07/12/17

Outreach Spotlight: Kings for the Kids

Kings for the Kids

 Did you know that the average number of days a child spends in foster care is 457?

    Clackamas County has 387 children in foster care.
    Washington County has 754 children in foster care.
    Multnomah County has 2,037 children in foster care.

This adds up to 3,178 children in the tri-county area. The Tri-County area alone accounts for 35% of the total number of children in the Oregon foster care system.

Rick King knows…and that’s why he founded Kings for the Kids, an Oregon Not for profit Organization started to help fund camps, like Royal family Kids Camps, for abused and neglected children in Oregon and Washington, almost twenty years ago. 

Rick King - Kings for the Kids

Kings for the KidsRick’s heart is for foster children and the monies he, his volunteers, and local fishing guides raise supports several key ministries focused on kids in the foster care system.  These professional guides volunteer their time, during the height of spring fishing season, to offer an amazing fishing experiencing, as part of KFK’s salmon fishing tournament fundraiser each spring.

Later, the guides and fisher-folk gather for dinner (that’s were MY KITCHEN Outreach come in!) and an amazing raffle/silent auction with many donated items from local artists and merchants.

Banner

Cookin’ up a brisket and chicken BBQ feast for the hungry fisher-folk!

You can fish with your own boat or with a guide or boatsmen and have a fantastic dinner and silent auction to raise money for foster kids here in Oregon.

Kings for the Kids Volunteers

How You Can Help

Kings for the Kids always needs volunteers. Whether it’s administrative work or help at one of the activities, they have a spot available for any amount of time you can commit. Below are some of the specific opportunities. To offer your time, please contact volunteer@kingsForTheKids.org.

Tournament Help: Needs at the annual tourney abound! Contact KFK if you’d like to help. What they need most are bodies willing to serve where needed. Some common needs are: Greeters, Servers, Registration, Setup, Cleanup, and the list goes on! Contact Rick to sign up or get more information.

David Johnson Guide Service
Donation Coordinator: Kings For the Kids needs assistance with coordinating donations from local and national sponsors. The donations are used for our silent auction, raffle give-a-ways, and Christmas Boxes.

More Information: For additional details about the supported ministries or Kings for The Kids, please contact Rick King, rick@KingsForTheKids.org, and be sure to follow their official page on Facebook!

MY KITCHEN Outreach is proud to support and promote Rick, and Kings for the Kids, for the amazing work they do on behalf of foster kids!

Kings for the Kids

06/5/17
MY KITCHEN Hero Circle

Announcing our Heroes Circle!

MY KITCHEN Hero Circle

For our 2016 Spring pledge drive, we’re initiating the MY KITCHEN Outreach Hero Circle!

This new program is in response to many of you asking for a way to make automated monthly contributions to the outreach program.

MY KITCHEN is a hands-on learning program; a series of basic nutrition, planning, shopping, and cooking classes for at-risk youth, including children recovering from abuse, and foster-care teens who are preparing to live on their own for the first time. We also cook for homeless shelters and family warming centers, and offer our cooking services for other charity’s fundraisers.

We have partnered with organizations like Impact Northwest, Amy Roloff Charity Foundation, and Sparks of Hope to offer hands on, “real food” cooking classes for the youth they work with.

MY KITCHEN Hero Circle

These are not classes that focus on a career in the culinary arts (though, we’ll be adding those in the future), but instead cover the primary skills and techniques required to plan, shop for, and cook healthy, affordable meals at home, using basic cooking equipment that these young people are likely to have available starting out on their own.

Think of it as “Home Ec.” for kids who may have never had a stable home environment to learn these essential skills from.

We believe that the ability to cook for oneself is a basic skill needed by everyone, and that the confidence and independence that comes along with these skills will transfer into all other areas of these kids lives.

In other words, if they can cook for themselves, they learn that they can do anything they want to do!

MY KITCHEN Hero Circle

Become a monthly giver and help us change kid’s lives by joining our Hero Program!

$30/mo ~ Thirty dollars a month will put one new student through our entire program, and provide them with a syllabus/cookbook, and vital skills in nutrition, shopping, and healthy cooking.

$50/mo ~ Fifty dollars will teach a full 10 student cooking class, every month! Basic knife skills, how to prepare healthy vegetables, how to be a savvy grocery shopper…be responsible for providing our kids with a life-skill they will never forget!

