Janelle Maiocco


Welcome to my blog. I live in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle on an Urban Farm (w/ five laying hens and a huge garden). I am a trained chef (w/ a certificate in food preservation), taught at a cooking school & like to share 'kitchen hacks' - culinary tips that save time, money & maximize flavor. If that isn't enough, I also run a food+tech startup called Barn2Door.com - a platform to help everyone easily find & buy food directly from farmers, fishers & ranchers (from CSA's to urban farm eggs to 1/2 a grass-fed cow).

cooking school: week three

cooking school: week three


How is it going, you ask?

I think I need a tag line somewhere on my site that reads: mom goes to chef school (perhaps for my own benefit). I am approaching my third week and it remains surreal. I have a chef jacket and apron dangling from my indoor clothes' line with four tentatively placed clothespins... are they really mine?

Recently [though not surprisingly], people have been asking me: what do you want to do with a culinary degree? Work in a restaurant?

And my answer is: I am not sure what it is going to look like on the other end. And it doesn't bother me. I don't know if a restaurant is in my blood, though my hunch tells me I will take this culinary degree and wear it out. But the details? I haven't a clue.

For now, I will just focus on cramming things into my brain---and yours.

For my culinary program, I take one baking/pastry class, and it happens to be this quarter. Which is why on my first post about school you saw biscuits and on this one, banana nut bread. And I cannot tell you the inner radiance of pride and joy when a CHEF (aka what we call all of our teachers, because well, that is what they are, though it has that whiff of Top Chef that makes me want to chuckle) tells you your product---banana loaf, brown sauce, glass of water with ice for all I care---is worthy of a restaurant.

Such was this humble little loaf of banana bread:

Banana Bran Breadone large or two smaller loaves

1 cup butter 1/2 cup white sugar 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup bran 4 eggs 2 1/4 cup flour 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 cup raisins 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Oven to 350; grease and flour pans. Cream butter and sugars (on high 3-4 minutes, seriously). Then add banana, bran and eggs (we mixed half the bananas directly, and chopped half into 1/2 inch cubes and dropped in just to blend). Sift flour, baking soda and salt; add dry ingredients to the wet, just to moisten. Fold in raisins. Pour into pans, score top of loaves with spatula dipped in oil. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake 45- 1 hour, until edges begin to pull away from sides.

some baked-in science, and a little mustard magic.

some baked-in science, and a little mustard magic.

for my children: cheese tasting

for my children: cheese tasting