Cooking For A Cause: Adoption and Foster Families  

One of the perks of being a cooking teacher is the variety of opportunities I have to give to fundraisers and organizations that I'm passionate about.  For many years I've been donating group cooking classes to charity auctions.  This past weekend, I was able to host a group of friends who purchased my class at the fundraiser for an organization in Oklahoma called Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care, a nonprofit group that provides adoption services and foster care certification services  for families.  I wasn't able to attend the fundraising event, but it was a pleasure to host four couples who graciously donated to Lilyfield.  

I always give menu choices to the recipients of my donated classes, and this group unanimously chose "Mediterranean cuisine".  I usually chuckle when I'm asked to teach this class because there are 22 countries that border the Mediterranean, and many have quite different cooking styles and ingredients.  But it's fun for me to combine the ones I'm familiar with from my travels, and come up with a variety to please everyone.

This time we made arancini from Sicily, which are fried risotto balls filled with cheese and herbs.  We made muhamarra, a delicious sauce from Turkey. and hummus with smoked almonds, and served both with flatbreads and crostini.  Two of the women made artichoke ragu, which is delicious served on toast, and the other two women made a salad with bacon and vanilla vinaigrette.  The men were interested in making the two main courses, which were tagine Moroccan meatballs and pan-seared fish with fresh grape sauce.  While everyone was cooking, I whipped together a flour-less chocolate orange torte, which was served with vanilla cream.  Once the food was prepared, everyone sat down at the dinner table and toasted to a great organization, Lilyfield before feasting on the food they could proudly say they had made themselves.  

If you'd like to donate to Lilyfield to help families adopt and become foster families, go to


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