Tag Archives: cooking class

The Whole Shebang

The other week was one of my busiest in a long time! I pulled off 2 catering jobs including a 70-person family-style dinner party; 1 cooking class at Inver Grove Heights Community Center; 1 private cooking lesson; and a salad demo at Kingfield Farmers’ Market.

They were all great, but I do really enjoy the chance to interact with people in the smaller settings. So spread the word about my cooking lessons!

There’s no better way to learn and improve cooking skills than a hands-on session in your own home. Just a few tips on knives will have you saying, “ahh, now I get it”.  3 hours of chopping, talking and tasting will reinvigorate your approach!

You can invite up to 3 other people. And, we focus on what you want to learn, whether it’s basic skills, more whole foods, or ideas for going gluten- or dairy-free. I bring fresh veggies & ingredients to your kitchen (and my knife sharperner).

The whole shebang — 4 people, 3 hours, and a meal for 6-8 afterwords — is only $160.00. What a deal!

Don’t just take my word for it:

Tracy’s class was extremely informational. She offered a range of advice that was extremely helpful including health-related information and recommended kitchen tools. It was fun! I’ve been using and experimenting with the recipes to make up my own salads and slaws and it’s really yummy! With each bite you get so many different flavors. ~~ Tammy

I’ve been using the methods Tracy taught us during the cooking class. I never knew you could economize ingredients and use them for so many different dishes. Tracy taught us about new ingredients I’ve never tried or heard about, and since her class I’ve been purchasing and cooking with some of these new ingredients.  It’s delicious and it’s healthy!! Tracy was so cool, and I loved the food was great! It’s awesome that Tracy gave each of us a chef’s knife and taught us how to use different knives for different cutting and dicing techniques. ~~ Lee

I would like to recommend Tracy KS Yue’s cooking lessons as a terrific gift for that hard-to-buy-for relative. She did a fabulous private cooking tutorial on healthy, seasonally appropriate, locavore and DELICIOUS cooking for my husband and his Dad for Father’s Day. Thank you, Tracy! It was great fun for everyone and the food was EXCELLENT!! ~~ Susan


Crocus but not Asparagus

Okay, Okay, spring is here. I have stopped resisting it. Unfortunately, that does not mean spring vegetables are here in Zone 4, despite how it feels like they should. Besides, as my clients know, I do not include ‘spring’ veggies in DDoW menus until they are more abundant (and cheaper) at local farmers’  markets. Perhaps May will be the new June? For the time being, we’re relegated to eating veggies from far away, and you’ll still see ‘winter’ veg in DDoW menus.
Catering clients, on the other hand, will see more “springy” food choices from me. Why? Because in smaller quantities these more expensive ingredients are feasible. Speaking of catering, I am getting spring & summer bookings for fundraisers and parties (graduations, showers, weddings, anniversaries et al). If you’re thinking of hosting a gathering and would like to explore the possibility of having it catered, do contact me!  I do partial and full catering. Just think of how nice it would be if you didn’t have to spend 2 days shopping, prepping, and dealing with the aftermath!
This photo shows a lovely dinner I catered last year. FYI, I am working on a new Catering page (finally) with sample menus and service descriptions. But in the meantime, just email me.
Meal of braised chicken with peppers & capers, brown rice, beet lentil salad

A flavor-filled dinner: tossed salad with carrot/jicama/radish/grapefruit, braised chicken in capers peppers & wine, brown & wild rice, roast beet & lentil salad in balsamic vinagrette; and lemon poppyseed pound cake with strawberries.

Alert: DDoW is taking spring break the first week of April.  No deliveries. 

Firecracker Slaw: the prettiest slaw you've EVER seen!

Other Events & News: 
  • In my “Aunty Oxidant” cabbage hat, I handed out lots of “Firecracker Slaw Shooters” (beets & carrots in smoky chipotle vinaigrette) this past Thu at the League of Women Voters’ Healthy Legacy Forum “Growing Our Local Food Economy”, and met lots of cool folks. As usual, mine was the only superfood on the plate but that’s partly because I bypassed the ‘finger-food’ suggestion and made a salad instead. Hence, the ‘slaw shooters’ in little sample cups. 


