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Springfield, Illinois
Food enthusiast who loves to travel. As the new year begins my goal is to learn all I can about local food production.
Interests: cooking, reading, baking, cheese making, traveling and jewelry making.
Recent Activity
A long weekend of bread baking including baguette's, lemon poppyseed muffins and chocolate goji berries muffins. I tried something different when baking the muffins, I substituted olive oil for the butter and used goji berries instead of chocolate chips. I found you really have to watch your baking time or the muffins will be a little to dry. Still working on muffin recipes, I will share these soon. Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
The Common Threads Benefit held March 1, 2010 was a great success with a fantastic line-up of Chicago's best restaurants and guest participants including: Celebrity Food & Mood Guru Jaime Laurita, Charlie Trotter's, NoMI, The Chopping Block Cooking School, Top Chief Season 5-Radhika Desai, Lula Cafe, Cafe Boulud, Girl &The Goat, Top Chief Season 5- Carle Hall, The Purple Pig, Tru, Blackbird, Nightwood, C-House and many more. The food and wine tasting was over the top and the live auction proceeds went to Common Threads program that teaches low-income kids to cook wholesome affordable meals. . Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
Tomorrow I will be attending the Common Threads benefit in Chicago. Common Threads teaches low income children to cook healthy affordable meals. The cooking classes that are offered to children teach the importance of nutrition and help prevent childhood obesity. See more about Common Threads at Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
The best butter is made from local fresh cream. I had no idea where to go to find fresh cream in our area. I new there must be a small dairy in the area, but where? I sent an e-mail to one of our local food enthusiast/ food columnist Julianne Glatz. She pointed me north approximately 75 miles from Springfield just past Bloomington to Kilgus Farmstead. Kilgus is a family operation that produces fresh dairy products: Cream, milk, cheese and more. I purchased cream for the butter and milk for ricotta cheese. Making the butter was easier then I imagined.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
Last week I attended The Missouri Wine Festival at Wesport Plaza in St Louis. There were 13 winerys and vineyards all displaying there best wines. The attendants was very good, with everyone mixing, mingling and tasting. My personal favorites were: A fruity Raspberry Weisser Fielder from Bias Vineyards & Winery, another fruity and fragrant choice Huzzah Valley from Peaceful Bend Vineyard and a semi dry Little Hills Traminette from Little Hills Winery. My choices were all white wines. A good time was had by all, looking forward to next years winefest. Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
GRAPEFRUIT RISOTTO The recipe for this Risotto is from the book RISOTTO by Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman. Ingredients 5 Cups chicken broth(reserve 1/4 cup) 3 T extra virgin olive oil 1/2 Cup finely chopped leek, white part only 3 T finely chopped celery 1 1/2 Cup Arborio Rice 1 Cup grapefruit juice 1 T chopped fresh parsley 1 T unsalted butter 1/4 Cup parmesan cheese and 4 grapefruit sections dice Bring the chicken broth to simmer in a saucepan on the stove. In a separate 4 quart casserole heat 3 T of olive oil on medium-low heat add the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
Olive oil is truly the nectar of the gods. Marianne Prey the owner of Extra Virgin An Olive Ovation lead a recent class, all about olive oil. Marianne lead the class through the process of growing, picking and pressing olives. The class was also informed that there are several grades of olive oil: Extra Virgin, Virgin, Olive Oil (pure olive oil) and Olive Pomace Oil. We also discussed the health benefits of olive oil and regions of the world where olive oil is produced. The class included tasting three distinctly different oils. Marianne then suprised us with preparing three different... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
This milk chocolate Pots De Creme was my little Valentines Day treat. Milk chocolate cream, macadamia nuts, whipping cream and a little caramel sculpture. Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
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Yesterday I dashed over to Del's Popcorn Shop for last minute Valentines Day treats. Del's has a huge variety of popcorn, candies, nuts and ice cream. I found everything I wanted in one place. I am ready for the big day, well almost. Del's Popcorn located Downtown Springfield IL. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
Shannon KirshnerExecutive chef Jordan Coffey of Augie’s Front Burner prepares locally bought food from Veenstra’s Vegetables during Local Flavors, a dinner series that highlights locally produced foods. via Local Food Movement in Springfield. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
I served these appetizers at our superbowl party this past weekend, they were a big hit. Fingerling potatores wraped in pancetta roasted with olive oil,garlic, oregano salt and pepper to taste. Add a sprig of rosemary before serving. Asparagus spears blanched and wraped in pancetta. Spaghetti bundles topped with roasted tomatoe, olive oil, garlic and a sprinkle of basil. Serve with grated parmesan cheese on the side. Eat and Enjoy! Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
Mascarpone and Ricotta Cheesecake with Pomegrante Topping. This recipe is adapted from the cook book In a Cheesemaker's Kitchen by Allison Hooper-Vermont Butter and Cheese Company. For the Crust 2 cups crushed short bread cookies 3 tablespoons butter melted and cooled For the filling 16 oz mascarpone cheese 16 oz ricotta cheese 1 1/4 Cups Sugar 4 large eggs 2 egg yolks 1 vanilla bean Toping: Seeds from 1 pomegranate Preheat oven to 350 degrees Line the out side of a 9 inch springform pan with foil. Make sure you cover the outside bottom of the pan tightly with the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
The move is complete and I am back in Springfield. My daughters move to New Orleans went without a hitch except for a broken car window and a leaky kitchen sink in her new apartment. There was little time for culinary experiences or treasure hunting, however, we did accomplished some shopping for the apartment. Little did I know that the New Orleans Saints were playing the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans the same weekend, the Saints won their ticket to the Super Bowl. I was staying near Bourbon Street, just after the game ended I ventured across the French Quarter... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
I am leaving for New Orleans to help my daughter move into her new French Quarter apartment. Hopefully I will have a little time to enjoy some fantastic New Orleans cuisine and do some treasure hunting. I will be back from the Big Easy on 1/26/10. Have a great weekend. Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
The two-month-old vegetable garden, from which Mrs. Alarcon picks extravagant bursts of broccoli for breakfast with scrambled eggs, is both comforting and unfamiliar. It is one of 30 backyard vegetable gardens recently planted by a nonprofit group here called La Mesa Verde, or The Green Table, which makes house calls to help residents of the city’s low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhoods grow their own organic produce. via Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
I started the new year with a cooking class at Kitchen Conservatory in St Louis MO. Kitchen Conservatory is a great gourmet shop, that has everything imaginable for the kitchen. A wide variety of classes are offered through out the year. The class I attended CHEF-D' OEUVRE taught by Chef Jean Pierre Auge, well known in St Louis as a master of french cuisine. The menu for this class: Curry cream of cauliflower soup, pork loin with ginger and swiss chard strudel, plus apple beignets with Kirsch sauce. It was a joy to watch Chef Jean Pierre work his magic. Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
In 2009 I traveled to Boston several times to see my daughter who was a student at Boston University. My favorite area of Boston is the north end italian neighborhood. The north end has great italian restaurant's and bakery's. In 2009 I also traveled to Northern California, Mendocino was my destination. This little coastal town was filled with great art galleries, fabulous fine dinning and breath taking coastal views. While in the area my daughter took me for a drive to Anderson Valley in Northern California's Wine Country. We were able to visit three Vineyards Standish Wine Company, Scharffenberger Cellars... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at Fresh Cuisine
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