Table for 12: Dishing Up Cooking and Community

¡Ay, caramba! We’ve had a whirlwind tour of Mexico this past week, haven’t we? Maybe you’ve whipped up a Prickly Pear Margarita or considered trying some Mexican wine. Well, this week I’m wrapping it up with one last post focused on one of the world’s greatest cuisines: Mexican food.

The simple things are often the best things, and to me Mexican food is perennially popular because the ingredients are specific to Mexican land and culture but they are simple, wholesome, and flavorful, which gives the cuisine broad appeal.

If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you may have seen some photos I shared a while ago about a certain cooking class. That was in April, and so today here is the post I promised. Enjoy! (Hint, hint, this event makes a great Mother’s Day present for those shopping for the occasion.) 😉

Table for 12 Edmonds

Table for 12
Edmonds, Washington

My mom treated me and my husband to a night out in Edmonds at Table for 12, a recently-opened studio kitchen in which to take group cooking classes and also the home of food production company, 12 Tomatoes. Check out their drool-worthy videos on their YouTube channel! I’m fixing on making something from them soon.

The theme of our class was Street Taco Table. All of us rallied around the table and every person had a hand in creating this gigantic, awesome feast. The vibe is relaxed and all about being together and having fun while cooking, not trying to be Master Chefs. And whaddya know, we also learned some better cooking techniques too while having fun. 🙂

We each had several things to do throughout the night: I chopped veggies for salsa, shredded lettuce, made vinaigrette, and tossed salad, among other things. I also got to fry tortilla strips for the salad, which was good practice for me to deep fry without fear (I avoid deep frying in my home kitchen). My husband also chopped produce, roasted veggies for salsa, and helped make tortillas.

Chef Dom did a great job explaining our tasks and delegating just the right amount of work to each person. It’s great to have access to a professional chef for 3 hours to ask any and all your nagging cooking questions! I should also mention they pay the highest attention to hygiene and safety for all their events at Table for 12, and that all levels of cooking experience (or lack thereof!) are welcome.

I’ve been to a number of cooking classes and demonstrations over the years… ones where you are required to stand and cook most of the time, others where you are seated and watching a chef create magic. This event struck a happy balance between watching and learning from the chef-expert and getting to practice cooking skills (i.e. chopping, sautéing, etc.) – just the right amount of activity at each end of the spectrum. One cooking class I took in the past had me standing and hustling most of the night, with little to no chance to sit down. It was interesting and fun but tiring. This was definitely not tiring, with plenty of time to cook, seated or standing, and plenty of time to sit down and sip our wine or beer (or muy deliciosa agua fresca). 🙂

The event ran from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Because you don’t eat the dinner until 9:30 pm or later that night, I recommend adjusting your eating schedule the day of your event and either have a late big lunch in the afternoon or normal lunch and then a light snack or meal to tide you over until later. We did have chips and salsa to nosh on, but the point is to be cooking, not sitting and dining.

All classes are limited to 12 people, and since there were about 4 no shows, we had a slightly smaller group. Group size is a very important factor for an event: just the right amount to get to know folks, but also not so few that all the work falls on a couple people. Can I also say how thankful I am to be back in person, out and about doing things with other humans after COVID? It’s so great. ❤

Street Taco Table, Table for 12 Edmonds

Street Taco Table
Table for 12
Edmonds, Washington

Here is the menu. Everything was fresh, colorful, flavorful, and delicious. It proved to us how relatively easy it is to prepare Mexican food at home that tastes WAY BETTER. We are not shy about making our own tortillas now. We got to take home printed copies of the recipes and we also got to take home leftover food. We gave it to my mom and she verified it was excellent. 🙂

Street Taco Table Menu

  • Crunchy Green Taco Salad 
    This is what salad is all about: rainbow colors, flavors, and textures. I could eat this salad every day. Sorry I don’t have a better picture of the salad; above it’s buried under other food.
  • Dry-Rubbed Carne Asada with Fresh Flour Tortillas and Salsa Roja
    Carne Asada was terrific. The salsa was fantastic. The freshly made tortillas beat anything I’ve bought at the store. Going to be making these at home.
  • Spanish Rice and Brothy Beans
    This was not your average rice n’ beans snooze fest from your average Mexican restaurant. Hearty and with amped up flavor. ❤
  • Mango Tres Leches with Fresh Mango and Salted Whipped Cream
    Even though I was getting quite stuffed after the main meal, I still saved a little room for dessert, and am I glad I did! This dessert was amazing not just for taste, but it was light and refreshing after a hefty meal – how many cake recipes do you know of that can achieve that after dinner?
Mango Tres Leches Cake, Table for 12 Edmonds

