Ask Terri a cooking question

HOME | News | Cooking Basics | Kitchen Tools | Cooking Tips | Ingredients | Wine & Food | About Terri

October 21, 2015

UT Mediterranean Cooking Class

A Mediterranean diet incorporates wonderful fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains into delicious recipes that follow the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. If you're looking for a heart-healthy eating plan, that limits unhealthy fats, the Mediterranean diet might be right for you.

On the menu:
Tomato, Olive and Caper Tapenade Salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette, Seafood Paella with Couscous
Grilled Peaches, Pineapple and Bananas with a Blueberry Mint Sauce.


Read more ...

UT Baking class continues

Again, I really enjoyed teaching the last baking class. It was the 4th class and these class participants were amazing. They took creativity to the next level. For the recipes click here.
biscuit and cake recipes

Read more ...

September 29, 2015

Glass Bazaar Cooking Classes

Our cooking classes at the Glass Bazaar are amazing! Not only are they informative and fun, they are delicious.

The chefs provide recipes, a full meal and an opportunity to learn from experienced chefs and instructors like David Pinckney and Gary Nicely, both who have been teaching there for over 15 years.

A "taste" of David's Fabulous Classes:


Gary Nicely is a favorite among many. His classes will amaze you.

And I couldn't leave myself out



Photo by Neeley Moore


We have about 10 chefs and instructors who are regulars and we are always looking for new chefs too.

Read more ...

Cooking Wiser Cooking Classes

Want to improve your cooking skills? Need tips, ideas and new and creative recipes. Maybe you are interested in food and wine pairing.

Book a cooking class as a girl's night out, a special dinner party, or just an excuse for someone else to cook for you.


A cooking event is a fun, easy and affordable way to get together with friends and family. As your personal chef for the night, I will show you how to get started. All you have to do is invite the guests and decide on a menu.

There are lots of party themes and menu options for you to select from. Do you want to learn more about, baking, cooking with herbs or how to make great party appetizers? Maybe you want to learn more about Italian or Mediterranean cooking? I can even help you with a party for the kids!

Read more ...

Cooking Wiser Meal Planning

Wondering what to cook for dinner tonight?

Running to the store for last minute items?

Spending way too much time and money shopping? If so, this is for you.


Let me:

  • PLAN your meals and menus,
  • Develop your shopping lists,
  • Organize and stock your pantry based on your needs.

    Take the stress out of shopping and cooking. A good meal plan with a shopping list will save you time and money at the grocery store. A well stocked pantry and refrigerator will provide the basics for most all recipes.

    Recipes can be customized for 1, 2 or more!

    You can even begin your meal planning service with a Cooking Class, a great way to entertain guests, share cooking tips and learn new cooking methods.

    Read more ...

    August 18, 2015

    UT Cooking Class, Comfort Foods

    Comfort food in August?? Well it was a hit and the food was delicious. The class participants perfected my recipes and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal.

    Thanks guys for your enthusiasm. It was a great class.

    These are really simple and yummy recipes you could make anytime of the year.


    On the menu
    Mini Meatloaf with Herbs and Scallions served with Tomato Jam

    3 Cheese Mac and Cheese
    Apple Cobbler and Ice Cream

    Read more ...

    UT Baking Class continues

    What fun we had baking amazing biscuits and cakes. You've heard the saying, "third time's the charm"... well this was no exception. This was the third baking class and each time the class participants did an amazing job.


    Here are a few of the highlights from class.

    Read more ...

    April 10, 2015

    Food and Rosé Wines

    Today at Ashe's Wine and Spirits we will be tasting Rosé Wines.

    Rosé wines are made from red grapes or red grape varietals. In very few cases winemakers may add a little white wine to their blend. Rosé sparkling wines are the exception, they are often blended with white grape varietals.

    Most rosé wines are blends of multiple grapes. Some of the most common grape varieties used in rosé wines are Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir.

    There are also many styles for producing Rosé wines. Ranging from sweet to very dry each wine will have it's own characteristic increasing the possibilities for food pairing. The fruit expectations lean towards strawberry, cherry, and raspberry with some citrus and watermelon presenting on a regular basis.

    Since you should serve the wine chilled it is a fantastic wine for a warm summer day on the deck or take it on a picnic. Summer picnics shouldn't be a thing of the past. They are so much fun! Keep the menu simple and enjoy the wine.

    Try this simple toasted cheese tapas.

    Slice French Baguette about 1/4 inch thick. Mix 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with 1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar (1 part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil). Mix 1 cup grated Fontina cheese with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Drizzle oil mixture on baguette slices. Top with cheese mixture. Toast until cheese melts.

