Recipe for Success

Recipe for Success

  • Posted A Pollinator Paradise to Dish with Gracie
    Because there are few things as exciting for children in the garden than seeing it aflutter with butterflies and bees, our Seed-to-Plate Instructors encourage us to engage the kids in creating a pollinator paradise in the yard or even in pots on the porch. Here they share 5 tips for creating a pollinator paradise, because if you provide a hospitable habitat, the butterflies and bees and humingbirds will definitely come and bring their friends.1. Choose a site that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.2. Use a diversity of plants that flower at different times of year. Select plants that have a long-lasting bloom, provide a rich nectar and pollen source and are both drought and heat tolerant. A sunny sample for Houston: Texas Bluebonnet, Indian Blanket, Winecup, Gayfeather, Little Bluestem, the Aster family (Zinnia, Coreopsis, Echinacea...
  • Posted Another Delicious Evening to Dish with Gracie
    We ushered in the "Grand Outdoors" with the Delicious Alchemy Banquet on May 3rd at Hope Farms for a pared down group of 50 exuberant supporters. After a year's confinement, our Banquet duly noted as the best dinner party of year, came roaring back with its own fooda-luscious brand of pomp and circumstance! The evening celebrated our Crystal Anniversary as well as honored beloved food pioneer Peg Lee - who was presented two proclamations (one from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and another from Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis) celebrating "Peg Lee Day". The night served up ten extraordinary chefs, ten exquisite courses, benefiting ONE EXCEPTIONAL cause....
  • Posted Our Farmer's Four Fall To Do's to Dish with Gracie
    Fall is the Time for Brassicas, Peas, Citrus and Mulching Get those Brassicas in the ground! Brassicas deliver flavor in spades--especially spicy. For fast gratification, try mustards and harvest the baby leaves when they are just 3 or 4 inches long. Collard greens and kale are more fast-growing leafy Brassicas. Or if you have some patience, go for the flowery brassicas -- cauliflower and broccoli, the buds -- cabbage and Brussels sprouts, roots -- turnips and even stems -- kohlrabi...all are considered a brassica, and absolutely love our fall and winter here on the Gulf Coast of Texas! Cool fall mornings improve the flavor of these wonderful crops. Leafy brassicas you can see directly in the garden and within a few weeks have something to munch on. For the rest, its best to buy healthy plant starts in 4' pots...
  • Posted RecipeHouse Goes Virtual to Dish with Gracie
    We have welcomed Carlos Meltzer back into our fold as our Chef Instructor extraordinaire! Besides being our star teacher in the eatitfoodadventures.org culinary videos, Carlos will be hosting Zoom Cooking Classes at RecipeHouse. Carlos was one of our original Seed-To-Plate Instructors years ago when we were building out our award-winning program. He went on to host his own cooking show, and run the Sur La Table cooking school among other delicious escapades. We are happy to have him home! First on the list of Zoom Classes available to the public will be "Cook the Harvest, Traditional Thanksgiving Sides with a Fresh Twist", live on Friday November 20 at noon. Founder, Gracie Cavnar will be joining Carlos at the stove to share tips and tricks to up your turkey day game! The class is $25 and there will be mise en...
  • Posted Growing the Farm to Dish with Gracie
    We have spent the summer expanding our growing footprint at the farm, adding nine raised beds for our new blueberry orchard and a brand new hoop house where we will be growing fall tomatoes and expand our ability to grow popular crops like green peas and cucumbers for a much linger season. We played with some fun new crops like peanuts and corn and we are planning a seasonal flower maze in a large field that has not been hosibitable to food growing. We built a mobile chicken coop for our teenage chicks who have now matured and are beginning to produce eggs-- doubling our egg production. And we have added goats! Anticipating fresh goat milk in 2021! While the farm has been closed to the public, it is one of the safest, healthiest places to be. We have welcomed...
