a wish for the holidays

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in families, giving, healthy lifestyle, seasonal celebrations, wellness | 2 comments

6737778905_b26dbf7dd0With the holidays coming up, we wanted to wish you all a peaceful, and enriching time with family and friends.

Here is a fun way to share with your loved ones: think of someone who will be at your holiday festivities, and has made an impact on your life. Write them a gratitude letter, then read it to them in person. This exercise will not only set the tone, but will also foster a deeper connection to your loved ones during this time of togetherness.

Take a step back from all of the holiday craziness, and try to remain present and positive when celebrating with family and friends, no matter what they bring to the table.

Happy holidays, see you in 2014!

Photo courtesy of Roger’s Eye

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awesome arepas

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in giving, holiday | 8 comments

photo (35)Our CEO + Co-Founder, Belinda just threw us a really fun holiday party at The Gutter, a local bowling alley!

Not only did we get 4 lanes to ourselves, and bowled our hearts out, but we were also treated to delicious Venezuelan arepas from a great local restaurant called Caracas Arepa Bar (since the alley is BYOFood).

Move over nachos and fried chicken fingers, we might have found the best bowling food out there!

4930944474_456a35d523While we can’t recreate the quality of the arepas that we ordered from Caracas, we can certainly try with help from Maribel Araujo, owner of Caracas, and her executive chef, Ilse Parra.

Click here to woo your tastebuds with this amazingly satisfying dish.

Happy Holidays from all of us on The Butter Beans Team!

Photo courtesy of stevendepolo

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kid tested cranberry chutney

Posted by on Nov 25, 2013 in cooking classes, cooking with kids, families, giving, healthy food, holiday, local food, school food, seasonal, seasonal celebrations, Thanksgiving, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments

IMG_0175Our Thanksgiving cooking class recipe revolved around seasonal fruit like cranberries, apples and pears.

They loved it!

We created a vibrant and fall colored quinoa salad, and to go alongside it, we simmered down a delicious cranberry chutney. A perfect delight for the senses!

Here’s to celebrating the fall harvest, spending time with family and friends, savoring good food, making memories, and giving back to those who need it the most.

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: ~60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. cranberries
  • 2 c. apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 4 T sugar

Directions: 

Add all of the ingredients into a pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour, or until all ingredients are soft and the liquid has reduced.

Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!

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enjoying food the Butter Beans way

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in cooking with kids, families, fast food, Food for thought, giving, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, lunch time, nutrition, raising children, wellness | 0 comments

225071_499064973454665_451393431_nWe are blessed to have a wonderful team of food service staff nourishing our students everyday at lunch-time.

We received this post from Shaquanna, who has been working with us for two years, and wanted to share her journey with you all.

Why I love Butter Beans

When I used to hear the term “lunch lady,” I immediately envisioned a woman in a hair net slapping visually unappealing food down on a plastic lunch tray.

Working with Butter Beans has allowed me to develop a new vision of what school lunch means. We truly are changing the way America thinks about school lunch!

With food being at the very core of our physical survival, the quality of the food we eat directly impacts our health and well-being.

As a Food Service Supervisor, I take pride in the work that I do since it makes a difference in the lives of the kids we serve. By serving high quality, nutrient dense food to children I know that we are positively impacting these kids’ lives for years to come.

Before working for Butter Beans my eating habits were far from what I wanted them to be. I grew up on a processed food diet. As an adult these foods continued to be my main sources of “nutrition.”

After having children of my own, I wanted to be more conscious of the foods I ate. Since good eating habits begin at home, I knew that I had to make changes in my diet so that my daughters would follow my example.

Although I wanteBHGRsfXCAAAfYqK.jpg-larged to change, I didn’t really know where to start. I didn’t know much about organic, or processed foods until years after my daughters were born. But that didn’t stop me from implementing small health changes as my food knowledge grew.

With that in mind, my experience at Butter Beans has helped me tremendously. Working with them has given me so many insights on healthy eating that I am really grateful for!

I have learned that eating healthy can be inspiring and fun. I’ve also been exposed to new foods such as quinoa and hummus, which I had never tasted or heard of before Butter Beans. I’ve even learned to come up with healthy new recipes based on our lunch menus!

Butter Beans has become an inseparable part of my life, my thanks to them for helping me on my road to health and wellness.

I will continue to incorporate healthy food choices in my everyday life so that my family and I can continue to live healthy, happy lives!

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National moment of silence

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in families, giving, news and happenings | 0 comments

425489_129504550542112_1437038017_nThis morning at 9:30am there will be a national moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

In light of the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday, here are some ways to help those families in need.

Ann Curry, of NBC News, used Twitter to ask her followers to commit to 20 acts of kindness as a way to pay tribute to the 20 children that were lost in this horrific event. Her fans were so tenderhearted to change it to #26ActsofKindness, including the teachers and school officials that risked their lives to protect the students of Sandy Hook Elementary.

Submit an Evergram post and send your own words of support to help families in their healing process. All posts will be delivered on December 31st to those trying to come to terms with what happened.