    For a simple yet delicious picnic include potato salad and cold sliced meats, including turkey, salami and roast beef and cheeses. Don't forget fresh fruit, nuts and jam and Vanilla short bread cookies for dessert.

    Other Foods for pairing include:


    Read more ...

    March 19, 2015

    Pairing food with Chardonnay Wine

    For years people have been pairing Chardonnay with seafood because it works so well. Especially popular are shrimp and lobster dishes with rich sauces like butter and cream. Rice, pastas and other starches provide the right texture for Chardonnay to compliment compatible food ingredients.
    Cilantro Lime Rice with Shrimp

    Finding the right Chardonnay can be a challenge since the range of styles is so vast. Where the grape is grown and if it is aged in wood barrels, usually oak, plays a significant role in determining the flavors and textures of the wine.

    Read more ...

    February 26, 2015

    Real Comfort Food

    Buzz Word: Comfort Food

    With all the snow, that's about all people are talking about- what to eat. This very morning I heard the folks on the radio talking about comfort food. But seriously, fast food hamburgers and fries? That's not comforting, that's fattening and bad for you. Comfort food smells up your kitchen and makes you feel warm and happy inside and out. Since we can't go anywhere what better thing to do than make a big pot of steaming hot soothing soup?

    People must be cooking something. Did you see the lines at the grocery store? It's insane. Obviously people don't have as much in the freezer and in the pantry as I do. I must be a food hoarder. But I could eat well for a month.

    Some of my best soup recipes came straight from freezer left overs.

    Read more ...

    February 23, 2015

    Feb 2015 Wine Dinner

    The theme was "Family Traditions" and the food and wines were memory makers. We learned a little more about each other while talking about the favorite dishes we enjoyed growing up. Our host served the appetizer and it was very impressive, presented on her grandmother's serving dishes. There was even a little mystery around how Pam's grandmother actually acquired those attractive hotel dishes :o)

    Read more ...

    November 17, 2014

    October Wine Dinner

    Do you select a wine first then a food that pairs with the wine or do you select your food first. Either way it seems our wine dinners are always have excellent pairings. I don't know how much homework everyone does, but the results are amazing. I believe as a group we love to eat and drink fabulous food and wines and our October dinner was proof of that.

    Read more ...

    October 07, 2014

    Eating in Italy

    If you've ever been to Italy, you will know exactly what I am talking about when it comes to eating. Italians love their food. What we learned is each region and even each city we visited offer their own specialties and they all claim to have the best ingredients, dishes and recipes. We soon realized we would have to find out for ourselves who had the best food. We made it our personal mission to find our favorite Italian food. We quickly became an authority on salami, pasta dishes, pizza, and gelato. It was a labor of love.

    Read more ...

    August 28, 2014

    Spanish/Portugal Wine and Food Dinner

    Spain is the 3rd largest producer of wine in the world covering over a million acres. The wines are usually less expensive than the wines found next door in France and they pair very well with a variety of foods, both spicy and sweet.

    Read more ...

    August 20, 2014

    January 2014 Wine Dinner

    Our January 2014 wine dinner was a very small, intimate group; four to be exact. But as always the wine was delicious. I don’t even remember the food but the wines were great.

    Read more ...

    August 18, 2014

    Mardi Gras Wine Dinner

    We’ve had so many fabulous wine dinners that I can’t keep up with all of them.
    In Feb 2014 we had a Mardi Gras theme complete with wonderful Cajun food.
    This is what I remember 6 months later

    Read more ...

    July 30, 2014

    Food and Wine Dinner

    Another fabulous Food and Wine Dinner
    The idea for this event was for everyone to bring a new varietal that maybe no one had tasted before and to pair it with an appetizer. We had some very good wines and as always the food was incredible.

    Read more ...

    May 05, 2014

    Cooking Class

    We had a great time in this hands on cooking class. I took the class participants on a food tour of Italy that included a pasta dish, a rich tomato soup, seafood, and poached pears with mascarpone.

    Read more ...

    March 16, 2014

    Spring is in the Air

    Warmer weather, daffodils, and sunshine will put a smile on your face, a bounce in our step and a dent in our budget. I usually spend a fortune on vegetable plants and spring and summer flowering annuals. But last year I thought ahead and saved a few seeds.
    I put out 8 different lettuces in hopes of enjoying new fresh summer salads. I'll also try a few light summer pasta dishes. This year there will be more healthy choices including some of the old favorites too.

    Read more ...

