farmers, cooks, eaters

What we’re reading

Written by Josh C on Nov 3, 2011

There’s so much great stuff happening online surrounding how we eat that we wanted to share some of the fun, delicious, and important posts we’ve come across over the last week or two.

An apple a day – The Full Circle Farm folks posted an adapted version of the Apple Relish recipe in TENDER. What a creative way to use an abundant resource here in WA!

Heirloom bread salad – Stacy Brewer is a Seattle local who writes about growing and cooking food right here in town. She put together an heirloom tomato bread salad with black peas that looks delicious!

Terra Plata is open! – Great pictures and short write-up of the anticipation leading up to the opening of Terra Plata, Tamara Murphy’s new restaurant in Capitol Hill. Here, this looks familiar!

Blueberry galette – Lynn walks us through her TENDER-inspired blueberry galette using frozen blueberries from a provider local to her in Sacramento. We’re all for eating seasonally and sometimes the freezer is the answer.

Chef Tom French – Changing the way we eat, one school at a time. An interview with Chef Tom French, founder and Executive Director of Experience Food Project, bringing about a cultural change in our schools, families and communities.

Repurposing Seattle food waste – Seattle tosses an estimated 5,600 tons of edible food waste every year and Sustainable Ballard is looking for ways to change that. They’re taking healthy, local food from the farmers’ market to the food bank. Seems so simple but someone has to do it!

Eradicating food deserts – “Building or altering thousands of markets, and creating other food access initiatives such as farmers markets, needs an aggressive push, and focused leadership at the local level.” Michelle Obama and the White House team’s goal to eradicate all U.S. food deserts by 2017 and some of the steps being taken.

Any suggestions? Please feel free to send us your way in the comments!

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Look who’s coming to Focus on Farming!

Written by Jody on Oct 31, 2011

If you haven’t been yet come join us
this Thursday November 3, 2011

Focus on Farming returns Nov. 3, this year at the Comcast Arena in Everett for more information, visit

Our afternoon keynote address will be chef and author Tamara Murphy. Her much anticipated new restaurant, Terra Plata is located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. She is the owner of Elliott Bay Café with two locations, and is the former chef/owner of Brasa restaurant.

Day-to-day support of local food sustainability expands far beyond the boundaries of her kitchen. Long before farmers’ markets gained popularity, Tamara conceived An Incredible Feast, one of Seattle’s much-loved food events teaming chefs with farmers, ranchers, fishers and foragers to showcase a variety of local flavors. In its 7th year, proceeds from this event support the Good Farmer Fund,(created by Tamara to provide emergency relief for local farmers in need), and the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance’s educational programming (educating consumers about the benefits of supporting local, sustainable farms). In its fourth year, Tamara’s Burning Beast event raises funds for Smoke Farm, a Rubicon Foundation 501(c)(3) project, while bringing awareness to chefs and consumers regarding whole animal use.

Continuing a path as an innovator in our food system and believer in positive change by restaurants, local farms and our communities, Tamara has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation and by Food & Wine magazine. As a mentor, she has educated dozens of young chefs in her kitchens about the use of locally sourced ingredients, leading them to create their own positive changes.

Tamara, with her three friends, recently published her first book, “TENDER:farmers, cooks, eaters,” which shares simple ways to enjoy eating, cooking and choosing our food. She says, “My hope is that ‘TENDER’ will rekindle the spirit of community, connect us to those who nurture our planet – our farmers – and bring back the joy of simple cooking.”

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Hail Autumn! Hail Pumpkin!

Written by Lindsey on Oct 27, 2011

Some people think that the shorter days are a drag, but I don’t mind.  To me there’s no sweeter time than when the mornings start to crisp and the woodsmoke sings from chimneys.  As a kid, I used to favor summer; it got me out of the classroom and into the swimming pool.  But lately each year, I crave autumn more: the scarfs, the leaves, and of course, the food. 

Fall is the apex of seasonal food.  It’s the local eater’s dream: the ripe flesh of fruits and veggies, the warm scents of cinnamon and nutmeg quivering in the air.  The farmer’s market stalls bust with butternut squash, honeycrisp apples and perfect orange pumpkins.  When Fall swoons in grey skies and yellow leaves, it’s time to warm our bellies, warm our fingers. It’s time to put the soup on and crank the oven up.

It’s time to praise the pumpkin!  As I type this, I’ve got in my oven a sugar pie pumpkin roasting on the top rack and its seeds toasting on the bottom rack.  Another pumpkin waits on my countertop.  The farmer who sold me these grinned and said, “These ain’t no city pumpkins,” as he brushed brown dirt away from their fresh, bright skins. 

