April 25, 2014

Bachelorette Party Cooking Class

What are the occasions that we've held In-Home Cooking Classes for?
Looking back at all the classes,  birthdays certainly rank as number 1.

Some other occasions have been ---->  anniversaries, retirements,
girls night-in, friends visiting from out of state,
just had a baby- want to stay in activity,
surprise! I like you and hope to be dating you,
my wife doesn't cook- she needs a cooking class,
and bachelorette activity/parties just like the pictures
from a recent bridal party In-Home Cooking Class.

This group picked the brunch menu that consisted of 4 items they
chose from a choice of a dozen  or so items.

The menu was ---> mini egg fritattas,  strawberry bruschetta,
french toast roll ups and mini pancake skewered with berries.

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food

April 16, 2014

Because you need a reason to buy ice cream?

It seems like there is an APP for pretty much everything these days.
It's not just about informational APPS like the weather and map APPS
or even the interactive game APPS but there are tons of APPS
where you simply don't need it BUT at the same time it's
just really cool to use and see.

One of the newest APPS on the market (free) is for Haagen - Dazs' ice cream
You know, because we need a reason to buy ice cream! (sarcastically said)

So what is it for and how does it work?
Well, again since there aren't enough reasons for us to just buy ice cream...

Once you download the free APP
you scan the QR code  (Quick Reader code) on the right side of the lid
and you are ready to go!

Take your ice cream out of the freezer and with your Haagen-Dazs APP
opened - scan the circle (that comes up in the APP) over the lid
of your favorite ice cream flavor.  You will see a hologram of a violinist
playing some music over the lid of the ice cream.  WHAT!?!!
You can see up to 2 holograms using the APP.

The purpose of the music is that once the hologram is done playing
your ice cream is at perfect temperature and softness and ready
to be devoured... I mean, ready to be scooped into a bowl.

Technology is super cool and to see a hologram over your ice cream lid
is strangely quite fascinating.  It's really something else!

We purchased 4 containers because 2 wasn't enough right!?!!

Click the link to watch a quick video of how it works!


fascinated by technology Let's Cultivate Food

April 14, 2014

Husband and Wife In-Home Cooking Class

As we continue with our In-Home Cooking Class journey...
we had the pleasure of meeting and cooking with a fantastic couple.
Their menu consisted of :
Pork and leek dumplings, Ginger chicken lettuce wraps and a
Green noodle stir-fry with tons of mixed vegetables.

I think it's always great in learning the basics whatever it may be.
In this case it almost always starts with dicing an onion properly.
Not only does it make it easier to cut but it makes cutting a little more fun
because it becomes less of a chore but fun ways to use your knife
and using the tunnel method to hold your onion.

Below are a few pictures from this husband and wife class!

Just a few of the ingredients for this class of an Asian Fusion menu

Learning traditional and more effective ways of folding pot stickers...

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food

April 11, 2014

3 ways you are RUINING your knives!

One of the most common ways to cut yourself in the kitchen
is to have a dull knife. Sometimes people don't realize that
when your knife blade is dull- you actually have to work hard at
the motion of cutting which can easily allow you to have less control
of your knife hence, allowing yourself to possibly get cut.

During some In-home cooking classes-
We encounter some people who use steak knives or paring knives
to cut EVERYTHING. I know that there are many, many people out there
who have no interestin cooking, which is ok but we all do have to eat
and have to make something from time to time.
Whether you enjoy cooking or not- some people just say that they
don't really know how to get started...

One of the best things you can start out with is a cutting board,
I prefer wooden (bamboo at that) but plastic is ok also-- just make sure that
your cutting board doesn't slide all around and have a sharp knife that is
medium sized. It doesn't have to be super large or expensive.

My favorite go-to knife was about $10.00 and that's what I mean by
it doesn't have to be expensive.  Another tip: when you are cutting
on your cutting board and if the board is sliding around- you can simply
lay a clean kitchen towel right underneath the cutting board and it will
prevent it from sliding all around your counter.  The last thing you
want with your sharp knife is your cutting board to be moving all around!

The 3 ways that you may be ruining your knives is...

1. You toss it right into the utensil drawer unsheathed or protected in
    any way and therefore the knife gets tossed around every time someone
    opens the utensil drawer causing your blades to get duller faster.
    Keep them covered if you want them in your utensil drawer,
    put them in a knife block on the counter or get a magnetic knife strip.