  • Posted A Texas Two Step to Dish with Gracie
    We have planned what we are affectionately calling a Texas Two Step that gives our fashionable friends the chance to pay it forward. While we postponed our big fall luncheon and fashion show to November 2021, we added a reason to smile and get dressed up this fall, too with a safe, socially distanced affair for a fabulous few. Working with our chair, Sippi Khurana, designer Lela Rose and her team as well as stylist Melissa Sugulas, and our friends at Tootsies, we have created a VIP styling experience for all our our supporters and fans who buy their 2021 tickets and tables now. So, buy early and enjoy two for one! On October 21, 2020 the insider VIP event, The World of Lela Rose, will be a hybrid virtual and in person affair featuring spring trunk shows from across...
  • Posted Our COVID Pirouette to Dish with Gracie
    How did we spend our summer "vacation"? Pivoting so fast we feel like whirling dervishes, or as a dear friend suggested--pirouetting! Even though they were motivated by extreme change, I am excited about the initiatives we have undertaken, the changes we've made, and the opportunities before us as we adapt our programs for the new normal in a way that will have long term positive impact and increase our mission reach. While we all spent time supporting Hope Farms, quickly creating a safe, convenient drive-through market and online Farm Store, and fine tuning our venue rental packages--even designing Intimate Wedding Packages. The rest of our summer days, we focused on planning the COVID Pivot for Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ programs, Affiliate Partners and Showcase Schools. It's clear that even schools that are back to in-person classes do not have the bandwidth...
  • Posted Houston, We Have a Farmer! to Dish with Gracie
    We are delighted to announce that Army Veteran, Oriana Franklin has completed our comprehensive one-year Warriors to Farmers training course at Hope Farms designed to prepare her to operate her own urban farm as a profitable business. Oriana now enters our Business Incubation Program wich is funded by our USDA AGVet grant, and will be come a member of our Hope Farms Coop. Her final class project was creating a business plan to help guide her through the first years of Franklin Farm. Oriana will launch Franklin Farm on a 1/8 acre lot near the intersettion of Scott and Elgin in the Third Ward, fulfilling our vision of expanding the footprint of urban farms throughout Houston's identified food deserts. We plan a ribbon cutting to celebrate this milestone on November 18 and hope you will join us in congratulating Oriana...
  • Posted Give 'em Pumpkin to Talk About to Dish with Gracie
    Take your fall family photos this year at Hope Farms! Hope Farms has the perfect Autumn Harvest setup that will get you in the fall spirit. Bring you camera and enjoy vignettes featuring pumpkins, hay bales and a charming antique tractor. Whether you dress in costume or your favorite coordinated fall outfits, it will be a fun time for the entire family. Appontment times will keep every one safely distanced so you can focus onthe fun. Make your reservation for Saturday October 24th or Saturday, October 31st between 9:00 and 1:00 online here. After your photoshoot, make sure to stop by the Farm Stand and pick up some freshly harvested produce. Customers can also order online for seamless, drive-through pick up....
  • Posted Re-imaginging Seed-to-Plate to Dish with Gracie
    Classroom closures during the pandemic completely sidelined our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ program for tens of thousands of students, while homebound children are losing touch with healthy eating habits. The well-documented relationship between poor childhood diet, obesity and a lifetime of chronic health issues has been brought into sharp relief by the current pandemic, which has disproportionately affected low income communities of color where obesity, diabetes, heart and kidney disease are rampant. These pre-existing conditions are at the heart of the glaring health disparities and tragically high mortality rates for COVID-19 that are now being seen in these underserved areas. And the medical community warns us that obesity is on the rise as families in lock-down consume more unhealthy meals and snacks. In this unprecedented environment, we are adapting our approach to support healthy decision-making using the latest in technology and...
  • Posted Tell Us A Story About a Meal to Dish with Gracie
    For the 14th year, we are encouraging fourth graders throughout Houston to put pen to paper for our story writing contest around favorite holiday foods. This annual contest encourages students to write thoughtfully and descriptively about their favorite holiday foods and traditions. It also focuses students on the importance of family meals while providing teachers with a powerful tool to support their core objectives in language arts. Additionally, it helps students explore the many facets of food and recipes, including step-by-step procedures and measurements, as well as their diverse cultural histories and family traditions. Submissions are due by October 25, 2019. Teachers at participating schools will select one winning essay from their student submissions for entry in the citywide contest. One essay per school will be accepted by the Foundation. Advance registration is required through Jennifer Fridley at jennifer@recipe4success.org, and...
