Wednesday, December 31, 2008
You don't have to cook greens forever (and leach out all the nutrients). Instead, you can cook them very quickly and easily.
Here's a little video to show you how:
Cooking By Rita
Camera Work and Dishes done by Richie =)
You can find the items I used to make the kale On Sale !!
They're on the Picky Produce Page right at the top of the long shopping list, and right below our "Green Choices"
The prefix for these items is "C" and looks something like this:
Even the sweet potatoes are on sale, so go ahead, make a mineral-packed veggie dish next week following the podcast instructions.
EASY, EASY, EASY!! and On Sale, Too!
Easy Kale 101
Clean and stem 1 Bunch of Kale
Peel and slice 1-4 cloves of Garlic, thinly
(if you don't like Garlic, chop up some Onion)
Heat a couple of tablespoons of Olive Oil in a pan.
Add Kale and Garlic and toss frequently using tongs over high heat. Salt and pepper to taste.
When Kale begins to brown slightly, pour in about 1/2 C Chicken Broth or water.
Keep heat on high, continue to toss Kale.
When Broth is almost completely evaporated, crumble 4 oz. of Feta Cheese (or your favorite cheese) on top.
Slide under the broiler, and heat until bubbly.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Yes it's TRUE!
And you probably already qualify!!
How does it work?
Order a “Pre-Selected Produce Box” from our Brochure. These are the boxes where you get the most bang for your buck, because TCF decides what goes into it, and it’s a surprise when you open it.
We will always stay true to the theme of the box: i.e. a “juicing box” won’t contain potatoes, for example, and the price will always be the same.
Once you’ve selected your produce box, then go to our Picky Produce Page and select additional items worth $25 or more. You can add dairy, meat, frozen, bread, or Tony’s Special Picks. When your additional items total $25 or more, be sure to fill in the appropriate fields on that page: Name, email and phone number.
Put the numeral “1” in the very first box at the top of the shopping list: the one that says, “Remove Picky Produce Box from this Order!!” The reason for this is simple:
The Picky Produce Box and the Custom Box do not qualify for free shipping, and if you don’t want the Picky Produce Box items in addition to your Pre-Selected Produce Box, you will need to mark that box.
If your standing order is a Pre-Selected Produce Box, just hit "submit" at the bottom of the page.
If you don't have a standing Pre-Selected Produce Box on order with us, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know which one you'd like.
So, how do you receive your free shipping? When your qualifying order is delivered, you will find a coupon attached to your invoice for free shipping. Mail it in to TCF, and you will receive a credit on your account for $5.78 applicable to your next delivery. Simple!
We also have a short instructional video for you to watch if you’d like. It will walk you through the steps as easy as 1-2-3!
Thank you for choosing Timber Creek, and deciding in favor of your family’s health and well-being. Besides free shipping, you’ll also notice that you now breeze through the grocery store because most of your shopping has been done already and delivered to your door.
and the Satisfaction you've earned by being in Control of your family's choices!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Now, if you’re receiving our Fruit and Veggie Box or any box listed in our brochure, the contents of the box will be a surprise, but you can always add as many extra items as you need.
But, sometimes you just need to “Go Custom.” And there’s no extra charge for doing so!
So, how do you go about placing a Custom Order? There are two ways to do it -- with a semi-custom box called the Picky Produce Box, or by just ordering a totally custom box.
First of all, I strongly recommend that you write out a grocery list, just as if you were going to the store.
THE PICKY PRODUCE BOX
You can watch a short "How To" video here.
Or, you can go to our website: www.tcforganics.net and click on Picky Produce Box
The Picky Produce Box makes your shopping faster.
On the Picky Produce Box page in box #1, you will see a list of items that Tony, the owner of TCF has chosen for you. The total delivered price of those items is $22.63. If you like what he
has chosen for you, then proceed to fill out the fields provided in box #2.
If you wish to receive the Picky Produce box instead of your standing produce order, be sure to mark the box near the top of the Picky Produce shopping list that says,
"Replace Standing Order this Week with this One."
