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Category — Classes

summer classes posted TODAY

About one month ago today, there was a wonderful article in The New York Times about a mom who handed over a portion of the weekly cooking chores to her two sons.  Here is a small excerpt from that article:

“I cannot remember exactly when it occurred to me that my children should be cooking dinner for me instead of the other way around…

…So, about six months ago, I asked each of my sons, ages 14 and 10, to cook dinner once a week. I was not proposing a heartwarming mother-son bonding experience. I made it clear that they could cook only when an adult was in shouting distance, but the goal was to have them plan and execute the meal on their own while I commuted home or ran errands — or drank a glass of wine on the couch.

The boys did not protest too much, mainly because I offered a reward. Our longstanding routine had them cleaning the kitchen after dinner under my husband’s supervision — loading the dishwasher, scrubbing pots, wiping counters, sweeping the floor. Now I was offering a get-out-of-jail-free card: You cook; we clean. They were elated by the idea.”

CLICK HERE to check out the entire inspiring read.

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March 1, 2012   6 Comments

“Wednesday’s Child”

A few weeks ago I filmed a TV segment with Scott Light of NBC Channel 12 EVB Live. The segment is called “Wednesday’s Child.” Scott now fills the shoes of longtime, now retired, Channel 12 anchor Kent Dana, who started the monthly segments more than 20 years ago. “Wednesday’s Child” is a profile of special-needs children available for adoption thru AASK, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids. In a 2009 interview, just before Kent Dana was to be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame, he said, “I’ve profiled over 1,000 kids over the years, and close to 80 percent were adopted. That show really changed lives, and it was a fun thing to do.”

It was fun for me to do too. You may recall that I am good friends with Tram Mai, Scott’s co-host on EVB Live. Tram had mentioned to Scott that I was adopted, so he asked if it would be all right to ask me a few questions about that during my interview portion of the segment. I, of course, said it would be absolutely fine…. but then I met Robby…

The first people to show up at my house that morning were three women from AASK, including the two videographers. Next came Robby and his foster dad. I fell for Robby the second I saw him.  My heart just melted as we talked and then even more so as we cooked and hung out afterward.

Scott and a couple more people from AASK came and we got busy with the filming. The shoot was of Robby and me cooking together in the kitchen. He was so sweet and interested and curious and polite and sweet, oh I already said sweet. He had wonderful manners and insisted on helping me clean up. Then, as the adults all gathered to figure out how and where to shoot the interview portions of the segment, Robby and I played a little Foosball outside on the back patio. I’m pretty good – but he beat me.  Next, Scott came out and Robby beat him too. He has so much joy and confidence for a child who has not had it easy and who has been shuffled around.

You might think that AASK is only for kids with physical, mental, or emotional special needs. There is any number of needs that make a kid “special” and in Robby’s case all I could see that made him “special” was that he is 12 years old, not an infant, who is up for adoption. You can check out Robby’s AASK profile HERE to see what I mean, this little boy stole my heart! Oh, and we made the Lasagna Soup recipe you will find below – just take a look at the list of foods he likes. I didn’t know a thing about it until about an hour ago when I pulled up his profile to write this! That just makes me smile.

The segment will run sometime tomorrow on EVB Live between 4:00 – 5:30 PM.  I am dreading it a little bit tough, because after Robby and his foster dad had gone, while Scott was interviewing me alone, I broke down. I don’t know how much, if any, of that they will show, but I’ve never cried on camera before. What if it’s the “ugly cry” as Oprah calls it? I have no idea how they will edit the interview. Channel 12 doesn’t do any of that portion, they just provide Scott and the airtime, AASK does the rest.

Oh well, it is what it is, that sweet boy and the position he, and so many other children like him are in, just breaks my heart. So if the segment has any impact and helps him get adopted by a loving family, any old ugly cry is worth it!

