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Taste of Home Cooking School: Tickets go on sale for popular event

Mary Janice Reisdorf

"Easy Breezy Spring" is the theme for the 2009 Taste of Home Cooking School to be presented April 23 by the Bemidji Pioneer.

Tickets for the event will go on sale at 8 a.m. Monday. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at the Pioneer office, 1320 Neilson Ave. S.E., or by calling 218-333-9200 to order by credit card. There is a limit of 10 tickets per person.

The Taste of Home Cooking School will be held at Bemidji High School. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for the vendor show in the Commons and the show starts at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium.

It will be the fourth such show presented by the Pioneer since 2003.

"We have sold out every time," said Dennis Doeden, Pioneer publisher. "What's interesting about it is attendees come from throughout the region."

He said the Taste of Home Cooking School has drawn visitors from Fort Frances, Ont.; Grand Forks, N.D.; the Iron Range and points between.

"I think it's because of the popularity of the Taste of Home brand, the magazine and their cookbook," Doeden said. "You just associate Taste of Home with quality and fun."

The Taste of Home Cooking School hallmark is personable presenters demonstrating how to make good food, tasty meals with simple, convenient, readily available ingredients.

The presenter this year will be Taste of Home culinary specialist Mary Janice Reisdorf, who conducts cooking schools throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Her love of traveling to experience the flavors of different cities combined with her enthusiasm for cooking allows her to share her culinary passion with audiences.

Doeden expressed appreciation to the appliance, furniture, cabinet, grocery and other local sponsors of the cooking school. These sponsors also contribute coupons to the gift bags all ticket holders receive at the door.

"One of the big deals about this is you get in your gift bag the value of your ticket price and more," he said.

Reisdorf's previous work includes catering and teaching at popular recreational cooking schools in Dallas and Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She also earned a culinary certificate from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in London, England, as well as an Associate Degree in culinary arts from Kendall College in Chicago, Ill.

Reisdorf will share spring get-together tips and suggestions during her "Easy Breezy Spring" presentation.

Reisdorf said she has always been passionate about food and cooking.

"As a little girl, one of my favorite activities was to help my mother cook for our family," she said in a press release. "As I got older, I would flip through her cookbooks and find recipes that I wanted to try. She would then take me to the grocery store and help me get all the ingredients. I remember when I first made banana bread all by myself. I was so proud of my accomplishment that I literally made banana bread almost every day that summer. My sweet mother never complained. Instead, she dubbed me 'the cook' and continued buying bananas."

She said she especially enjoys getting "people excited about food by passing on delicious and approachable recipes."

Reisdorf and her husband, Eric, enjoy traveling, running, biking, scuba diving and spending time with family.

Reisdorf said she is looking forward to the Taste of Home Cooking School in Bemidji.

"We're going to have a lot of fun at this event," she said. "Trust me - you don't want to miss it."

Check out the Taste of Home Web site at