$100/mo ~ One Hundred dollars will fund an entire weekend of youth camp classes. Each student will be provided a commemorative camp cookbook, vital skills in nutrition, their own personal cooking utensils to keep, a MY Kitchen apron, and hands-on healthy cooking classes. As a special thank you, each $100.00 monthly hero will be gifted 2 Pop-Up Dinner Tickets to the upcoming event of their choice!

MY KITCHEN Hero CircleCustomize your Donation! ~ You can set the amount you give to any amount, and change that amount at any time, on our donation page.

*All donations will be deposited into the MY KITCHEN Outreach Program’s general fund, to be used at the discretion of our board of directors for outreach expenses.

If you would like to join us in mentoring kids, you can sign up for automated donations with your credit card, here on our GoFundMe page. (See detailed instructions, below…)

If you would like receive a mailed reminder to make a monthly contribution by check, or bank payment, please contact us (below) with your name and email address and we’ll send you the information!

Thank you for helping us help kids!

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MY KITCHEN Outreach Program is a 501(c)3, and all contributors will receive an itemized giving receipt at the end of each fiscal year.

06/17/16
MY KITCHEN Program Heroes CIrcle

Want to see Chef Perry eat Vegan for a week? (Ugh)

MY KITCHEN Program Heroes CIrcle

Be a HERO for a child…

Join the MY KITCHEN Outreach HEROES Circle!

MY KITCHEN Program Heroes CIrcle

MY KITCHEN is a hands-on learning program; a series of basic nutrition, planning, shopping, and cooking classes for at-risk youth, including children recovering from abuse, and foster-care teens who are preparing to live on their own for the first time. We also cook for homeless shelters and family warming centers, and offer our cooking services for other charity’s fundraisers.

Our Heroes Circle allows our supporters to set up automated monthly donations, in the amount of their choice, via the secure servers at GoFundMe. Set up a monthly donation from $5 to $50 to $500…every dollar is a blessing to our kids!

Heroes receive detailed updates of all of our current outreach events, invitations to appreciation events, and get the change to help us decided on important decisions for each upcoming year.

We believe that BIG dreams require BIG goals, and some of our goals (food truck for summer meal programs, 3-Day Cooking Camps, Etc.) are pretty big. That said…our first goal for monthly contributors is $2,000. This amount would cover all classes through the end of the year, as well and reach our fund-raising goals for the food truck.

I know, right?

So…let’s make it fun, shall we?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a poll on Facebook, letting folks choose a “prize” if we meet our Spring/Summer fund-raising goal for our “Heroes” program.

The choices were…

~Mohawk (photo documented), colored?
~MY KITCHEN tattoo
~Vegan for a week (with posted diary)

We opened it up to suggestions as well, just no piercings, or anything that could be dangerous, or illegal.

THE RESULTS:

~Tattoo: 45 votes
~Mohawk: 83 votes
~Vegan 4 a week: 122 Votes (you guys are heartless!)

Now, let’s make this interesting…

If, by July 15th 2016, we have reached $500 per month (that’s just 20 $25 pledges) I’ll get the tattoo.

If, by the same date, we reach $1000 per month, it’s the Mohawk, which I will proudly wear as we teach classes at this summer’s Sparks of Hope healing camps for kids.

$1500 in monthly pledges, gets the week in hell (100% vegan diet).

AND…if we manage to hit the full $2000.00 mark, or more…I’LL DO ALL THREE!

For more information on the MY KITCHEN Heroes Program, and instructions on how to join the program, visit our Heroes page on the blog.

LET’S DO THIS!!!

-Chef Perry

04/25/16
Kings for the Kids

Another fantastic BBQ with Kings for the Kids!

Kings for the Kids

Kings for the Kids Banquet

Some of our awesome Kings for the Kids kitchen volunteers!

Another fantastic day supporting the annual Kings for the Kids fishing tournament, dinner, and auction!

An Oregon Not for profit Organization, Kings for the Kids helps fund camps for abused and neglected children in Oregon and Washington, raising funds for outreach programs that reach children for Christ.

Kings for the Kids is on a mission to support several ministries with the funds it receives.

Their heart is foster children and the monies they raise supports several key ministries. Royal Family Kids Camps has always been the primary recipient.