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February 21, 2012   1 Comment


I have been prepping, chopping, dicing, and packing up like a crazy mad woman for a wedding shower cooking class that I am conducting for 24 lovely ladies later today. During a little rest time, yesterday, I stumbled upon this on Chow Bella…

… while I was actually looking for this…

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February 11, 2012   No Comments

holy mole

Yesterday when I said that I hadn’t cooked for 11 days, I wasn’t including cooking classes into the mix – a girl’s gotta work! So, I not only assisted Barb with a class, but I also taught a private cooking class to a group of wonderful women. Thankfully I had the help of two of my generous friends both times. I could not yet drive when I was working at a class at Les Gourmettes, so my friend, Lori, drove me there and also helped serve and clear, keeping me from having to overwork my foot. Thanks Lori! xoxo

The private class was in one of the participants’ homes, so Peggy helped me schlep all the food, machines, pan, and other various supplies up to her 19th-floor penthouse and set up all the workstations. When the ladies arrived, Peggy worked right alongside me to help the pairs with their recipes, serve, and worst of all… clean it all up and schlep it back home.  The schlepping is, by far, the nastiest part of this job! So, thank you, Peggy! xoxo

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October 30, 2011   1 Comment

flag for the fourth

The 4th of July weekend is here and here is a festive, fun, and tasty watermelon flag bowl perfect for that fruit salad you need to bring to the party. The recipe for the actual salad and dressing is way down at the bottom of the post. 

Leading up to it are step-by-step pictures to help you make the patriot melon.  Here we go….

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July 2, 2011   3 Comments

that’s a wrap

As I’ve mentioned several times recently, we are in our fifth and final week of summer cooking classes. And coincidentally, today is the last day of this last week… no more kids’ classes until Summer 2012 now. Well, way back in weeks 1 and 2, we had a day called Wrapper Magic, where we used either egg roll, wonton, or spring roll wrappers for each course.  One of the most popular dishes on Wrapper Magic day was these quick and super tasty appetizers.

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July 1, 2011   2 Comments

mistakes happen

Just in case you missed Valley Dish and the seriously awesome dish we made, here is the LINK… and the recipe for the dish will be posted in the next couple of days… it’s so good!!!

If I’ve ever led you to believe that mistakes aren’t made here at Les Petites Gourmettes Cooking School, please forgive me. Although not necessarily every day, certainly at least every other day!  Eggs are cracked, not into the bowl as intended, but rather onto the floor. Flour has been thought to be powdered sugar when making frosting… easy to fix, just start over. Things burn, they are undercooked or overcooked, you get the idea.  Most are minor and easily repaired or corrected… while others… not so much.

Let’s see, there was a time a couple of years ago when a pair of young boys added 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper to a pot of chili, instead of 1/4 teaspoon. That went directly into the trash. Thankfully, that’s actually rare, when something ends up in the garbage, although I was certain it was going to happen again last week…

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June 30, 2011   3 Comments

4 down, 1 to go

Today marks the last day of the forth week of kids’ summer cooking classes. It’s been a great month and there is only one week left. This year I had the great opportunity to partner with Shamrock Farms. They provided me with all the dairy I needed and in turn, I created several recipes featuring their products and was also able to give coupons out to my students. Certainly a winning situation for me, especially with the ever-increasing food costs!  One dessert we made used up quite a bit of the buttermilk Shamrock provided me.  It always feels good to use up buttermilk, since its expiration date is usually shorter than other dairy products.  This pie was a huge, a really huge, hit with the kids.  Plus, it is super duper and easy breezy!

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June 24, 2011   1 Comment

it’s Greek to me…

During the “decision-making” time about what to make for our graduation class last week, I had several suggestions to choose from for one of the main courses, among them, tacos or Greek salad.  Both are good ideas and both work well on a buffet, but we already had decided on another salad, and “Plain Jane” tacos seemed a bit tame for the rest of the menu.  So we combined the two and made Greek Tacos… they were a huge hit with students and guests alike.  If your family is the more adventurous type, go with the ground lamb, otherwise, either ground beef or ground turkey work perfectly well.

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June 15, 2011   1 Comment

4 ingredients of difficulty

You’ve heard of the “Six Degrees of Separation” before, right?  The idea is that everyone is six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, “a friend of a friend” can, on average, connect any two people in six steps or fewer. It was originally set forth by Frigyes Karinthy and then popularized by a play written by John Guare.

That really has nothing to do with today’s recipe, I just love the idea of that, how connected we all are… OK, on to macarons, French macarons to be exact. These are a completely different breed than the coconut macaroons you might be more familiar with.  Those are easy to make, these are not!  And the only reason we even attempted them in the teen class graduation last week was that one of my long-time students, Steven, requested to make them. Steven has been coming to Les Petites Gourmettes since he was 8 years old… he is now 16 and drives himself to class.  How time flies!!!

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June 14, 2011   No Comments