Another Cooking Class – At Our House!

Saturday brought about Cooking Class #2 – entitled “Simple Summer Salads”. Since it was over 90 degrees out, the thought of preparing a nice, cool, summer dish was very enticing. So here’s what Linda, Maggie, and I dished about:

Started off by making a simple Insalata Caprese – sliced mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil from our patio garden, topped with olive oil, and a small drizzle of balsamic cream. Devoured prior to picture-taking (sorry!) so on to the next one….

Next, we created a Cucumber Salad from Fructose Free Me’s blog recipe. Simple, unique twist on the ingredients. Let it “rest” while we made the next creation…..when we came back to try it, the cucumbers had released their liquid, the saltiness of the peanuts were now throughout the dish, and we were all surprised at how much we enjoyed the unique flavors in the salad.


Hector's Waldorf Salad

Hector’s Waldorf Salad

 Hector’s Waldorf Salad, from Talking About Food Again’s blog recipe. Liked this one, and we all decided we would customize it to our individual tastes: add rotisserie chicken, toss in grape halves, maybe use Granny Smith apples for more tartness, add some lemon zest with the lemon juice.  Next, we took our salad and rolled it in a whole wheat tortilla shell with spinach leaves. Yum! On to more!


Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Vegetables

Summer Farro Salad consists of cooked farro, chopped roasted veggies (thanks to Hubby for his grill expertise!), lemon juice and zest, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Tear some fresh basil and add that to the bowl. Stir all to combine. (No real recipe, just flavors we all liked).  Stir in some balsamic vinegar. Top with small chunks of pecorino cheese. Delightful! This is a simple salad that can be served warm, room temp, or leftover cold from the ‘fridge.

Finally, the white wine was opened (we needed it for the Penne with Grilled Fennel, Blue Cheese, and Sage….) and since it was opened, we each enjoyed a cold glass. Ahhh….now for the dish.

Cook The Sauce.....

Cook The Sauce….


Cook the penne according to the box (we used whole wheat). Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water. Preheat a medium size skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil, one or two cloves of minced fresh garlic, and the sliced grilled fennel. Stir to coat with oil, and cook 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and fennel warmed.

Add a splash of white wine (see, told you it’s in the dish), some crumbled blue cheese, 8-10 fresh sage leaves, and a splash of half & half or cream (we used milk and a 1/2 tsp of butter instead). Season with white pepper and a tiny pinch of salt. Once the sage infuses into the sauce, add the cooked pasta to the pan. Turn heat to low. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water and a little more blue cheese. Stir to coat pasta.

Penne with Fennel, Blue Cheese, and Sage

Penne with Fennel, Blue Cheese, and Sage

Plate the dish, sprinkle crumbled blue cheese on top, and place a sage leaf on each serving. Then, enjoy with your glass of white wine.

Too full for dessert, we dismissed class, shared notes and tips, and said “good-bye” until July 14th, when we will enjoy the next Cooking Class featuring “Desserts – Healthy, Easy, Oh So Good For You”.

(P.S. – If you live in the Alpharetta / Roswell / No. Fulton area of Atlanta, and have an interest in attending any classes, simply send me a comment on the blog post. I’ll email info to you. Thanks!)


About Our Kitchen Inventions

Inspired by travels to Italy, cooking with fresh ingredients, sharing our Kitchen Inventions dinners with friends, and enjoying good wine. Photography and cooking are the main focus for our site. Please stop by Wade's website to enjoy more of his works of photography.
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15 Responses to Another Cooking Class – At Our House!

  1. Kellie M. says:

    I love your blog!! I am excited to try some of these recipes! I would like the details (again) on your upcoming class (since my husband accidentally threw out the flyer!).


  2. Gabriella says:

    The penne looks fantastic! My boyfriend makes killer rigatoni in a Gorgonzola cream sauce, and I’ve been planning on giving his recipe a go, but this looks too good to ignore.. Will have to try!


  3. Sounds like tons of fun and the food looks delish!


  4. My husband and I are taking a cooking class tonight with two other couples! I seriously can’t wait!


  5. Jodie says:

    Thanks for your nice comment on my scones post. Glad to discover your blog too… the summer farro salad looks delicious, and I would definitely love to attend one of your cooking classes if I’m ever in the area!


  6. I like the variation on the Waldorf Salad. I’ll have to try it. the other salads look delicious too.


  7. That pasta looks just about perfect – yum! Sounds like a wonderful class. 🙂


  8. Debra Kolkka says:

    I would join you if I lived nearby.


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