Recipe Highlight: Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing

Hi Food Swappers!

I told a few of you that I would post the recipe for the dressing that I swapped at our last meet. Here it is! It’s very simple and just requires a blender or food processor.

Please feel free to send any of your favorite swap recipes to us at nolafoodswap@gmail.com and we will be more than happy to post them.

– Molly

Keep reading for recipe details…

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January Highlights and Food Swap News

Beth Jacob's amazing king cake-themed macarons

Wow, what an amazing swap this month! Thanks to all of you for coming out to the sixth NOLA Food Swap on Sunday at La Divina Gelateria. Not only did we have the highest attendance so far, but most of us also agree that this was the most impressive spread of homemade goodies to date.

Swap items ranged from seasonal to exotic–from king cake-themed macarons (pictured above) to Argentinean chimichurri sauce. We also had several items that have never made appearances at the swap before, including homemade sangria, Tuscan pâté, carrot ginger miso salad dressing, and beet cheeps. Swappers did a great job of using the season’s local bounty with items like blood orange marmalade, kumquat jam, and kale chips.

Food Swap News

  • The next food swap will take place on Sunday, February 26, at 10:00 AM Sunday, March 11, at 10:00 AM. We will be meeting once again at La Divina Gelateria on Magazine Street.
  • We have a new Facebook page! We have graduated from our humble Facebook group to a new, grown-up and more user-friendly Facebook page. Please visit us and “like” us here to stay up to date on food swap news via Facebook.
  • We are on twitter! Please welcome NOLA Food Swap to the world of tweeting and follow us @NOLAFoodSwap.

Please check out the photos below to see highlights from Sunday’s swap. See you on February 26 at the next NOLA Food Swap!

Answering your questions about food swap etiquette

With only two days to go before our January food swap, some of you may be puzzled about the etiquette of food swapping. After all, it’s not too often that we get to barter for anything these days, especially homemade food items. If you are completely new to food swapping, first let us direct you to our page on “How It Works.” This will guide you through what will actually take place at the food swap on Sunday.

Regarding more detailed questions on food swap etiquette, we highly recommend the chow.com article, “Rules for Effective Food-Swapping,” by Helena Echlin. Here are some of the highlights from the article.

Food Safety

If you are new to or leery of the art of preserving, the first thing that may come to mind when swapping is the fear of food-borne illness from improperly preserved foods. Echlin recommends relaxing when it comes to this issue:

Particularly with fruit jams, jellies, and preserves, you don’t need to worry. ‘It’s highly unlikely you will get sick from canned jam because of the acidity level,’ says Kate Payne, author of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking. To be on the safe side, avoid canned meat, which can be dangerous if improperly prepared.

Choosing Your Swap Items

One important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t be afraid to decline a swap request. Echlin notes:

You shouldn’t worry about other people feeling rejected, any more than you worry about the people who run the gourmet food shop feeling crushed when you walk out without buying anything…. Payne suggests a polite way to refuse: Simply say, ‘Let me see what I end up with, and if I have something extra I’ll talk to you later.’

Limit Haggling

For the most part, haggling should be limited, and it should always be approached politely. Sometimes swappers purposely package items in different sized containers so they can group items together and swap for various-sized portions. If there is an obvious difference in portion size, it is possible that a swapper with smaller items will welcome a two-for-one trade. Echlin suggests avoiding haggling altogether, but we think this is unnecessarily limiting. She does note, however, the importance of being tactful, which we can all agree on:

No one wants to hear: ‘Well, I stayed up until 2 a.m. hand-shaping these empanadas, so one of them is worth at least two of your chocolate chip cookies.’

For other great tips, please visit the entire article over at chow.com. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at nolafoodswap@gmail.com

See you at the swap! Sunday, January 29th, 10:00 AM at La Divina Gelateria in the Garden District!

Save the date! January Swap

Join us in the new year to swap!

Join us for the first swap of the New Year at La Divina Gelateria’s garden district location: 3005 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115.

If you’ve never been to one of our swaps, here are the basics:

– Bring at least 5 homemade items to swap.
– Bringing samples is not necessary but strongly encouraged!
– We will spend the first part of the event browsing all swap items and placing bids. Then the swapping will begin!

For more information, check out our page, How It Works. And don’t forget to RSVP at www.januarynolafoodswap.eventbrite.com.

Update:

This month we will begin collecting modest donations to assist in funding the small costs associated with running the food swap, mainly refreshments and advertising. If you would like to contribute, look for a collection jar near the sign up sheet. Thanks!

 

December Swap Highlights

Hibiscus-ginger simple syrup and macques choux empanadas

The December food swap  at Hollygrove Market and Farm was  a great success! The swap was our second event at Hollygrove, which was the perfect backdrop to our festive holiday gathering. We  snacked on Molly’s rosemary-citrus scones and hot mulled cider while perusing the available swap items.

