Thursday, July 31, 2008

Three Cooks in Bemidji

On August 13 I will be teaching in Bemidji with two friends who are also cooking teachers. The classes sound great and it will be fun for me to learn from my friends but I am also looking forward to seeing the Bemidji area and going out on my friend Sue's pontoon and floating lazily on the Mississippi. Since I grew up in Pennsylvania I haven't seen many parts of MN so in this steamy month I'll be going up north along with many Minnesotans.

Both of the desserts I will be preparing take advantage of summer berries which will be at their peak. Not only will they add color and freshness, but I am reading more and more of the many ways berries contribute to good health.

Three Cooks in the MJB Kitchen

Join Sue Doeden, Bemidji Pioneer food columnist
and television cook on Lakeland News at 10
along with cookbook authors and cooking instructors
Carmela Tursi Hobbins, “Carmela's Cucina”
Pat Sinclair, “Baking Basics and Beyond”

2 cooking classes
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Attend one or both

Noon to 1:00
“Fast, Fresh and Fabulous”
$20 per person
Cantaloupe and Italian Prosciutto
with Black Pepper Vinaigrette
Italian-Style Chicken Salad
Honey Orange Scones
Lemon Mascarpone Tarts with Fresh Berries

6:00 to 8:30
“Dining Around the World”
$40 per person
White Wine Sangria
Fresh Greens, Herbs and Summer Berry Salad
in a Peppered Parmesan Basket
Pasta with Fresh Summer Herbs in Rosa Sauce
Sage-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Roasted Asparagus
Herb Dinner Rolls
Tres Leches Cake with Fresh Berries

Sit back and relax as the three cooks demonstrate preparation of the meal. Then eat and enjoy the complete meal. Go home with all the recipes. Carmela and Pat will have their cookbooks available for purchase and will be happy to sign them for you.

Register at MJB Home Appliance Center, 418 Beltrami Avenue, Downtown Bemidji, 751-2420

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Taste of the Twin Cities

Last night we attended the Taste of the Twin Cities. It is sponsored by a group of local restaurants as a part of the Aquatennial. Looking at the list of restaurants I discovered I only missed two. The food is served in very small portions, sometimes just a bite, and that works well because there are SO many bites! My favorites were the Grilled Shrimp with Fresh Tomatoes and Pesto from Luci Ancora and the Beet and Cherry Gazpacho with Tarragon and Black Pepper Creme Fraiche from Solera, a tapas restaurant. The unusual flavor combination was amazing- a little sweet and a little beet flavor contrasted by the tang of the creme fraiche and a cool velvety texture. I think that was my favorite. Mini Beef Wellingtons from Murrays were hard to resist. For the event, they served a slice of beef and a little pastry puff filled with minced mushrooms. It was a beautiful night and after sampling as much as we could we sat at a table along the Mississippi River in downtown and went back later for a few last tastes!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Strawberry Summer

The local strawberries have been yummy this summer. Every time I bite into one it reminds me of the fresh berries I had as a child. When I bite into local berries they have a similar taste to the large commercial ones but the flavor explodes in your mouth in triple intensity and just thinking about them makes my mouth water. It's easy to tell locally grown organic berries they have uneven shapes and come in many sizes! Tonight we're enjoying them in a simple salad (made with Farmer's Market leaf lettuce)and for dessert topped with whipped organic cream. It's been a Farmer's Market Summer. This Saturday I'm doing my cake demo at the Mill City Farmer's Market for the celebration of the 150th Birthday of Minnesota Statehood and hope to top miniature pieces of Tres leches Cake with the first fresh raspberries of the season!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Popovers That Pop

Last night we had popovers for dinner with a chicken pasta salad. It was a perfect summer meal. I was practicing on the popovers because this morning Sue Doeden and I discussed what we thought made good popovers. She recorded the interview and it will be placed online with her column. Go to for our conversation. The main thing we decided is that popovers don't always pop but there are certain steps that are important. My advice is to find a recipe that works and buy a popover pan. In addition, have your ingredients at room temperature and allow the batter to rest about 20-30 minutes. Even popovers that don't pop taste delicious. I love the heavy eggy center with the crisp golden brown crust. Because I really like popovers and they are so easy to prepare I purchased a popover pan. Most supermarkets carry them. I generously spray the cups with nonstick cooking spray before adding the batter.