    February 12, 2014

    Comfort Food

    What comes to your mind when you think about comfort food? Is it something warm, sweet, richly flavored or is it something that brings back warm, fond memories; family dinners around the table, maybe a special dinner with that special someone. Whatever it is that warms you up on the inside, makes you feel good all over, I think you'll agree that my top 10 all time favorites should be on any comfort food list. You'll notice a theme going on here too. See if you can figure that one out.

    Read more ...

    December 27, 2013

    Christmas Wine Dinner

    We always enjoy our wine dinners and this one was no exception. We began the evening with a 2012 Viognier from Chamisal Vineyards in Paso Robles California. This was the first time Chamisal sent this particular wine to us through our wine club so we were anxious to try it. The apricot, apple and peach notes with the wonderful acidity worked well with several of the cheeses we served especially the mild cheddar and drunken goat cheese.

    Read more ...

    December 02, 2013

    November Wine Dinner

    This was a fabulous wine dinner. The entrée was a salted pastry encrusted beef tenderloin. The flavor was amazing. It resembled a beef wellington with the difference being that the crust wasn't eaten. It was peeled away from the meat.

    Read more ...

    November 21, 2013

    Momma Mia, that’s a spicy meatball

    I love teaching Italian cooking classes. There are so many fabulous ingredients to talk about and each region has its own distinct culinary specialties. Again the students had they own set of skills, some more advanced than others but each eager to try a few new recipes. During this class we all learned a little bit more and enjoyed a delicious meal in the end.


    They enjoyed the final product, their scallop stuffed roasted red peppers were fabulous.

    Presentation was the key and these caprese skewers were beautiful.

    They had a good time and enjoyed their successes

    It took a little bit of time to cook these egg yolks but they perfectly mastered it.

    Read more ...

    November 06, 2013

    Thai Cooking Class

    Thai cooking allows you to try new ingredients and different cooking techniques. I recently taught a class through UT non-credit program and it was a great experience. Most of the students had great cooking skills so my job was to assist when needed and share a few great recipes. I was so impressed with the results. I think they were too.

    Read more ...

    October 29, 2013

    October Wine Dinner

    Here are a few food and wine pairings that have been tested by a panel of experts. The findings were overwhelmingly conclusive.

    Our food and wine club has been meeting monthly for about 3 years now. We have enjoyed some amazing pairings and these can be added to the list.

    Read more ...

    October Wine Dinner

    Here are a few food and wine pairings that have been tested by a panel of experts. The findings were overwhelmingly conclusive.

    Our food and wine club has been meeting monthly for about 3 years now. We have enjoyed some amazing pairings and these can be added to the list.

    Read more ...

    October 14, 2013

    Kids in the Kitchen

    When I was asked to teach a cooking class for the daughter of a co-worker, I jumped at the opportunity. Teaching kids how to cook is a hoot. They are so eager to learn. Soon I realized that they listened to and believed everything I said. It’s not often I have such a trusting audience. Plus we had a great time and I felt like I had accomplished something meaningful to boot.

    Read more ...

    September 21, 2013

    Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad

    I love salads this time of year but pairing them with the right wine can sometimes be challenging. Here are a few tips that will help you to begin satisfying a summer fix of fresh veggies with wine.

    Read more ...

    September 10, 2013

    Original New Recipes

    Sometimes I enjoy creating something different:
    no recipe involved, using ingredients I have on hand, saving a trip to the supermarket.

    Tonight was one of those times. I had 2 yellow squash, 2 zucchini, 1/2 of a purple onion and 4 slices of bacon. The results were very tasty.

    Read more ...

    August 27, 2013

    August Wine Dinner

    Having fun, experiencing new wines, laughing with friends and enjoying incredible food is what our wine dinners are all about.
    This month the theme was Mediterranean food and wines.

    Find out how we did it...

    Read more ...

    August 23, 2013

    Chicken Saltimbocca

    Literally translated, Saltimbocca means Jump Mouth. Don't know why the Italians gave this dish the name but maybe because the flavors jump around in your mouth. The original dish was made with veal, sage and prosciutto. This version uses chicken and spinach.

    Frogs Leap Sauvignon blanc was the wine choice; the flavors were jump in your mouth, delicious.

    Read more ...

    July 28, 2013

    Grilled Foods and Wine

    Round up your friends, add a grill, in this case 3 grills, a fabulous menu and excellent wines to taste and you’ll have the makings for a great party. And that is exactly what we did. Our hosts had three grills going for our last wine dinner party- the theme: grilled foods. And the flavors just melted in our mouths.

    Read more ...

    July 17, 2013

    Ah fresh produce

    There’s nothing better this time of year.

    Read more ...

