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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market

With the sun finally shining and the holidays over farmers markets are in full swing again! With so many amazing markets to choice from I thought I would profile one of the our wonderful local markets;

Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market.

16079 San Dieguito Rd.
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Every Sunday Morning

The Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market opened its’ “doors” for the first time on May 2, 2010 in the parking lot of the Del Rayo Village Center in Rancho Santa Fe. The market is sponsored by the Helen Woodward Animal Center who provides volunteers every Sunday to introduce adoptable pets from the center to market customers. As it is Rancho Santa Fe there are a few perks that you would not find at your other markets, like...
  • VEGGIE VALET – If you’d like to run errands in the center or have brunch after shopping in the marketplace…we can hold on to your market “haul”, keep your package(s) cool, and pass them over to you as you pull right up to the info booth on your way out.

  • BIKE VALET – Park your bike and our attendants will watch it while you shop… no need to lock it up.

You can  also choose from some of your farmers markets staples vegetables, greens, herbs, fruits

farm fresh eggs, artisanal breads
fresh cut flowers, oils, honeys & jams, gourmet tamales, fresh fish, grass fed meats, fresh pasta, cheeses, freshly roasted coffee beans, grass fed pasturized poultry, nuts, artisanal chocolate, amazing local seafood (including oysters on the half shell, ceviche and more)

Still not sure if you will love this market, take a tour with one of my favorite chefs (Paul McCabe from 1540, if you have not been to eat his amazing food you should run not walk to the L' Auberge Hotel in Del Mar).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jan and Feb Cooking Classes at Torrey Pines High School and La Costa Canyon High School

~~~Chef Jenn's Upcoming Hands on Cooking Classes~~~

COOKING FOR BEGINNERS (click to sign up for class)
Wednesday 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm; 3 sessions starting January 5, 2011, ending January 19, 2011 at Torrey Pines High School

Are you lacking confidence in the kitchen? Do all the choices in the grocery store make yor head spin? This basic series will give you what it takes to make simple and tasty dishes (like a perfect steak, whole roasted chicken, mac and cheese, and more).
Tuition: $126.00

HEALTHY COOKING WORKSHOP (click to sign up for class)
Thursday 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm; 3 sessions starting January 6, 2011, ending January 20, 2011 at La Costa Canyon High School

If you're like me and you love flavorful, satisfying food but want it to be healthy and good for you, then you will love this class. You'll learn what it takes to make creative and tasty meals. Come try some of the great new recipes-some with bold new flavors, just like you would have at a spa.
Tuition: $126.00

To sign up online go to

And more to come

Healthy Caribbean Delights 02/02/2011
Cooking For Foodies Part 1 02/03/2011
Caribbean Delights 03/02/2011
Cooking For Foodies Part 2 03/03/2011

For any other questions please contact Chef Jenn at (858) 212- 9054
or follow me on twitter Chef_Jenn

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Classes start soon...San Marcos ROP Part 1 $75 for 11 weeks of cooking classes!!!

Registration Starts tomorrow!! Sign up first thing to make sure you get a spot in classes.

San Marcos Culinary Beginners Cooking class! These amazing class give you everything you need to get started cooking with style.

Class Starts Monday November 29 and runs to Febuary 14
All San Marcos ROP classes are held in the evenings from 5:30 to 9 p.m. All classes are hands on and designed for all skill levels. This class will teach the essentials; from basic knife skills to various cooking techniques, including basic baking skills; as well as food safety, sanitation and so much more. This class is designed for the home cook and is loads of fun.

Part 1 Culinary Arts- Mon from 5:30 to 9 pm
This class is a repeat of our popular hands on basics class with lessons on the basics of French Cuisine, Italian Cuisine, Asian Cuisine, Regional American Cuisine and more.

Classes are held at Mission Hills High School ~Room 810

Classes are $75 a session to register
To use follow the prompts
San Diego ROP
San Marcos Unified School District
Enter “Culinary Arts” in the search field
Click on “Culinary Arts”
Scroll down to “Teacher” Felmley
And chose from Mon or Tue classes
contact Roberta at (760) 752-1272
Or for questions about classes contact Chef Jenn at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

LA TIMES FOOD SECTION; ARE YOU KIDDING ME....The Dry-brined turkey (a.k.a. the 'Judy Bird') OMG!!

Ok I have a bone to pick with someone at the LA Times Food section! So they posted this recipe on twitter and I am so bothered by it.

1st They suggest you “dry brine” the bird. Or should we say cover in salt and let rest for 3 days (refrigerated of course)! This I just think is a waste of time when you can achieve the same result if you buy a kosher bird. But fine it you must “dry brine”

2nd They suggest you start the bird skin side down and then flip it over half way through cooking.

But don’t you worry “it's easiest to do this by hand, using kitchen towels or oven mitts”.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! It is simple to just flip a large bird with god only knows what else you have going on. And really most people are not cooking 5 to 6 pound birds. Then what about the skin; my guess would be it is stuck to the bottom of the pan.

3rd And my final “Are You Kidding Me” moment comes at the end of the recipe when they suggest you cook the bird to 165 degrees and then rest it for 30 minutes. What!!! It will continue to cook at the least another 15 degree and that is way over cooked.

I had to share my shock and horror. No wonder people are so scared and confused about cooking turkey for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The new and improved Green Bean Casserole; so good even your mom will love it

Everyone loves Green Bean Casserole. It is an American classic. And oh so out dated. My updated version may not be as easy as opening a few cans, but it can be made easier by purchasing sliced mushrooms and doing serval of the steps in advance. The sauted mushrooms can be made days ahead of time or even a month ahead and forzen. The same goes for the creamy sauce.

Try something old made new this Thanksgiving!!

Green Bean and Mixed Mushroom Casserole

Serves 4 to 6

1 lb Haricots Verts or petite green beans, trimmed

5 tbsp Unsalted butter
1 (8oz container) Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 Portobello mushroom, cleaned, gilled and cut into small cubes
2 cups Shitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and cut into quarters (or a 5oz container sliced Shitake mushrooms)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/3 cup Brandy or cognac

1 tbsp Thyme leaves

¼ cup Unsalted butter
1/3 cup Flour
1 ¼ cup Chicken broth
1 cup Half and Half
Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup Fried onions
¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375° and butter a 2 quart baking dish.

Green beans and Mushroom:
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat; add butter, heat till butter is melted.
Add Crimini, Portobello, and shitake mushrooms; stirring until golden brown and all liquid is evaporated.
Add garlic; sauté till fragrant.
Remove pan from heat and add cognac, return to heat and cook till all liquid is evaporated.
Add green beans into the mushrooms, cover and cook approximately 10 minutes; or until green beans are just tender.

Season with salt and pepper and transfer beans to buttered baking dish (RESERVING PAN FOR CHICKEN BROTH).
Sprinkle green beans and mushrooms with thyme leaves.

Add chicken broth to the pan, bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a sauté heat butter over medium heat to melt.
Stir in flour and cook for several minutes, till roux reaches a light brown color.
Add ½ of the warm broth to the roux and whisk till thick and completely incorporated; repeat with remaining broth and half and half (adding one half cut at a time). Season sauce with salt and pepper
Pour sauce over mushrooms and green beans.

In a bowl stir together fried onions and Panko bread crumbs. “Crunch” the fried onions with your hands to release oils; till fried onions and panko lightly hold together when squeezed.
Sprinkle topping over green bean casserole.
