Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cooking classes make the perfect gift!

Cooking classes make a unique gift for everyone on your list.

We offer gift certificates in any denomination. They are good for all of our cooking classes and tasting events.

TO PURCHASE: Stop by our store in Dulles Town Center Mall, or call us at (703) 433.1909 to place your order over the phone. We'll mail the gift certificate to you (or the gift recipient) the next day. Gift cards are redeemable up to one year from the date of purchase.

Classes are being added daily!

Questions? E-mail us.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Get to Know Chef Katie Reineberg!

Chef Katie Reineberg is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, where she earned dual degrees in both Culinary Arts and Nutrition Sciences. At J&W she served as a student instructor for the Chef's Choice program, assisting professors in recreational cooking classes for adults and children. Katie is a member of the American Dietetic Association, and was involved with Kids First RI on Team Nutrition Project, an initiative to provide healthier meals in public schools and promote nutrition education to kids of all ages. Katie has experience working in multiple areas of the food service industry, including catering, restaurants (in Great Falls and Charlotte, NC), hotels (Landsdowne Resort), as well as product research and development for Infinite Herbs in Boston.

from Northern Virginia, she's thrilled to be back in the area to join the Cookology team as a Chef Instructor. Growing up, Katie always loved to cook, but it wasn't until she took a nutrition course in college that she considered making food her life. Her true passion lies in spreading the message of healthy eating. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie, her goal is to get kids excited about cooking and to show them that healthy food is as fun to cook as it is to eat!

Q: Is there one recipe or skill you think everyone should learn?
I think a lot of times people can follow a recipe, but if they were asked to open their fridge and whip something up, they would have no clue where to start. I think it is important to experiment with food; recipes are great building blocks for ideas, but step outside the ingredients or directions and add something you like. For example, I love cinnamon, it is one of my favorite ingredients to add to anything, especially when baking. It brings out the nuttiness in peanut butter, the richness in chocolate, and adds a sweet heat to desserts like cheesecake and crème brulee, so even if the recipe I am using doesn’t call for cinnamon, I usually add it to anything and everything sweet.

Q: What's the most rewarding part of working with kids?
They are just so much fun! They are curious about food, and they really do want to try new things. Parents: if your kids say “I don’t like that” do not give up! Keep encouraging them to taste different foods and present them in ways that make them interesting. If all else fails, puree fruits and vegetables and sneak them into muffins, pastas, and sauces... then let them know afterwards that they do, in fact, eat vegetables because they just downed a bowl of pasta and pesto made with spinach, peas, and basil!

Q: Do you have a favorite comfort food?
Yes, pasta! My favorite is a big bowl of spaghetti Bolognese, but I actually prefer whole wheat pasta to regular, which makes me feel a little bit better about all the calories... that's the nutritionist in me talking!

Q: What are your favorite local restaurants?
If I want a really nice meal it is well worth the drive out to Lovettsville for dinner at Patowmac Farm. I also like tapas because it means I get to try few bites of a lot of different things (and drink sangria!); around here Jaleo in DC is the best. Lastly, for an amazing Italian meal my go-to is Geranio in Alexandria; it is a really small, quaint restaurant, but the food is amazing and the menu changes seasonally so there is always something new to try! For casual meals, Café Sano in Reston is a great place to pick up a quick bite.

Q: What are your favorite ingredients to work with?
I love to experiment with anything local, fresh, and seasonal!

Q: Have any least favorites?
I do not like to cook with things I don’t like to eat, which honestly is not a very long list! I'm not a huge fan of lamb, though I have made some tasty ground lamb meatballs before.

Q: What is your favorite type of cuisine to cook?
I always answer “healthy food” when people ask that, but I guess that is not really a type of cuisine... I would say I am most influenced by Italian and Mediterranean cooking, and I always try to use fresh, local, and SEASONAL ingredients because honestly the foods justs taste better!

