End of the Basket Salad

January 27th, 2015

Ever wonder what to do with your produce from the last basket a few days before the new basket is coming. I do a end of the basket salad. Never the same twice but it is always fantastic. I am surprised how creative some of them can be. Change them up with your own favorite dressing and enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Volunteer Spotlight: Lara M. in St. Joseph, Missouri

January 27th, 2015

Lara M. has long been the face of Bountiful Baskets in Missouri and Arkansas where she is the Volunteer Area Coordinator.  She went out on a limb driving quite a ways to train and get her food and now she has a Bountiful Baskets site right in her hometown of St. Joseph.  She is perhaps one of the kindest hearted most encouraging women to work with.  As all mother’s of nine must she has a kind word handy always.  We really appreciate that and bet you do too!

When/ how did you begin participating with Bountiful Baskets?

Enough for a family of 11!

I first heard of Bountiful Baskets in the spring of 2012 and there were zero sites in my entire state.  It took a couple of months but I finally convinced my husband that travelling almost 3 hours, one direction, to another state to train would be worth our while.  We contributed for our first baskets in July, 2012 and have appreciated each and every one!

Why did you become a Site Coordinator?

Our city wasn’t aware of Bountiful Baskets at the closest site was 2-3 hours away.  I wanted the co-op and realized that to make that happen, I would have to bring it here.

What is your favorite part about Bountiful Baskets?

Obtaining healthy REAL foods to feed my family at a price that makes sense!

What is your favorite part about volunteering/running a site?

Meeting all my participants and sharing REAL food with them all.  I just LOVE when participants ask me how they can use an item they have never tried before but love it even more when they return to tell me how their lives are changing, in very positive ways, because of their participation.

Tell us a little about your site & your co-Volunteer Site Coordinator.

Our city graciously allows us to use the local Sports Complex and the folks there are extremely accommodating.  All the employees are welcoming and a couple have even become participants.

My back-up site coordinator is Connie Thompson, a long time area resident.  She always has a smile for our participants and a positive attitude.  I am blessed to have her to rely on!

What makes your site fun – or unique?

My volunteers!  It is often the highlight of my week to have that hour before pick-up to chat with them and talk about what we all enjoy: fresh produce!  We marvel over each and every case, talk about how we plan to fix things, and dream of what might be offered the next distribution.

What’s the craziest or silliest thing that has happened to you or at your site during baskets?

Probably the day my grandson was baptized.  I had set the time for right after baskets but my phone rang non-stop during the entire distribution because the godparents had TWO flat tires on their way and had to turn around to get new tires which made me have to reschedule the baptism *in the middle of distribution.*  My AWESOME volunteers made it happen though and he was baptized later that evening AFTER I had time to return home and put all my yummy produce away!

Any weird basket dreams you’d like to share?

I haven’t had any but my oldest daughter has.  Numbers aren’t her thing and she once dreamed she kept putting out baskets but it was never the right number of baskets so she kept counting them over, and over, and over, and over, and….

How has BB changed your life?

The co-op has literally revolutionized how I feed my family.  I used to spend hours each week planning meals then elaborate menu plans and shopping lists to match.  Because of Bountiful Baskets, stepping into a grocery store is now an extremely rare occurrence!  We eat meat, and co-op produce, and not much else!  Yes, I do purchase a few staples from an online provider that ships directly to my home but those trips to the grocery that I had come to loathe are no more!

What do you do when you’re not doing BB?

I educate our children at home, run a local host site for a nationwide cloth diaper loan organization, and am an AVID knitter, spinner, and crochet enthusiast.

Tell us a little about your family

My husband and I have 9 daughters and one grandson who is the apple of his aunties’ eyes

If you could have 1 super power… what would it be?

To bi-locate so I could get more done!

How many baby elephants did you contribute for last April?

Zero, but my 10yo begged me to max on them.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I don’t think the average participant truly realizes how much of themselves Sally & Tanya have poured into this endeavor or how committed they are to the cause of benefitting families, one dinner table at a time.

Comfort Chili

January 26th, 2015

There is nothing better for warming the tummy than a bowl of homemade chili. It is even better if that bowl is a sourdough bread bowl. This recipe can easily be changed up to make it totally yours, so jump in and play with it!

Comfort Chili

Comfort Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 medium green peppers, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 14.5 oz undrained diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 3 cups pre-soaked dry beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 jalapena, finely minced (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 cups water (more if the chili gets too thick while cooking)

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef, onions, peppers, and celery in a large pot until cooked and soft
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
  3. Add tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 6 hours or until beans are cooked.

Notes

Try adding one cup each of pinto, black, and kidney beans for a nice change. Add water during the cooking as needed for desired thickness.

 

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Carrie R. in Fort Morgan, Colorado

January 4th, 2015

Carrie R. is the newest addition to the Volunteer Team responsible for the awesomeness that happen at Fort Morgan Bountiful Baskets! There’s a team of seven that keeps this organized and fun site going throughout the year even when it is -24 degrees like today. We are so grateful to Carrie for all she does to help make the site run smoothly and make healthy food available to her community very affordably! Woot Woot for getting it done Carrie!

When & how did you begin participating with Bountiful Baskets?
I started getting baskets in March 2013. I saw a flyer at the rec center and figured I would try it out. The produce couldn’t have been any worse than what I was buying locally.

Why did you decide to become a Site Coordinator?
I decided to become a site coordinator because Bountiful Baskets is something I believe in and if you want to keep something around you work it!

What is your favorite part about Bountiful Baskets?
My favorite part of baskets is it’s like Christmas every week! You never know who is going to show up to volunteer and you never know exactly what your basket will contain!

