2007 Archives

Where is Recipe for Success?

Gracie Cavnar
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We have five pilot elementary schools in Houston.  Read a listing of our programs at each school through this link to Google Maps, or for a general idea of their locations, see below:


View Larger Map

Thank you Kenneth Cooper!

Gracie Cavnar
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Texas Becomes the First State in the nation to legislate mandatory PE.  Watch the CBS news clip.

In Case You Missed this Great Feature Story in Tribeza

Gracie Cavnar
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About Recipe for Success Foundation's work in Houston.
Read it now. And see the wonderful photos of our team in action.

Recipe for Success featured in Wednesday, October 31st Houston Chronicle Food Section

Gracie Cavnar
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Read the full story and enjoy the pictures. See the video: .

Check out our upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Gracie Cavnar
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It's fun to lend a hand at our Chefs in Schools Cooking Classes.  This month everyone will be meeting their chef and learning a bit about the food pyramid.  Download our calendars for September and October and let us know if you can attend any of our classes.  We would love to have you!

Special Wine Dinner at REEF to benefit Recipe for Success

Gracie Cavnar
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Join Us for Back to School

Gracie Cavnar
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Now that the kids are back in school,
WE are back in the kitchen and gardens with them.
WON'T YOU JOIN US?

Are you interested in cooking, gardening,
or just in helping kids learn to lead healthier lives? 
We need your help!

We invite you to learn more
about volunteering
with Recipe for Success
attend a short
Volunteer Orientation Seminar
choice of four times--pick one

Wednesday, 5 September
12 noon-1:30 p.m. or 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Thursday, 6 September
9-10:30 a.m. or 2-3:30 p.m.

Neartown location will be confirmed when you R.S.V.P
please advise which session you will attend by emailing
info@recipe4success.org




20th Anniversary of The James Beard Foundation to support Recipe For Success!

Gracie Cavnar
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Mark your calendars
Friday, September 28th
7:00 pm at The Aquarium in downtown Houston

SPECIAL GUEST CHEFS:
Charles Clark*Ibiza Food & Wine Bar
Robert Del Grande*, Cafe Annie
Ryan Pera*17 at the Alden Hotel
Monica Pope*, t'afia
Kathy Ruiz,  Landry's Signature Restaurants
John Sheely*Mockingbird Bistro
 *These chefs generously donate their time to Recipe for Success

Dinner Sponsored by: Downtown Aquarium & Whole Foods Market

The James Beard Foundation will
donate a small portion of the dinner's proceeds
to Recipe for Success Foundation.  We are very grateful!

 
For reservations by telephone, please call (713) 524-8351

Recipe for Success Team present at Texas PTA conference

Gracie Cavnar
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Practically the entire R4S staff descended on Austin in mid July to conduct a workshop for the Texas PTA Summer Leadership Conference. Topic: Establishing a Team Nutrition Wellness Committee in Your School.  It was a great success and we look forward to more community outreach like this.  In the coming months we will participate in the Town Hall on School Nutrition organized in Houston by Parents for Public Schools on Saturday September 15 and the Annual Hispanic Family Conference also in Houston on September 26th.

As more and more parents and teachers are becoming aware of the obesity epidemic, R4S is called on to discuss effective preventive measures and share best practices.

Recipe for Success & Gracie Cavnar to be featured on Living Smart on Sunday August 19 at 3:00 p.m. Channel 8

Gracie Cavnar
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A camera crew from Houston PBS followed me around for a week last fall, from my own kitchen to one of our Chefs in Schools classes at MacGregor Elementary and beyond, all the while talking about what we are doing at Recipe for Success to combat childhood obesity.  Afterwards the show's host, Patricia Gras interviewed me in the studios to get the full Recipe for Success story.  Although I have not seen the finished product, the video production beautifully captured  the energy of one of our Kids Cooking classes and the excitement of the children as they learned to prepare healthy new dishes.  Hopefully you can either watch it or Tivo the show.  It will be repeated Thursday, August 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Perfect timing to get you fired up to join us in the classroom or gardens this fall.  See you there?  Gracie

Tune in at noon to 90.1

Gracie Cavnar
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Wednesday, June 20 on KPFT 90.1 in Houston.
Gracie Cavnar will be a guest on Patricia Greer's "Open Journal" to discuss School Nutrition and our recent Recipe for Success programs.