Place in the oven and baked till golden brown and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Check List~ Everything you will need to start preparing for Thanksgiving today

Don’t put things off till the last minute, several things can be done far in advance.


• Make your guest list/Make your menu.

Make sure you have your menu ready so you can coordinate both guest and food at the same time. When you are inviting your guests, have a list of guests and a list of dishes. Then, if someone offers to bring a dish, accept the offer. And if they don't offer, ask them.

• Order your turkey especially.

If you want a fresh one. Plan on 1 1/4 pounds per person. Making sure your eyes aren’t bigger than you oven…measure your oven to make sure your turkey will fit.

• Don’t wait till the last minute to realize you don’t have what you need

Take inventory of your dinnerware and everything else you will need to serve an amazing meal.

Table (one large enough for all your guests)
Dishware (Dinner plates, Dessert plates, Coffee cups and saucers
Silverware (Polished forks, knives and spoons)
Glassware (Water glasses and Clean wine glasses)
Linens(Clean napkins and Tablecloth, large enough to fit your table)
Cooking and serving items (Roasting pan: Is it the right size for your turkey? Will it fit into your oven? Don't laugh: It's easier to buy the right pan today than it will be on Thanksgiving morning. Bowls, pots and pans.
Digital thermometer, if you do not own one you, must have one to cook a perfect Turkey!!



• Work on your shopping lists.

Include ingredients for all of your dishes, plus candles, napkins, flowers, etc. Don't forget tonic, seltzer and apple cider or juice for the kids.

Prepare a grocery list by dividing it into two parts ?
(1) items that can be purchased immediately, and
(2) items that need to be bought the day before Thanksgiving.

• Begin cooking. Relish will keep in the fridge for a week; gravy freezes, along with any casseroles (like my super easy Potato Casserole).

• Select a wine. Caterers recommend providing a half bottle for each guest - not counting children, of course.

• Organize your serving platters and more

Serving platters…try labeling with post-it notes. So you, and whomever will be helping you, will know what each platter will be used for.
Bread basket
Gravy pitcher
Sharpened knives, yes you should get them sharpened!!
Coffeepot--Can yours make both regular and decaf for a crowd? Maybe you should get a thermos.
Sugar bowl
Cream pitcher




Tidy up the house.

Decorate your home for the holiday.

Make a final shopping list. (Remember ice, cream for the coffee and nuts and other snacks for nibbling in the living room).

Confirm the number of guests who will be attending the holiday dinner.



3 or 4 DAYS TILL:

Defrost your turkey (if it's frozen). Remember that you have to allow 24 hours for every 5 pounds if you're going to defrost a turkey in the refrigerator. That means a 15-pound turkey will take three full days.

If you choose to prepare a fresh turkey, purchase it 2 to 3 days before Thanksgiving and store it in the fridge until time to cook ( just to be safe).


If you miss that deadline, you can defrost the bird faster in a sinkful of cold water, allowing about half an hour for each pound of turkey and changing the water occasionally. (It will still take 7 1/2 hours for that 15-pounder, then refrigerate it.)




Do your final food shopping.

Make a cooking schedule for Thanksgiving Day.Writing down the time everything goes into the oven. Don't forget the dishes that will have to be reheated. And to make time for you to shower and clean up before guest arrive.

Thaw any frozen side dishes and desserts.


Chop any vegetables that will be used and store in air tight containers.

Make any side dishes (or salad dressings) that can be refrigerated.



Set the table.

Clean the guest bathroom.

Decide on a table centerpiece. (Flowers or collections of candles work well. Line votive candles down the center so the entire table is aglow. Since it's fall, you could also try an arrangement of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Place pumpkins, gourds and wheat around the house for decorative touches).

Prepare you refrigerator for guests. (Clear out any unneeded food or move to another refrigerator to make space for anything you friends kindly bring to help you for Thanksgiving).


Make the stuffing in the morning and stuff the turkey right before it's ready to go in the oven.

Roast the turkey.

Warm prepared side dishes.

Have a great Thanksgiving!










Monday, November 1, 2010

Chef Jenn's Thanksgiving Party

Come for the turkey....stay for all the info on how to make your Thanksgiving super easy!!

Join Chef Jenn for an evening of the perfect thanksgiving dinner. Come learn all the tips and tricks to make Thanksgiving easy and fun (as well as yummy).
You'll make an oven roasted Herb Turkey Breast with a Maple Pecan Cranberry Sauce, Turkey Gravy, Cheese Crusted Baked Mashed Potatoes and Apple and Cherry Cake with Caramel Pecan Sauce. Bring an apron, closed toe shoes, chef's knife and containers to carry your creations home.

All classes are completely hands-on and not more than 10 students in a class

Chef Jenn’s Thanksgiving Party $50.00
November 11~ 6 to 9pm ~
at Alchemy of the Hearth (960 Rancheros Drive Ste L, San Marcos, CA)
To register online go to
Or call CA (760) 233-CHEF(2433)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Holiday Cooking Classes

You can count on Chef Jenn to make your holidays fun, tasty and easier. Take a look at all the wonderful holiday classes she has coming up. Sure there is one to suite your needs and tastes!

Chef Jenn's Thanksgiving Party at Alchemy of the Hearth

Join Chef Jenn for an evening of her version of the perfect thanksgiving dinner. You'll make an oven roasted Herb Turkey Breast with a Maple Pecan Cranberry Sauce, Turkey Gravy, Cheese Crusted Baked Mashed Potatoes and Apple and Cherry Cake with Caramel Pecan Sauce. Bring an apron, closed toe shoes, chef's knife and containers to carry your creations home.

Chef Jenn’s Thanksgiving Party November 11 6pm $50.00 at Alchemy of the Hearth
Click here to register online

Holiday Cooking at Torrey Pines High School

Come join Chef Jenn, in a 2 week work shop as she guides you through the tough holiday season with simple and impressive holiday meals. This class will give you all the tips and tricks you need to make holiday cooking easy. Menus include Butternut Squash soup, Roast Boneless Leg of Lamb, Mashed Potato and Leek Casserole, Chocolate Almond Cake with Almond Whipped Cream and so much more.

Wednesday 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm; 2 sessions starting December 1, 2010, ending December 8, 2010
Click here to register online
Or call (760) 753-7073 ext. 5103

Italian Holiday Cooking at La Costa Canyon High School

Looking for new ways to cook for the family this holiday season? Try these Italian inspired holiday cooking recipes (Sautéed Red Onion, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Herb Stuffed Pork Loin Roast, Balsamic Glazed Acorn Squash, Tiramisu, and much more). This 2 week series will give you all the tips and tricks you need to make this year's holidays not just fun but super tasty too!!

Thursday 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm; 2 sessions starting December 2, 2010, ending December 9, 2010
Click here to register online
Or call (760) 753-7073 ext. 5103

Hands-on Holiday Cookies at Sea Rocket Bistro

December 12 at 5pm; with Almond Butter Cookies (topped with everything from Toasted Coconut to Candied Cherries), Flourless Nutella Drop Cookies, “All Mixed Up” Oatmeal Cookies, and so much more.

Information to come please stay tuned to for more details.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mini New England Style Lobster and Shrimp Roll

These Mini Lobster Rolls with Shrimp where a big hit at the recent Collaboration Kitchen event (at Catalina Offshore Products) and I know they will be a huge it at your next party. Plus they are supper simple to make.

