Lessons Learned from a Fresh Market

by Mareesa Ahmad

It was a crisp spring morning as my mother and I crept quietly out of our Paris apartment, as my father slept soundly from an exhausting day at Versailles the day before. We chatted animatedly as we crossed La Tour Eiffel, which glistened in the early morning sun.

After a few twists and turns, we arrived at the famous open-air market on Rue Cler in the 7th arrondisement. It was still early, but both sides of the cobblestone street were already lined with vendors from all parts of Paris. There were stalls creaking under the weight of huge heads of cauliflower, asparagus thick

Siena Farms Kids’ Share 2016, Week 8: Roasted Fall Favorites

This week’s share featured some classic fall fruits and vegetables: Purple-Top Turnips, Baby Red Russian Kale, Peter Wilcox Potatoes, Bolero Carrots, Shallots, Apples, Delicata Squash, and Sage. This week’s surprise was a mini-whisk.

Roasting vegetables is a valuable kitchen skill to learn. If you have roasted vegetables before, you’ll notice that they look different after a long roast in the oven. For instance, the color changes to a caramel brown, the taste becomes juicy and loaded with flavor, and the texture becomes soft, and sometimes creamy when you take a bite.

The best part about

Fighting Nature’s Most Ferocious Moments … One Recipe at a Time

by M. Henry McFetridge

Here in Northern New England people refer to my neighborhood as “the great outdoors”. When doing stuff like lighting barbecues, or going out on a hike out in the big scary wilderness battling bears, our bellies get extra demanding for a good snack every once in a while. Well, what do you think us hearty types eat … boiled snake eyes? (Which don’t actually taste that bad, but that’s another story).

In case you live in a big city and have never gone on a hike, and you are right at thismoment considering eating snake eyes, don’t worry. There are easy-to-make snacks that

Siena Farms Kids’ Share 2016, Week 7: Preserving and Pickling

Before we had refrigerators, people had to figure out ways they could store vegetables so they last longer. People learned that pickling (and making jams) were ways they could keep and eat their vegetables in the winter, when many fresh produce weren’t available.

Luckily, we have refrigerators and fully stocked grocery stores to get us through the winter, but we still love learning about ways to preserve our fruits and vegetables. This week’s share included Hakurei Turnips, Red-Ace Beets, Green & Ripe Bell Peppers, Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers, Garlic, Kennebec Potatoes, Carrots, Dill, and a

Siena Farms Kids’ Share 2016, Week 6: Breakfast

It’s our sixth week of the Kids’ Share! For those of you who are just tuning in, ChopChop Kids is taking part in a third season with Siena Farms to bring families together in the kitchen with the Siena Farms Kids’ Share.  Kids get their very own vegetable share for 12 weeks in a special quarter-bushel Kids’ Share box.

Our sixth share included a mix of vegetables, featuring a lot of leafy greens. Our share included Tuscan Kale, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Boston Lettuce, Leeks, Carrots, Watermelon Radishes, Hakurei Turnips, and Honey Crisp Apples. This week’s surprise was a small notebook—perfect for

Who We Love: Highlands Family Success Center

We were excited to find out that Highlands Family Success Center (HFSC) in West Milford, NJ has taken on the #ChopChopCookingClub Challenge. The families are HFSC are doing one cooking challenge a month at Family Time. We’re excited to follow the progress of the class and see the new skills they are learning.

The Center’s Nutrition & Food Service Manager Jennifer Salt answered a few questions about how she got the Center involved with the Cooking Club and how they are using it to learn cooking skills.

ChopChop: How did you hear about the ChopChop Cooking Club?

Jennifer: I was at the

Siena Farms Kids’ Share 2016, Week 5: Peppers, Peppers, Peppers!

Who knew there were so many types of peppers! This week’s share was filled with all different shapes, sizes, and colors of peppers: Ripe Bell Peppers, Lunch Box Peppers, Shishito Peppers, and Jalapeno Peppers. Additionally, the share included Peter Wilcox Potatoes, Green Oakleaf Lettuce, and Garlic. This week’s surprise was a bag of fresh soil with a small pot and some basil seeds.

When trying to think of the best way to incorporate these awesome peppers into one dish, a great solution would be to do a vegetables and dip dish! We used one of our favorite dip recipes. Check it out:


Kids Can Make A Difference by Maxwell Surprenant

Kids Really Rock Festival: A Celebration of Music, Art, Community, and Kindness

A crowd of 7,000 people gathered at the Lawn on D for the fourth annual Kids Really Rock Festival, held last Saturday, September 24, in Boston, Massachusetts. I attended this event and soaked in the sunshine and good vibes all around.

Ten top children’s bands performed while kids and families happily danced, played musical instruments, enjoyed food and drinks, participated in arts and crafts, and played on the famous Lawn D swings. The twenty moon-shaped swings have solar-powered LED lights that change color when

Cooking with Allergies by Lily Stewart

Have you ever had any kind of allergy? Well today I'll be talking about my allergy and how to cook with an allergy. Lots of people have allergies when seasons change, but my allergy is a bit different. I have an allergy to gluten, which is an allergy to wheat. Wheat is in bread, bagels, cereal, and even in canned soup. You may have heard of gluten free, nut free, dairy free, etc. Those are all allergies! Cooking and living with an allergy challenging. Cooking gluten free is way different then cooking normally. There are different companies that sell premade gluten free food items and gluten

Siena Farms Kids’ Share 2016, Week 4: Farm Fresh Snacks

Four weeks have past since we started receiving our weekly farm share from Siena Farms. Each week, our Kids’ Share is filled with fresh vegetables and a surprise! This week’s share included Orange Cauliflower, Green Cauliflower, Red and Orange Bell Pepper, Tuscan Kale, Cherry Tomatoes, Scallions, Chives, and a mini-spatula as a surprise.

With the school year now in full swing, it is a good time to reflect on what need to get through the day: snacks! We love snacks, especially when they are fresh from the farm and simple! With our share, we transformed some of the ingredients into quick