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Category — Classes

Shrimp Sliders

shrimp burgers

Yesterday, I shared Barb’s Baked Eggs with you – today I’m giving you another of her fabulous recipes! Many thanks to Barbara Fenzl for allowing me to share her Les Gourmettes cooking class recipes with the masses.

Barb made shrimp sliders in class, I made shrimp burgers, with the same recipe and bigger buns, at home. My family went crazy for them!

take out center

One super-smart thing Barb does with her sliders – she cuts out the center section of the King’s Hawaiian rolls, making them a more manageable size. When you eat it, you get less bun in each bite and more shrimp.

2 thirds

She saved all the center portions of the buns from all six of her classes and used them in her Thanksgiving stuffing. See, I told you she was super-smart!

kings

King’s makes hamburger buns too, so I used the buns in place of the rolls, changing the sliders to burgers. Either way … Delish!

2 sizes

Note: I was feeding a crowd, so I doubled the recipe and made 12 burgers out of 2 pounds of shrimp. The recipe, as written, would have made 6 burgers and makes 12 sliders. Don’t let the photos vs. the recipe quantities confuse you.

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December 4, 2014   2 Comments

Barb’s Baked Eggs

fresh tomatillos

Barbara Fenzl made the most delicious egg dish for her classes at Les Gourmettes this semester. One of my favorite egg dishes ever – and I love eggs, so that’s saying something!

husk and wash

I made it on Thanksgiving morning. We usually don’t have a big breakfast on turkey day because we generally eat the big feast in the early afternoon. Dave and the kids have the tradition of taking a long hike in the morning to leave me doing what I do best – in peace and quite. Since we weren’t planning to eat dinner until 6:00, I figured that a nice breakfast would be perfect when they returned from their hike.

baked eggs 2 dishes

Before I say that it was perfect, I will admit that I severely undercooked the eggs, so it wasn’t all that it should have been. I used a different type of dish to bake the eggs in than Barb used, and it made a world of difference. My casserole was too deep and the eggs didn’t cook as well as they did in Barb’s shallow flat au gratin dish.

Barb found her individual porcelain au gratin/casserole dishes at Standard Restaurant Supply at 2922 E McDowell Road in Phoenix, they cost $2.50 each. And I found my Le Creuset mini cocottes, which are not great for this egg dish but are adorable and amazing for French onion soup – at Sur La Table. They cost considerably more but did not do the job this time!

One change I made in Barb’s recipe was to replace the 1/2 cup green chilies plus 1 cup water she used with 1 cup of the Trader Joe’s Hatch Valley Salsa (that I love so much) plus 1/2 water.

Since I’ve had it both ways, I can honestly say the difference is taste is minimal, so if you have the salsa on hand, use it!

An unplanned and unexpected side benefit for me was that I was only making 5 servings of this for breakfast but the sauce makes enough for 8 servings. I used the leftover green chile sauce in my Turkey Enchiladas with my leftover Thanksgiving bird!

So Good!!! This is going to be my “go to” enchilada sauce from here on out. [Read more →]


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December 3, 2014   3 Comments

2014 Fall/Winter Craft Party

It’s that time of year…. Time for the 3rd Annual Craft Party!

fall leaves

This year, I’m not the only one coming up with the crafts. A few of my “usual suspect” crafters are providing craft ideas, supplies and instruction too.

gift tags

2014 Fall/Winter Craft Party

 
Sunday, October 12, 2014
10:30 AM
 
 

flower art

Please leave me a comment if you would like to join us, and I’ll send you all the nitty-gritty details.

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October 1, 2014   1 Comment

sign up – only a few spots left

My fall series classes at Les Gourmettes are filling up, there are only four seats left.

Raw Chocamoca Tart with Espresso Syrup

Here is the description from the Les Gourmettes brochure and registration:

fall 14

 

plate of tapas

I’ll give you one guess –  What cocktail will we be making on Week Three with that Ginger Beer from Week One?