This recipes serves approximately 10 to 12 appetizers

¼ lb Cooked shrimp, cut into large chunks

To cook the shrimp,combine lemon and water in a stock pot; bring to a boil.

Add shrimp (peel on for best flavor), remove pot from heat and let stand in water until cooked through, about 4 minutes (or until pink and firm).
Strain out shrimp and KEEP THE COOKING LIQUID.

¾ lb Cooked lobster, cut into large chunks

To cook lobster, bring shrimp cooking liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high and add lobster. Cook for 9 minutes.

½ cup Mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup Celery, finely diced
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Dill, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 to 2 heads Butter lettuce

24 small Mini hot dog buns or soft dinner rolls

Traditional lobster rolls are served in "Split-top" hot dog buns. These are extremely hard to find ( in San Diego, CA). What I recomend is asking a local baker to make you a narrow dinner roll (needs to be a softer style of roll like potato bread).

Whisk together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice; till smooth. Fold in lobster, shrimp, celery, dill and season with salt and pepper.

Chill, covered, until ready to serve.

Cut down into tops of rolls to split them, but do not cut all the way through, add butter lettuce to one side of the roll and fill each roll with 1 heaping tablespoon seafood.

Monday, October 25, 2010


This Halloween, don't limit yourself to a costume and some candy. Treat your friends and family to a hauntingly good cocktail party. With Halloween fast approaching, I thought that there would be no better time than the present to share one of my spooktacualr cocktail recipes with you…..Mwaaa Haha. As well as some fun ideas to amp up the fear factor of your party. Serve up some unearthly cocktails with your candy treats this year and you will have the most popular ghoul gathering in town.

The most important part of a good All Hallows Eve cocktail party is, of course, the drinks! That may just be my opinion but with the right cocktail you can set the mood for a gruesomely good time.

May I suggest the "Monster Mash", a ghoulishly green indulgence. Truly a horrifying concoction that can get any party started.

1 shot Midori

1 shot Vodka

1 shot Coconut rum

2 shots Coconut pineapple juice

3 shots 7 up

Ping Pong Ball Eyes

In a high ball glass, add Midori, make sure the Midori goes in first so it can settle at the bottom and give a great effect. Then add Vodka, Coconut rum and Coconut Pineapple juice. Top with a float of 7 Up, stir. Place several eye balls and serve.

When throwing a party, you want to be able to enjoy the party with your friends. So this dink can be made as individual cocktails or in a large punch bowl. And still being satisfying enough to calm any crazy mob (preferably pitch forks not included).

Get festive with your drinks and let your creativity shine. Add an extras bit of punch to your punch by putting it in a cauldron instead of a silly old punch bowl. Add little something spooky to your ghostly cocktails by topping them off with menacing garnishes. Horrifying your friends and family with surprises like gummy eyes, severed ears, thumbs or other extremities frozen in ice cubes, riming the class in fake blood (made of corn syrup …lick lick), or have a gummy worm crawl out of the glass. One of my new favorite is ping pong ball eye balls.

Nothing like floating eye balls to ensure a fearsome evening. These little extra touches will help to guarantee a frightfully good time for all you guests.

With all you're your new ticks and treats, go out forth and throw a party that will wake the dead!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup from Suzie's Farm Butternut Squash

I spent this morning unlocking the mysteries of Suzie’s Farms CSA box to a group of wonderful students and I thought with this gloomy weather I would share the recipe with you; as this velvety smooth soup will help to warm you and your soul.

I visited the farm over the weekend pick pumpkins, Pumpkin Palooza (scroll down the link to find information about all the amazing pumpkins they have right now) and also picked up the amazing butternut squash I used in this recipe.

Then I shaved some of the white carrots (they taste kind of like a middle parsnip mixed with a carrots) that came in my CSA box.

Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 6 half cup servings

1 ½ cup Roasted butternut squash*
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 Star anise, whole
1/2 cup Carrot, peeled and chopped
1 Small onion, small dice
2 Bay leaves
2 cups or as needed Low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
To taste Salt and pepper

1 to 1 ½ cup Shaved carrots

In a saucepan heat oil over medium high heat till it is hot (or moves like water in the pan). Remove pan from the heat and add star anise. Let steep off the heat for one minute.
Return the pot to the stove, over medium heat, add onions to the pot and cook till translucent.
Add carrots, half the chicken broth and bay leaves. Cover and let simmer till carrots are soft.
In a food processor (or in a blender) place carrots and broth along with roasted squash, making sure to remove the star anise and bay leaves.
Puree until smooth, add enough broth or water to allow the food processor to puree ingredients. If you prefer your soup thin add more broth accordingly.
Return soup to the stove and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.

*To roast the squash,
Preheat an oven to 350° F.
Microwave the squash for 8 to 10 minutes to soften; then cut squash in half, remove seeds and cut into wedges. Season squash with salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place onto a foil lined cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and golden brown.

Unlocking The Mysteries of The CSA

What is a CSA?

In short CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and you do just that when your subscribe to one. A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to local farmers or products directly from the producer; usually consisting of a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box scheme, and sometimes includes dairy products, coffee, bread and meats.

Local CSA Programs

There is a CSA right for you, check out these websites to find your perfect match (keys to look for- size of the box, drop off points, contents of the box, organic or non-organic, farm, etc.). i f I missed any please comment and I will add them to the list.

Be Wise Ranch

Suzie’s Farm

Garden of Eden Organics

Tierra Miguel Foundation Farm

Seabreeze Organics

Speaciality Produce (not really a CSA but more of a Farmers Market Basket and loads of fun)

More Information

Half the battle of using your CSA produce is know what everything is. I recommend

Fresh Produce Guide: The best-ever guide to 300 varieties of fruit and vegetables; published by Try-Food International in 2009.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chambord Candy Apple Martini

I wish I could take credit for this, but I found this on the net today and had to share.
The leaves are beginning to change! That means it's time to relax with friends and sip a sweet Chambord Candy Apple Martini. How are you enjoying the lovely Fall?

Chambord Candy Apple Martini
1 oz. Chambord Liqueur
1 oz Finlandia Vodka
¾ oz apple schnapps
Splash of Tuaca Liqueur
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Rim the glass with caramel and garnish with an apple slice.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ingredient of the week~~Kiwi Berries~~

On a recent trip to Jimbo's, is search of some high Vitiman C fruits I came across Kiwi Berries.

"KiwiBerries are a nutritional powerhouse, they are the most nutrient dense of all the major fruits, and are an extremely healthy food source. Containing almost 20 vital nutrients, KiwiBerries are considered a super fruit! They're not just good for you...they're delicious.” Containing 5 times the Vitamin C of an orange. If you have a cold, forget about a glass of OJ. Go with Kiwi Berries!!

This smooth-skinned fruit that is the "no fuzz", "no peel" cousin of the traditional kiwifruit.

Kiwi berries can be used anywhere you would use a kiwi, but with much less work. I have seen some great recipes using kiwi berries in a salad with shrimp to a simple fruit tart topped with slices of fresh kiwi berries. Personally I like to pop them in my mouth while vegging out in front of the TV.