Donate to the Newtown Memorial Fund, a long-term foundation that will provide funds to the victims as well as establish academic scholarships in the victims’ names for generations of Newtown students to come.

The United Way has created the Sandy Hook School Support Fund to provide assistance with funeral expenses, counseling, and other services.

Photo courtesy of: nbcnews.com/26acts

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’tis the season for giving!

Posted by on Dec 19, 2012 in giving, holiday, local food, seasonal, seasonal celebrations, Thanksgiving, cranberries, recipes | 3 comments

chalkboardjarsThe holiday season is in full gear, with seasonal drink and food specialties, elaborate holiday window displays, and twinkling lights wrapped around trees, fences, and neighborhood lamp posts.

But trying to find the right gift for your friends and family can often lead to a hectic shopping experience. We are here to help! Here is a list of some thoughtful gifts to inspire and delight your gift recipients:

Cookbooks

  • Canal House Cooks Every Day by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton. The most recent publication from this quarterly cookbook series reflects the seasonality of ingredients. Their collection of recipes designed for the home chef is accompanied by richly colored photos and illustrations.
  • The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. After gaining a huge following from her food blog of the same name, Deb set out to create a one-stop resource for her fellow urban foodies and cooking enthusiasts. With recipes ranging the gamut from grapefruit olive oil pound cake to pumpernickel grissini with horseradish creme fraiche dip, this collection will cover all your cravings.
  • The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte. Another renowned food blogger, Sara focuses on nutritionally balanced meals, employing leafy greens with hardy whole grains. Often excluding meat, these recipes are the perfect gift for someone who is interested in Meatless Mondays.
  • The Family Dinner by Laurie David. Known for her work as the producer for An Inconvenient Truth, Laurie has written a great book about the importance of eating together as a family. She provides some wonderful recipes, tips to educate your children on green living, games and activities to get conversations going, and lots of wonderful advice from leading food experts.

DIY Kits

  • Goat Cheese Kit from Belle Chevre This DIY project makes it easy to become an artisanal cheesemaker. Included in the set are all the supplies needed to make your very own goat cheese, as well as simple step-by-step instructions.
  • Pale Ale Beer Brewing Recipe Kit Craft your very own microbrewed beer in the comfort of your own home. With this kit, you have the tools needed to create a gallon of your own of delicious beer, comparable to the likes of your favorite pale ale.
  • Back to the Root’s Grow Your Own Mushrooms Grow multiple crops of pearl oyster mushrooms in your own kitchen. This eco-friendly kit allows you to cultivate mushrooms that are often hard to find in the average grocery store.

Local Handmade Goods

  • Morris Kitchen’s Syrups This Brooklyn-based small-scale syrup factory delights the palate with flavors like ginger, preserved lemon, rhubarb, and spiced apple. Use these versatile and tasty syrups in cocktails, baked goods, or even salad dressings, and be sure to visit their website for more great recipes.
  • Grady’s Cold Brew Coffee Offering a New Orleans-style coffee concentrate that’s hand brewed and bottled in Kings County, this velvety-smooth concentrate is perfect poured over ice, mixed with water or milk, or even used in your favorite brisket recipe.
  • Empire Mayonnaise Co Any one of their uniquely flavored mayos will be a welcomed addition to your favorite sandwich. With varieties like black olive, seasonal clove orange, and white truffle, the local ingredients are easily detected by your tastebuds.
  • Liddabit Sweets’ The Snacker By purchasing this not-so-ordinary chocolate box, you receive the perfect amount of sweetness, saltiness, chewiness, and crunch all neatly compiled into the perfect individual chocolate bar.
  • Spoonable Check out their incredibly delicious caramel spreads, all made right here in good ole Brooklyn. Choose from salty caramel, Brooklyn butterscotch, spicy chili, flowery lavender, chewy sesame and peppered orange!

Other ideas

  •  Woodgrain Eco Notebook and Folder With the combination of clean lines and a nature-themed aesthetic, this notebook and folder are the perfect gift for a coworker. Made of recycled paper and printed with soy ink, these beautiful office essentials can easily liven up your workday routines.
  • Chalkboard Spice Jar Ideal for the kitchen enthusiast, these jars make it easy to find out exactly what’s in the spice cabinet. Because the chalkboard is erasable, they have an endless life span, and can switch from holding cinnamon to ground ginger to turmeric with the ease of an eraser.
  • Chemex Coffeemaker Perhaps one of the coolest looking coffeemakers around, this is not only a beautiful gift, but it is also super functional. Ranging in size from three cups to 10 cups, this coffeemaker takes brewing your ordinary cup of java and turns it into a sensory experience.
  • Make your own holiday cookies and pick up a fun vintage platter, or for more inspiration check out this fun list of homemade holiday gifts.

For more ideas, visit the Eat Boutique Shop and Food52’s online store for other food-related items. Also make sure to take a look at the Fab.com website for inspired gifts and seasonal knickknacks, and New York Magazine’s comprehensive Annual Holiday Gift Guide.

And what better way to wrap these gifts than with your own handmade holiday tags. Check out this list of creative DIY gift tags to make your gift even more special. Happy giving, and holidays to all!

Photo courtesy of Baking Bites

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