Soup on Sunday 2013

It’s time again for another Soup on Sunday! Held the last Sunday of January, risking the wrath of  possible inclement weather, Soup on Sunday has always been held on time and on date, except 1 year about 2 years ago. The community really supports this event.

Who wouldn’t like a lot of amazing soup on a cold winter day?

Yummy Soup!

Yummy Soup!

Our culinary department hosts this event every year to benefit local Hospice. Typically we get more and more each year, both people attending and money raised.

Area restaurants bring 5 gallons of a signature soup to promote their restaurant.

warming Soup

Warming Soup

Warming soup

To round out the plethora of soups, Great Harvest Bread Company brings an amazing variety of fresh bread, the area culinary schools, Johnson and Wales, Art Institute and CPCC, do both soups and table-breaking loads of desserts, chocolates and cookies.

How it works:

Buy a ticket: $30 gets you in to taste everything available; A $40.00 dollar ticket allows you to pick a bowl valued at $10.00 from the pottery room.

Once you get in, you can eat as much of anything you want. The soup is served up in small bowls so you can TRY to have a bite of every one. With about 35 restaurants participating, if you only ate the soup and ate every one, you’d consume over 1/2 gallon of soup! And that does not include the pizza,

Pizza!

Pizza!

Pizza lining up for the oven

Pizza lining up for the oven

The Woodstone Pizza Oven. Students have a blast using it!

The Wood Stone Pizza Oven. Students have a blast using it!

or cookies or ah-hem the Chocolate Soup.

Chocolate Soup!

Chocolate Soup!

Not many people realize how important the dishwashers are to an event. These Johnson and Wales students volunteered their time and talent to the event and took charge of the dish pit. Thank You!

Awesome Dishwashers!

Awesome Dishwashers!

After the final numbers were tallied, over 770 people came by to support Hospice. The event is the major fundraiser for them and we are all so glad to be able to host and facilitate the event. Everyone gets involved and gives back.

Soup Bowls for sale

Soup Bowls for sale

Area clay artists donate pottery bowls for sale starting at generally $10.00 and up. The quality ranges from really talented to rudimentary primitive ( typically done by kids), which can work, depending upon the decor of the area you are decorating. Each year, I buy at least 1 bowl, sometimes 3-4. We enjoy using them throughout the year. Last year I bought  beautiful footed deep soup bowls, in previous years I bought fruit bowls and rice bowls. This years bowl is a condiment bowl, small and lovely; it is the bottom on in the photo below.

I bought the one in the bottom of the photo

I bought the one in the bottom of the photo

This is my 6th Soup on Sunday and now I have 6 hand-made pottery bowls that we use and enjoy all the time.

Please enjoy the following photos of Soup on Sunday, 2013!

Great Harvest Bread Ladies

Great Harvest Bread Ladies – Loretta and Robin – Former students!

Each basket of spoons marks a spot for a different restaurant

Each basket of spoons marks a spot for a different restaurant

They can decorate their 3'any way they want, tablecloths, flowers etc.

They can decorate their 3′ table space
any way they want, tablecloths, flowers etc.

Over 770 people came this year!

Over 770 people came this year!

Sorting supplies for each station

Sorting supplies for each station

Serving soup, they stay busy with those 2 oz ladles!

Serving soup, they stay busy with those 2 oz ladles!

Pouring Soup

Pouring Soup instead of using the ladle.

Snack Time!

When having fruit for a snack or any snack for that matter, be sure to present it nicely.

Apple Snack!

Apple Snack!

It makes such a difference!

This was just a half an apple, sliced and served with a small bit of vanilla Greek Yogurt.

Snack apples

Turkey Sausage with Peppers and Tomatoes

It is cold and sleeting out today with a high of 27°F. A thin layer of ice coats everything.

Robert went out to do some foul weather errands before it gets really bad this evening.

Icicles

While he was out, I decided it would be quite nice to have a nice big pot of turkey sausage with sautéed peppers and tomatoes over some pasta for lunch. We just finished off a large pot of chicken soup last night so it was too soon to eat soup again.

