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‘Big Cook’ wants to help take the stress out of the big meal

Wed., Jan. 14, 2009

If dreading the dinner drill is a daily affair, here’s the antidote: “The Big Cook.”

Canadian authors Lorelei Thomas, Deanna Siemens and Joanne Smith are introducing their cookbook at 10 Costco stores in North America, starting Saturday with the two warehouses in Spokane.

The trio, who have 11 hungry children between them (10 are boys), will sign books and answer questions from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Costco’s North Side store, 7619 N. Division St.

From 3 to 6 p.m. they’ll be at the other Costco location, 5601 E. Sprague Ave.

The idea is that three or four friends spend a day preparing meals that can be frozen and then popped into the oven, simmered in the slow cooker, sautéed on the stove or slapped on the grill when needed.

Smith, a registered dietitian, helped design the recipes to be low-fat but flavorful. Thomas is a math teacher who knows that eating at home can help cut food costs.

And Siemens is a nurse and student who hopes church groups and social service organizations will use the book to deliver meals to those who need it, or teach families how to plan healthy meals together.

For more information and a sample recipe go to, or look at the Facebook page “The Big Cook.” The book is $24.95 and can be purchased online.

Chefs’ Culinary Classic

The Children’s Miracle Network will benefit from money raised at the annual Chefs’ Culinary Classic on Jan. 24.

Chefs from throughout the area will prepare a six-course meal for the black-tie event. Each course will be paired with wines. The evening also includes high-end silent and live auctions.

The dinner begins at 6 p.m. at the Davenport Hotel, 10 S. Post St. Tickets are $150, available at or by calling (509) 473-6370.

The Children’s Miracle Network is a service of Inland Northwest Health Services.

Pilgrim’s Market hosts classes

If the winter blahs have sapped your ideas for healthy meals, the Pilgrim’s Market deli manager is offering help.

Dane Rice, a chef who grew up in a small farming town, will demonstrate creative ways to make wintertime citrus salads at Pilgrim’s Market, 1316 N. Fourth Street, Coeur d’Alene, on Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m.

He’ll be using winter greens such as frisee, endive and radicchio, and adding tubers such as yams, sweet potatoes and more.

Pilgrim’s also will host Ann Louise Gittleman, author of “The Gut Flush Plan,” on Saturday from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

See or call (208) 667-9730 for more details.

We’re always looking for fresh food and restaurant news. Write to: The Fresh Sheet, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call (509) 459-5446, fax to (509) 459-5098 or send an e-mail to

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