Bon Appetit

I’m in the middle of a wonderful Christmas/ New Years vacation, but I thought I should take a minute to give an update or two. At the very least I wanted to share one highlight from Christmas: our cooking class! The last two Christmases we gave Mom painting classes instead of a usual wrapped gifts and it’s been a lot of fun for everyone. This year instead of painting we decided to try cooking.

For our cooking class adventure we went to Sur La Table and took a class with Chef Robert. We missed having Gabby, but two of my mom’s sisters, Annie and Jan, were able to join us which was really fun.

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Mom striking her best chef pose!

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Chef Robert preparing for our class.

First thing on the menu: Blini with smoked salmon and crème fraiche and buckwheat pancakes. This consisted of us making buckwheat pancakes, a cream, and topping it with some salmon. For the cream we mixed together crème fraiche with dill and a few other things [I think? luckily, they sent us home with the recipes]. We were a little skeptical at first, because our pancakes didn’t look that pretty, but they tasted delicious.

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Mom and Annie sampling the blini

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Annie assembling our yummy appetizer.

Next up was the main course: steak with sauce (steak diane) and truffled mashed potatoes. The potatoes we did as a group, so we didn’t do much of that individually. But the steaks we all did ourselves.

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Chef Robert taught us a trick for figuring out the temperature of your steak. Relax your left hand [or right if you are left handed] and touch your thumb to your first finger. Using your other hand touch your palm at the base of your thumb, this is how meat should feel when it’s rare. Middle finger = medium rare, ring finger = well done. He also taught us the difference between regular butter and clarified butter. Part of which I may have already forgotten, but you can also buy clarified butter at the store, so I think I’m safe regardless, haha.

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Mom cooking up some steaks!

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Dad timing how long to leave the steaks on and Jan eying the dish carefully.

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Ours came out a nice medium.

We also made a nice sauce to go with it. I don’t usually like mushrooms much, but even I enjoyed it.

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Jan getting advice on the sauce.

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Just Mom, being a professional.

For dessert we had dark chocolate soufflé. We prepped the soufflé batter together at the beginning of class so it could sit in the fridge. I had the job of pouring the batter into all the little ramekins. Later while we were prepping the rest of the dinner the assistants slipped it in the oven. They came out looking like this:

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Chef Robert mixed cocoa nibs into whipped cream to put on top of the soufflé and it was the perfect touch.

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Of course, the best part of class? Eating everything!

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These did not last long.

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Merry Christmas Mama! Thanks for liking gifts the whole family can enjoy!!

Currently: Grateful for a lovely day with my Aunt Shelly and Amy and Brett. Them + Sweet Tomatoes = perfect afternoon.

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