Cooking classes, chocolate cakes and Bangor’s Outdoor Market

Posted June 08, 2010, at 7:17 p.m.

The NewForest Institute in Brooks, the Belfast Co-op and Waterfall Arts in Belfast have teamed up to offer cooking classes featuring an array of cuisines, offered every other Wednesday, all summer long, and taught by chef Paul Drowns. The first class, set for 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at Waterfall Arts, will focus on “The Flavors of Provence,” highlighting the food of the French region. Participants will cook Bourride Provencal, a fish soup; Asperge Rotie aux Vinaigrette de Citron, roasted asparagus with lemon vinaigrette; Galette Lyonnaise, savory crushed and roasted potatoes; and Flognarde aux Figues Sechees, a custardy baked pancake. On June 30, Drowns will offer a pre-Columbian Spanish dinner, followed by classes focusing on Sardinian and Sicilian food, Moroccan and Tunisian food, grilling, cooking with terra cotta, and others to be determined. Each class includes appetizers, a complete dinner and recipes, and is limited in size to provide plenty of opportunity for discussion and participation. Participants may bring their own wine. Registration fee is $45 per person; to sign up, call Drowns at 409-3140, or e-mail paul@newforestinstitute.org.

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Baking a really good chocolate cake is harder than it looks, but Camden-based chef Elinor Klivans has mastered that art. So much so that her latest cookbook is called “Chocolate Cakes: 50 Great Cakes for Every Occasion.” Klivans will serve up chocolate cake and sign her book at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at Left Bank Books on Main Street in downtown Searsport. The book features recipes for bakers of every skill level, including tube cakes, rolled cakes, layer cakes, sheet cakes, loaf cakes, ice cream cakes, cakes that can be mixed, baked and served in under an hour, and tiered cakes filled with peanut butter mousse or frosted with truffle ganache. Klivans has also written the cookbooks “Cupcakes,” “Big Fat Cookies” and “The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook,” and has published articles in Fine Cooking and Bon Appetit magazines. Chronicle Books published “Chocolate Cakes,” which retails for $22.95.

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The fifth annual Outdoor Market will return to downtown Bangor from 5 to 8 p.m., starting Thursday, June 10, and continuing each Thursday through July 29. More than 35 vendors will offer bread, goat cheese, candy and other specialty food items, in addition to jewelry, handbags, home goods, pottery and more. Also new to downtown this week is Tate’s Strawberries, who have set up shop at the Hammond Street Senior Center. The senior center will earn a percentage for each box of strawberries it sells, and they can arrange for bulk deliveries if employees in nearby businesses want to place a large order. The sale will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, going until 7 p.m. Thursdays. Strawberries are expected to be ready by June 10, with fresh boxes being delivered daily. The sale will culminate with an all-day Everything Strawberry Dessert and Art Festival at the senior center on Friday, June 25. For information, call 262-5532.

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