Thursday, October 7, 2010

Busy, Obligated????

Those are the words posted on the HPR facebook site about why I am not writing my column every week. Well, not true, I am not sure either who posted it from the Reader. The simple reason is this, I was told by the editor that the direction of the column I was writing was changing. That there were many people that were and are interested in writing about the food and restaurants in the FM area and that the format would change. Instead of always having one food writer with a specific column every week she would choose who she would print each week. I decided that I would move on and try blogging and keep my voice and post weekly, like my column in the Reader. I figure if I am going to write, which I have grown to LOVE, I might as well post it. So a new adventure has begun. I so appreciate John Strand asking me to write for the Reader, as I am not a writer, it open up a new place for me to express. I love being BUSY and obligations are a must in my life. If I could have I would have written a little thank you and good bye to those of you that follow me. But it is time to just move on, right? The Reader helped me get to this place and I really appreciate that. Now I think my biggest problem wil be editing:)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Inspiration behind Sydney's by CO owner Darby Smith

Deb: Why is it called Sydney's and is it a locally owned store?

Darby: Sydney's Health Market is a locally owned natural foods store. Stephanie's daughter Sydney is the store's namesake. Sydney has Celiac disease and is unable to eat any wheat, rye, or barley. At the time of Sydney's diagnosis, there were not many foods available. Many others with dietary needs were also looking for better alternatives. Stephanie left her teaching career and started Sydney's Health Market.

Deb: Please give our readers some background on you and your co-owner

Darby: Stephanie is the founder of Sydney's Health Market. She started Sydney's to provide a service to others who needed options for gluten free products, as well as other dietary restrictions.

I have always been interested in nutrition. I have been an EMT and a health care specialist in the Army National Guard. Since my son was born, I have been very passionate about organic food, and the direction that food quality is going and the lack of safety. I want to be able to feed my family food that is safe and healthy for them, like food is supposed to be!

Opening Sydney's Health Market at its new location, as Fargo-Moorhead's natural foods store allows all of us to have access to better options for our families.

Deb: Do you see an impact from your business with the FM community?

Darby: I see Sydney's Health Market having a positive impact for our community because people want to eat healthy, and we are providing a service for people to have access to the best foods at the best prices. Every time we make a purchase, we are making a vote. I believe that having the right options available to our community will allow us to move in the right direction as a society.

Deb: What can you offer at your store that we cannot find at the "Health Food Section of most stores?"

Darby: Service, knowledge, the best prices and selection in town. Our staff are experts in nutrition and food sensitivities. We care about our customers and our community. We also offer a lot of products that are found exclusively at Sydney's Health Market.

Deb: Can you give me an example of what things I might find in your store that I would purchase if I had gluten issues?

Darby:Some gluten free items that Sydney's offers are the following: Pizzas, pastas, breads, cookie, crackers, candy, soups, sauces, cereals, snacks, ice cream, frozen dinners, cheeses, yogurts, supplements,and the naturally gluten free options that are always available such as locally grown organic vegetables, fresh fruit, organic grass-fed beef, and organic, glass-bottled, grass-fed, non-homogenized milk. There is a gluten free option for virtually everything someone is looking for including everything from graham crackers and pretzels to ice cream cones, cakes, and pies.

Deb: Can you share with our readers a little about your farmers market?

Darby: Every Friday Sydney's Health Market presents Fargo-Moorhead's first ever, only organic farmers market! There are several local organic producers offering the freshest, same day harvested organic produce. Our market offers organic produce at prices lower than conventional non-organic produce prices! Truly the best value in quality and price.

Deb: Are there any news letters/ web site/blogs from your business


-Facebook:Sydney's Health Market

-We do offer an email newsletter. You can request to be on the mailing list through our website, facebook, give us a call, or stop in.

-There are several national and local blogs that refer to many of the products we offer at our store and the store itself.

Deb: What do you find the most common misconception is when people read "organic" on food?

Darby: I think the most common misconception is, that just because something is organic, its healthy. Eating an organic cookie is WAY better than one filled with hydrogenated oils,

high-fructose corn syrup, and genetically modified ingredients, but most organic cookies are still going to be full of refined flours and sugars that will suppress immune function.

In my opinion, all of our food should be organic, but what we eat should still be the foods that our body needs; like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and hormone/antibiotic-free, nitrate-free, arsenic free meats. Most chicken and turkey is actually fed arsenic to make them eat more! Arsenic is toxic to the human body, even in trace amounts.

Deb: Can you tell our Readers about the "Green Festival that is coming to town?

Darby: November 6th & 7th from 10am to 6pm is the Naturally Green Expo. Its a two day event designed to inform, educate and inspire consumers about ways to make our environment, homes and lives greener, safer, healthier and happier places to live. Green matters and our goal to is reach people who are passionate about the environment, their health, saving money and about America. The event will be at the Fargo Civic Center.

Deb: Is there anything you would like to share with our readers that I have not asked?

