Give Thanks!

Gina and Kerry serving grilled sweet potato steaks over kale at FarmFest12 in Mount Holly

Oh how thankful we are for the wonderful
 blessings this year has brought to us!  

We would like to take the opportunity to Give Thanks to so many of you.....

With Zhanna (L) & Bland at AAA of the Carolinas

--All of the organizations that are working to bring greater health to their employees and members by incorporating our Culinary Wellness Lunch & Learns into their group wellness programs this year




--All of the families and organizations that made it a priority to bring healthy, seasonal, locally-produced foods to their family, friends and members of the community by inviting Bocca Felice to cater their special events





--All of you that participate in our Community Cooking Classes & Demonstrations, whether at Central United Methodist Church, Cabarrus County Libraries, the Mount Holly Farmers Market or other open events....
Your support in helping us make our community healthier is greatly appreciated!
Happy Holidays!
                                                                                                           

Holiday Cooking 
at the Concord Library

Visit our Monthly Classes Tab for information on our Healthy Holiday Cooking Classes for Teens and Adults being held at the Concord Library this month.  We hope you can join us for all the  culinary fun this holiday season!
                                                                                                           

Gina featured 
in The Charlotte Observer!

We loved receiving all of your feedback after The Charlotte Observer ran the article that featured us in the Sunday edition of the Cabarrus News section in October, called "She's breaking the sugar habit".  

If you did not have the opportunity to read this lovely article by author Susan Shinn, then please take a moment to click on the article title above, and it will link you right to it!

Join us this October!


What an exciting month we have ahead!  October kicks off with a bang this weekend with the Piedmont Farmers Market Harvest Gala Friday evening from 6:00 - 9:00pm.  

The event will include live music by Rusty Mandolin, both a silent and live auction, an amazing local food buffet created by Bocca Felice (my personal favorite part of the event), local wines and beer, a lovely venue at the Old Creamery, and of course, fellowship and support for our local farmers market.  I have tickets on hand if anyone is interested in purchasing them directly from me, or you can use your credit card to buy them online at http://piedmont-farmersmarket.com/tickets.html

FarmFest 2012
If you are looking for a fantastic outdoor event for your entire family, then consider the Mount Holly Farmers Market annual fundraiser FarmFest 2012 being held at the Redlair Farm and Forest this Saturday!  


The event will run from 2pm- 10pm, and will have live music, games, local foods, and nature hikes galore.  We will be serving one of the local dishes at the event: a bed of red Russian kale topped with grilled sweet potato steaks, then drizzled with hot maple-apple cider dressing, and further sprinkled with Thomas Family goat cheese and toasted pepitas!  For more information, click on this link to this Charlotte Observer article all about FarmFest2012 http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/09/21/3543921/mount-holly-farmfest-12-a-best.html

                                                                                             

October Cooking Classes 

Gina in Greensboro studying cheesemaking
Please visit our Monthly Classes Tab to learn more about the exciting classes we are offering this fall including:


"Breaking the Sugar Habit"  Tuesday, October 9th, 6:15-7:45 pm

"The Art of Cheesemaking" (hands-on class) Wednesday, October 31st,  11:30am-1:30pm, and Thursday, November 1st, 6:00-8:00pm

Harvest Time!

 

It has been an excitingly busy summer filled with library classes, weddings, birthday parties, swim team, family vacations, "cheffing"at the Mt. Holly Farmers Market, Mecklenburg County cooking campers, and long nights around the grill catching lightening bugs!

We have missed all our cooking class friends, and are ready to gather together again, and continue on our journey of preparing healthy, seasonal, delicious dishes. 

Our September Cooking Class line up includes a "Saving Summer's Bounty" class, along with an all new "Healthy Cooking 101" class at the West Cabarrus YMCA.  Class descriptions, dates and times are all listed under our Monthly Classes tab.  We look so forward to seeing many of your smiling faces in the weeks to come!




Be sure to mark your calendars for other upcoming local events:

We will be cooking up local flavors at the Cabarrus County Fair on Friday, September 14th...come visit us inside at the Food Policy Council booth!



We will be catering the local food driven, seasonal buffet at 
The Piedmont Farmers Market 
2nd Annual Harvest Gala
Friday, October 5th,  6:00 - 9:00pm
The Old Creamery, Concord
For more information, and ticket purchases, please visit http://piedmont-farmersmarket.com/tickets.html



We are thrilled to be preparing local foods as one of the three chefs at Mt. Holly's FarmFest 2012 on Saturday, October 6th, 2:00 - 10:00pm @ the Redlair Farm & Forrest
For more information, and ticket purchases, please visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/FarmFest12/131551740279177


Enjoy the last days of summer, and we look forward to the amazing fall season ahead!