A Message from the Gardens

Gracie Cavnar
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The MacGregor Elementary School garden has made amazing transformations in just a matter of a month.  I drew four garden designs, focusing on beds for each grade level and after school classes.  After some design advice from Gracie Cavnar and Brad Stufflebeam, who  owns and operates Home Sweet Farm and is president of TOFGA, the “Sun and Moon” design was approved for the garden by Dr. Patricia Allen, principal of MacGregor.

Board Member Glen Boudreaux of Jolie Vue Farms contacted Jimmy Gibson, of Gibson Landscaping Company, to scrape off the existing grass and level the area with sand.  Mr. Gibson generously donated his company’s time and equipment for this invaluable service.  Garden beds were staked, and on June 8th, 100 volunteers from PriceWaterhouseCoopers built the 19 raised beds. 

Now we are in the process of laying irrigation to each bed.  The next PWC volunteer work day is June 22nd.  Come and join us as we finish up-- filling the beds with soil and laying sod in the pathways.  During the school year, the students will beautify the garden with art, a sundial, and benches—and of course plant our first seeds.  It’s been incredible to watch it all come together. 

Thank you to the GLC crew, PWC volunteers, and RFS staff and board. It wouldn’t be possible without you!

Sharon Siehl
Recipe Gardens Coordinator

And Viola! A Garden Appeared

Gracie Cavnar
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The heat index soared above 100 degrees on Friday in Houston, but hundreds of PriceWaterhouseCoopers employees worked from 8:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon to transform an empty 1/4 acre of MacGregor schoolyard into our first Recipe Garden.



20 raised beds will provide plenty of space for each class to experiment with growing fruits and vegetables, and provide a graphic lesson in our seed-to-plate curriculum.  Next step, topsoil, irrigation, grass.  We will all be back working on June 22 to finish the job.

Make your voice heard

Gracie Cavnar
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The Farm and Food Policy Project (FFPP) has a new website where you can sign an online letter to Congress to show your support for policies which advance fresh, local, and healthy foods in the 2007 Farm Bill. The letters are sent to your Representatives and Senators based on where you live. Written to encompass a broad spectrum of ideas supported by the FFPP, the letter contains the following priorities:
 
-Expand initiatives to increase access to healthy affordable food, such as farmers markets and farm-to-school programs
-Help build a new generation of entrepreneurial farmers serving local and regional markets
-Ensure fair access to agriculture programs for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers
-Expand conservation and farmland protection programs to help farmers meet consumer demand for healthier, sustainably produced foods
 
Check out Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer website www.FoodAndFarmBillOfRights.com to read the Food & Farm Bill of Rights and many resources about the farm bill, including a blog written by the Congressman.
 
Want to know more about the Farm Bill and the reauthorization process?  The Ag House Committee will finish mark up of the farm bill by June 30, so time is precious.  In the May Food Chain, we let you know about “marker bills,” and how you can mention specific marker bills to your legislators in order to call their attention to the aspects of food and agriculture policy that concern you most.  To read more find out what you can do in these remaining weeks to make your voice heard, visit Slow Food's Farm Bill Resource Website and the Slow Food Forum.

June 8 is Recipe Garden Building Day at MacGregor Elementary

Gracie Cavnar
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Can you lend us any tools for the job?  Sharon Siehl, our new Recipe Garden Coordinator would like to borrow wheelbarrows,
shovels, and flat metal garden rakes for installation day--June 8, when we are expecting 300 volunteers from Price Waterhouse Coopers to appear for the day, ready to work.  With their help, we will transform a 35x150 foot stretch grass behind our Recipe for Success culinary classroom into 2 dozen raised garden beds where students from Pre-K through the 5th grade will be able to raise fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs.  If you have tools we can borrow, please call Sharon at 713-307-7005 and let her know.

Join us for a Summer Evening

Gracie Cavnar
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Forget the Kid's Menu

Gracie Cavnar
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The only way we are going to really affect the long-term food preferences of our children is to abandon the idea of the KIDS MENU and begin offering them real food.  Early exposure to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and complicated flavor structures broadens their taste horizons, while automatically succumbing to the all-beige, fried Kids Meal on a regular basis will simply create a picky eater.  David Kamp put it very well in his recent NYTimes article.  Read it here.

