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Before my long and wonderful roadtrip this summer, I was hosting some fairly regular cooking classes in my home. I loved sharing what cooking knowledge I had and ways to make cooking work as a mom. Now that I am back some previous attendees have expressed interest and so, here is the new “style” of cooking class:

1. You get a group of 5-8 others together as well as a date and time (weekdays and evenings seem to work best).

2. I email you a list of cooking themes to choose from- you choose your theme.

3. You come, learn, have fun, and pay {Rate: $10 per person}. You go home with recipes from the theme, a fun night, some food in your belly, and hopefully some new tools for home.


I will send you the recipes that correspond to My Weekly Menu for $3 a week. If you are interested email me at


This is adapted closely from a Pioneer Woman recipe:

Cut jalapenos in half the long way {WEARING GLOVES}, scrape out the seeds {WEARING GLOVES}. Mix together cream cheese or goat cheese and a fav cheese {grated cheddar, pepper jack, blue cheese…}. You could also add a fresh herb if desired {basil, sage…} or mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, or green onions. Then, fill each jalapeno half {WEARING GLOVES} and wrap in half a slice of bacon {I love Trader Joe’s uncured Apple Bacon} and secure with a toothpick. Place in a pyrex dish and put in the oven at 400 degrees until the bacon is done. {Could also be BBQd}.

{WEARING GLOVES} This is a necessary component. DO NOT SKIP! I did not do this and found my hands BURNING (you know that feeling you get when you get a burn and it feels like it just keeps on burning). Well, I had that feeling for a couple hours after preparing the jalapenos! I finally went online and looked for something to help. I found many forums that addressed this issue. I ended up pouring rubbing alcohol on my hands, rubbing it around for a bit, drying them off, and repeating for close to an hour. WEAR THE GLOVES!!!

I get veggies from 2 CSAs, some from my small garden, some from my dad, and some from my in-laws… so what to do with all of these tasty treats:

-Tomatoes: bruschetta (tomatoes, 1-2 garlic cloves, large handful of chopped basil, salt, drizzled with EVOO and can be tossed with pasta after the fact); roasted with garlic after being tossed in EVOO- added to pasta, layered in lasgana, eaten with goat cheese and a slice of bread; sliced and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and topped with basil on top of fresh mozzarella; with cheese on a sandwich; canned for later…

-Greens: All chopped and cooked in chicken broth, onion, garlic, s/p- saved to layer into lasagna, enchiladas, or topped with a fried egg and cheddar cheese; Chard thrown into a smoothie or chopped and thrown into a salad; sauteed with EVOO, garlic, s/p- served along side a meal; tossed into spaghetti; tossed with pasta, bacon, and goat cheese; thrown into soups

Squashes: chopped and cooked with tomatoes, onions, dijon mustard, s/p; chopped and tossed with other veggies, onion, garlic, tossed in EVOO, s/p, and served as a layer in lasagna or tossed with pasta/bacon/goat cheese, or eaten alone

Zucchini: muffins; cookies; breads; zucchini/tomato/onion/dijon combo; shredded and frozen for later; raw with hummus

What else do you all have for me?


Where to buy: Farmer’s Market, CSA

How to Make

  • If you are going to use it mushy- put the whole squash in the oven until it is soft- cook at 375
  • If you are going to cube it and roast it or throw it in a dish- cook it in the oven until the skin is softening, let cool, remove skin

Ideas: throw into a veggie pasta dish with alfredo sauce; roast and cool put in a salad with sautéed onion, dried cranberries, honey candied walnuts; throw into mac and cheese; put on top of pizza with red onions and goat cheese or gorgonzola; in a salad with roasted leeks or onions and fennel; cook with maple syrup or butter and honey like you would sweet potatoes; put into a coconut curry dish

Recipe Search Ideas: Butternut squash and apple soup; butternut squash lasagna; pasta stuffed acorn squash; cubed and added to pasta

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage

Where to Buy: Farmer’s, CSA

HOW TO COOK: steam and top with butter, salt and pepper; roast tossed in EVOO, s/p, garlic; saute blanched veg with mushrooms, shallots, and bacon or pancetta- season with salt and pepper.

Ideas: Add broccoli to mac and cheese, roast and serve with parmesan on top; add to a salad; eat raw with hummus; top baked potatoes with them; top pulled pork sandwiches with a coleslaw, use cabbage on top of fish tacos; add chili flakes to your roasted veggies; use in a curry; smash broccoli and/or cauliflower and cheese into mashed potatoes; use broccoli and cauliflower in quiche; top roasted Brussels with parmesan and bread crumbs- bacon and gorgonzola too if you want; add to stir frys; add to pasta; Alfredo, broccoli, chicken + pasta; add some roasted to a pizza with a stronger cheese and some chicken and onions; Brussels sprouts with brown butter sauce; Brussels with bacon or pancetta; Brussels with pecans and cranberries; Brussels with a Caesar Dressing; Brussels with Walnuts and Gorgonzola; Chinese Chicken Salad with Cabbage; Cabbage with Apples and Onions; Cabbage added to a stir-fry;

Root Veg: Beets, Parsnips, Turnips, Carrots, Onions. Leeks, Fennel, Potatoes

Where: Farmer’s Market and my CSA are my favorite

Roasted Vegetables

Toss whatever veggies with EVOO, S/P, and crushed garlic. Roast in your oven at 400 until the edges are crispy. Beets are great when you slice them thin.

