General Blogging

Now It’s Summer


Summer has arrived, complete with one 98° day and lots of lovely days after that! Now I’m craving salads for dinner but those salads gotta have pizzazz. I found this salad from Cooking Light magazine a few years ago. The flavors are vibrant, it’s beautiful on the plate, and you get to grill, so it’s kind of the whole package. The dressing is tart, sweet and spicy and really elevates this dish from the usual to the extraordinary. I’ve played with the original recipe a bit here, so you should too (just don’t mess with that dressing!). I’ve been known to throw some chunks of avocado in because, well, they’re delicious. Some cubed jicama might be good in there too! The recipe may look longish but it’s a fairly simple salad to throw together. One more note: this tastes even better when you eat it outside!

Southwestern-Style Shrimp Taco Salad

¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons chipotle hot sauce
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 ears shucked corn
Cooking spray
4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
½ cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
One 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 plum tomatoes, chopped or 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 ounces baked blue corn tortilla chips or regular chips
⅓ cup light sour cream
⅓ cup avocado, peeled and diced
Lime wedges (optional)

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Combine lime juice, olive oil, cumin, garlic, syrup, and hot sauce in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Place the shrimp in a shallow bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the lime juice mixture over shrimp, tossing gently to coat. Reserve the remaining lime juice mixture; set aside.

Thread shrimp onto metal skewers. Lightly coat corn with cooking spray. Place shrimp kebabs and corn on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 8 minutes, turning kebabs once and turning corn frequently until browned. Remove from grill; cool slightly. Remove shrimp from skewers, and place in a large bowl.

Cut kernels from ears of corn. Add corn, chopped lettuce, green onions, cilantro, black beans, and plum tomatoes to shrimp. Drizzle reserved lime juice mixture over the shrimp mixture and toss gently to combine.

Divide tortilla chips evenly among 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with shrimp mixture. Combine sour cream and diced avocado in a small bowl; mash with a fork until well blended.

Top each serving with sour cream mixture. Serve with a lime wedge, if desired. Serves 4

Categories: General Blogging, Kitchen with a View, Recipes | Leave a comment

It’s Not Summer Yet

Even though summer officially arrives on June 20th, those of us from the Pacific Northwest know perfectly well that it might not be here until the middle of July, and even that can be somewhat questionable! We want to eat outside and grill everything we bring home from the market, but the weather isn’t always cooperative.

I recently found a recipe from Ina Garten that is great for those in-between times, when heavy, rich food feels wrong, but you still crave something a little heartier than light summer fare. It’s pasta, so I’m all in, it’s meatless, so it’s great for our “Meatless Mondays,” and it’s full of cheese, which is always good. If you’re in a hurry, it’s a meal in itself, or you can serve it with a green salad and a nice bottle of wine. As usual, I changed the recipe a bit to suit my own taste. Don’t be shy when you’re cooking up the cauliflower—the brown bits add a lot of flavor!

Crusty Baked Shells & Cauliflower

Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ pound medium shells, such as Barilla
Good olive oil
2½ pounds cauliflower, cut into small, bite-sized florets (1 large head)
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon (3 cloves) garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups Italian Fontina, freshly grated
1 cup (8 ounces) fresh whole milk ricotta
¾ cup panko (Japanese bread flakes)
6 tablespoons Italian Pecorino cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced

Preheat the oven to 400°

Fill a large pot with water, add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Since it will be baked later, don’t overcook it! Drain and pour into a very large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat, add half of the cauliflower in one layer and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the florets are lightly browned and tender.

Pour the cauliflower, including the small bits, into the bowl with the pasta. Add 3 more tablespoons of olive oil to the sauté pan, add the remaining cauliflower, cook until browned and tender and add to the bowl.

Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl and stir carefully.

Stir in the Fontina.

Transfer half of the mixture to a 10 x 13 x 2–inch rectangular baking dish. Spoon rounded tablespoons of ricotta on the pasta and spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top.

Combine the panko, Pecorino, parsley and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and crusty on top. Serve hot. Serves 6-8

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Spring 2017

 

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien

 

After 21 long years of cooking in a kitchen the size of a small walk-in closet, I am now standing on the precipice of a major house and kitchen remodel. I hope to finally have the kitchen I’ve longed for sinLeannece I was in my twenties. Yet, as I look back, I’ve cooked a lot of amazing food in that tiny kitchen, and some pretty small kitchens before that. More importantly, I’ve shared that food and good cheer with a lot of amazing friends and family. As awkward as it was preparing daily meals and grand feasts in close quarters, it was certainly worth the effort. Nothing brings folks together like food. I will love to have a beautiful new kitchen, but my small kitchen has taught me that it’s the people your good food brings together that’s truly important.

Our kitchen at BSC isn’t very large, but over the past 13½ years an incredible amount of culinary delights have been produced there! This spring quarter will be no exception. We’re offering classes that represent at least 10 different countries, we have 12 hands-on classes for children and adults, 2 classes with local treasure Xinh Dwelley, 3 classes with downtown Olympia food establishments, and one very special tour. All of this, and I’m just scratching the surface here!

The BSC tour this spring is called the South Sound Artisan Food and Wine Tour with Christine Ciancetta, and it focuses on our local produce, animal products, wine and spirits. We’ve never done anything like it and I can hardly wait!

Springtime can be a busy time. One of my new year’s resolutions was to try and have guests over for dinner more often. I know that many of you are like me and feel that cooking good food is a gift we can give to others. What a lovely pursuit!

Hope to see you soon, upstairs in the BSC kitchen!

