Sunday, July 14, 2013

Social Cooking Classes

I move to Texas in TEN days so I want to get one last post in about Wichita.  (Ten days...I should be packing, I know, I know.  A girl needs a break every now and then, though!)  I've told you some of my favorite places to eat here including: The Flying Stove, Newport Grill, One Night Chef, and Copper Oven.  This post is a bit different in that it isn't a restaurant, but rather, cooking lessons!

I met Andrea and heard about her business, Social, through the yoga studio we both go to and it's been on my list of things to try out for months.  She plans several menu items and then demonstrates them in her home while you watch and eat the food when it's finished.  She also sends you home with all the recipes.  With my move quickly approaching, I knew I needed to get this on the calendar or I would miss out.  I am so fortunate to have several friends in Wichita who are vegetarians so when I saw a lineup of Andrea's that was sans meat I knew I would have some friends who would join me! 

We signed up for the "Party on the Patio" class because it had no meat, but the point of the evening was that you would be equipped to throw a wonderful outdoor gathering, and by making these food items you wouldn't be stuck in the kitchen away from your guests.  Clever title, right? And, who isn't always looking for recipes that are easy to make while entertaining?

We started with Watermelon Margaritas...yum!
Our first course was Tomato Scallion Biscuits with Whipped Goat Cheese.  I said vegetarian evening, not healthy evening! :)  Totally worth it! 

Our biscuit was followed by Kale Salad with Dried Cherries & Pecans.  I failed to get a picture of the salad...probably because I was too busy talking. (Good thing my blog is owned by me, because if I had a boss I'd be fired for that failure.) Anyway, I made this recipe for my family over the 4th of July and they enjoyed it a lot!  I will definitely be making it many more times.

Next up was my favorite dish of the night, Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt Tahini Sauce.  How fancy does that look?  And, so easy!  I made this for lunch a couple weeks ago and it will definitely be a regular on my meal rotation.
For dessert, we had Snickerdoodle Squares.  I will admit, they were great, but like most desserts very, very unhealthy.  So, I won't be making those much, but it is a wonderful make ahead recipe guests would eat up!  (Yes, I failed to get a picture of that also.)
Here's Andrea plating our Eggplant.

My dear running/yoga/veggie loving friends.  (Well, a couple prefer meat, but they survived!)
We had such an enjoyable, relaxing evening at Andrea's, learned about food and left with some amazing recipes.  If you're in Wichita I highly recommend checking out her website, getting some friends together and settle in for a great evening of food, friends and fun! 
Prices vary depending on the class.  Ours was $45/person. 
Check out her website at: for a list of upcoming classes.  You won't regret it!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jamaican Steel Cut Oats

I can't believe the 4th of July has come and gone and summer is in full swing!  I've made my first batch of Lemongrass Tea and I am loving all the yummy summer foods.  We move in two weeks and I've been going through piles left and right.  I came across some old food magazines I saved with recipes I wanted to try.  One of them looked so good I tried it the next morning and have since made it three times. The last recipe I posted had coconut in it and the next recipe I plan to post (get excited for it!) has coconut in it as well.  Therefore, I must share what I always think of when I use coconut. Pina Coladas you ask?  Nope.  A Kenny Chesney song?  Negative.  Me in Hawaii wearing a coconut bra and hula dancing?  That's a scary thought for numerous reasons. 

I'll give you a hint...

"I don't like coconuts."
"You don't like coconuts?"
"Say, brainless, don't you know where coconuts come from?"
"Look here... from Tahiti, Fiji Islands, the Coral Sea!"
If you aren't sure what I'm quoting, here's a ginormous hint via two still shots from the movie.

I mean, I even put the quotes in red and green to help you out!  If you STILL don't know what I think of by now when I cook with coconut you need to quit reading my blog.  You should not return to my blog until you go watch only the greatest Christmas movie of all time: It's a Wonderful Life.  George is scooping Mary some ice cream in the second picture and they share this conversation about coconuts.  Kind of ridiculous that I always think of this scene, but hey, if it reminds me of Christmas in the summertime I'll take it!  Oh, and in case you're wondering, 15 more days until Christmas in July and 167 days until Christmas!
Yes, yes, I know, get to the recipe.  I love oatmeal, particularly, steel cut oats.  I love making pumpkin steel cut oats and actually made that recipe a month or so ago even though it's not pumpkin season.  Yes, I live dangerously like that.  This recipe fits into summertime much better than pumpkin and is pretty easy to assemble.  (Especially if you cook the steel cut oats the night before)
Jamaican Steel Cut Oats
6 servings (or 4 large ones) :)
1 C. steel cut oats
4 T. maple sugar flakes* (or 100% pure maple syrup to taste)
6 T. milk, warmed (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1/2 C. banana, chopped
1/2 C. fresh pineapple, diced
1/3 C. unsweetened shredded coconut
2 T. sliced almonds, toasted
Bake oats according to package directions.  Stir in maple sugar flakes or syrup and milk.  Add banana and pineapple and stir.  Place in serving bowls and top with coconut and almonds. 
If you are not serving several people and plan to have leftovers I recommend only placing bananas, pineapple, coconut and almonds on what you plan to eat.
*Maple sugar flakes...don't feel like you need to go buy them just for this recipe.  Why do I have them?  I found a recipe a few years ago I wanted to try that called for some.  Naturally, I thought it was appropriate to spend THIRTEEN dollars for an ingredient like this in a new recipe.  (What was I thinking?!)  Anyway, that recipe was horrible and it's been sitting in my spice cabinet untouched since that failed recipe.  I'm sure the reason I flagged the Jamaican Steel Cut Oats recipe in the magazine was to make myself feel better by using some more of the maple flakes.  If you do want to buy some I saw them on and Williams Sonoma.  However, if you use maple syrup, which I did one time and used 4 T., it tastes almost the same!