Going to a cooking class at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms in Manhattan Beach is like going home to dinner with your family and friends. Most of the people know each other from previous classes and if you are new, Grace-Marie tells everyone around you to talk to you and make you feel at home. Which they do.
This salad, with papaya, avocado and pineapple, was part of the Cinco de Mayo class I attended and photographed. It is sweet and lush, and the poppy seeds give it an extra little dimension. I think you could use mango instead of papaya, and kiwi would work in this salad also. This would also be a great accompaniment to any grilled chicken or seafood on your summer menu.
Some of Grace-Marie’s students have left wonderful comments on my posts about her and I thought they could give you an idea of how they feel about her and her classes. Here are a few:
“I have been going to Grace Marie’s cooking classes for the last 10 years. I have collected so many great recipes from her. We have a group of 6-10 gals who go from Westchester. 4 of us (and husbands) get together every 3 months for a gourmet dinner using mostly GM’s recipes. ~ Alice
Grace Marie you soooooooooooo deserve the recognition for a job ALWAYS well done. I have enjoyed learning with you over the years. You are one of my best go to people for ideas always when it comes to cooking. Thanks and love……..Marti
I’ve been attending Grace-Marie’s “Lunch with Friends” cooking classes faithfully for the past 2 – 3 years, and it’s wonderful!! Can’t tell you how many great recipes I’ve been able to re-create at home with RAVES from my family and friends. Grace-Marie is always entertaining, very knowledgeable, and full of spunk! Bristol Farms is one of my favorite places to shop, and they’re very lucky to have her running their cooking school. ~ Kim”
“I am so pleased to see how much you enjoy attending Grace Marie’s Kitchen cooking classes. They are the best and her ability to create the wonderful meals she does is out of this world. She lives and breathes her passion 7 days a week. I should know as I have done the dishes for her at this school at least 15 years. I am glad she is getting more exposure through sites like yours. Good for you. ~ Pam
Grace-Marie, you outdid yourself with this recipe (Ibarra Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake). I’ve already made it and shared it with several people I know. Everyone I’ve served this to really loved it and of course, had to have the recipe. Thanks for being you and having such a great cooking school. You share so much with all you know. Love, Fran”
For additional recipes, click on Grace-Marie’s Kitchen under Catagories in the right column.
Fiesta Fruit and Avocado Salad
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons shallots – roughly chopped
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper – seeded & roughly chopped
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin – dry pan roasted
To season — Kosher or sea salt & ground black pepper
Using a blender, combine the oil, lime juice, honey, shallots, poppy seeds, jalapeno, mustard and cumin. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
1 medium pineapple – peeled, cored and diced medium
2 medium papayas (pink flesh) – peeled, seeded & diced medium
2 medium avocados – peeled, seeded, water rinsed & diced medium
1 cup red onion – thinly sliced
½ cup cilantro leaves – roughly chopped
¼ cup mint – thinly sliced
As you prepare the pineapple, papaya, avocado, red onion, cilantro and mint, layer each into a salad bowl. Toss gently with the vinaigrette.
8 ounces fresh Mexican cheese (Queso Fresco, Cojita, etc.) – crumbled
Serve family style or individual plates garnished with the cheese.