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Guest blogger, chef and rad skier...Cody LaPlante
Something I haven't done yet at Food Chronicles is have a guest blogger. Pretty standard stuff for most blogs. Guess I was waiting for just the right contributor! Wait no longer. I would like to introduce my first guest, Cody LaPlante. Cody is 11yrs. old and a great storyteller.

Cody is a member of the Squaw Valley Institute Kid's Club. The club came out to the Growing Dome for an evening tour to learn about the dome and discover cool things about 4-season growing. Everyone got to help Cody harvest veggies that he later used in a seasonal meal prepared for his family. BIG thanks to Carolyn Hamilton who organizes this talented and motivated bunch of kids who are developing a better connection to their food in anticipation of Joel Salatin's visit on Feb. 13th. Here's Cody...

One time my class went to the Growing Dome in Truckee. It was full of vegetables and frogs. I saw a water tank with fish and asked what if was for. Susie said that the fish poop fertilizes the plants in a system called aquaponics. The Dome has solar panels to power the water tank's pump and fans to circulate air. When it gets hot in the Dome the wax on the cooling vents melts and opens the vents so cool air can come in. When the dome starts to cool down the wax hardens and closes the vents. That's cool!  At the Dome we harvested parsley, chard, carrots, one beat, radishes, and spinach leaves.

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Great Basin Community Food Cooperative in Reno is a little market that only sells local, organic foods from farmers around our area. There we got some cabbage and ground beef. The meat was all grass fed from Albaugh Farms in Fallon, Nevada. I visited this farm last fall and we got to see all the cows, sheep, goats, and chickens, and we got to play on the tree swing. The cabbage was from Riverdog Farms in California.

After the LONG process of getting all the food I finally got to make my meal. We made a salad with chard, beat leaves, carrots, and radishes. My favorite part of the salad was the beat leaves! We boiled the beat and sliced it up and put a little vinegar on it. It was really sweet! We added parsley, salt, pepper, and honey from beehives in Sparks, Nevada to the ground beef. Then we cooked it up and made cabbage wraps. It was so good we had it for lunch the next day.

                - Cody LaPlante, 11yrs. old - Truckee, CA

 
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Beet Ravilois (sample photo, not from the actual recipe)
One thing I didn't want this blog to become was another recipe site. But one's love for food is what drives them in their fight to protect it. Recipes are a reminder that food is something to be celebrated and enjoyed.

I know I like something if...I close my eyes, start to chew slowly and try to unravel the flavors parading down the runway of my tounge. We've all been there. At least I hope!

At our Slow Food Lake Tahoe's annual fundraiser two weeks ago, Cooking Outside the (CSA) Box, Dragonfly chef/owner, Bill McCullough put a spin on two rooted vegetables like I've never seen. It was the epitome of "cooking outside the box." I fell compelled to share them both.

The first recipe is...roasted beets, delicately sliced to form raviolis then stuffed with a truffle infused goat cheese and dressed with a balsamic glaze and arugula salad. OMG! The second is...scalloped turnips! Like scalloped potatoes but better and it opens up a whole new door to what you can do with this funky, rooted veggie. Let's get cookin...

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Beet raviolis (sample photo, not from the actual recipe)
BEET RAVIOLIS W/ TRUFFLED GOAT CHEESE

3 each- Red Beets- similar sizes
3 each- Yellow Beets- similar sizes

    In deep hotel pans- or heavy pots,  place beets- with no tops. Red in one and Yellow in the other. For each container: Fill with water ½ up beets. Then, add olive oil until the beets are covered. Add 2 T chopped parsley, 4T kosher salt, 2 cloves- chopped garlic, 6 black pepper and juice of 3 lemons.  Bring liquid up to quick boil- cover and roast in oven for 35 minutes or until you can just easily put a knife into the beet.  Cool beet a bit- peel with hands then cool all the way.

Truffled Goat Cheese Filling:
1 ½ #- Cheve Goat Cheese- room temperature
4T-      White Truffle Oil
4T-      Basil- chopped
Mix together

To Make Ravioli:
Slice beet on a mandolin slicer so they are about 1/16” thick. Basically, they should be a little bigger than transparent.  Lay beets out on a sheet tray putting matching sizes next to each other. Lay about 2t of filling in middle of beet, but this also depends on beet size. Use your judgment! Then put a similar size beet over the goat cheese. Press down sides.

Balsamic Glaze:
Reduce 4 cups of balsamic until syrupy. Reduce at a simmer and when you have tight bubbles, it should be done. This will make extra, but you can put it on strawberries for dessert! 


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SCALLOPED TURNIPS

Makes hotel pan- 18 x 12
Pre-Heat Oven to 375 degrees

8 cups-      Turnips- peeled and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups- Yellow Onion- thinly sliced
5 T-          Garlic- chopped
10 T-        Butter
4T-           Flour
1 T-          Salt
1 ½ cups- Milk
2/3 cup-    Heavy Cream
1 t-            Black Pepper
3 cups-      Gruyere Cheese- grated

-Spray hotel pan with pan spray
-Melt butter in sauté pan- sauté onion and garlic until just soft
-In a bowl,  mix everything together- except cheese.
-Once well mixed, layer in pan so turnips are flat and even
-Sprinkle cheese evenly over top
-Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil then bake for another 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.