A Tip About Oranges

It seems like oranges are in everyone’s yard this time of year, big juicy oranges. I love to pick and eat them, add them to salads, or stir fry, and to juice them.. BUT don’t juice before you grate the rind. There is always a recipe that calls for grated orange rind and the time of year you want to make it oranges are not so sweet and way too expensive. So before you juice your oranges take just a few minutes and grate the rind (or zest it if you like strips) and put the zest or grated rind in a zip lock baggie (LABELED!)and tucked in the frezzer then grated rind is waiting for you when ever you need it and didn’t cost you a thing!  I do it with lemons too… But keep the rind in separate baggies and label each one.


Letter From the Peanut Gallery

This new embroidery business has been a blast.  It’s amazing how much work goes into a quality item.  It nice to hear some feedback from my clients time to time to keep my finger on the pulse of what they are looking for.  One of the first pieces that rolled off the line at Living Gourmet was the Sons of Thespis jacket(pictured here).  I’ll let this email from Pat say the rest:

Hi Kim:

Thank you so much for making this a memorable Christmas. I’d been joking about the Sons of Thespis with Kelly for a while — about what kind of outlaw club it would be and how the colors would look. Then on Christmas morning, I was thoroughly gobsmacked by the jacket. Your work was remarkable, super in every way  and just perfect for an outlaw bike club for outlaws who enjoy theater. It truly made my Christmas.

Best of luck with your new business. I hope you have huge success.


I would have to agree with Pat on this one.  This jacket did come out looking pretty good.  Like what you see? For you next specialty embroidery needs, look to Living Gourmet to make your vision into reality

Gingerbreadopolis, the City of Ginger Bread houses pt.2

Not to be outdone by their southern neighbors, the Danville Community Center made their own gingerbread houses on December 10th .  Here are some of the pictures I took.  All of these houses were made by 3-8 year-olds in attendance(with parental assistance when required).

We also took photos of the children with their houses, email me at Livinggourmet@gmail.com  if you would like a copy of your child’s photo.

Gingerbreadopolis, the City of Ginger Bread houses pt.1

On December 3rd and 5th we made gingerbread houses at the Dublin Community Center .  Here are some of the pictures I took.  All of these houses were made by 3-8 year-olds in attendance(with parental assistance when required).

We also took photos of the children with their houses, email me at Livinggourmet@gmail.com  if you would like a copy of your child’s photo.

2012 State of Living Gourmet Address

2011 was a busy year for Living Gourmet.  Living Gourmet has had two parts Living Gourmet – Classes, and Living Gourmet – Gardening Services: individual and small businesses, but in 2012 I have added a 3rd component.  Welcome to Living Gourmet – Machine Embroidery!

Classes – What a fun year, Danville community center invited me to teach there in addition to Dublin and Livermore.  Summer was kids cooking camps at Dublin Community Center – lots of baking, bbq, and making meals.   Fall was canning, apricot brandy jam, tomato sauce and more.  Winter was holiday baking and gingerbread houses – check out the cute pictures under the Photos category!  The houses kids and their folks made are beautiful!  My 2012 class list can be found under the Classes or Announcements category.  I took some classes “on the road” and taught in folk’s homes – what fun for all of us!  Customized to specific desires – so not just pickles, but a dill pickle and pickled beet class for example.

Gardening –  I added my first commercial account, I am now maintaining the patio/garden area at Gay 90’s Pizza in Pleasanton (great pizza, BTW!).  I also have a number of individual gardens I maintain, both edible and pretty.   I have done a garden plan for a condo yard, it is the first full yard I have designed and I am looking forward to implementing it in 2012.  January is trim your roses time, so grab those clippers or give me a call!

Machine Embroidery – I have bought an existing home based commercial Machine Embroidery business and moved it to my home.   I have commercial contracts and folks I have done work with, but am looking to help businesses with embroidered logo needs and to help each of you with personalized gifts, and fun items for your home.   The ideas are endless, initials, letterman jackets, names, artwork on most any fabric item…. This past month, I did a couple of sweat shirts (one with theatre masks, one with a pig), names on burp cloths for baby, family names on blankets.   What can I do for you?


