The King Arthur Flour Life Skills program teaches children how to give back to the community while learning practical skills that coincide with those they are learning in school. Mom and blogger Carolyn Ossorio and her daughters demonstrated a quick, kid-friendly bread recipe that is part of the Life Skills Bread Baking program sponsored by King Arthur Flour.
Local Restaurateur and Chef Armondo Pavone Homemade Ravioli Event at IKEA!
Wednesday, October 17
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Melrose Grill has been hailed by Seattle Times food critic, Providence Cicero, as “…classy, yet comfortable, and immensely convivial, with a simple, well-priced bill of fare that’s expertly executed and efficiently served.”
Local restaurateur Armondo Pavone joins Renton Reporter columnist and culinarily-creative Mom, Carolyn Ossorio, for her cooking-with-kids web series at the incredible IKEA kitchen.
Armondo will share the secret to his popular DIY recipe for homemade, filled cheese ravioli that he cooks at home “family style” with his two little ones. Hint: And, like the famous Italian explorer Marco Polo, Armondo too explores Chinese cuisine for kid-friendly inspiration! Chinese wonton wrappers, when filled and boiled make the perfect pocket for fillings! Easy, family friendly recipe that’s both delizioso and 美味!
Thanks to all the moms and kids who joined us today at IKEA. It was a bit hectic, but moms came around behind the counter and were helping and the kids had a great time! As promised here is this easy-peasy recipe.
In a mixing bowl…
1 cup Flour
2 t sugar
1 t salt
1 package of Fleishmans pizza dough yeast
mix these dry ingredients and then add
2/3 cup warm water with 3 T olive oil.
combine these ingredients into a sticky ball and then add 1/2 cup flour
mix together and then flour your surface and start rolling into a flat pizza.
Here’s where it gets creative. Smear some tomato sauce onto the flat dough and start adding toppings!
Sophie made a peanut butter and jelly pizza.
Amelia made a german sausage and mozzarella cheese pizza with baby onions
I topped my pizza with red and green peppers, zucchini and mushroom…vegetables that I tossed with a little olive oil and Chef Tom’s vegetable rub. I added it to the pizza with IKEA Swedish Meatballs and awesome IKEA shaved cheese.
Tuesday, April 10
10:30 – 11:15am
Local journalist and mom blogger Carolyn Ossorio, along with her children, will be stopping by our operational kitchen to give tips on getting the little ones involved in the kitchen. This interactive cooking demonstration will be fun to watch for the whole family! Plus, enter to win a $50 gift card.
11am – 8pm
Kids eat free
See rest of the spring break schedule at:
Here’s the recipes from my Huffington Post blog. Have Fun!
Mario Batali’s recipes from Multo Gusto
Spring Peas with Mint
¼ cup red wine vinegar, preferably Chianti
¼ cup sparkling water
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably Ligurian
(makes 1 cup)
2 lbs peas in the pod, shelled, or 2 cups fresh peas
1 medium red onion, cut into dice about the same size as the peas
½ bunch fresh mint, leaves removed and torn into 2-3 pieces each
¼ cup Red Wine Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Maldon or other flaky sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Whisk the vinegar, water, and olive oil together in a small bowl. (The vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
Combine the peas, onion, and mint in a medium bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and serve, or let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to bring out the flavors. (The peas can be refrigerated for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before serving).
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Makes 4 Servings | Region: Lazio | Book: Molto Italiano (Ecco 2005)
A true carbonara has no cream, and it can be slightly tricky in its execution. The key is to toss and thoroughly mix the cooked pasta off the heat with the cheese, eggs, pepper, and pasta water, to create a creamy yet not overly thick sauce. I like to separate the eggs and present the individual egg yolks in nests of pasta; then each guest stirs the yolk into the pasta to cook it and form an even creamier sauce. Be sure to use the best—quality eggs you can get.
3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
8 ounces Guanciale (recipe below), Pancetta, or good Bacon
1 pound Spaghetti
1 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 large Eggs, separated
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salts.
Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and guanciale in a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan set over medium heat, and cook unti the guanciale has rendered its fat and is crispy and golden. Remove from the heat and set aside (do not drain the fat).
Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until just al dente. Scoop out ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
Add the reserved pasta water to the pan with the guanciale, then toss in the pasta and heat, shaking the pan, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add 1 cup of the Parmigiano, the egg whites, and pepper to taste, and toss until thoroughly mixed.
Divide the pasta among four warmed serving bowls. Make a nest in the center of each one, and gently drop an egg yolk into each nest. Season the egg yolks with more pepper and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano over the top. Serve immediately.
½ cup Sugar
½ cup Salt
15 Black Peppercorns
4 sprigs Thyme, leaves only
2 pounds Hog Jowls
Combine the sugar, salt, peppercorns, and thyme leaves in a small bowl. Put the hog jowls in a nonreactive casserole and coat with the mixture, rubbing gently. Cover and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days.
Black Cabbage Bruschetta
Total Time: 25 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 20 min
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 4 tablespoons
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 2 peeled whole cloves
2 bunches cavolo nero (or kale), chopped into 1-inch ribbons
4 slices country bread, 1-inch thick
1/2 pound pecorino toscano
Preheat the grill or broiler.
In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the 6 tablespoons olive oil and the garlic slices together over medium heat, until the garlic begins to soften. Add the cavolo all at once, stirring to keep the garlic from settling at the bottom. Cover the pan and allow the cabbage to cook until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill or toast the bread. Rub 1 side of each toasted bread slice with raw garlic. Place 1 slice of bread in 4 shallow bowls and top each slice with a large spoonful of the cabbage mixture. Drizzle each bruschetta with 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and shave pecorino over each portion.
He contributed a recipe to a new book I’m working on, gave a great interview and posed with Sophie, Amelia and I. Here are some photos of our journey to make Roasted Tomatillo Salsa and Chicken Skewers!
I love it that my kids love to catch and with a little (no, a lot of prodding) release them back into the wild. I remember doing the same thing with my sister when I was a kid. There’s nothing like that rush of waiting and wading knee deep in the swampy ditch on the side of our house and then, grab! Caught one.
Our neighbor who’s lived on our lake for years said the frogs used to jump in the hundreds around their murky habitat pools on the side of the road…now it’s a real find when Amelia observes a few. So you can imagine her delight when she actually feels the slimy, delicate froggy between her gentle fingers. Both are so precious.
“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people shoud see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”
Theodore Roosevelt, Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter 1905.
Chief Big Balls and The Mysterious Case of the Missing Totem Pole
A spry geriatric scuttling a wheel barrel through a Fred Meyer flower bed caught my attention. Not something you see ever day at Freddies. And I should know…as a mother of four young children it always feels like I’m running to the grocery store for something.
So I made a second loop around the parking lot. I’m always on the hunt for quirky characters and unusual situations for the column I write in my local paper—and something about that septuagenarian qualified.
Or maybe I was just avoiding the inevitable—ho hum grocery shopping on a Sunday morning.
I slid my minivan between the lines staring, on the horizon I could see the gardener’s eggplant colored beret (think young Leonardo da Vinci). Was that an eagle feather sticking out of his jalopy beret?
This old guy was definitely more interesting than early Sunday morning grocery shopping. So I veered my cart and children toward the man.
The fun thing about being a writer and a mom is that the kids usually learn a thing or two about what I’m writing about.
The flip side of that card is regardless of the scoop if baby starts shrieking in public—well, that always trumps a lede on any story. So despite the smattering of frog pins adhered to the business end of the gardener’s beret like badges on a boy scouts sash I had to walk on by.
Inside shopping was uneventful—the same tediously long wagon trail line next to the ghost town 15 or less checkouts. I was grateful when the manager two-fingered me over to create a new line.
“Looks like someone’s doing a cleanse?” The manager inquired as he placed my psylum husk on the scale. I smiled searching for a subject change. The image of the old guy resurfaced.
“Who’s the guy in your bed?” I asked.
The manager appeared stumped.
“Out front,” I say. “The senior with the eagle feather?” I pointed in the direction of the southern exit.
