Monthly Archives: May 2011

Events and Local Food Happenings: Week of May 30

The Culinary Trust - Three Hot Chefs eventThree Hot Chefs!
IACP Culinary Trust Benefit
-Wednesday, June 1 8pm – 10:30pm
-$135 per person
-Hotel Saint Cecelia
-112 Academy Drive, 78704 [Austin]

The Culinary Trust, philanthropic partner of the IACP for over twenty-five years, solicits, manages and distributes funds for educational and charitable programs that provide culinary professionals with the tools and opportunities to learn and act on critical issues in the world of food.

The exclusive Hotel Saint Cecilia tucked away in Austin’s trendy South Congress neighborhood is where three exciting guest chefs – Austin’s Tyson Cole, chef of the acclaimed Uchi and Uchiko (one of GQ’s 10 best new restaurants), along with Holly Smith of Kirkland, Washington’s Café Juanita and Brad Farmerie of New York’s Public will showcase the fusion of great taste and fresh, healthy ingredients in a memorable evening presented by the California Table Grape Commission.

In a setting known for its music, edgy art and vintage décor, guests will sample a variety of dishes, meet and mingle with the chefs and bid on unique experiences in a special auction. Proceeds support the Trust’s mission of providing culinary professionals with the tools and opportunities to understand and act on critical issues in the world of food.

Purchase tickets here

Edible Texas Wine & Food Match

Edible Texas Wine & Food Match
Sponsored by Greenling & Whole Foods Market

-Friday, June 3- 7pm – 10pm
-AT&T Executive Conference & Education Center 1900 University Avenue, 78705

Five finalists will compete by each serving a three course tasting menu pairing Texas wine and food. Come be a guest at this stellar first-time event!

This event is open to 150 guests and is a featured event of the 2011 International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Annual Conference in Austin. Benefits the newly launched nonprofit Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts.

The Competitors

Chef Kelly Casey, Hudson’s on the Bend (Jeff Blank) paired with Messina Hof Winery • Inwood Estates • Stone House Vineyards

Chef Patrick James Edwards, Bin 555 Restaurant and Wine Bar (Jason Dady) paired with Becker Vinyards

Chef David Garrido, Garrido’s Restaurant (David Garrido) paired with Fall Creek Vineyards • Sister Creek Vineyards

Chef Josh Raymer, Navajo Grill (Josh Raymer) paired with Perissos Vineyards and Winery • Messina Hof Winery

Chef Peter Smith, JW Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa (Marriott International) paired with Flat Creek Estate

Purchase tickets here

Green Gate Farms Hootenanny

Hootenanny at Green Gate Farms
Family Fun! Live Music! Potluck Dinner! Silent Auction!
-Saturday, June 4
-Fun starts at 3pm, Dinner at 6pm
-176 Howard Lane , 78602 [Bastrop]

Come celebrate Green Gate Farms 5th Anniversary, farmers’ birthdays and launch of New Farm Institute at our River Farm along the banks of the Colorado River (15m east of Canoga Ave farm).

Explore a new organic farm-in-the-making, go on hayrides, take a strawbale building workshop, enjoy live music, vendors like Wanderlust Artisanal Ice Cream, maybe even learn to yodel. Guests welcome to swim, canoe, kayak and camp. Just bring a shareable dish for the potluck dinner; Roasted Green Gate pork and goat meat provided, grilled by incomparable El Locavore Catering.

Spread the word. Invite all your friends. Fun begins at 3:00 on Saturday, June 4. Live music at 5:00; Potluck Dinner begins at 6:00. Location: 176 Howard Lane, Bastrop, 78602. Activities posted

Awakening the Dreamer event

Awakening the Dreamer Symposium

-Sunday, June 5
– 2pm – 6pm; please arrive by 1:45pm
– $25/person; child care available for $5/child
-Unity of Wimberly, 455 White Wings Rd. 78676 [Wimberly]

A Monumental Experiential Symposium

Renowned spiritual leaders, activists and top scientists present consensus data and current thinking inviting us to :

• Hear about the state of our planet

• Understand how we got here

• Feel empowered to effect change

Awakening the Dreamer Mission: To bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on the planet.

To learn more about the symposium, watch the video trailer here

Due to the popularity of this event, please reserve your seat.


Honey, it’s me or the peaches!

Local Peaches

“I’m not sure there’s anything better than a fresh, local peach” Mylie says as I start to feel insecure about our relationship.. how do I compete with that? As she bit into one I could see the joy on her face as it exploded with juice. I started to regret bringing home some of the first peaches off the Caskey trees. Caskey is one of the very few peach farmers to grow locally without the use of any chemicals. With peaches so good they’re called ‘bathtub peaches’ (because they’re so juicy you have to sit in a bathtub to eat them without making a mess), quite a few bugs and other pests love them too.

