Sunday, April 25, 2010

Working Mom's Recipe of the Week

Chicken Noodle Salad
Serving = 6
Time = 30 min

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
6 oz soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
1/4 c rice vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T clam juice
1 c carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 c fresh basil, snipped
4 T hoisin sauce
1 t ground ginger
meat from 1 rotisserie chicken

Steam asparagus until just tender; drain and rinse with cold water. Cook noodles according to package, drain. Mix noodles and asparagus with the next seven ingredients (through fresh basil). Shred chicken meat with two forks and stir in hoisin sauce and ginger. Toss chicken with noodles and veggies.

Notes - I like to make this with pork roast instead of chicken. You can use any color bell peppers or a mix. You can substitute broccoli for the asparagus.

Submitted - Mindy Brooks, adapted from Rachel Ray magazine

Friday, April 16, 2010

Working Mom's Recipe of the Week

Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Mac and Cheese
Number of Servings: 4
Prep to Serve: 20 min

8 oz elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 slice bacon
1 chicken breast, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 T butter
1 T flour
1 ½ c milk
1/3 c cream-of-mushroom soup
¾ c cheese, shredded
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
½ t salt
½ c Colby jack cheese, shredded

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting oil. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove and let cool, then crumble up. In the pan with bacon grease, add chicken and sauté over medium heat until done. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Combine milk and soup; whisk into butter/flour. Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat a let stand for 4 minutes. Add ¾ c cheese, onion and garlic powder and salt; stir until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken.

Preheat broiler. Spoon mac-and-cheese into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with bacon and Colby-jack cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Notes: To make vegetarian, omit bacon and chicken; add mushrooms.

Submitted: Mindy Brooks, from Cooking Light magazine

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gardening - Seed and Starts Exchange


An inter-agency effort to exchange extra starts and seeds will be taking place on May 20th, 1900 Bldg, 4th flood, 11-1. There was to be a exchange on April 15th as well, but due to the cold weather most of us gardeners don't have starts to share just yet.

Sponsors include BPS, BDS, BES, Water, Fire, & PBOT in partnership with IRCO (Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization). The charitable event will benefit refugees and immigrants in Portland, via IRCO.

Buying produce and eating healthy can be expensive. The goal is to assist immigrants and refugees in getting started with growing some of their own vegetables.

Everyone in the 1900 Bldg. is encouraged to participate, so please spread the word. Infrastructure Bureau managers - please get the word out to your staff in this building. Chris Scarzello will get the word out to BPS.

Here's how it works:
You are encouraged to start extra vegetable plants from seed in the coming weeks. Now is a good time to start them inside.
On the 3rd Thursday in May (May 20th) bring your extra veggie starts to the 4th floor kitchen.
You can take one plant for free for every plant you donate. It's a good way to get a great variety of veggie starts. For example, I am starting a whole bunch of different kinds of heirloom tomatoes from seed, and will want to trade for some spinach starts.
Alternatively, if you aren't swapping plants, then you can buy the veggie starts your colleagues bring in.

Here's how it benefits refugees and immigrants:
If you have questions, please contact Rebecca Esau or Chris Scarzello.
If you would like to volunteer to plant some vegetable seeds for the event, please let me know.
If you want to volunteer to help with either or both of these events, we could use volunteers to help with set up and clean up, delivery of the plants to IRCO, etc.

We hope you'll participate either by planting seeds now and donating the starts, or coming to buy some veggie starts!

Please mark the dates on your calendar --
The extra plants that aren't swapped or sold will be donated to IRCO for them to distribute to those in need so they can grow some of their own vegetables this spring and summer. The money raised will be used to buy trowels, gardening gloves, and other gardening tools, and distributed to those in need by IRCO.

