Fresh and Tasty Blog

A Letter From the E.D.

Responding to a crisis such as the pandemic we’re living through is part of Kitchen Angels’ DNA. We were born out of a crisis – the AIDS epidemic.  Nevertheless, this is something none of us was prepared for.

And yet, the kindness and adaptability of our volunteers, staff and Board have been nothing short of extraordinary. Each day seems to bring a new challenge for us to figure out, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

We cancelled our signature fundraising event, Angels Dine Out, and are asking our community to support the restaurants that have always supported us by ordering take-out on April 23. We also canceled Table 2-3-1 and closed our resale store, KITCHENALITY, for the time being.

Stephen Colbert said in a recent podcast, “This is one great nation, united by our belief in, and our need for, each other and reinforced by my belief that the American people, like all people, are essentially good and always want to know how to do the right thing.”  The Kitchen Angels family certainly exemplifies that sentiment.

We will be different when this is over.  The poet and artist Holly L. Thomas writes, “as we focus on finding solutions, what will ultimately matter – the real life skills – will come from how we work them out together.”    

Your financial support for Kitchen Angels is now more important than ever. Please continue to be there for us so that we can continue to be there for our clients. Together, we’re stronger than any pandemic.

In gratitude,
Tony

COVID-19. For Volunteers.

Kitchen Angels was founded on the belief that neighbors helping neighbors is the best way to keep a community strong. As we learn more about COVID-19 and the 2019 novel coronavirus, we know that the best way to help each other is to stay calm and be thoughtful, vigilant and compassionate. 

See below for short video that gives useful information on the virus:

Now, here’s what we are asking from you to make sure our staff, volunteers, and clients remain healthy and safe. 

If you don’t feel well, stay home. From what we know, many of the initial symptoms of COVID-19 can seem like a mild cold or seasonal allergy symptoms. If you think you may have a cold, or think you have allergies and aren’t sure, stay home. 

If you’re caring for someone who isn’t well, stay home. Even if you feel fine, you risk spreading the virus. You may also put the person for whom you’re caring at risk if they’re not currently sick with COVID-19. Again, caution and vigilance are key.

If you think you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home. Again, even if you feel fine, you risk spreading the virus. Until there’s a vaccine, the best thing you can do is avoid the possibility of spreading the virus.  

Let Lauren know if you won’t be coming in for your shift.

The basic kitchen and food handling safety efforts we always practice at Kitchen Angels are what the CDC recommends to avoid COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Don’t touch your hands to your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow and wash your hands afterwards; and
  • Wipe down surfaces such as counters, light switches and door handles with sanitizer.

The infectious disease specialists at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Hospital are working with the hospital’s staff to make sure they can properly care for folks who might develop COVID-19. Unless you develop symptoms that put you in the high-risk category for complications, they’re asking that you stay at home, treat the symptoms, and self-quarantine. 

The New Mexico Department of Health has a site with the latest information on COVID-19 activity and up-to-date treatment information, as well as links to other sites including the US Centers for Disease Control and Surveillance. In addition, here is another short video from the World Health Organization that offers some easy to understand information on COVID-19.
Thank you for your vigilance. We want you to stay safe, healthy and informed.

COVID-19. For Clients.

Kitchen Angels wants you to stay as healthy as possible.  This is especially important as our community prepares for the possible spread of COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by something called a novel corona virus.  The virus was first detected in China this past December.  Right now, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

We’ve always taken our kitchen practices very seriously to make sure our clients receive the freshest, safest and most nutritious meals possible.  Right now, we’re being even more vigilant to make sure you continue to receive your meals regularly and on time.

 Here’s what you can do to help us make sure that happens:

  • If you’re worried about the possibility of exposure to the virus, when your delivery driver arrives, you can ask them to leave your meal at your door.  It’s important you verbally acknowledge that you are home because drivers cannot leave meals unattended.  As long as they know you’re home, it’ll be OK.  If you let Janette know you’ll be doing this, she’ll tell your delivery driver.
  • Call Jeanette and let her know if you DO NOT HAVE freezer capacity and can keep frozen meals.  We may need to shift to delivering more frozen meals, depending on how things develop. 

Kitchen Angels has always been there for you and we intend to keep that promise. 

If you want more information about the virus or COVID-19, the New Mexico Department of Health has a site with the latest information on COVID-19 activity and up-to-date treatment information, as well as links to other sites including the US Centers for Disease Control and Surveillance.  In addition, here is a short video from the World Health Organization that offers some easy to understand information on COVID-19.

