Tag Archives: farmers market

Thank you!

19 Aug

3qNfPt0rJP3RKzc50poFB_F7PeNYaweSJOvp49tJcHg (1)A big thank you goes out to all of our families that participated this summer in our food & garden summer camp!

From beekeeping, chocolate tasting, watering, composting, cheese making, cooking, gardening, farmers market shopping, yoga practicing, playing, chicken holding, jam making, urban farming, ice cream tasting and kimchi making, our campers had the time of their life!

Our favorite quote of this summer was from a mom who posted on our facebook page. Her quote sums up the impact that our camp has on our campers, hopefully for years to come!

“My son tells us this has been the best six weeks of camp he’s ever had. He’ll be sad when camp ends today! He has loved the counselors, the cooking, the gardening and the fantastic field trips. Butter Beans has been a truly enriching experience for him. At home we’ve been amazed to hear about what he’s done each day. We so enjoy reaping the benefits of his supercharged love of cooking and his real awareness of what good healthy food is and where it comes from. Best of all, he’s really absorbed what it means to be eco-conscious! Wow!”

Here’s to next summer, filled with food, gardening and fun!

summer camp fun – week 4!

2 Aug

It’s hard to believe that the second session of camp is already coming to an end!

Although it seems like the summer just started, we are about to say goodbye to our second session of campers. We’ve had a full house these past two weeks, filled with nutritious and delicious meals, dirt under our fingernails fun, and special guest visitors!

972303_554881394570800_400131587_nMonday, our fearless group travelled to Randall’s Island for a day at the Urban Farm and Children’s Garden. It was a beautiful day to be outside, explore the gardens, make some tzatziki with fresh vegetables, and hold the chickens!

On Tuesday, the campers got back to basics in the morning with homemade cornbread muffins and fresh butter. The homemade butter was especially delicious, and came in handy later in the week. In the afternoon, everyone traveled to Central Park to try their hand at fishing! Although no one caught anything, it was nice afternoon to be in park and explore nature.

73113_555694267822846_1862476614_nWednesday was a jam packed [pun intended!] day at camp. We took a trip to the farmers market in the morning to buy ingredients for our jam lesson in the afternoon, as well as fresh produce for our gazpacho and grilled cheese lunch. The infamous Beth from Beth’s Farmhouse Kitchen came by in the afternoon to lead our campers in a jam making lesson. We made fresh blueberry and nectarine/plum/peach jam; I hope the campers shared their jars with everyone at home!

971561_556150907777182_1316877857_n (1)Thursday we were back in the kitchen making a Middle Eastern themed lunch of baked falafels and tabbouleh. We also continued our exploration of composting with our very own worms! They are working their magic in our homemade compost buckets and we should have beautiful soil in no time. Looking at a figure full of leftovers, we also decided to repurpose some of our extra cornbread into Leftover Cornbread Bread Pudding. It’s always fun to try and use leftover or ingredients in new ways, and the sweet cornbread dessert was a hit!

6xQ9Ug0jqfjdHp9-E8uAV8iYhs7D56tdyDCtIepCDvwFor our last day of camp, we hit the farmers market for another edition of Top Chef Friday. As you can imagine, homemade pizzas were a big hit and it was awesome to make the whole thing – dough, sauce, and toppings – from scratch! With full bellies, we capped off our second session with yoga and a special graduation ceremony for all our budding young chefs!

I am sad to see another incredible group of campers go, but I am looking forward to what the next, and last, session of the summer has in store. If these next two weeks are anything like the last four, I can confidently say that I have had one of the best summers to date. Whether in the kitchen, at the farm, or just hanging out at camp it’s been a pleasure to share these last two weeks with all our amazing campers, and I don’t want to the summer to end!

intuitive cooking

25 Jul

8161030847_e62134378cCooking by intuition is quite a different experience than cooking straight from a recipe. Recipes allow for some leeway and creative additions however, cooking without a recipe, rather an idea, vision, or craving, inspires room for experimentation and unique creations, ultimately resulting in a big question mark.

Some of us like the safety of recipes, and are more drawn to them, while others enjoy cooking without a plan, and guide their meals with what is present in their fridge and pantry. Some of us like a hybrid; using a recipe as a guide, and adding our own unique spin to those recipes.

At Butter Beans, we use tried and true recipes for our school lunches and breakfast items, however, there is a lot of vibrant experimentation that goes on behind the scenes in order for us to come up with recipes that our students have come to love and expect from our program.

During our after-school cooking classes, we cook from a recipe, but provide our students with room to improvise, by adding a little bit more garlic, or a bit more spice, as they taste their food and season it to their liking. We like to provide our students with a guide to their short but sweet lesson, so that they can learn about the unique flavors and textures of different cuisines. Our students end up eating foods that their parents, and themselves would have never thought imaginable!

During our food & garden summer camp we cook mostly from intuition, but still use a few recipes here and there as our guide. After brainstorming collectively on what kind of meal we want to cook at lunch, we write up a shopping list.

Our campers then get to visit the farmers market and pick out their ingredients. Seeing them take ownership of their recipes is inspiring, as they get excited to pick out the most unique looking peppers, or strangely formed carrots. Once their creation is made, they end up loving every bite of their meal, and enjoy the chatter and friendships that bud from sharing food.

What is your cooking style like? Do you like cooking from recipes or from your own inspirations?

Photo courtesy of Sunbeam Free Photos Art & Fun

Rock star snack idea

16 Jul

Dinosaur kale + homemade hummus + seasonal fresh raspberries, all in one?! Who knew these ingredients could come together to form an awesome savory + sweet snack for children and adults alike. We were so inspired by this unusual recipe from a great blog that we decided to try it out for ourselves.

Here’s how

Ingredients:

  • Dinosaur kale
  • Raspberries
  • Hummus

Directions:

Remove kale leaves from the stem. Add a dollop of hummus at one end of the leaf, then place a raspberry on top. Roll into a wrap, and dig in for a prefect summer snack!

so excited for strawberry picking!

10 May

Before you know it, it will be strawberry picking time. Envision your baskets filled with sweet and tart berries, waiting to be gobbled up en masse, yum! Since our winter here was a mild one, it looks like strawberries will ripen earlier than usual, so be on the look out for these ruby delights at your local farmers market.

Besides the fact that strawberries are incredible delicious, they are incredibly good for you too! Like ruby red beets, they are packed with vitamin C and are great for cleaning our blood, keeping our heart healthy, and our eyes strong.

Check out our class berry jammin’ class that we taught last summer. We can’t wait to make berry jam with our campers this coming July + August, and look forward to watching their excitement when they open up their jars and spread their creation on some freshly made bread!

For those living in the NYC area, check out this site which will help you plan your strawberry picking outing with your family. There is nothing better than a day spent in the fresh air, harvesting nutritious berries and bringing them back home to make lots of fun recipes (pick up strawberries favorite companion, rhubarb on the way too). Happy berry picking to all!