Darby:Sydney's Health Market's Healthy Holidays Celebration is November 13th. We will have tons of free food, door prizes, and will also be offering pre-orders for organic and natural turkeys for the holidays.

Deb: Do you think you would ever have any classes on organic cooking?

Darby: We will be presenting a number of cooking classes including healthy options, allergen friendly, and food dehydrating classes, We have several events coming this fall including health lectures from naturopathic doctors and other healthcare specialists, movie nights where we present informative and constructive documentaries, and other exciting events and celebrations.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Recipe from Darby Smith co owner Sydney's Health Market, Moorhead Minneasota

Next Sunday I will have a wonderful conversation to share with you that Darby and I had. For now though here is a recipe he gave me during that interview that I think you might enjoy.

One recipe that is unique and exciting is mango salsa:

1 ripe organic mango, diced

¼ medium organic red onion, finely chopped

½ organic red bell pepper, chopped

3 Tbsp fresh organic cilantro leaves, chopped

2 Tbsp organic lime juice


1 fresh organic avacado

1 organic jalapeno pepper, minced (the ribs and seeds for a hotter taste if desired)

1 small cucumber, diced (Leaving the skin on will prevent indigestion from loss of the enzymes just under the skin.)

salt & pepper to taste

This is a very versatile recipe that allows you to adjust it to your individual liking.

The mango has a flat elliptical-shaped seed in it. Hold mango vertically and cut from the top down on both sides just missing the seed. You will have two bowl shaped halves. Discard the middle section with the seed. Push up from the skin side turning the bowl inside out and score the flesh of meat of the mango in a criss-cross patter on each half. Cut the cubes off of the skin.

Mix mango cubes with all of the other ingredients in a bowl. Let mixture marinate for about 10-20 minutes in refrigerator. Preparation time: 20-30 minutes total. Makes 6 servings.

All of these products are available at Sydney's Health Market at the very best prices.

Darby Smith

Sydney's Health Market
810 30 Ave S
Moorhead, MN 56560

Monday, September 27, 2010

blog this blog that

So I think I know the rule with blogging, keep it short so you keep their attention, right! Sorry you may have to read my blogs over a few days, but I have never been able to keep things short, especially when I know I want to give you all the information that I can. So with that let me tell you the next few weeks blogging talk:
Recipes on Wednesday, information on Music on Thursday and blog talking every Sunday. Next blog a conversation with Darby at Sydney's in Moorhead Minnesota. Hope to hear from you alI I love a good conversation.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oh ya got to have friends!

One of the things that I found so enjoyable these last few weeks is mooching off my friends. Yes , that's what I said. I have become ONE BIG mooch. With all the farmers markets out of town and my laziness in town after a week. It is nice to be invited in and be fed by some of the best cooks I know. One week I had convinced my friend JB to go out to dinner on a Thursday night,originally we were going to lunch. Anyway by the time the evening came she had invited me over for dinner, not only was that OK , but I put on my stay at home clothes and drove over to her house. She told me to bring something to grill and I very proudly brought three ears of fresh corm, I had already shucked it though. So a wrap in tin foil worked great on the grill. JB put together a yummy Kabob of fresh red bell peppers, yellow zucchini and this apple sausage that was very good. We of course had a very LARGE fresh leafy green salad. Anyone that knows me ,knows leafy green is my middle name. After eating outside on her lovely deck we toured her garden. It too was amazing. It made me think of how much I miss and love the company of my friends and a good meal.

Going to the lake every weekend for the farmers market has too been a joy. I get to stay with friends and if I am lucky they feed me too. Mike and I stayed with Karen B and her husband Dennis J in their cute little apartment. Dennis actually was the only one their , but Karen was there is spirit. It was so enjoyable to just sit and lesson to MIke and Dennis talk about the ins and outs of beer. I on the other hand enjoyed my tasty hot tea that Dennis made for me.

My next trip found us( Mike and Me) camped out at Lucy J and Tom T's house. I truly never knew I could get so much socializing in during one weekend. We had a small dinner party the first night. Mike grilled salmon and Lucy made some very yummy Swiss chard. This was my first experience with this now most popular veggie in my house. I loved it! The next day we grazed on chin dripping corn on the cob and Lucy made these very tasty edamame out of baby pea pods, really good. They were steamed just right and the peas where nice and sweet. We ended the weekend at the Fireside for dinner. I have to say though Lucy may have out cooked them. I found myself the next week at Jo and Frank W's. Again we had great conversation and wine. Jo made a delious meal of roast pork and beautiful veggie fried rice. I loved that she used brown rice too. The dessert was the BEST. Frank admitted to having malted Milk Balls in the house! What a treat along with fresh blueberries, Ah the best.

My last story has me making the meal, which of course I have no problem with. I got to make my favorite meal, BREAKFAST, and for a good friend Candy. We grazed on fresh spinach omelette, roasted new potatoes, fried tomato. And just in case we did not get enough to eat we had a wonderful scone from Josie's Corner and fresh strawberries to eat. Our conversation was about everything from our nursing days to a lot of using the word "INDEPENDENT" I do not think I have had such a good lunch in a very long time.

