Wednesday, December 9, 2009

School Lunch Meat.

At various FCC dinners we have discussed the policies surrounding the lunches served in our nations school cafeteria's. Something needs to change, the nations most vulnerable (children) are the ones suffering because of low grade meat supplied to school lunch programs. The USDA has a dual role in administering the financing for school lunches, on one hand they need to provide safe and nourishing lunches while on the other hand they have to provide a venue for corporate beef manufacturers to sell low grade beef. This relationship is toxic.

See this article in USA today for more on the topic of meat in schools:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-12-08-school-lunch-standards_N.htm

In hopes for change.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Underground dinner in Chicago.

Check out the link to a new supper club concept in Chicago.

At FCC we love bacon, but The Wandering Goat incorporates pork belly into everything...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/chi-091101mag-izard-party%2c0%2c7650587.story

Enjoy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Holiday Parties!

Are you interested in bringing a tast of Food Creates Community to your holiday party?

Let Vestals Foods create a memorable locally inspired dinner party for you and your loved ones.

Contact - Jordan Swim - 214-755-3014

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Turkey.

Just ordered my turkey yesterday from Rehoboth Ranch. Here are the details...

TIME TO ORDER THANKSGIVING TURKEYSIf you plan to order a Thanksgiving turkey from Rehoboth Ranch, now would be a good time. We hate to disappoint people by not having what they want, but every year in November, we get dozens and dozens of phone calls from people wanting a turkey, but we are sold out. There are two simple ways to order a turkey:1. Come to one of our farmers' markets (Dallas, Coppell, or McKinney) and sign-up for a turkey. You pay a $25 deposit now to hold the turkey for you, and $25 is subtracted from the final purchase price when you pick up your turkey.2. Send us an email saying that you want to order a turkey, and we will send a reply with some simple questions to answer - how many, how big, where do you want to pick up, etc.? Send us a check for $25 for the deposit, and your turkey is reserved.For more details about types of turkeys available, sizes, prices, etc., please see the turkey ordering section of this newsletter.

They have broad breasted whites and heritage bourbon reds. Who else do you know sells heritage turkeys?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Foraging.

I love to forage...forage through used bookstores, eclectic boutiques, thrift stores (I am looking for old Le Creuset pans), small grocery stores, and especially I love to forage for ingredients. Daily, you can find me at one of these spots Whole Foods, Sprouts, Central Market, Kroger, Natural Grocers, and Braum's buying something for tonight's meal, but when it comes to FCC my food scouting becomes obsessive. I spend at least the 7 days prior to an FCC event scouring the shelves, stalls, and food stores all over Dallas. Here is a sample of the places and purveyors that stock the FCC pantry...Hope you too, will support these local businesses!

Dallas Farmers Market
Georgia' Farmers Market (Plano)
Treaty Oak Rum (donated to FCC) Fabulous Product!
Tom Spicer (Fitzghugh area)
Nitschke Beef - (has donated to FCC in the past) - grass finished beef!
Oak Cliff Coffee - (has donated to FCC in the past) - wonderful roaster
Henry's Homemade Ice Cream
Lucky Layla Dairy
Rehoboth Ranch
Windy Meadows

Maybe you know people or CSA's that I do not...let us know.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Celebrating Fall in Texas

And what a celebration we had! From the beautiful weather to the gracious location and friendly people, last night's dinner was the perfect gathering of friends over a warm, autumn meal. We want to send a special thank you again to our gracious hosts, Tricia and Mark, for opening up their home and backyard to us to enjoy such a great night together.




With around forty attendees (one of our best attended yet), there were people from all over Dallas, who made the trek into the country-esque dining adventure.






The menu focused on locally-grown, seasonally available foods, fresh from local farmers' markets.