Peach-a-Palooza!!

One of the gifts of a Carolina summer is the sweet, juicy, delicious peach!


Peaches have a strong history in the Carolinas, dating back to the late 1600s when they were first discovered in South Carolina.  Since then many hybrids of the original peach tree have been created, and are often named after the Carolina town from which they came.

When peach season is upon us, we can almost smell it in the air....and then the cravings for that perfect local peach sets in...and as author Michael Graff puts it, "The peach becomes a destination (Barbee Farms for me)...each one is sweet...each one is juicy...each one insists that you live in the moment."* 

At the Mount Holly Farmer's Market, like all over North Carolina, it is "Peach-a-Palooza"!  The peaches have changed from clingstones to freestones, and have also become a cornerstone in my family's daily diet.  Therefore, I chose to prepare two amazing peach dishes during our most recent culinary demonstration at the Mount Holly Farmers Market, and we have provided the recipes for you to try in our Recipe Box....Enjoy!!!

We will return to Mount Holly again on August 11th and 18th, and we look forward to seeing what is in full-bounty at the market to share with all the market patrons and guests!  Hope to see you there!


* Quote taken from "Sweet Carolina" article in June 2011 edition of Our State; North Carolina magazine...visit www.ourstate.com for a collection of peach recipes!

It's Summertime!

Happy Summer Everyone!
On Saturday, June 9th, Mia and I kicked off the summer season at the Mount Holly Farmers Market with a delicious cooking demonstration that included Beet & Carrot Salad, Asian Slaw with Apple Orchard Bratwurst, Chevre Log with Wildflower Honey, and a Grilled Lettuce & Swiss Chard Salad-- recipes are posted in the BF Recipe Box Tab!  
We have been welcomed with open arms by all the vendors in Mount Holly, and feel blessed to be their "Chef in Residence" this summer.  We will return again on 6/23, and look forward to what wonderful produce the farmers will have for us to cook up then!  To learn more about the Mount Holly Farmers Market and its vendors, please visit their Facebook page.



The Abernathy Family knows that being a part of the Mount Holly Farmers Market is a family affair!  (Mia joined the picture on the R)




The local 5th grade Safety Patrols serve at the Mount Holly Farmers Market to assist vendors and customers with their produce.





Our Special Event "The Perfect Picnic" taking place at the Guthrie Home on Saturday, June 16th has been postponed due to Father's Day weekend conflicts.  We plan to reschedule this fabulous class during the Indian Summer....hope to see you then!

May is Blooming!



 Mount Holly Farmers Market 
"Chef in Residence"


 Starting this month, and continuing for eight Saturday's throughout the summer season, Gina will be heading to the Mount Holly Farmers Market to share a collection of recipes using seasonal, locally-grown ingredients as the "Chef in Residence".  


The Charlotte Observer featured an article in the Sunday paper all about the Mount Holly Farmers Market and our upcoming culinary presence there this summer, starting on Saturday, May 26th.  If you would like to read the article, learn more about the Mt. Holly Market, or mark your calendars for the dates we will be presenting our culinary "show", please click on this article link.  

 

  Pasta Making was a Great Joy!

Pam & Cindy are 'Pasta Queens'

      I don't think we could have had more fun at this month's "Joy of Pasta Making" Cooking Classes held on May 14th!  

Both the afternoon and evening groups learned how to become "one with the dough" as they made homemade pasta dough by hand, and further prepared the pasta using old-world pasta guitarras, modern pasta cranks and cutters, as well as several 'by-hand' methods.   
Heather & her mother Pat share in the joys of pasta making

Once the pasta was made, we drowned it in two delicious sauces-- Lemon, Broccoli and Arugula Primavera, and Caramelized Onion and Mushrooms!  Both were delicious, and the entire class was enjoyed by all-- thank you for your participation, and I look forward to hearing about your continued at-home pasta adventures!






**Please take a look at more pics from our Pasta Class posted on the BF Facebook page


 
 

Registration is now open for
June's Special Event Cooking Class
"The Perfect Summer Picnic"

For all the details on this extra fun special event at the Guthrie home, please click on the Monthly Classes tab!  Hope to see you there!

 
 


 
Gina with fellow Cabarrus County Food Policy Council members at the Piedmont Farmers Market expansion ceremony
   Bocca Felice has had a busy spring season!  In addition to our local and corporate cooking classes, we have supported such events throughout our community as the Spring Herb & Plant Festival, the "Fresh" Movie Event sponsored by the Kannapolis Library, West Cabarrus YMCA Healthy Kids Day, and a Farm to Classroom Program at Cox Mill High School! 




 

Go Local!

