Team building, cooking events, catering, parties, and classes in the San Francisco Bay Area

October in the Kitchen

October 9, 2014

Events

Lots happening in the kitchen these days. For instance, we recently created a fun event at the request of a corporate client, who wanted an afternoon of candy making for her team. I brought in one of our favorite pastry chefs to lead the class, and the group made truffles, brittles, caramels and marshmallows, with everyone taking home boxes of goodies to share with family and friends. Not the first all-sweets class we’ve done, but definitely one of the sweetest! Here are a few pictures so you can see how much fun they had.

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We are happy to design events to suit, if your group has a desire to learn something specific. If you want us to choose the menu, we will, taking the care to craft choices that are seasonal and meet everyone’s dietary needs. If you’re thinking about setting up something during the holidays, do it soon — those dates are rapidly filling up, especially since everyone wants the same “primo” dates like Friday afternoons between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Schedule an Event form to your right makes it easy.

I gear menus to the micro-season, purchase at the farmers markets whenever possible, and plan events with exquisite care, seeing every detail through from start to finish. The result is all-five-star reviews, which make me very happy. 

Beyond the cooking events, we also cater in-house. Meals or cocktail parties, we love working in our own kitchen, and inviting you in for a special party.

All Over the 'Net!

A lot of my recipes are now all over the internet. Which means, they are on some fantastic websites. You might want to follow some of the links in our Press section and discover some great new blogs and sites, many of which are very rich with good ideas for cooking and baking. 

Classes

It is a time of year where we don’t look for new teachers, since the kitchen is humming with events. We do have some classes — Rosetta Costantino’s Italian classes among them, however all but two are already sold out. There is still space in Homemade Pasta from Calabria, on Friday, October 24th, and A Night in a Neapolitan Pizzeria on Friday, November 21st. The pizza class always sells out, so this could be your chance, if you’ve tried before to get in. 

Eric E. Weiss also has a Knife Sharpening Class on Monday evening, December 8th. A great class to attend, if you’ve gotten (or know you’re getting) some good knives, as keeping them sharp is going to make you a happy cook. You get a stone and oil, as well as great instruction from a master sharpener.

We’ll be adding more classes to the roster for the beginning of the new year, so watch for the announcements.

Summer Camp

We are working on the schedule for next year's classes now, with the hopes of getting the schedule up in time for the holidays and all you early planners. 

For those of you who attended/sent your children this past summer, who haven't received a recipe booklet yet, you are not alone! There have been various road blocks to this new format of eBook. If you are needing a specific recipe or two, please email Tracy at  with your requests.  Otherwise, we deeply appreciate your continued patience. 

In the Market

What a rich tapestry of colors and flavors we have right now! There’s a reason the cornucopia is a symbol of the harvest season! The bins of multi-hued peppers sit next to vibrant purple eggplants, pale Armenian cucumbers, vibrant greens. There’s still figs, but not for long,  and avocados are strong, and now there are peanuts, grapes of every sort, from seedless to wine, next to pomegranates and late peaches and still-sweet raspberries and strawberries. The first persimmons have arrived and the plums and pluots are going strong. Beets and their greens, turnips with theirs, fennel and tomatoes and big bunches of basil, green beans and Romanos and plump shelling beans (fresh cranberry or cannellini beans get really creamy after about 25 minutes of cooking). I made chili with fresh cranberry beans last week, canned a few quarts of simple fig jam from the tree, to use all winter, and made more Sriracha and hot sauce from my peppers (an outdoor-only activity, the fumes are intense!). I froze tomatoes for the winter for soup and sauce, and used the first of the season spaghetti squash from Riverdog Farm, in place of pasta with some garlicky shrimp (see the recipe below). I also made this frittata for a group that came into the kitchen for a day of meetings followed by a wonderful team cooking event for dinner. All in all, a productive few weeks in the kitchen.

Recipe of the Month

I started with a simple, classic shrimp pasta recipe, where you use the shells to make a broth to enrich the sauce, and then combined it with spaghetti squash for a gluten-free but still delicious dish of Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp. Spaghetti squash is pretty bland, but it’s also fun — you scrape the cooked strands of squash from the skin with a fork, and it does look quite a bit like pasta. The other good thing is, it absorbs the sauce like crazy, creating a flavorful result. Also, if you care — a cup of spaghetti squash without the sauce has only 42 calories, and it’s quite nutrient dense, with folic acid, beta carotene, vitamin A and potassium.