Pecan & Lucky Layla Wafer, Rusk Apple Butter
Treaty Oak Cider


Amuse of Beer Braised Cabbage with Deer Sausage in Persimmon Mustard


Fennel Soup, Hazelnut Crisp—Cranberry
Llano Signature White


Texas Butternut Squash Risotto
Llano Meritage


Overnight Braised Nitschke Roast, Sweet Potato & Turnip Puree, Seasons First Brussels Sprouts
Becker Claret



Pumpkin Beignets, Henry’s Maple Ice Cream,
Caramel
Oak Cliff Coffee—El Salvador



Thanks again to all who attended and we hope you enjoyed yourself as much as we enjoyed providing this meal! We hope to see you at the next Food Creates Community event!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall in Texas.

The crisp air, Treaty Oak apple cider, Nietschke Roast, Pumpkin Beignets...their is just something about fall in Texas.

Thanks to all who made tonight truly tasteful. Lets hear about your thoughts.

We appreciate your support of Vestals Foods and look forward to serving you soon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Celebrating One Year!




Saturday marks one year for Food Creates Community.





It has been a tremendous pleasure to have many of you at our table. On this anniversary, we renew our commitment to our community by serving responsible, local, and organic foods in unique settings, for the purpose of bringing people together around the table.

If you have not experienced Vestals Foods we hope you will soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Enjoying Lectures.

Last week NN from Side Dish linked to this wonderful site full of culinary lectures.

http://onlineschool.net/2009/10/06/50-incredible-lectures-for-the-ultimate-foodie/

I am enjoying watching these food thinkers discuss their ideologies and research, it is intriguing the food conversations that are happening all over. Maybe we can organize a food summit of sorts here in Dallas?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

School Lunches.

At our Food Creates Community events we always try to incorporate up to date articles concerning food thought. A few months ago we discussed an article concerning School lunches. As a teacher, I spend much time thinking, hoping, and discussing changes within the school lunch system. When I saw today's NY Times food page I knew you all would want to see the greatness of the lunch program within this Queens school.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/dining/30school.html?_r=1&ref=dining

Monday, September 28, 2009

Farmers Markets.

Nice article concerning the explosive growth of farmers markets around the country...

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2009-09-27-farmers-markets_N.htm

Interesting that this article runs at a time when big D is shutting down some of our belove farmers markets...i.e. Celebrations?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Food Creates Community - Sold Out.

Food Creates Community
October 17th @ 7:00pm
Come and Enjoy
A unique culinary experience
A menu inspiredby fall in Texas
An intimate outdoor setting
4 extraordinary courses paired with perfect wines
50 dollars per person
This event is limited...RSVP - jswim@vestalsfoods.com

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pollo...An excerpt from the Rehoboth Ranch Newsletter.

Cheap chicken. You get what you pay for.
To bring us cheap chicken, commercial producers have been dramatically speeding the growth rate of broilers. In 1950, chickens took 12 weeks to reach four pounds. Today, through a combination of selective breeding, growth promoters, and high-energy feed, broilers reach four pounds in just five and one half weeks.
This speedy growth saves us money at the check-out stand. It also kills a growing number of birds. Commercial chickens grow so quickly that their hearts and lungs can barely sustain them. As the demand for oxygen increases, their hearts beat more rapidly. If the demand continues, their right ventricles become enlarged and eventually fail. Called "ascites,"this condition kills millions of birds worldwide and costs the industry an estimated $500 billion per year.
More and more consumers are rejecting this false economy. They are choosing to pay more for healthy birds that are raised outdoors without the use of growth promoters or feed antibiotics. Their families get a richer supply of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids in the bargain.

Interesting thoughts on your favorite protein!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Vestals Italian for 15.



Vestals Pizza Margherita-----TX Corn, Lemley Tomato, Pine Nut Succotash




TX Squash, Organic Greens, Parm Crisp, Citrus Vinagrette
Homemade Tomato & Fennel Sauce, Linguini, Sauteed Chicken, Mushroom and Oregano Cream

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Food Creates Community...Fall Dinner.











Food Creates Community
October 17th @ 7:00pm

Come and Enjoy

A unique culinary experience

A menu inspired
by fall in Texas

An intimate
outdoor setting

4 extraordinary courses paired with perfect wines

50 dollars per person

This event is limited...RSVP - jswim@vestalsfoods.com

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Julia's Chocolate Mousse!






















