Let’s Talk about Friendsgiving!

Thanksgiving may be fast approaching, but don’t forget about Friendsgiving! It’s the perfect excuse to get together with your closest friends and start new traditions during the holidays! It’s also a brilliant way to have that dinner party trial run before the actual Thanksgiving day. You can make it as fancy or as casual as you want.

Throwing a Friendsgiving, or let’s be honest, any dinner party, can be stressful. But we want to make it as easy for you as possible! Each week this month we will be giving you dinner party ideas through the meals we offer. This week we have a handful of meals that pair well together and can make planning a dinner party quick and easy!

For an Asian cuisine Friendsgiving consider ordering these meals this week:

Double or Triple a Meal, easy peasy this week!

Do you want a quick meal you can throw in the oven for Friendsgiving? Order 2 or 3 of our BLACK BEAN + SWEET POTATO ENCHILADAS (they are so delicious!) and ask your friends to bring the side salads. Just don’t forget the margaritas!

If your needing a new baking dish for this meal (mine is looking a little old these days) our chef recommends these Pyrex Baking Dishes. They transfer heat really well, you can see through them to make sure you aren’t burning your food, AND they are cheaper then ceramic dishes!

Soups on!

Another pairing of meals on the menu this week is soup! Soup season is here, and come on, everyone loves soup! Take a look at these soup options for your Friendsgiving! The sliders in our Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Sage Pork Sliders would be a perfect appetizer before the main soup course. We have them as Gluten Free Sliders, but we are also offering Slider Buns as an add this week, for those of you, like me, who crave bread. 🙂

How about Breakfast for Dinner?

Who doesn’t love Breakfast for Dinner?! Enjoying a hearty breakfast with friends in the evening can be a really fun new tradition! We normally only offer one breakfast meal a week, but this week we have three on the menu!

My cast iron skillet is my best friend when it comes to making Shakshuka. If you don’t have your own cast iron, here’s a Lodge Cast Iron that our chef highly recommends!

All in all, whatever you decide to do for Friendsgiving, remember that the most important part is sharing a meal together with friends you love.

When you cook with love, the food always tastes better. 🙂

KITCHEN TIP | BLIND BAKING A PIE SHELL

Pies with especially wet fillings like quiches and custard pies as well as pies to be filled with pre-cooked fillings (such as chocolate cream pie) require the pie shell to be baked prior to filling. You’ll often see this referred to as “blind baking”. 

The process is pretty straightforward and simple and only requires some advanced planning and extra time worked into your baking process.

GENERAL PIE DOUGH TIPS

If your dough has been refrigerated, let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes to make it more workable. Frozen dough should be thawed in the refrigerator over night then at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. 

If you start rolling your dough and it cracks, let it rest longer to warm up a bit. If your dough seems too soft, pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes. 

TO BLIND BAKE A PIE SHELL

Roll your pie dough out into a circle about 1/8″ thick on a well floured surface. Fit into your pie plate.

Using kitchen shears or a sharp paring knife, trim the edge of the pie dough to be about 1″ to 1.5″ bigger than the outer rim of your pie plate. Tuck the overhanging pie dough under so that there is a double layer of dough at the edge.

Crimp the edge all the way around using the thumb and forefinger on your left hand and thumb on your right hand (or vice versa if you’re a lefty).

Using a fork, “dock” or pierce the pie shell all over the bottom and sides. The holes created allow steam to escape and will help prevent the pie dough from puffing up as it bakes. 

Refrigerate your crimped and docked pie shell for at least an hour. Don’t be tempted to skip this step – it is crucial to the pie shell maintaining its shape and lovely crimped edge when baked.

Line your pie shell with parchment paper and fill to the top with dried beans, rice or ceramic pie weights. (Beans or rice can be used over and over again as pie weights. Let cool after use then store in a jar for the next time you bake a pie.)

Bake pie shell in a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes.* Carefully remove the parchment paper and the weights. Return the pie shell to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling.

*Or bake according to your specific recipe. 

Tips + Tricks for Quick Weeknight Meals

We know how valuable your time is and we want to do everything possible to make it easier for you to both shop AND cook local. We are going to lay out a plan to turn your Locavore Box into quick weeknight meals.  With a little planning and prep, you can make weeknight cooking quick and easy.

