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Showing posts from January, 2023

New Recipe: Apple Sharlotka cake

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This is my friend Marina's personal apple cake recipe and she will be making this dessert at as part of our upcoming "Dinner + A Movie: Ukraine" pop-up dinner experience. Marina is a Ukrainian native and this fund-raising event features a four-course traditional home-cooked Ukrainian dinner complete with wine pairings. Our original February 19 date sold out within 48 hours, so we scheduled another one for March 19, 2023 at 6pm. The cost for joining this event is $65 per person and all net profits will be donated to the Ukrainian war effort ( see details ). More recipes and information about my cooking classes can always be found on my website . For the latest news, feel free to subscribe to my monthly email newsletter. 

New Recipe: Ukrainian Borscht

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On Sunday, February 19, 2023, my friend Marina and I will be hosting a Ukrainian pop-up dinner at her house in Champaign. Marina is a Ukrainian native and she will be making her version of Ukrainian Borscht as part of our "Dinner + A Movie: Ukraine" dinner experience. This two-hour private pop-up event starts at 6pm and will include a four-course traditional home-cooked Ukrainian dinner complete with wine pairings featuring imported Georgian wines. The cost for joining this event is $65 per person and all net profits will be donated to the Ukrainian war effort ( see details ).  More recipes and information about my cooking classes can always be found on my website . For the latest news, feel free to subscribe to my monthly email newsletter. 

New: Ukrainian Dinner Pop-up Experience

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We're proud to partner with Eatwith.com  to present the first pop-up dinner experience in the Champaign-Urbana area on their platform. The theme is “Dinner + A Movie: Ukraine” and the event has been scheduled for Sunday, February 19, 2023. This two-hour private dinner experience starts at 6pm and will include a four-course traditional home-cooked Ukrainian dinner complete with wine pairings featuring imported Georgian wines. This premiere event will be hosted by Marina K and Paul Young and will take place at Marina’s home in Champaign. The cost for joining this event is $65 per person and all net profits will be donated to the Ukrainian war effort. More info: cooking-with-paul.com/popups-ukraine.html Recipes, events, and information about my cooking classes can always be found on my  website . For the latest news, feel free to  subscribe  to my monthly email newsletter. 

New Recipe: Gyoza

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Just about every culinary tradition in the world includes some kind of dumpling dish. This very popular Japanese version of "pot stickers" is called gyoza ( see recipe ), and it is another example of Japanese simplicity and elegance. We will be making this traditional appetizer dish from scratch at my upcoming  Japanese Noodle Cuisine  class on February 7, 2023 at Common Ground Food Co-op. This is a sold out class, but the March 7 Yakitori class still has a few seats open.  More recipes and information about my classes can always be found on my website . For the latest news, feel free to subscribe to my monthly email newsletter. 

New recipe: Zaru Soba

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Soba noodle making in Japan is an art. In high-end specialty soba restaurants, the noodles are made by hand in humidity-controlled rooms with 100% buckwheat flour. Typically served chilled in the summer with a simple dipping sauce, this homemade version can be assembled in about 15 minutes.  My simplified recipe tries to adhere to the Japanese aesthetic of striving for simplicity and balance. We'll be making this dish in my upcoming  Japanese Noodle Cuisine  class on February 7, 2023 at Common Ground Food Co-op. This is a sold out class, but the March 7 Yakitori class still has a few seats open.  More recipes and information about my classes can always be found on my website . For the latest news, feel free to subscribe to my monthly email newsletter. 

New Recipe: Seafood Udon Noodle Soup

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My first spring cooking class is coming up at the Common Ground Food Co-op. So it's recipe test time again! Udon noodle soup is a great winter treat and  this version  is seafood-based, but also chocked full of veggies. I think this subtle soup with delicate flavors and healthy ingredients is clean and soul-satisfying at the same time. It's now on the Japanese Noodle Cuisine class on February 7, 2023. This is a sold out class, but the March 7 Yakitori class still has a few seats open.  More recipes and information about my classes can always be found on my website . For the latest news, feel free to subscribe to my monthly email newsletter. 

Have you seen 'The Bear' on Hulu yet?

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I love movies almost as much as I love cooking. So what could be better than a movie about food and cooking? In the past, I've written about some of my favorite foodie movies like  The Scent of Green Papaya ,  Tampopo ,  Bagdad Cafe ,  Mr. Church , and  Always Be My Maybe . So starting this month, I'm going to recommend at least one food-related streaming gem that I've enjoyed. I love being inspired by new experiences and I have learned so much from all the movies I have seen. Sure, I've also picked up a few cooking tips here and there from these films, but what I've really learned from foodie movies is how inter-connected food is to culture, art, and joy -- the important things in life.  Over the holidays, I watched an eight-episode limited series on Hulu called  The Bear  ( watch the trailer  and  read this review ). It's one of those brilliant explosive uber-dramas, and I thoroughly enjoyed this whirlwind roller coaster ride. Many people have called thi

All spring classes are sold out (except for one)

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I was amazed that the spring Urbana Park District series sold out within 24 hours. Then I found out that two of the three Common Ground Japanese "deep dive" classes have also sold out. The only class that still has a few seats left is the March 7  Yakitori cooking class . If you're interested in learning how the Japanese make amazing barbecue skewers, do register soon. This one's for adventurous eaters! We now have all the details worked out for the next Ethnic Cooking series at Urbana Park District. You can look forward to tasting some great dishes from  Morocco, Hawaii, and Vietnam  this summer. I've also started experimenting with some retro tiki cocktail recipes for the Hawaiian cooking class on June 29, 2023. I know that's a long time away, but do mark your calendars because registration for summer classes starts on April 5, 2023. And they do sell out fast. Thanks for all your support as we embark on our second year of international culinary e

New year, new website, new recipes

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Over the holidays, I had some time on my hands, so I rebuilt  my website  from scratch. There are now more pages, more pictures, more recipes and coming soon -- pop-up events. Details coming soon! As you know, I love to cook, so I do a lot of cooking at home. Since starting my cooking classes, I'm now also doing a lot of experimentation and recipe tests. Some dishes turn out okay, others need more work, but a few turn out great. So starting this month, I will post at least one new recipe every month when the results were worth sharing. This month, I have a new  rack of lamb  recipe to share. This dish will also go great with this easy  broccoli and hollandaise sauce  side dish. These French-inspired dishes aren't on any menus for this spring's classes, but they might appear on a summer menu. If you decide to make any of these recipes at home, please let me know via email. I would love to hear how it turned out as well as your comments and suggestions. You'll f