2. Do you put your knives in the dishwasher? The detergent in dish washers
    are very abrasive and with the banging around during the wash cycle-
    it will very quickly take the sharp edge right off your knife!
    So- just hand wash them with some soap and water. Pretty easy.

3. After you have done your cutting- you clear what you just chopped
    using the blade side of the knife. Do you do this? Take the nice, sharp
    side of your knife, blade down to clear your cutting board?
    It's a terrible way to treat your blade!
    All you have to do is flip the knife over- use the flat spine side
    of your knife and that way your knife will stay sharper longer.

Keep it sharp Let's Cultivate Food

April 9, 2014

DIY Sriracha Salt

DIY is great but when it's so obvious and EASY it just.makes.sense.
Some things we make  it ourselves whether it's to save money or to add
a personal touch to or in this case because it's just too darn easy to do.

I'm taking about Sriracha Salt.  Sriracha sauce is a type of hot sauce made
from a paste of hot chili peppers + vinegar + garlic + sugar + salt.
The name comes from a city in Thailand called "Si Racha"  did you know that?

In Thailand , sriracha sauce is used as a dipping sauce mostly for seafood-
sort of like cocktail sauce.  Once the sauce immigrated to the US and other parts
of the world - it has blown up being used in soups, eggs, burgers, jams, lollipops,
candy canes, potato chips and more! In the US we most commonly see the brand
Huy Fong Foods aka: rooster sauce.  Many restaurants like Applebees, P.F. Chang's,
and Subway have jumped on the band wagon for incorporating Sriracha sauce
into dishes on their menu.

Another way to use the sauce is to make your own DIY Sriracha Salt.

Sriracha salt is great for seasoning. You can use it on popcorn, to season your 
steaks with, add a sprinkle to salads, on eggs, the uses are endless.
To make it- just mix a tablespoon of the hot sauce with a cup or so of coarse salt.
Once you mix it in a bowl - spread it out on a pan or plate so it will dry a little.
Do NOT bake it or anything else.  Simply let it sit for maybe 30 minutes to dry out.
Once the sauce has dried out you can put it into a jar or spice container
of your choosing. That's it!  I told you it was easy.
I mean- you don't even have to boil water or anything!

Add a kick Let's Cultivate Food

April 8, 2014

V8 V-Fusion ENERGY drinks

Did you know that V8 drinks have been around for over 75 years?
Their product line has more than 44 varieties, from the original red tomato juice
looking V8 to the Spicy Hot, to the low sodium to the fruit smoothie like drinks
to the fruit and veggie mixed flavors to the fusion and now to the V-fusion Energy drink.

Do you know how many vegetables a person should have each day?
Can you guess? I'll just tell you. It's 5, five servings of vegetables daily.

V8 makes it a little easier to reach that goal simply because they pack so
many vegetables and fruits into their drinks.
The energy drinks just like their other drinks are 100% juice.
Some of the energy drink flavors are Peach Mango, Strawberry Banana,
Pomegranate Blueberry and Acai Mixed Berry.

The V8 V-fusion + energy drinks have 50 calories, is a great source
of vitamin B and they taste great!

What's also nice is that they have no added sugar or artificial flavorings
or preservatives.  The energy portion of the drink comes from green tea.

When you compare it to a can of soda and a 8oz brewed cup of coffee---
the soda has 46 mg of caffeine and
V8 energy has 80mg and
the coffee has 90 mg.

I've been having these energy drinks from time to time and they taste great
and I really get more energy with no crashing or no sugar highs etc...

They are super cheap as well. Often a 6 pack is a few cents under $4.00
making them 60 some cents. You can't beat that price and flavor.

Total win. win.

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food

Korean BBQ Class at Main Line School Night

Over the weekend, we had our Korean BBQ class held at the Creutzburg Center
in Radnor through Main Line School Night.

As always, it was a great time. The students learned how to dice onions
properly along with shredding scallions, marinating kalbi which are short ribs,
bulgogi which is sliced ribeye and pork belly which is basically bacon uncured.

It's always great to do hands-on demos with the students.
I always feel that it's so much better when you- not only see something
but when you actually do it yourself so that you can experience it.

Below are a few pictures that were taken by my sous chef.

One of the best parts of cooking classes is that you get to eat!
Once all the condiments were ready and the meats were marinaded-
the students had the opportunity to cook the bbq at the table, wrapping
everything up in a lettuce wrap.

The whole room was sizzling with flavor.
to see some of the recipes click the link ----> Korean BBQ