However -- the Picky Produce Box is not complete until YOU add a minimum of 4 different fresh produce items that your family enjoys. This is when you consult your pre-written grocery list.
You can add more than 4 fresh produce items to the box, but not less.
When you've added your fresh produce items, check the choices over once more. Be sure you have not chosen a "case" instead of a "pound" of any particular items unless that is what you really want.
Then you can continue to add any other items that we offer: dairy, bread, meat or frozen items.
If you have a standing dairy order, the dairy items you choose on the Picky Produce page will be delivered in addition to your standing dairy order, unless you tell us to cancel your standing dairy order that week, too.
Once you click on "Submit" you will not be given a chance to review your order.
We cannot provide you with a total amount due for your order as we weigh all items as they are put into your box. You can, however, estimate the cost by adding up the items you have chosen
and including a 1% tax to the added items and $4 if you have chosen any frozen items.
THE CUSTOM BOX
You can watch a short "How To" video here.
Simply go to the Picky Produce Page and click on the items you wish to order from your own personal grocery list. Fresh produce items must total $23.85. Add 1% sales tax and $5.78 shipping and handling (standard on every box we offer.) If you order any frozen items, there is a $4.00 dry ice charge.
We cannot provide you with a total amount due for your order as we weigh all items as they are put into your box. You can, however, estimate the cost by adding up the items you have chosen.
Be sure to click the field at the top of the Picky Produce shopping list that says
"Remove Picky Produce Box from this Order."
This way you will not receive the items selected for the Picky Produce Box -- you'll only receive the items you choose below that.
Also be sure to click the button that says,
"Replace Standing Order this Week with this One"
unless you wish to receive your standing produce order and the Custom Order you are creating.
If you have a standing dairy order, the dairy items you choose for this Custom Order will be delivered in addition to your standing dairy order, unless you tell us to cancel your standing dairy order that week, too.
That list of items to choose from includes everything Timber Creek offers: produce, dairy, bread, meats and frozen items.
As long as we receive your order by 6:00 a.m. Friday, you will receive it on your next delivery day.
Both Custom Boxes do not repeat unless you tell us to repeat them. The reason for this is that the prices fluctuate, and you may receive the same items each time, but not always at the same
Go ahead and give the Picky Produce and Custom Box a try!
Monday, November 17, 2008
The first thing we've done is set up a set of informational emails. We have a different set of emails depending on how you use Timber Creek. For instance, if your main interface with us is through your fundraiser group at your child's school, there is a set of informational emails on how to best maximize that experience for you.
If you're an existing customer, whether 'just signed up' or 'been here a while,' it's easy to get in a rut with TCF because so many other things are trying to get and keep our attention. So, for these customers there's a set of informational emails explaining how to make the most of your TCF experience -- some of it may be review, some of it may be new -- but we even have instructional videos on how to place custom orders, so it should be worth it just for the refresher.
We're NOT trying to inundate you with emails. This series consists of about 6-7 emails and then it's over. But it might be a good idea to make a folder for them in your email program, as each of them will have live links you can use to get to where you need to go to implement the suggestions offered in them.
Occasionally, we will send you an extra email having to do with any anouncements that need to be made such as a change in route delivery days, and so forth, but our aim is to bring you information you need and can use.
And of course you may "unsubscribe" at any point in time. Just scroll to the bottom of the email and click the link. YOU are in charge, here -- we're just trying to help you get the most for your money and the most satisfying experience you can with Timber Creek.
Thanks for allowing us to do that, and keep an eye open for even more new cool stuff!!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I’d like to tell you the story of Martha. Martha, a single mom with a small daughter, wanted more than anything to be a stay-at-home mom. She felt that it was her greatest priority to be the strongest influence in her young daughter Lily’s everyday life.
Because she was her child’s sole support, she knew this would not be easy. To be with her daughter, working outside the home was out of the question. So Martha started a small in-home business and worked tirelessly to make it successful.