We, at MY KITCHEN Outreach, are proud to support Kings for the Kids Annual Guided Salmon Tournament and Auction fundraiser, each year! Local guides, including our old pal Dave at David Johnson Guide Service, (best guide in Oregon, btw) volunteer their boats and expertise for a morning of guided Spring Chinook fishing trips.

David Johnson Guide Service

David Johnson doing what he does best!

Later, the guides and fisher-folk gather for dinner (that’s were we come in!) and an amazing raffle/silent auction with many donated items from local artists and merchants.

Kings for the kids meal

Le Menu:

All proceeds from the fishing trips and auction go for abused and neglected foster children.

For more information about the Kings for the Kids ministries, please click here. For additional details about our supported ministries or Kings for The Kids, please contact Rick King, rick@KingsForTheKids.org.

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

04/11/16

Sparks of Hope 2016 Gala & Auction!

Sparks of Hope 2016

Hey Friends,

Teaching Kids to CookAs most of you know, Sparks of Hope has been a MAJOR supporter of our outreach program, and they basically outfitted us with all of our gear to get our classes started three years ago.

Their summer and winter survivor camps (for kids coming out of a history of sexual abuse) are two of our major teaching events every year, allowing us to touch the lived of dozens of amazing children, teaching them valuable life skills, and helping restore their self-worth.

For all they have done for us, and continue to do for the kids, we would like to show our love and support for Sparks of Hope by filling two MY KITCHEN Outreach tables at their annual Dinner Auction Lee Ann Mead Sparks of Hopecoming up this May 21st at 5:30 p.m, at the historic Sentinel Hotel in Portland.

The annual auction is the #1 fund-raising tool for the kid’s camps. (Be sure to watch the video, below!)

The night will start with a walk down the red carpet to hosted hors d’oeuvres and wine during Portland’s premiere silent auction. Next you will be seated at your table for a plated dinner, with wine, catered by Jake’s Famous Crawfish as the multimedia/ live auction starts with KGW’s own Cathy Marshal. The evening will conclude with dancing provided by Patrick Lamb.

Couple’s tickets (2 included) are only $150.00 for a night you’ll never forget!

Please join us for an evening that will change the lives of Oregon’s abused children.

Sparks of Hope Gala 2016Reserve your seats here and be sure to add to the notes section that you would like to be seated at one of the MY KITCHEN tables!

(Please let me know when you reserve your seats so I know when our tables are full.)

Only space for 20 couples, so sign up now!

Thank you for helping us help kids!

Chef Perry

02/12/16
The Scott Baio sandwich

New class idea: What’s YOUR Celebrity Sandwich?

Celebrity sandwichesThinking about doing this as a “Sandwich Class” for MY KITCHEN summer camps and classes this year.

For the last hundred years, especially on the east coast, superstar names on deli sandwiches have been de rigueur, and it’s a tradition I love.

Class idea: “Create your own Celebrity Sandwich”

We’d have a couple of examples pre-made (simple stuff like turley/cheddar, PB/banana) and quartered for the kids to try, and a brief lesson on complimentary and contrasting flavor and texture combinations. Then have them walk thru a huge “sandwich bar” of ingredients, writing their own recipe (lesson 2) before building their sandwich.

Sandwiches would be rated on comp/contrasting flavors, as well as how well they followed their own recipes.

Two of my personal favorite celebrity sandwiches are:

The Scott Baio sandwich

The Scott Baio:  Sesame seed hero. Sopressata, Prosciotto, mozrella, more prosciotto, provelone, basil mix (sliced basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper), banana peppers.

The Adam Sandler Sandwich
The Adam Sandler:  Nova Scotia smoked salmon, smoked sturgeon, lettuce, tomato, and onion

By the way, here’s mine:

The Chef Perry
Head cheese, thin sliced beef tongue, salt & pepper, horseradish mayo, thin sliced pickled cucumbers, spiralized daikon radish, alfalfa sprouts, cilantro, olive oil, and rice wine vinegar on a toasted pretzel hoagie roll. Serve with spicy pickle wedges, and a vanilla cream soda.

What would YOUR “Celebrity Sandwich” look like?

Chef Perry

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

 

11/27/15
Bacon Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby

Bacon Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby #‎BakeItForward

Bacon Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby

My first Bacon Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby…and it was awesome!

FYI… Food Network will donate $1 for each share of this post to one of my favorite causes, No Kid Hungry!