BSC Spring 2017 Brochure
http://www.bayviewschoolofcooking.com/
Now available online for viewing,
download or pick it up around town!

Categories: General Blogging, Kitchen with a View | Leave a comment

Turning Scandinavian

LeanneWe Americans come from all over the world and while I’ve always known that my ancestry is largely from Britain and Ireland, I feel that I’m now becoming slightly Scandinavian. To wit, my husband is of Norwegian and Swedish descent and hence, my children as well, and after searching through genealogy sites I find that I am distantly related to King Haakon that once ruled Norway and Sweden. I take that last qualification with a grain of salt, by the way! Additionally, after a recent visit to Stockholm, I found that sparkling city to be so charming that I feel I could happily live there.  To top it off, if I’m making lefse this Christmas season, doesn’t that make me slightly Scandinavian?

As Scottish and Irish as my mom was, every Christmas she would make King Haakon (yes, that King Hakkon) cookies, which are essentially biscotti. They can be flavored with cardamom, almonds or anise seed, although my mom always chose the latter. To celebrate my newfound heritage, I’m making these tasty treats this holiday season. To remind me of Stockholm, I’m dipping my cookies in white chocolate and tiny white sprinkles, as I imagine the city to be covered in lovely snow by now. Of course, as I bake I’ll also be reminded of my mom who has been gone a year now. She always loved this time of year.

 

King Haakon Cookies

½ cup melted
butter
2 eggs
¾ cup sugar

2 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom *

In a large bowl combine butter, eggs, sugar, flour baking powder, salt and flavoring. Form dough into 3 long rolls on a greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles or cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 325°F for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly and slice diagonally ½-inch thick. Place on the cookie sheet and toast in oven for 1 hour at 200°F or until lightly browned. Makes 3 dozen

* or substitute 1½ teaspoons anise seed or 2 teaspoons almond extract (if using almond extract: ¼ cup chopped almonds, toasted in microwave for 3 minutes or until browned)

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Winter’s Arrived!

The New Brochure for All to See!

bsc-winter2016-17-cover2

Check out the new brochure and see great classes!

http://www.bayviewschoolofcooking.com/ …. warning….classes are filling very quickly!

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BSC Fall 2016 Brochure now available!

BSC-Fall2016

Check out the new brochure and see great classes!

http://www.bayviewschoolofcooking.com/ …. warning….classes fill quickly!

Categories: General Blogging | Leave a comment

Summer 2016 BSC Brochure now available!

BSCSummer2016BrochurePick it up at Bayview Thriftway or Ralphs Thriftway
or view online at: http://www.bayviewschoolofcooking.com/
or download your own pdf copy at http://www.bayviewschoolofcooking.com/BSC-Summer2016.pdf

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This Saturday – Somthin’ to Do!

PikeBrewingDinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the details: http://www.bayviewschoolofcooking.com/April2016.html#16

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“It’s Still Winter” Food

LeanneI like February better than I like January, probably because it’s one month closer to spring. There’s no getting around it though – February is still very much winter, and today as I write this, a constant, cold drizzle falls, veiling almost everything with the same dull gray. I do like wintery food, however. It’s usually warm, hearty, comfortable stuff that seems as if it’s calling you home.

When I visited England a couple of years ago, it was in the early spring, with all the daffodils blooming and green everywhere you looked. It was still chilly nonetheless and the little pubs we visited were serving wintery fare. We had a brilliant (how quickly I fall into English descriptives!) steak and stout pie at York’s House of Trembling Madness, a wonderfully eccentric pub with absolutely delicious food. I’ve attempted to recreate it, with pretty good success. What I’ve come up with is fairly close to what we ate on our trip and it certainly fits the bill as winter comfort food. Have yourself a cozy evening by the fire and enjoy a scrumptious steak and stout pie!

Steak & Stout Pie
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small red onions, peeled and finely sliced
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
3 bay leaves
3 heaped tablespoons flour
2 pounds beef skirt steak, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 pound Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons tomato purée
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
10 ounces good-quality stout or dark ale
2½ cups hot beef stock
3 ounces Dubliner Stout Cheese or good quality Cheddar, crumbled or sliced
1 large egg, beaten
1 package pie pastry (with lard as an ingredient)

Place a large casserole pan over medium heat, add olive oil and the butter, followed by the onions and fresh herbs. Cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft and turning golden, stirring occasionally.

Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add beef to the pan along with the mushrooms, tomato purée and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the vinegar, beer, and hot stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender. At the end, you may need to remove meat, onions and mushrooms with a slotted spoon and boil gravy, stirring often, until thickened. Return meat mixture to gravy.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lay out one round of pastry into a large pie dish, smoothing down, turning in the edges neatly and pricking lightly all over with a fork. Brush with egg white. Bake for 20 minutes or until just starting to color.

Carefully ladle the stew into a pie dish then lay over the slices or crumbles of cheese.
Brush the outside rim with beaten egg and lay out other round of pastry on top, crimping and sealing the edges. Brush the top with a little more egg and place in the hot oven for 40 minutes, or until the pastry is beautifully golden. Serves 6 to 8

Categories: General Blogging, Kitchen with a View, Recipes | 2 Comments

The Spring 2016 Brochure is Here!!

BSC-Spring2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcing: The Spring 2016 Brochure is now available online and for pickup!

Get your very own copy at Bayview or Ralph’s Thriftway or Storman’s Office

or view / print it online at www.BayviewSchoolOfCooking.com
Sign up for classes by calling (360) 754-1448 today! Hurry because seats fill quickly!

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