    July 03, 2013

    A fabulous 4th of July Menu

    The idea to have friends or family over to celebrate the holidays sounds like a good one but if you are anything like me you spend all your time working. The guests have a great time and you wonder what they were all laughing about while you’re getting the food out.


    It’s time to put an end to that, throw a party and enjoy yourself. Here are a few tips and easy recipes to help you throw a fabulous party without losing out on all the fun.

    Read more ...

    June 24, 2013

    The Food at Riu Palace Las Americas

    What do you do when you are on a Caribbean vacation and it rains and it pours and it floods? Well you eat and drink of course! And in no better place than the Riu Palace Las Americas all-inclusive resort in Cancun Mexico. Great food and great friends saved the vacation.

    Read more ...

    April 23, 2013

    Food and Wine Dinner Club

    French cooking is an art and the chef is the artist. The task is to prepare something wonderful to eat. The excellence of French cooking is really about technique and using the best ingredients available and our Food and Wine Dinner Club members have mastered the art of French cooking. As Julia would say, "the most important ingredient you can bring to it is love of cooking for its own sake".

    But obviously since our club is a Food and Wine dinner club it isn't all about the food. The wine is just as important. And French wine is among some of the best wine in the world. After all they have been making it for thousands of years. They should know how by now. We enjoyed several varietals, including reds and rose.

    This Food and Wine dinner was an explosion of flavors, one dish after the other. The wines were perfectly selected for each recipe, leaving us with a true "French" experience right in Tennessee.

    On the menu:

    Read more ...

    April 08, 2013

    Mexican Hands on Cooking Class

    I love sharing cooking tips and new recipes with cooking enthusiasts and the best place to do that is in one of my cooking classes. This past year I taught my first hands on class. If you have a passion for cooking and you’re interested in a fast paced environment you would totally love this class. I had a great time watching the class participants create their own version of my recipes. Amazingly each of the 4 teams came up with something a little different even though they all had the same recipe. Wow factor. How could that happen and what did that tell me about how people interpret directions.

    It says that slice, dice and chop are pretty vague terms and sauté, simmer and steam could mean stir fry and boil to a novice chef. So I quickly realized I needed to sharpen my own skills and so I did. The results were rewarding. Each person brought their own level of skills and each team turned out delicious dishes and that equals success for any cooking instructor.

    See my recipes and their happy faces and yummy results.

    Read more ...

    December 29, 2012

    My Favorite Recipes for 2012

    With all the choices today it can be challenging to select the best recipe for a particular dish. People often ask if I have a favorite recipe for this or that. I usually do and I am happy to share. Here are my top 10 favorite recipes for a few of the all time classics.

    Read more ...

    September 27, 2012

    Food and Wine Dinner Club

    Food and wine dinner clubs are a fantastic way to experience new wines and food with friends and family. Our group meets every third Saturday of the month.

    Having a consistent time helps everyone to plan their calendar in advance. The host usually selects a theme, such as a French dinner with French wines or Zinfandel wines with appetizers. I’ve found that I have learned more from these dinners than I ever dreamed possible. You can study wine and food pairing out of a book for years and never gain the knowledge you can from actually tasting. After all it is a matter of personal taste; what one person likes may not be the same for someone else. To learn what those tastes are you have to experience them.
    Our most recent dinner was a “free for all, no theme” dinner. The guidelines were for everyone to bring a wine of their choice and a matching dish. It was fantastic. We had a great variety of food and tried several new wines.

    Many of our recipes and wine pairings come from Food and Wine magazine. A summary of our dinner included the following

    Read more ...

    September 17, 2012

    Pizza Bar

    Setting up a pizza bar for a party or other special event is a great way to get guests involved in preparing the food. Plus it a ton of fun and everyone gets to create their favorite pizza.

    Read more ...

    September 13, 2012

    Home Canning

    More and more people are growing their own fruits and vegetables. Canning is a great way to preserve the fruts of your labor. There's just something special about opening your own can of beans for Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few tips to help with the process.

    Read more ...

    October 24, 2011

    Tennessee White Sangria Sipper

    Sangria is a fruit based wine that is refreshing, easy to drink and great with food. However, Sangria is actaully the Spanish word for blood, therefore I decided to call this a Sangria Sipper. Use thin slices of fruit for more surface area, and refrigerate to chill. Spice it up with your favorite fruit.

    Read more ...

    Tennessee Blackberry Sangria

    I hope you made it to the 2011 Tennessee Food and Wine Festival. If you didn't, here is a taste of what you missed. Sangria made with Tennessee wines proved to be a delicious and refreshing drink. Since Sangria is the Spanish word for blood it would make sense to make it with red wine and that is exactly what I did. I used Tennessee Valley Blackberry wine- Yum.

    Read more ...

    January 28, 2011

    Blue Cheese and Sauternes

    Blue Cheese and Sauternes:
    An amazing and delicious combination of flavors.

    Read more ...

    December 22, 2010

    Eating Healthier this Winter

    The holidays are particularly challenging as far as healthy dieting goes. There are so many social events, office parties, and family dinners to attend that we tend to go into overload. But there are several suggestions and tips that can help us keep a check on our love handles. Begin with seasonal fruits and vegetables. South Beach diet provides several cost effective suggestions for reaping the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter.

    Read more ...

    November 28, 2010

    Turkey Sandwiches with Cranberry & Goat Cheese Spread or Apples

    What to do with all that Turkey! True you can always make a sandwich but you don’t have to settle for just any ordinary sandwich. Make it with a cranberry and Goat cheese spread.

    Read more ...

    October 25, 2010

    Cooking for students

    I recently did a cooking demo at a local middle school for parents, teachers and students. The kids were my assistants and they were fantastic. I had as much fun as they did and look forward to seeing them again. It truly inspired me to provide more family oriented meals for everyone to enjoy. I was delighted when one of the moms sent me this note.

    Read more ...

    October 14, 2010

    Home for the Holidays

    Last night we celebrated the holidays a little early with a menu that pleased everyone. There were 20 people in my cooking class with three assistants who kept me on track. I provided some tips on cooking a pork crown roast, surprised everyone with a delicious recipe for Brussels spouts, and shared with them how to make my Mom’s cornbread dressing. We finished the night with an Apple Nut Tart.

    Read more ...

    September 20, 2010

    Buying Local Foods

    If you don’t seek out local foods you should try my taste test for proof that local food is better.

    Read more ...

    June 17, 2010

    Another Great Wine Club Dinner

    Once again I am humbled by the amazing talents of my friends. The food was incredible and the wine pairing with each dish was excellent. I will try to recreate the evening so that you too can enjoy great wine and food with your family and friends.

    Read more ...

    June 08, 2010

    Herbs & Spices for Health

    Herbs and spices have been used to enhance the flavor of food for years but now research studies are confirming that they offer important health benefits too. Most recently herbs and spices are being used for decreasing cancer causing compound levels in grilled meats. Light the grill and try these great herb and spice rich recipes.

    Read more ...

    April 20, 2010

    April Food and Wine Club Dinner

    Another great dinner with our wine club friends left us wondering how we could top this one. The theme was food and wine pairing; select the wine and bring the food that best pairs with your wine.

    Read more ...

    April 10, 2010

    Eating out- Did it deserve the WOW factor

    There are so many restaurants in Knoxville to choose from, that you most likely can find anything that suits your mood. Though many of the over 600 restaurants are chains, there are many unique, privately owned establishments that are worth your visit. But are they all worth your money? Do we begin to think that an expensive meal must be the best? Do you walk out saying, “now that was the best meal I have eaten in a long time”? Can you truthfully judge an incredible culinary experience even when it is a little pricy? Next time you go out for a special dinner ask yourself if it deserved the “wow” factor.

    Read more ...

    April 03, 2010

    Spring Vegetable Salad “Rock Star”

    To your good health. I did a cooking demonstration for a diabetes class featuring a healthy, low fat salad. Make this salad any time you want to impress your foodie friends. Always try to use vegetables that are in season; they are more affordable, tastier and better for you.

    Read more ...

    March 28, 2010

    Big Bold Reds- Zinfandels

    The Zinfande grape is grown all over California contributing to the reason the styles are so uniquely different; considering the climate and soil are remarkably different in each area. So our wine club decided to find our favorite.

    Read more ...

    March 09, 2010

    Welcome to Cooking Wiser with Terri Geiser!

    Cooking wiser with Terri Geiser came to fruition while I was teaching a cooking class one night. A friend of mine said, “with all of these tips you should be on T.V. You could have your own show called Cooking Wiser with Terri Geiser.” She made an apron for me and monogrammed the slogan on. Every time I wore it people commented on how catchy it was. Thanks Colleen!

    Today I am amazed at the requests I have for recipes and suggestions for entertaining. I am such a foodie, I love sharing ideas about recipes, healthy dishes, quick tips and money saving ideas. Cooking Wiser With Terri Geiser is about cooking healthy but it is so much more. It is about having fun, saving money, creating your own special recipe and bringing the family meal back home. Please share your cooking tips or send your cooking questions to me.