Last Small Bites Event of the Season--Dont Miss the Fun!

Gracie Cavnar
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Ariana Cooks with Randy & Gets and Award for Winning the Recipe for Success Food Journalism Contest

Gracie Cavnar
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If You Haven't Been Convinced Yet

Gracie Cavnar
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Just in case you still think that we are out here doing a "feel good" project in our quest to turn the tide of childhood obesity, then take a look at this report from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.  Counting Costs and Calories Measuring the Cost of Obesity to Texas Employers will change your mind about the urgency of our work.

Food Journalism Contest Winner

Gracie Cavnar
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RfS conducted a Food Journalism Contest for all 425 fourth graders in our pilot schools. Ariana Jefferson, from MacGregor Elementary was the winner.  Read her story about Great-grandmother Betty's Sweet Potato Pie. The students were asked to write about their favorite holiday food, its origin, traditions and how it was important to their family.  There was a winner selected from each of our 21 classrooms, then 5 All-School winners, then the Grand Prize winner.  Each winner received a gift certificate to Whole Foods and an award.  As the Grand Prize Winner, Ariana also got to spend a day cooking in the kitchens of Brennan's Restaurant with Chef Randy Evans, after which her family and friends joined her for lunch at Brennan's Chef's Table.

Grab One Last Chance to Volunteer This Term

Gracie Cavnar
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You can download the May schedule here. We have 2 weeks jammed with classes before school is out on May 24.  Many of the chefs are doing Mystery Box competitions that work like 1-2-3 Cook.  The children are loving it; you will too.

We're Cooking Now! a gala in small bites

Gracie Cavnar
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Join in the fun. Select from among 12 events in April & May including gourmet wine dinners & family picnics, raising critical funds for Recipe for Success Foundation initiatives to combat childhood obesity.

Everyone is Cooking Now!

Gracie Cavnar
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Recipe for Success and Houston's finest chefs have been teaching fourth graders to cook all year--now is your chance to help and have fun at the same time.  We're Cooking Now! a gala in small bites kicks off on April 10 at Brennan's.  Explore and reserve your spot at www.recipe4success.org  Twelve extraordinary springtime events feature the best food and wine prepared for intimate gatherings in private homes and wine cellars.

Volunteer in February. Show the love!!!

Gracie Cavnar
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Love Kids? Love to Cook? Love to Help? or Love to hang out with Chefs?

Download our February volunteer calendar here.  There are over 20 opportunities to get hands-on in February with our Chefs in Schools program.  No cooking skills required, just enthusiasm for our goals of combating obesity by changing the way our children eat.  Who knows? You may pick up a great recipe too!
See you in class! 

XXO
The Recipe for Success Team

NY Times Magazine Feature Captures the Whole Enchilada

Gracie Cavnar
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When people ask for my opinion regarding the cause of our current obesity epidemic among American children, my answer? It is a perfect storm of colliding cultural and agribusiness factors.  Nowhere have I seen the whole scenario laid out better than in the New York Times Magazine cover story by Michael Pollan that appeared on January 28, 2007:  The Age of Nutritionism.

The causes may be complex, but according to Pollan, the solution is simple:  Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

I couldn't agree more.

Make a New Year's Resolution to Volunteer with Recipe for Success

Gracie Cavnar
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Our Chefs in Schools program has hundreds of Kids Cooking in five HISD elementary schools.  Roll up your sleeves and lend a hand!  Work with your favorite chefs--no cooking skills required, simply enthusiasm, a love for good food and patience with children.  To download our January 2007 class calendar, click HERE.

Spring 2007 is the time to build our Recipe Gardens.  Got a green thumb? Email info@recipe4success.com to join the Recipe for Success Gardens Committee.


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Susan Combs completes updates to School Nutrition Policy before departure

Gracie Cavnar
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There has been some concern about Susan Combs' move from the Texas Department of Agriculture and fear of backsliding on her progressive School Nutrition Policy for Texas Public Schools. 

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

2006 is the previous archive.

2008 is the next archive.

Look in the archives to find all content.