Serve as a side dish, tossed in pasta with goat cheese or Parmesan, cooled and put into a salad, topping on a pizza, layered into lasagna or baked pasta, laid out on an appetizer tray with dip, thrown into soup or pasta salad or potato salad…

Greens: Spinach, Chard, Kale, Collard Greens, Beet Greens…

Where: Farmer’s Market, CSA

Sautéed Greens- use any greens- mixing works well too

Sauté chopped greens with 1-2 cloves crushed garlic, 1-2 T apple cider vinegar, EVOO, salt and pepper. If you cook bacon for the pasta dish below- you could sauté in the bacon fat.

Serving Suggestions: as a side, with pasta (bacon or pancetta and goat cheese added- butternut squash and/or fresh sage or thyme would also be nice additions), added to a marinara sauce and pasta, layered into lasagna or enchiladas, with eggs, in quiche or a frittata or scramble, served with or without meat over brown rice with a miso or rice wine vinegar dressing, added to roasted veggies as a side, Penne with greens (sausage, pine nuts, sprinkle feta on top), add to white beans (sage, parmesan, and a vinaigrette would work nicely together- add chicken if desired for a meal); add nuts and raisins; add an onion; serve as a salad with a Caesar or Peanut dressing or blood oranges and nuts; use white wine instead of apple cider vinegar; add to risotto

Greens Cooked with Chicken Broth

Cook chopped greens with a couple garlic cloves in chicken broth (homemade preferably.

Serving Suggestions: as a side, layered into lasagna or enchiladas, with eggs; put in a baking dish and top with bread crumbs, butter and parmesan- bake until golden

Steamed Greens

Steam and serve with butter, salt, and pepper. Could squeeze some lemon onto them, grate some ginger on them, sprinkle some chili flakes on them… Warm spinach salad with fresh or roasted tomatoes, bacon, and toasted pecans and red wine vinaigrette.

Raw Greens

  • In a smoothie with fresh squeezed oj or whole milk, plain yogurt, banana and whatever fruit you have on hand or frozen (pear, mango, berries, pineapple, apple…)
  • Added to soups, stews
  • Spinach salad with blood oranges and fennel
  • Spinach salad with feta, pine nuts…
  • Spinach salad with steamed or roasted beets, avocado, feta, red onion, pistachios, blood oranges with lemon vinaigrette

My Favorite Yogurt Recipe (I use a yogurt “machine”)

  1. Bring 1 qt of whole milk to a boil- transfer to a non-metallic container
  2. Cool to 100-105 degrees
  3. Mix 2 T plain yogurt with 2 T cold whole milk- mix into cooked milk
  4. Put in yogurt maker for 8-12 hours
  5. Drain excess liquid
  6. Refrigeratie- 4 hours

To eat: use plain, add honey and cinnamon, add honey, cinnamon, and applesauce, add a tsp or two of jam… be creative.

Please take note of the ingredients on the foods you buy! You will often be surprised to say the least. Even when something seems simple you can find corn syrup, soy lecithin, and a myriad of other difficult to pronounce ingredients.

When you make your own snack foods (and other foods) you are cutting out the guessing game of what things are and what is ok to serve…

Here is a fun and easy recipe for Graham Crackers your kids and you are sure to enjoy.


1/3 c EVOO, 1/3 c honey, ¼ c milk, 2 T molasses, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 ½-3 c whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all together- by hand, food processor, or mixer. A little sticky is ok- add flour if necessary- works well to mix with your hand once pretty incorporated. Grease a cookie sheet. Press/Roll out the dough to pretty thin on the sheet- don’t worry if it doesn’t cover the whole sheet. Cut and/or poke holes where you want them to break. Bake in 300 degree oven for 20-25 minutes- If you want them very crisp- let them sit in the oven with the door open to crisp up.

Tip: Use a kids rolling pin (may need to cut the ends off to work with your baking sheet) to roll out the dough.

This recipe is simple in ingredient and executuion. It lasts for a couple weeks in a sealed container in my pantry. Everyone loves it! With milk, with fruit, with nuts and raisins, with yogurt, in trail mix, plain…


12 c uncooked oats, 1 c shredded coconut, 1 c whole wheat flour, 1 T cinnamon, 1 ½ tsp salt, 1 c coconut oil, 1-1 1/3 c honey, 1 T vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together. Melt coconut oil and honey in a glass liquid measuring cup in a pot of water- add your other wet ingredients once melted and off the stove. Pour and stir this into your well-mixed dry mixture. Spread a thin layer onto 2 cookie sheets. Bake at 300 degrees for 40-45 minutes. You must stir every 15 minutes- and don’t let it get too dark- you want it to be a nice light golden color. Feel free to add dry fruit and nuts, flax seed (with dry) or whatever to your mixture- or just leave plain and add as you are inspired.


-raw or cooked apple

-yogurt and apple sauce


-dried cranberries and almonds

-walnuts and raisins


-yogurt and …

-put into trail mix

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