The first thing you need to do is gather the supplies you’ll need to prep + store your veggies. If you are truly committed to cooking from scratch {which is great to strive for} then definitely invest a little money to buy the tools and supplies that will make your life easier.  Next week we will post a list of our staff’s favorite kitchen tools and where you can buy them. Check back!

Things you’ll need to prep this week’s box:

An awesome knife
A large cutting board
A rolling pin
7 – 32oz Ball jars or similar
2 – 8oz Ball jars or similar
1 – 4oz Ball jar or similar
Cheese Grater
Vegetable Peeler 
Clean Dish Towel

Step 1:  Pull out your potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and leeks. Wash, dry and set next to your cutting board.

Step 2:  Prep veggies

     Cube red potatoes and place in a 32oz jar, fill jar with water
     Peel and cube yellow potatoes and place in a 32oz jar, fill jar with water
     Cut leeks in half lengthwise, slice and place in a 32oz jar
     Peel + dice carrots. Add 1/2 to one 32oz jar and 1/2 to a second 32oz jar
     Peel two yellow onions, finely dice, then add to both 32oz jars with carrots
     Peel red onion, reserve half for another use, and finely dice the remainder and add to an 8oz jar
     Dice celery and add to one jar with carrots + onions

Step 3:  Pull out your kale, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Wash, dry and set next to your cutting board.

Step 4:  Continue to prep veggies

     Peel and mince 5 cloves of garlic. Add 3 cloves to jar with red onion, and 1 clove to each jar with carrots
     Remove and discard stems from kale, coarsely chop leaves and place in 32oz jar
     Pick 3 tsp of leaves from thyme. Place 2 tsp in jar with carrots, onions + celery and 1 tsp in jar with carrots + onions
     Chop 1-2 tsp of rosemary and place in jar with red onions

Step 5:  Pick through garbanzo beans, place in 32oz jar and fill jar with cold water. 

Step 6:  Grate cheese and place in 8oz jar 

Step 7:  Put everything away and you’re now prepped to cook for the week.

If you know next week is going to be crazy, consider taking your prep one step further.

Cook Your Smoked Salmon Chowder:
This chowder is even better on day two so it’s the perfect “make ahead” meal. You’ll also love it for lunches!

Cook Your Soaked Beans:
Soak the beans overnight. Drain the beans, put in a pot and cover with cold water by at least 2”. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until tender. Drain then refrigerate. 

Alternatively, you can power soak your beans! Bring unsoaked beans to a boil, simmer briskly for two minutes, remove from heat and cover. Set aside for 1 hour.

Partially Cook Your Shepherd’s Pie:
Follow your menu to make both the mashed potatoes + meat filling. With those two things done, all you need to do is assemble + bake!

Partially Cook Your Quiche:
Get a head start on your quiche by cooking up your leeks and rolling out your pie dough. If you have space in your freezer, you can even freeze the dough in the pie dish.

Reserve your cutting board trimmings for stock:
Whatever you do, do not throw away all those veggie trims and pieces. Toss them with leftover herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast on a sheet pan for 30 minutes. Or, simply cover with water, bring to a simmer and cook for about an hour. Use your homemade veggie stock in this week’s Shepherd’s Pie or freeze in 16oz containers for future use. Looking for more tips + tricks for stock? Check out this blogpost over at The Kitchn.

BACK TO SCHOOL, BACK TO WORK, BACK TO REALITY….

Soon we will all return to our familiar routines of school and work as this glorious Pacific Northwest summer draws to a close.


Be sure that your kitchen is well provisioned for the busy weeks ahead. Shop Locavore Boxes for simple weeknight dinners as well as other kits for breakfast, lunches and snacks.

You’ll also want to stock up on the latest crops of summer fruit while they’re still here! Now is the time to make jam, freeze berries and can what you can!

See what’s available for the coming week in this week’s newsletters. 

PS Don’t let the 3-Day weekend throw you off. Orders are still due by the same cutoff. 

Portland – Sunday at Midnight
Bellingham + Seattle – Monday at 10am

Bellingham Newsletter

Seattle Newsletter

Portland Newsletter

RECIPE | ROASTED HEIRLOOM TOMATO SAUCE

ROASTED HEIRLOOM TOMATO SAUCE

  • Preheat oven to 425F.

  • Halve and 3-4lbs of tomatoes. Cut large tomatoes into wedges. You can leave smaller ones in halves. 

  • Separate 2 or 4 garlic cloves from a head of garlic. (I used 4, use less if you are garlic averse)

  • Place the tomatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves on parchment lined baking sheets. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

  • Roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are very soft and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the garlic cloves from their skin.