Goodies ranged from savory to sweet–from homemade soups, empanadas, and mayonnaise to pastries, granola, hibiscus-ginger simple syrup, and chocolate coconut almond butter. We even had home-grown satsumas from Pride, LA!

Check out our photo gallery from the December swap and be sure to join us for the January swap on Sunday the 29th, 10:00 AM at La Divina Gelateria in the Garden District. See you all there!

Join us for the last swap of 2011!

It’s time for our next get together–just in time for the holiday season! Start off your Saints Sunday on the right foot by coming out to swap all kinds of homemade treats at Hollygrove Market and Farm on Sunday, December11, from 10-11am. And don’t worry, we’ll be finished well before kick-off at noon!

The actual swapping of goods will happen promptly at 10:45, so plan to set up by that time. Weather depending, the swap will be outside in the garden, but if it is too cold, we will be set up inside the market space.

Bring at least 5 items to swap. These items can be all the same or a variety of different homemade goods. Everything should be wrapped and ready to go for people to easily take home. Good ideas for this swap include: holiday jams, pickles, homemade liquors, spiced nuts, extracts, etc.

Also, please remember to bring a big bag for you to take all of your goods home in. This makes collecting at the end of the swap a lot easier and more efficient!

Beverages and a few snacks will be provided, but definitely feel free to bring a sample of what you brought to swap, as well as a list of ingredients used.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Have a question? E-mail us at nolafoodswap@gmail.com

RSVP at www.decembernolafoodswap.eventbrite.com

Come to the last food swap of 2011! Delicious food, foodie camaraderie, and holiday cheer are all guaranteed!

October Swap Recap

"Maw Maw's Mayonnaise" with arichokes for sampling!

The October swap was our biggest event yet! Hosted at Hollygrove Market and Farm, the swap was a great success, hosting about 20 swappers altogether. The weather was perfect, and we were able to swap our items to the beautiful backdrop of Hollygrove’s gardens and chicken coop. Delicious seasonal items included fresh Meyer lemons and Meyer lemon curd, pumpkin-spice fruit leather, satsuma curd, satsuma-ginger marmalade, and local pear brandy liqueur. The swap also featured many more delicious baked goods and homemade creations. Check out our photo gallery to see the swapping action!

Stay tuned for the announcement of our last food swap of 2011 that will take place in early December. We will know the time and date very shortly! See you there!

Countdown to the October Swap!

Fall is here, and we are less than two weeks away from the October food swap! This month’s food swap will be held on Saturday, October 29th at Hollygrove Market & Farm. This month the food swap will be held in conjunction with Hollygrove’s 3rd anniversary celebration. We are delighted and honored to take part in supporting such a great business that promotes local food and farmers. For more information about Hollygrove’s anniversary activities, and to read an awesome feature about the NOLA Food Swap, check out this great write-up in the Gambit!

This month, we are asking swappers to RSVP through an event registration website called Eventbrite. To RSVP, please follow this link . Spots are limited, so RSVP today! See you at the swap!

September Swap Highlights

Basil-citrus simple syrup

Our September swap was a lot of fun and another great success! We gathered and nibbled on samples of various delightful treats, ranging from homemade pecan butter to old-fashioned pesto.  This month’s swap featured a surprising guest appearance of tarragon in three swap items–tarragon simple syrup, homemade herbed ricotta cheese, and chocolate-tarragon shortbread cookies made by pastry chef Dawn Snead of Shake Sugary.  This got us thinking that we should be taking advantage of this delicious herb more often! Don’t you agree?

Check out our photo album to see the full realm of delicious offerings at our September swap. Get those wheels turning for new ideas, and bring those ideas to the next swap in October!

Join us for the September swap!

It’s time for our 3rd New Orleans food swap! Please come to our monthly swap and exchange your homemade edible goods for others homemade edibles. This can include anything made by you from scratch: bread, cheese, wine, jam, pickles, etc. Anything at all is allowed as long as it is edible, swappable, and hopefully delicious!

The past two food swaps were a great success. Hosted at La Divina Gelateria on Magazine Street, both the July and August swaps were great opportunities to get together and share homemade goodies while gathering new inspiration for future culinary endeavors. Some delicious items that starred in our recent swaps include: pancetta, duck eggs, ginger-peach jam, cultured butter, smoked salsa verde, fresh local herbs, ginger beer, paneer, bacon, pickled okra, barbecue sauce, homemade creole seasoning, and numerous hand-crafted pastries and candies.  And that’s just scratching the surface!

Please spread the word to your local foodie friends. The more people that come out to trade, the more you get to take home in the end. Please bring at least five things to trade. This could be five of the same thing or five different things; it’s up to you. If you have more questions about how food swaps work, check out our How It Works page.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!