Mug shots, photo-ops and cooking class fun

Simple and Savory Fish

August 27, 2013


Simple and Savory Fish

July 2, 2013

Okay, people, now you’ve gone and done it. I was perfectly happy to do as my husband suggested and cut waaay back on teaching for the summer. But then you all (or as Dana might say, “y’all”) joined me in the kitchen yesterday and I had such a great time with you, it made me think I had cut back too far!

I loved seeing all the familiar faces– seven of you from previous classes– and new friends with whom I hope to cook with again. Santiago– now that you are here for a while, don’t be a stranger! Kim– although you had to eat in on the run, I hope you enjoyed the 30-minute paella as much as the four-hour version! Nick and Rose: you are my first ever grown mother-son team! (Usually, it’s the Mom taking the college son to learn how to feed himself.)

Here are a few visual reminders of our day and the great food you made.

And it may have been a fish class, but what is life without dessert?

How to Be a Great Home Cook

May 22 & 29, 2013

I know I should go in order and show the foods we cooked first, but I just love this photo, which captures the spirit of our first day… Okay, now here’s what led up to that:

Linda, Joe and Camilo with their Mac-n-Cheese

…and here’s the Mac ‘n Cheese

Kelli, looking like a pro

Spice rubbed roast chicken thighs

Molasses and black pepper pork tenderloin

Roast Asparagus

Stuffed Bread

I guess by the time we got to dessert the first day, we were too busy eating to stop for photos. But by the second session of class, we were pros– with plenty of time to pose for pictures!

joe, jason and kelli with tri-colored zucchini

Linda, Laura and Jordan with Peanut Noodles with Shrimp

Peanut Noodles with Shrimp

Linda, Laura and Jordan w Roast Cauliflower

John and his gorgeous Moroccan Hens

The Moroccan Hens– not as pretty without John, of course

Camilo, Chris and John with their knock-your-socks-off delicious hens

Kelli, Jason and Joe with their 97th and 98th dish of the day

Beef Strogonoff

Coq au Vin

Yeah, it was that much fun!

I was there, too

Superfast Spring Recipes from Cooking Light

April 18, 2013

Five cooks, six dinners, one dessert– in just a few hours. I guess we know how these Cooking Light Superfast recipes got their name… Our first dish: Meanwhile, at the other end of the room… On to round two! Back to Laurel and Meg, who are clearly quite fond of lemon: By now, Meg knows her way around the kitchen like it is her own Time to cook up that New York Strip Steak and make the Avocado-Lime Salsa While Meg and Laurel have fish on their minds Yep, we cooked up a few things… Oh! Don’t forget dessert! It was a great day– thanks for being so wonderful to cook with! I hope I’ll have the opportunity to cook with you again soon…

Superfast Weeknights

February 21, 2013

Yeah, we really cooked that much food. Here’s a plate that doesn’t even have it all:

A plate full of deliciousness

We started the evening with Omelet Burritos…

Omelet Burritos

Made with finesse by this group

The Omelet Burrito Gang

Ken and Lisa made one set of Balsamic Chicken with Almonds and grapes and Vlada, Ashley and Lynn made another

Vlada, Ashley and Lynn with Balsamic Chicken with Grapes and Almonds

Balsamic Chicken is ready for its close-up

The Cooking Couple Make Shrimp

Sarah, Emily, Jenn and Laurel cook beef tenderloins in pomegranate port sauce

Beef Tenderloins in Pomegranate Port Wine Sauce– cooked to perfection!

Ken and Lisa toast an evening of culinary finesse

Simple Beans and Legumes

January 21, 2013

We cooked up a storm! Here are a few of the dishes we made– and of course, photos of the culinary artists who made them! First, though, we had to try to warm up our frozen fingers…here’s Blake, hands over the flames trying to thaw out…

Blake, trying to get warm

Avalon, Elvis, Nick and Blacke w Farfalle, Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and White Beans

Al, Matt, Liz and Candice- Edamame Avocado Soup with Parmesan Tomato Crostini

Mike, Aillina and Ann with their quinoa

Claire and Sal and their Quinoa

Quinoa with Dried Fruit and Edamame

Candace, Liz and Matt start a catering business

Avalon, Elvis, Nick and Blake w Farfalle, Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and White Beans

Al, Matt, Liz and Candace sporting the cutest bean burgers ever…

Baby Bean Burgers Two Ways (Avocado Cream and Chipotle Ketchup)

Mike, Aillina and Ann- Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Edamame Avocado Soup with Tomato Parmesan Crostini

The whole class with the spoils of the day

We made all this and more!

