I’m guessing you all noticed that summer finally arrived and so did the desire NOT to cook anything. Here are a few recipes to help you navigate through this heat wave, some recipes are no cooking at all but there are a couple using an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker and a Slow Cooker. So, break out those appliances that are probably stashed away somewhere.
Order your produce today from ….
Sat, April 18th
California Greek Girl
Mountain Meadow Mushroom Farm, Escondido
Do you know how mushrooms grow? You’ll learn everything about mushrooms that you need to know! Did you know that mushrooms are a nutrient dense food? Good for you!
Next we’ll head over to
North County Olive Oil Co. and meet Sue Rober at her Sunshine Gardens location where we will taste and experience their True California Olive Oils with style.
Their vision is to share with you their experience in the California olive oil industry. They have selected a portfolio of top producers who make both extra virgin olive oils and vinegars from California olives and grapes. They represent a variety of regions which offer unique styles from many varietals and cultivars of local California olives. We look for producers that promote sustainable practices in the grove and throughout their day to day practices.
Our Olive Oil Tastings offer a unique experience created around a variety of artisan producers of California extra virgin oil, wine and specialty artisan products.
A cooking demo & lunch will be served by
Chef Debbi & Chef Mary
Cheese Platter with Seasonal Vegetables & Fruit
Winter Salad with Pixie Tangerines
Road Home Brownies
One glass of wine will be served with lunch.
Lemonade & Spring Water will be available.
Don’t miss the great swag bags that you’ll get to take home!
We encourage car pooling, need a ride or want to provide a ride?
Get in touch with Chef Debbi here
Now taking reservations
Sponsored by Melissa’s Produce
How to Build a Cheese or Charcuterie Board
- Start by choosing ingredients
- Choose cheese first – Use a mixture of cow, goat, sheep milk. Choose a hard cheese (Cave Aged Gruyere, Aged Gouda), a soft cheese (chèvre, brie, burrata) and maybe a crumbly cheese (blue, Parmigiana Reggiano). You want a variety of flavors and choose an odd number of cheese as it is more pleasing to the eye.
- Serve approximately 2 – 4 oz. of cheese per person. If it needs to be sliced, do so while it’s cold. Let all cheese come to room temperature before serving.
- Some of my favorite cheese mixes are:
- Havarti, Aged Gouda, Aged Blue Cheese
- Sharp Cheddar, Creamy Chèvre, Parmigiana Reggiano
- Feta, Burrata, Gorgonzola or Fresh Blue Cheese (Pt. Reyes Blue)
- Camembert or Brie, Drunken Goat (or Wine Infused hard cheese)
- Bocconcini with herbed olive oil drizzle, Boursin, Manchego
- Cave Aged Gruyere, Fontina, San Andreas
- Next choose some charcuterie and pâtés, if serving.
- Again serve 2-4 oz. per person and slice the meat/sausage while cold and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
- Some selections might be:
- Choose a variety of hard salami, soft meat such as prosciutto or Jambon Iberico, some smoked sausage, kielbasa, soppresseta, Serrano ham and a selection of pate and/or rillettes. Pair the flavor of the meat (soft to intensive) to the flavor of the cheese (soft to intensive).
- Next choose a serving board, plate or platter that will accommodate your above choices. Remember you’re going to be adding more ingredients. You could choose a rectangular serving platter, cutting board, slate tile, pizza wheel or the like.
- Additions to the meat and cheese might be:
- A selection of jams or preserves such as fig, peach or other fruit jam, or chutneys and honey.
- Grainy or stoned mustard, olive spread, bean dips and antipasto spreads such as muffuletta.
- Next something briny, caper berries, cornichon pickles, pickled vegetables such as a mixed Giardiniera or caponata.
- Add some salty components, roasted nuts, Marcona almonds or toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Crackers, bread sticks, toasted baguette slices, pita bread or pretzels.
- Dried Fruit are great especially for a winter board, apricots, figs, cranberries or raisins.
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables pair well with most meat and cheese, grapes, fresh apricots, apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots, pea pods any kind of berry, artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms and roasted red peppers.
- Herbs and Edible flowers are a nice addition and brighten up the board as well. Make sure that none have been sprayed with pesticides. Use a variety in season, pansies, chive, sage or nasturtium blossoms. Lavender, borage blossoms (taste faintly of cucumber), dill, cornflowers, Johnny jump ups, bee balm and zucchini blossoms.
Try serving some of the jams, preserves, mustard, spreads or chutneys in small bowls. Anything that has a brine or is juicy should also go into a bowl such as olives and pickled vegetables. This will also give some height to the board, serve breadsticks in a jar or glass as well.