  • Transfer everything to a blender container and blend until smooth or leave It slightly chunky if you prefer. Alternately, transfer to a bowl or other large container and puree using an immersion blender. 

  • Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Let cool slightly then pour into containers to freeze.


OPTIONS:: 
I like to keep this sauce basic so I can later adapt it to different recipes and flavor profiles.

If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add 2 carrots (peeled and cut into ½” chunks) and/or 1 onion (peeled and cut into wedges). 

I have also roasted the tomatoes along with herbs – thyme is particularly good!

The color of your sauce will vary depending on which varieties of tomatoes you used.

This method can also be used with other types of tomatoes as well as red peppers.

PRESERVE THE HARVEST | FRUIT PIES

The final weeks of Summer, when harvests are their peak, are the ideal time to plan for the wintry months ahead and preserve fruits and vegetables. 

Your “future-self” will thank you come January when your pantry is filled with jams and sauces and your freezer is stuffed with berries, corn and even dessert.

With a 20 pound case of Smallwood Farms peaches in my kitchen needing to be dealt with, I was looking for ways to preserve them beyond just slicing and freezing. 

Thankfully, I remembered how my mother-in-law deals with the hundreds of pounds of apples she harvests from her yard in Upstate New York. In addition to all the applesauce and apple muffins and apple crisps, she makes apple pie filling that can easily be pulled from the freezer and slipped into a pie shell months later. The ingenious part to her method is how she freezes the pie filling.

Here’s what she does::

After mixing up the fruit, sugar, spices, etc. as you would if baking the pie that day, pour the mixture into a parchment paper lined pie plate (try not to pour too much accumulated liquid in). 

Layer another sheet of parchment paper on top, secure with a rubber band and freeze (still in the pie plate) until just solid.

Remove the pie plate from the freezer and slip the frozen mass of fruit out of the pan.  Wrap in additional parchment then foil or newspaper and slip into a freezer bag.

When you’re ready for a fruit pie this winter, prepare your bottom crust as you normally would and fit it into the same pie dish you originally froze your fruit filling in. Place the unwrapped frozen pie filling (no need to defrost!) into the crust and top a second crust or crumb topping. Bake according to the original recipe’s instructions. Then, thank your “summer-self” for thinking ahead!

ACME + PIE SPOT = HAPPY TEACHERS!

Pie Spot Local Pie

This June, based on our Portland customer’s nominations we’re delivering over 300 Pie Spot pies to local teachers and school staff as an end-of-the-year thank you for their hard work this past school year.  

ACME Farms + Kitchen
Deliveries to Oliver Elementary!

Earlier this year Pie Spot experienced an electrical fire and are working to rebuild. Thankfully, they’ve found a way to keep baking as they work to raise funds via Go Fund Me. We sympathize deeply with their set-back.

Pie Spot
Pie Spot’s Pie Holes, individual sized pies.

Please join us in thanking teachers and supporting Pie Spot!

HEALTHY FOOD, HAPPY KIDS SPRING FUNDRAISER

Common Threads Farm

ACME Farms + Kitchen Partners with Non-Profit, Common Threads Farm for Fundraiser

Orders placed for special fundraising kits April 7th – May 1st to benefit food educational programs!

ACME Farms + Kitchen is proud to partner with local non-profit Common Threads Farms again this year to raise funds for their Healthy Food, Happy Kids Spring Fundraiser. Common Threads will use the funds to support their school-based food education programs. Programs include school gardens, cooking classes, and after school activities.

Supporters can place their orders for a Locavore Meal Kit featuring Bellingham Pasta Company, Golden Glen Creamery, and local produce; Breakfast Parfait Kit including ingredients from Samish Bay Cheese, Bow Hill Blueberries and Blue Skies Granola; Spring Produce Bundle made up of local veggies from Whatcom and Skagit Counties; and a Basics Kit with Proven Bread, Samish Bay Cheese and local eggs. Purchases and direct donations can be made on the fundraising site: http://acmefarmsandkitchen.squarespace.com.

“We’re thrilled to offer delicious, wholesome, local food in support of Common Threads Farms. It’s important to us to have them in our schools teaching gardening and cooking so kids in our community grow up knowing and loving the taste of healthy food.” states Cara Piscitello, co-founder.

