Move over Rachael Ray. Dorina is on the job. (Well, not quite but it was fun to pretend.) On Saturday our church, The Bridge, invited me to speak at women's event called "Taste of Friendship." The event was designed like a cooking show with a kitchen stage and everything.
I started the morning sharing my passion for healthy cooking (and eating!) and demonstrating our Peanut Butter Coconut Granola. This is a recipe we use frequently at our house. Meilani helps me and we make a weekly batch for Daddy's cereal and snacks. The granola can also be made into granola bars. I shared about the book, WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING, and how that book prompted us a year and a half ago to change our lifestyle and really start eating foods that God created. The ladies numbered more than 120 and they were very responsive. I got some great questions about how to make meals more healthy on a budget.
After my morning the demo, the ladies were divided into four groups and they went to various rooms to watch other mini-demos. The four chefs included my mom, Maria Lazo, demonstrating Italian Pizzelle Cookies, Marie Kenyon demonstrating Roasted Tomato Soup, Anne Ogden demonstrating Empress Hotel Scones and Pastry Chef Willy Bezemer demonstrating marzipan roses for cake decorating. We had so much fun learning and tasting these new recipes as well as sharing cooking tips with friends.
The afternoon culminated with one final demonstration I did for lunch. I did a talk about "The Gift of Hospitality" and sharing cooking traditions with family. I demonstrated my own recipe of Spinach-Stuffed Manicotti (recipes in sidebar at the right) served with my mom's Tomato meat sauce. The ladies were also served one of our favorite salads, which included baby greens, feta cheese, dried cranberries and walnuts.
One of the most exciting parts about being involved in this event has been hearing all the stories afterwards from ladies who attended with friends and how they are trying new recipes at home. Many have shared ways they are incorporating healthy foods into their diets now. And the best part is their families are still being served delicious food!