October Classes at Alchemy of The Hearth

These are my October classes at Alchemy of The Hearth in San Marcos (click here for address)

"Cooking with Merlot"~
Cooking with wine is one of the most rewarding flavor enhancers a cook could ever have. Understanding the nature of wine is a whole other conversation. Join Chef Jenn as she explains and teaches you the techniques necessary to cooking with Merlot. How to choose the right bottle, when to add it to your food and how to pair wine with the foods you've created.
~October 2nd, Saturday from 5 to 9pm~ $65 register here

"Celebrating Jewish Foods"~
Join Chef Jenn as she puts a new twist on classic Jewish recipes and introduces you to new recipes that will quickly become your favorites. Learn the tips and tricks to making fabulous foods like poached salmon quenelles with tarragon sauce,Gefilte fish potato and yam pancakes with sour cream and mixed greens with cherry Manischewitz dressing. Bring an apron, closed toe shoes, chefs knife and containers to carry your leftovers home.
~October 8th from 10am to 1pm ~$65 register here

"Vista Market Tour and Cooking Class" ~
Join me on a tour of the Vista Farmers Market where she'll introduce you to local farmers, sample new and interesting food and purchase an array of goodies to bring back to the kitchen where you'll learn how to cook up an amazing meal with your ingredients. This class begins at the Vista Market at 8:30am where you'll meet Chef Jenn. Then you'll be back at Alchemy of the Hearth at 10am through 1pm cooking up a storm. You'll need to wear comfortable, closed toe shoes, bring an apron, a chefs knife and containers to carry your bounty home.
~October 16th, Saturday - at 8:30am for the market tour and from 10 to 1pm for the cooking class~$65 register here

"The Jewish Deli Foods" ~
Looking to have a “deli-licous” day? Come join Chef Jenn for a cooking class inspired by New York delicatessen classics. If you don't have a good delicatessen in your neck of the woods come to class and feed your cravings. On the menu: Stuffed Cabbage Leaves · Potato Pancakes · Matzo Ball Soup · Jumbo Black and White Cookies. Bring an apron, closed toe shoes, chef's knife and containers to carry your leftovers home. ~October 22nd - 10am to 1 pm~ $50 register here

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fish Tacos

Last night was supposed to be my second night of “Cooking For Foodies” cooking class, but there was a gas leak and class was canceled. I returned as much of the food as I could, but I was stuck with 18 portions of red snapper. What is a girl to do?
Invite all her friends over and make the best fish tacos ever!

As requested here is the recipe.

Baja Fish Tacos
Serves 4

¾ cup All-purpose flour
½ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Dried oregano, crushed by hand
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp Chipotle or chili powder
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Ground pepper
1 Egg yolk
4 to 6 oz Beer

1.5 lb Black cod, skinned and cut into ½ inch strips

As needed Vegetable oil

2 cups Cabbage, finely shredded
2 Avocados, sliced
2 cup Salsa fresca
3 Limes, cut into wedges
6-8 Tortillas
1 ½ cup Mayonnaise or Mexican crema sauce*

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, oregano, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl mix together egg and beer. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture and refrigerate for at least 3 hour (this mixture can rest for up to 24 hours).
Preheat oil to 375°.
Dip cod into batter, one piece at a time, and coat.
Fry for 4- 5 minutes, turning half way through.
Place onto paper towel lined sheet pan.
Serve with warm tortillas, cabbage, avocado slices, salsa, lime wedges, and crema.

*Crema Sauce

1 cup Crema (How to make homemade Mexican crema)
¼ cup Lime juice
¼ cup Cilantro leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp Garlic salt
1/8 tsp Kosher salt

Place all ingrdients into a bowl, stir to combine.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Recipe from Sea Rocket Bistro Cooking Class

For those of you who missed out on my first hand-on cooking class at Sea Rocket Bistro; you are in luck as here is one of the amazing recipes. And yes I will be teaching more class at Sea Rocket Bistro! Come back to Chef Jenn's blog for information on all her upcoming classes.

Warm Melon with Vanilla Infused Agave Syrup and a Honey Cookie Garnished with Fresh Mint

Makes 14 cookie

1 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
½ cup (or 1 stick) Unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed Light brown sugar
1 large Egg
1/3 cup Honey

Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and honey until combined. Reduce speed to low, then mix in flour mixture.
Drop 14 heaping tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto 2 parchment lines baking sheets.
Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, 10 to 14 minutes total (cookies will spread flat). Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely.

1/3 cup Agave syrup
1/3 cup White grape juice
1 Vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped

2 1/3 cups Melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, etc) peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
¼ cup Fresh mint, chopped

Combine Agave syrup, white grape juice, vanilla bean and craped seeds in small saucepan. Cook till syrup is heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes. Remove vanilla bean from syrup.
Pour syrup over fruit, add mint and toss to combine.
Spoon fruit and some syrup into a large goblet, garnish with cookies.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spotlight on Local Farmers Cooking Class at Sea Rocket Bistro

Spotlight on Local Farmers Cooking Class

This class is $60 and will showcase the amazing produce offered from Suzie’s Farm. Class will be completely hands on and full of great local ingredients.


Diner Includes Wine Pairing

Garlic and White Balsamic Marinated Tomatoes with Micro Green Salad Topped with Local Aged Gouda Cheese

Fresh Local Fish with Aromatic Herbs, Local Port Wine Reduction and Winter Squash Risotto

Sugar Cookies Topped with Warm Vanilla Infused Agave Syrup, Melon and Fresh Mint

Chef Jenn Presents
Hands-on Cooking Class
at Sea Rocket Bistro, Featuring Seasonal Produce From Suzie’s Farm
Sunday, September 12
From 6 to 9 pm

At Sea Rocket Bistro

P 619 255 7049 or 619 997 8043

For more information about Chef Jenn
Or for private cooking classes

P 858 212 9054

Menu is subject to change based on availability and seasonality of ingredients
Sea Rocket Bistro
3382 30 th St.
San Diego, CA 92104

Friday, August 20, 2010

Recipes from the San Marcos Farmers Market Orange Walnut Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Plum Sauce

Wanted to share a recipe from my recent cooking demonstration at the San Marcos Farmers Market. As it contains the oh so seasonal plums; lets call it the ingredient of the month as well.

Orange Walnut Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Plum Sauce

Serves 6 to 8

¼ lb Unsalted butter
½ cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1 ½ tbsp Fresh orange juice
3/4 cup Flour
¼ tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Orange zest
½ tsp Baking soda
1cup Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease an 8 X 8 inch cake pan or line pan with parchment paper.
Beat together butter and sugar, till creamed (light and incorporated).
Beat in eggs, until well blended. Add vanilla and orange juice.
Add flour, nutmeg, orange juice, baking soda, and beat until just incorporated. Stir in the nuts.
Spread batter into pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

Brown Sugar Plum Sauce
Serves 6 to 8

1 ½ cups Plums or Pluots, washed, dried, cut in half, pits removed, and chopped into ½ -inch pieces
3 tbsp Water
¼ to ½ cup Dark brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp Fresh orange juice
1 tsp Unsalted butter

In a sauce pot, combine chopped plums (or Pluots) and water. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until plums (or Pluots) have softened and mixture is saucy.
Reduce heat to low and add brown sugar; cook till thicken and fruit is mushy, about 10 minutes. Stir in orange juice and butter. Cook for 5 minute to incoperate flavors.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What are you pickling?

Tis the season for jamming, preserving and pickling. It is not for grandmas any more, you to can find a way to put your own stamp on pickles. This is a recipe for a good starter. The simple Dill Cucumber pickle. But I have gone so far a pickleing green beans, corn relish, and now I am working or a combo of carrots, jalapenos and tomatillos.
