Food as a Social Lubricant

Hey everybody!  I can’t believe we haven’t posted in a week.  We are quite disappointed in ourselves and will not let that happen without good reason.  In the last week I have been hired on as a consultant for a public school district, had one of my favorite cooking demos so far, and catered a party with some interesting challenges.  Amy had a really neat craft day with our friend and all the kids and was working on another upcycle project when the sewing started acting up.  Hopefully, we can get that back up by Valentine’s day.  I will try to get her to share the kid’s projects, also.

I am really excited about the job with the school district.  I will be working with people who have a real passion for fixing a broken system.  I will be helping bring fresh, locally grown products and a healthier menu to our kids.  I anticipate this will be quite the journey and intend on starting another blog focused solely on my adventures in lunch lady  land.  farley lunch lady

I conducted a private cooking demo at Cook’s Corner on Friday as part of a birthday party/gift.  The group was a blast!  We did chicken marsala with fresh made pasta, a simple salad with citrus juice and olive oil, and personal tiramisu.  I believe everyone was quite happy with the finished products and fun getting there.  The recipes are as follows.


  • 3.5 cups flour
  • 4 eggs

Simply mound the flour on your workspace and make a crater in the center for the eggs.  Crack the eggs into your well and beat them with a fork while incorporating the inner edge flour.  When about half the flour has been worked into the eggs, dig in with your fingers and knead the dough working in the remaining flour.   Knead for a 2-3 more minutes make into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.  Let the dough sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.  Work with your pasta maker according to instructions and voila!  I will try to make a video of this process and post it in the coming weeks.


  • 8 egg yolks
  •  4 tablespoons sugar
  •  1.5 pound mascarpone cheese1 T instant coffee
  • 1  cup strong espresso, cooled
  • 1/8 cup dark rum
  • 24 packaged ladyfingers (or vanilla wafers)
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

Beat egg yolks and sugar with the whisk attachment until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and instant coffee and beat until smooth.

In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and rum. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfingers in a personal trifle dish or martini glass and place mascarpone  mixture over the top.  Break cookies to set dessert up in layers  like a parfait.  Let sit in cooler for 1-6 hours, garnish with chocolate chips or shavings and enjoy.

Chicken Marsala
For one serving
  • 1 6oz chicken breast
  • half of a small shallot, finely diced
  • about a cup of chopped mushroom any type or blend
  • 1 cup of flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 T hvy cream
  • 1 T marsala
  • serving of pasta cooked
Place the chicken on a stable surface lined with plastic wrap and place another piece over the chicken and whack the chicken until it has a consistent thickness.
Heavily season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken in it.
Heat a saute pan over med-high heat with 1 T or so of blended or canola oil.  When the oil is hot, carefully place the chicken breast in it and saute on both sides until cooked through.  Remove from the pan and keep warm.  Add more oil to the pan if needed and saute the shallots and mushrooms until soft, deglaze the hot pan with marsala and reduce by half.  Add cream and reduce by half again or until thick.  Season with salt and pepper.  Return chicken to pan to heat back up, if needed and arrange over pasta.  Garnish with asiago cheese.
Super easy dinner for a few guests and makes you look like you know your way around a kitchen!
With that, I would like to say if there are any questions out there, ever, feel free to email or post a question.  I will be happy to answer them to the best of my ability.  I do have 3 public classes coming up at Cook’s Corner go to to sign up.  There is one about sushi, one regarding sautes and stir fries, and another one on salad and coleslaw (I love crazy slaws!).  I am also available for private classes, catering, in-home lessons, and consulting.  Hope to see you all at an event some thyme soon!  Thanks for hanging around!

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