Do Ahead Entertaining

November 8th

What a great group— and what a fabulous meal! So nice to see some familiar faces, and new ones that I hope will become familiar. I suppose we were too busy having fun and cooking up a storm to think about taking pictures. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for having so few to share with you. You will all just have to come back so I can stop you more often  to pose with your food… (If any of you want to share your photos, get in touch with me and I will post them here. I’d love photos of any and all of you and also of the wonderful food you prepared). Here are the Roast Garlic, Tomato and Goat Cheese Crostini: And here are those same crostini with their creators, Marjorie, Sylvia and Elaine: And here are all of you, with just a few of the dishes you made in front of you.

Moving Toward Meatless

October 1

I don’t know how I let so many days go by without posting the photos from this wonderful and memorable class. I had a great time with all of you– you were really a special group. I hope these photos make you smile as they did me.

Cooking For the Way We Live

September 27

It was a joy to see familiar faces: Welcome back, Marjorie and Randy. Your presence guarantees a fun class. I’m sure your cooking partners, Susan and Alice, agree– you four made a great group. The group I dubbed “The Competitors” (really, Kelly and Shayna dubbed themselves competetive…) are ready to go on Top Chef with their Mediterranean Barley Salad and South American Chicken Thighs. Can college buddies Seb and Roberto stay in line and keep up with their women? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned. Lorri and her mother Marion and Ann also made a great team– as they calmly cooked their Roasted Snapper to perfection! It was my great pleasure to spend the day in the kitchen with all of you– I hope I have the opportunity to do it again soon. In the meantime, please feel free to let me (us) know about your cooking triumphs on this blog, or post photos and stories on my facebook page at

Marjorie, Alice, Randy and Susan with Pork in Port Wine Cherry Sauce

Pork Chops in Port Wine-Cherry Sauce

Lorri, Marion and Ann give The Competitors a run for their money

Roast snapper with herbs and lemon

The (Self-Acknowledged) Competitors with their South American Chicken Thighs

Alice, Marjorie, Susan and Randy with their Chicken Thighs

See how much fun cooking can be?!

How to Be a Great Home Cook

August 21 and 28

What a great group! The class dynamic just couldn’t have been better– and it showed in your food! I wish I had more pictures of Day 1 to share…and on Day 2, Paul and Joanne barely made it into any photos! (Only group shots). I can only think it was because they were so busy cooking up a storm (and preparing perfect mis en place, as a photo below shows). I hope I’ll see you back at ICE again. And in the meantime, please feel free to join the conversations on posts here,  send in questions to Ask The Expert on MyRecipes, or get in touch through the Contact tab at the top of the page. In other words– keep in touch! First, a few shots from Day 1:

JoAnne, Tasheeka and Elaine w Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese gets its close-up!

Another hit from Day 1: the stuffed bread (which many of you reported making between classes)

Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs

Chicken in lemon butter sauce– cooked to perfection!

Roberta, Corrine, Karin, Daniella, JoAnne, Tasheeka, Elaine, Paul and Michelle– and a decidedly unsteady-handed photographer (that’s me). At least it shows how much fun we were having!

Finally, it’s time to eat

And now, Day 2:

Michelle and Elaine, readying their hens

Michelle and Elaine showing off their spectacular hens

…which turn out looking and tasting out of this world! (Although my iPhone doesn’t do them justice)

Paul and JoAnne set up a perfect mis en place for their Beef Stroganoff

The ladies, looking rightfully proud of their Peanut Noodles with Shrimp

Peanut Noodles with Shrimp

Roast Cauliflower

Michelle and Elaine with tri-colored zucchini

And here is my favorite shot of everyone horsing around at the end of Day 2: Tasheeka, Paul, Michelle Elaine, Karin, Daniella and JoAnne

Thanks, all of you, for two great days of cooking together! -Marge

Moving Towards Meatless

August 16, 2012

This new class, based loosely on a story we did for Eating Well magazine, is filled with meatless recipes for the not-necessarily meatless cook. The recipes all have a strong “umami” or savory presence…just like the wonderful participants who cooked so well together. There was the Black + White Gang, who not only color-coordinated their outfits, but also made a great team in the kitchen, coordinating their work to produce fabulous food. Here they are with their Baked Black Bean Burritos…

Irina, Kathleen, Trisha and Ken with Baked Black Bean Burritos

Baked Black Bean Burritos were a class favorite

Later in the day, this same group brought us Rigatoni with Slow Roasted Tomato “Bolognese” .