What do you pickle?

Dill Pickles
Makes 4 Pint Jars

16 to 20 Small pickling cucumbers (about 3pounds)
4 tbsp Kosher salt
4 cups Ice
1 cup Cider vinegar
2 cups White wine vinegar
1 ½ cup Water
2 ½ cups Sugar
¼ cup Pickling spice*
12 sprigs Fresh dill

In a large bowl combine cucumbers and salt; toss to combine.
Cover cucumber and salt with ice; refrigerate for 3 hours.
Drain melted ice and remove ice from cucumbers.
Sterilize preserving jars and lids.
In a small sauce pot combine kosher salt, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, water, sugar and pickling spice; bring to a boil and cook till sugar and salt are dissolved. Stirring occasionally.
Add 4 to 5 cucumbers and 2 sprigs dill to sterilized preserving jars.
Divide cider vinegar mixture into jars, by placing a funnel into the jar and filling to within ½ inch of rim.
Top with cover and twist on seals.
In a large pot cover jars with water and allowing 1 to 2 inches of water to cover jars (you may need to add extra water for this). Cover and gently boil for 10 to 15 minutes.
After processing, remove jars and set them upright on a towel to cool 12 to 24 hours. Do not retighten bands. Once jars are cool, test each one for a seal by pressing the center of the lid. The lid should not flex up and down (if it does, immediately refrigerate or reprocess with a new lid for the full length of time).
Label, and store jars in a cool (50° - 70° F/10° - 20°C), dry, dark place for up to one year. After opening, refrigerate, and use within 1 month.

*Pickling Spice can be found at cook ware stores or restraint supply stores (like Smart and Final). I can also be purchased online. My personal favorite is from
For additional information on canning go to

Thursday, August 12, 2010

San Marcos Unified School District ROP Program Culinary Classes Are Back!!

San Marcos Unified School District ROP Program Culinary Classes Are Back!! The most popular classes I teacher start this month!!

1st session Starts
  • Mon- Aug. 30 to Nov 8 ~Part 1
  • Tue- Aug. 31 to Nov 9~ Part 2
Part 1- This class is a repeat of our popular hands on basics class with lessons on the basics of French Cuisine, Italian Cuisine, Asian Cuisine, Regional American Cuisine and more.

Part 2- For those students who have taken Part 1 or are looking for a class to improve upon their already developed culinary skills, this is the class for you. This part of the series will showcase advanced recipes in French Cuisine, Italian Cuisine and Asian Cuisine, as well as Mediterranean Cuisine, Latin Cuisine and a special class on how to make holiday cooking easier.

All San Marcos ROP classes are held in the evenings from 5:30 to 9 p.m. All classes are hands on and designed for all skill levels. This class will teach the essentials; from basic knife skills to various cooking techniques, including basic baking skills, as well as with food safety, sanitation and so much more. This class is designed for the home cook and is loads of fun.
Classes are held at Mission Hills High School ~Room 810

Classes are $75 a session
Registrations begins August 22 to register or contact Roberta at (760) 752-1272. Sign up quickly as class sell out very,very,very fast.

Vista Farmers Market Cooking Demonstrations~~Pickeling~~

I look forward to seeing you all this weekend (August 14) at the Vista Farmers Market for cooking demonstrations from 8 am to 12 pm.
I will be pickeling!!!
Come by and tell me what you pickle. Would love to know what fun pickleing and preserving you do.

Cooking Classes for September 2010

Thank you to everyone for expressing interest in my upcoming classes! Here is a list of what I have starting in September.
Hope to see you there!

"Cooking with Beer" ~September 11th, Saturday from 1:30 to 4 :30pm~ $50

"Vista Market Tour and Cooking Class" ~September 25th, Saturday - at 8:30am for the market tour and from 10 to 1pm for the cooking class~ $65

At Alchemy of the Hearth in San Marcos
To register online for these classes go to

Cooking For Foodies~~9/8/2010 to 9/29/2010 (Wednesdays) from 6 to 9 pm at Torrey Pines High School~~ $141 for all 4 weeks

This 4 week series will work on intermediate and advanced cooking techniques; as well as new culinary trends, seasonal cooking and much more. Students will get to explore recipes from all different cuisines (from Pan Asian to Classical French) along with the great seasonal bounties that San Diego has to offer.

French Cooking For Beginners~~9/9/2010 to 9/30/2010(Thursdays) from 6 to 9 pm at la Costa Canyon High School~~ $138 for all 4 weeks

This 4 week series will give you the basics you need to create amazing French dishes in your own home. Each class will showcase basic recipes from different regions of France.

Registration for these classes begins on 8/20
To register for these classes online go to or call (760) 753-7073 ext. 5103

Monday, July 12, 2010

Recipe Surveys ~~~Recipe Testing for My Cook Book~~~

I have finally gotten around to starting my surveys for my cook book. Would love to know what else you think I should add to my surveys before I send them out.

My hope is that I will send out various chapters of my cook book to students and friends to have them review and help test recipes. But what they will need to do in return is help me to understand how I can make my recipes better.
I am hoping my survey will help me make the best cook book ever! Let me know what I could add to this survey to make it as detailed, but not to over whelming, as possible.
Thank you,

1) How difficult was the recipe to follow?

On a scale of 1(Easy) to 5(Hard)_____Or was the recipe to complicated you won’t ever make it.

Helpful comments___________________________________________________


2) What did you like best about this recipe?___________________________


3) What changes would you make to this recipe?_____________________


4) How did it the finished recipe look?

I liked it. It was OK. I did not like it.

Helpful comments ___________________________________________________


5) How did it smell? I liked it. It was OK. I did not like it.

Helpful comments___________________________________________________


6) How did it taste? I liked it. It was OK. I did not like it.

Helpful comments ___________________________________________________


Additional Comments or Questions:

Ingredient Of The Week~~Fresh Black Eyed Peas

The black-eyed pea (also known as the cow pea) to many are only thought of as those black and white dried beans found in the grocery store. But shockingly there is a whole other world of these amazing little beans; or what they really are PEAS (yes they come in a pod).

These peas have been used in North Africa cooking for centuries, but are surprisingly little known outside of the southern United States. The peas were probably introduced to the Southern cuisine by Spanish explorers and African slaves.

They are available dried, fresh, canned, and frozen. You will find frozen, dried and canned in most grocery store. While fresh are found seasonally at farmers markets (like the Vista Farmers Market).

The flavorful peas are used to make soups, salads, fritters, and casseroles; they can also be puréed; or sprouted. While for many people they are a staple for New Year, for there believed ability to bring good luck.

To cook your fresh black eyed peas~~ Place fresh black-eyed peas in large saucepan. Cover with water; bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until peas are soft when pierced with fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.
Then used in anything (soups, salads, rice, and more).

This step can me skipped by using frozen pea, but I recommend at least once trying the fresh peas. As they are amazing.

My next purchase I am going to try steaming the whole pod (like edamame) and tossing them in a little salt for snacking.

Vista Farmers Market Tour and Cooking Class~~ Clam Pasta Recipe

For those of you that were unable to attend my recent farmers market cooking class (you really missed out : ) ha ha); I thought you might enjoy a little taste of what we made.