English: Green, yellow and red bell peppers fr...

English: Green, yellow and red bell peppers from the capsicum annum plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used yellow and green peppers, onions, garlic and diced tomatoes. Everything got chopped into a large dice and set aside. Choose yellow and green peppers  because of the red in the tomatoes. This dish looks so good with lots of different colors.

A pound of turkey sausage (remove the casing if you want) gets sliced and sautéed, add the vegetables and simmer everything while you boil pasta and make a salad.

Add fresh garlic bread if you like.

A steaming bowl of sausage and peppers over some spaghetti is a perfect lunch for a day like today. Let’s eat by the fire!

Turkey Sausage and Peppers

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1  large diced yellow pepper
  • 1 large diced green pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds  peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes
    (Canned diced tomatoes are a good substitute)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
  • kosher salt to taste

Method:

Prepare all the vegetables and sausage. Keep items separate until ready to cook.

Heat the oil in a deep saute pan, add the turkey sausage, toss to brown the sausage. When sausage begins to brown, add the onions, peppers and cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat.

Add the bay leaves and the herbs de Provence and garlic, stir to combine.

When the bottom of the pan begins to turn brown, add the remaining ingredients, stir well and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Like I mentioned earlier, you can make a salad and garlic bread while the pasta is cooking or just pour yourself a glass of wine.

Enjoy!

DSC_0087Turkey sausage and peppers

Awareness of Eating

“Never trust a skinny chef!” is how the old saying goes. But let’s examine that adage and explore the rearrangement of a common cliché.

As we become more aware of our diets, the effects food has on our bodies and how it makes us feel, there needs to be a basis of trust between the cook and the consumer.

English: White House chefs, directed by Execut...

English: White House chefs, directed by Executive Chef Henry Haller, prepare for a state dinner honoring Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. The chefs are working in the White House kitchen; the dinner occured in 1981, during the administration of Ronald Reagan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take a look at the chef, the person responsible for creating the menu and training the kitchen staff on how to prepare the various dishes.

Since I have worked in kitchens, I know a lot more about how restaurant kitchens run than most. If the person creating my meal is on the heavy side, typically sauces and flavorings  would be full of butter, fats, salts and sugars.

“A heavy chef means they enjoy their food, so it must be good!”

Really? How many people who are overweight have a hard time identifying a proper portion size? Someone who struggles with weight will eat for the sake of eating.

Someone who has emotions (hopefully all of us) will eat sometimes for comfort. Think of chicken soup when you’re ill; but when you can’t stop eating weight becomes an issue.

Sometimes the food choices we make are simply because the food we choose is familiar, it is what we know. But what if that food is bad for us? What if people really don’t understand the processed food they are eating is bad?

Evidence the obesity crisis in the USA.

Jamie Oliver is doing an eating awareness program in West Virginia to address the problem of obesity. He goes into an elementary school and the children cannot identify fresh tomatoes on the vine, cauliflower or even potatoes.

The pile of pizza, corn dogs, hot dogs, hamburgers, cakes and ice cream all over the table that represented what the family ate for a week was disturbing. Most disturbing of all is that the mom didn’t know the food was bad for them. They weren’t hungry and she thought that was good.

But she is killing her family. Her 10-year old son is already 350 pounds. Really, “Well we’re not hungry”?!

Shocking. How did it get so far?

I want a chef who is inventive but not at the expense of my health. I want someone preparing my food with the same attitude I have for health.

Obesity is a rampant problem in the USA. Identifying proper nutrients is a major issue. Processed foods, fast foods, restaurant foods loaded with fats, salts and sugars invade the diets of every day eating all around us.

The basic food environment in the USA is severely lacking in good solid nutritious fresh food.

Drive through any town, fast foods for everything from donuts, burgers, sandwiches, Mexican, Chinese, and Italian; fried and fast is what lines the streets. It isn’t easy to choose not to eat fast food, especially when you are hungry, the temptation is great to give in.

There are many of us who are aware of what we eat. Those on gluten-free diets are aware of nearly every product they eat. Thankfully, gluten-free is easier to find these days, but there is still the issue of all that fat, sugar and sodium.

