cooking with sandy A chilly, rainy Saturday in March. What to do? A vegetarian cooking class at Root Candles (623 West Liberty Street) sounds like the perfect way to spend the lunch hour. And then, there is always the opportunity to browse through Root’s spectacular assortment of gifts and holiday items — and to take advantage of the sale on candles (20% off until March 28.)

First — the cooking class.  Sandy Baugh, a retired middle-school teacher with a warm, animated manner, runs her classes in the small cafe in the back of the store.  She doesn’t have a stove yet — the Root Company has  acquired one for her and it will arrive soon.

However, she makes extensive use of crock pots and a counter top pizza oven and has produced seven offerings.

This afternoon, in keeping with the Lenten season, the fare is meatless. Sandy begins with a Greek Rice Salad filled with anchovies and capers accompanied by a zucchini red pepper sesame cheese bread.  The key ingredients in both dishes come from bottled sauces from Stonewall Kitchen of Maine and are sold by Root — Stonewall Kitchen Classic Greek Dressing and their Roasted Red Pepper Sesame Sauce. Both offerings are very good, especially the Greek Salad.

She then moves on to two crock pots, one filled with a vegetarian chili and the other with a lentil soup.  Once again, the Stonewall sauces — Maple Chipotle Grill Sauce and Traditional Marinara Sauce are key.

While a pizza is baking in the little pizza oven on the counter, Sandy, keeps up a running commentary and offers two pasta salads — sun dried tomato pesto pasta — which several people in the class like very much, and a Mediterranean pasta made with an asparagus soup mix (Wind & Willow Red Pepper Asparagus Soup Mix) which is a bit bland.

The pizza, a Boboli crust with a Stone Kitchen Marinara Sauce covered with sauteed mushrooms and eggplant — very reminiscent of  that Italian restaurant staple, Eggplant Parmesan –  is the last item.

The class ends with a handful of recipes, a 25% coupon for all kitchen products, and an invitation to browse the extensive selection of sauces and mixes from a variety of manufacturers that Root carries.

And then, on to the rest of the store and the 20% off on candles.  Not a bad way to spend the day.

To contact Sandy for private classes:  call (330) 723-4359

For class schedule:  go to www.rootcandles.com

Recipes for all the dishes mentioned are available at www.stonewallkitchen.com .

Sandy Cooks

Endless choices from Stonewall Kitchen

Endless choices from Stonewall Kitchen

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