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Category — Classes

2013 craft party

Happy October

I am so happy that it is finally October!

anne of green gables

I love October!!!

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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


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.


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October 1, 2013   4 Comments


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?


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 and 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

picnic potato salad

This potato salad was the second side to my patriot menu. The entrée and full menu will follow, tomorrow.

Creamy Dijon Potato Salad

Creamy Dijon & Dill Potato Salad

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and left whole
Kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 small red onion, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1/3 cup tightly packed chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper

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May 18, 2013   3 Comments

Patriotic Trifle

Berry Trifle

This is the dessert I made for the last class of my 3-week cooking series at Les Gourmettes Cooking School. The semester ended last night – it is officially summer for me. No more classes until September.

Since I made this during class, I don’t have any step-by-step photos for you, but the recipe is straightforward.

Flag Trifle

This is the perfect dessert for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, or honestly any day of the week this summer. Enjoy!

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May 16, 2013   5 Comments

hanging up the aprons…

On March 4, 1933, in his inaugural speech, newly elected U.S. President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, uttered the now-famous words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”

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That was exactly 80 years and 1 day ago, today! This past week, that idea has proven to be very true for me.

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For many months now I have been afraid of letting others in on a very difficult decision that I made.

I was afraid of letting people down.
I was fearful of people’s reactions.
I was afraid of possible backlash.

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Turns out I was only afraid of fear – there was nothing to be fearful of after all!


On March 1st, I sent out an email to my entire mailing list and also posted it on the “Classes and Summer Camps” page over there on the left side, at the top, of this page.

March 1, 2013

Dear Parents and Students,

After 18 years of teaching summer classes for kids, I have made a very difficult decision – it is time for me to retire.

I have gone back and forth with this since the end of classes last summer. This decision has not come easily. It is like losing a member of my family, letting it and all of you go is difficult. I know there will be disappointed parents and kids, and that is why my heart is heavy and what has made this so hard for me. I believe it’s time for me to retire though. 

I have so enjoyed teaching your children these past 18 years. It has been my honor and my privilege to open my home kitchen to each and every one of them over the years. My own children grew up taking the classes and then eventually working for me and assisting my students in the kitchen. Your support, kindness, and patronage have meant the world to me.

That support and interest were what gave me the push I needed to start my own cooking blog over three years ago.

I will always treasure the memories made here at Les Petites Gourmettes and will continue teaching adult classes at Les Gourmettes in Phoenix. I’ll continue posting recipes, nearly daily, at LesPetitesGourmettes.com. I hope you’ll drop by and visit me there, and that the blog will continue to be a cooking resource for you for many years to come.

Best wishes and Godspeed,

Linda Hopkins


Backlash? Not at all!

Love and kindness are what my students and their parents gave back to me. So much so, that I want to share their loving words with you and give them my eternal gratitude for being so kind and understanding. I’ve sprinkled this post with a generous amount of images from these last 18 years.

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Additionally, for a very retro news video of our 3rd summer – go to the “In The News” page – over there on the top left. When you open the page, keep scrolling down until you get to a photo that is labeled “Old School”. Directly underneath that photo is a link that says Fox 10 News 1997… Check that out, it makes me smile. Such fond memories.

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And now for those wonderful emails…

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March 5, 2013   12 Comments

a Sprinkle Bakes cake!


If you’ve read from this blog before, you most likely already know that I am NOT a baker. If I bake something, and it turns out, and I post it here, and I call it “my own” – you can rest assured that it is a fluke, a miracle, or a lie!

The exception, the fluke, if you will, is my carrot cake. I did “create” that. After making carrot cake after carrot cake over many years (and many years ago) I finally got a perfect carrot cake that I truly believe is the best you will ever have.

I do make a pretty mean cheesecake, but not because I’ve created anything new. But because I’ve discovered, while making many cheesecakes and by reading many other people’s opinions about cheesecake, and then stealing the best of their various ideas and putting them together, how to make a fool-proof cheesecake. My cheesecakes always turn out perfectly! For my three “must-do” steps/tricks, go HERE.

Aside from that one cake and cheesecakes in general… I would no more be able to create a new and wonderful baked dessert than I would be able to take apart a car engine!

All that being said, I’ve found a woman, a blog, and a cookbook with pretty fantastic desserts! It’s called Sprinkle Bakes and I made the following Very Impressive, Very Beautifully Photographed, and Very Delicious cake from her very lovely blog for my cooking series last month.

In all honesty, I should just stop now and send you directly there. I’ve pared down her recipe to make it a bit more manageable, but I haven’t really changed it at all. Also, I should not post my photos, as they were taken with my iPhone at Les Gourmettes, in the rush of a cooking class for 16 students. Photos of food are not top priority in those moments. Cutting the cake and serving it to the lovely paying students, is!  But I made the gorgeous decadent cake, so you shall suffer through my photos, then go over and see Sprinkle Bakes’ very professional photos and her very helpful step-by-step photos and be inspired and amazed!

Now, be prepared, not only is this cake a mouthful, but so is the name of the cake!

On a quick side note: Congratulations to my friend, Larry Fitzgerald, who received a Man of the Year award yesterday. It is beyond well deserved. Now I wait for him to receive the overall NFL Man of the Year award when it is announced during Super Bowl week. Fingers crossed.  Larry lives up to his press, he truly is a wonderful man!

Oh, I almost forgot – Merry Christmas Eve! xoxo

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December 24, 2012   1 Comment

mushrooms for the Mayans

grilled mushroom and citrus salad with goat cheese

How about a fun salad to celebrate that the world didn’t end yesterday?

Wild mushrooms and citrus may seem like an odd pairing, but they are delicious together, especially in this light and lovely salad where the mushrooms are grilled and the salad is garnished with a touch of goat cheese and toasted hazelnuts.

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December 22, 2012   No Comments

a recipe found!

set up

Yesterday, I made it sound as though I may not be posting another recipe for a while. At least that is what I was thinking. But then I remembered that I still had a couple of recipes in my back pocket. On December 5th, at the last class of my 3-week series at Les Gourmettes, four days before the fateful fall, and with the permission of my fabulous students, I took a bunch of photos during class with my iPhone.

Happily, I have those to share with you until I am able to cook again!

When I asked the class if they would mind if I took photos and they said to go ahead, I then asked if they would mind if I took photos of them too. I felt as though there was a little hesitation, so I said, “If you don’t want your picture included on the blog, just hold the recipes up in front of your face, and I’ll say that some of my students are very intent on reading their recipes.”  Here is how they reacted to that suggestion!


Pranksters, each and every one of them! I love my students!

my students

They are the sweetest people!

my stuents2

Each and every one of them!


The recipe calls for sweet potatoes to be cut into matchsticks.
To do so …


after peeling the potato,


cut in half,


then cut each half into 1/4-inch planks.


Stack the planks and cut them into 1/2-inch matchsticks. It’s that easy!


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December 21, 2012   No Comments

Final “Surprise Me Thursday”

Today is the last day of the 2012 Summer Kid’s Cooking Classes – meaning yesterday was the last “Surprise Me Thursday” – which is the day we make cool stuff I found on Pinterest.  How darn cute is this?

Rice Krispies Treats are one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, always have been, always will be. It takes all kinds of stupid willpower to avoid them at the ballpark when those vendors come down the aisles with a tray full of them. I am proud to say that I have never paid for a Rice Krispies Treat at Chase Field. Why pay for such a thing when they are the easiest things on earth to make at home? That being said, somehow I still have to fight the temptation to pay big bucks for one. I can tell you one thing if they sold Rice Krispies Treats that look like this, I’d buy one for sure!

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June 29, 2012   5 Comments