Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Move over Emeril!

update note: Welcome to those visiting visiting from Kelly's korner's Thanksgiving linky!
In a quest to diversify and expand John's horizons, I signed him up for a "Chef's" class at a quaint victorian tea house in our area. It is actually a children's cooking class but we decided to re-name the activity for the sake of gender security :) So, A culinary class for budding chef's began.

John actually really enjoyed it and they went into great detail about table manners (YES!), nutrition, kitchen safety, and of course preparation and finally ..the feast! It was a several day a week class and we went for 3-4 weeks. I have to say the recipe's he came home with were some of my all time favorites! We didn't waste much time trying a few things at home.

Here are recipe's of the winners from our home to yours!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Crispy Brown Sugar Bacon!
Hint: Twist the bacon for a texture that's crisp on the ends and chewy in the center.

1 pound hickory-smoked bacon slices
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

Cut bacon slices in half.

Combine sugar and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge bacon in sugar mixture, shaking off excess.

Twist each bacon slice, if desired. Place bacon in a single layer on a lightly greased baking rack in an aluminum foil-lined baking pan.

Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp. Allow bacon to cool before serving.


ApRiCoT-AlMoNd GrAnOlA! Without a doubt, the best granola we have ever had!

2 3/4 cups regular oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine oats, almonds, and next 4 ingredients (through raisins) in a medium bowl. Combine honey and butter. Drizzle honey mixture over oat mixture; toss to coat. Spread mixture in a single layer onto a cookie sheetl pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes; stir. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on pan. Break into pieces.

This didn't last long at our house! -so, the next time we doubled the recipe. We ate it warm served with vanilla yogurt :)


Southern Living Double-Delicious Banana Cake

This was AMAZINGLY EASY and SO good!

Prep: 5 min. Ripe bananas, with brown speckles on the yellow peel, add the best flavor.
Ingredients are:

The Cake Batter:
1 (16-oz.) package pound cake mix
3 large bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1. Beat all ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds. Scrape down sides, and beat at medium speed 3 minutes. Use batter immediately, following directions for desired cake.

Note: we used Betty Crocker Pound Cake Mix.

Banana-Pecan Cake Batter: Prepare Banana Cake Batter as directed; stir 1 cup chopped toasted pecans into batter. Use immediately, following directions for desired cake.

After making the batter you:
gather the following:

Banana Cake Batter
3 large bananas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Buttercream Frosting (see below)

1. Spoon Banana Cake Batter evenly into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.

2. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

3. Cut bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices; toss with lemon juice, and drain on paper towels.

4. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread top evenly with 1/2 cup frosting. Arrange half of banana slices in a single layer over the frosting. Spread top of second cake layer evenly with 1/2 cup frosting, and invert, frosted side down, over the first layer, sandwiching the banana slices between the 2 frosted cake layers. Repeat sandwiching procedure with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.


Buttercream Frosting:

Prep: 10 min. This recipe makes a generous amount of frosting for all the layers of the Double-Delicious Banana Cake. Halve the recipe for your favorite sheet cake.

1 cup butter, softened
2 (16-oz.) packages powdered sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 Tbsp. vanilla.


Barbie said...

What a great opportunity for him! And the recipes look delicious. I think I will have to try those. Even if I am on a diet! ;-)

Susan Stevenson said...

A cooking class is awesome! I taught my boys how to cook from the time they were about 5-6, and they still cook now as adults. Likewise, my husband learned how to cook from his gramma and he loves to cook.

He looks adorable too!

Mom To Six said...

Yummy recipes and what a handsome chef!!!

Sherri said...

I have a son who loves to cook. It really comes in handy when they get older!


Paula said...

What a fun class for John. The recipes look fantastic.
Yay for that elderly woman to stand up for what she believes. More power to her!

MIchael and Starla said...

Is he for hire? Can he cook Thanksgiving dinner? He can cook for us anytime. :)

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

This was great! I need to get my son into cooking.

Thanks for the inspiration,


Kristy said...

....as I wipe the drool off the keyboard, THANK you for such delicious recipes!!! I can't wait to try them.
Blessings ~