Pumpkin, or any winter squash really, is not only the quintessential fall flavor, but it’s easy to cook as a main, side or dessert.  I usually cut one in half and scoop the seeds out before roasting.  For a sweet, simple side, I brush the inner flesh with melted butter or olive oil and dust with brown sugar.  Today, though, I’m making Pumpkin Steamed Pudding (in the singular because I don’t have ramekins).  When my pumpkin cools down, I’ll scoop the flesh out and puree it; whip it up with butter, flour, sugar and eggs; and turn it out into a pie pan with a glom of syrup blanketing the bottom.  It steams in the oven for about an hour after that, so it’s a delight for lazy afternoons, and its sensual scent beats potpourri any day.

My extra one will be Pumpkin Soup tomorrow and cooks just as easy.  Sauté some onion, red pepper and carrots; add the pumpkin and stock; simmer; blend; eat.  It’s all about simple cooking, and for pumpkin, there just ain’t nothing to it at all.

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The Busy Girl Cooks Chicken

Written by Lindsey on Oct 13, 2011

I war with myself, being a foodie and a student who also works five days a week.  I am infatuated with food from the Southern-style comfort dishes I grew up with to the fresh, light food of the Pacific Northwest, where I now live, to the exotically spiced fare from foreign soil.  I love to cook, and most importantly eat great food.  However, since going back to college as an adult, I live in a perpetual time-crunch and on a low budget.  And I refuse to live a Top Ramen lifestyle.

Fortunately, I have found two (well, technically three) recipes in Tamara Murphy’s book TENDER that are delicious and easy-squeezy enough for me to make them regularly (two or three times a month).  Plus, most of the ingredients I have on hand, so they’re easy on my purse.  I usually cook these recipes back to back, using the leftovers from the first night’s dinner for the next day.

First, it’s Tamara’s Roasted Chicken: so simple!  Season it, stuff it, then throw it in the oven for an hour to an hour and a half (I use this time as a study session or squeeze in some exercise).  After it’s cooked, I slice off the meat, and throw what’s left (bones, lemons, herbs) into a big pot of water to make stock for the next day.  I boil it while my fiancé and I eat dinner and for a little while longer; I never time it.  Then, the stock goes into the fridge.

Next day, I make Lemon Chicken Risotto:  the dish that makes love to your mouth.  I do just what Tamara suggests; I use the fat layer from the top of the stock to sauté.  This is a laid-back risotto recipe; the stock gets added one cup at a time, instead of half a cup, and it stays creamy without stirring constantly.  I stir frequently, but don’t fear growing one, giant Popeye arm.  Once it’s cooked, I dump in my leftovers and the cheese (I never bother with the butter and cream; it’s rich on its own).  The lemon in this absolutely sings, while the parmesan grounds the dish, and the wine insinuates a faint, sultry flavor.

Forex 시장은 항상 거래자가 다른 통화를 매수하거나 매도하는 통화쌍으로 거래됩니다.

Photo: Angie Norwood Browne, TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters

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Join us at the Experience Food Project’s Mercer Island Community Harvest Dinner

Written by Marlen on Sep 21, 2011

Do you support strengthening families and communities through changing the culture in school meal programs and at home? Join Experience Food Project’s Mercer Island Community Harvest Dinner this Thurs. 6p-8p. Enjoy a meal featuring seasonal recipes from TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters.

Where: Islander Middle School Cafeteria
When: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Who: Everyone is welcome
How: First come, first served
Cost: Suggested donation $10 per adult, $20 per family
For more info: For more information

Mercer Island Food Revolution

Mercer Island Food Revolution is a PTA group that was started to by a group of concerned parents who want to improve the quality of school lunches in our district. We encouraged our district’s food service to provide fewer dessert items and more fruits and vegetables. Our ultimate goal for school lunches: freshly prepared using organic, local ingredients as much as possible. We are currently working with representatives from other community groups such as Parks & Recreation and the Boys and Girls to provide the kids in our community with healthier, more delicious food choices for snacks and opportunities to learn about healthy eating. We have recently partnered with Experience Food Project, a local nonprofit, to bring cooking classes and community dinners to our island to help kick start our revolution.

UPDATE: The dinner was a great success! We reluctantly had to turn people away at the door but 200 people were fed healthy, delicious meals out of TENDER. Thanks to Nilki Benitez for the photos and write-up which can be seen on MercerIslandPatch.

