Monthly Archives: December 2008

house smoked bacon biscuits and black eyed peas.

have new year’s day brunch at local harvest, 10am – 3pm.

join us to ring in the new year, the local way.

we will have our hot cocoa bar, several mimosas (like mago and pomegranate), our veggie and vegan slinger, biscuits and gravy, quiche, bacon six ways, and black eyed peas with every plate.

i promise smiles and delicious food.

see you there,
clara

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Winter Brunch.

working seasonally can sometimes begin to drag – over the summer i couldn’t stand the sight of yet another tomato, byroot fall the apples were piled on the prep table, now its the season of root vegetables.   (i know, i know – life’s so tough – i have the ‘misery’ of cooking with extremely fresh local vegetables – woe is me)

i find myself searching for new ways to cook them – a few weeks ago, i threw some in with the biscuits and gravy.

– and success!

i liked it so much, i thought i would share the recipe with you all:

3 T butter

6 T flour

5 c cold milk

3 veggies for roasting (carrots, potatoes, parsnips, beets, etc) – equivalent to three cups raw

salt and pepper

-first, peel and chop all the veggies

-toss veggies in olive oil, place in pan, and in 350dergree oven for 45 minutes (or until veggies are cooked enough to put a fork through)

-once veggies are done, melt butter in a saucepan

-add flour to melted butter, stir with whisk until well incorporated (this might get lumpy, don’t fear, just keep whisking)

-this needs to cook, on medium heat, for about five minutes to cook out the raw flour taste – stir occaisonally or constantly (whichever makes you more comfortable) – try not to let it brown

-at this point you want to add the cold milk, slowly, whisking the entire time

-this may get lumpy, too, but again don’t fear, just keep whisking

-whisk on medium heat until it begins to thicken, then add roasted vegetables

-the longer you cook it, the thicker it gets – so cook it until it is the desired consistancy and add salt and pepper to taste

-pour over your favorite hot biscuits and enjoy

our version of these bicuits-n-gravy can be found at our saturday (8am-3pm) and sunday (8am-3pm) brunch. stop by and check it out.

-clara

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Chocolate Class

kakaoChocolate and Wine Tasting!
 Come join Rachel Katz, Certified Health Counselor, and Brian Pelletier, owner of Kakao Chocolates, for a delectable night of handmade chocolates paired with fabulous wines. You will learn about the history of chocolate and how chocolates are made. Also, learn how chocolates and wine can be part of a healthy diet. Just in time for Valentine’s day, we will also discuss the aphrodisiac quality of chocolates and fine wines.
 
January 19, 7pm
At Local Harvest Cafe
3137 Morgan Ford Road
St. Louis, MO 63116
$20 early sign up
$30 at the door
To RSVP please email Rachel (rachel@naturalzest.com) today! Payments accepted via PayPal.
 
Have a wonderful holiday!
 
 
Rachel Katz, CHC

www.naturalzest.com

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Bulk-up in the New Year

bulk-photo1That’s right I wrote Bulk-Up.  Of course I’m referring to our ever expanding bulk section. In the coming weeks we hope to add several varieties of loose leaf tea, more varieties of nuts and possibly even flour if space and equipment permits.

Locally grown bulk items included: pecans in the shell, popcorn, Black-Eyed Peas (great for New Year’s), Lima Beans, Crowder Peas, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans and a lovely Heirloom Red Bean.  We also carry almonds, pinenuts, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds and crystallized ginger.

We welcome your suggestions for other products.

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ask a chef. caring for your cast iron.

 

once i was talking to a doctor about cooking and he said to me, “being a chef must be like being a doctor, everyone has questions for you.” and, you know, he is right. in my profession i am consistently asked questions about food, cooking, and equipment.

so i decided to answer some of those questions here. if you have any questions, please send them to:

conversationswithachef@gmail.com

i think one of the most frequent questions i am asked is, “what do I do with my cast iron skillet.” below i explain how to season an old skillet, and how to take care of a well seasoned skillet.