All these times surrounded by food, friends and memories. What not to love about that. I have so many more of these times in front of me. I am so excited, I cannot tell you. I love that I am welcomed into their home and they even feed me. Life really is good.

How was your summer??

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My drug of choice is FOOD; otherwise I would not be writing about it every week, that's for sure, writing, is my rehab I guess. Well, last month at dinner club I became obsessed with having to have the recipe for Bob Waters Chicken Cacciatore. He had done it again; made me have a sleepless night of drooling and visions of pasta ALL NIGHT!!! I had to get that recipe! So, in true Waters fashion he said,” sure, but you have to come over and learn how to make it, (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TELL ME THAT TWICE, I am there!), none of this writing it down or emailing me the recipe. Of course I had to wait a month because for some reason, his going on vacation to Hawaii, AZ, and New Mexico was more important than my taste buds, sad but true. But, enough of the whining about it, I have the recipe, I learned how to make it and I am going to share it with all of you.

This was one of the best Easter meals I have had. What I want to say is that not only did I learn how to make it, it was fast and easy. Bob does not use measurements so the recipe below is the best I could do for you. However if you follow what I have written you will be find. Before I get to the recipe I have to tell you too that what makes a good tasty meal is not always the ingredients, it is the love of doing it and how you do it that really puts that extra taste in the meal. SO before we started Bob said to me," OK, this is what I have planed for the mood of our cooking, we are going to start off with Billie Holiday and work our way directly into Keb Mo, the wine is ready for us and we are going to cook our food nice and slow, there is no rush.” Now in my book that is a person that understands the thrill and excitement of cooking. By the way we listened to Tim Sparks (from Frazee) too, before the cooking even started. I am sure Bob has no idea that in my book that was also perfect. Tim, although I have not had his food to eat, is a great chef and his music put me right into that space I needed to be in.

OK I have to stop talking and get o the recipe for you.

Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian. In cuisine, "alla cacciatora" refers to a meal prepared "hunter-style" with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, herbs, often bell pepper, and sometimes wine. Cacciatore is popularly made with braised chicken (pollo alla cacciatora) or rabbit. The salamino Cacciatore is also small salami, popular amongst Italians.

Chicken Cacciatore (hunter’s style)
Use skinless for this chicken breast for six or eight people

Cooking (cooking slow to get the flavor onion)
In a large pan, that you can cover, place ¾ cup olive oil, 4 tablespoon garlic minced over a low flame. (So it is not over cooked so it is mushy)

Cut in half chicken breast (boneless and skinless), place into the pan with the olive oil and garlic, add the following: two medium or one very large onion that has been sliced in strips, 1/8 cup oregano, fresh ground black pepper kosher table salt to taste, cover turning at least three to four times until done, about 30 ~ 40 minutes until flavors infuse

Add the following after the chicken has cooked through
On sliced green pepper~ 8 oz fresh mushrooms sliced ~ 6 oz can tomato paste~ 16 oz
whole tomatoes (crush them a little or use a can of crushed instead~3~4 oz Olives~1 Tbs. fennel seed

Cook for another 30- 40 minutes on the low temperature (we never turned up the heat EVER)

Serve with your favorite Pasta

Thursday, April 8, 2010

introduction to deb

When I started this I said I wanted to talk about FOOD, FUN and MUSIC. So let's get started on that. I want to make a difference with my food and the products I make , I want to have a purpose in sharing music with you every week, this has to stay fun or really wants the purpose and I need your help with all of it. I think that for me this blogging has to show me that I can get me out there. I am on a MISSION, period. I have been working hard trying to stay in the loop of the universe communication skills so the fact that I have gotten this far makes me think "I should get an award!" I am the definition of " if I can do this ANYONE CAN."

Just a little background for those that have no idea who I am . I am a 59 year women, living for the last 33 years in Fargo North Dakota, who has a great family with two grown kids and is still married to the same man of 33 years (hows that for romance) I am a nurse, musician and love to make people happy with my food. And after 33 years have definitely picked up the Midwestern accent with lots of "you bet ya's". Which at times takes people back coming from an African American.

I have catered since 1994 and the proud small business entrepreneur owner of Deb's Corner Foods and Products Catering Service. I now have two of my Products in local stores in the community in the Fargo-Moorhead Area stores, Deb's Jalapeno Pesto and Deb's Texas Chips. I would love to see them find homes in other stores too.

My mission is to be able to write on this blog anything I would like about what I experience in the food world, and also to get you to at least try some of my products. I do not want to beat around the bush about my mission so there you have it. I love to talk and what you will find in my blogging is that I write like I speak, very little breaths are taken. I am not an English major nor am I the best speller, "thank GOD for spell check". So in a nut shell that is who I am. So I look forward to feedback and reading other blogs out there.

If you want to know more about me check out my web site at