Her daughter, home with her every day, received the love and attention that some miss. And she also learned by watching what love-in-action really is – Lily watched her mother work and learned about the necessity of having, keeping and working hard at a job to make her world go ‘round.
If you’ve ever started a business of your own, then you know that it’s not easy. It takes a long time to get established, and while you’re waiting, the bills keep coming. It’s a hard way to live, but Martha understood her reason for choosing this path – and her daughter reaped the rewards.
In 2007 the Feed A Family Foundation and sent out its annual letter asking for help for families in need.
Martha, who at one time had been a customer of Timber Creek, called right away and asked to be put on the waiting list. By now, she had begun to homeschool Lily and was evermore committed to the path they walked together. But keeping up with the financial strains was becoming even more difficult.
Martha and Lily were put on the Waiting List. They waited an entire year before getting a call from Timber Creek.
A wonderful family had personally pledged $3000.00 -- enough money to feed three families, each for a year. The donor family had two families in mind to help, but asked Timber Creek to find a suitable third family.
I went directly to the waiting list, and there at the top were Martha and Lily. All three families successfully completed the application process, and deliveries began right away.
Then, one morning, I opened an email from Martha, and this is what it said:
“…I have to say THANK YOU. I received the first shipment yesterday morning and was fine until I opened the box. Oh My God, the tears started flowing as I acknowledged the fact that I will be able to provide some of the best food and snacks imaginable thanks to you and the Feed a Family
program, the generosity of an anonymous family and TCF Organics! I immediately made a beautiful fruit salad for breakfast and served my daughter hers in bed as we were just getting ready to celebrate her birthday and I had only change in my wallet!...”
Of course, the email was immediately forwarded to the donor family, who replied:
“Life and blessings sure are wonderful huh? I am so proud to be helping out ALONG with you fine folks. Your hard work, encouragement, and leadership are what led to this woman having a wonderful day. Thanks so much for sharing this.
You and the company you work for are awesome people....”
When I spoke with Martha recently, she told me that she feels so blessed every time her delivery arrives, that she decided to teach Lily to “pay it forward.”
Every week they see the same homeless man standing outside the Post Office, and now every week they share a little of their fruit with him. And every week he says to them,
“Thank you – Thank God.”
You can use the Foundation to Adopt a Mom and feed her family. Whether you have a family in mind, or wish to help a family who is struggling quietly and alone, every dollar you give to the Foundation is used to delivery fresh, organic fruits and vegetables every week for a year, and your donation is tax deductable.
Please join with us this year to bring peace to our friends and neighbors – “Adopt a Mom” with us. You can feed her family by using the Foundation, and every single day you will know you are making a difference.
Contact me at email@example.com and we'll start right away!
Monday, July 28, 2008
We get some really nice emails on a regular basis, and I want to start sharing them with you.
The first email comes from a family in Chicago. It's so sweet!
We got our first box on Friday morning and the kids have been going crazy eating their veggies and fruits. They really loved the melon and the whole pineapple. The 1/2 gallon of milk is nearly gone - my 11 yr old is calling it the yummiest milk ever. We'll definitely be adding milk to our standing order. Our first Timber Creek delivery was a grand success at our house and we look forward to many more in the future.
A.M. Chicago, IL
THANKS for the reminder; again excellent service & support.
This one was sent to Val, our Office Manager:
They should clone you. Thanks again!
Friday, April 04, 2008
Let’s get started with our dinner of Stuffed Cabbage. The ingredient list couldn’t be more basic:
Cabbage (either Green or Red) (I used red so it would show up better in the pictures!)
1 ½ lb. Ground Chuck
1 C Rice
1 Tb. Salt
1 lg. Onion
4 C Beef Broth
Mix the meat, rice, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl. Bring a pan of water to a boil. You can use a deep pan if you like, I used a frying pan because it’s just as easy and doesn’t take as long to get to a boil. Preheat oven to 350.