We went for a visit to learn how their peaches are special and can ward off the common diseases that so many peach farmers treat with chemicals. It’s so common to use chemicals, in fact, that conventional peaches are the most chemically polluted produce item you can buy. And sorry folks, but Fredericksburg peaches are no exception. We called many of them and confirmed chemical use – see the national study here. Of course, Greenling’s peaches are never chemically treated because we only source from people like Cliff! Cliff is an amazing character that is passionate not just about peaches, but about soil and microbes. You gotta watch these short clips of our visit with him –

Cliff talking about how they can tell when their peaches are ready (hint – they use refractometers, the Texas way) –

Here’s Cliff talking about taking care of the soil and his organic fertilizers –

The Caskeys exclusively sell directly to consumers at farmers markets and through Greenling. We suggest gorging on this Texas-style ambrosia because the real peach season can sometimes be quite short. They’ll be featured in the Local Box and available in our Fruit section.

Local Box Meal Plan: May 23-27

Peaches AND blackberries in the same box? I think it’s safe to say that summer has really arrived!

Peaches – Lund Produce
Blackberries – Wheeler Farm
Fiesta Beets – Tecolote Farm
White Onion – Gundermann Acres
Mixed Carrots – Lund Produce
Flat Leaf Parsley – Tecolote Farm
Corn – Acadian Family Farm
Radish Bunch – My Father’s Farm
Red & Green Basil – My Father’s Farm
Romaine Lettuce – Bar W


Peach-blackberry compote with basil syrup – An awesome summer dessert.

Corn and carrot salad with golden raisins – This is going to be a great side dish for something grilled.

Ginger chicken Romaine wraps – Add some sliced basil to these.

Chilled beet and onion salad – Add some sliced radishes to this to add a little bite.

– Stephanie

Local Box Video: May 23 – 27

Local Box Picnic: Montopolis Sports Complex

The second weekend in our picnic adventure took my husband and me to far east Austin. We stumbled upon the Montopolis Youth Sports Complex when we were looking for Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park on Saturday night.

After a jaunt east on Airport Boulevard from I-35 and a winding drive through the Montopolis neighborhood, Rami and I found ourselves at 400 Grove Boulevard, the address registered with Google Maps for Guerrero Park.There is a parking lot and some trailheads that lead into Guerrero Park at that address, but the more obvious landmark there is this lovely sports area. Montopolis Youth Sports Complex has a few baseball fields with concession stands and bleachers, a batting cage and a small playground. We counted six picnic tables at the park, situated near trash cans at the edges of each playing field.

There are lots of tall trees at the park, and most of the recreation areas around the baseball fields are in full or partial shade. It’s obvious from the manicured lawns and clean trails that the Montopolis Sports Complex is well cared for, and it’s probably very busy during baseball, softball and tee-ball seasons. However, we were the only souls there at dinner time on Saturday night.

The menu for this week’s picnic featured tons of local veggies in various salad preparations. We were gluten free except for some pita bread and vegan, since I forgot my bacon-laden potato salad at home:

These salads were a really easy picnic menu since I was able to make most of them ahead of time during the week. I don’t know what I was thinking packing pickled beets on a picnic. They taste awesome, but the magenta beet juice threatened to stain our orange picnic blanket with every bite!

The wax beans and green beans from Acadian and Tecolote Farms were the standout ingredients in this week’s picnic. I used these fresh treasures in place of canned green beans in my favorite four bean salad recipe.

Four Bean Salad (serves 6)
One bunch fresh green beans
One bunch fresh wax (yellow) beans
15 oz. can garbanzo beans
15 oz. can kidney beans
Two green bell peppers, seeded and ribbed
Red or purple onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup red wine or cider vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation: trim ends off of green and yellow beans, then snap beans into bite-sized pieces.Bring a scant inch of salted water to a boil in a large saute pan. Add fresh beans, cover and cook for about five minutes, until beans are tender. Drain the beans and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, open and drain canned beans. Chop the bell peppers and onion into small pieces.  In a small bowl, whisk together oils, vinegars, sugar, salt and pepper. Put all the beans, onion and pepper into a large salad bowl and pour dressing over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Spiced Coconut Kale


This sounds awesome, right? It’s just as good as it sounds, too. You get sweet flavors of coconut and curry seasoning some greens that are cooked just right – not tough but not soggy.

I riffed off of this recipe, changing it to use kale instead of spinach and modify for other ingredients I had on hand.

UPDATE: I made another batch of this tonight and used lime juice instead of lemon. Heaven! I think I like it better this way. Also, I dare you to make this dish and not sing this song as you cook.

Spiced Coconut Kale (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

1 small spring onion (or shallot)
1 large clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch of kale, chopped
squeeze of lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly toasted

Place the onion and garlic on a cutting board, sprinkle with the salt, and chop/mash everything into a paste.

Heat the oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Add the seeds, cover with a lid, and let them toast a bit. Remove the lid, stir in the red pepper flakes and let cook for a minute. Stir in the garlic-shallot paste and all of the kale. Stir until the kale starts wilting and brightens up in color. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until kale is tender but not mushy. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with coconut.

Vegan Greenling: Good Thymes – Local Box 5/19

Lemon Thyme Marinade, Spicy Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad and more!