July 27, 2015

Shrimp Shumai

I've been wanting to make dim sum at home for a while now. I've made steamed pork buns and potstickers before, but I wanted to try my hand at other kinds of steamed dumplings. So, last night, Nick and his daughter Maggie came over to prepare dinner with me. 

Maggie was in charge of making sesame chicken potstickers, and she did a fabulous job! She also made a spicy peanut dipping sauce (recipe at the end of this post) to go with them.

I was in charge of the shrimp shumai, a recipe that I wanted to test so that I can use it in an upcoming cooking class. 

I was very happy with both of these recipes, and I will definitely make them again. They were much easier and not as tedious as I'd expected. 

Today, I'm using the leftover chicken filling (it makes way more than 20!) to make meatballs that I'll eat with rice and veggies. 

Shrimp Shumai

adapted from Mark Bittman

July 22, 2015

Blueberry-Lemon Pound Cake

Here is another dessert I made recently that was also a big hit. 

I made some food to take to the lake cabin for July 4th weekend....sesame soba noodles, curried chicken salad, and this blueberry-lemon pound cake.

This is a very moist cake, so it's best eaten within a day or two. Also, I highly recommend baking it in a bundt pan instead of a regular cake pan. The first time I made it, in a round cake pan, the middle just didn't quite set before the rest started to burn. You could also divide the batter between 2 loaf pans. 

Blueberry-Lemon Pound Cake

July 15, 2015

S'mores Pie

I love all things s'mores. But, that's face it...nothing "s'mores inspired" (like cupcakes, tarts, cookies, etc.) come close to the real thing.

Except for this pie.

This pie is easy to make and is decadently delicious. It's a very sophisticated way to cure your s'mores craving...especially when it's too rainy (like it was here last month) or too damn hot & humid (like it is now) to build a campfire.

This award-winning recipe comes from Butter & Scotch, a New York bar and bakery, and I made in in a Girls' Night Out class recently at Kitchen Conservatory. It was a hit.

Be sure to use a good quality MILK chocolate; semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate just doesn't replicate the s'mores taste me all know and love. Don't be intimidated by the homemade marshmallow creme. It's very easy to make...and so much better than the jarred version. Trust me.

S'mores Pie

May 27, 2015

Chive Pesto

Several years ago, I planted a small herb garden...with chives, thyme, basil, oregano, and rosemary. Each year since then, the chives and oregano have come back. This year, they are back with a vengeance. So. Many. Chives.

Last year, when the chives threatened to take over the back patio, I planned to make a fancy chive quiche...with the thin stalks and flowers placed artfully on top. That never happened. I let the herbs wither and die instead, only cutting off some here and there for salads and such. That quiche may happen this week, though.

Yesterday, I cut off half of the chives and made pesto. It's fairly easy....blitz 4 cups of chopped chives (the flowers are edible, too) with 1/4 cup almonds, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 garlic clove, juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup of olive oil (or more to reach desired consistency), salt & pepper (to taste).

This stuff is LIKE WHOA STRONG. Really potent onion flavor and bit of a spicy sting. Next time, I would add lemon zest with the juice and a handful or two of spinach to mellow it out.

Nevertheless, this pesto is quite tasty. I ate some spooned over seared cod for dinner.

Here's what I plan to do with the rest, because it made about 2 cups:

Mix it into softened butter for toast.
Scramble into eggs.
Blend with sour cream for dip.
Spread on sandwiches.
Whisk into salad dressing.
Toss with hot pasta.
Stir into hot rice.
Drizzle over grilled meat or fish.
Use as a pizza sauce.
Add to chicken or tuna salad.
Make ricotta-chive gnocchi.

Now, I just need to decide what to do with all that oregano...

May 3, 2015

Summer 2015 Cooking Classes

SUMMERTIME! I'm so ready for a break and looking forward to a fun summer...which includes teaching new cooking classes. 

Some new menus include a summer supper for couples (June 12), a dessert & cocktail pairing demo class (June 26), a class all about miso (July 18), two Girls' Night Out classes (August 29 & September 12), a sweet & savory Sunday brunch (September 6), and a spicy lunch (September 19)

Below is my schedule through September. To register, call Kitchen Conservatory at 314-862-2665 or register online.

DATE NIGHT FOR COUPLES: AN A-FARE TO REMEMBER - Sunday, June 7 @ 5:00-7:30 pm (hands-on).

  • Discover the fun of cooking together, as this class prepares grilled panzanella salad, rosemary fried chicken, mac-and-cheese with peas and bacon, ratatouille, plus caramel apple galette, with two remarkable beer pairings ideal for dinner and dessert.

DATE NIGHT FOR COUPLES: SUMMER LOVIN' - Friday, June 12 @ 6:00-8:30 pm (hans-on)
  • Grab your partner and fall in love with the smells and flavors of summertime. This class will create "BLT" bruschetta with pepper-jelly bacon and tomato jam, classic Caesar salad with smoky shrimp and zucchini, grilled spatchcock chicken with bourbon barbecue sauce, crispy and cheesy hasselback roasted potatoes, plus blueberry pound cake with lemon glaze and limoncello gelato.

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: BUTTER + SCOTCH - Friday, June 26 @ 6:00-8:30 (demonstration)
  • Inspired by a trendy New York retro-style cafe and bar that serves cupcakes and cocktails, I will serve up an outstanding selection of sips and sweets. Enjoy butterscotch cupcakes with scotch-lemonade punch, raspberry-bourbon gelatin shooters - because Jello shots are the original dessert and booze pairing, ginger-lime-rum Dark & Stormy popcorn served with its namesake cocktail, s'mores pie with vanilla-orange prosecco cocktail, plus honey-nut shortbread with an espresso martini.
DATE NIGHT FOR COUPLES: HIGH STEAKS - Sunday, July 5 @5:00-7:30 (hands-on)
  • This class will create bruschetta with seasonal fruit, brie and fennel-infused honey, smoked lentil salad with creamy Sriracha dressing, cedar-grilled flat iron steaks with cayenne-coffee rub, sweet potato and goat cheese "tater tots", bacon-wrapped green beans with brown sugar and garlic butter, plus salted caramel pots de crème.
DATE NIGHT FOR COUPLES: GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEERS - Friday, July 10 @ 6:00-8:30 (hands-on)
  • Join  me (aka"goldie" locks) in a fun class that prepare beer cheese fondue with soft pretzels, local lager with spicy Sriracha chicken wings, fruity Belgian wheat beer with grilled scallops and corn salad, plus creamy stout with chocolate hazelnut cake and vanilla ice cream.
SATURDAY NIGHT SUSHI - Saturday, July 25 @ 6:30-9:00 (hands-on)

  • Menu includes tempura vegetables, miso soup, edamame salad with ginger-soy dressing, crab and mango inside-out rolls with teriyaki glaze, spicy tuna hand rolls, crunchy shrimp rolls with avocado-chile cream, and sweet plum ice cream.