Just make sure to include this message, with the #‎BakeItForward hashtag!

So, share, share, share!

Chef Perry
www.joinmykitchen.com

Bacon-Apple-Cheddar Dutch Baby

A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, is a sweet popover that is normally served for breakfast. It is derived from the German pfannkuchen.

1 apple, cored and sliced thin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons sweet cream butter (3 melted)
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 large eggs, room temp.
8 strips cooked apple-wood thick bacon, chopped
1 cup extra sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated

Toss apple slices in lemon juice. Melt butter.

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Place a 10-inch baking dish in oven, and allow the pan to heat up. (3-4 minutes)

In a large bowl (if you have a stick blender, if not use a mixer), add the 3 Tbs of melted butter, flour, cornmeal, milk, salt, sugar, and eggs. Mix until smooth, then add the bacon and cheese. Stir.

Remove the baking dish from the oven, add the rest of the butter, and let it melt. Then layer the bottom with apple slices, and pour the batter over the top.

Bake until puffy and golden, about 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and let rest 10-15 minutes.

Slice and serve!

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

 

05/25/15

Cooking for the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation Mud Run!

Amy Roloff Mud RunHad a wonderful time cooking for the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation Mud Run! Lot’s of laughs and support-building for all of the amazing charity groups that Amy’s Foundation supports!

Amy Roloff Mud Run

The whole thing was filmed for an upcoming episode of “Little People, Big World”, so TLC has asked everyone not to post any pictures of the actual Mud Run, but here are some fun shots of the cooking and eating… MY two favorite sporting events!

Amy Roloff Mud Run

Be sure to tune in to TLC on August 1st for this episode of “Little People, Big World!”

Amy Roloff Mud Run

Huge THANK YOU to our awesome volunteers at this event: Dana Ramsey, Wade, Diane, Alaine, and Timothy Anderson! We couldn’t have done it without you!

See all of this pictures, here.

-Chefs Perry, Terry, & Chris
www.joinmykitchen.com

10/16/14

Inequality and “understanding” the poor

Blog Action Day 2014

Founded in 2007, Blog Action Day brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included Water, Climate Change, Poverty, Food, Power of We and Human Rights, with over 25,000 blogs taking part since 2007.

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It seems like every day I see some new politician, or news personality, or celebrity talk-show host discussing their recent eye-opening, life-changing experience of living for a month on a “Food Stamp Challenge” – the simulated grocery budget of a family on food stamps.

0912_poverty_630x420Invariably, when the receipts are tallied at the end of the month, and the last journal entry, or blog post is made, the summation of the experience begins with a heart-felt, “I never understood before…”

First and foremost I want to say that I know that something is better than nothing. I appreciate the desire to help, and whatever compassion, or empathy, or social awareness (or whatever you want to call it) that comes along with this experiment.

I get that some good people are trying to make a difference, and I applaud that, but please don’t ever, ever…think that because they did a Food Stamp Challenge, that they understand.

Don’t think that someone can load up a couple of bags of cheap groceries in the back up their Outback, cruise on home to a nice house in the ‘burbs, and fix dinner in their modern kitchen…and know what it’s like to be poor.

Ask any police officer if a one-night “ride along” makes you understand what it is to be a cop, or any serviceman or woman if eating an MRE makes you understand being a soldier. Yes, people can spend a faintly uncomfortable month paring down their food budget, heck – they might even lose a few pounds and gain a little insight, but until they live in the same cheap apartments and ignored neighborhoods, wear their old clothes, feel their frustration and hopelessness, and lay awake at night with their fears…

All they’ve done is shopped like the poor.

Until they’ve have carried those groceries home a hundred times, through two bus transfers, and an eight block walk through a rainstorm, past the drug deal in the parking lot, and up two flights of stairs to an apartment that may or may not have had the electricity turned off, (and it’s January)…

Until then, they don’t understand.

Until they’ve faced staring down long years of an unchanging life, the absence of hope for a better future (not in 30 days, or 30 years)…years where things like new cars (or any cars), nice restaurants, vacations, etc., anything beyond the grinding out of daily survival, are as far off the radar as a trip to the moon; watching their children grow up never “getting”, until finally they stop asking, until they begin to come to an understanding that these things are not meant for them, and they begin to harden…

Until then, they don’t understand.