The Black and White team rocks the Rigatoni with Slow Roasted Tomato “Bolognese”

Slow Roasted Tomato “Bolognese” over Rigatoni

Meanwhile, Shelley, Hennie, Anna and Dana were whizzing through their recipes,  starting with the fast and simple Rice Noodle and Edamame Salad.

Anna, Shelley, Hennie and Dana with their delicious Rice Noodle and Edamame Salad

Rice Noodle and Edamame Salad with Peanuts

They also made the Three Pea, Tofu and Cashew Stir Fry…

Shelley, Hennie, Anna and Dana with crunchy, satisfying Three Pea, Tofu and Cashew Stir Fry

Meanwhile, Shelley’s sous chef and Head Dishwasher at home, Steve, joined forces with Barbara, Amanda, Denise and Mariel to whip up these Grilled Portobello Burgers with Blue Cheese and Red Onion Marmalade

Steve, Barbara, Amanda, Denise and Mariel with Portobello Burgers

Portobello burgers smothered in melted blue cheese and port wine caramelized onions

How great do these look?

Oh, that Portobello Burger!

And here is the whole class, ready to eat!

Doesn’t it look like Steve is about to announce something very important– perhaps the menu– into that drop-down, er, microphone? Or perhaps he is just about to wish everyone, “Bon Appetit!”

Simple Healthful Meals

June 3, 2012

We were having so much fun (and cooking so much!), we didn’t stop often enough to get a picture of every class member holding each dish he/she made…But here are some I did manage to get. I hope I’ll see you all again. And in the meantime,  come back and visit me on the blog– leave comments, ask questions…chat about all matters culinary.

The Beef and Glazed Chicken Gang– they kept busy! 

Superfast Weeknights

May 15, 2012

You folks really know how to pose! I love these shots…

And before we get up close and personal with the food shots, a parting “Cheers!” to a fun group! I hope I’ll be cooking with you again soon.

And now, here are close-ups of just a few dishes you made:

Cooking for the Way We Live

April 26, 2012

Some photos from a group of superstar cooks…Look out Chopped contestants!

Lina, Gretchen and Karen with Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Sylvia, Nikki (“The Ringer”) and Mike with Roasted Snapper

Lina, Gretchen and Karen with Roast Asparagus

Sylvia whipped up some Tri-Color Zucchini when no one was looking…

…and Team Nikki (Sylvia, Nikki and Mike) made these gorgeous Roast Red Snapper fillets

South American Chicken and Roast Potatoes were cooked to perfection, thanks to Terri, Carren and Paul 

Do-Ahead Passover

March 29, 2012

I wish you all a very happy Pesach (and Easter!). May your holiday tables be laden with delicious delights and surrounded by loving family and friends. It was my great pleasure to cook with you.

The perfectly cooked beef tenderloin

The entire meal:roasted vegetables, Farfel Kugel, Double Horeseradish crusted salmon, beef tenderloin.(We’re just missing the pears!)

Simple Meatless Meals with Beans and Legumes

March 12, 2012

What an interesting group you were! We talked before, during and after cooking today about the role of meatless meals in our health and well-being. Our conversations drove home for me that many of us believe we need to add more meatless meals to our mix. But along with that, most of you did not feel a need to keep your diet 100% meatless– although you thought it might be something to work towards or aspire to. From left to right, Barbara, Theresa, Dan, Sophie, Eric, Angela, Diane, Geraldine, Guy, Barbara, Elaine, Laura, and Yael. And in the bottom row (!) Creamy Indian Lentils and Rice; Crostini (for the Edamame-Avocado Soup); Farfalle with Caramelized Onion, Greens, and Butternut Squash; rice,; and Cuban Black Beans (and in the far back, the Quinoa with Dried Apricots, Cherries and Edamame).