Cut the core out of the cabbage and set it, core side down into the boiling water. In the meantime, you can slice up your onions, and pour a little tomato juice in the bottom of your roasting vessel. Now, roll the cabbage over and allow the hot water and steam to loosen the outer leaves. Using tongs, remove the outermost leaf and set it on your cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut out the thick vein in the middle of the leaf.
Turn the leaf around so the outer ends are facing you and the cut is facing away from you. Form a handful of stuffing, make sure it’s firm, then set it at the edge of the leaf. Pull the sides up over the filling, then roll the whole thing away from you until you get a nice little bundle. Set that bundle, cut side down into your pot. Continue to roll up the stuffing and cabbage until your first layer is nice and integrated. Pull a few leaves off of the head of cabbage and chop them roughly on the cutting board. Sprinkle them over the rolled cabbage. Then sprinkle over half of the cut onion.
Return to stuffing the little packets and make another layer. Cover the second layer with chopped onion and cabbage. Now pour the broth and remaining tomato juice over all until it comes almost to the top of the roasting pan. Lay a few more cabbage leaves on top, and cover with a lid (NOT aluminum foil – it will dissolve into the dinner!). Set the whole thing in the oven, and cook for about 3 hours. You may have to add more liquid as time goes on, so check it once every hour or so. You can add broth, tomato juice or water.
Monday, March 17, 2008
This is such a good dish! You can make it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can eat it hot, cold, room temperature or warmed up. You can put it together and bake it later. It is SO versatile! And, it’s vegetarian! So let’s get started!!
1 pkg. Fillo dough, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
2 lb. of fresh Spinach: washed, stemmed, steamed, dried and chopped
OR 3 boxes frozen Spinach: thawed, and squeezed through a towel until thoroughly dried
1 med. Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
Olive Oil and Butter
Salt and Pepper
½ lb. crumbled Feta Cheese
1 tsp. Oregano
1-2 sticks Butter, melted
First, the spinach. However you arrive at the destination described above, remember that you must-must-must put the spinach in a dish towel and twist it with all your might over the sink to dry it. Wet, soggy spinach will ruin this dish.
Bring a small frying pan up to medium high heat. Put in a Tb. of Butter and a Tb. of Olive Oil. Saute the onion and garlic. Add about 1/8 tsp. of salt and a nice grinding of fresh black pepper. When the onion is translucent, remove from heat and cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the cheese, oregano and chopped spinach. Mix well. Stir in the cooled onion/garlic mixture. Now your filling is ready.
Melt a stick of butter and pour it into a large shallow bowl. Butter a 10” x 15” jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides). You can use a larger pan, it will just make a thinner Spanakopita, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
This is the part where things get hairy. Read through these instructions before attempting this next part. Also, the pictures included here are of a “half-sheet” size pan, not the one noted above. Instead, I made two smaller ones and gave one as a gift.
Fillo dough is so thin, that it will dry out in no time. The object of the game is to get this next part done as quickly as possible. So, first set out your shallow bowl of melted butter, your jelly roll pan. Open up the box of Fillo and unfold it to lay it flat on the counter. Have a dishtowel ready to lay over it to help keep it from drying out. Cover the Fillo with the towel whenever you have a pause in this next assembly step.
Take 2 sheets of Fillo and arrange them in the pan with the edges hanging over the sides. Depending on the brand of Fillo (some are half sheets, some are whole sheets), you might have to use 4 sheets to start so that you get a good overhang. Now put the palm of your hand right into the butter. Pat a palm print twice – once pat on each quarter of the pan. Butter your hand again and pat a palm print on the two remaining quarters of the pan. Cover this with two (or 4) more sheets of Fillo. Repeat. Cover with more Fillo, Repeat. And do it once more. The object of the game is to get about 8 sheets of Fillo (buttered between every 2 sheets) into the pan. The top layer does not have to be buttered.
Now, grab your bowl of filling and use your fingers to get it evenly spread over the entire bottom of the pan. Dip your fingers into the butter and fold all of the overhanging Fillo onto the top of the filling. Make sure the now-exposed underside of the formerly overhanging border is well-buttered.
