Saturday, January 06, 2007


Made In L.A. - Food From The Hood

Maybe you have noticed that on the side bar on the left, towards the bottom of the page, there are some links to a few charitable organizations.

And perhaps you have wondered why they are there. Maybe - better still - you have clicked on the links to learn more. (I do hope so)

Let me explain their presence on this food blog, since most of them are not food related.

What they are, are links to organizations that I volunteer for, my friends have started, or that I just feel do good in the world. Like everyone else, I believe in giving back in any way I can, and these organizations are how I do just that.

The sites listed are varied and touch many lives in many different ways. What they all have in common is that they do good.

There are a lot of ways to do good in the world, aren’t there?

Of course, one of the very, very best ways is to do something for your local community. To see what needs attention and to engage in the simple act of paying attention to it.

Which brings me to today’s MADE IN L.A. my humble attempt to spotlight nationally available products made right here in Los Angeles, CA. Why? Because this is my community. Simple as that.

That said, allow me to introduce you to Food From The 'Hood.

Salad dressings made and marketed by the youth of Crenshaw High School. The profits help students pay for college, the experience helps them succeed in life.

If you are unfamiliar with Crenshaw it is a large area in South Los Angeles, with more then their fair share of problems. It is also a strong community of hard working people, where change visible is every day.

I hope you will check out their site and learn more.

There you will read about how a few kids and a teacher took a weedy lot behind a football field and made it their own personal field of dreams...

Or...take the next step and order some of their salad dressings...

I bought these two bottles at the Whole Foods in Beverly Hills a few days ago. I usually make my own dressing, but in this case it was a double-good deal.

Something new to try, that was made in L.A. and something that helps others. What could be better?

The dressings themselves taste great.

The ranch is tangy, the Italian is a perfect balance of vinegar and oil with pepper and herbs balancing it out. These are not the fancy dressings you keep on the shelf, these are dressings you use everyday, because you crave something on your salad that just tastes good.

But if you are looking to do something even more with your dressings try this amazing mushroom recipe.

It was a perfect appetizer on my holiday table. It simply pops with flavor. Try it, and enjoy!

2 cups small button mushrooms, cleaned
1/2 cup Food From The 'Hood Creamy Italian Dressing
2 tablespoons water
large pinch of fresh pepper
2 teaspoons fresh herbs, minced (I used parsley and oregano)

In a large sauce pan, heat the dressing with the water, and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the mushrooms and cook for three minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the pepper and the herbs and let sit for 1 hour.

Serve as an appetizer with toothpicks or tossed with butter lettuce as a hearty dressing.


To date, Food From the 'Hood has awarded over $140,000 in college scholarships to the student-managers. 77 program graduates have attended two-year or four-year colleges or technical schools.

There really was a Hidden Valley Ranch. It was a resort in California, and it was there that Ranch Dressing was 'invented' sometime in the 1950's.

At 2.8 kilograms annually, Canadians enjoy one of the world's highest levels of per capita mushroom consumption.

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That's awesome that you support local causes...great way to give back
great list of links, i'm familiar with most of them but will check out the others. happy new year to you and your family!
What a great concept - I love it! The kids get to earn $$ for future studies, and I'm sure get amazing experience and gain valuable business skills. Very cool.

Thanks for sharing that!
Way to go! Love the site. I was involved with FFTH "back in the days" -- the original days when the company was founded after the April 29 uprising. It is so great that people like you keep up the buzz. THANK YOU!
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