Mango Tres Leches Cake
Table for 12
Edmonds, Washington

While this was not a wine event per se, our tickets included two beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) for the evening. We also had the option of purchasing additional beverages or bottles à la carte. I had a glass of both their featured white and red wines, which came from the excellent wine shop next door, Arista Wine Cellars (they are listed on my Places to Taste page). The white was the 2021 Domaine De L’arfentiere, Macon Uchizy Chardonnay Burgundy France and the red was the 2020 Mark Ryan Lu & Oly Red Blend Columbia Valley Washington. Both super delicious wines I enjoyed that each went very well with our Mexican cuisine.

Want to know something super cool? You can even take FREE CLASSES from Chef Dom online. He offers a wide variety of topics and recipes. Great option especially if you are out of town. Here is a class happening this Wednesday: Southern Comfort.

Personally, while I’m thankful for technology, nothing beats the in-person experience, so please take a look at their current classes, gather some friends (or go solo and make friends!) and go to a live class. Prices as of May 2023 are $99/person before tax and tip.

¡Salud! 🙂

Muchas gracias a mi madre por una noche sabrosa y divertida.


Break Out the Bubbly Without Breaking the Bank: Sparkling Wine 101

Bust out the bubbles, it’s time to celebrate!

Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I receive a commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Ah, champagne… flying corks, foaming bottles, glittering crystal champagne flutes, hearty dinner toasts brimming with pomp, glamorous soirees swirling with evening gowns, tuxedos, and string quartets. These are the usual images that come to my mind when I hear the word “champagne.” For many of us, champagne seems elite, unknowable, and seldom appropriate. In our minds, it is reserved only for extremely special occasions (for whatever reason) or it seems too complex and distant to be enjoyed. I aim to change your thinking! Champagne is within your reach and you might be surprised by its potential once you start exploring it more.

For the record, champagne is not truly champagne unless it is produced and bottled in Champagne, France. Anything else is technically a sparkling wine. “Champenoise” refers to the method and style in which champagne is made. If you’d like to read more about this specific process of “methode champenoise,” read here.

I haven’t had much opportunity to try true champagnes, so if you’re reading this and you feel it upon your heart to expand this wine blogger’s horizon into the elevated world of fine French champagnes, be my guest and send me a bottle!

This time of year there is no shortage of graduations and accompanying festivities, honoring those who have completed their educations, be it victorious triumph or barely skating through (also a feat worthy of celebration!). It’s a highly-charged, emotional time, both for the graduate and the loved ones who have supported the graduate along the way, and such occasions call for fine food and drinks to make the celebrations memorable and meaningful. It’s also summer (theoretically, in Seattle) and therefore an opportune time for a chilled, fizzy alcoholic beverage like sparkling wine.

Mumm Napa Valley Cuvee is a fine sparkling wine whose price won’t cause a heart attack and whose quality won’t leave you with a raging headache. I find this wine smooth, refreshingly drinkable and with interesting flavors. It even works well in a mimosa (sparkling wine and orange juice). My husband and I got some as a housewarming gift when we purchased our first home. Nothing makes you feel more grown up than buying a house and being given “champagne” to boot!

The tasting notes are so romantic and poetic, I have the urge to put on a Jane Austen movie and throw a tea party: “Cuvée M is a modern, slightly sweet sparkling release. Light peach rose in the glass, aromas are elegant, rich and complex, showing fresh white and yellow stone fruits with subtle hints of wild strawberry. A heady touch of fresh brioche, with hints of vanilla and honey add to the wine’s complex bouquet. Flavors of peach and pear combine with a creamy caramel character, on a long, satisfying finish. Great for champagne cocktails or as an aperitif with hors d’oeuvres. Cuvee M also matches up beautifully to creamy desserts [and] spicy entrées. Enjoy.”

So far this year I have been to two graduations. One was a very moving high school graduation, for a private high school with six graduating seniors in the class, all of whom had overcome major obstacles in their education. The other was for a friend who obtained his master’s degree from a large public university, with English not being his first language. His mother traveled across the globe to be with her son on that day. I wanted to share the beautiful toast she spoke at his graduation dinner: “For the music in our souls! Let the music in our souls always sound for those we love and care for and those who love and care for us.”

I could not end on a more perfect note. Cheers!