Sending Kids to Cooking School: Chicago-based PRE Brands beef company partners with nonprofit Common Threads

Chicago-based beef startup PRE Brands is helping to send at least 300 local kids to cooking school this fall. PRE Brands is a consumer based start-up purveyor company that sells 100 percent grass fed and grass finished premium beef. Throughout the month of August, a portion of PRE’s ground beef sales will be donated to Chicago nonprofit Common Threads as they bring culturally-relevant cooking and nutrition programming to underserved Chicago youths for their fall curriculum. 

Founded in 2003 by Chicago Chef Art Smith, artist Jesus Salgueiro and CEO Linda Novick O'Keefe, Common Threads was created to bring health and wellness to children, families and communities through cooking and nutrition education. By integrating preventative health programs into school districts and community organizations, Common Threads not only helps combat the rising number of diet-related diseases, but also cultivates a culture that embraces a healthier lifestyle and celebrates diversity through food. The organization envisions a community of learners that embraces healthy cooking, healthy eating and healthy living as both a life choice and a human right. Common Threads is committed to reaching 1 million children by 2020 and hopes to eventually make its programs an integral part of childhood education for all. To learn more about the programs visit: www.commonthreads.org

So fire up the grill and help send some lucky kids to cooking school! In addition to selling grass fed ground beef, PRE's product offerings include hand trimmed steaks and seasonal specialty cuts. Look for their ground beef at Chicagoland Mariano's, Meijer, Heinen's and Treasure Island grocery stores. Also available online at Amazon Fresh, Peapod and Jet. For information on how to donate to Common Threads, and for some great recipes visit: www.pre-brands.com/cook.

July 20: Green City Market's Chef BBQ Fundraiser

If you want to be in the know and experience the best, most creative summer bites and hand crafted libations from chefs in the local food scene, this is the premiere summer event to attend. Imagine a giant upscale picnic in the heart of scenic Lincoln Park, featuring 130 rock star chefs, award-winning restaurants, local food artisans and more than 32 of the Midwest’s premiere beverage purveyors. 

The fundraiser started out 17 years ago with 10 chefs on the market’s parking lot, and today it’s grown to over 130 chefs. And the local farmers provide the chefs with all of the bounty which include heirloom produce, heritage meats, cheeses and much more.

Local wines, craft beers and artisanal spirits are also an integral part of the evening: A lot of the cocktails are inspired with what’s offered by Green City market like in-season berries, fruit and fresh herbs.

Every chef is paired up with a farmer, and then they purchase everything from that farmer. “It’s the heart of what we all do. It’s feed people and connect with the farms,” shares Chef Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Café.

Where else can you find some of the city and surrounding area’s top chefs, artisans and beverage providers that support local, seasonal ingredients and farmers all in one place? It’s a perfect opportunity to mingle with friends, sip and taste some of the best summer food in Chicago.

The event not only helps with the farmers’ economy; funds raised by the Chef BBQ go directly to support the Green City Market’s many educational programs, including The Edible Gardens, chef demos, children’s Sprout programs, composting programs and the city’s LINK initiatives.

The Green City Market’s Chef BBQ Fundraiser will be held rain or shine on Thursday, July 20 at the South End of Lincoln Park and runs from 5:30PM to 8:00PM. VIP attendees receive early admission privileges and other perks. Purchase tickets online and soon, as this event often sells out in advance: greencitymarket.org. General Admission is $125.00 and VIP Admission is priced at $275. 

 

 

How to Pour the Perfect Heart Cappuccino in a Few Simple Steps!

You don't need to be a Barista to surprise your special Valentine this week with a heart shaped foam shape in the center of your cappuccino or latte. It might some practice, but once you master it the first time, it's easy to remember. We suggest you use whole milk as it's best to work with and form the heart shape.

These steps are to be used with an espresso machine and milk steamer: 

  1. Steam 3 ounces of whole milk (6 tablespoons) to 140-160 degrees. Make sure you then swirl the milk to get rid of any bubbles.
  2. Use a standard Cappuccino cup and fill it with about 1 ounce (one shot) of expresso. Hold the cup in your hand and then tip it toward you -- at around a 45-degree angle.
  3. Take your steamed milk and gradually pour the milk into the Espresso starting in the middle of the cup. It's best that you hold the pitcher high so that when you pour the milk it will sink to the bottom.
  4. When the cup is mostly full, continue to pour but pour closer to the top. As you are pouring start shaking your hand back and forth to slightly make ripples in the foam.
  5. Now lift the pour higher again and drag it in a line down through the center of the heart to make the point at the bottom.

You'll then have a heart foam in your cup! Enjoy!

photo below: shutterstock
photo by shutterstock.com

 

 

The Maker's Mark Share Delicious Holiday Tour Dec 18-20!

Maker’s Mark® is hitting the road and celebrating the spirit of the season for its 2nd annual charitable mobile holiday tour. In partnership with Share Our Strength, a non-profit organization founded with the belief that everyone has the strength to share in the fight against hunger and poverty, the Maker’s Mark #ShareDelicious bake sale truck will give fans in six U.S. cities a chance to enjoy a tasty treat in exchange for a suggested donation to help those in need.

Maker’s Mark® has partnered with Share Our Strength as the #ShareDelicious tour kicks off, ensuring that families get the food they need this holiday season, as well as access to support programs that teach culinary education courses and how to shop on a budget. During each stop, the #ShareDelicious truck will spread holiday cheer by passing out spiced cider and delicious baked goods from Butter & Scotch bakery, including Cheddar-Chive Biscuits and Maker’s Mark® Hot-Toddy Caramel Corn, as well as items inspired by each city along the route.*

The Maker’s Mark® #ShareDelicious Holiday Tour is rolling in to Chicago on December 18-20 with a very special treat inspired by the city! The Deep-Dish Piecaken is a deep dish raspberry pie sweet treat dessert.

HOW: Consumers can stop by the #ShareDelicious truck during the dates/times listed below. To enjoy any bake sale item, simply Text “Makers” to 877-877 with a suggested donation of $5 which will go directly to Share Our Strength.** Simply show confirmation of your texted donation at the truck’s collection window and make your selection!

WHEN & WHERE:

Maker’s Mark invites fans to visit our #ShareDelicious truck at the following locations this holiday season: Chicago, IL | December 18 – 20

Dates, Times & Locations

19-Dec 11am – 3pm Millennium Park: Wrigley Square and Millennium Park monument at the corner of E Randolph St. and North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60602

19-Dec 5pm – 8pm Joy District: 112 Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

 20-Dec 11am – 3pm Merchandise Mart: 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, on the South Drive/Capital West end along the river, Chicago, IL 60654

20-Dec 5pm – 9pm Garfield’s: 1704 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647

MORE: For those unable to visit the Maker’s Mark® holiday truck tour, you can still donate in $5 increments by texting MAKERS to 877-877.