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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.