Category Archives: Party Food

methods & madness…
class 17: quick breads, and a berry silly mistake

Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce

Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School

After working with yeast last week, we sped up our baking lesson this week with quick breads. I love that you don’t need to be a great baker to achieve success in the kitchen.

finger cotWhat I didn’t anticipate was how dangerous moving too quickly in the kitchen can be (not to mention using a chef’s knife to cut butter – dumb, dumb, dumb!)  And that is how I almost got benched this week, were it not for an unusual product called “finger cots” (which tickles my inner adolescent-boy funny bone). These digit prophylactics are used in professional kitchens to cover boo-boos, and prevent Band-Aids and associated “things” from becoming part of the recipe.

You can buy finger cots at your local drug store or online. Continue reading

methods & madness…
class 16: yeast breads – a fragrant uprising

Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce

Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School

Bread was one of the first things my mother taught me to bake. The fragrance of freshly baked bread was as familiar as a Saturday night bath on a frigid evening in Iowa. I could often be found covered head to toe in flour, my hands gooey with bread dough, and a satisfied grin on my face.

Today, the aroma of baked bread still evokes fond childhood memories, as did this week’s cooking class where we baked five different yeast breads and a pizza.

Basic bread contains very few ingredients – flour, water, yeast, and salt. Other additions can be oil, butter, eggs, sugar, milk, grains, and nuts. Today my goal is to cover the basic ingredients of a good bread. Continue reading

grains, greens and grins…

  Yummy Gorgeous Grains

I am 14 weeks into professional French cooking classes. If there is one thing we know about French cuisine, it’s how much the French love butter, meats and sauces. So when my friend Sophia asked me to take a detox cooking class, I purchased it immediately. I need to balance out all those fatty foods with something healthy.

I think we all know how good eating anything green is, and the “Dapper Detox” class from Meal and a Spiel, made the process of eating greens and grains less daunting.

Fun Fact: Did you know the color green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye? There has to be a reason for that… maybe as a reminder to eat more green!

Dragonfly Green Tea

Our energetic teacher, Elana Horwich began the evening by making her Dragonfly Green Tea. This complex, yet alluring warm brew is a healthy alternative to your morning cup of joe. Matcha Green Tea Powder, one of the key ingredients, is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll.

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methods & madness… class 13: meat pt. 1
in the moo’d for beef?

Tri-Tip Tacos with Guacamole and Salsa
Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School

With Super Bowl around the corner, this week’s recipe of Santa Maria Tri-Tip Tacos with Guacamole and Salsa is a perfect game day winner. It was all about beef this week with a side note on lamb, pork and veal. Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, including cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is the third most widely consumed meat in the world, after pork and poultry at 38% and 30% respectively.   

Grass Roots

All beef is grass fed for the first six months to a year of their lives. However, most finish at a feedlot on a mix of corn, soy, grains, supplements, hormones and antibiotics.

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methods & madness…
class 10: seafood – coming out of your shell

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Shrimp | She Paused 4 Thought

Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School

What a huge learning curve I had this week with shellfish. If you read last week’s blog, you know that I am a Midwest farm girl who had no experience with fins, scales, and particularly things that carry a house on their back! After this week’s class however, I am shocked at how easy most shellfish are to cook.

Shellfish are categorized according their skeletal structure:

  • Univalves – Single-shelled mollusks
    e.g. abalone, sea urchins, conch, escargot
  • Bivalves – Mollusks with two shells joined by a hinge
    e.g. clams, mussels, oysters, scallops
  • Crustaceans – Jointed exterior skeletons or shells
    e.g. lobster, crawfish, shrimp, crab
  • Cephalopods – Mollusks with tentacles attached directly to the head
    e.g. octopus, squid/calamari, cuttlefish

Buying Shellfish

When buying live crab or lobsters, look for movement. If you buy them frozen or pre-packaged and they are still moving—run.

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