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2013 September

25 Sep


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All This in a Pot of Marinara?(with Recipe!)

September 25, 2013 | By | No Comments

I think that it is about time that we post a recipe!  What better way to explain that there are 5 mother sauces in the culinary world by including the one that is a perfect example of everyday life: The RED or CLASSIC TOMATO SAUCE. You would not believe how quick the SAGERS were to answer how they like their red sauce.  It was kind of funny that after we discussed all the favorites from chicken parm to lasagne, we forgot to bring up the fact that we all just like it over pasta too!

One thing to take note is that here at Kitchen Sage I DO NOT throw out recipes like the Pillsbury Dough Boy(there are other similarities though! hmhm!) I want to give these kids just the basics, allowing them to create on their own terms as a collaboration, I boss them around enough!  So when we came up with the recipe below, they WANTED to throw in all the cool new veggies from the previous week’s Stir Fry! Crazy things like Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Broccoli!! ANY parent that is trying to sneak veggies into their kid’s meal would have shed a tear!

I know I keep saying that education is the hope, so when you see someone that has never had zucchini, and then they want to actually use it in their recipe it makes you want to let them try another vegetable so crazy like asparagus!  The SAGERS also learned about physical change(cutting veggies) and the chemical change(occurs when a simmering a pot of acidic tomato sauce turns sweet as the acids reduce and convert to sugars!) I wish you could have been there when we calculated the start and finish volume of the sauce. The real lesson of how much it cost compared to store bought blew their minds!

Then all of the sudden I was called to task!  When I told them we were just going to boil some Cavatapi Pasta to enjoy our”Gravy”(what Italians call marinara), you would of thought I was letting them down. “Why can’t we make our own pasta Chef Tommy?” “Are you kidding, we don’t have enough time, but wait!  We can make the dough and let it rest, then we can cut it, then you guys take it home.  Do something with it!”

While some teens use their cell phones for “sexting” my SAGERS are texting me things like this all the time!  Thank you Imani Hayden!

Pasta Imani


By the way, Imani had to do this in the dark, her power was out due to a storm!!

So as we are doing all this Marinara stuff, I took the opportunity to jump into their conversation with my own opinion!

“Kim Kardashian is a cheap skank!  Only an insane Kanye would go for a girl like that.  And if you think that a woman that not only commits adultery but also has a child with the other man is acceptable you are out of your mind.  The only things that make these idiots newsworthy is their moral train wreck and PR machines. By the way if you think emulating this behavior makes you rich and famous, you have another thing coming.  All this does is leave you as a single mom with a blessing/burden for the rest of your life.” A moral compass is there to guide, not to stray from! Then Dom, one of our Kitchen SAGERS chimes in with his thoughts on raising a child.  After his reality check, I was dumbfounded with his story and gained a deeper respect for this young man.  I knew Dom would be my first apprentice from the program.

I know you are waiting for the recipe, so here it is!  Don’t want such a huge amount? Do the math!

KS veggie marinara

1/4 cup oil
24 oz med dice onion
35 oz medium copped zucchini and summer squash
16 oz tri peppers chopped
20 oz broccoli
16oz chopped mushroom
16 oz garlic
6 lbs 6oz chopped can tomato
6 lbs 6 oz tomato sauce
1 bottle red wine
1 cup Italian Seasoning
3T Kosher Salt
3T Pepper
Saute the veggies with the oil until just a little soft, then add the Italian seasoning.  When you smell the herbs, put in all tomatoes, sauce, wine, and garlic.  Then the salt and pepper.
Bring to simmer and let simmer for at least 2 hours.
Freeze what you don’t use right away! The sauce stays great in the refrigerator for at least 7 days!
Pot O' Wisdom!

Pot O’ Wisdom!

All this with a Pot of Marinara!

16 Sep


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September 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

Did you miss me and my BLOG!? I do almost apologize for my website absence, but sometimes when you are in a hurricane, the last thing you do is write about the experience! Have no fear, I took great notes!

I could never have foreseen the successes, the drawbacks, and the downright failures of my first session of Kitchen Sage.

First lets talk about the Failures:

Transportation!  Since it was summer, I just assumed that transportation was going to be a no-brainer, boy was I wrong.  All-of-the-sudden I became a soccer mom, with less money and definitely not as pretty.  Somehow we all managed to work together and the kids made it to the all the classes.  Next time, we are calling on volunteers to provide additional transportation.  I am off the carpool list until I have my own kids!

ServSafe timing!  I chose to have the students take their test at the end our session.  From now on we will get the certification over with.  This way, if the students need to re-take the test we can be there with additional tutoring.  Rest assured, the two that failed ServSafe will have the opportunity to retake the test, but this way in the future we will get 100% success.  We did have 6 out of the 8 kids pass with flying colors!

We need one more day!  Our session ran Monday through Thursday during the summer, we need one more day to serve our students and the public at large.

Now let’s discuss the Drawbacks:

Obviously the status of our 501c3 has been our main priority and biggest thorn. The 501c3 status allows us to operate completely non profit, it legitimizes us, allowing us to file for grants and sponsorships.   Our consistent nagging has at least provided us with hope! We have been assured that it may come sometime after someone looks at it AT some point in time. At least that is what we have been told!  Can not wait for that!

My communication skills!  I am working better on concise messaging about our mission.  How does this sound?

“Kitchen Sage mentors our children to encourage our community to make choices that are healthier for the body, family, and community through culinary outreach.”

There are not enough hours in the day to do what we need to do!  I need to either alter time as we know it OR drop my pride and ask for more help.


We need volunteers to hang in the kitchen with the kids(the culinary challenged are more than welcome!).

We will need volunteers to shuttle kids home around 5:30 M-F after class starting October 7, 2013 through November 15, 2013.

I need fundraising friends!  We have had a little success with donations and the like, and I thank everyone that has supported us so far.  I think if we could get companies/friends/non-profit organizations  to book parties with Kitchen Sage, that could be a huge win/win for both groups.  The party gets Tommy and his fun filled Kitchen Sage Alumni to cater. All the while portions of donated funds keep the programming alive(we still have to pay for food and labor!). Even if a person just wanted to host a killer party at their home, the outcome is the same, fun for a great mission.  This way the kids are learning about culinary arts, leadership skills, communication skills, all the while having their skin in the game to keep Kitchen Sage moving forward.  Will this be a sweat shop(or kitchen)?  Hell no!  I already have 3 Kitchen Sagers that are apprenticing and getting paid, why not make these positions full time?!! We can do this with the community’s support. Dom, Reggie, and Ariana need full time work! So lets Party!

To the Success!

Sure, 6 out of 8 kids have a 5 year certification that says they know how to handle food safely(ServSafe)! Sure they know the basics of food preparation and have even been introduced to exotic foods like zucchini and asparagus! Of course we worked on leadership and effective communication skills. Sure we discussed issues totally separate of anything culinary and sure we had a good time.  But to go into depth, we need a new BLOG………