 

Tortellini Minestrone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (10 ounce) package of refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic, carrots, and celery, and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the stock, tomato paste, tomatoes, kidney beans, zucchini, yellow squash, and Italian seasoning, and stir until combined.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes to let all of those good flavors meld together.
  3. Stir in the spinach and cheese tortellini, and cook according to package instructions until al dente (usually about 5-6 minutes).
  4. Taste, and season the soup with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve immediately.

Local organizations Las Campanas Creative Needlework Club and Dashing Delivery get creative with their charity support.

A knitter herself, June Vogel is Chair of Las Campanas Needlework Club and has been involved with the organization for the past ten years. The club set up a small boutique at Kitchen Angels for one week in early December where they sold a variety of items including children’s sweaters, adults’ hats, scarves and gloves, women’s shawls, dog and cat sweaters, and a variety of Christmas items. This is the second year the Club has supported Kitchen Angels by donating 100% of the week’s sales to our program.

 

 

Dashing Delivery is a local food delivery service owned by Justin Greene. They deliver lunch and dinner “fast – easy – fresh – delivered to your door.” Dashing Delivery is also a supporter of Kitchen Angels, collecting and matching over $2,000 in 2019 through more than 1,600 donations. Their approach was simple – they implemented a “Round Up for Charity” option at check-out.

 


These are just two of the ways you can support your favorite charities that don’t involve simply writing a check.  We’re always looking for new and creative partnerships. If you have an idea or suggestion, please contact Dwayne Trujillo at 505-471-7780 x204 or dtrujillo@kitchenangels.org.

 

Mexicitos

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 eight-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 eight-ounce tube of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro leaves – chopped

 

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the meat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic powder, oregano, red chili powder and cilantro and stir well. When the meat is done, drain it, then return it to the skillet and stir in the tomato sauce. Simmer for 5 or 6 minutes. 

Cut each biscuit into quarters and flatten pieces with a rolling pin. Place a heaping teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of each piece. Fold in half to form a crescent and seal the edges with a fork four times. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately. (Can be assembled and refrigerated ahead of time. Bring to room temperature before baking.)

Recipe from Seasons of Santa Fe cookbook. Sold at Kitchenality. 

Former client Nat Dean

As a survivor of three traumatic brain injuries between 1984 and 2012, former client Nat Dean knows first-hand about living with physical disabilities. In 1988, she began working with service dogs to help mitigate the challenges her disabilities presented. In 1994, she moved to Santa Fe. By 2000, unable to cook for herself because of a particularly difficult health complication, she became a Kitchen Angels client.

As her health improved, Nat celebrated her “graduation” from Kitchen Angels in 2010. In honor of the occasion as well as her birthday, she made a commitment to begin cooking for herself and gaining more independence.

Nat believes Kitchen Angels’ support was instrumental in helping her translate her 25-year recovery into a new life chapter, giving new meaning to her personal journey through disability. Nat feels she has found her niche as a disabilities advocate, working directly with disabled people as well as with individuals at the local, state and federal levels. Nat tries to help guide policymakers, agencies, families and those living with disabilities toward discovering fresh avenues and creative solutions to facilitate systemic changes in the ‘disability experience.’ She sees her responsibility as helping to build bridges for greater access to supports and services in her work as a Disability-Focused Advocate, Consultant & Mediator. 

Nat’s ultimate desire is to help people living with disabilities improve the trajectory of the challenging events they face from crisis to opportunity.

 

White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Directions

Melt the butter in the microwave. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft. Fold in white chocolate chips. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory!

Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Roll the dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Roll each of the dough balls generously in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on 2 baking sheets. Slightly flatten the dough balls because the cookies will only slightly spread in the oven.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and under baked. Keeping them in the oven for longer may dry them out.  Remove from the oven and press a few more white chocolate chips onto the tops, if desired.

If you your cookies didn’t spread much at all, flatten them when you take them out of the oven. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack. The longer the cookies cool, the chewier they will be. Let them sit out for at least 1 hour before enjoying.

Board Member Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor has been a loyal volunteer and Board member wearing several hats at Kitchen Angels since 1998. When Sarah lived in California she owned and operated a kitchen store named The Pan Handler for 20 years. So it made sense in 2015 that she shared in the founding of Kitchenality, an onsite retail store selling gently used kitchenware to support Kitchen Angels. Sarah has always been involved in the Santa Fe community and was inducted as an official Santa Fe Living Treasure in 1998. Because of her passion and volunteerism to help Santa Fe, Sarah is always willing to extend a helping hand. At Kitchen Angels she started with bulk mailing and database entry. Recently she has returned as a Board member now as Secretary. Working with Kitchen Angels has always been her priority, but Sarah has also served on the boards of Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity, Santa Fe Council of Int’l Relations, Friends of the Wheelwright Museum and The United World College of the American West. Sarah is truly a living treasure.