Tag: local foods

Meet Jennifer Miller, IFC’s New Communications Coordinator

Jennifer Miller 1We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Miller has agreed to help us with our marketing efforts.  She’s originally from Chicago where she was most recently a baker at a gluten-free bakery. She’s spent the last few years in Iowa where she’s pursued her interest in food. She’s designed and written food blogs (CinnamonQuill.com) that center around gluten-free and vegetarian eating, including a monthly column with Martha Stewart’s Whole Living website.

Her love for food has now ventured into a love for growing food as well. She’s spent time working on organic farms in Missouri, California, Iowa, Iceland, and Costa Rica. She’s currently starting a community market garden to grow vegetables and herbs in her small yard in Windsor Heights.

Jennifer will be updating our website, increasing our social media presence, and producing our e-newsletter. We greatly appreciate her enthusiasm and skills. She will be a wonderful addition to our team. Please welcome her aboard. You can contact her at wayofbaking@gmail.com.

Zaza’s Pasta

Dine with Zest with Zaza’s Pastas, by Rita Pray

If you are looking for an elegant yet easy dinner, stock up on some of Zaza’s homemade Ravioli.  It’s about as easy as it gets, and with some simple accompaniments, you can have a delicious, amazing meal on the table in about 10 minutes.  The first ravioli I  tried was the Butternut Squash-Parmigiano Ravioli, which I embellished with a quick and easy creamy pesto sauce.  It was rich and creamy and filling.  Just recently, I served the Beet Ravioli with Gorgonzola cheese and Caramelized Leek filling.   I followed the recommendation of the Zaza folks and served it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  Accompanied by fresh greens from the Berry Patch and a glass of red wine, we had a lovely meal, simply made and exquisitely delicious.

Zaza’s Pastas originate in North Liberty, made by a producer who learned to cook from her Italian grandmother.  Zaza’s offers a variety of focaccia breads, breadsticks, biscotti, homemade pasta sauces, and about a dozen or more varieties of dried pasta and several types of frozen ravioli.  The dried pastas are colorful (beet, semolina, seppia, butternut squash, saffron, herbed) and shapely (fettuccine, lasagna, farfalle.)  The ravioli boast filling ingredients from local creameries and vegetable gardens when possible.   All of the pastas are flavorful and nicely textured, and make a simple pasta sauce shine.   But for the easiest dinner ever, the ravioli wins, hands down.  Simply boil a salted pot of water, drop in the frozen ravioli and let them simmer for 3-5 minutes, drain and drizzle with olive oil or sage butter.

I have tried one of Zaza’s dessert offerings, by accident when I was given another member’s order of Pizelle—which are the light and crispy waffle-style Italian cookies.  I served them with fresh blackberries, a drizzle of chocolate, and whipped cream, feeling only a little guilty about the unexpected windfall in our distribution.   I’m guessing the tiramisu would be fabulous, based on the other Zaza’s treasures I have discovered.  Buon Appetito!


Mom’s Crazy Open Tacos

Mom’s Crazy Open Tacos – from busy mother of three Stacy Hancock

Not much time to throw something together for dinner? Open Tacos are a great way to get a variety of good stuff in while also being family-friendly. Adjust to whatever you have on hand.

Tortilla Chips

Pinto Beans(can or cooked from dry)

1 lb ground beef from Nova Vitae

Greens of choice, chopped(spinach, baby kale, chard, etc)

Tomatoes of choice, chopped

Shredded Cheese- we used Frisian Farms gouda



7 Pines salsa

7 Pines sweet jalapenos


Taco seasoning


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Fry up the beef in the homemade taco seasoning. Drain grease if needed. Add can of drained/rinsed pinto beans when meat is cooked, mix together and set aside.

3. Layer tortilla chips on bottom of a rimmed cookie sheet or a pyrex casserole dish. Top chips with meat/bean mixture and shredded cheese. Bake in oven until cheese is melted and chips look toasty.

4. Top with greens, tomatoes. Serve salsa, sweet jalapenos and cilantro on the side. Goes great with clementines! Follow up with popcorn and a movie, be crowned the Best Mom Ever!


2nd Annual ARAG Green Fair

Friday, Septembner 30 · 11:00am – 2:00pm

Captal Square Atrium
400 Locust Street
Des Moines, Iowa

More Info:
Good Times Growing at the 2nd Annual ARAG Green Fair!

Meet your friends at the ARAG® Green Fair and discover eco-friendly products that are safe, healthy and cost-effective — all while making a difference to our environment. New this year, the Iowa Health System Stage will feature demonstrations on sustainability and the impact on public health, free samples, giveaways and more!

This free event is open to the public.