Cooking Class–you’re invited!

First of all, happy Valentine’s Day to one and all! For us here in the Windy City it’s business as usual–work for me, school for my husband, yoga in the evening, leftovers for dinner–but Friday we had a little date to see “The King’s Speech” and indulge in some burgers and fries from Five Guys, so I consider our duty to Mr. Valentine as completed. Phew. He’s a demanding guy, this Valentine fellow, and with a little instigation from him, the presence or absence of flowers, chocolates, and/or pink-and-red falderal can become a subject of much stress to many individuals. So. All that to say, I hope this Monday morning finds you all pleased with your plans, your lack of plans, your whirlwind celebrations, or your abstinence from the festivities.

But enough about lovey-dovey stuff, and onto a subject of great general interest: food. The unthinkable has happened–this Friday February 18th at 6:30pm, I will be co-teaching a cooking class with my friend and blogging foodie Cassia.

We were asked by our lovely friend Traci, who also happens to be our pastor’s wife. She works at HGTV and has the most fabulous kitchen (which she designed herself). When she first proposed the idea of having me co-teach a class in her home, I briefly choked on my own tongue. And then my left knee starting jerking back and forth uncontrollably. But when I regained control of my faculties, I squeaked out an excited ‘yes!’ See, I just can’t wait to splatter her gorgeous kitchen with olive oil and crank up both ovens at the same time! Plus it will be such fun to hang out with the lovely ladies who are coming–many of them excellent cooks themselves. Traci also has two of the cutest girls the world has ever seen, and I had the privilege of photographing them last year.

Oh man, Bronagh’s freckles and Ashling’s mop of curls get me every time.

If any of you lovely people are in Chicago and want to come, just shoot me an email and I’ll send you the details. Oh, and you do have to be a girl–because this is part of our church’s Women’s Ministry series.

While I don’t feel qualified to teach anyone anything, it should be a fun time and there will be–hopefully, barring disaster, knock on wood, say a prayer for me–good food to feast on. We’re so excited about the menu! It’s a Mediterranean theme, with citrus and herbs tying it all together. Here’s what we’re looking at:

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Broiled Corn and Lime Cilantro Sour Cream

Butterflied Mediterranean Roasted Chicken with Olive Tapenade

Butterflied Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary

Polenta with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Shredded Brussel Sprouts with Nutmeg and Bacon

Fruit Pizza

Cassia and I got together on Saturday to cook through the whole menu and work out any kinks. After 3 hot and busy and sweaty and utterly delightful hours of work, we served up our creations to the boys (our patiently enduring husbands). For anyone inclined against brussel sprouts, I’ll have you know that was my husband’s favorite dish of the evening.

Here’s a peak at the little green guys . . . I could devour them at any time of the day or night.

I also learned an important lesson about serving the polenta as soon as it’s done. Preparing it in advance and then abandoning it on a back burner for 30 minutes resulted in a clumpy, lumpy, and a very unattractive texture.

Lesson learned! (just in time)

Cassia worked at a winery in California for years, so she’ll also be sharing her wisdom regarding wine pairings, which to me is a complete mystery. My shamefully backwards attitude has been: if the bottle says ‘wine,’ it will somehow go with whatever is making an appearance on the table. So I’m excited to expand my knowledge and get some sophistication up in here, after failing to learn a thing at Cassia’s wine tasting party last fall. I love second chances.

We’ll also be talking about the importance of good knives, and going over how to butterfly a chicken. Wish me luck as I grapple with its knobby old backbone and wrestle it from the pink carcass–I wish to do this unscathed. No severed thumbs, or flying chicken pieces.

Of course, every recipe we make will also be making an appearance here with step by step pictures and printable versions and all that fun stuff.

I love you guys! And I wish you could all come, if only to laugh at me as I pretend to know how to do stuff! I mean laugh with me. Laugh with me. Right.

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17 Responses to Cooking Class–you’re invited!

  1. So excited for you!! Brussels sprouts with bacon are soooo delicious!! You have to have someone take a video of part of your class so you can post it!

  2. Wendi says:

    Yes, post video. Please and thank you.

  3. Circe says:

    I agree, video would be great. I can’t wait for the brussel sproutsd recipe, I love them so much!

  4. Vicki DeArmeyv says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you did all those menus in one cooking session. You really are ambitious cooks!! Everything sounded yummy and I am sure everything was.
    Thanks for the great pictures and as usual just the right amount of humor!!

  5. How cool are you! I can’t wait to hear all about it! xo

  6. surlykitchen says:

    jenna, that’s awesome you get to teach a cooking class. i can’t wait to read about it! congrats.

  7. I’m sure you will not only be a great teacher, but your delightful personality will add sparkle to the presentation. Blessings to you, Jenna…

  8. Justine says:

    Yum! And you had me at Brussels sprouts. I love it!

  9. giselle says:

    what! No contest for free tickets and a stay at your house for the weekend where you will cook for me the whole time while I stare at your husband’s behind? .. Maybe I’ve been reading too much PW.

  10. Wendy says:

    What a cool Women’s Ministries idea/event! I am sure it will be a wonderful class — the food photos made me wish I could come to the class.

  11. Erica says:

    bravo, jenna, bravo.

    i expect samples to be airmailed instantly to alaska. please and thank you.

  12. Oh my goodness, this is SO cool! My husband has family up in Chicago area, but we don’t have any plans to go back and visit anytime soon. :( I can’t wait to read all about your adventures. This will be so fun! :)

  13. Veronica says:

    This would be such a fun time! Wish I could join you, but I’m sure you’ll fill us in with pics. yay!

  14. Nicole says:

    Ooh, I wish I lived out there! Would love to see you teach a cooking class. You’ll be GREAT! :)

  15. Rox says:

    Jenna! That’s so great! Congrats!! I can’t wait to hear about how it goes!

  16. I wish I lived in Chicago so I could come! The menu sounds divine and I bet you are a great teacher!

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