The class was great, we met at the farmers market; where we toured the market, spoke to the farmers and vendors, saw what foods where freshest. When all was said and done we sat down and planned out our menu:

Mixed Greens Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette and Figs with Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Honey 2 Ways (they where broiled and raw, the raw fig with cold cheese and a drizzle of honey was our favorite)

Fresh Lemon Fettuccine with Cherry Tomato Sauce, Steamed Clams, Shaved Parmesan Cheese and Fresh Basil

Blueberry Oatmeal Crumble!!

Don’t worry the market tours will become a monthly class that I will be teaching, so you can catch me at the market on August 7. To registar or for more information go to

( Thank you Lisa for the wonderful pictue)

Pasta with Tomatoes and Clams
Serves 4 to 6

4 to 6 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp Garlic, minced
¼ to ½ tsp Dried red pepper flakes
1 pint Grape or cherry tomatoes (or 2 cups Tomatoes, diced), cut in half

18 Clams, cleaned

1 lb Fresh pasta

2 oz Parmesan, shaved (or 1 cup shaved cheese)
1/4 cup Fresh basil, chiffonade

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat; stir in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook just until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes cook and clams, cover and cook until clams open.
While tomatoes are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
Drain pasta in a colander. Immediately add pasta to tomato mixture.
Garnish with shaved parmesan and basil; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Looking for a healthy alternative to burgers for this 4th of July?

Try ground Bison (otherwise known to some as buffalo)! This meat is leaner, more flavorful and juicier than ground beef.

My friends and I recently tried out a couple of different toppings on simple grilled (on a non-stick grill pan) burgers. To make them even healthier I went with a “slider” style mini burger. Making sure that the burgers where more portion control friendly.

The first was a play on the traditional burger~ Bison Burger Topped with Dill Pickle Slices, Ketchup, Dijon Mustard, Mayonnaise, Shredded Oxcan and Cheddar Cheese Blend, and Quick Pickled Grilled Red Onions.

The second burger with a healthy option~ Bison Burger Topped with Arugula, Avocado and Quick Pickled Grilled Red Onions.

The final burger was made to really showcase the meat and it’s full flavor~ Bison Burger Topped with BBQ Sauce.

To be honest we loved them all. There was no clear winner. The burgers where all a hit! So whatever you want to top your Bison burger with feel content in knowing that you are eating healthy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grilled Stone Fruit Sundae~ From Alchemy of the Hearth "Whats Local and Fresh Cooking Class

With all of the great stone fruits in season right now I though I would share with you a recipe from my recent cooking class (at Alchemy of the Hearth in San Marcos). This is a super simple way to make use of the summers bounties.

Grilled Stone Fruit Sunday

Serves 4

4 Stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines, etc.) cut in half and pit removed
3 tbsp Unsalted butter, melted
4 tbsp Vanilla sugar*
½ pint Vanilla ice cream
1/3 cup Toasted almonds

Pour melted butter over the cut side of the fruit.
Dip fruit into sugar.
Place fruits cut side down onto a non-stick grill pan or a non-stick pan. Cooking for 2 to 3 minute (or until golden brown grill marks develop), then turn fruit 90 degrees and cook an additional 2 o 3 minutes to create a perfect cross hatch pattern.
To serve place fruit onto a plate. Top with ice cream and toasted almonds.

*To make vanilla sugar- cut 1 vanilla bean in half and scrape out seeds. Place seeds and vanilla beans into an air tight container along with 2 cups sugar. Seal container and store for at least 2 days before using.
If you are unable to make vanilla sugar, place 1 tablespoons vanilla into melted butter.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The ingredient of the week ~~Cherries~~

The ingredient of the week is Cherries!! The tasty treat used in everything from pies to savory sauce for venison and steaks.

Cherries are said to have been around since the time of the Ancient Greeks.

There are two main groups of cherries; the sweet. Firm, heart-shaped sweet cherries can range in color from dark red to purplish black (as seen in the picture). They're delicious for eating out of hand and can also be cooked. One of example of this cherry is the “Bing”, it is my favorite cherry. With its sweet, slightly tart flavor (and when perfectly ripe) dripping with juice. Then there is the “Rainier” cherries, across between the “Bing” and “Van” cherries. “Rainiers” are sweet cherries with creamy-yellow flesh (the other cherry shown in the picture).I find that these cherries tend to look better than they taste, but can add a great mild cherry flavor to salads, salsas and sauces.

While the sour are smaller, softer and more globular than the sweet varieties. Most are too tart to eat raw, but make excellent pies, preserves. Although I prefer to blend both the sweet and the tart when I cook; finding that you end up with a better balance of sweet and tart flavor in your final product.

Another way to do this is to mix sweet cherries with tart strawberries, blueberries or black berries.

Most fresh cherries are available from May (June for sour cherries) through August. Choose brightly colored, shiny, plump fruit. Sweet cherries should be quite firm, but not hard; sour varieties should be medium-firm. Stemmed cherries are a better buy, but those with stems last longer.

Store unwashed cherries in a plastic bag, with a folded sheet of paper towel (to wick away excess moister), in the refrigerator.

Ingredient of The Week~~Fresh Masa~~Masa is a Spanish word meaning "dough".

Masa traditionally made from a field corn, called maiz blanco or "cacahuazintle" [kaw-kaw-WAH-SEEN-til] which was dried (it can be both sun dried and fire dried), treated with a lime water solution or lye, then cooked and finely ground. The final product can be mixed with other ingredients to make tortilla or tamales. Masa can be purchased fresh or dried (dried finely ground masa that is turned into a flour id referred to as Masa Harina).

There are many tortillarias in San Diego and in the east county that carry fresh masa (as well as fresh masa premixed for making tamales).

Although dried masa can easily be used in its place the results can be a world apart. Dried masa can easily go rancid and develop off flavors. That is not to say that fresh masa does not have its flaws as well. You want to make sure you use your fresh masa the day you use it, as it can sour over time; or you can freeze (but then that kind of defeats the point of using something fresh)

Here is my recipe for homemade tamales, using fresh masa.

Mini Tamales

Serves 6 to 9

1/3 cup Lard, shorting, unsalted butter or bacon fat

1/8 tsp Sugar

1/8 tsp Salt (omit if using bacon fat)

¼ tsp Baking powder

1 cup Fresh masa

¼ cup Chicken broth, warm

Beat lard, sugar, salt and baking powder using an electric mixer at medium speed until combined, till light and fluffy.

Divide masa into 4 equal portions and add 1 portion at a time into the lard. Beat till fully incorporated before adding the next portion. Continue till all the masa in incorporated.

Slowly add broth to the masa. Beat until dough is a smooth


2 dozen Dried corn husks, cleaned of debris

Soaked husks in warm water until pliable (about 20minutes.) Then pat dry with towels. Rip 2 or 3 husks length wise into thin strips. These will be used to tie tamales shut. You can also use butchers twine.

Scoop masa into a large plastic bag, push into one corner of the bag and cut off the tip.

Squeeze masa onto the husk, pressing the bag against the husk, in 3 or 4 strips. Add about 1/2 tsp of your chosen filling. Fold one edge of corn husk to the center and pull into filling (like making sushi roll). Then roll filling over its self. Repeat with remaining corn husks, masa and filling.

Cook tamales in a tamale steamer or in a pot with a steamer insert.

Steam tamales for about 35 to 40 minutes. They are done when the masa no longer sticks to the corn husks when tamales are unrolled.