Caring for your Cast Iron

Folklore says that every bride should receive a cast iron skillet and a rolling pin to guarantee a successful marriage. They say she can use them not only to feed her family, but also to keep them in line.

In my house, my cast iron skillets and dutch oven just about the most frequently used cookware. They are heavy-duty, they heat quickly and evenly, they are oven safe, and they are a cinch to clean if seasoned properly.

Proper seasoning of a cast iron seems to be mind boggling in this day and age – a truly lost art, but an easy one. If this knowledge had successfully been passed down, you wouldn’t find so many rusted cast iron skillets at thrift stores. (luckily, my dad successfully passed down this information to me…thanks pops).

If your cast iron skillet is shoved in the back of your pantry or high on a shelf collecting dust – pull it out, get it down, or retrieve it from its hiding place. Whether its dusty, sticky, or rusty – all it needs is a thorough scrubbing with a metal scrub pad (I use the stainless steel scrubbers that you can find at restaurant supply stores, but any coarse metal scrub pads without soap will do). Using a lot of elbow grease, and a tiny touch of soap if needed, scrub the pan (inside and out) until the rust and grease are gone. (if you need extra grit – you can add a little salt to the pan)

Once your pan is thoroughly scrubbed, dry it by placing it on a burner. Let the pan cool down and rub the outside and the inside generously with cooking oil (corn or vegetable), and pour enough oil in the pan to cover the bottom. Place pan in 500 degree oven for 15 minutes, then turn oven to 200 degrees for 3 hours, then turn the heat off. Leave pan in the oven until it cools (or overnight), then remove it and pour off excess oil.

Voila – a well seasoned cast iron skillet.

Now comes the tricky part: keeping it well seasoned. Generally I find cast irons easier to clean once they have cooled, so they are usually the last dish I do. Using the same type of steel scrubber you used to season your pan, scrub it with hot water and nothing else – if your pan is well seasoned everything should slip right off. Do not use soap, soap will undo your seasoning and make everything stick to your pan. Do not leave your pan soaking, soaking your cast iron also undo the seasoning and will eventually rust it.

A cast iron skillet is like every other tool in your house, if it is properly taken care of it will do its good well.

Happy cookings.

-clara

 

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Better Life Cleaning Products

local-harvest-blog-photos-001Better Life offers these super fun, super groovy, and super great cleaning products. Sure the packaging is amazing and the names are hilarious–I Can See Clearly Wow window cleaner, what-EVER all purpose cleaner, 2am Miracle for nursery, Even the Kitchen Sink a gentle scrubber and their new product Get Floored floor cleaner–but these products really work.

Yes, at times I wish I was the person who mixed her own cleaning products using only baking soda and vinegar, but I’ve had to face the hard truth that I am only that person about .05% of the time. The rest of the time I’m using these products. The 2am Miracle has been great for my recent ill-fated attempts at potty-training, I Can See Clearly Wow works wonders on windows and really doesn’t streak and the what-EVER really is good for what-EVER. I’ve used it for bath, kitchen and woodwork so far.

Better Life recently added a new product Get Floored and now has lightly scented their “old” productsimg_0891. For the first time I’m looking forward to cleaning my floors.

These products are super green, very affordable and were developed and are manufactured right here in St. Louis. These products have a great story so check out the website to learn more http://www.cleanhappens.com/

Yours in cleaning,

Maddie

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New Brunch Menu.

at the cafe’ we have been trying out a few things on Saturday and Sunday Brunch – after a few trials we have finally come up with a new brunch menu:

veggie slinger : roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs, vegan chili, cheese, and onions (you can add bacon if you want some meat)

stuffed french toast casserole : companion bread layered with cream cheese, bananas, and cinnamon and baked

quiche : we use our farm fresh eggs to make a delicious quiche, ingredients change with availability

vegetarian biscuits and gravy : fresh house made drop biscuits topped with roasted vegetable gravy (you can add bacon here, too)

(don’t worry, we are still serving our normal breakfast and lunch menu)

come in and enjoy our new fare Saturdays and Sundays 8am-3pm.

locoharvest-0011

southwest egg sandwich on croissant with ham and greens.

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