Below are pictures of the sweatshirt:

Upcoming Classes for Adults

The following are the upcoming classes that I am teaching for the 13+ age group.  To register,  go to the Dublin Rec Guide and search for the class title.  Register soon as classes fill up quick!

1.     Better Than Store Bought

Ever wondered how to make Chocolate syrup, mayonnaise (aioli), taco seasoning and beyond?   All of these are easier than you think and often cheaper than store bought.  You also have control of the ingredients, a great way to lower sugar, salt and/or control for food sensitivities.  This hands on class will give you a chance to make these recipes, taste test them, and may just save you that trip to the store!

In Dublin: January 22;  Sunday 2-4pm $25 resident, $30 non-resident

2.     Quick Gourmet Appetizers

Appetizers make a meal special, impress that drop in company, or added with a bowl of soup make a great lunch. Don’t let the idea of a special appetizer scare you,  with a few quick tricks and use of some pre-prepared products you can create an unending supply of great appetizers we will make 3 in class and you will leave with ideas for many variations.

In Dublin: January 27;  Sunday 2-4pm $25 resident, $30 non-resident

3.     Complete Pie

Would you like to make a pie from start to finish? Join this course and make a 2 crust fruit pie. Bring a rolling pin, pie plate, and 2 quart bowl; leave with a simply delicious finished fruit pie.  Tips for different fruits, seasoning and thickeners will be discussed.

In Dublin: February 9; Thursday 6-8 pm  $25 resident, $30 non-resident

4.     Loving Lavender

Lavender has a sweet floral flavor, with hints of lemon and citrus, is drought tolerant and great for cooking and crafts.  This class is a little bit of everything Lavender.  We will make a great beverage, eat lavender cookies and make 2 great crafts and see and talk about lavender varieties. Understand the growing needs and which variety is best for your location. Recipes, samples and the wonderful scent of lavender will abound.

In Dublin: February 15; Wednesday 6-9pm $20 resident, $24 non-resident


5.     Cooking with Herbs, Dinner

Our bay area climate allows us to grow certain herbs year ‘round, some examples are rosemary, thyme, sage, chives….we will focus on this bounty.  We will make an herbal dinner and enjoy it together.  We will use rosemary, thyme, and sage in some fun ways.  Thyme cookies, Rosemary beverage…. this full dinner will tantalize your taste buds!  All recipes and suggestions on growing your own herbs included.

In Dublin: March 23; Friday 6-9pm $35 resident, $42 non-resident

6.     Gardening Series

It is not too early to start gardening! Gardening is a great way to eat locally, organically and on a budget. Topics will include: essentials to a garden- planning; compost (touching on vermiculture); plant choices: veggies, herbs, fruits; starting from seed or seedlings; and irrigation with an emphasis on drip.

In Dublin; 3 Mondays March 5,12 and 19 from 7 to 9 pm $40 resident, $48 non-resident

If you have any questions about the class registration, please contact the Dublin Rec Guide tech support.

Check, check….Is this thing on?

Wow, long time no post.  Things have been quite busy since my last post, and are finally settling down a bit and these updates will be a bit more frequent. In the mean time, here is a tip about ganache.

When heating chocolate it must be done on the lowest temperature possible.  I recommend NEVER melting chocolate in the microwave, it is too hard to control the heat.  The 2 best ways to melt chocolate is either in a double boiler or by pouring hot milk/cream over the chocolate.  Chocolate too hot will burn and /or separate.   Dark chocolate burns at 120, milk and white at 110.  Remember your body temperature is 98…. Chocolate is burning at the temperature of an average shower(American’s average shower temp is 107-126).  Burned chocolate smells burnt, loses it’s shine and becomes muddy.  If it has just barely burned, take it off the heat and stir in more chocolate chunks which may rescue it, but if it is smelling the taste will be off and there is nothing you can do to save it.