  • This week I’m teaching a class for residents of Next Step Housing, run by Ascension Place transitional housing for women based in North Mpls. We’ll make easy healthful foods that stretch the budget!
  • For Earth Day I’ll be heading a team of volunteer sous-chefs to make lots of fresh healthful chopped salads for an event titled “Harvesting Justice”, which will focus on the links between our food economy and immigration i.e. migrant workers. 
For more newsflashes about my catering, teaching & demo activities plus food/ nutrition/ sustainability issues & opinions, check out www.facebook.com/pages/One-Dish-at-A-Time/ or follow me on Twitter @onedishatatime. I don’t tweet often so rest assured. :^)

Cooking Classes at The Grove: Kale. It’s What’s for Dinner.

I will be offering a couple more cooking classes this winter at Inver Grove Hts Community Center (south east suburb). I taught some this past fall (see previous posts from Oct). We’re going to be focusing on Kale and possibly Quinoa. I’m always advocating for the leafy green veggies like kale, collard greens, turnip green, beet greens, et al. Check out my Delivered Dish of the Week menu archives: I’ve served up dozens of dishes with these greens this past year, and more are coming!

Clockwise from top: "Dino" Lacinato kale, collard greens, turnip greens, red radishes in center. Photo by Brad Dahlgaard 2009.

These sturdy greens, many in the cabbage (cruciferous) family, are much more nutritious than salad greens, which are mostly water. There’s so much you can do to incorporate these versatile and super-nutritious greens into easy dishes & soups, and, to enjoy all by themselves.

For instance, see my recipe for Super Green Split Pea Soup (scroll down a few entries). Another really nice one is Kale & Yam pureed soup which I got from the “Love Soup” cookbook and made for DDoW clients in November.

I love to pair kale/collards with yam aka sweet potatoes — the sweetness and starch of yam complements the greens. And, you get 2 superfoods in one dish. The upcoming Mafe Stew for DDoW is a good example.

The cooking class students will make 4 different Kale dishes in one session, such as raw in salad, braised with beans, and also baked kale ‘chips’. Kale is also used in fruit & veg smoothies, and no, they don’t taste like pureed salad!

The Grove has a big community room with a kitchen, mostly used by IGH’s senior center programs. The downside is this kitchen lacks a stove!  It does have an oven. I’ll be bringing a large electric wok and probably a hot plate to cook the kale.

Men with Knives

Tracy's cooking class w/ 8 men

My cooking class always starts with knife how-tos. Tools make the wo/man.

As all my good friends know, a top pet peeve is dull knives, quickly followed by bad knives.

Oh, you people who do not sharpen ie maintain a $30 tool that you use everyday!!  You drive me crazy!

Upon my asking, one of these very nice gentlemen pictured here said he sharpened regularly, oh, once a month at least.  Umm, dude. I mean, c’mon, that would be like me not bothering to get a car tune-up for 3 years, despite driving every single day. You’d NEVER do that, would you?  So?

Essential tools are  10″ or 12″  chef’s knives, a Santoku slicer, a couple long skinny sharp (I said sharp) paring knives. A basic dishwasher-safe chef’s knife at the restaurant supply store is less than $20; these are very light and comfortable. You can get a Wusthof wanna-be at Target for $30.  Many people buy a nice $40+ knife and then NEVER SHARPEN it. And they wonder why they don’t cook more often.

You do NOT need a knife block set, which takes up precious counter space and includes useless pieces like those terrible cylindrical ‘sharpeners’ and dull, hurt-your-hand bread knives.  The restaurant supply store has much better ones and for less.

A Chinese cleaver is very useful if you cut up a lot of meat and chickens for BBQ, for instance, or, a lot of hard winter squash.

OK, I’m done. For today.