The Honest Plate Cooking Class

The other night I had the joy of teaching a cooking class to a group of fabulous ladies. We created a delicious menu full of healthy summer appetizers paired with Matthews wine, my absolute favorite winery (www.matthewswinery.com).  Through the chatting, laughing and wine drinking we managed to pull together a menu of…

-Gazpacho Shooters with Prawns and Basil Oil.

-Chicken, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Avocado Cilantro Crème.

-Crostini with Homemade Ricotta, Peaches, Honey and Basil.

-Dairy Free Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Decedent Raw Foods Brownie.

-Spinach and Arugula Salad with Blackberries, Walnuts, Pears and Blue Cheese tossed in  Lemon Vinaigrette.

Since the cooking class, the crostini with ricotta, peaches, honey and basil has consumed my mind. If you have ever wondered what heaven tastes like, this is it.  Homemade ricotta is creamy, clean tasting, a bit salty and every bit perfect. It is also suuuuuper simple to make.  Honestly, it is as easy as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The moment you pull out this appetizer your guest are going to think you swapped identities with Giada De Larentiis. Don’t worry, the simplicity of homemade ricotta will be our little secret 😉

I will be posting the other recipes from the cooking class this weekend. Just like the Ricotta Crostini, they are guaranteed to be yumzo.

INGREDIENT                                                                                                                                                                                              SPOTLIGHT                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Raw Local Honey   

I am a big fan (and user) of local raw honey.   As cute as that little plastic honey bear bottle is, it lacks key nutrients found in raw honey. How is this possible? When honey is heated and pasteurized it loses many of it’s vitamins, minerals, enymes and powerful anti-oxidants. It has been said raw honey can cure the world of all aliments. I am not 100% sure it can cure the world of every single disease, but I do know it can aid in digestion, treat ulcers, cure a cold, reduce stress, balance blood sugar, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain and eliminate allergies. Local honey is especially important when it comes to eliminating allergies. It contains local pollen, which helps the body build a tolerance to seasonal allergies. While we are on the subject of bees…go ahead and run from them but don’t squash, swat or kill them.  They make our world go round. Stay tuned for more on that subject.

Needed materials- unbleached cheesecloth

[recipe]

 

Gazpacho Shooters with Basil Oil and Prawn. Paired with Matthews Chardonnay.
Gazpacho and Prawn Shooter garnished with Basil Oil. Paired with Matthews Chardonnay.

 

Ricotta, Peach, Honey and Basil Crostini
Ricotta, Peach, Honey and Basil Crostini
Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Decadent Raw Food Brownie. Paired with Mathews Table Red Wine
Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Decadent Raw Food Brownie. Paired with Mathews Black Board Red Wine.

 

 

Chicken, Black Bean, Avocado Toastadas with Avocado Cilantro Crème. Paired with Matthews Claret.
Chicken, Black Bean, Avocado Toastadas with Avocado Cilantro Crème. Paired with Matthews Claret.
Spinach, Arugula, Blackberry, Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad tossed in Lemon Vinaigrette.
Spinach, Arugula, Blackberry, Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad tossed in Lemon Vinaigrette.

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