50% of the purchase price will go directly to Common Threads Farms. Deadline for orders is May 1st. Orders will be delivered to the customer’s chosen Bellingham area pick-up spot on May 5th.

More information about Common Threads Farm and their programs can be found at  https://commonthreadsfarm.org.

SET YOUR HOLIDAY TABLE THE LOCAL WAY

Set your holiday table the local way – from food to flowers and even linens.
 
For Easter Dinner, serve your guests a classic meal of Smoked Ham, Roasted Asparagus, New Potatoes + Herbed Butter (available this week as the Mini Ready Made). Don’t forget a Spring Bouquet of tulips and anemones to brighten your table!

If brunch is more your style, we have our own Rhubarb Crumb Cake Mix, bacon or sausage. This week’s salad kit in Seattle and Bellingham will fit right into your brunch menu as will the Torta Pasqualina in the Ready Made Box or the Shiitake Strata in Locavore Boxes.

Your Local Food Forecast for the Week….

BELLINGHAM + SEATTLE

ADD TO YOUR ORDER:: Spring Time Farm Bouquet, Jack Mountain Meats Bacon and Breakfast Sausage Links, Copper River Salmon Filets + Smoked Salmon, Easter Dinner Kit, Rhubarb Crumb Cake Kit

READYMADE:: Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese, Torta Pasqualina *Only 2 meals in Ready Made this week – the third meal is the Easter Dinner Kit.

SALAD KIT:: Green Goddess Potato Salad Fingerling Potatoes, Tender Greens, Hard-Cooked Eggs, Radishes, Fennel, Green Goddess Dressing

QUICK + SIMPLE:: Mushroom Fontina Flatbread, Sausage Heroes, Shrimp Scampi

BASICS:: House Wheat, Cheddar Cheese, Frozen Bow Hill Blueberries, Eggs

LOCAVORE BOXES:: Large – Chicken Curry Sausage + Alaskan Cod, Turf – Chicken Curry Sausage Surf – Alaskan Cod

G+DF:: Pork Stir FryShrimp*Ground Lamb*Ground Beef*Pork Roast (*These proteins will be in the Small G+DF)

PORTLAND 

ADD TO YOUR ORDER:: Tulips (on sale Friday!), Rhubarb Crumb Cake Mix, Vanilla Cake Mix, Sugar Cookie Dough, Yakobi Coho Salmon Filets + Smoked Salmon, Deck Family Farm Country Sausage, Easter Dinner featuring Olympia Provisions Ham

READYMADE:: Pasta with Pork Bolognese, Kale + White Bean Soup or Shepherd’s Pie

QUICK + SIMPLE:: Mushroom Fontina Flatbread, Sausage Heroes, Shrimp Scampi

BASICS:: Pain au Levain, Cheddar Cheese, Frozen Blueberries, Eggs

LOCAVORE BOXES:: Large – Chicken Curry Sausage + Alaskan Cod, Turf – Chicken Curry Sausage Surf – Alaskan Cod

G+DF:: Pork Stir FryShrimp*Ground Lamb*Ground Beef*Pork Roast (*These proteins will be in the Small G+DF)

Ready to order! Visit our SHOP Page!

RECIPE | Cara’s Mom’s Irish Soda Bread

This recipe is far from traditional but it is tradition in my family. The resulting bread is a tad sweet with a flaky, tender crumb reminiscent of a scone. The caraway seeds are optional but, to me, it doesn’t taste right without them!

IRISH SODA BREAD
makes 1 loaf

3 tbsp cider vinegar
3/4 cup milk + more for brushing the top
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbsp caraway seeds, optional

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix together the milk and vinegar and set aside to “clabber” (curdle) while you proceed with the rest. The milk will thicken and curdle a bit- it’s normal.

Mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and toss with the dry ingredients in the bowl. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembled coarse cornmeal. Stir in the raisins and caraway seeds, if using. 

   

Make a well in the center and pour in the clabbered milk. Stir vigorously with a fork to fully incorporate the wet into the dry. The dough will be shaggy.

Turn the contents of the bowl out onto a floured surface. Knead 8-10 times to get everything to come together. Shape into a ball and, using a sharp knife, cut a cross in the top – about 1/2″ deep. Place into a shallow greased pie plate or parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the top with milk.

Bake for 15 minutes then lower the oven temperature to 375F and bake for another 30-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when knocked. 

Let cool completely then slice and serve – slathered in Irish butter if you like.