When we eat out, we are at the mercy of the kitchen to actually know how to make food taste good without the added fat, salts and sugar.

Slapping butter, sugar and salt onto food is an easy way to make anything taste good. Cooking like that takes no skill at all.

Using salt is an important seasoning but so many far overdo the salt thing. Adding some salt to cooking water when boiling pasta, rice or potatoes is usually all you need.

I love salt! I adore all the different kinds of salt there are, yet I don’t overdo it either.

I am not looking for a chef who serves me a plate full of sauces and vegetables full of butter. I am looking for foods that are cooked correctly and seasoned to bring out the full of flavors.

People need to learn what a proper portion size looks like. Restaurants serve enough to 1 person to feed three and yet that one person still tries to eat as much as they can because that is what they are served.

Case in point: The Cheesecake Factory (Hint right there) offers a “Crispy Chicken Costoletta” which serve up a whopping 2610 calories, 89 grams of fat and 2720 milligrams of salt. Costolotta alright, cost a lotta health if you eat all that.  If you really have to eat that, then break it down into three meals at least. (Nutrition Action Healthletter, January/February 2012) Best of all, choose another place to eat.

Watch buffets; people load up their plates as if they only have one visit. All manner of foods get glopped together on a plate so it becomes a huge pile of goop melange. Why not go get some salad, talk, visit with your dining companions, eat, and return for entrée, then again for dessert. It seems more civil. Why are we rushing? Trying to beat the mental signal you are full?

But instead they try to slip that cherry cobbler right next to the fried chicken and coleslaw that sits on top of the ranch dressing salad with “Country Crocked” yeast rolls underneath.

Then they stuff it all in, make a second trip and wonder why they have bellies the size of VW Bug cars.

Burp.

Talking to Tyler the other day, he mentioned he was having his girlfriend over for dinner and he had to go set the table. I felt good knowing he was carrying on a family value: Setting a table and sitting there to eat dinner and talk to each other about the day.

An attractive dinner setting

An attractive dinner setting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Something so small, yet it is so important. Our social and family bonds grow stronger with each meal gathering. Shouldn’t the food put in front of us be nourishing as well?

The movement to better health through eating well begins with each one of us making a choice.

If you don’t know how to cook or how to choose better nutrition, take a class and learn. Get your children involved with preparing meals; they are more likely to try new foods if they have a hand in making the dish.

Step away from the sugar bowl! Put down those sodas and juice boxes. Drink water, teas, non-fat milk. There are even flavored waters with bubbles if you simply must have a fizzy drink.

Try extra-virgin coconut and olive oils instead of butter. Your heart will thank you.

I started taking a Therapeutic Nutrition class a few weeks ago. My eyes have really been opened to how severe the obesity epidemic is and that we CAN do something about it.

That something is education and choice.

I hope you can join me in starting something is your neighborhood. The future depends on our kids, how can they carry on if they aren’t healthy?

First step ANYONE can take:

Don’t eat any food advertised on TV

Except eggs and milk, of course!

Sorry Jared, Subway needs a better way.

Make a sandwich from home. Learn to cook fresh foods and eliminate processed foods. It may take a while to actually accomplish this, but you will be rewarded with better health and more money in your pocket.

If each of us took one small step towards better eating and nutritious health, we could change a nation. We can start in our own homes.

The power of one can inspire another.

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...

How I Eat Eggs, and You?

My favorite way to eat eggs for breakfast is to cook over-easy in a small amount of butter.

1 slice of really good bread, lightly toasted and torn into bite size pieces, not buttered, just dry.

I like to tear the toast in the kitchen. Then all I need at the table is a knife and fork. It would be rather crude to tear the bread the way I like it at the table. Besides it would be really crummy and need a vacuum to clean up.

A1 Steak Sauce

A1 Steak Sauce (Photo credit: AtomDocs)

A1 Steak Sauce is essential.

Toast the bread, cook the egg over-easy season it with salt and pepper.

Slide it onto a plate with A1 Steak Sauce, surround the egg with the torn bread.

