Free Event! Farmers’ Market: Shopping & Cooking Secrets for Spring Produce

blog post photo

Have you been trying to eat more vegetables?

Have you been intrigued by all the bounty at the farmers’ market, yet shy away from it because you don’t know how to cook and enjoy it?
Well, this photo is from Kyoto, Japan, but when I saw these vegetables at the market, I felt the same way.  I wished someone would help me how to use these unusual vegetables — something I’ve eaten and liked at the restaurants, and want to try at home too.

So… I’m hosting a free class next weekend to help you with these spring bounty at our local Farmers’ Market!

What: “Farmers’ Market:  Shopping & Cooking Secrets for Spring Produce”

When: Saturday, April 24th 2010  1-3 pm

Where: Oakland Lakeview Branch Library
550 El Embarcadero, Oakland, CA  510-238-7344

We’ll meet at the I-580 side entrance of the Oakland Lakeview Library at 1pm, stroll through different booths at the Grand Lake Farmers’ Market, and discuss different produce and cooking options until about 1:45pm. (You can eat lunch during that time. Lots of great options!)

Then back at the library at 2pm, you will learn my secrets — how to optimize what you bought for your everyday cooking so that you can create one week’s worth of many different dishes with half the time and effort while having a lot of fun!

Of course, there will be demos and sampling! The class will end around 3pm.

Depending on your schedule, you can only join the farmer’s market part or the class part.

The space is limited (esp. the library portion). My last free class at this location filled in a few hours — so please RSVP by clicking here now while there are only few — about 25% of the spots left.

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment.

Hope you can join us!

Mari

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Project Leftovers: Marzano’s Meatballs & Swiss Chard – Part 2

So you want to know what I did with the leftovers from Marzano….

On the next day, I decided to have some pizza leftover for lunch, and noticed the box of meatballs. Rather than eat it as it is by myself, and deal with my husband’s “Is this it for me?” complaint or dirty look, I decided to make it into soup. Not just one, I need another without meat for him.

So here’s what I did.

Break the bread and meatballs in bite size pieces with a folk.

Add water (or broth) to meatball, swiss chard and tomato sauce leftover.

Cook until hot and season to taste.

Voila! It’s abrondigas and bread soup. It was delicious!

Here’s the thing. I know it may not be traditional abrondigas soup, but I can name my creation with any name I want. Then all of a sudden it’s acceptable. Consider yourself as a fusion home-cook, then you too can do anything you want. It’s so much fun!  By the way, the girls who were eating next to us had a meatball pizza.  YES. Exactly the same meatballs, cut in half and topped them on pizza.  To think about it, if the tomato sauce on their pizza had the same origin as the tomato sauce in my meatballs, I won’t be surprised.

Now for the meatless version for my husband, I mixed it with roasted red pepper puree I made a few days ago to add extra flavor, and stretch it.  You saw how much leftover I had on the photo. I had to do some serious stretching.

The next post is about that.  So stay tuned…
If you haven’t subscribed to Secrets of a Kitchen Wizard via email, this is a good time to do it.  Click “Email Subscription” toward the top of the right side bar, under Foodbuzz Logo. (The first one is for my news letter, the second one is for email subscription of the blog.)  Then you’ll receive my post as soon as it’s published.

Project Leftovers: Marzano’s Meatball & Swiss Chard – Part 1

On my last post, I asked you what do you do with your leftovers, and vote.

Mine is definitely re-purpose leftover into different dishes, and sometimes eat is as it is/reheated.

Recently, my husband and I went to Marzano on College Avenue in Oakland.  They have fabulous happy hour starting from 10 pm.  We normally do not eat that late, but on that Friday, I had a meeting in San Francisco at night (without food!  ugggh!) and by the time we got back in Oakland, we were starving!   Since it was already 9:30, we decided to wait and take advantage of their happy hour.

I know no one else does that, but we tend to order way too much when we are hungry.   Their happy hour is great — $6 for various appetizers and salads and $10 for 5 kinds of fire-roasted pizza.   We presumed, “OK, the price is low, so the portion will be small.”   Plus I love varieties, so we decided to go for Fritto Misto, Grilled Sardines, Fire-roasted Meatballs and Swiss Chard, and Quatro Fromaggio Pizza with oyster mushrooms.

When we got the Fritto Misto, we were shocked. It’s HUGE!

Then Sardines.  There were three of them, and were pretty big, each about 5 – 6 inches long.

By now we were already getting full.  It’s almost 10:30!  And in the cazuela, a Spanish clay dish for tapas, my meatball comes.  Big, golf-ball size, and there are 3 of them!  The bad news is that my husband doesn’t eat read meat, so I’m responsible for all three.

Pizza was amazing, and it’s at least 12 inches!  We stuffed ourselves, but end up coming home with one half of this pizza and half of the meatball dish.

YES…  the picture you saw is actually my leftover meatballs taken the next day, because I didn’t have a camera at the restaurant.

Would you like to take a guess, what do you think I did with these leftovers?  I dropped a hint at the beginning.  I love re-purposing leftovers, so they were re-purposed.

I’ll tell you the answer on my next post.  So stay tuned!
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Invitation to my Free Class! “The Fastest Path to Healthy & Exciting Home-Made Meals!”

Happy New Year!

Is “healthy eating” one of your new year’s resolutions?

Would you like to learn how to cook healthy, tasty meals at home with half the effort and time, and with twice as much variety?

As a New Year gift to my loyal readers, I’d love to invite you to my class “The Fastest Path to Healthy & Exciting Home-cooked Meals!” next Saturday, January 16 at Oakland Public Library for free!  I will teach you my unique system of how to make a variety of healthy meals at home easier and faster while having fun!  

In this class, you’ll learn the first, most critical step — how to keep an efficient, flexible pantry.  After completing this step, you will be able to whip up lots of dishes and end your dinner dilemmas forever!

  1. What to keep on hand & what to shop for
  2. How to mix and match ingredients for maximum flexibility and efficiency
  3. Demo of several easy dishes – with samples for tasting!
  • When?:  January 16 (Saturday), 2010   From 11:30am to12:30pm                  
    • Optional free trip to Trader Joes (12:30 – 1:30pm) to help you get a head start
  • Where?: Oakland Public Library Lakeview Branch: 550 El Embarcadero, Oakland, CA 94610    510-238-7344     
  • Questions?:  Leave me a comment!

This event is popular and expected to sell out!  Come early – seats are first come, first served (or bring a portable chair just in case).  The class starts promptly at 11:30am.

*Space is limited to first 40! Save your spot NOW and get FREE printable shopping list by signing up from Class Tab on top.

* Parking: If possible, carpool or take public transportation.  Parking could be challenging. There are a parking under 580 (right next to the farmer’s market), metered parking along main streets such as Grand, Lake Shore etc., and free street parking on side streets.

 Look forward to seeing you in person next Saturday!