Serve each cheese and meat with its own cheese fork or utensil and picks for the olives or vegetables, spoons, cheese knives and mini tongs for the meat.
Try arranging the board where it will be served so as not to knock anything off while you are moving it. Make ahead and cover with a tea towel to keep out any pests.
Food Crafting with Chef Debbi
& Debs Kitchen
Saturday, Oct 12th
10:00 am– 12:30
Children* ages 10-14 $35.00
*Children must be accompanied by an adult.
By reservation only
Click below for reservations or call or email
562-431-3541 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Reservations close Mon. Oct 7th
Enjoy a fun-filled autumn morning with family at the beautiful
Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch & Gardens.
Learn together to make (& take)
Gifts from the Garden.
For the adults to make and take:
Herbal Salt Tin
Meyer Lemon Infused Olive Oil
Peppermint-Lavender Room Spray
Holiday Stovetop Potpourri
For the Kids to make and take:
Peppermint Biscotti in a Jar
Strawberry Mint Mojito Mocktail
A seasonal salad will be served with a
Cranberry-Lemon Vinaigrette prepared by Chef Debbi.
Special thanks to Melissa’s Produce for donating event supplies.
Chef Debbi returns to the Rancho! We’ve been waiting a long time to bring our classes back to Rancho los Alamitos. We’ve schedule our first class for Sat. June 8th, we’re going to pickle!
Saturday, June 8, 2019
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
$75 Future member/ $65 per RLA member
Advance Reservations Required, Reservations close 5/27/19
Join us at Rancho Los Alamitos for a hands-on class on the basics of pickling and fermenting vegetables from your garden or the farmers’ market. In this class, you will make two kinds of pickled vegetables and a jar of sauerkraut. (If you think that you don’t like sauerkraut, wait until you try your own!) This is a refrigerator-style pickling where no water bath canning is necessary. Chef Debbi will demonstrate techniques, discuss food safety and the basics of canning pickles in brine. Each participant will prepare and take home three jars of their very own preserved produce.
The class is suitable for adults and interested teens. Reservations are required. Parking is limited at Rancho Los Alamitos, so car-pooling is encouraged and appreciated.
There’s almost nothing better in spring than fresh strawberries (except for maybe asparagus, artichokes and morel mushrooms!
Look for strawberries that are red all the way to the top, those will be tasty, ripe strawberries. Pick organic if possible as strawberries are the number one fruit on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list to retain pesticides. Pesticides do not wash off, ever. Besides the pesticide residue left on the fruit, the ground is prepared by pumping fumigants into it to sterilize the soil, killing every living creature that lives in the soil. You can read more on EWG’s website.
To prepare your strawberries, do not wash until you are ready to use or eat them. Water is their enemy. I like to slice them up and add a little sugar, macerate or squash them down a little and let them sit for awhile while the flavor develops. I sometimes will add a little Grand Marnier to the mix for an added dose of flavor. Spread them on a biscuit, slice of angel food cake, over ice cream or just eat them out of a bowl. Enjoy your strawberries while the sun is shining. Here’s a little individual cheesecake recipe for you to enjoy.
Get a preview of Chef Debbi’s upcoming NEW book!
A Little Book of Cheese
Cooking Demo at Temecula Olive Oil Co. Seal Beach
Thur. Jan 31, 6:30 – 8:30, approximately
Small Cheese Tasting
Smoked Gouda and Red Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwich Bites
Fried Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives
Italian Stuffed Shells with Broccoli and Pine Nuts
Brie Puff Pastry Pockets
1 cup mixed olives
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs, ground
1 wedge triple cream brie
1 small jar of fig jam or fruit spread
8 ounces aged Gouda
8 ounces aged sharp cheddar, thinly sliced
1 baguette, sliced 1-inch thick
1 round of boursin, any flavor
2 packages of interesting looking crackers
1 wedge blue cheese, partially crumbled
1 small jar of honey
1 package mixed Italian meats
1 small bunch red seedless grapes
4 ounces nuts, mixed or single
1 package, 4 oz. of dried apricots
2 apples, cored and sliced tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning
Mix together olives, olive oil and ground Italian herbs, let rest for at least an hour or longer.
Don’t crowd the cheese on the platter, make the board big enough to accommodate all ingredients.
Put the mixed olives in a small bowl and place on the platter.
Place the triple cream brie on the platter and arrange the fig or fruit spread next to the brie.
Place the sharp cheddar and gouda on the board next with the baguette slices nearby.
Then arrange the boursin near the baguette slices with the crackers next.
Add the blue cheese and honey on the board filling out the outer edges of the board. Tuck in the Italian meats all around the board, add the grapes in clumps and spread the nuts throughout the board with little pockets of dried fruit. Place the apples near the cheddar cheese.