Sunday, November 15, 2009

Paris in the Rain
by Becky Pashia

Great new show at ARTichokes Gallery!

Once again, Becky Pashia and Megan Sutherland have given Kansas City a chance to enjoy fine works of art by hanging a show that includes many mediums by various artists. I've learned to expect beautiful shows from the two owners of ARTichokes. Their choices in artists, pieces and in hanging and installing the shows is always perfect!

Last Friday night was the opening event for the show that will hang from November 13, 2009 - February 6, 2010. As usual, the atmosphere was warm and fun. Having the opportunity to meet the artists is such an addition to the evening.

Please stop by soon to view the show. While you are there, make sure you see the new paintings of Becky Pashia. Delightful! Her new painting, Paris in the Rain is terrific!In the meantime, go to and see the list of artists showing.

On Saturday, I attended a cooking class at the Hen House Market at 135th and Metcalf in Overland Park, Kansas. It was taught by my good friend, Jasper Mirabile and Chef Mark Alan of Govenor's Mansion. Both chefs work closely with the folks at Hen House, and products from both Jasper and Mark are available at all of the Hen House locations.

Chef Jasper Mirabile is the Ambassador of Cheese for the state of Wisconsin. As part of his duties, Jasper teaches classes on how to cook with cheese. Yesterday's class included a total of 6 recipes and used a total of 14 cheeses!

The class was held by the fireplace there in the store, and it was welcome since we have had a cold and rainy weekend!

After several weeks of really great weather, today was cold and misty…truly a late autumn day here in the Midwest. My afternoon watching two of Kansas City’s finest chefs, was a great way to spend the afternoon. As part of the cooking classes at the Hen House, the two chefs whipped up a menu that featured cheese, cheese and more cheese! Jasper as the official Cheese Ambassador and travels around the country, explaining the joys of Wisconsin cheeses, while keeping the family restaurant, Jasper’s, operating beautifully here in Kansas City.
I met Mark Allen for the first time today, but had heard of him and his amazing sauces and seasonings. Check out his web page at

The two Chefs divided the menu, each preparing part of the courses.
We started with Mark’s Brie Crostini with Apple Pecan Compote followed by
Jasper’s Cut Pasta “Old School”. It was magnificent! It is cooked pasta, tossed with a sauce of cream and 4 cheeses (Gruyere, Jasper’s Fresh Mozzarella, Romano and Gorgonzola. All of the cheeses were from Wisconsin, with the exception of the fresh mozzarella, made on the spot by Jasper.) Anyway, you must try it!
Jasper's Old School Pasta

serves 4 to 6
1 pound cut pasta, such as rigatoni or penne
½ cup grated Wisconsin Gruyere
½ cup fresh mozzarella
¼ cup grated Wisconsin Romano
¼ cup crumbled Wisconsin Gorgonzola
1 ½ cups heavy cream
a splash of white wine, may I suggest Somerset Ridge Chardonnay?
Freshly grated nutmeg, fresh sage leaves, and cracked pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large sauté pan, bring the cream to a boil. Add all cheeses and stir until melted. Season with nutmeg, sage and pepper. Add drained pasta and toss until well coated. Serve on a heated platter.

Next came Mark’s Italian Meatballs with Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, Bleu Cheese and Spinach. This is a recipe that calls for 6 ounces of one of Mark’s famous sauces, Roasted Red Pepper Aioli. It is available at Hen House and on line at Mark’s webpage.

Jasper made the next dish, an authentic Chicken Saltimbaco, chicken layered with prosciutto and cheese. It is fast and wonderful!

Our final course was a Fresh Pear and Pecorino Cheese Tart by Chef Mark Alan. My goodness, it was a perfect dessert! A moist lightly sweetened cake with thinly sliced pears baked right in the batter, then during the last few minutes of baking, topped with grated Pecorino! Pears are available now, don’t miss this one!

2 pounds fresh pears (Bosc or Anjou)
2 large eggs
¼ cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cup flour (remember to spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then levelit…do not scoop up the flour with the cup)
Pinch of salt
Butter for dotting top of tart
2 ounces shredded Pecorino cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heavily butter a 9” cake pan, then dust with dry bread crumbs.
Peel and core, then thinly slice the pears. Beat the eggs and milk in a bowl. Whisk in the sugar and salt. Mix in the flour to make a thick batter. Add the pears to the batter and stir gently. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Dot the top with pieces of butter. Bake for 40 minutes and then sprinkle the top with the grated Pecorino. A nice touch is adding just a pinch of freshly cracked pepper to the cheese.Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is well browned. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Slice and serve warm. This is a perfect dessert to be served with a glass of Somerset Ridge Ambrosia Dessert Wine!

Come see us at the Winery soon....we are open all year round!

Wednesday - Saturday, 11:00 to 5:00; Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00.

Groups & Special Events by Appointment.

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