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Posts from — June 2011

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 lead you to believe that mistakes aren’t made here at Les Petites Gourmettes Cooking School, please forgive me. Although not necessarily everyday, 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 the time a couple years ago when a pair of young boys added 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper to a pot of chili, instead of 1/4 teaspoon.  That went directly into the trash.  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

summer slaw

Sometimes my friends and neighbors comment that a few of my recipes are too complicated or time-consuming. For you lovey ladies, I offer this…

On my quest to use up a bunch of cubed peaches left over from cooking classes, I stumbled upon a cole slaw “kit” in the produce department at my neighborhood Safeway. It not only included the usual julienned carrot and shredded red and green cabbages, but also a little packet of “sweet & creamy” dressing.  I added in some diced red bell pepper for color and crunch, my peaches, and then dressed up the dressing with a little Dijon and had the perfect easy breezy side dish.

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June 29, 2011   No Comments

peachy chops

Before we get to today’s recipe and before I forget, I need to tell you that I’ll be on NBC – Channel 12 Valley Dish tomorrow – Wednesday, June 29th.  It’s going to be an especially important and good show, so tune in at 3:30, if you can… or there’s always TiVo! xoxo

They say that spicy food cools you off in the summer. Strange, but true; hot spicy food make you sweat, then your body temperature actually dips. But then you’re sweating, not my favorite cup of tea. In hot weather, I generally gravitate towards cool and refreshing foods like yesterday’s grape cooler cocktail, or ice cream, or watermelon.

If you lean more toward spicy food to bring your body temps down, give this grilled dish a try. And even with the addition of all that spice, just the sight and idea of sweet juicy peaches sounds nice and cool!

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June 28, 2011   1 Comment

grape delight

I had planned on posting one of the several peach dishes I made over the weekend, but instead I must share this totally fab  and oh so refreshing grape cooler. Remember these lovely grapes my dad brought me from a the garden of a friend of his? Well I put them to their highest and best possible use… a cocktail, of course!

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June 27, 2011   4 Comments

desert peach dessert!

These grilled peaches are the epitome of easy breezy and oh so delish!  Between this dessert I served on Father’s Day and classes last week, I’ve finally used all the peaches from my tree. But that doens’t mean we’re done with peach recipes, far from it. One of the desserts for the teen graduation lunch on Friday was peach shortcakes, and there are SO many juicy cubed peaches leftover from that… I’ll be making “peach-fill in the blank” all weekend… recipes to follow, of course.  No quantities for this recipe, just make as many or as few as you need.

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June 26, 2011   2 Comments

rant

There are so many little everyday things in life to be grateful for, such as allowing the last artichokes of the season to go to flower instead of picking and eating. Then there are those things that just annoy the living daylights out of you!  You know, things you consider to be the actual bane of your existence. During summer cooking classes, I have two such things that happen, not just once in a while, but daily… every single day, people!

The first of these has to do with the 12 aprons we use in class. Aprons – now how can aprons possibly be an issue? Here, look at these pictures and you shall understand.

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June 25, 2011   8 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. The provided me 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 easy breezy!

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June 24, 2011   1 Comment

milk candy

That is the literal translation for dulce de leche, milk candy.  Sounds good either way you say it and these sweet little mini cheesecakes are the perfect vehicle for the sweet stuff!

I’ve used the cute little mini cheesecakes molds and told you where you can purchase them before, back in December when I made THIS RECIPE. Also I’ve told you how to make your own dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk back in April when I made THIS. But you can also purchase ready made cans of dulce de leche in the Hispanic section of most grocery stores.

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June 23, 2011   No Comments

hop, hop, hop

I have a bad habit of taking a “snapshot” of images I see online that I like, putting on my desktop and then eventually into a folder and forgetting about them for a long time.  Later, when I want to use it, like the one above – which I really LOVE, I have no idea who or where to credit it to.  Needless to say, that is not my image, but it is super wonderful! Isn’t it?

Before I even tell you what today’s recipe is, let me say that the dry rub is a wonderful staple to have on hand and is great on any meat or poultry.  And the lemon garlic butter sauce is another fantastic staple, perfect for baked, broiled, or grilled fish.  That said, today we are making…. oh wait, a little story first.

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June 21, 2011   2 Comments

best hummus ever!

I thought I’d had good homemade hummus before, but then I had hummus made from dried chickpeas, instead of canned, and now I know what good hummus is!

Nick Malgieri, former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World and cookbook author, is a frequent teacher at Les Gourmettes.  Last session he made this recipe by another teacher and author, Paula Wolfert, who has three fabulous Mediterranean cuisine cookbooks.  The difference between hummus made from canned chickpeas and the hummus made from dried is incredible. It’s not hard to do, it just takes a little more forethought, since the beans need to soak overnight.

You can find dried chickpeas in bulk at Whole Foods and health food stores and I get the tahini at Smart and Final, but it too can be found at health food and Mediterranean stores.

Bonus:  There is a food processor tip at the bottom of the recipe.

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June 20, 2011   5 Comments