I am passionate to share stories about how farmers and ranchers grow our food and have spent two consecutive November’s featuring the unique roles of women in agriculture. Knowing those faces behind the farms from across North America is important to me. Each story is unique and I am grateful to have shared so many with you, with many more in the future to come.
Another passion I have is to connect farmers to those who prepare the food, from home cooks to chefs. Again each story is unique.
One connection that blossomed into a friendship this past year for me is with native North Dakotan, Fargo resident, weekly food columnist, food blogger, chef and restaurant owner, Sarah Nasello of Sarello’s Restaurant in Moorhead, Minnesota.
I know Sarah doesn’t consider herself a “woman in agriculture” but she is a unique woman with a great love for farmers, farms, fields and the food we grow.
I have a great appreciation and respect for Sarah. She is a connector who builds bridges between farmers and non-ag consumers, helping to break down misconceptions about how food is produced and creating fabulous recipes we all enjoy. You don’t see or get to know many people like Sarah, much less involving her entire family like she does.
This year Sarah, her husband, Tony and son, Giovanni helped a group I am involved with, CommonGround North Dakota, host our inaugural Banquet in a Field at Peterson Farms Seed. This event could have not happened if it were not for Sarah and Tony’s enthusiasm, promotion, hundreds of hours of volunteering, recipe preparation and food planning and preparation.
Agriculture needs people like the Nasello family in the world. As chefs and restaurant owners, they celebrate all farmers and ranchers and food choices. They talk about farmers and the food we grow when they speak, write and share their recipes (Sunflower seed brittle recipe in link.) They take their son on weekend vacations around North Dakota to learn about the prairie way of life.
And…this Christmas season Sarah is debuting her first cookbook. She shared two copies with me to giveaway to two winners to wrap up the November Women in Ag series on my blog.
Sarah and I are prairie sisters at heart. The title of her cookbook, full of party pleasing recipes? Party On The Prairie.
In her own words, Sarah answered questions from me about her new cookbook. Take a read below and you have until Wednesday, December 3rd at 9:00 p.m CST to enter the Party On The Prairie Giveaway.
Below you also will find SIX ways to enter the giveaway! First up? Leave a blog post comment and tell us Your Favorite Party Recipe.
You definitely want this cookbook for yourself this holiday season and it will also be a great gift! I already have my order in with Sarah for a few extra copies for gifts and will also be using some recipes from the cookbook for three upcoming Christmas parties we are hosting at our house.
Why did you decide to write this cookbook? I love writing, and have been writing about food in one way or another for nearly 15 years. In that time, together Tony and I have been running Sarello’s Restaurant, produced numerous culinary and Italian culture classes, hosted a radio show, and are currently weekly food columnists with The Forum. As a result, we have amassed a great collection of recipes which have been specifically formatted for the home cook. This cookbook came about out of demand from our customers and followers, who have been asking us for years to produce a cookbook. With too many recipes to feature in just one book, I’ve decided to create a series of books, each with a specific focus.
The holidays are the ultimate party season, and this first book is all about party foods, featuring our favorite finger foods, hearty hors d’oeuvres, dips and sauces, family favorites, and about 50 party dip recipes submitted by our readers for a contest last year. Some of my favorite recipes include the corn fritters we served at the inaugural Banquet in a Field last summer, and I also love our recipes for blackened sirloin, pesto pasta salad and Norwegian gravlax, which we serve at our house every Christmas Eve. And I have to give major props our party dip contest winner “Cranberries Gone Wild Dip,” as well as our two runners-up “Hot Beef Taco Dip” and “Jalapeno Popper Dip” – these three dips are permanent additions to my party repertoire.
Who is your cooking inspiration? My cooking inspiration is my mother. My mom has an innate understanding of food, and is excellent at choosing ingredients which balance one another, to find their harmony, if you will. Her creations often linger in our memories long after they have been devoured.
Why do you love cookbooks? I love cookbooks that include some kind of story about the food being featured, as I think we’re more inclined to connect with food through an experience. The Barefoot Contessa does a wonderful job of this – she will often provide little vignettes about where the recipe came from or how it was created. My writing at this time is heavily inspired by food, but I am a storyteller at heart.
Where can people buy Party On The Prairie? Right now Party on the Prairie is available for sale at Sarello’s, and will be available to purchase online by Wednesday, December 3rd. I am also happy to take orders via email, and readers can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The books are $20 each plus tax, and we are happy to work with customers on shipping.
What’s your favorite holiday meal? It’s so hard to pick a favorite, but I’ll have to go with Christmas dinner at my mom and dad’s house. My mom prepares the same thing every year, and we wouldn’t have her change a thing: Roast tenderloin with horseradish cream sauce, roasted leg of lamb, twice-baked potatoes, homemade crescent rolls, California medley casserole, and her amazing homemade Caesar salad. For dessert, my sister Paula has been making a Christmas ice cream cake for about 30 years, which we will be featuring in our Forum column next week.
Share with us in the comments: What’s your favorite party recipe?
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