Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Blessing Boxes and Puff Pastry Treats

Are you familiar with Blessing Boxes?  It's a free food pantry built on the concept of the Little Free Library.
Free pantries known as 'Blessing boxes' have been popping up across the country and now there are some right in my home state in the Twin Cities area. The wooden box is stocked with non-perishables including food, drinks, toiletries, and even clothes. It's not just for homeless people, it's for whoever needs it,

The idea behind the wooden boxes is simple: "Take what you need, bring what you can". Each box costs about $50 to make. It was so heart warming to hear of these random act of kindness that were recently featured on a local news show.

The 'Blessing boxes' are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Everything inside the wooden box-sized pantries are free for those in need. People are encouraged to donate whatever they can — whether it's a can of beans or a bag of diapers. Anyone can play a part in paying it forward and alleviating the financial stresses of those around them.

A mother who frequents the blessing boxes to help feed her children said: "Just to feed the kids for that day or something for the next — it really helps a lot. I tell them this is for us and for anybody and they don't have to feel shame or anything."

The small acts of kindness are creating ripples not only in Minnesota but across the United States, showing people how something as simple as a canned good can make a difference in a family's life that day.
I wish I knew how to direct you to find these boxes in your area.  Perhaps do an online search using Blessing Boxes as key words or contact local social services for help.  One suggestion for a RAK would be carry some non-perishable goods in your car just in case you may see a Blessing Box to make a donation or donate to your local food shelf.  
Puff Pastry Treats
Remember these Puff Pasty Hearts?
Here's a different spin. 
Ham Puff Pastry

Cook's notes: The filling is enough for 12 puffs so you will need 1 pastry sheet plus half of another sheet. The puff pastries can be served as an appetizer or as a side with soup. I have substituted corned beef for ham-perfect for a St. Patrick's Day side.  These puff pastries go well with a bowl of soup.
Recipe inspired by pamperedchef.com
Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 puff pastry sheets 
  • 1 cup deli corned beef or ham, finely chopped
  • 3 TB. green onion
  • 1 cup diced Swiss cheese or Colby Jack 
  • 3 TB. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip 
  • 3 TB.pickle relish, drained 
  • 1 TB.Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg and 1 tsp. water
  • sesame seeds
  • optional 1/3 cup drained sauerkraut if using corned beef
Directions:
  • With a pastry wheel cut one sheet into 9 equal squares and 3 squares from another sheet.
  • Use a food processor to combine filling ingredients.

  • Add 1-1/2 TB filling into each pastry square. Fold pastry over filling by bringing up corners diagonally. Press corners together to meet in center.

  • Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on each pastry.  
  • Place in medium sized muffin pans. Bake at 400 degrees until pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 18-19 minutes. Note: I did not have a medium sized pan (wish I did) and had to use a large muffin pan that really was too big for this recipe. 
  • Let pastry puffs cool in pan for a few minutes. Run a sharp paring knife around pan edges to loosen; turn out puffs onto rack to cool slightly before serving.
Looking Ahead: Chicken Gnocchi Soup with Spinach
Audrey, from SW Minnesota, blogs from MinnesotaPrairieRoots.com 
Her blog today featured ideas on how to spread positivity through random acts of kindness. Ever Ready even got a shout out on her blog.   
https://mnprairieroots.com/2017/02/08/everyone-poops-other-examples-of-positivity-in-minnesota/

5 comments:

  1. I love recipes with simple, yet yummy ingredients and the Ham Puff Pastry hits the mark! I am also dying with anticipation to see the Gnocchi Soup recipe!

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    1. yes you will find the soup hearty and packed with lots of flavor-perfect for this time of the year soon to be published

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  2. Ah, Sue, thanks for the shout back for mnprairieroots.com.

    I've heard of the blessings boxes and think they're a great idea. But I wonder about the food and other items freezing in a Minnesota winter.

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    Replies
    1. yes good point about freezing temps I have no answer on that one but the overall concept of giving is great especially this time of the year

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  3. What a wonderful idea, I am not in the US but the boxes would be a blessing anywhere.

    Kathleen
    Bloggers Pit Stop

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