Grab two pieces of Fillo and lay them on top of the filling. Dip your palm in the butter and proceed with the palm prints as above. Set two more pieces of Fillo on top again, and continue until you have used up all the Fillo. Then tuck the overhanging edges into the inside of the pan edge, and slather LOTS of butter all over the top.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 50 minutes. It will be a beautiful golden brown. Allow it to cool somewhat, and then using the cut marks you made earlier as a guideline, cut all the way through and serve. MMMMMMMmmmmmmm !!
Monday, February 11, 2008
It’s cold. I know it’s the understatement of the season, but February is the worst! Snow has been predicted for twice this week, and the total new snowfall will be over a foot. Everything in me is saying “Stay Warm” – and so I shall, with a fantastic soup I made this weekend. It adapts perfectly well to a vegetarian version, but you might want to leave out the cream….
Roasted Cream of Celeriac Soup
4 C (about 2) peeled and cubed Celeriac
2 Tb. Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 Leek, chopped
1 Potato, peeled and chopped
4 C Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 sm bunch fresh Thyme
3 Tb. fresh Italian Parsley
2 C Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
Homemade Croutons, if desired.
Preheat oven to 425. Toss celeriac with 1 Tb. oil and roast
for 30 min. stirring occasionally. In a large pot, heat oil and add onion, garlic, celery and leek. Saute for 4-5 min. or until onion is soft. Add potato, stock, thyme and parsley, then bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 20 min. Add celeriac and cook for 10-20 min. more. Remove from heat and cool slightly. (I just put mine outside the kitchen door. It was cooled in no time!) Make the croutons by tossing bread cubes in olive oil and salt until browned. Remove from heat. Back to the soup: strain the veggies well and puree the soup in batches using a food processor, until smooth. Return to sauce pan and add cream. Then slowly add the leftover stock until you like the consistency.
Season with 1 Tb. salt and LOTS of black pepper. When you serve this soup, make sure it’s very hot. Grind even more pepper on top as you serve it. The deal is, you get a nice hot spoonful of soup that warms you all the way down, followed by a warm feeling from the pepper. It’s DIVINE!
To warm this soup up the next day, spread the soup in a bread pan and cover with foil. Set the bread pan into a 9x13 pan with water poured into it. When the bread pan sits in the water, it should be about 1” deep. Set this into a 425 degree oven for 40 min. It will be piping hot!
Friday, January 18, 2008
But what is Real Food? All of the fish on our planet are potentially contaminated, many of our most basic crops are genetically modified then irradiated, livestock is injected with hormones and antibiotics, the majority of our crops are sprayed and fertilized with harsh chemicals and stripped of vitamins and minerals, our water is “fortified”, and now – we have to deal with unlabeled, cloned meat and milk. Even if we never eat conventional “junk food” the food we do eat could easily qualify as a new kind of junk food. Junk Food disguised as Real Food that is causing an epidemic of diseases this planet has never encountered before.
What to do, indeed! I can tell you that as a population, we are faced with some mighty overwhelming obstacles. I feel like I’m part of a giant science experiment that couldn’t possibly have a good outcome…even vegetarians have to think about the sources of the food they eat. When I look down the road to the end of my personal science experiment, I wonder how I could possibly remain healthy if everything I eat is modified to this unheard-of degree. And the problem gets bigger every day.
What we can do about this predicament is to vote with our pocketbooks. I know that sounds like the long way ‘round to this goal, but when we consume clean, organic food we get an immediate benefit to our own bodies, and we begin to detoxify and strengthen our cells, muscles, tissues and so forth. We also give an immediate benefit to the planet: as more people insist on Real Food, the effect is to detoxify depleted farmland. Farmland that has been overworked and soaked with chemicals is allowed to transition to healthy, certified organic farmland producing clean, nutrition-packed food the way our parents and grandparents enjoyed it. Real Food, if you will.
