fun because it allowed me introduce my family to a vegetable I discovered in China and it brought some vibrant color to a cold MN winter.

A photo of the inside

2.  Since moving to England, I’ve enjoyed many store bought oatcakes, but before moving here, I made my own oatcakes after discovering the recipe in a River Cottage cookbook.  It was fun to create something different and many of you also enjoyed finding out about this recipe. 

A photo of Oatcakes

3. Early in 2012, I began making FarmerChef specials with seasonal and local products/produce.  Once a week, we put these specials on the menu at my parents’ restaurant.  I enjoyed the challenge and creativity involved in coming up with dishes. 

After moving to England, my parents continued preparing and serving FarmerChef specials, and I loved finding out about all the creative dishes they were coming up with.  I thought their Kohlslaw…coleslaw from kohlrabis was especially fun.  I made this salad in September when we picked our own Kohlrabi.

Photo of Kohlslaw

4.  In England, the summer of 2012 was very cool, wet and un-sunny; perhaps that’s why it made me so happy to see the Garden Tours of the raised bed garden throughout the MN summer.

photo of a tomato

5. Last month, mom, dad and Luke came to visit us in England.  We discovered the beauty of the Lake District…oh my!

A photo of Littletown Farmphoto of salad in a jar

And some runner-ups…

Having my first scone with clotted cream and plum jam, picking strawberries, trying out this FarmerChef quiche (and making it many times since…any time I have eggs, vegetables and no idea what to fix for dinner), making both strawberry+rhubarb crumble and cobbler and seeing that mom made an oh-so pretty layered salad.

It’s been a fun year of blogging, filled with many good memories and tasty recipes

Thanks for stopping by our little corner of the internet and sharing your own memories. thoughts and recommendations in the comments! It’s always so great to hear from you!

Fiery Corn and Black Bean Salsa

3 Sep
by Deanne

Yesterday in our garden tour  post, we showed pictures of our abundant tomatoes.  Here’s a delicious way to use them up and practice your knife skills at the same time! In his most recent GamerKitchen episode, Luke makes a great tasting salsa that can double as a snack or dinner-sized salad.

Luke used one Serrano pepper – the heat was just right, but I’m sure one jalapeno would be good too.

What heat level do you think you’ll choose?

Garden Veggie Indian Dish: A FarmerChef Takes On New Flavors

24 Aug
by Deanne

After a busy week of cooking the final meals for customers at our restaurant, we closed down restaurant operations on Sunday.  When the clock struck 9pm, we were tired but uplifted because of the overwhelming support from the community during the past week.

The following day Steve and I celebrated our freedom in the most American of ways – we took a road trip!  We headed south to Des Moines, Iowa to visit Steve’s sister and her family. After a pleasant afternoon visit with family, we ate at an Indian Restaurant we scoped out earlier that day via online reviews.  We have had very little experience eating Indian cuisine in the past, but we’ve been intrigued by the cuisine due to it’s reliance on vegetables and plant-based proteins, perfect for the budding FarmerChef! Needless to say, our dining experience sparked an even greater flurry of interest towards Indian flavors.

In our research after the fact, we found a website about herbs and a terrific explanation of  the confusion I have personally experienced over the term“curry.”  For example the term actually comes from a southern Indian word, kari, which means sauce. When our world traveler daughter, Francine, returned from a trip to India last year, she tried to explain that curry is a word used to describe a sauce rather than a distinct herb.  

A few days later Steve, expressing his passion for combining flavors and ingredients, came up with this surprisingly simple and tasty dish.  It’s loaded with veggies from our garden and carries an enormous amount of flavor too! It also has protein from three difference sources – chickpeas, peas, and tofu. For those of you who are concerned about the spice, don’t worry, this is a mild curry (sauce).


Garden Veggie Indian Dish

makes 4 servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 carrots, coined
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 can chick peas (15.5 ounce)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 package firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 5 scallions
Directions:

Dice the carrots, onion, green pepper, garlic, ginger, cucumber, and tomatoes and keep in separate piles before starting to cook.

Heat skillet or pan over medium heat, add canola oil and carrots.  Saute until they start to soften.

Add onions and green pepper and sweat until softened.

Add ginger, garlic, tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes start to break down.

Pour the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. (Add water or soy milk to thin if needed.)

Return mixture to pan and add drained chick peas, peas and curry powder.  Stir to heat.  Adjust for salt depending on your tastes.  (1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp)

Add cucumber and tofu at the last minute and serve the dish over rice of your choice and garnish with cilantro and scallions.

The dish is easy to make and this time of year it is a novel way to use tomatoes and cucumbers which are abundant.   I didn’t even know there were tomatoes in the dish till Steve wrote up the recipe!

What is your experience with Indian cuisine and curries?

Have you ever chosen not to eat a dish because of popular culture?

FarmerChef Special: Kohlslaw (again!)

15 Aug
by Deanne

Back on July 4th, we made a slaw out of kohlrabi but our in-house photographer, my son, was away so we didn’t have a way capture its appeal visually; so we made it again a few weeks ago and doubled the recipe because it was popular. People enjoyed having it as an alternative to the traditional cabbage coleslaw we usually serve.

One customer even made it at home, which is just what we like to hear.  She told us that her son doesn’t like kohlrabi, but he liked this recipe. 

If you haven’t tried it yet, here it is again (along with a nice photo by Luke).

Photo of KohlslawKohlslaw

Ingredients:
  • 4-5 kohlrabi
  • 2 carrots
  • 5-6 scallions
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar (brown or white)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
Directions:

Peel the thick skin off the kohlrabi and cut into pieces. Then grate with either a food processor or by hand. 

Peel and grate the carrots.  Rinse and cut the scallions on the bias. 

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl.  Then pour over the veggies and mix well until all have been coated.

Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.  

What kinds of dishes do you like to make with kohlrabi?