Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Cooking Blog?

For this week my blog is being published as a cooking blog.  We had the most amazing experience of a three day wood burning oven cooking class held up in the wine country near Napa, CA.  We’ve had a wood burning oven for about seven years and have always wanted to expand our cooking to include more than pizza. 

Well….this was exactly what we needed.  It was three days of cooking everything from cinnamon rolls for breakfast to baking peach cobbler and bread pudding for desserts.

The adventure begins…..across the Golden Gate Bridge to the charming town of Healdsburg.


We built our first fire and started to cook.  We had six wood burning ovens for our use so there was a lot of cooking.


These were some of our creations.  Can I just say “incredible”?   Do you see how beautifully our flame is burning over the roof of the oven?  Pizza and empanadas are done when the oven is the hottest - 650* on the floor.


As the oven cools you can go into the roasting stage which is 550* on the oven floor.  Different areas of the oven will register different temperatures so it is a lot of playing around.  Baking is done when the oven floor reaches 450* and after removing the hot coals.  These are SOME of the foods we made.

Prosciutto wrapped scallops on rosemary skewers.
Peach cobbler before baking
.....after baking
Sweet stuffed peppers.
Singaporean style shrimp
Zucchini blossoms
Zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta
Wood roasted eggplant parmigiano
Pan seared lamb chops marinated in garlic and rosemary
Our appetizer table presentation.
Rotating the bread loaves.
Finished rustic bread loaves.
Zucchini gratin with tomatoes and Gruyere.
Roasted peppers.
Halibut Ligurian style.
Beef tenderloin.
Chicken -done under a brick
Parsnip fries.
Limoncello Bread pudding.
Our class with our delightful teacher, Andrea Mugnaini, in the center.
It was such a fun and busy few days made even better by meeting up with a dear friend (and our daughter’s Godmother) for dinner at her home in Healdsburg.  We have shared so many wonderful times together. 

I had a lovely squishy package in the mail when we arrived home.  I had won a giveaway from Tudy at Tudy’s Craft Cupboard and she sent me some of her exquisitely made items.  I have always admired her crochet and I am thrilled to have some of her work.  Can you say “pretty”? 


I have been doing a bit of sewing, but I can’t share it yet.  Hopefully, I will be able to on my next post.


  1. Oh my goodness! Everything looks so delicious I wouldn't know where to start

  2. Wow incredible class. Looks so yummy

  3. What a great experience. All the food looks so yummy.

  4. Wow!! What an experience, the food looks incredible. You have now made me very hungry :)


  5. what an absolute mouth watering adventure....there is nothing bring those you love together for the love of food...

  6. How wonderful is that! The foods look amazing. How were the zucchini blossoms? I have always wanted to try that

  7. My mouth is watering , wow that is just amazing , sounds like a lot of fun !

  8. Oh goodness I'll be coming to your house for meals. It all looks amazing and I can't believe how many foods can be cooked in an oven like that. I'd love to take more cooking classes -- especially one to learn how to use an outdoor BBQ properly. I need the basics first!

  9. oh I'm with Stephanie!!!!! the presentation is scrumptious ..must have been so much fun

  10. My dh would love that class. And we'd both like to sign up as tasters! A cooking blog is a good thing. Very pretty gifts, too. I love the color, and they look so soft.

  11. Yum, yum, yum. Awesome looking (and sounding) food! What fun that must have been!

    What pretty crochet pieces! Lucky you!

  12. The food looks great. Thanks for sharing what I sent because I forgot to take a picture before I sent it off to you. Glad you like all of it.

  13. WOW! Awesome class that I'd love if I had the stove!

  14. I could just feel my hips getting better looking at that scrumpous food....what fun!!

  15. How fun is that! What a great class. I read your post to my hubby...don't we need a wood burning oven??

  16. Oh yum ! Sew many delicious foods there..

  17. Oh Mary - you can turn into a cooking (and quilting) blog any time as far as I'm concerned! The last time we were in Healdsburg, we saw those oven for sale and drooled! Knowing ther is a class now, makes me already planning our next trip to Napa! I notice your hubby is the only brave one without an apron, too!

  18. Oh my! A feast for the eyes, and I'm sure the stomach!!! It certainly looks like you enjoyed yourself tremendously and had a great group of classmates to play with! Now I'm off to the pantry to find something that passes for food - for some reason I'm suddenly hungry :*)

  19. Oh my goodness that looks like so much fun!!! You must be looking forward to so many more delicious dishes! Blog about food as much as you would like :-)

  20. I just ate lunch and my mouth is watering looking at all that beautiful food you made!! Other than backpacking, I have never tried cooking with wood...now I'm thinking about it!!!!

  21. Oh my goodness, everything looks soooooooo good! Makes my mouth water especially the tenderloin and the bacon wrapped scallops! What a wonderful class, you two will be cooking up a storm now! Can I place my order now?! :o)

    Headed down to southern NH tomorrow with the grand kids and some of their friends. It's about 4 hours each way so it will be a long day but hopefully lots of fun. They start school next Thursday so we needed to sneak in a trip with them.

    Spent the afternoon at the lake house. It looks so good all freshly painted outside, the roof pressure washed, it was a mess from the pine trees, the deck sanded and stained, new mulch in my garden and under the hammock area. It was an absolutely lovely day and Ashley and I enjoyed every minute of it!! xoxox

  22. I can only say Yummo, my mouth was watering.

  23. Hi Mary, everything looks so delicious! I bet you had a blast cooking up new recipes and learning new way of cooking with wood burning oven. Lovely group photo of everyone (specially you!) - Hugs Nat

  24. Tasty food. Pretty crochet. I can almost smell those lamb chops and roast veg. Yum.

  25. Looks delicious. It's something I would enjoy learning eventually.

  26. How fun! A wood burning oven...I bet the food cooked in it is delicious! blessings, marlene

  27. Wow--so delicious! I say, that, assuming I were there eating everything. We had some peach cake last night, so we were there in sympathy. What a great class it looked like, with all sort of different types of oven cooking, from searing to baking. Fabulous!


  28. Deliciously mouthwatering yum! the flavour and aromas from a wood oven,heavenly. What a great class, enjoy!

  29. Yummy!! The foods looks fantastic. What a great class, Mary!!

  30. Yum, those scallops look absolutely delicious! I am a teensy bit jealous of the traveling and trips you take;)

  31. What yummy fun. You have me drooling. When do we get invited over? Fun quilting, good food, and your great company. Sounds delightful. LOL! So happy to hear you had such a fun time.


  32. Oh Mary, my mouth is watering, especially that Singaporean shrimp... Yum! Well, it all looks delicious!

  33. Wow - that class sounds like so much fun! Glad you got to experience it. Maybe it will go on my Bucket List....

  34. Oh my goodness! Looks like so much fun!