After many blah feelings I finally got to escape to the West coast. I needed a moment to recharge and experience some California sun. I definitely got a weeks worth of relaxation. One of the highlights of my trip was a cooking class I took with my dear aunt. I had the lovely opportunity to meet and take a class with Chef Linda Steidel who taught a class on cooking with farmer’s market fresh ingredients.
I was amazed at the difference in the flavor of a dish using farmer’s market fresh vegetables and herbs. A dish feels healthier, more wholesome and flavorful with the use of fresh organic ingredients. Though many frown upon organic products because of their price, you really cannot compare how better you feel after eating something that fabulous. Linda Steidel composed a lovely three course meal incorporating farm fresh delights. The first course was spaghettini with fresh basil pesto tossed with wild arugula, shaved pecorino romano cheese served delicately with a balsamic roasted roma tomato.
The second course was a roasted beet salad with mixed spicy greens, feta cheese, pistachios in an orange tarragon vinaigrette. I know, beets sound a bit weird but trust me, if you have them roasted (roast for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil and salt & pepper to taste) you will be amazed. I wish I had more of the candied beets on my plate (not as sweet in flavor but have a pink and white swirl design appealing to the eye) since they were just incredibly juicy and balanced the dish.
For dessert, I was a little iffy. I’m not incredibly fond of carrot cake and Chef Steidel made spiced carrot cupcakes with an orange glaze served with candied carrot curls. The carrot curls were unnecessary as it seemed she overcooked them and they tasted rather grainy. The cake itself was incredibly moist and pleasant. I was impressed with the freshness, the moisture and the taste of the cupcake.
At the end of the meal I felt completely satisfied, not overly stuffed or overpowered by the individual course. I hate that feeling of overindulgence when it’s just bloating and near to exploding.
I have to admit I ate incredibly well, light and healthy in California (more so than usual).
Pictures of my California indulgences to follow.
Peace, love and No beef!