For example, in the summer I'll stop by the farmers market in Reston on the way home. Wednesday nights at 5 there is a small farmers market in Reston off Reston Parkway. I'll picked up some fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, blackberries, and green beans - all local. Then, for dinner I'll make something like a grilled pork tenderloin with a blackberry red onion compote, and cook a pack of store-bought cheese ravioli and toss them with the corn (cut off the cobb, raw), green beans, (blanched), tomatoes (halved), thinly sliced fennel, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Easy, and really delicious! I love roasted squash in the Fall.

Q: What's your favorite dessert?
Crème Brulee.

Q: When you're at home do you cook for yourself or order out? Have any go-to

It just depends on what I am in the mood to eat. Sometimes you just can’t beat take-out Chinese to satisfy a craving. When I do cook (which is most nights), I do have a lot of go-to recipes. In the Summer I like to grill out and use as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible (grilled BBQ chicken and a feta, tomato, and watermelon salad are quick, easy, and delicious). In the Fall and Winter I make a lot of pasta and soups (butternut squash bisque is my favorite). And once Spring rolls around I am so sick of pasta and soup I usually make anything but pasta and soup (try sautéing fresh shrimp with olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes and salt until crispy, then serve over a big bowl of Arugula tossed with shaved parmesan, lemon juice, and olive oil. A big piece of warm bread on the side is a must for sopping up the juices from the shrimp and salad).

I also make risotto a lot because there are so many different ingredients you can add to vary the flavor; a few of my favorites include mushroom and thyme with white truffle oil, roasted tomato and asparagus with parmesan, and sweet corn with basil.

Q: When you're not cooking, what are your other hobbies?
I love to be outside, and around here there are so many great things to do outdoors; hitting the hiking trails, spending the afternoon out on a dock or boat with food and friends, and trips to one of the many Virginia wineries are a few of my favorite.

Q: Food trend you are sick of?
LOW CARB... get over it! Our bodies need carbs to function, people just need to learn to eat the RIGHT ones (whole grains, fruits, vegetables), instead of all of the processed junk we all know we buy (even I admit I love my Cape Cod potato chips).

Although I understand the science behind low carb diets, I still question anyone who decides it is healthier to munch on bacon versus bananas every day. I will admit I eat bacon too... it's all about balance. Maybe the Cape Cod company should think about a bacon potato chip...

Q: Why do you think it's so important for parents and kids to learn to cook, and specifically learn to cook healthy foods?
I think it is great that people are finally starting to acknowledge how unhealthy the majority of the people in our country eat, but I think the most important and influential target of the message of healthy eating is kids, because they are the ones who are going to be able to bring about change and demand better food. The best part about being a nutritionist and a chef is that I have the ability to not just tell kids how to eat healthy, but to show them how to cook healthy food. I love helping kids discover new foods they never knew they liked and encouraging to try the ones they think they won’t!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Classes for Busy Parents

Join Chef and Nutritionist Katie Reineberg this Wednesday for a class all about QUICK, EASY, and AFFORDABLE meals for your family!

7-9pm; $59

In this class we're creating a delicious meal that's easy on the wallet and big on flavor! In addition to creating a complete three-course family dinner, Chef Katie will share her tips for making tasty low-budget recipes, plus, the cost-friendly ingredients you should stock up on for quick and easy weeknight dinners.


Herbed Meatloaf with Sweet Tomato Chutney

Potato Apple Gratin

Healthified Double Chocolate Brownie Bites

"We will cover tips and tricks for stocking your pantry with quick and easy weeknight dinner staples - a MUST for busy families! We'll also cover proper knife skills, which makes cooking any meal more efficient, plus learn techniques like meat and vegetable cookery, sauce making, baking, and ways to lighten up classic comfort food dishes!"

"The apple-potato gratin is the perfect seasonal side dish to have on hand for holiday entertaining AND weeknight family dinners."

"Meatloaf is an easy and inexpensive way to feed a hungry crowd; can also make individual loaves and freeze for later quick and easy heat-up dinners; hiding vegetables for picky eaters in the meatloaf mix; tomato chutney puts a gourmet twist on the classic sweet ketchup topping."

"The brownie bites make a great snack as well as a dessert - something chocolate you can feel good about eating!"

Add more quick dishes to your weeknight repertoire in next month's QUICK & HEALTHY WEEKNIGHT MEALS class on Dec. 8.