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Are you looking for fast and fresh meals to serve your family?  Interested in the Mediterranean eating plan? Then join us on Tuesday, September 29, for the Dinner Tonight: A Taste of Fast and Fresh cooking school. This event will be held at the Conference Center at Collin College Preston Ridge campus, 9700 Wade Blvd., in Frisco.


During this event, you will see demonstrations of quick and easy-to-make recipes to create at home; taste samples of the prepared menus; learn healthy and economical meal preparation ideas; discover new culinary tips and food preparation techniques as well as receive a cookbook and have the opportunity to win door prizes.


Chef Darren McGrady will return as the Royal Host  for the evening  to share palace experiences as well as to demonstrate a recipe from his cookbook, “Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen.”   Chef McGrady is the former chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales and Princes William and Harry.  He has donated an autographed copy of his cookbook, which includes more than 100 recipes and 150 photos, for a raffle with proceeds benefiting educational scholarships for Frisco ISD Career and Technical Center students and Collin College Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Education students.  Tickets, which may be purchased on site from 5:45 -6:30 p.m. that evening, are $1 each or 6 for $5.  Other items will also be included in the raffle including a signed puck from the Dallas Stars, ladies bicycle from Richardson Bike Mart, Vera Wang insulated bag and gift baskets from Frisco Farm Shop, Calloway’s in Frisco and Pure Plates.   


 “While there are many groups that conduct cooking schools, we believe our Dinner Tonight event has a unique niche,” states Carrie T. Brazeal with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, a sponsor of the event. “Our recipes are cost effective, easy-to- prepare and fit into a healthy meal plan.  The recipes are inspired by the Mediterranean eating plan and are perfect for busy people who still want to make time for meal preparation and feel good about what they are serving their families.”


“We have tested all of the recipes and they are perfect for busy families. The cookbook will soon become one of your favorites,” says Brazeal.   

Other sponsors include Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, Frisco ISD Career and Technical Center, Collin College’s Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Education, Market Street, the Junior League of Collin County, Texas Beef Council, and DairyMAX.  

Doors open at 5:45 p.m. with the cooking school beginning at 6:30 pm and concluding at 8:30 p.m. Two easy and nutritious menus each consisting of an entrée, side and/or dessert will be demonstrated so you can see how easy and quick they are to prepare.  The audience will sample both menus.


Those attending will receive a cookbook consisting of the demonstrated recipes along with recipes for ten additional menus that can easily be created at home. Participants will also receive a reusable grocery bag filled with recipes and health information, a free gift from the Texas Beef Council, and other items.


Registration fee is $20 per person before September 1 and $25 after September 1.  Register online at  by September 25.  You may also call 1.877.847.9355 to register.  Go to for additional information or contact Brazeal at  or 972.424.1460, Ext. 4233.


Here is one of Brazeal’s favorite recipes from the cookbook: Greek Quiche


8 ounces thinly sliced fresh mushrooms

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1 10-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 ounces feta cheese

2 eggs

1 cup liquid egg whites

½ cup jarred roasted red bell peppers

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sauté mushrooms in a skillet with a little non-stick cooking spray until tender.  Add the garlic.  Turn heat up to medium-high and continue to sauté until all of the water released from the mushrooms has cooked away.


Spray a 9-inch pie dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Using paper towels, thoroughly dry thawed spinach and spread evenly in dish.  Add mushrooms and feta cheese.  In medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites, roasted red bell peppers, oregano and basil.  Pour over spinach and mushrooms.


Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake about 40-45 minutes or until the center is solid and top golden brown.  Serves 6. Per serving:  129 calories, 3.2 g fat, 3.3 mg cholesterol, 290 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrates, 1.2 g fiber, 6 g protein.

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