Corn and Red Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup and Avocado Cream

Farfalle with Caramelized Onion, Kale, White Beans and Butternut Squash

Elaine, Laura, Geraldine, Eric and Yael made the nutrient rich, colorful and delicious Farfalle with Caramelized Onion, White Beans, Kale and Butternut Squash

Tomato and Pecorino Crostini are served with Avocado-Edamame Soup…

And here’s the Edamame Gang again, with the Quinoa with Apricots, Dried Cherries and– you guessed it– Edamame

Angela, Guy, Barbara and Diane Show off their Cuban Black Beans and Creamy Indian Lentils and Rice

How to Be a Great Home Cook, February 9 & 16, 2012

If central casting had been asked to send me down the perfect class to ease me back in to teaching, this would have been it. You were a teacher’s dream students: eager, interested and attentive. And you were, each and every one of you, lovely, good people. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Back to the business at hand: you are all also great home cooks. The dishes you made were really terrific. So if you had any flaw, it was that you didn’t make enough mistakes to make me feel truly needed. :) I hope to see you in future classes!

The Dream Team– Claudia, Karen, Emioly, Ashley, Brad, Kamen, Geraldine, Rene, Adis

Claudia, Karen and Rene made Beef Stroganoff– a big hit!

Beef Stroganoff

Brad, Geraldine and Emily with their Peanut Noodles with Shrimp

Ashley, Kamen and Adis made perfect (and perfectly delicious) Coq Au Vin

Coq au Vin (it may not be photogenic, but it was fabulous)

Claudia, Karen and Renee show off their Moroccan Hens with Olives and Dates

Moroccan Cornish Hens with Olives and Dates

Moist, tender, juicy pork tenderloin with molasses and black peppercorn

Perfectly roasted potatoes

Emily has her knife skills down!

Stuffed Bread courtesy of Brad, Ashley and Adis

Kamen, Ashley and Adis with their Banana Chocolate Galette

Banana Chocolate Galette. Yes, please!

Apple Marzipan Galette


Easy Fabulous Holidays, December 8, 2011

For some of you, this was a first cooking class after contemplating the idea for two years (um, that would be you, Stefanie) and for others (Alberto!) it may have been the 300th. Remarkably, despite the various levels of culinary experience, you all worked together in a steady, affable hum. Even more remarkable, though, is that 9-month pregnant Caryl never once sat down! In the picture below, it seems that Donna is having a private moment of prayer as she awaits the signs that Caryl is in labor.

The color-coordinated team of Stefanie, Michelle. Cristine, Caryl, and Donna

Alberto, Pashen and Geraldine guided ICE newbie Talma through the ins and outs of classes here as they whipped up their knock-your-socks-off Pomegranate Vanilla Chicken.

Alberto, Pashen, Geraldine and Talma with their luscious Pomegranate Vanilla Roast Chicken Thighs

Meanwhile, at the other end of the room, Stefanie and Michelle produce their version. Is an episode of Chopped in the making?

Stefanie and Michelle show off their version of the Pomegranate Vanilla Chicken Thighs.

Up close and personal with the Pomegranate Vanilla Chicken Thighs:

Pomegranate Vanilla Roasted Chicken Thighs

Bright, crisp, perfectly cooked Green Beans in Almond Brown Butter, thanks to Stefanie, Mary, Michelle and Lisi. It should be noted that pregnant Lisi (like Caryl) never once sat down. Ladies– your energy level puts us non-pregnant people to shame!

Stefanie, Mary, Michelle and Lisi with their bright, crisp green beans

Stefanie, Mary, Michelle and Lisi with their Green Beans with Almond Brown Butter

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes are courtesy of Alberto, Pashen, Geraldine and Talma:

Alberto, Pashen, Geraldine and Talma with their rosemary roasted sweet potatoes

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Now, I know you’d all like to see pictures of the Goat Cheese, Roasted Garlic and Tomato Crostini,  the perfectly cooked Marinated Leg of Lamb with Orange Chimichurri (truly, it was cooked to perfection!) or the yummy glazed pearl onions and roasted red onions… but we were apparently too busy cooking to take a photo. Chrissy and MaryAnne were also either too busy to stop for a pose, or they are camera shy. (I am guessing the former). Fortunately, we got them in the group shot below. As for the Fallen Chocolate Cake with Cherry Red Wine Sauce– well, that disappeared far too quickly to pose for it’s glam shot, so you’ll just have to take a photo at your own holiday celebration. By all means, post it here when you do! Cheers to all of you. May your holidays be filled with warm, loving friends and family and loads of luscious fare.

