Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cooking Class - Day 1

One of my very best girlfriends and myself signed up to take a cooking class at one of the local highschools. Not just any highschool....our old stompin grounds.

It was surreal to walk into the school and see all the old "crimson and gold" hallways and classrooms where we spent our youth.

I felt very nostalgic. I felt very old.

The cooking class was held...where old home ec room.

Other then a possible paint job in the past ten years, it looked virtually the same.

This is the little kitchen area my friend and I used.

We dawned our aprons and we were ready to go. I should mention that she and I were the only students (aside from the instructor) who brought our own aprons. Apparently we are hoping for Gold Stars in this class.

My friend's apron was absolutely adorable and depicts not only where both of us would rather be, but really where our true strengths lie. And those strengths are not found in the kitchen. Not yet anyway.

I wore the apron I got from my brother at Christmas which I showed in this post.

Tonight we had three recipes to make: Roasted Vegetable Tortilla Pizzas, Sweet Pecan Cranberry Salad, and Peanut Butter Banana Sundaes. It was going to be a good night.

I was drooling already.

This was largely to do with the fact that I skipped supper.

Anyways, here we go.

Roasted Vegetable Tortilla Pizzas


2 cloves of garlic                         1/2 red onion                        1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 red pepper                               3 sun0dried tomatoes            2c chopped spinach
Fresh and dried oregano              Fresh *or dried* basil           1/4-1/2c shredded mozza cheese
1 small can tomato paste             2 large whole wheat tortillas

Preheat oven to 350.

Coarsley chop the red onion, mushrooms, and peppers (except sundried tomatoes) and mince or press the garlic.

If you don't have a garlic press, here is a handy tip we learned tonight. Using a cutting board, place your clove of garlic underneath the board.

Then press firmly down.

Your garlic comes out of it's casing and is ready to be minced:)

Ok carrying on....

Next coarsley chop your spinach and set aside.

Chop the sundried tomatoes into smaller pieces.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the garlic until fragrant (1 min). Or less time so that it does not look like this:

Goodbye Gold Stars.

Ok carrying on again.

Toss all the vegetables into the skillet and cook until they are soft.

In the meantime, lay out tortillas on baking sheets and top with 1/2 a can of tomato paste and sprinkle with dried oregano.

Once vegetables are cooked, turn the heat off and throw in the chopped spinach.

Top the prepared tortillas with the vegetable mixture, sun-dried tomatoes, and lastly the cheese.

Put the pizzas in the oven for approx 10 min, or until the tortillas are light brown around the outsides.

Chop fresh basil and oregano and garnish pizzas when they come out of the oven!

Sweet Pecan Cranberry Salad

This salad was to die for. Here is what you need:

-Mixed greens                                                                   
-1/4 c cranberries                                                                
-1/4 c chopped, toasted pecans                                           
-1/4 c chopped or thinly sliced apple

2 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 tbsp raspberry flavored wine vinegar  (or white balsamic vinegar)
1tsp honey or maple syrup (to taste)
-Salt and Pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 350.
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 7-10 min (or until just brown)

Mix the dressing ingredients together:

In a large bowl, mix salad greens, cranberries, and apple
Toss salad with dressing
Add pecans when cool

Drool and devour.

And now for the grande finale.

 Peanut Butter Banana Sundae

What you need:

1c vanilla frozen yogurt
1 chopped banana
1/4c nuts
Dark chocolate chopped into small pieces.

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp peanut butter

Whisk cream and peanut butter over medium heat, bring almost to a boil. Set aside to cool.

Layer all the ingredients in small dessert bowls or glasses.

If putting heavy cream into a dessert is wrong, I don't want to be right.

All in all, the first cooking class was so much fun! Although I am having a psychotic semester in the rest of my life, the two hours I spent with my friend at cooking class tonight were so cathartic and I left feeling inspired and energized.

Let me know if you try these recipes and love them as much as I did!

Have a fantabulous weekend!


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