If you eat Real Food, you can enjoy more of those foods we’ve been conditioned to avoid. And a prime example (no pun intended) is organic meat. Grass-fed organic meat is higher in CLAs than any conventional meat. CLAs are the beef-protein version of the Omega-3s found in fatty fish such as salmon. Even non-grass-fed organic meat is preferable to conventional meat because it is fed with organic hay, grains and legumes and corn – not the genetically modified, pesticide saturated feed that factory cattle are fed. Let’s not even mention the steroids they’re injected with to produce more muscle, and the antibiotics that follow the steroids because of the problems the steroids produce, and now the cloning for who-knows-what-reason...
I will probably never give up meat altogether. I love comfort food, and on these winter weekends I love to braise organic short ribs for hours in the oven, or get the slow cooker out for a great soup idea. And I love the reassurance I feel that the food I’m eating is REAL. Let’s take the “guilt” out of “guilty pleasure” with a recipe that makes a Real winner of a weekend dinner:
This recipe is very, very freeform. You cannot mess it up, ingredient-wise. This is one of my many, many versions, but feel free to go to the comments section with your ideas, too.
2# Sirloin or Round Steak cut in strips
Flour to coat
1 med. Yellow Onion, chopped
6 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Green Peppers cut in strips
1 lg. can Whole Tomatoes and maybe a smaller one, too
2 Tb. Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper
First, chop up the onion and garlic and slice up the meat. In a stockpot, heat a little olive oil and drop in the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to med. high and stir fairly constantly. You do not want the onions or garlic to brown. If they’re starting to brown, turn the heat down. (I sound like Johnnie Cochran). While that’s cooking, toss the meat strips in flour and shake off the excess.
When the veggies have a nice sheen, remove them from the pan, add a little more oil and drop in the meat. Stir that meat constantly or it will stick, stick, stick – and then burn. While that’s cooking, grind up the tomatoes in your blender. When the meat is evenly browned (about 7 min.) remove it from the pan and pour in the sherry. Stir the sherry and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let it reduce to “almost invisible”. Now, pour in the ground tomatoes, the meat and the onions and garlic. Bring the pot up to a low simmer, partially cover and stir it occasionally for about an hour.
While that’s going on, cut up the green peppers in strips. After the hour has gone by, heat up a pan to very high, put in some olive oil and drop in the peppers. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Constantly stir them and let them get a bit browned, but don’t go overboard or they’ll disintegrate in the sauce later. Then add the tomato paste and keep that stirring action going until the peppers are coated and the paste is beginning to cook.
I’d like to stop here and make a note about tomato paste. I use it frequently. A little cooked tomato paste will thicken and enrich any dish, and it doesn’t have to be a tomato dish. I use it for beef sauces, chicken sauces and even vegetable sauces. So, rather than open a can of tomato paste and use a Tb. or two just to throw the rest out, I buy it in tubes. It’s a little more expensive, but I use all of it, so the cost works out for me.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled recipe method:
Time to add the peppers to the sauce. Just pop them in and stir well. It’s also time to start the pasta water (now that I have a free burner. I don’t consider the little burners on my stove as burners, actually, but more like holding areas). I was considering making homemade spaetzle for this dish last night because I had a taste for gnocchi (figure that one out!), but I was feeling kinda lazy (or maybe kinda crazy!), so I opted for the factory-made kind. Any kind of pasta will work here, but I prefer egg-y noodles, myself.
Now. Taste the sauce. What does it need? Salt? Pepper? Basil? Oregano? Parsley? How do you like your gravy to taste? Adjust the seasonings to make yourself smile, cook and drain the pasta, and get ready to serve. At the end of the process I grated Pecorino Romano on top instead of Parmesan. Why? Because it’s made from sheep’s’ milk and it has a more complex flavor than Parm.
A note about the pictures. We got a new camera for Christmas, and I can see that I need to start standing on a ladder to take pictures for this blog. Either that, or get a little taller, somehow. They all came out a little blurry, but they all still look yummy – to me, at least.