Cheers! Caryl, Christine, Donna, MaryAnne, Chrissy, Pashen, Talma, Michelle, Stefanie, Mary, Lisi, Geraldine and Alberto

Cooking for the Way We Live, October 13, 2011

First, Let it be known that Emily (Feller), who said she had no experience cooking, turned out to have phenomenal knife skills. The way I figure it, either: 1. She is a natural or 2. she is an undercover chef, there to steal our secrets. Look what she and Natara and Ann accomplished with their combined finesse: Emily’s sister Natara certainly knows her way around the kitchen– I am hoping that after taking this class you’ll be willing to follow a recipe or two! Ann, who claims to be a “terrible” cook, is no stranger to the stove, either. Together with Emily, they made one of the favorite dishes of the day, seasoned and dressed to perfection: the Mediterranean Barley Salad. Now, Jackie told us she hates to cook, but it sure looked like she was having fun. (And if she wasn’t, she sure made it more fun for all of us.) Remember Jackie: Don’t weigh, cut or measure until… Here’s Jackie, Tanya, Robin and Lisa, rocking their Moroccan Chicken. And just below, the beautiful tri-colored zucchini they whipped up.

Moroccan Chicken Thighs

Tri-Color Zucchini

Some disciplinary action was needed at the far end of the room, where a naughty little chicken thigh refused to cooperate. Lisa, Emily, Josie and Carin eventually got that bad boy under control, but not without some serious work. (Sadly, Carin had to leave early and is not in the picture below). Here they are with Pork with Dried Cherry Sauce: And here are the good and evil South American Chicken Thighs:

See that bad boy, hiding in the back? We know you’re there, buster.

Roberta and Denise made wonderfully sauce-y Pork with Dried Cherries– just imagine it on a bed of egg noodles to sop up all that delicious sauce!

Pork with Dried Cherry Sauce

Sadly, in addition to Carin, who had to leave early, we don’t have photos of the deceptively simple Roast Snapper which came out of the oven after the camera was put away; and the perfectly seasoned Cuban Rice and Beans, which had to be eaten early in the class to prevent students from fainting with hunger. But I’m sure you will replicate them well at home. By all means, send in photos when you do!

Simple Healthy Meals Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We got Sue one step closer to crossing an item off her bucket list, Al stayed blood-free, Stephanie may venture out beyond her cereal dinners, Dubi didn’t get yelled at even once, Sabine and Anita both mastered new knife skills, and Sybil has promised to look at Thursday’s Newsday (and come back to another class with me!). Not bad for a day in which you all cooked many dishes and learned a thing or two!

Al, Sybil and Stephanie strutting their beef tenderloin stuff

Sue, Sabine and Dubi with roast asparagus and salmon w puttenesca sauce

Anita and Danamarie with their Pomegranate Glazed Chicken Thighs

The whole gang, ready to eat


My Wickedly Delicious Class

I’m under your spell, it’s true. Think I may need a 12-step program (or at the very least five steps) when our Sunday night soirees end.  Lucky for me, we have another week to go! Here are the pics from last week…this coming Sunday, we’ll take (and post) more.

Albert, Teri and Gregg with their Tilapia Picatta en papillote

Albert, Teri and Greg still smiling after doing battle with parchment paper

Roasted Asparagus and color-coordinated outfits on Debralee, Rodd and Jonathon

Gregory, Tom and Shawn with beautifully seared Tuscan Salmon

Three Guys and Their Zucchini

Todd, Jonathon and Debralee with their mussels (Note that the color of the gloves works beautifully for these fashion-conscious cooks)

Todd, Jonathon and Debralee made one of the favorite dishes of the night– Swordfish Puttenesca

Swordfish Puttenesca

Oven “Fried” Fish and Chips

Albert, Teri and Gregg made the aromatic and delicious Spanish Catfish

Chow time for the workers

To the cooks! (until we meet again next week…)

Quick Wholesome Family Meals, August 18

Two Texans (not Southerners!), a tall musician, a beautiful Russian, and a mother-daughter team = one great class!

