Think it, feel it (sorry Nike) just “do” it, cooking of course

Ever walk through the woods and take a big breath and instantly and without trying create the evening meal or concur up a new concoction to create in the kitchen? Ever just get the feeling to make a batch of cookies or at least the dough or maybe it is a cake, a roast who know what but you just felt it come over you to make it? Cooking it is truly an amazing craft, skill, passion, art, entertainment, release, business, obsession and last but not least a necessity.   Just doing it can be easy to do, as you float through your day, week, month, year, life; but, once in a while to create, be inspired is awesome. Every time I host a cooking class, or cater a dinner party I always get the, “this is nice but I don’t have time, I work have kids. . .” so do I truth is so do many people but making a “real” meal from scratch can give you so much more then just food.  Many studies have concluded that homemade from scratch foods are healthy, and because you can actually spell and pronounce all of the ingredients you actually know what you are putting in your body. So take five and cut an onion, crack an egg or smoke a roast whatever you think of, feel like and most importantly going to do, do it with passion. 


The equation of love, food, life

If food is made from ingredients and with love and memories are loving thought of the past it makes great sense to say memories are love of food.  When is the last time you made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and did not think of your mom, grandma, dad or a childhood friend?  What makes what better? The snack to bring back a memory or the memory that the snack brought back? That might be one of the unsolvable rhymes of life but at least this unsolvable comes with a wonderful aroma, taste and hopefully a shared smile.

Get your weekend cooking juices flowing

Fall weekend menu


Smoked pheasant melt

~ Hearty wheat bread, sliced smoked pheasant, fontina cheese, caramelized onions, roasted peppers relish ~


Roasted winter squash bisque

~ Acorn, butternut and ambercup squashes blended with toasted brown rice finished with sage Chantilly cream and cumin tossed  roasted squash ~


Grilled cowboy steaks

~ Bone in rib eye beef steak with maple-balsamic marinate served with fire roasted pearl onions, roasted garlic and mushroom compote, blue cheese baked potato, and creamed hardy greens ~


Honey custard Sundae

~ Honey custard with salted pear caramel, peppered black walnuts and cayenne pear chips ~

Upcoming Places to see Chef James

Dinners with Class will be cooking it up at Riveredge Nature Center on October 5th at their Frothy Forage hope to see you all there walking through a prairie and tasting local craft beers and eating food, one word.  .  . AWESOME! 

As chef Gusteau suggests I too concur

Cook with your heart, not with your measuring cups. I wish I had a dollar for everyone who has told me “I can’t cook, well I can make some things but really cooking nope not me.” Cooking comes from the heart and a childlike sense of care free thinking and not worrying if it is not perfect. Very few things in the kitchen turn out “perfect” the first time just as in life practice makes perfect or at least more tasty. The goal for most people should be to put more of themselves into the food they make, not try to be famous chefs, it takes too many years to do that. Take a food you know and add an ingredient you love start small and see where it takes you. Bon Appétit