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September 20, 2014   No Comments

private class

Last night I taught a private cooking class here at my house. It was a demonstration class with an appetizer theme.

demo class

Since individual appetizers can be time-consuming to assemble and to make the class a bit more fun, I did ask for assistance from the students on a couple of the recipes.

beverage station

The best of both worlds, I teach with free help!

blue cheese grapes

Setting up for a class is a lot like entertaining and many of the techniques I use for a class are the same that I suggest to people when they entertain, such as:

  • Choose do-ahead recipes
  • Mise en place is a must
  • Lay out your serving pieces and “map out” your table long before guests/students arrive
  • Make Lists and a Timeline

recipe 1

All five of these recipes can be done well ahead of time, perfect for entertaining.

Blue Cheese Grapes, Caesar Dip with Crudités, Pigs in a Warm Puffy Blanket, Hot Feta and Tomato Spread, and Smoked Salmon Quesadillas.

mise en place

For a cooking class, we set all the ingredients and utensils needed and place them on individual trays for each recipe. When entertaining (or cooking in general) pull together everything you need and prep (chop/dice) what you can ahead of time. This is known as Mise en Place, or “everything in its place.”

set up [Read more →]


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September 19, 2014   4 Comments

flat green beans

Ballymaloe Cookery School

Ireland has THE BEST green beans in the entire world! It’s actually difficult to categorize the “Irish green beans” as beans and as vegetables. They are more like long green pieces of sweet delicious candy!

This is not a matter of personal opinion, it is a fact!

I have never seen green beans like these in any grocery store or farmer’s market in Arizona. Never!

flat green beans

I searched for images on Google by typing in “long, wide, flat, best green beans in the world.” What you see above, is what came up.

Yes, I believe that these are the beans. See how flat and wide they are? Since there is no point of reference, it’s hard to tell how long they are, but I still think this may be them. I’m going to order some seeds and try to grow them for myself.

kitchen rack

When our little group of six began the hands-on portion of the day-long cooking class at Ballymaloe Cookery School, we were thrilled to learn that one of the four recipes we’d be tackling (out of the 18 recipes) was the Gremolata Green Beans.

Ballymaloe kitchens

We prepped the beans, then dropped them in the boiling water to blanch. After they were rinsed and then spread out on a platter to be “set aside” while we made the gremolata, we would snag one or two (or ten) every time the instructor turned away. Exactly like little girls, sneaking candy! Well, except for the Irish young woman in our class, Amie. Somehow Amie restrained herself, but we five Americans – thieves. Common thieves were we.

Above is our instructor with two of the bean-stealing “little girls” from my group.

classmates and instructor

The beans were meant to be shared with the other 30 students for our evening meal. We didn’t care, we wanted to snack on them and have them all to ourselves!

In the background of the photo above are some of the “unfortunates” who didn’t get as many green beans as they were entitled to. In the foreground – our gremolata prep. The beans are either all gone or just out of view.

Ballymaloe kitchen window

I tried to recreate the recipe at home, using our regular old sub-standard, nothing-like-candy green beans, and they were OK. I’m certain that to most uneducated palates, they would be declared delicious and these poor unfortunate “don’t-know-any-betters” would be thrilled with the dish.

My husband, son and dad thought they were fabulous. But I know better.  Of course, I share the recipe with you below.

My new quest is to get my hands, and teeth, onto the real deal. If you have ever seen, or more importantly know, where to get long, flat and wide green bean candy, please let me know!

Allow me to apologize beforehand for the out of focus photos I took of the green beans during the cooking class.

lunch beans

I may have been high on the all the green bean candy I ate and my hands must have been shaky. That must be it – I know you wouldn’t challenge my excellent photography talents!

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July 30, 2014   2 Comments

vinegar-free vinaigrette

Last week, Chef Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s, Café Bink, Bink’s Midtown, and Bink’s Scottsdale, was the guest teacher at Les Gourmettes. Kevin is once again up for the James Beard Award for the Best Chef: Southwest. Fingers are crossed!