The Whole Gang, ready to reap the rewards of your hard work

And now, to the hours leading up to that:

Ellen, Caroline, Trevan, Blake and the stars: Stuffed baby burgers and roasted cauliflower

Ellen, Caroline, Trevan, Blake and the stars: Stuffed baby burgers and roasted cauliflower

Mmmmm, Mac-n-cheese by Ellen and Caroline

The Dream Team: fortunately, Blake didn’t cook with her eyes closed!

Svetlana and Sarena modelling their peanut noodles

Awww, do you really have to leave? Come back, let’s do this again…

How To Be a Great Home Cook, July 28-29

I just loved cooking with all of you. It is as though the moon and stars aligned to put together just the right combination of great people who would work together so perfectly well!  The fact that you are also all so incredibly photogenic blows my mind…

Anna-Bain, Sherrie and Heather with their gorgeous Moroccan Hens with Dates, Olives, and Oranges

Angie, Betsy and Lara rocked the hens, too.

Angie, Betsy and Lara and their beautiful Moroccan Hens with Dates, Olives and Oranges

Moroccan Hens with Dates, Olives and Oranges

Beef Stroganoff by two great cooks- Candie and Billy

Beef Stroganoff by Candie and Billy

Candie and Billy also made this delicious dish of Sauteed Zucchini with Caramelized Onion. The addition of onion was Candie’s idea, and I think I may now add caramelizing onion to the class program. Thanks, Candie!

Sauteed Zucchini w Caramelized Onion, courtesy of Candie and Billy

Cathy, Stephanie, Neetika, Kelly and Peanut Noodles w Shrimp

Just look how beautifiully these vegetables were cut and handled. This looks downright professional:

Peanut Noodles w Shrimp– showing off great knife skills!

Perfectly sauteed Zucchini, courtesy of Stephanie and Cathy

Shellie, Allie and the Coq Au Vin we all loved

Two Galettes by Angie, Betsy, Anna-Bain, Sherrie, Heather and Lara

Perfectly Sauteed Zucchini by Cathy and Stephanie (But the real reason I love this picture is that you both look so pretty and happy)

What a great group of (hungry) people!

I am so hoping to see you all again.  Feel free to email me, talk to me on my facebook page or twitter at Marge_Perry. But please do keep in touch. Okay, to avoid sounding all gushy and gooey, I will leave it at that. Post Script: Thanks to you, I will be posting shortly about both hard-cooking and soft-cooking eggs and caramelizing onions (and doing other things to them, too). Watch for it on this site in the coming days.

Simple, Healthy and Gluten Free, July 14

Amy, Pat, Paul and their perfectly cooked Blackened Swordfish

I hope Pat and Paul’s dinner–the blackening spice from the swordfish applied to sirloin steak– comes out as well as thier fish did!

Moist, tender and savory Blackened Swordfish

Lori, Alice, Charles and their Luscious Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops

Lori fakes us out by telling us she couldn’t cook…nice try! And Alice was no slacker in the kitchen either. Then there is Charles, who has professional experience. No wonder thier food was so good!

close-up of the juicy Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops

Susie, Toby, Robin and their Paella

Three more really experienced cooks: Susie, who loves to entertain, Toby, who has taken a zillion classes at ICE (hope I’ll see you in another one!) and Robin, who didn’t miss a trick at the other tables, either. These three were invincible! Just look at their gorgeous paella…

Short-cut Seafood Paella

What you see below is a miraculously lumpless polenta. Oh, the stories Amy, Pat and Paul can tell about straining, mashing and smoothing polenta. (If there had been an iron in the room, perhaps we could have pressed it, too). But in the end, it was oh-so-rich and creamy.

Creamy (lumpless!) Polenta

Charles’ Rice w Parsley

Herb-Crusted Chicken Thighs- Oh, the aroma of that rosemary!

Tuscan Salmon w Tomatoes and Olives

Lori, Charles and Alice

Pat, Paul, and Amy

Susie, Toby and Robin

The class toasts their culinary prowess!