Until they’ve looked at all the things they cannot buy for their kids, cannot experience with them, cannot give them, and realize that while they can’t have things so many other children take for granted…but that the simple joy of a cheap fast-food meal, or a sugary soda pop, or junk-food snack, or hell…even stupidly spending every penny they have for a ridiculously priced pair of tennis shoes…is a single moment of happiness that they CAN give them (and themselves) now, as a momentary reprieve from the unending grayness of life.

That the cheap sugar and salt and fat bomb will, for a moment, eclipse all of those lost hopes and dreams they had as a parent, and numb the crushing guilt and helplessness they feel every waking moment.

Does it make them feel like a bad parent?

Probably. God knows they get enough judgement and derision on the subject.

But then, they feel that way every morning when sending their kids off to school in clothes they hate, on a breakfast of watered-down milk, every winter night when they tuck them into a cold room because they don’t dare turn the heat on…in fact, they feel like that all the time, and at least they get a smile from those french-fries. At least they can give them something besides the constant, bone-wearying, broken-record response of “No, we can’t afford that.”

A brief blink in their day where they don’t feel like a failure…like if God really loved their children, He’d have given them to someone else.

(Btw – that’s not dramatic prose talking – I was told that by a woman in a soup kitchen, who was living with her three children in a tent.)

Until they’ve been ground down by year-upon-year-upon-year of life at the bottom of the well.

Until then, they don’t understand.

You see, I grew up with a woman who knew these things. A divorced invalid, raising a child in Portland’s ghetto neighborhood of Rockwood, spending the last weeks of many-a-month living on potatoes and government cheese…my mother knew these things very well. She understood.

And the assumption of understanding, based on a month of mild inconvenience (often with the an underlying smugness of “Well, it was hard, but it wasn’t that hard”…) disrespects a lifetime of hardship and sacrifices that she, and all of the parents like her (and some much worse off) went through, and go through every single day.

Frankly, it pisses me off.

Don’t get me wrong, by all means please help…but do something tangible.

Sympathy without action is worthless.

Empathy, or even sympathy, without action is worthless…worse that worthless, it’s counter-productive, as others will follow your example. I don’t need to have cancer to comfort an old friend who does, and you don’t need to “live on assistance” to help people who do.

Volunteer at a food bank, contact a local ministry or non-profit and be part of an outreach program, give to local charities, become a constant, burning, unyielding, pain-in-the-ass advocate to your local politicians and decision makers…and God bless those of you who do these things…I hope you don’t take offense at anything I’ve said here, as it wasn’t directed at you.

If, however, people want to know what it’s like to be poor, so they’ve “been there, done that”, I wish they’d do me a favor…do it for a year, in my old neighborhood, on foot, in the cold and dark, with their children…no life-lines…and I may begin to take their “experience” seriously.

Until then, no…they don’t understand.

-Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

 

05/2/14

Simple Poached Salmon with Lemon-Parsley Orzo

Simple Poached Salmon

Chef Chris and I had a great time doing cooking demos at last night’s “Ladies Night” event at the Portland Sportsman’s Warehouse, supporting Royal Family Kid’s Camps!

The turnout was awesome, and we enjoyed the opportunity to show folks a great, almost full-proof way to prepare a delicate, moist, and delicious salmon dish, regardless of their level of cooking experience.

As promised, here are the recipes!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

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Simple Poached Salmon
4 five-ounce salmon fillets
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs tarragon
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste

3Season the salmon pieces with salt and set aside. Choose a heavy pan just large enough to fit the salmon snugly in one layer and add the wine, tarragon, and just enough water to come halfway up the salmon pieces (but do not add the salmon yet).

Season with a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, immediately turn the heat to very low so it’s barely simmering. Add the fish pieces and cook for 3 1/2 minutes (add an extra minute or two if using steaks), then carefully turn the pieces over and cook for 3 minutes more to finish. Ensure that the water never gets hot enough to boil.

Remove the fish pieces to a warm plate then turn the heat to high to reduce the liquid by half. Whisk in the butter and season to taste with salt and lemon juice, if necessary.

Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with a little chopped parsley.

Orzo with Lemon and Parsley
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
3/4 lbs orzo (cooked)
1 lemon, juice & zest
1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley
salt freshly ground pepper

4Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well.

In a small Dutch oven over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Gently fold in the cooked orzo, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper until well mixed.

Transfer the orzo to a serving bowl and serve warm.