  • Posted PBS Features Seed-to-Plate to Dish with Gracie
    Check out this wonderful for PBS story by reporter Ernie Manouse when he visted our classrooms at MacGregor Elementary School....
  • Posted Transforming Warriors to Farmers to Dish with Gracie
    Our nation has a long history of welcoming our troops home and bringing them back into a life where they can work and study out of harm's way. We are honored to provide a unique career opportunity to these four outstanding veterans as they embark on their life's next chapter. Today we announced the members of the second class of our Warriors to Farmers Training Program at Hope Farms. Four outstanding military veterans have been selected for this unique program which will prepare them to successfully operate their own urban farm and help us solve widespread food inequity issues in Houston and beyond. The 2019 cohort includes (pictured above with me at Tyler Froberg) Oriana Franklin, Samuel MacCammon, Stephan "Miles" Cook and Linda Stafford. Our Hope Farms farmer training program is meant to expand the urban farming footprint in Houston...
  • Posted Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle to Dish with Gracie
    Report from the classroom by Brenden Jackson. It's been a cold rainy last couple of weeks, which means our young gardeners have really been getting to know their garden worms. Together we built a large worm hotel which has grown from 1,000 wiggly friends to nearly 3,000! The Dirt Detectives have been using all of their observation skills calculate their worm size, how much they weigh and how much food they can compost into the black gold known as vermicompost. This week we harvested our first collection of vermicompost, the nutrient dense manuer produced by the worms, weighing in at a whopping 25 pounds. With a market value of $1 a pound, this proved to be a great lesson in how much of our "trash" can actually be a valuable resource with a little bit of planning. In the coming...
  • Posted Put a Badge On It! to Dish with Gracie
    The San Jacinto Council Girl Scouts have found their Recipe for Success! They are arriving to RecipeHouse in droves to earn prized culinary and nutrition badges, including our coveted VegOut! patch.It's no secret that Recipe for Success Foundation is the premier host to help children acquire life-long cooking skills in a healthy and fun atmosphere. The Girl Scouts were among the first to discover this a decade ago. Now about 50 Scouts a week fill RecipeHouse to learn our hallmark healthy and delicious recipes and cook their way toward GSUSA Badges. Carried home by Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors, the aromas of our healthy snacks and simple meals permeate Houston's family kitchens and dinner tables. Girl Scout troops can learn cooking skills alongside professional chefs, or design their own badge or journey workshops. We even have a special...
  • Posted USDA Vote of Confidence to Dish with Gracie
    We are very excited to share the news of our selection for the largest grant in the nation conferred by USDA in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs to support our program to teach Veterans to farm and incubate their new new urban agribusinesses in Houston. With a three-year $1 million grant we will expand our training program to serve 24 Vets and bring a new Veteran Outreach Ambassador onboard at Hope Farms. Trainees go through a fully paid, 2,000 hour multi-disciplinary program of horticulture and business curriculum over the course of one or two years. Then we help them launch their new enterprises. One of our motivations in tailoring the Hope Farmer Training Program to Vets was the discovery of how well warriors with post traumatic stress responded to working in a horticultural environment. "When you've been surrounded...
  • Posted We Don't Lose with Snooze to Dish with Gracie
    Over 400 volunteers and members of our boards and committees pitched up on a Saturday morning to kick-off the holiday season with a complimentary breakfast from our newest community partners Snooze Eatery to benefit the Foundation. We all had a delicious time and raised an outstanding $2,700 to benefit Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ in our Showcase Schools--MAcGregor and Rodriguez Elementarys in Houston. Who doesnt love pancakes? Next event with Snooze will be a Pancake Breakfast at Hope Farms to kick-off our free Earth Day Family Festival at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday April 6. Pictured above, Advisory Board (AB) member Karen Penner with her family....
