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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