Here is Marlen and Nancy sharing TENDER with the dinner’s attendees:


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Federal Dietary Guidelines and the Slow Food Challenge

Written by Jody on Aug 26, 2011

Several weeks ago I read an article on nutrition and a study done at the University of Washington (recently published in the August issue of the Health Affairs Journal), which discussed the federal dietary guidelines for Americans and the economic impact of meeting these guidelines. The outcome suggests that to improve the American diet more education and guidance be provided to “us” the consumer. The authors also discuss the availability of “healthful” food for those on a budget or with a fixed income and how more than half of the farmers’ markets in King County now accept SNAP (supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

At about the same time I received my Slow Food USA $5 Challenge.

Perfect timing! The topic of “healthful” food, availability and budget has long been one of our table conversations – so my family has signed up to be a part of this challenge on September 17. My niece and I already selected our menu – Grilled Pizza with Vegetables Grilled over the Fire from TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters, our plan is everyone will invite a friend to help shop, prepare discuss and of course eat.

Thanks Josh Viertel for asking and thanks for including us. This challenge is the education and guidance needed for all of us. As Josh says “This day will give us a clearer sense of what needs to change about the way food works, in order to make this a reality for everyone. Bringing people together around the table is the best way to build a movement of more enlightened eaters and more engaged citizens. We need both.”

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National Potato Day is today, August 19th

Written by Marlen on Aug 19, 2011

August 19th marks the date for National Potato Day.  It’s worth a pause to honor the humble potato. We typically consider its flavor needing improvement, using it solely as the platform for condiments. However there are hundreds of flavorful varieties such as All Blue, German Butterball, Princesse La Ratte, Red Thumb, Rose Finn Apple, Viking Purple, and Yellow Gold to name just a few—all varietals that carry the flavor of the earth they are raised in–flavor that you typically can’t get in any store-bought potato.  “Western Washington is one of the best places to grow yellow and red thin-skinned potatoes. It’s the soil type,” says Peter Alden, founder of Alden Farms.

If you’ve never enjoyed fresh-from-the-earth organic potatoes, consider picking some up at your farmers’ market this week and try some ‘smashed’ potatoes simply dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper and a handful of fresh thyme. “No Cream, no butter, just the honest flavor of homegrown potatoes at their best.” Tamara Murphy, TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters.

Photo: Angie Norwood Browne, TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters

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Chef Tom French of Experience Food Project and TENDER partner at the Mercer Island Farmers Market

Written by Marlen on Jul 28, 2011

This past weekend, Experience Food Project’s director, Chef Tom French chose TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters as the blueprint to show the Mercer Island community simple ways to enjoy and share the bounty of farm-fresh food. Chef Tom began the demo by walking the Mercer Island Farmers’ Market tables choosing a colorful rainbow of ingredients including tender ‘spicy’ arugula, plump red Attika cherries and golden beets, first of the early season peaches and more, to complement a quickly pan-seared filet of salmon crusted with fresh basil. Tom’s conversational approach to working with adults and children and the ease of recipes by chef/author and James-Beard-award-winner Tamara Murphy featured in TENDER helped both experienced and new cooks be engaged and inspired for their own market shopping following the cooking demonstration.

Dedicated to educating children about food and cooking, the Experience Food Project’s mission is to “strengthen families and communities”, which is a value that the TENDER team shares. In support of their efforts, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of TENDER purchased at the Mercer Island Farmers Market went to the Experience Food Project who will be holding Junior Cooking Camps at Mercer Island’s Boys & Girls’ Club this August followed by a community dinner in the Fall. Copies of TENDER are also now available for purchase at Mercer Island’s Island Books.

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TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters recommended by Farmland Report

Written by Josh C on Jul 25, 2011

Our friends at the Farmland Report, a blog for American Farmland Trust, recently published their summer reading list and mentioned TENDER as one of their recommendations. We’re ecstatic to be listed along with a few other great books and excited that our message continues to resonate with great people doing great things. Stay tuned for a reading list of our own!

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Happy Birthday Metropolitan Market

Written by Nancy and Jody on Jun 29, 2011

Thank you to all our friends at the Queen Anne Metropolitan Market who included us their 40th birthday celebration on Friday.  Amy, you always brighten our day with your excitement and joy.  Anthony,  keep cooking and exploring new dishes.  Rachel, Ilga and Jenny, you are great friends and great neighbors.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say “hi”.  And for those of you who purchased your signed copies of TENDER please share with us as you create the recipes in the book.  We’d love to hear from you.  Happy Birthday Metropolitan Markets!

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