Recipe #345 Chocolate Mousse. We went to watch Julia and Julie today and the movie was infectious. Upon returning home we discovered no less than 3 Julia Child cookbooks buried under piles of Bon Appetit magazines. #345 seemed a perfect fit for our quart of heavy cream and large bag of chocolate chips stored in the fridge...but could we really wait the 7 hours for it to chill? And did we really want to get that many pans dirty on a week night?


As soon as we got going, we had a lot of fun- Emily especially loved having her picture on the blog so FCC fans know that SHE can cook too!!! Can't wait to do more Julia recipes...By the way the mousse is deceivingly light.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Around the Table - A Taste of Peru






































A few pictures from our Peruvian Dinner last night.
Taste of Peru – Around the Table – August 8, 2009
Pisco Sours – Roasted Corn and Marinated Olives
405 Tamale - Lemley Farms Tomatoes
Ceviche – Hawaiian Swordfish, Wolf Creek Farms Sugar Queen
Causa – East TX Potatoes, Windy Meadows Chicken, TX Green Beans
Tacu Tacu – East TX Creamer Peas, Free Range Egg, Plantains
Lomo Saltado – Rehoboth Ranch Grass Fed, TX Baby Bellas, TX Patty Pan Squash
Empanada - TX Fig and Blueberry
The Peru dinner was the last of our Summer Schedule, stay tuned for our Food Creates Community Fall Schedule.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Astrid y Gaston.

Peru's Cocktail - Pisco Sour
Octopus Ceviche and Grouper Sashimi
Goat and Pumpkin Dumplings
Tuna in 5 Spices with Sweet Potato 3 Ways
Shaved Apple Tart with Saffron Gelato

On our recent trip to Peru we visited a fabulous restaurant Astrid y Gaston. Gaston Acurio is Peru's chef. He is the quintessential voice in the culinary revolution that is sweeping Peru. Peru has such interesting geographical features and mixtures of culture that their food could be described as the first fusion.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kogi in LA.

Kogi - Korean Taco Truck


On our recent trip to L.A. we enjoyed some Kogi goodness.



Our friend paying his $2 per taco


Em and I ready to devour our Tacos...short rib, chicken, shredded pork, and Tofu. All of the tacos are topped with an adapted Kimchi (Korean Cabbage slaw) all topped with lime.




Maybe Vestals Foods will start their own truck?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Around the Table...A Taste of Hawaii.


Join us on July 18th @ 7:30 for...
Local Produce, Great Wines, and Hawaiian Flavors.
$75 a person (4 Spots Left)

Email - jswim@vestalsfoods.com

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Food Creates Community Summer BBQ.

Our summer BBQ was a great way to celebrate the beginning of summer. We enjoyed meeting new people, reconnecting with past friends, and welcoming two new purveyors into our circle. Brad from Nitschke All Natural Beef (nnbeef.com) donated the brisket and gourmet ground. Shannon and Jenni Neffendorf of Oak Cliff Coffee (oakcliffcoffee.com) whipped up fabulous iced coffees using their freshly roasted, cold-brewed Ethiopian Sidamo. We had a great time grilling, smoking, cooking, and creating this summertime meal!





Rehoboth Ranch Thai Chicken Skewers grilled over Hickory.

TX Pecan Smoked Baby Backs


Nitschke Coffee Rubbed Burgers, Grilled Sweet Corn, and House made Chips.


Lemley Farms Tomato and Watermelon Salad, Marinated Feta,
Spicer Greens, Texas Olive Oil.

Nitschke Brisket Two ways - Traditional BBQ & Brisket Tacos.

We ended the meal with homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches and the best ever Iced Coffee!
Thanks again to Nitschke All Natural Beef and Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters.
Thanks to all of you for supporting Food Creates Community. It is inspiring to see all of the people in Dallas that support Local and organic produce and meats. Bon Appetit!