Fifteen Years Ago

Fifteen years ago, I taught my first class at the Bayview School of Cooking. I had never spoken in front of a crowd, let alone teach a class, so to say that I was scared out of my mind seems like a massive understatement. One of the founders of the cooking school had been our church secretary during the time I was the chairperson of the hospitality committee there, and she thought I should teach a class. It seemed like an exciting idea when she suggested it, so I submitted a menu of fall appetizers.

A week before my class, I literally felt like I was going to be facing a death sentence on the given day. I had a full class of 25 people and my nerves insured that my performance was short of stellar. But, I had some very supportive assistants and the food was good! I taught a class almost every single month after that, for over 7 years, until I took over as director.

In celebration of our 15-year anniversary, I thought I’d share the recipes from that nerve-wracking class. I make this first one often. It’s very close to Seattle’s Chef Kathy Casey’s original recipe, with a few minor changes. You see fried olives on many menus these days, but I like this little olive bite better, and it goes marvelously with cocktails!

By the way, we now have a feature to help you find recipes on this blog. On the left-hand side of the page you’ll see various categories such as main dishes, desserts, etc. so you can retrieve a recipe a little easier!

Sesame-Cheddar Olive Poppers

4 ounces cheddar cheese, finely grated sharp
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sifted unbleached flour
Dash of cayenne
1 small jar pimento-stuffed green olives
½ cup mixed white and black sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drain the olives and patted dry with paper towels

Beat the cheese and butter together in a food processor or mixer until smooth. Stir in the four and cayenne. Flatten a heaping teaspoon of dough in your hand and wrap around olive, covering it well.

Place sesame seeds in a small bowl. Roll each ball in the sesame seeds and place on an  ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Check out the latest this Fall at the Bayview School of Cooking here!

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