Cooking Never Tasted So Good

 Della Terra, Snohomish + The Tiny Kitchen , Kenmore (Bothell) 

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You don’t have to hit the great outdoors to play in Snohomish County. That’s probably a good thing considering how unpredictable, and often wet, our weather can be. Our favorite way to play indoors is taking classes. Everything from art and fun with yarn to painting furniture and making delicious food. This feature falls under the last category.

If you’ve been following us for awhile, then you probably saw our feature on Della Terra (read it HERE), and the amazing Chef Cody Castiglia, last May (if not, what are you waiting for, head over to our website and check it out). Not only is he a caterer that emphasizes farm to table style cuisine utilizing local ingredients, he offers up amazing dining experiences and cooking classes so you can learn to do the same at home with a little help from  local chefs.

Those classes were meant to be a part of the former feature on Della Terra, but things kept managing to get in the way. I’m kind of glad they did, because it gave us the opportunity to feature this inspiring local businesses again. Not only that, it turned into an awesome opportunity to spend some quality time with The SnoCo Kid thanks to some classes taught by Chef Lisa Crawford of The Tiny Kitchen, Kenmore (Bothell).

Our classes of choice were an adult pizza making class that was easy enough for the kiddo to tag along and a kids donut making class that was beyond delicious and fun. I’m thinking there might be a bread and pasta class with Della Terra in the future as well, thanks to those being two things I’m not all that good at. I’m a pretty awesome cook and baker, if I do say so myself, but rising dough and me aren’t exactly friends. More like a work in progress.

That’s a feature for another day though. Overall, the majority of classes offered by Della Terra are adult oriented. A fun chance to hang out with friends or family members and learn something new. There’s usually wine, an added bonus. And, more importantly, there is a wide array of topics to choose from, and different difficulty levels. That means there is a bit of something for everyone and plenty of opportunities to increase your skills and learn more.

Enough from me though, here is the kiddo herself with what she though of Della Terra’s cooking classes …

Class Review With The SnoCo Kid

I should start off by saying my cooking skills are somewhat  limited. That’s not exactly my fault, I am a kid after all (she would like me to point out that she is a BIG kid here). I’m pretty good at eggs and grilled cheese. I even know how to make tamales thanks to my grandma. I’m learning more all the time though by working with my mom on recipes for the magazine.

I am excited to learn more about cooking and baking, and I think taking classes is a good way to do that. They are a chance to not only learn how to make good food, but a way to learn more about what ingredients to use and tips for how to do things the right way, easier, or even better. 

We couldn’t have picked better classes to try out. I love pizza (not the frozen kind) and donuts. When it comes to choosing your own classes, picking foods you love is a good thing. It makes you motivated to pay attention, because you are more likely to make the recipe again at home. You will probably find it easier to learn how to make the recipe too, since its something you eat all the time and have maybe even made it before.  

 No matter how much you know about cooking and baking ahead of time, Della Terra and the chefs that teach classes make it easy for you. For starters, all of the ingredients are already measured out for you. That doesn’t mean we didn’t learn anything about measuring though.

Chef Lisa taught us that measuring cups and spoons, and even eggs, don’t always hold the exact amount they are supposed to. Cups and spoons that are the same measurement can actually be different sizes, and the same size eggs can hold different amounts. Small differences can mean big ones when it comes to preparing food, so she showed us how to measure ingredients using their weight instead to make sure the amounts are right every time.

 Measuring out things ahead of time was another lesson we were taught, even if we didn’t have to do it ourselves for the classes. Why is that important? If you measure things out before you start then you will be absolutely sure that you have everything you need before you start mixing things together. My mom has started things, only to realize she was missing things more than once. 

 I think measuring things out ahead of time is also good because it gives you more room to work, since you won’t have ingredient bags, boxes, and stuff laying around. Our counters get super messy  and full when everything is out. It makes it harder to find things you need and clutters up the counter so much it is hard to move around to do things or fit all the bowls you need. That’s a free lesson from me 😉 

Learning about ingredients was one of my favorite things about the classes. Most people underestimate using the right ingredients in recipe. Most people just buy things that are on a recipe list, and don’t really take the time to think about where they come from, what’s in them, or if there is a better and healthier option.

 During both of our classes, Chef Lisa took the time to explain what ingredients to use, why certain brands or types were better than others, and even how to make things fresh instead of using store bought. I already know that natural, organic, and GMO free foods are best thanks to my mom, and it was interesting to learn how to work those types of ingredients into two of my favorite foods.

 While ingredients were the most interesting thing we learned about, the tips were the most useful. They can help you with skills. like cutting with knives (Della Terra hosts a class on this by the way), and basics of cooking and baking, like adding ingredients in the right order and knowing whether something is cooked all the way through. For our classes, the best tips I learned were …

  •  Stretching out pizza dough into a circle by spinning it around on your wrist instead of a rolling pin.
  • Turning pans around in the oven while cooking to ensure that food is cooked evenly.
  • Waiting until donuts and other baked goodies are cooled all the way before frosting them is important. I know this is obvious, but we tend to be impatient at home.
  • Adding a bit of olive oil around dough you are waiting to rise keeps it from sticking to containers.

I had a lot of fun learning how to make pizza and donuts with Della Terra and The Tiny Kitchen. We have already tried to recreate the recipes we left with at home. They didn’t exactly come out perfect, but we will keep trying using the skills and information we learned. That’s code for my mom REALLY DOES need to work on her rising dough skills.

Taking more classes in the future would be fun. I’m hoping for more kids ones, but some for my mom to learn more delicious things to make at home would be good too. Anything to do with potatoes would interest me … hint, hint, Chef Cody.

If you love cooking, eating, or local ingredients like my mom, I’d recommend trying out one of Della Terra’s classes or one of their dining experiences. Trying to convince my mom to sign up for their Mother’s Day brunch as I write. Maybe I’ll see you there or at a class!

You can find out more about Della Terra and their class offerings on Facebook or on their website,
www.dellaterra425.com. Also, find out more about The Tiny Kitchen on Facebook or on their website,
www.tinykitchenseattle.com.

Did you know that Live the SnoCo Life is more than just an online blog? That’s right, we are also a monthly print and electronic magazine! Our pages are full of local places to shop, eat, drink, and play, as well as local artists, makers, and more. Learn more about subscribing ($0.99-$3.99 a month), which includes exclusive access to recipes, DIY projects, our Top Ten lists, and Beyond Our Borders pieces, HERE

Live the SnoCo Life is made possible thanks to the support of not only our subscribers, but our business and maker sponsors as well. This feature is brought to you by Original Pilot House Coffees of Monroe, my favorite locally roasted coffee and the only coffee you will find in my home, as well as Lake Stevens Drywall.  , and Shed Gal Portable Buildings of Lake Stevens, Snohomish, and Sultan. Interested in becoming an advertiser/sponsor, get info HERE.

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