Things I Learned at My First Cooking Class

I Learned a Lot at MY First Ever Cooking Class And when I say first ever I mean first ever class I taught…and first ever I attended. Most of us never take one class and are fine cooks. This was a new experience for me.

Most people know more than they think they do and just need more confidence in the kitchen.

Many hands really do make light work. 2 1/2 hours of cooking goes by in a flash.

Apples and Fontina cheese make an amazing Quesadilla. Confession: I have only eaten quesadillas and never made one until two days ago. The recipes for all of the dishes prepared are included in the menu below. Our friend Jack shred the cheeseFontina is relatively soft cheese that crumbles as it shreds. Katie, a pharmacy student loves to cook but doesn’t have time jumped at the opportunity to make the quesadillas. She did a great job.

There is a reason why ingredients are already prepped. Doing the fine dice on the apples on a surface a few inches higher than I was accustomed with a cutting board which was sliding around and an unfamiliar knife spooked me at first. Chef Paul gave me a cloth (to replace the one I put over my shoulder – my moppina ) to stabilize the board and we got back on track.

Our Menu:

20121011-082906.jpgQuesadillas.

Wheat tortillas filled with apples and red onions flavored with D’Avolio Black Current Balsamic Vinegar, black beans and Fontina cheese. These are served with a seasoned Greek yogurt dipping sauce.

Roasted Chicken Snack Strips

20121011-082715.jpgBoneless, skinless chicken breasts rubbed with D’Avolio Milanese Gremolata Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned with Basik’s Hunter Blend seasoning available at D’Avolio.

20121011-082814.jpgOrzo

Tiny rice shaped pasta with roasted grape tomatoes and garlic seasoned with Olio Fresca Herb Mix, available at D’Avolio’s and D’Avolio Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

20121011-082551.jpg Peaches

Ordinary canned peaches made extraordinary with seasoned mascarpone cheese and a drizzle of D’Avolio 18 Year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. For an extra kick we sprinkle just a pinch of Vanilla Bean salt.

Even the best plan can get mixed up. And, the result will be great…just different than the plan. I made up the above menu and Independent Health included it in a nice handout at D’Avolio Kitchen.

A very astute participant noticed I switched the oil in a few of the dishes. Oops! This totally unintentional action just proved the point D’Avolio has been making since they opened their first store a little more than a year ago:

Be fearless.

Cooking, preparing healthy delicious food should not be stressful. Experiment with flavor…try the unexpected (like spontaneously adding D’Avolio Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegar to mascarpone cheese) and be sure to write down what you love. Write it down because when you go back to the store you will be smacked by the volume of selections.

Have fun with your food. If you add one dish new to you each week…heck, even just one flavor combination (write down what you like…you will notice a pattern) then you will have learned to make over 50 new things.

So, when is our next cooking class? What would you like to learn? We are only limited by our imagination! Let’s learn together!

Have a yummy day!

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Healthy Options Cooking Class

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This evening, October 9, 2012 I will be cooking and talking about “Healthy Options” at Independent Health’s Healthy Options Cooking Class at D’Avolio Kitchen.

Our Menu:

Quesadillas  Wheat tortillas filled with apples and red onions flavored with D’Avolio Black Current Balsamic Vinegar, black beans and Fontina cheese. These are served with a seasoned Greek yogurt dipping sauce.

Roasted Chicken Snack Strips  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts rubbed with D’Avolio Milanese Gremolata Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned with Basik’s Hunter Blend seasoning available at D’Avolio.  

Orzo  Tiny rice shaped pasta with roasted grape tomatoes and garlic seasoned with Olio Fresca Herb Mix, available at D’Avolio’s and D’Avolio Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Peaches  Ordinary canned peaches made extraordinary with seasoned mascarpone cheese and a drizzle of D’Avolio 18 Year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. For an extra kick we sprinkle just a pinch of Vanilla Bean salt.

The recipes will be posted tomorrow and can be found in the IHA tab on the right.

Have a yummy day!