And finally, I think I speak for all of us when I wish Amy happiness, good health and fabulous meals in Portland.

Simple Summer Gatherings, June 13

So much fun cooking with you!

Our starting bounty

Ivette with Skirt Steak, Roasted Shrimp and Chimichurri sauce

Kathy and Zucchini Calamata Toss

Pam and Joe with Raw Corn, Basil and Tomato Salad

Salmon Martini

Joe, Pam, Me, Ivette and Kathy– Cheers!

PS Did Any of you get photos of your great dessert? Somehow, I didn’t…I guess I was too busy eating it to stop and snap a shot.

Simple Healthy Meals, April 21st

Okay, gang, here are the late night photos. You’ll notice the plates are all empty and the smiles are broad. It was a lot of fun– I hope to see  you again soon!

Garlic Guy Paul and Mike the Scallion Man

See– you really can make more just breakfast!

Two Stephanies and a Wesley

The Cooking Couple

Rob: click on the recipes tab and you’ll find the recipe link for the Buffalo Chicken Panini. Post to let us know how it turns out!

Dhara, Yael and Amanda: Three women who know their way around the stove!

Stephanie One and Wesley, both with great knife skills!(Stephanie: I can’t wait to chiffonade my collard greens– thanks for the tip!)

A wave good night and ready for well-earned rest

Want to say anything to each other or me about the class? Do you want more information about anything we talked about? Click here to leave a comment.

How to Be a Great Home Cook, March 23-24th

I have to be really careful about what and how I say this lest you think I am some kind of culinary stalker, but it boils down to this: I wish I could have taken you all home and cooked with you some more. And then we would sit down on my back patio (because as long as this is my make-believe, I’m going to make it a warm and sunny day) and eat what we made and you would all keep cooking more and more, and you would all love cooking more and more. Shoot, I suppose the next thing is that I’d have bunnies and Bambi romping through the grass, and daisies popping up here and there and everywhere…but I liked you all individually and as a group that much. Isn’t it funny how group dynamics work? Think back to who you all are: you come from all walks of life, all ages, all levels of cooking experience…but you worked together extraordinarily well. The only thing I’d take you to task for is I wish you’d made more mistakes—to prove how very much you needed me. Please come back. If you take another ICE class when I am teaching, stop by at the beginning or end of mine and say hello. (Much) better still, come back to another with me. I can’t guarantee you’ll be in a group like this again, but let’s give it a shot.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Neetika Gandhi August 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Hi Marge,

Soooo…my molasses cracked pepper pork loin didn’t come out so good. :( I bought the bone in center cut loin (about 0.8 lbs – 1 piece) and used the same spice measurements as your 1lbs tenderloin recipe called for. Since the bone was giving the piece of meat a lot of extra weight, maybe I should have used half the amount of spices. There was way too much molasses mix and when I rubbed it on it looked like there were clumps of molasses in various places thereby also not evening out the salt and cumin and salt flavor. I cooked it for 20 min in an oven pan at 350 degrees. The outsides got overcooked and the parts near the bone seemed undercooked and the taste just wasn’t right. It seemed more sweet than the one we made in class (which was more on the salty side). How do you think I can improve this for next time?



Marge August 10, 2011 at 8:39 am

Oh no! I am so sorry to hear your pork didn’t turn out well. I know you loved the one we did in class.
You are right, Neetika, about the weight. You had about half as much meat (depending on the size of the bone) as was called for in the recipe. That definitely could have made the molasses seem overwhelming. I am surprised to hear you had clumps in the molasses– was it cold? As for the sweetness: the only sweet ingredient is the molasses, and we know there was too much of it, which may have made the roast taste too sweet.
To make this come out as it did in class, try using the boneless tenderloin called for in the recipe rather than a bone-in loin. (If you still don’t see it in the meat case, which i am surprised to hear, ask the butcher at your store to get it in. It is sold in supermarkets across the country, so I would think he’d be willing to oblige). Also, in an earlier email, I suggested that if the outside began to scorch before the meat was cooked, drape a piece of foil over the top. To prevent the foil from sticking to the glaze, stick a couple of toothpicks in the top of the roast and rest the foil on those rather than directly on the meat.
Good luck!!


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