What’s Cooking at the Capitol Video Series

In our new series, “What’s Cooking at the Capitol” you’ll get the skinny on what’s happening with the most important food and farm issues making their way through the Statehouse while we prepare a quick and easy seasonal recipe.

It can be confusing and complicated to understand and track legislation. With this series, Molly and Liz will break it down and keep you in the know.

Episode 02: Soil Health Week + Honey Beer Bread

Welcome to our second installment of What’s Cooking at the Capitol 2022: A Facebook live series where we break down important food and farm legislation making its way through the Capitol while cooking up delicious seasonal recipes. This week, use your voice to support legislation that will create Illinois’ first ever Soil Health Week, and then whip up an easy Honey Beer Bread Recipe featuring tons of local ingredients from farmers who are working hard to protect soil and water quality.

Use Your Voice: Take action to support Soil Health Week

This year farmers in the Soil Health Farmer Caucus are leading a policy initiative to create the first ever Soil Health Week celebration in Illinois. You can support the Soil Health Week & Day Resolution HJR063/SJR044 sponsored by Rep. Meier and Sen. Bennett by contacting your legislator and asking them to become a co-sponsor. And then join us for the first ever Soil Health Week this year March 7- 11th.

Use Your Choice: Honey Beer Bread Recipe

In honor of Soil Health Week, we’re whipping up a delicious Honey Beer Bread adapted from Gimme Some Oven featuring ingredients from farmers who are working hard to build soil health and protect water quality. The recipe features just 6 ingredients, including flour from Janie’s Mill Farm where they’ve been farming organically and using sustainable practices for years. Also included is beer from Riggs Brewery in Urbana– one of the only farm-to-brewery facilities in the state where they grow the grain for their beer. Good water quality is incredibly important to making good beer and the folks at Riggs Brewery are doing everything they can to protect soil and water. Finally the recipe also includes honey from Sweet Everly’s in Petersburg. Bees are a critical piece of a thriving ecosystem.

  1. Preheat oven. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Make the batter. In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients and then slowly pour the beer, honey, and melted butter into the flour mixture, and stir until combined. Do not overmix!
  3. Grease a 9×5 bread pan and add the batter.
  4. Bake. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Episode 01: Our 2022 State Policy Agenda + Oatmeal Fudge Bars

In the inaugural episode of 2022 Molly and Liz discuss the Alliance’s 2022 State Policy Agenda and the condensed legislative session, while sharing a recipe for Gail’s Blue Ribbon Oatmeal Fudge Bars. “What’s Cooking at the Capitol” is a Facebook Live series to make it easy for you to use your purchasing power (your choice) and your political power (your voice) to support local food and farms.

Use your voice: RSVP for What’s Cooking Members Edition

You’re invited to join us February 8th at 7pm for What’s Cooking: Members Edition, where you’ll have the opportunity to dive deeper on our state policy agenda and get directly involved in campaign teams, legislative meetings, lobby days and more. If you’re ready to take the next step in building a better food system– this is the meeting for you!

Use Your choice: Gail’s Blue Ribbon Oatmeal Fudge Bars

This year on account of elections, the 2022 legislative session will end on April 8th, a full month-and-a-half earlier than the normal ending in late May. As a nod to the condensed session, we’re sharing this recipe for Oatmeal Fudge Bars made with “condensed” milk. The recipes comes to us from long-time member Gail Record and won the blue ribbon at the Illinois State Fair in 1981. You can find many of the ingredients from local farms. We recommend flour from Janie’s Mill or Funks’ Grove Heritage Fruits & Grains, local eggs from Bland Family Farm, local oats from Brian Severson Farms, and pecans from Voss Pecans. To find more local farms near you, visit Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois.


What’s Cooking 2021

Episode 04: The Good Food Purchasing Policy (GFPP), + School Lunch Lasagna

In the episode, you’ll learn how good the kiddos at Lincoln Elementary School District #27 are eating. Molly and I made a simple and quick local lasagna using the school lunch recipe provided by Lincoln Elementary, a school with stellar local food sourcing. Trust us, it’s delicious!

Marlie Wilson also joined us to explain how a Good Food Purchasing Policy (GFPP) transform the ways that schools, institutions, state universities, veterans homes, and other state-funded institutions purchase the ingredients and the food they serve. Marlie is the Good Food Purchasing Project Manager at the Chicago Food Policy Action Council.

Episode 03: Illinois Partners for the Nutrient Loss Reduction Act, + Strawberry Mule

Join Molly & Liz for our third What’s Cooking at the Capitol? They’ll be making a summery drink using a favorite local spirit, Down East Vodka from Silver Tree Beer and Spirits. Their mission focused spirit for soil health leads perfectly to discussing the Illinois Partners for the Nutrient Loss Reduction Act, a big title for a big problem. Liz and Molly will give you the full breakdown at 2:15.

We will be making one of their recommended drinks. https://www.silvertreebeerspirits.com/…
The Cran Mule, but with a seasonal twist, we did strawberry
Recipe: Strawberry Mule
2 oz Down East vodka
2 oz strawberry (we are muddling ours) (from….farm name)
Splash of ginger beer — to taste
Squeeze of lime
Serve over ice

Episode 02: The Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund + Adult Lunchables (Spring Charcuterie Board)

In our second episode, you’ll learn how to make a fresh spring charcuterie board — AKA an adult lunchable — featuring seasonal veggies you can find at your local farmers market.

You’ll also get the scoop on the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund HB2520, a state fund to enable farmers markets across Illinois to start or grow a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) match program. 

SNAP match programs at farmers markets make it possible for our most vulnerable populations to afford fresh, healthy local produce at their farmers market, while also putting more federal SNAP dollars into the pockets of family farmers.

Two special guests joined us for the stream, Kayla Graven, Market Manager at the Springfield Old Capitol Farmers Market, who told us how the SNAP match works. 

And Ozzy, Liz’s pup, made a surprise off-screen appearance to proclaim his support of the SNAP match fund with a booming bark.

Episode 01: The Home-to-Market Act + Blackberry Honeysuckle, Thursday (05/06)

In the first episode, we dished up the latest on the Home-to-Market Act while crafting a blackberry-honeysuckle margarita with Blackberry Honeysuckle Shrub from Glaciers End Farm.

Derek Ervin of Glacier’s End Farm in Williamson County popped in to tell us how he cultivates rare and unique varieties of fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants, and creates delicious products, like the shrub – an old fashioned drinking vinegar.

Derek is helping lead the effort to pass the Home-to-Market Act (SB2007), which creates smart new cottage food regulations to help entrepreneurs and small farms like his reach new customers, while giving people more access to all the unique products Illinois has to offer.

Be sure to tune in and watch this space and social media for updates!