“Oh, he’s no gardener.” He said between beeps as he resumed scanning yogurt containers. “He’s an artist. A wood carver. Fred Meyer is restoring a totem pole. It’s going to be a big thing with the commemoration of the 100 anniversary of Renton High School. But you know artists…they never want to commit to a timeline.” The manager shook his head, and looked at me expectantly. The way people do when they want you to agree with their plight, in this case a flaky, noncommittal artist with a deadline.
The problem with false familiarity is that I was fairly certain I had more in common with the beret wearing, frog encrusted, eagle feathered, flaky gardener-artist guy than the starched white collared store manager.
But I didn’t say so. I nodded agreeably morphing into a human bobble-head wearing an “I feel your pain” expression.
I abandoned my flaky kind like a hunting dog follows the whiff of prey or in this case a good story. And to the sound of my infant pounding the keys of the credit card machine and my three-year-old climbing up the check out counter using the adhered courtesy pen as a rope.
I discovered the manager was concerned about the logistics. Uncertain if the pole would be refurbished in time for the splashy re-dedication celebration scheduled for May 7th with the Rotary Club, Mayor’s Office, Renton Municipal Arts Commission and Kiro News.
By the time I rolled my groceries outside the wheel barrow was banked alongside the flower bed.
“Where’s the wood carver?” I asked a new man who stood with a shovel in the center of the flower bed. He wore jeans, t-shirt, white baseball cap and turquoise studs in his ears. I introduced myself and explained that I wrote a column for the Renton Reporter.
“I’m White Bear,” he said, as he set aside his shovel and walked over to me. I pointed to a scrap piece of corrugated wood leaning up against the raised, concrete flower bed. The words, DANGER HOLE were spray painted in black.
I glanced over on tiptoes at a hole that was roughly the size of a watermelon.
White Bear explained that the wood carver had left to continue his work at his workshop restoring the totem. And that he, was now digging what would become a seven foot hole that would be the new site of the old totem.
I asked White Bear how he became involved with the restoration of the totem pole.
Two years ago White Bear was parking on the fringe of the Fred Meyer parking lot. He looked up and what most had believed was a faded telephone pole surrounded by weeds and garbage. Was actually upon closer inspection a totem pole. White Bear began researching the pole at the Renton Historical Society and realized it was the Henry Moses Honoring Pole. It was his plan to restore the pole.
“And then it was stolen.” He said.
“What?” My ears perked up. “Stolen? Who stole it?”
White Bear didn’t answer my question. In a round about way he began to explain the bazaar circumstances by which the totem pole was found alongside another totem pole eight months ago— A West Seattle iconic 18-foot totem pole with wings — on a trailer parked at a senior center in Keizer, a suburb of Salem.
His skirting the issue of actually naming the individual who stole the totem.theft question reminded me of a Beatles lyric…I never give you my number, I only give you my situation.
Which of course like an unrequited love only encouraged my questions.
“But who stole it?” I cried impatiently.
White Bear explained that a crane operator was duped into believing he was assisting a member of the Seattle Arts Commission who was taking the West Seattle Totem Pole back to his property to refurbish it. At dusk in early December 2009 the crane operator with the alleged Seattle Arts Commissioner riding shotgun on a boom truck brodied up and over a curb and across a manicured lawn of a West Seattle park.
The phony arts commissioner unbolted the totem pole with large tools and the crane operator lifted the 500-pound, 18-foot-long totem pole onto his truck. Then the heavy truck sank into the mud. The crane operator called a local towing company. The police were called and directed traffic as they along with the towing company and crane operator unknowingly assisted in the theft.
I sat looking at White Bear stupefied. I had to see the totem. So I went looking for the wood carver.
I was in a frenzy to understand a story that had been going on for a while and yet I couldn’t believe that someone would steal a totem pole. It seemed so ballsy. And in broad daylight. I would have driven fifty miles to get a glimpse of that totem pole. As it turns out I didn’t have to, Jim lived less than five miles away from me. So on the way home from Fred Meyer’s I popped on by.
“Why would anyone want to steal a totem pole?” I asked Jim Ploegman the wood carver.
