Cooking demonstrations, recipes, shopping and a free tote bag are all part of the fun at this year's Taste of Home Cooking School, sponsored by Fort Wayne Newspapers.
Taste of Home Culinary Specialist Dana Elliott will take to the Grand Wayne Convention Center stage again at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 to demonstrate how to make several recipes. The recipes will be included in a free magazine at the event, so attendees can follow along.
Also, the winners of the Fort Wayne Newspapers cooking contest will be announced at 6:30 p.m. that night. All attendees will receive a free copy of this year's cooking contest recipe book at the end of the night, which features more than 130 recipes.
Doors open at 4 p.m. for shopping at more than 50 vendor booths. Crafters and home-based business vendors will be selling their wares this year, in addition to some food-related vendors. The J Taylors will play jazz while people shop.
Fort Wayne Newspapers retail advertising Director Kathy Colclesser said the Taste of Home Cooking School “is a show that does really well as far as attendance. People tend to walk away really happy.”
All people attending will receive a gift tote bag filled with free advertisers products, coupons and magazines, as well as a free subscription to Taste of Home or The Family Handyman magazine. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the cooking school.
Those who order VIP tickets will get premium seating and a “Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes” cookbook in addition to the free tote bag.
An interview with Dana Elliott
Taste of Home Culinary Specialist Dana Elliott answered the following questions in an online interview:
Q. What recipes will you be demonstrating at the show in Fort Wayne?
A. I have everything from an Upside Down Apple Pie to Braised Beef Short Ribs and everything in between. There are a total of 10 recipes, and every attendee will receive a TOH magazine to follow along while I prepare these dishes.
Q. What are some ideas for holiday foods that look impressive yet aren't time-consuming to prepare (hors d'oeuvres, main meals or desserts).
A. Taste of Home is an absolute go to when it comes to holiday dishes. We have very easy to follow directions and mostly, ingredients are items you already have on hand in your pantry. www.tasteofhome.com is a fantastic website when it comes to the holidays. Not only are there thousands upon thousands of holiday recipes, but we also have very informative videos including how to truss a turkey, or garnish a delicious cake. It's so easy! I can get so caught up in all of the great ideas that are on the website, I run out of time to do the actual recipe!
Q. So many people get uptight when cooking for company. What are some ways to maintain your cool? (Or do you get stressed, too?)
A. Prepare some items ahead. You can always keep things cold, but when it comes to hot food, most can be re-heated without any fuss. This also frees up space in your oven. Use a slow cooker to keep your mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese warm before serving them.
Q. Do you have a favorite, traditional holiday dish you prepare? Is it a secret recipe, or do you share?
A. It's not a dish but holiday cookies are always expected. My 5-year- old niece and I have been baking the cookies together since she was 3 years old. She has her own apron and rolling pin, and quite frankly, she's pretty good! The sprinkles are always interesting, but nothing that a broom can't sweep up.
Q. Even pros have their bad days. Have you ever had a culinary disaster you can laugh about now, and is it a story you'd care to share with readers?
A. I have turned my mixer on high by accident many times and covered myself in a cloud of flour.