Friday, June 11, 2010

San Diego Zoo Does a Farm to Table Dinner...Guess The Lions and Tigers and Bears Are Happy They're in The Zoo!

The San Diego Zoo is dedicating an evening to local food--and there are still seats left at this amazing dinner! On Saturday, June 12 at 6 pm, Albert's Restaurant at the Zoo will be serving a five-course meal featuring local and artisanal products including Carlsbad mussels, local halibut, Knight Salumi sausage, and produce from Sage Mountain Farms and Smit Orchards. Learn more at the San Diego Zoo website (, or check out the flier on Slow Foods Urban San Diego's facebook page!

The cost is $69 per person plus tax and gratuity. To make reservations, call 619-557-3964 and ask for Farm to Table reservations.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tour the Vista Farmers Market with Chef Jenn

I will like to invite you all to my first foray into farmers markets. This Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm I will be at the Vista Farmers Market (located at in the parking lot f the Vista Court House off of Melrose).

Vista Farmers Market

Saturday: 8 am - Noon

County Courthouse 325 S. Melrose Drive, Vista

(just South of Highway 78), Vista, California 92081

Phone: (760) 945-7425



My plan is to offer four 20 minute tours of the market for $5 (where we will chat and sample from different farmers) and short cooking demonstrations.

Would love to see all of my students and friends there; for a bit of moral support (and some nice people to talk to).

Thank you very much.

Chef Jenn

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

End of Year Letter to Students

Dear All Students,

With the school year ending, you will not able to find me at Mission Hills High School every week. But I promise that I will around. As of right now I have started scheduling classes at Alchemy of the Hearth in San Marcos. My first class will be on June 24 at 6 pm (Explore What’s Fresh and Local- a seasonal cooking class focusing on local ingredients) and I will soon have classes there throughout July and August.

My plans for the summer are to finally get my cook book together! It will take a village to raise this cookbook; I will need your help with testing and reading recipes. That is not to say that I will not be teaching, I will be available for private and small group cooking classes. I am looking into using the kitchen at Alchemy of the Hearth for private group classes. As well as private “Cooking Up Seduction” events with my friend Dr. Jenn.

With my web site under construction (it has been a long time but I hope to have up and running by the end of July) keeping students updated is a little more difficult and I would like to keep you all up to date. I will continuously be updating my blog ( with upcoming classes and other fun stuff I am doing. Otherwise please contact me, as I need to update my mailing list and keep students informed of upcoming classes.
There have been a lot f questions regarding classes for next school year, and as of right now I do not have an answer. I hope to have an answer soon and if I have your contact information I will let you know what the next school years class schedule will be.
I have enjoyed having every single one of you in my various classes and look forward to seeing you all in classes again.

Chef Jenn

World Cup Soccer at The Linkery and a New Addition to There Family

The Linkery will be open at 6:55am on most game days for this years (soccer) World Cup, including for Friday's tilt between Mexico and South Africa. Every day, we'll also be featuring sausages from two countries in action -- on Friday we'll have boerewors and longaniza. Saturday is a *huge* game between the USA and England at11:30am -- and also, banger v. American Farmhouse.

For a complete opening schedule go to

Also the Linkery is celebrating the opening of a new addition to there family! Here is a letter they sent out, inviting you to reserve a table for there "preview dinner".

The second big event for us this week is the rolling out of our new gastro-cantina, El Take It Easy, at 3926 30th Street (about 200 yards north of the Linkery). Max has developed a very innovative, compelling
small-plates menu using the world-class farm-to-table ingredients we pride ourselves on, and Steph and Bobby have assembled a drinks menu that excellently pairs the food and ambience. I think you will find that there is nothing else like El Take It Easy in San Diego, and we hope you will enjoy the breadth it adds to our City's dining scene.

It means a lot to us that you, who have sustained the Linkery for all these years, should have the opportunity to enjoy and experience this new venue before we open it to the general public. For that reason we are beginning with a five-day "preview" period, Thursday through Monday. During this time, we are seating by reservation only, and are only publicizing it by this email, and through our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

While many of you have already made reservations, we still have about half of our bookings available for these nights. If you would like to reserve one of the available tables, please email me ( with the subject line "preview dinner". I'd particularly recommend Thursday, while space is available, as our friends from So Say We All intend tochristen the place with toasts they have composed for the occasion, which I expect will be quite entertaining.

Starting next week (on the 16th), we will seat on a walk-in basis; on Thursday the 17th we will host the opening of an excellent art installation by Tijuana painter Enrique Ciapara; and on June 30th we will celebrate 30th on 30th with a proper Grand Opening party for El Take It Easy. Some time by then we'll even put a proper website up.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Classes at Alchemy of The Heart~ Menus

I am putting together menus for my summer classes at Alchemy of The Heart (a small local hands on cooking school). My classes are all about what is fresh and local in the San Marcos, Vista, and all around San Diego areas. Please take a look and let me know if there are any great local places that I might have misses.

Exploring what’s local and fresh

Tamales (masa from San Marcos tortillaria and beer from local brewery)

• BBQ Pulled Pork or Braised Pork Tamales with Tomatillo Salas and Red Chili Sauce

• Spinach, Orange Jicama Salad with Chipotle Orange Dressing

• Pinto Beans with Stone Brewery Beer

• Grilled Stone Fruit Sunday

Grilled Local Fish stuffed with lemon verbena and fresh herb salad (Fish from Catalina offshore and herb salad from local farms like La Milpa Organica)

• Whole Local Fish Stuffed and Grilled with Lemon Verbena and a Citrus Buerre Blanc

• Fresh Herbs Mixed with Local Salad Greens

• Summer Squash, Zucchini, and Tomato Gratin with a Panko Bread Crumb Crust

• Rustic Blueberry Tart with Caramel Sauce

Sausage, Pepper and Onion Sandwich (home-made Sausages from T and H meats and bread from local baker)

• Spicy Italian Sausage Grilled and Serve with Sautéed Onions and Peppers, Served on Crispy Artisanal Bread

• Fresh Ricotta Cheese

• Fresh Ricotta, Heirloom Tomato, and Corn Salad with Pesto Dressing

• The Perfect Cheese Plate

• Summer Berries Parfait with a sampling of local chocolates (berries from local farms and chocolates from Eclipse and other local chocolatier)

If you are interested in my first class (Tamales) "Exploring What is Fresh and Local" ~June 24 from 6 to 9 pm~ $ 50 at Alchemy of the Hearth

To register online go to

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ingredient Of The Week ~Lemon Verbena~

Ingredient Of The Week ~Lemon Verbena~

This wonderful lemon scented herb is a great addition to any garden and a great addition to your culinary repertoire. Not only does it add a beautiful color to your garden, with its bright green leaves and it’s petite white and purple flowers. It is also useful in everything from teas and cocktails to fruit salads and cheesecakes.

This herb can be chopped fine and used as a substitute for lemon or lime zest in any recipes.

It also beautifully flavors oils (this can be done several ways but I love to puree the leaves with oil and then strain through a sieve, releasing both the amazing flavor and a beautiful green color). Use this oil to drizzle over grilled fish, to decorate plates, or make wonderful salad dressings.

Lemon verbena is not just for savory foods, it can be used to satisfy your sweet tooth too. Use it to infuse its flavor into sugar (by placing ¼ cup leaves in a 16 ounce mason jar full of sugar; cover and allow to permeate for 2 weeks). That can be used for anything from sugar cookies to riming cocktail classes. Other sweet to eat uses range from custards to cheesecakes.

