I find myself rushing things along so eager for Spring, but then simultaneously wondering how this winter flew by with lightning speed. Call me nostalgic, but I think of all the winter foods I intended to make, and some I’ve forgotten to add into ...

KU Basketball & Fettuccine Alfredo and more...


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I find myself rushing things along so eager for Spring, but then simultaneously wondering how this winter flew by with lightning speed. Call me nostalgic, but I think of all the winter foods I intended to make, and some I’ve forgotten to add into rotation. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo is one. With the NCAA tournament excitement in town this week – it’s hard to think of much else. Maybe you’re attending a game and need to feed your family before a big game, or maybe you’re hosting a watch party. This week’s recipe is a quick, economical way to feed a crowd.

Soon enough we’ll be eating fresh veggies from the farmer’s market and not thinking a thing about heavier winter foods. We technically have one more week of official winter, let’s enjoy one last heavy meal together. I love a bowl of warm pasta as much as the next person, maybe even more since it’s a forbidden fruit for me. I have to get my pasta made from quinoa or garbanzo beans.

This week feels like yet another vacation with friends and family coming to stay at Hotel Rathbun. A cousin from Austin came in to enjoy a bit of family time for a few nights, and a friend from St. Louis is coming to hang, cook and be merry. The St. Louis friend is bringing her Greek dad along, so perhaps I’ll have an incredible Greek recipe to share next week. Has me daydreaming of the Greek islands, and the next vacation. No, my life isn’t all vacations, but one has to daydream to keep going, am I right?

Back to all these basketball games. Makes me so excited for so many reasons – so many people traveling here to watch the games, discovering how awesome this city we proudly call home really is and the jolt to our local businesses. I’ve always beamed with Wichita pride, but it seems in the past 5 years or so, we have so much more to be proud of – the arts have exploded here, more craft-style restaurants and coffee shops everywhere.

If you’re here for the tourney, I suggest you don’t miss these fine places: Old Mill Tasty Shop for proximity to the Arena and for killer green chili and chicken salad; Espresso To Go Go for an Iced VietAmericano; Little Lion Ice Cream for a scoop or two of one of their delicious frozen delicacies or irresistible waffles; Reverie for a hearty breakfast of Bangers & Mash and a Salted Caramel Latte to sip; of course a brew at Central Standard Brewery is always a good idea, too; and grab a taco or three at District Taqueria. These are just a few of some of my favorite local casual spots, and most of them are within walking distance of the Arena. Cheers to all the Kansas basketball teams – I’ll be cheering them all on, but yelling a bit louder for my Jayhawks than the others. Happy March Madness, all, and if you don’t have time for Chicken Alfredo this week, clip it for another one. It’s simple, only takes a few ingredients you likely already have and warms you right up.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
Garlic salt
Black pepper
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
1 cup heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound fettuccine
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Method
Season chicken with garlic salt and pepper, to liking. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter, then add chicken strips in batches if necessary, flipping until both sides are golden brown and chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile in a separate pot, simmer garlic cloves in cream for 10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and combine cream into a pan with chicken, removing garlic cloves. Stir in butter pieces, salt and Parmesan. Cook until melted.

In another pot, cook fettucine according to package instructions. Mix pasta and chicken alfredo together. Serve with Parmesan & a sprinkling of parsley.

*Photo credit: TheDaringGourmet.com

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PieLet’s bake pies, my friends. This fall has whizzed by with an extreme vengeance. Even though this year has been extra busy, I will not let go of the Great Pie Class tradition in November. It’s a bit earlier this year, but not to worry, I’ll teach you how to tray freeze your pies. Plus you’ll be so ahead of the game, you’ll feel like you’ve got Thanksgiving down. Always feels so good to be a bit ahead of the holiday madness. As much as I love every minute of it, it is sort of madness.

So RSVP quickly, this class always sells out. And if you have some friends and want a private pie class, I’ll consider doing that, too. Cause, it’s one of my passions – teaching the lost art of a beautiful, delicious pie. And I might just surprise you with another class before the end of the year. We’ll see. Cheers to a beautiful holiday season!

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Well friends, a lot of the year has slipped through my fingertips, and I’m missing you people, the chatter in the kitchen and the fun we have together. It’s that nostalgic time of year to dust off the holiday traditions and one of my absolute favorites is teaching Pie Class. Because somewhere along the the way, a lot of people have lost the fine art of a from-scratch pie made lovingly by their own hands – for their loved ones or for themselves. 😉

And to be honest, after last week’s Presidential election, I need some good ol’ pie-making therapy, too. I promise not to bring up politics at Pie Class. I’ll do my best to just work it all out in the dough.

You’ll see there’s a Pie Class open to all THIS Saturday, November 19th at 1 p.m. If you want to attend Saturday’s class, please call 316-990-4493 ASAP with your reservation – number of pie(s), what kind and if you would like to make any extra crusts.

The two other Pie Classes listed are private. Don’t mean to be exclusionary here, however, if ya fill a class, you, too, can have a private one. I’d dance with the thought of maybe one more class in December. And if nobody wants another Pie Class, maybe I’ll get wild and do a Holiday Appetizer class.

I’ve taught here and there over the past 6 months with just one-off classes. Life has gotten in the way and the sitting down and planning gets pushed off. In January, I’ll have classes 2 – 3 times per month. Scaling back a bit from my old schedule of more. My food styling business is going well and those jobs keep me hopping. And I’m still making space for that cookbook I keep referencing.

Whether I see you or not before this Holiday Season, I wish you the best!

Photo Credit: Gavin Peters

Pie Bakin’ by yours truly

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Hope everyone had a great summer. I cannot believe it’s the middle of September. I’ve missed your pretty faces in my kitchen. It’s been pretty quiet in the kitchen at least, other than food styling jobs.

If you’re interested in making super delicious, healthy snacks – you cannot miss this class. Heather is uber-talented at making food taste amazing and always being sure it’s very healthy. Love that about her! Class is on September 20th at 6:15 p.m. and it’s $30.

More Fall classes coming soon!

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Starting from scratch? Don’t know how to cook at all or just a bit rusty on your skills? Over the years, I’ve had requests for a Cooking 101 series. I decided to give it a go! I’m really looking forward to spending in-depth time with the people that sign up for this series, helping them along the way and watching their kitchen skills & confidence grow.

Cooking 101 6-week Series: Tuesday evenings from May 3rd – June 7th
Come learn:
– How to build a kitchen with necessary equipment & tools
– Safe knife skills & how to sharpen knifes
– How to properly cook: eggs, vegetables, pasta, rice, grains, beans, meat, poultry, seafood, grilling, stocks and soups, salads, quick breads, yeast breads & pizzas, cookies, fruit desserts, pies and custards.

The fee for this class will be $450 with class limited to 6 people and text book included. If you are interested, please contact me at 990-4493. Several spots have already sold, and I’m hoping to wrap up enrollment for this soon.

 

Photo credit: Gavin Peters http://www.gavinpeters.com

Food styling: Me

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