What are your favorite basket items?
I am always get excited to see mangos! Well and everything really!

Tell us a little about your site?
We have so much fun at our site! So many great people come and we love to welcome new faces!

What’s the craziest or silliest thing that has happened to you during baskets?
The first time I ran the site without Nicci I forgot to distribute the case ends! Thank goodness one of the volunteers noticed before I started checking people out!

Any weird basket dreams you’d like to share?
The weirdest basket dream I have had is that I forget how to count.

How has Bountiful Baskets changed your life?
Beyond the fresh produce, Bountiful Baskets has given me friends!!

What do you do when you’re not doing Bountiful Baskets?
When I am not doing Bountiful Baskets I am planning what to make with the products I have gotten from Bountiful Baskets. :) And totally rocking the stay at home mom gig I have!

Tell us a little about your family
I have been married for 17 years to (a very patient man named) Michael. We have 3 children. Emily 14 (who volunteers regularly) Michael 11, and Joslyn 7, and a dog too!

Norwegian Sweet Soup– and family traditions!

November 24th, 2014

One of my first Christmas memories with my then-new-boyfriend 10 years ago  (now he’s my fabulous husband) was experiencing some of his deeply rooted family food traditions with his parents. Norweigan Sweet soup. Spritz cookies. Norwegian Krumkake. These foods have come to mean the holidays for me, and are things I look forward to eating every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, as do my children. Growing up, I had a couple of family recipes that got handed down, but there was not really something we ate and made every year that had historical significance, so these traditions from my husband’s family have come to be a treasured part of my holidays. What traditional foods do you eat around the holidays?

To start our Thanksgiving this year, we had Sweet Soup and Swedish pancakes for breakfast. The sweet fruity goodness of the soup warms me heart and my belly! Read the rest of this entry »

A Bountiful Thanksgiving~2014

November 23rd, 2014


Thanksgiving has always had a special place in my heart. It’s the time of year when everyone gives a little extra effort to spend time together. Work schedules, activities and events become less of a priority and we’re reminded that our families are the real reason for being thankful. Sometimes that family extends far beyond the kind of blood relation. Sometimes that extends across the country to people you have never met. That is the case for our big, beautiful Bountiful Baskets family. We are spread out across the country; most of us wouldn’t even know each other if we crossed paths on the street. We may not know each other by face, but we can see each others’ hearts. And that is what makes us family.

This year, I am giving Thanks for not only my blood family, but to my Bountiful Baskets family as well. I have never seen a group of this magnitude; more dedicated, kind and genuine than the people in Bountiful Baskets. I have felt compassion and acceptance from places I didn’t know could exist. I have felt loved and supported by people who I have never met….People; who are extremely busy with their lives and still find time to give this co-op and each other time and energy. The truth is; most of us don’t have much to give but we would willingly give it all for each other and this co-op. I feel blessed beyond words to be a part of this, a part of something great. The coolest part, I didn’t have to pass a test to join this club…All I had to do was show up, and I was welcomed. I am thankful for no prerequisites…Not sure I would’ve passed! ;)

The 2014 Thanksgiving collaboration joins a few of our talented bloggers and lots of their yummy recipes!! Scroll through and check them out, they are categorized into 5 courses. Check out this Download Thanksgiving Timeline Here for a breakdown of your preparations to the big feast! Read the rest of this entry »

Busy Day Sausage Veggie Soup

November 15th, 2014

In my house, Tuesdays are our really busy day.  My daughter has dance and is absolutely famished when she gets home so I’m always looking for ideas to get dinner on the table as quickly as possible.  The crockpot makes an appearance regularly on Tuesdays.  I cut up the veggies and put this soup together this morning and cooked it on low all day.  This recipe is loaded with veggies and sausage so it is a great meal in a bowl. Read the rest of this entry »

Undemanding Chowder

November 14th, 2014

 

We have enough demands in life, don’t you think?  Everyone that I know is running high on “to do” and short on time (and maybe patience).  Sometimes we have to start making demands of the things in our life.  Today, I demanded that dinner be quick, easy and comforting.  It is darn cold around here and I can’t tolerate for one of these demands not to be met.

Luckily, dinner met all of my specifications.  I chopped up everything and put it in the crockpot this morning.  I had red corn in the freezer from a case that I processed and froze over the summer.  I also put in a jalapeño to add a little bit of spice.  If you like more spice, you can add more jalapeño than this (or leave the seeds in).  If you don’t like it you can leave it out.  When we got home from my daughter’s dance class, I added the butter and cream. Read the rest of this entry »

Creamy One Pot Pumpkin Pasta

November 13th, 2014

One pot pasta ideas have been super popular for quite awhile now.  The idea was pretty revolutionary for me – you put basic ingredients in a pot for 20-25 minutes and end up with pasta in a delightful sauce.  I had nothing planned for dinner so it was a perfect night for this miracle dish.  Of course, it is still pumpkin palooza so I shook it up with some pumpkin pizzaz. This pasta was wonderful!  It was easy, creamy and delicious. Read the rest of this entry »

Savory Persimmon Sauce

November 13th, 2014

I was gifted several persimmons at pickup last week and I knew that I wouldn’t get them all eaten or baked before they went bad so I had to really think outside of my box for other uses.  I came up with this delectable persimmon sauce to serve over leftover turkey breast.  My big kid (hubby) isn’t a very adventurous eater and would definitely give a side eye to fruit on his meat (welcome to my life) so I just didn’t tell him what the sauce was.  After he happily ate up his serving, I (smugly) confessed that it was a persimmon sauce and he still got seconds.  My daughter loved it too.  We’ll definitely be doing this again while persimmons are in season.  It would also be yummy on chicken or pork. Read the rest of this entry »