May 20th

If you have questions, let us know. Thanks!
Rebecca Esau (BDS) and Chris Scarzello (BPS)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

swap your stuff

urbanMamas are having a spring clean and Earth Day swap. Saturday, April 24 @ 2:00 - 4:00 @ Milagros. Here is the urbanMamas post with all the details.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Garden Planner

Not sure how much of each veggie to plant give the space of your planters? This website lets you choose the type of garden (kitchen veggies, herbs, etc.) and put in your dimensions. It's a great way to get the most out of your space.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Working Mom's Recipe of the Week (Bonus)

Risotto Cakes with Aioli
Number of Servings: 8
Prep to Serve: 30 min

2 T olive oil
2 T mayonnaise
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ garlic clove, minced
1 ½ c panko
3 c prepared risotto
24 mozzarella cubes (fresh, water packed)
2 T olive oil

Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil with the mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice and garlic clove in a shallow bowl and put in refrigerator.

Place panko in shallow bowl. Using generous 1 tablespoon cold risotto for each cake, shape 24 risotto balls. Make indentation in each; push in a cube of mozzarella. Reshape balls, enclosing cheese. Dredge balls in panko; press to flatten. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12 risotto cakes; cover and cook until golden on bottom, 5 minutes. Turn cakes over. Cook uncovered until crisp on bottom, 3 minutes. Set on a plate and keep warm. Repeat with second 12 cakes. To serve, set 3 cakes on each plate and drizzle with aioli.

Notes: Service with side salad.

Jamie Waltz, from Bon Appetite

Working Mom's Recipe of the Week

Cauliflower Gratin
Number of Servings: 4
Prep to Serve: 1 hr

3 T butter
6 chopped shallots
2 c Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 c heavy cream
¼ c plus 2 T chives
1 t celery salt
¼ t salt
1 head cauliflower, chopped

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until lightly browned (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl and mix with cheese, cream, chives and salts. Add cauliflower and gently toss. Arrange in an even layer in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake at 375 F until browned and very little liquid remains, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 T chives and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Submitted: Mindy Brooks, from Rachael Ray Magazine

Monday, April 5, 2010

Working Mom's Recipe of the Week

Taco Seasoning

12 tsp chili powder
10 tsp paprika
9 tsp ground cumin
6 tsp onion powder
5 tsp garlic powder
1 Tblsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix all and store in an airtight container. Makes about 1 cup of seasoning. Add about 1 Tblsp to ground beef or chicken for tacos or fajitas. Or use as a rub on ribs.

Notes: The combination is mild for my tastes. If you like spicy foods, up the cayenne pepper to 1/2 tsp or even 1 tsp

March Notes - Toxic Free Family

Thanks to our two guest speakers, Jen Coleman from the Oregon Environmental Counciland Caran Goodall from Metro. They both specialize in helping families reduce their household toxins and find environmentally friendly solutions.

Jen gave an overview of family related toxin's policy and how we can advocate for our children. She gave an update on the recent legislation to ban BPA in baby bottles that failed. She encouraged us all to throw away old bath toys (or any soft toy that smells). Toys made after 2009 should be safe, but the smell test is important.

Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home

Caran shared about healthy alternatives and provide some household cleaning recipes, and a great reference index from one of her favorite books, Easy Green Living.

Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home

Both presenters got lots of questions from the Mamas who came, so notes are a bit tricky. There were also lots of hand outs. Please email Darcy if you would like copies or have specific info you're looking for.

We also had a fun activity at the end of the meeting, we made a very quick, easy and safe soft scrub.

Basic Soft Scrub Recipe:
1/2 cup baking soda
Enough liquid soap or detergent to make a frosting-like consistency
5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender,tea tree oil, or rosemary (optional)

Pour the baking soda in a bowl; slowly pour in the liquid soap or detergent, stirring all the while, until the consistency reaches that of frosting. Scoop the creamy mixture onto a sponge, wash the surface, and rinse.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Michelle rocks my world!

If you haven't seen this yet, here's a quick article about the White House's new campaign to make workplaces more flexible: