What would life in Pretzel City be without pretzels?  Learn how to make delicious homemade soft hot pretzels and pretzel chips as well as a couple of  great dips to serve with them. Perfect for a Halloween party or game-day get-together!  Take home a bag of Pretzel salt and a special bit of Pretzel City memorabilia.

Wednesday October 10th 5:30 – 7:30


Cooking Class – Braising Essentials

This class has been postponed until Wednesday October 3rd.

This stove-top slow-cooking method was a preferred way to produce extra flavorful, tender dishes long before the invention of the slow-cooker. It’s also an economical way to stretch less-tender cuts of meat, and a very forgiving type of cooking for both those just learning their way around the kitchen and experienced cooks. Braising involves just partially submerging the ingredients so they are cooked in both steam and liquid, yielding an unbelievably rich layering of flavors. You’ll leave with a handful of braising recipes, as well as a basting brush and ladle to add to your utensil collection!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

There are a few open spots left. Please call us at 815-908-0224

or email at to reserve your spot

We still have a few places left. Please contact us if you are interested by Monday October 1st 





Harvest Dinner – Fall Fund Raising Event

Fundraiser for Pretzel City Kitchens
Please join us to celebrate the harvest season at a six-course farm-to-table fundraising dinner at Pretzel City Kitchens! Every course will feature ingredients from local farms and culinary/beverage establishments, and our chefs for the evening will preface each course with a description of how they have incorporated these ingredients in their creations. Guests will leave with a delicious memento of the evening, recipes for the evening from the chefs, and a listing of area establishments where delicious local foods and beverages can be found. Tuesday 16 October 6-8 p.m. Pretzel City Kitchens

Pretzel City Kitchens, 1 East Spring St., Freeport

$95/person, includes a beverage of your choice – more beverages available for purchase from The Great Debate bar at Wagner House, which will be open and available for this event

Reserve your space and pay for the evening at the Kitchens, at The Great Debate at Wagner House, follow this link, or from any board member*

We look forward to feasting with you!

For more information, visit us on Facebook or call the Kitchens at 815-908-0224.

Please note that your Credit Card record will say University of Illinois

*Half of the price of your dinner is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution — make checks payable to Pretzel City Kitchens

Seafood and Wine Pairing class


Our September 12th Seafood and Wine Pairing Class……  Register now!

Join us for the evening!

We all know that certain types of wines really bring out the flavors of certain foods – and vice versa.  At this class, we’ll try different wines with several seafood dishes, both hot and cold, and you’ll discover how to really knock the socks off your guests at your next seafood gathering, or how to just enjoy a glass of the perfect vino when you’re planning to kick back with a Nautilus-inspired evening at home.  Take home a bottle of specially selected white wine – just add your favorite recipes from this evening or your personal recipe stash for a wonderful meal!

Please call soon to reserve your spot. Space is limited and all reservations need to be confirmed before Monday September 10th.

Cost:  $75

Cooking with Herbs

Our Cooking with Fresh Herbs has been canceled. Please contact us for more information. 815-908-0224. We have many more classes coming soon. We do need a minimum number of people to make the classes happen. Your continued support of activities at the Kitchen is greatly appreciated


Thank you

Students Return to the Kitchen

At 7:30 on August 22nd CareerTec Culinary Arts Students returned to the Kitchen. This School year we will have 3 full classes of students from 6 area High Schools. Juniors and Seniors from Orangeville, Pecatonica, Pearl City, Freeport, Durand and Dakota are a part of the classes held in the Pretzel City Kitchen. Chef Steve Konefes is teaching all 3 classes. Welcome back Students!

PCK Open House 7/25


Pretzel City Kitchens (PCK), a community kitchen open to the public, is now open at 1 E Spring St in Freeport.

PCK is a certified, shared-use commercial kitchen that provides commercial-grade kitchen equipment, processing space, and support services. It is available for both emerging and established food-based ventures/businesses, caterers, individuals, and other organizations that may require a large kitchen for food preparation projects. Other potential uses for the kitchen include serving as a location for cooking classes offered by businesses and educational organizations as well as a space for those desiring a large kitchen for parties or other private events.

PCK occupies a large, separately secure space on the first floor of Wagner House at 1 E Spring St. and is accessible for its customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Equipment includes two 10-burner gas stoves, commercial ovens, bakery-grade mixers, and all necessary cookware needed for many large-scale kitchen projects. “We’re very happy to be able to offer a kitchen of this caliber to the public,” says Margaret Larson, PCK Board President and County Director, University of Illinois Extension, for Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties. “Students from CareerTec have been using the space already, and we’ve hosted several smaller events. We’re planning an open house for the public on July 25th, and a number of informational sessions for potential commercial users will also be held soon.” All information and dates can be found on the PCK website at or call Pretzel City Kitchens at 815-908-0224.

Mastering the Art of Making Salsa Class at PCK


Mastering the Art of Making Salsa

Tomatoes are one of the top planted garden vegetables, and for good reason! They’re incredibly delicious with many culinary uses, as well as being relatively easy to grow for most gardeners.

Making salsa is a great way to preserve and enjoy tomatoes throughout the year. However, to safely preserve your salsa, you need to understand the science behind the process. Most salsa recipes are a mixture of both low-acid and acidic foods. Because of this, it is important to follow scientifically tested recipes to ensure the recipe contains enough acid to be processed safely in a boiling water canner.

Join University of Illinois Extension’s Nutrition and Wellness Educator, Diane Reinhold, for “Yes! You CAN: Preserving Practice –Mastering the Art of Making Salsa”. This hands-on workshop will begin in the classroom and then head to the kitchen where participants can make their own jar of salsa.  During the first half of the class we will review the very basics of water bath canning, explain the various varieties of tomatoes ideal for canning, and why tomato products need to be acidified. The second half will be spent in the kitchen, making salsa. Participants will not only learn about tomatoes and canning, they will also learn a fun new skill, and get to take a jar of salsa home.

“Yes! You CAN: Preserving Practice –Mastering the Art of Making Salsa” will be held on Tuesday, August 7, from 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM at Pretzel City Kitchens, 1 East Spring Street, Freeport.  To register call University of Illinois Extension at (815) 235-4125 or visit us online at Workshop size is limited. Registration deadline is Friday, August 3, and the registration fee is $25.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please call (815) 858-2273.

Diane Reinhold is a University of Illinois Extension, Nutrition and Wellness Educator and registered dietitian. For more about upcoming programming on nutrition and wellness, visit  or call 815-235-4125.

Certified Food Protection Manager Course offered in Freeport

Certified Food Protection Manager Course offered in Freeport


The University of Illinois Extension will offer the Illinois Certified Food Protection Manager Course, formally known as the Food Service Sanitation Manager Course (FSSMC). This two-part course will meet the 8-hour coursework and examination required by the State of Illinois for both the initial CFPM, and the recertification.

Effective January 1, 2018, the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification (FSSMC) was eliminated. However, the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Food Service Sanitation Code still requires food establishments to be under the operational supervision of a certified food service sanitation manager during hours of operation.

Now food establishments must have an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) certification. This requirement helps to ensure the safety of consumers when eating away from home. Those receiving this certification have specialized training, by an ANSI approved instructor, regarding the safe handling, preparation and storage of food to help prevent foodborne related illnesses. The certificate is valid for five years from the exam date and then is repeated once a certificate expires. One of the positive aspects of this change comes in the form of students no longer having to apply for the additional Illinois FSSMC certificate, which will save them money.

During the two-day Certified Food Protection Manager Course, participants will gain knowledge about food safety and contamination, employee health and hygiene, safe food handling practices, cleaning and sanitizing, and HACCP.

The Certified Food Protection Manager Course will take place on August 14, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm and August 17, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm, at the Stephenson County Farm Bureau, 210 W Spring Street, Freeport. Participants should bring a valid photo ID and arrive 15 minutes early to register, as class will begin promptly at 9:00 am. Participants must attend the full training to be eligible to take the exam.

There is a $100 fee for the Certified Food Protection Manager Course. This fee is for the purchase of the book, educational materials, examination, and lunch. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please contact the University of Illinois Extension at (815) 235-4125 or visit us online at

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the University of Illinois Extension at (815) 235-4125.

Diane Reinhold is a University of Illinois Extension, Nutrition and Wellness Educator and registered dietitian. For more about upcoming programming on nutrition and wellness, visit or call (815) 235-4125.

PCK Awarded Confluence Award

Pretzel City Kitchens was recognized with twenty other successful community collaborations during an evening reception at Rockford Art Museum as the Rockford Chamber of Commerce presents the first Confluence Honors on 12/7/17. Per the Rockford Chamber, the award recognizes “organizations and people who have thrived on collaborating or partnering with other organizations and people to achieve success for their business, organization, initiative, or community. A partnership can be defined as any working relationship between a company, companies or persons for a period of time that have worked together to build strong business successes, positive community outcomes and initiatives – just good people working together to achieve great things that they could not do on their own.” People recognized for their work with PCK for this award include: Margaret Larson-University of IL Extension, Jen Newendyke and Steve Konefes-CareerTEC, Evan Talbert-HCC, Marilyn Smit-M45, Carole Dickerson-Community Member, Chrissy Hatlak-Christina’s Bakery, Nancy McDonald-City of Freeport, and Bill Green-Wagner House.