  • Posted Let's S.P.I.C.E. Things Up! to Dish with Gracie
    It's an exciting time at the Foundation as we take our volunteer engagement to the next phase with the launch of S.P.I.C.E. Guild in 2019. Special People Influencing Children's Eating are all generous individuals who will support the mission of Recipe for Success Foundation through a personal commitment of time and resources. Advisory Board Members Sharon Sanders and Jackie Fair (pictured above) have taken on the job of developing and launching our new Guild Program with the help of CIGNA Community Ambassador Fellow, Christi Bowers. We are so excited to design and implement a Guild structure that allows our already committed volunteers to take ownership of key public facing elements at Hope Farms including an Education Committee to manage the children's cooking and gardening classes; a Garden Committee to maintain our Pollinator Garden, Children's Garden and Chef's Kitchen Garden; Special...
  • Posted Kicking off 2019 with VegOut! to Dish with Gracie
    Maggie Flecknoe and CW39 showed up at RecipeHouse to get some delicious VegOut! recipe inspiration from Chef Greg Martin of Bistro Menil. From a Super Veggie Bowl to Braised Chinese Cabbage and Sauteed Swiss Chard with Balsamic Vinegar, Greg helped us check off 13 Veg right off the bat. Maggie started a CW39 team so you can join her in the fun as part of your new years resolution to get healthy, but we warn you--she's pretty competitive. Jump in the fun of #VegOut2019 at vegoutwithrfs.org and see the entire segment with Maggie HERE....
  • Posted 2018 Was a Whirlwind to Dish with Gracie
    2018 was an exciting year for Recipe for Success Foundation. We launched our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ programs in a dozen new elementary schools in Texas and Louisiana where we teach kids healthy eating skills; we inspired over 12,000 people across the country --and even a few in Australia--to make healthy choices with our VegOut! Challenge; and we transformed 7.5 acres in Houston's Sunnyside neighborhood into a vibrant urban farm where we grew more than 50,000 pounds of fresh produce, inducted three U.S. Veterans into our farmer training program and welcomed thousands of visitors. Hope Farms has become not only a resource for fresh, affordable produce in Houston, but also a bucolic setting to inspire people, young and old, to reach for the healthy choice. Our weekly farm stand, full schedule of cooking and gardening classes, hundreds of student field trips...
  • Posted Fall Fun in the Classroom to Dish with Gracie
    By Brenden Jackson-Healthy Eating Ambassador. As winter winds and rain unfurl across the landscape, we prepare for spring and reflect on our fall Seed-To-Plate Nutrition Education™ classes in our two Houston Showcase Schools. Rodriguez and MacGregor Elementarys are where we rollout and test new curriculum content that will be available to our Affiliate Partners next year. This year's test theme is Farmers MarKIDS, which we developed years ago as a short unit for older students and are now adapting for PreK-5th graders to enjoy over a 10-month activation.We've just wrapped an exciting growing season as our students thrived on learning the ins-and-outs of organic gardening and healthy meal preparation all while getting ready for their first Farmer MarKIDS DAY farm stand in May. Following the growth of their food from the seed, to the plant and finally to the plate,...
  • Posted Hope Farmer on CityBook Cover to Dish with Gracie
    One of our Hope Farmer Trainees, Marine Veteran Christopher Katthage took a day off from tending crops to have a high-wattage turn in designer threads for a story about Hope Farms in the January Food Issue of Houston CityBook. Getting tapped for the cover came as a surprise for this first time model who obviously has talent in front of the camera! Check out the shoot....
  • Posted Forbes Features Hope Farms to Dish with Gracie
    We recieved a Veterans Day gift from Forbes with this great feature article about Hope Farms. Read it Now. This Houston Urban Farm Honors Veterans With Jobs Claudia AlarcónContributor...
  • Posted It's a Great Day at Hope Farms to Dish with Gracie
    KHOU-Ch 11 Great Day Houston's Cristina Kooker feasted with Recipe for Success and Chef Erin Stewart from Define Foods on gorgeous dishes like Winter Kale Salad with Pear, Kumquat & Maple Vinaigrette... so delicious that you would never know it's healthy, too! Plus, how to stay healthy by taking the Veg Out Challenge. All the recipes can be found at vegoutwithrfs.org and you can watch the entire show here....
