A Local Vibrant Community + Fast and Fresh Bowl Food

Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook




‘Local Foodie’ News


The tide is rising with the swell of Support Local. I’m sure you must see the headlines, hear the buzz and feel the current. Those of us involved with the sustainable food world and Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters (78 across the country) have been using that motto for over a decade. We don’t mean simply food but our philosophy ebbs into all aspects of the community because, if our community is strong from our dollars staying right here-our region is vibrant.

Yes, the big ol’ world seems to reflect this sentiment once we understand what is happening when we don’t support smaller often, family run, local businesses of all kinds.



In new the film the Economics of Happiness it is said, ‘Going local’ is a powerful strategy to help repair our fractured world – our ecosystems, our societies and our selves. Far from the old institutions of power, people are starting to forge a very different future…

Now that we’re fired up about supporting local, I’m off to the Future Harvest Conference at Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center for stellar workshops, reunions and some mighty fine chow produced and grown on our regional farms. I can’t wait for the food and I’ll bring pictures and recipes to share.

So, about that cozy bowl food…The menu this week is dense and fulfilling in the soup department, crisp and fresh in the salad and irresistibly individual in the dessert. For the Tiny Tiramisu, I was wondering how my quest for packaged ladyfingers would go this time of year. It turns out I was set. I called a few stores to check and found 2 carried the pastry-one if the freezer department and one in the grocery isle. Just make sure to check ahead.


Stick to the Ribs-Smoked Sausage White Bean Soup

Lush Winter Greens Salad

Tiny Tiramisu


Stick to the Ribs-Smoked Sausage White Bean Soup

Serves 6-8

Everyone loves this soup! If that’s not reason enough, it’s quick and thrifty. This is a basic recipe so add or subtract an ingredient or two to your liking.

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, drained
  • 1 pound smoked sausage , sliced into rounds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Garnish: fresh sage leaves, grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Place the chicken broth in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion and celery and cook until tender.

Add the beans, sausage, and seasonings. Bring soup back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes to meld flavors.

Top with sage when serving and pass the cheese.

Lush Winter Greens Salad

Toss baby winter greens and a bit of radicchio with roasted garlic vinaigrette. Make sure to add a loaf of crunchy warm bread.

Tiny Tiramisu

Makes 12 individual tiramisu

Inspiration was brewing with this idea for these darling individual desserts and I decided to design my petite version with the ingredients I used to build that lush and loaded huge tray of the grand Tiramisu at my cooking school where we would serve up to 20 people for our hands on cooking classes.

  • 12 ladyfingers
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso
  • 1 tub mascarpone or whipped cream cheese, (6-8 ounces)
  • 3-4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • dash of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Open the ladyfingers and place on a flat work surface-top side up- and drizzle with espresso.

Combine mascarpone, sugar (to your liking), vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix well.

Pipe or spread the cream mixture over half of the ladyfingers. Add the top and dust with the cocoa powder.

To melt chocolate: Microwave on medium heat for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on medium for short intervals until melted. You can also place in a small glass bowl over hot, simmering water. Stir when melted. Drizzle  lightly over the top of the Tiramisu by letting it drip from a fork.

Refrigerate the tiramisu until the chocolate is set and ready to serve.