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Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Bicycle-Chef Goes to The Farmers' Market and makes SALSA

Being Extrodinary!

The Bicycle-Chef's ride!
I've started teaching again, in Collingswood, at a new Adult Enrichment Center called ExtrodinaryED.  It just opened at the end of May and the basic concept is, it's a retail space, geared towards having people drop in, take a class, or shop in their store, much like one would do if they were going to a gym.  Classes are scheduled 6 days a week, from 11 am to 8 pm, and courses range from craft DIY's, Understanding your dog's behavior, motivation and focus classes for teenagers, Quieting the Monkey Brain via relaxation techniques, resume and career building.  Drop in, take a class, buy a membership, it's up to the participants to find what works best for them. The center offers "1 hour classes, 6-hour classes (broken into 3-two hour sessions) and Specialty Programs where curious people can connect with exceptional instructors to create lively and memorable learning experiences."

My offerings so far are Knife Skills and a Beat the Heat Cooking Class.  I'm hoping to add in other fun and entertaining culinary related courses.  I saw an ad on Facebook for ExtrodinaryEd that they were looking for instructors.  I submitted my resume and class proposals and voila! I was contacted to attend an instructors orientation session.  After that meeting, I wrote up a knife skills syllabus and had my class offered twice; one weeknight evening in June and again on a Saturday afternoon.  

 Today, I was asked to come to the Collingswood Farmers' Market to do a knife skills demonstration and to help promote ExtrodinaryED.  I happily obliged, knowing it would be good for business and help get more people attending my class.  Plus, I love being at the Market.  6 months living here and I'm well on my way to becoming a town regular!

Extrodinary Lauren
The Bicycle-Chef in action
We were located at the far end of the market, along with the Farmers' Market table, the big bakery, DiBartollo's, as well as near the music and entertainment area.  We didnt' meet everyone who was at the market, but we did talk to a lot of people, giving out information, bags, pens, and yoyo's! I got to demonstrate some knife skills techniques, chopping up a variety of vegetables and I made a quick salsa, utilizing the things I was chopping.  People love to eat and they love free food, so it was a good way to show off my skills and a non-cooking cooking technique.

Lobster in a Pot and a Brown Creature -
actors promoting events at the Perkins Cener for the Arts
Mr. LiveStrong

During the quieter moments, I people watched, taking in the sights and characters wandering through the Market on this gloriously sunny and humidity-free day!  I've been to the market 5 out of the last 6 weeks, and each time I always see the guy in the yellow LiveStrong ensemble.  I've talked to him once, asking him if he was a LiveStrong fundraiser and participant.  He is a cyclist, but he said he doesn't do the Armstrong ride.  I've yet to talk to him more and actually add his portrait to my collection of cyclist photos.  Didn't seem like the right time today either, I'll chat him up soon enough.



Quick Summer Salsa
I'll share my quick salsa recipe - since it was a big hit and I made it several times throughout the morning.  You can make it quickly and easily, using a handful of ingredients.  Which is good to have realized, you don't need to make a big batch, you can make enough for one meal and you don't need to breakout and use your Magic Bullet Blender (though it would be fun and I totally want one of those crazy blender thingys!) The ingredients are enough to make for 1-2 people, add more ingredients to make larger batches, or click here for my mango salsa recipe or peach salsa recipe.

Quick Salsa Ingredients:

  • 1 Plum Tomato - Seed & Small Dice
  • 1/2 Small Onion - Small Dice
  • 1/2 Small Jalapeno - Seed & Mince
  • 1/4 Red or Green Bell Pepper - Seed & Small Dice
  • 1/2 Lime - Zest and Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon (handful of) Cilantro - Rough Chop
  • 1/2 Garlic Clove - Minced (about a teaspoon)
  • Pinch of Salt and Dash of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Dashes Hot Sauce - or to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash, peel, seed vegetables and then cut, dice, mince as indicated.  
  2. As you cut the vegetables, put them into a small mixing bowl.
  3. Add in the lime zest and juice and season to taste with the salt, pepper and hot sauce; stir to combine.
  4. Refrigerate to chill and to let the flavors meld together, preferably for 1 hour.  Flavors will develop and the salsa will taste better if you let it sit for a bit, however, you can use this immediately. Serve with chips or over grilled chicken, pork, fish or tofu!
  5. Will hold for up to 3 days, covered and refrigerated.
  6. If you have fruit, like peaches, blueberries, watermellon, etc, toss it in! The salsa will be EXTRODINARY!

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