For a great lemon verbena cocktail recipe, using lemon verbena infused vodka, go to . I am going to try infusing my own vodka with lemon verbena shortly, pictures and story will be posted at sometime sooner than later.

This versatile and wonderful plant can be a little hard to find, sometimes vendors at your local farmers markets will carry them. I purchased mine at my favorite local garden shop, Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach (

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Learning to Cook with Chef Jenn

Recently a student in my San Marcos (11 week) ROP class entered an essay contest and I loved the kind words that she wrote about the cooking class so much that I wanted to share it with the world.

It warms my heart to know that my classes not only teach students; but gives them inspirations and drive to better themselves.

As a teacher, I do what I do because I love what I do. Knowing that what I do helps other is just a bonus. An amazing bonus, which brings me the greatest joy!

Learning to Cook with Chef Jenn
by Beverly A.

My first and only formal cooking experience started with the San Marcos ROP Culinary Arts class. Wow! I was hooked after the first week. Chef Jenn’s culinary class is extraordinary and full of cooking challenges, yet such a confidence builder! Each week I learn about exotic cuisines, unique foods and where to shop for the freshest vegetables, meats and fruit. These lifetime skills are taught by a world-class professional chef in a state of the art, fully equipped kitchen. How great is that? In addition, my weekly class is introduced to new kitchen aids and fabulous full course menus. At the same time, we work together in small groups, learning to prepare and cook meals while learning team-building skills.

As an elementary teacher and tutor, I think cooking is a fun way to enhance children’s reading and math skills. Now I can add to lessons by demonstrating ounces, gallons, and liters with measuring cups and even ordinary kitchen tools. This cooking class also showed me how everyone learns uniquely. I’m the learner who understands a concept better when there is a “hands–on” demonstration, not only reading from a book. Just like a lot of the kids I teach!

I’ve also found its more rewarding and enjoyable learning about cooking by doing with others in a classroom setting. I enjoy the aroma of bacon cooking (or burning if I’ve become distracted), the sound of chicken pieces crisping with olive oil in a sauté pan or watching whipping crème in the mixer finally turn into nice white, soft peaks. Nothing compares to the self-satisfaction of successfully completing the weekly meals and finally tasting the rewarding, but hard-earned team prepared meal!

Since the class is reasonably priced (which is why I never considered cooking classes in the past) I now have the skills to consider yet another career. With today’s job market in such a fluctuating state, it’s a good feeling to know I have added valuable skills to my resume.

My dream job would be to work for a business that teaches children to cook and have fun experimenting in the kitchen. I would like to introduce students to unique and healthy cuisines, showing them how many foods are surprisingly tasty, good for you and fun to learn about. This class opened up such horizons for me that I don’t think I’m even aware of all the possibilities. I do know that once a week I get the chance to put aside all the worries and weekly stress and play like a kid again. Thanks for such an incredible lifetime opportunity!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day Feasting on Surf and Turf

Memorial Day Feasting on Surf and Turf

By the Memorial Day I had already done the burger thing, the hot dog thing, even the soul food thing. Such a beautiful day called for something special…..

Kumamoto ( a petite oyster with a creamy briney flavor) Oysters on the  Half Shell with Lemon Zest Infused Cocktail Sauce as well as Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice

 Kobe Beef Steaks topped with Sautéed Shitake and Oyster Mushrooms with a splash of Cognac, Grilled Lemon and Blood Orange Marinated Mexican Shrimp (so large and so meaty they almost reminded me of grilled Mexican lobsters) , Roasted Corn on the Cob (done the classic way with a ton of Fleur De Sel, fresh black pepper and loads of butter), and a simple Mixed Herb Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.

That day was a good day!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Soltan Banoo~ Restraunt Review (it rhymes!)

When you work with a vegetarian you often find yourself with an interesting challenge; finding places where the menu satisfies you both!

American cuisine tends to be meat centric so when dining with people whose diets differ (vegan, vegetarian, and so many more) from mine, I think the best bet is to try ethnic restaurants as they often offer a variety of selections which appeal to varying tastes and diets.

Soltan Banoo, a charming Persian restaurant in the University Heights area, was my choice for a recent business luncheon. The restaurant has a cozy, inviting atmosphere and offers numerous vegetarian and vegan options on its exotic menu.

Our meal began with the Pomegranate Soup (a hearty lentil style soup with beans, wheat, spinach, and herbs cooked with pomegranate juice, served with pita bread). This wonderful medley of legumes made the soup familiar while the use of pomegranates added a wonderful flavor that was both slightly sweet while being very savory.

Following our soup appetizer, we tried their Potato Pancakes with quinoa and served with a yogurt dipping sauce.

I found the pancakes, though nice and crispy on the outside, lacked a bit of flavor. Luckily their great texture and “light as air” taste were well complimented by the wonderful dipping sauce.

As an entree I had the Koubideh Kabob (seasoned ground beef, marinated with Persian spices, wrapped around skewers and grilled on open-flame) served with Basmati rice. This too was not as flavorful as I would have liked but had great texture and with a little sprinkling of Sumac they turned out very nice.

The restaurant scored highly with my vegetarian friend as she ordered the Veggie Kabob (marinated tofu, mushrooms & veggies) served with brown rice and Shirazi Salad. With a large portion size and full of flavor, she was extremely satisfied.

My vegetarian friend loved the food. She and I both noted that the restaurant had numerous vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. She loved all the vegetarian options on the menu.

I am hoping they just had a bad day when it came to the seasoning on a few dishes, because with such an amazing atmosphere and selection, I’m very eager to go back and try a few of the daily specials.

P.S. Here is a coupon for your visit


A note from a recipes

Hi Jenn,

I tripled your fried vegetable dumplings recipe for hors d'oevuers to serve 12 and cooked them 2 hrs. ahead of our guests' arrival as you advised. Not a dumpling was left. I have cooked them for family to be eaten immediately and they were even better that way. I tripled the spicy sweet and sour garlic shrimp for the entree and stir fried it while our guest were here. They loved it. We also followed your advice to have fun so, as I feared,we forgot to take pictures.

Thanks again,

Well if Pam likes I think you will to; here is the recipes for my vegeteble dumplings.
Fried Vegetable Dumplings
Serves 4 to 6

1 cup Spinach
½ cup Napa Cabbage, finely sliced
1 tsp Ginger, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 tbsp Sesame oil
¼ cup Carrots, peeled and small dice
2 tbsp Celery, diced small
2 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 tbsp Rice vinegar
2 Green onion, finely chopped
1 Egg
12-16 Wonton wrappers
2 cup Vegetable oil

Preeat oil to 350º.
In a sauté pan heat vegetable oil and sesame oil over medium heat, add spinach, cabbage, ginger, and garlic.
Cook till spinach is lightly wilted and garlic is fragrant; add carrots and celery, lightly cook carrots and celery.
Remove spinach mixture from heat, place in a bowl and add soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, water chestnuts, rice vinegar and green onions. Allow to cool completely before stuffing wontons.
Strain spinach liquid into a bowl and add egg, whisk to combine.
Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling into wonton wrapper. To seal line the edges of the wonton with egg mixture, then press edges together to seal.
Fry until golden brown and serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

6 tbsp Sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp Rice vinegar

In a bowl stir together rice vinegar and sweet chili sauce.