  • Posted Fashion in the Fields a Hit to Dish with Gracie
    It was an SRO crowd that filled the Gathering Barn at Hope Farms for Recipe for Success Foundation's inaugural, Fashion in the Fields presented by Neiman Marcus. Over 400 HTX blossoming #ItMoms, hubs, family, friends, farm fans and Recipe for Success devotees turned out despite ominous skies for a day of fashion, food and fun. The event raised more than $200,000 towards RFS's mission to combat childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food. Recipe for Success Founder and CEO, Gracie Cavnar was front and center welcoming one and all to the event that featured a Neiman Marcus fashion show and a jaw dropping southern' inspired brunch by Culinaire. She was the first to quip that the overwhelming looks seen on the ladies was "farm girl cold weather chic", music, walk-abouts and shopping capped off...
  • Posted A Pig Roast at Hope Farms to Dish with Gracie
    Once upon a time there were two pigs...But unlike the classic children's tale, these two piggies didn't escape. They became dinner for 65 partygoers at the fall 2018 Chefs in the Field pig roast at Hope Farms. The evening featured farm-fresh produce and heritage pigs from Jolie Vue Farms donated by emeritus, founding board memeber Glen and Honi Boudreaux. The event, held on the bucolic grounds of the farm, raised more than $10,000 toward RFS's mission to combat childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food. The Sunday night supper kicked off with cocktails and hors d' oeuvres in the Chef's Garden. Guests sipped a Treaty Oak Caught Red Handed Bourbon cocktail, St Arnold's Oktoberfest beer and vintages curated by Monopole Wines as they enjoyed the fresh breezes that blew across the seven-acre urban farm....
  • Posted CultureMap Digs Hope Farms to Dish with Gracie
    BRINGING HOPE TO HOUSTON Chef-favorite charity cultivates blossoming Houston urban farm. Story by Eric Sandler on August 30, 2018 Houston is home to lots of food-related charities that want to improve the way the city eats, but few have a higher profile than Recipe for Success. Devoted to combating childhood obesity through education, the organization has grown by leaps and bounds...READ THE WHOLE STORY...
  • Posted ABC-13 Features Hope Farms to Dish with Gracie
  • Posted A Tribute to Tomatoes to Dish with Gracie
    It's a summer tribute to the wonderful tomato! The Recipe for Success Foundation's next Chefs in the Field Supper at Home Farms will take place on June 24, helmed by chefs Alyssa Dole (Pinkerton's Texas Pit Barbecue), Wayne Nguyen (Maba Pan-Asian Diner), and Martin Stayer (Nobie's). Just 10 minutes from downtown, the evening at Hope Farms features a cocktail and tomato tasting session and a three-course meal created by the chef trio. Thanks to inkind donors and volunteer chefs, 100% of the ticket sales support the Foundation's mission to combat childhood obesity. Hope Farms is growing 32 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and the chefs will create dishes from the beloved fruit freshly harvested from the 7-acre urban farm. Festivities begin with cocktails and a tomato-tasting and continue with a meal staged at one long table in the farm's Gathering Barn....
  • Posted Delivering Hope to Veterans to Dish with Gracie
    With Welcome Home Baskets brimming with fresh food and kitchen supplies, the Recipe for Success Team hit the road today at noon to Deliver Hope to six veterans and their families who were particularly hard-hit by Hurricane Harvey In 2017, along with so many Houstonians, these Veterans battled the raging floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey and so many who lost their homes are still in the arduous process of rebuilding their lives. The Foundation was particularly concerned with the interruption of home cooked family meals. "Our kitchens are the hearts of our homes-where our families and friends share meals and stories, and where life is anchored and celebrated. We wanted to help restore our neighbor's kitchens, filling them with healthy food and the means to cook and serve it," says Recipe for Success Founder, Gracie Cavnar. "Now six families can enjoy...
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