The A-1 gets warmed slightly in the microwave first so it isn’t refrigerator cold.

Take each piece of bread, dip it into the sauce and then into the yolk. Make sure you get some white on every bite.

If planned correctly, you should have just enough sauce and egg for every bite of bread.eggs

Now this is not to say I don’t enjoy eggs other ways but sometimes I get a hankering for an egg just this way. I find it so satisfying.

This is kinda like “How do you eat a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup?”

How do you eat your eggs? Just curious. . .

 

Three Days of Hell – Surviving Being Suspended on Word Press

On January 9th, I came down to morning coffee, opened my blog, Spoon Feast, to find a glaring announcement that the blog had been suspended.

Suspended for “violation of terms of use and advertising”.

The announcement read further: Sometimes we do make mistakes (Ya think!) so if you feel this was in error, use this form to contact us.

So I clicked it.

The form read; Report a blog for violation of terms of use, choose one of the below:

  • This blog promotes hate speech;
  • has mature content,
  • supports advertising or multilevel marketing,
  • promotes self hurt,
  • is a violation of my trademark,
  • is a violation of my copyright

Pick your poison.

None of the choices were for questioning suspension. And you couldn’t submit the form without choosing one of the options. How bogus is that!

In the meantime any visitors get diverted to the Freshly Pressed home page with a banner:

Spoonfeast is no longer available. It has been archived or suspended due to a violation of terms of use and advertising policy.

And I had no way of contacting my followers, or accessing any content. It was all gone and I was blocked from doing anything, posting, commenting, blocked and shut out of the blog totally.

Needless to say this caused quite a bit of stress.

I felt cut off from the world.

I felt I should have done an “In My Kitchen” post for January. (Sorry Celia, there were too many things going on and then Spoon Feast got suspended.)

Like a bad child from school only I had no idea what I had done. Really, did they object to kale salad that much?

I found a form to contact support, sent several e mails over the next couple of days.

No response.

I found an old e-mail from the WP support team where they actually responded to an issue a while back so I wrote them there. I wrote to support and help, being blocked from forums I couldn’t go ask there either.

Robert found the address and phone number of what we thought to be the corporate office for Word Press/Automatic (their parent company). I called and got this message:

“You have almost reached the cell phone for Matt Mullenweg, please leave a message.” So I did. Then I found his Facebook page and sent a message there too and sent him an e-mail.

If you don’t know who Matt Mullenweg is, and you are on word press, you should.

Next Robert sent a message to both support and help at word press asking why and to reinstate Spoon Feast.

My next plan of action was to publish both the help and support e-mail address on Facebook and ask everyone to write in to ask for Spoon Feast back.

Just as I was about to do that, I got a response! Yes an actual response saying the blog had been reviewed and the suspension had been lifted. “We are very sorry for any inconvenience.”

Seems like I used some words in my last post that triggered the automatic anti-spam regulators and they zapped me.

What words?

Raw was one.

Massage was another.

I’ll leave the third one out in case it triggers the automatic anti spam response again.

I think “kale” triggered it too.

Too much kale on the internet perhaps.

So in the meantime, thinking about how to recover or move my content that I don’t have access to, stinging from being told You don’t belong on Word press, thinking about how much time it took to get Spoon Feast to where it was. I felt like a deflated balloon.

One thing I realized is how much time I spend on writing, photographing, planning all that goes into Spoon feast. Suddenly I  had a lot of time on my hands.

Time to work on lesson plans, the class I am taking, planning TV shows for this season, and working on my book. Imagine losing the blog and gaining more time for all these things. OK, I could keep busy.

But being suspended still makes me angry.

What can be done to protect our blog content? Anything?

Celia, I’ll do an IMK post if it isn’t too late. (Yes, I am superstitious)

Spoon Feast Is Back!

Please note Word Press lifted the suspension on Spoon Feast this morning.

I guess they got upset at the Raw Kale Salad post.

I want to talk about what I went through when I found out Spoon Feast was suspended.

It was quite stressful.

But here I am, back in the saddle again.

Watch for a new post soon!

Thanks to all those who offered support.

Pamela

DSC_0051