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Dear Anthony

December 07, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

I came across this article on Anthony Bourdain while looking at foodie blogs on one of my favorite websites, writersnreaders. I, too, have a somewhat love/hate relationship with Bourdain…I love his passion for and knowledge of food, but sometimes find his unyielding arrogance against all that do not agree with his viewpoint and philosophy to be overbearing…or distasteful…pun intended.  Thank you Arya, author of “Taking Snarky to New Heights.”  You are definitely not alone!  But, Anthony…you know I love you…just not all the time.

Picture courtesy of WNYC New York Public Radio. Cropped and edited by Daniel Case

 

Kick The Cookies Up a Notch

December 07, 2010
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

I initially thought I would write about “holiday nutrition survival tips” however, Leslie beat me to it in Lighting Up The Season!  Given that it’s also the season to be somewhat indulgent, my topic shifted to baking.
 
I love making cookies and what better excuse to bake some than Christmas?!  This past Sunday I had the opportunity to decorate cookies till my heart was content at Sweet Violet Cake Company (formerly Culina).  I attended the Holiday Cooking & Decorating Workshop, and though I was clearly out of my league, it inspired me to take my holiday baking to a new level.  In fact, I informed my husband that our annual cookie decorating activity is going to be kicked up a notch this year.   One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending an evening decorating sugar cookies with my husband. In the past it has involved bowls of colored frosting, butter knives and toothpicks.  This year it will include pastry bags (!), edible glitter, squeeze bottles and of course a cup of hot cocoa!  I’m thinking they’d look perfect on this cool (southern style!) farmbasket cookie plate.
For a great cookie base, try Cece’s Cookies…yum.
 

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Local Offerings November 30th

North Carolina’s diverse climates continue to provide us with beautiful local produce from the mountains to the coast. Hot items this week are Rainbow Kale from the Goat Lady farm, and Hydroponic Spinach from Flora Ridge Farm.

Enjoy!

Reynolda Farm Market:
Red Potatoes
Cucumbers
Cabbage
Parnsnips
Red Delicious Apples
Beets
Sweet Potatoes
Acorn Squash
Spaghetti Squash
Bean Sprouts
Hydroponic Spinach
Collard Greens

Eastern Carolina Organics:
Red Leaf Lettuce
Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
Rainbow Chard

Goat Lady Vegetable Farm:
Head Lettuce
Arugula
Kale
Parsley, Dill

Other:
Chicken – Hopkins Poultry
Sausage – Neese’s Country Sausage
Flour Grits, and Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Heavy Cream, Half and Half, Whole Milk – Homeland Creamery

My Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Just thinking about it brings about fond memories of warmth, comfort and time spent together with family & friends.  My family has enjoyed the same food traditions for as long as I can remember, and my hope is that my niece will continue them with her family.  
 
Growing up, we always roasted a whole bird-the bigger the better. It was a source of pride (and, I think, bragging rights) for mom to be roasting the biggest bird of all our friends & relatives.  The smallest bird she would consider roasting (also known in the family as a pigeon) was 20 lbs. We now do a turkey breast, and while it’s much more appropriate, it just seems to lack the ‘wow’ factor of that beautifully golden brown turkey.

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Local Offerings November 8th

Still lots of great fresh local produce coming in the back door at Guilford Dining. Tony at Flora Ridge is off the list this week due to a bug problem, but should be back next week with his famous Savoy Leaf Spinach. Stay tuned!

Produce:

Reynolda Farm Market
Slicing Tomatoes
Yellow Squash
Zucchini Squash
Eggplant
Granny Smith Apples
Red Delicious Apples

Eastern Carolina Organics
Bok Choy
Cherry Tomatoes
Salad Mix
Arugula
Green Cabbage
Rainbow Chard

Other:
Chicken – Hopkins Poultry
Sausage – Neese’s Country Sausage
Flour Grits, and Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Heavy Cream, Half and Half, Whole Milk – Homeland Creamery

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To be a Chef

November 1, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

People always ask me what I think of food TV.  I never know quite how to answer (at least not concisely)….I guess because I have mixed feelings.  
 
I appreciate the teaching aspect of food TV, and think it’s brought about much of the cultural revolution we’re currently seeing with food. Never before have we been exposed to so many different foods, or had such access to world cuisine.
 
I also love, love, love the fact that food TV has elevated the status of being a chef.  When I started in this business many, many…..many years ago, I would occasionally stop at a store on my way home from work.  I can’t tell you how many times people would see the outfit and give me an odd look, not to mention a wide berth (‘course, the fact that one of my frequent tasks was peeling a sour cream tub of garlic might have had a little something to do with that!). Now I go into a store in my chef uniform and am treated like a rock star. I had one little girl go running up to her mom with a HUGE smile on her face & announce, a little breathlessly, “mommy, mommy, that lady’s a CHEF!!!”  I don’t think she would have been any more excited if I’d been Elmo!

Local Offerings October 13th

It’s getting to be winter vegetable time! We’ll try not to turnip and beet you guys to death! Apples are still coming in from the mountains and we’re still getting the last of the canteloupes from Hickory and other areas of the Piedmont. Don’t worry, we’ll keep the fresh local produce coming in all the way through Winter. Look for Tony at Flora Ridge’s Savoy leaf spinach coming to a table near you soon.

Reynolda Farm Market

Broccoli
Granny Smith Apples
Red Delicious Apples
Red Potatoes
Tomatoes
Buttenut Squash
Cantaloupe
Yellow Squash
Zucchini Squash
Collard Greens
Red Peppers
Cherry Tomatoes

Eastern Carolina Organics

High Country Heirloom Apples
Baby Bok Choy
Arugula
Purple Top Turnips
Basil
Fresh Goat Chevre

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