      Spring is here, and with it comes so many exciting happenings around our community that conjure up the "Green" in all of us!  It all kicks off Saturday, 4/14, with the Master Gardener's 7th Annual Spring Herb & Plant Festival at the Piedmont Farmers Market on Winecoff School Road.  

I will be there along with other members of the Cabarrus Food Policy Council to tour newcomers (and festival veterans) around the 'campus', introducing them to our local farmer/producers and offering some guidance and education about preparing your seasonal garden.   The festival will take place rain or shine from 8:00am-5:00pm, and we will be offering tours from 10:00am-12:00pm.

And while you are in the neighborhood, head over to the 3rd Annual Viva Verde Earthfest taking place at North Cabarrus Park from 10:00am-3:00pm. There will be entertainment for all ages, and activities focused on recycling and green living.  For your convenience, there will be a shuttle moving between the Piedmont Farmers Market and the Viva Verde Fest.  More information regarding both events is available when searched on-line.   Hope to see you all there!





"FRESH" the Movie Special Screening in Kannapolis

If you haven't had a chance to see the incredible grassroots food documentary "Fresh", now is your chance!  Bocca Felice has volunteered to assist the Kannapolis Library in this special movie screening event to be held on Thursday, April 19th, at 4:30pm at the Piedmont Farmers Market Kannapolis location in Cannon Village.


"Fresh" is a movie that embodies the good food movement...originally set out to simply encourage a new way of thinking about the way we are eating, but has become a huge success in influencing people about their daily food choices.  In an effort to bring greater health to the members of our community, and support the NC Science Festival taking place this month, the Kannapolis library has arranged for this special 1-hour movie viewing event, and afterwards, as a representative of Bocca Felice and the Cabarrus County Food Policy Council, I will be hosting a market tour, along with some simple culinary demonstrations with the foods available at the market. 


If you are a foodie and interested in learning more about where your food is coming from, and what you can do about it, this movie is not to be missed!  We hope you will take advantage of this free special event....and hope to see you at the movies!  For more information about this event, or other events this month, please search online: NC Science Festival, Kannapolis.




May's Cooking Class:  "The Joy of Pasta Making"


We are taking registrations for May's hands-on Cooking Class "The Joy of Pasta Making"; with 2 class opportunities scheduled on 
Monday, May 14th:
11:30am -1:30pm     and     6:00pm - 8:00pm

For more information on this special 2-hour hands-on class, please click on the Monthly Classes tab on the menu bar.  Looking forward to sharing our family's pasta making traditions with you!


It's Spring Time!


Healthy Meal Planning 101
This month we are mixing together one part pantry readiness with one part pre-planning; add a dash of creativity, and we have the the perfect recipe for a week's worth of healthy meals for you and your family!  Join us this month for our "Healthy Meal Planning 101" Cooking Class to learn a collection of tips and techniques that will help you bring healthy fare to your table every day!

 Please click on the "Monthly Classes" tab for detailed information on this class including dates, times and registration....Happy, Healthy Cooking! 



When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a
Big Pizza Pie...That's Amore!

Our hands-on "Pizza! Pizza!" Cooking Class last month brought out a little Italian in all of us! Everyone went home with their own pizza dough to recreate all the deliciousness from class in their own kitchen!  We made a collection of 'pies' including traditional Margherita with fresh mozzarella and thin tomato slices... my favorite of chicken, caramelized red onions and goat cheese from our local Heritage Homestead Dairy...and we even made a s'mores-esque dessert pizza!

Grazie to everyone that joined us in March, and I can't wait to share all the fabulous photos!


If you would like to share in some "hands-on" culinary fun, join us for our upcoming "Joys of Pasta Making" class coming in May.  Details are posted in our "Monthly Classes" tab.


(More pictures to come!)


Pizza! Pizza!

Our "Pizza! Pizza!" Cooking Class is scheduled for this month, and we can't wait to get all floured-up in the kitchen together as we each work our hands into homemade dough to create one of Italy's greatest gifts to American cuisine...PIZZA!


Please click on the "Monthly Classes" tab for detailed information on this class including dates, times and registration....Hope to see you in the kitchen!





"Laissez le bon temps rouller!"

Everyone had a deliciously-fun evening when we celebrated Mardi Gras together....feasting on traditional New Orleans-style dishes, while savoring the Cajun and Creole flavors that dominate that region.

Together we feasted on Jambalaya, Shrimp Ettouffe, Red Beans and Rice, Pecan Pralines and King Cake!

Thank you to everyone that came out for our Fat Tuesday Celebration and we look forward to Fran Fisher and Pam Novasad making next year's King Cakes!  




Mark Your Calendars Bocca Felice Friends!

Our April Cooking Class "Healthy Meal Planning 101" has been posted!
Visit the "Monthly Classes" tab for class description, dates and times....Hope you can join us!