Everything he made was, of course, amazing! The thing that I really enjoyed though was a simple, thick, tangy, creamy vinaigrette made without any vinegar. Strange but true and truly delicious.

strawberry arugula salad

Kevin served the vinaigrette over a salad of arugula, strawberry slices, goat cheese and pistachios. I’ll be serving the same salad for our Easter dinner on Sunday.

Speaking of Easter Sunday, if you haven’t colored your eggs yet, hold off one more day because tomorrow I’m posting a new way to decorate eggs and a bunch of Easter Menu ideas.

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April 16, 2014   1 Comment

2013 craft party

Happy October

I am so happy that it is finally October!

anne of green gables

I love October!!!

getty image

Now that I got that off my chest, allow me to invite you to the …

bean stuffed

2013 Fall Craft Party

 

If you join us, you’ll be armed with glue guns, burlap, mercury glass paint, booze, twine, yummy food and much much more!  It’s time to get busy making fun home and holiday decor. (That rhymed accidentally, don’t expect it to continue!)

herb bundles

Thursday, October 17, 2013
5 PM
$20 per person plus individual project fees
Hopkins’ Home in Equestrian Manor
12007 N 62nd Place
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

burlap

Here’s the scoop – The basic class fee is $20 per person. You pay that to register and just for the opportunity to bask in the glow of “fall crafting”!!!  OK, it actually covers the food, booze, and some of the most basic supply costs, such as glue sticks and cheap paint brushes.

cloche pedestal

When you arrive, you’ll receive a number. The first to arrive (on time, not like 2 hours before, for God’s sake!) gets #1 and the last gets #18, or whatever is the last number, determined by how many people sign up.

galvanized

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October 1, 2013   4 Comments

gratitude

THIS is what I said in a post back in March, “I am amazed and in awe of people and their talent.”  Do you recall that?

March

Well, you may not recall that very post, but someone did.

And now, I am in awe of them!

Elizabeth's Thank You note

I am in awe of my student, Elizabeth and her mother, Shelley, who is a loyal follower and regular commenter on this site!

In awe of their kindness and thoughtfulness. No, not just kind and thoughtful… their extreme and awesome thoughtfulness!

Elizabeth hand-crafted the beautiful card you see above. She wrote the sweetest message to me inside.

Basket of talent

The card was tucked into this lovely basket.

Fabulous Cookies

A basket full of these gorgeous chalkboard-effect cookies.

The cookies that I blogged about loving … way back in March!!!

rolling pin cookie

Aren’t they fabulous!?!

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June 22, 2013   4 Comments

Patriot Main Course

This is the final recipe from my Red, White & Blue holiday cooking class at Les Gourmettes. The summer provides three excellent chances to get together to celebrate our country; Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Invite friends over and enjoy!

Patriot Picnic

Image via Country Living

The ingredient list for this chicken dish is lengthy, but please don’t let that scare you off. The marinade keeps the chicken juicy and is put together the night before.

The grill only needs to be manned for a few minutes, since the chicken is only “marked” on it… it is cooked through in the oven. This is a serious plus in Phoenix! The hottest 4th of July on record happened in 1989 when it reached 118°F. Manning a grill in that heat – no thank you! But if you live in a more moderate climate and you’d prefer to use the grill to cook the chicken through, that works too.

The BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy and is equally delicious used with shrimp, beef, or pork. It is an absolute delight.

I doubled the recipe for class, so you’ll notice I had to use two zip-lock bags to marinate in – the single recipe needs only one.

Red White and Blue Picnic

Image via Country Living

Patriot Picnic Menu

Barbecued Chicken with Blueberry Bourbon Sauce
Succotash Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing
Creamy Dijon & Dill Potato Salad
Root Beer Baked Beans
Red, White, & Blue Trifle

succotash salad

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May 19, 2013   1 Comment