15 June - Cooking Live

When dear friend Bryan asked if my husband and I wanted to go out for date night, I didn't realize it would be for a taping of a local cooking show. Perfect. My
husband is an incredible chef, and I happen to love to eat. We picked up some bottles of wine and met them at the studio for an episode of "La Cuisine du Garage." I have been on commercial sets, Oprah tapings, watched Clooney go through a revolving door for "ER" and was an extra for films like "Major League" when it came to Milwaukee. Hubbo and I have participated in numerous cooking classes from beautiful Kohler to our vibrant Chicago. But I have to say, for as many complex and gourmet dishes Hubbo has created, and for how constant "Food Network" is on at our home, we have never attended a taping of a cooking show.

The two hosts, John Ash and Mark Meddaugh, have been friends since high school. One is now a physical therapist by trade, the other, a teacher. What brought them together was their joy in cooking for their families. What brought about the show was simply their steadfastness to try. They enrolled in a television production course over six years ago. They then took their love for experimenting in different cuisines with the practicality of down-to-earth DIYers and birthed "La Cuisine du Garage." Completely unpretentious. Their set took that idea one step further...the garage set dons utensils interspersed with license plates. Their one-hour show taped live, no edits or cuts, includes up to four recipes with wit and banter that interacts with their audience. They began in 2003, are currently in 35 cities on public access, including Milwaukee, Chicago and St. Louis. The award-winning show just recently finished Episode 57. Kudos.

What I found delightful and commend them for was these two men created something later in their lives, with careers already established. To identify the desire for something more, then to identify the outlet to satiate that need, takes courage. And with their proactive and salt of the earth nature, they "got up and did." I hope this relays the essence of this blog -- everyday people who humbly go about their lives, pushing the needle to make things happen. As Hubbo says, "They had an itch and they scratched it."

The theme of the show we attended centered around brunch. Here are two recipes that are extremely simple and quite tasty.

Mexican Strata

6 eggs
2 1/2 c milk
1/2 c cream
1/2 T LCDG #9 Seasoning
3-4 stalks green onion
1/2 c grated parmesano reggiano
1/2 inch cut bread, sourdough, wheat, etc.
2 c mexican grated cheese
1 pound browned chorizo or Italian sausage with 1 can of adobo chipotle peppers

In a 9 x 13 baking pan, layer custard, bread, custard, half cheese, half sausage mixture, bread, custard, remaining sausage mixture then end with remaining cheese. Let sit for 20 minutes, allowing bread to soak up custard. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes. Watch for consistency.

Cucumber Soup

3 cucumbers, peeled, deseeded, roughly chopped
1/2 c vegetable broth
1/2 c sour cream
1 clove garlic, rough chopped
1 T shallot, rough chopped
zest of 1 lemon
3T lemon juice
1t salt and pepper, additional to taste

Place all in food processor. Serve cold.

To attend a taping and for more information regarding "La Cuisine du Garage", please visit http://lacuisinedugarage.blogspot.com/