Every advance in the direction of talking about the totem thief would be stalled. Who was this guy? I had to know. Especially standing next to the totem. It was still in the process of being restored, but it was amazing and huge. Imagine a trunk of a huge cedar tree.
“Can we touch it?” I asked referring to the totem laying belly up on stilts.
Amelia, Baby Ty and I felt the smooth fin of a whale painstakingly carved into the thick cedar tree over thirty years ago. Jim began describing the colors he would use to breathe life back to the pole again.
“Who steals a totem pole?” I tried again, still trying to process such a galling theft. “Can you tell me his name?” I asked looking at Jim. He wore a mauve-colored beret (think Leonardo da Vinci) with an eagle feather poking out the side.
A look of disappointment descended across his face the way older people do when younger people just don’t get what’s important in life.
“You don’t want to write about this guy.” Jim said as if speaking of the thief was tantamount to conjuring the likes of Voldemort.
Jim waved us over and commenced a tour of his studio. Amelia was snapping shots with the digital camera as Jim described and pointed to a lifetime of treasures: Art, books, wood carving tools, a collection of antique ice skates dangled from the ceiling.
All the while I’m ashamed to admit…I was like a hunting dog follows the whiff of prey or in this case a good story. I felt myself becoming possessed by Bob Woodward, from the movie, All the Presidents Men, investigating the corruption of the century.
When I got home I contacted the Seattle Prosecutor. Why didn’t the police prosecute the totem thief? I cruised the internet and made a timeline on the wall to fill in the missing pieces about Chief Big Balls. Obviously that’s not his real name. He’s not a chief at all—he’s a seventy-year-old, white guy who goes around stealing totem poles. But for the sake of the story that’s what we’ll call him. The truth is Chief Big Ball is rich and apparently sue happy and successful at buying his way out of criminal prosecution.
Chief Big Balls whet his appetite with our towns totem pole (although there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Balls with the theft of the Henry Moses totem) and then according to police reports decided to steal West Seattle’s iconic 18-foot totem carved depictions of a beaver, raven, orca and spread-wing thunderbird for his new garage. According to documents he has a million dollar house in West Seattle and has recently built a country, waterfront estate in Black Diamond.
The iconic West Seattle Totem Pole was installed and dedicated in 1976. At the top, the 18-foot pole has a large bird with a wingspan of 12-feet. The pole overlooked Puget Sound and downtown Seattle. Robin Young, a Northwest Native American was commissioned to carve the pole by the West Seattle Rotarians in 1976 the Mayor named the pole after the Rotarians mission which is ironic, Service Above Self.
Had the landmark pole not been found it is estimated it would have cost $75,000 to replace it.
After a Rotary member discovered the pole was missing, he grew suspicious and asked his father to call the towing company and see where they’d taken it.
Apparently Chief Big Balls wanted the crane operator to put the totem pole in the garage but the boom was too high.
When police came to question Chief Big Balls he claimed to know nothing about the missing totem pole. But according to his neighbor he’d been bragging about putting a totem in the two-story stairwell of his garage/shop for months
The police also interviewed Chief Big Ball’s contractor who was aware that Big Ball’s had been trying to acquire a large Totem Pole with wings with the intent of putting in his garage.
In the end Chief Big Balls was not charged with the crime of stealing either totem. But instead paid over $20,000 in a plea agreement, and the money went toward the restoration of the West Seattle pole.
After a week of research I was exhausted. Besides, being an investigative reporter in Renton isn’t nearly as much fun as being a writer mom. Exposing villainy is stressful.
Jim was right.
I didn’t want to write about another rich guy with a Herculean sense of entitlement. The world was already full of too many of those stories.
A snapshot on my “conspiracy theory” board brought me back to reality. It was of Jim wearing Native American armor he’d fashioned out of soft leather and wooden plaits. Amelia posed alongside him brandishing the jawbone of an ox.
That day with Jim was one my seven-year-old daughter Amelia and I will never forget.
As for the Henry Moses honoring pole? It’s slated for rededication on May 7th in the Fred Meyer parking lot by the Seattle’s Best Coffee.