Cooking classes are fun because they’re social, you learn new cooking techniques, and you get to eat. Back home in Boston I took several classes with my mom on Italian cooking, paella, and gourmet dinners. When I was abroad, I took one in Southern France taught by an owner of a Michelin star restaurant. I’ve always dreamed of teaching my own cooking class and was surprised it was able to come true so soon!
Over winter break I taught a cooking class at my school. There were 2 sessions over the span of 2 weeks: one was for entrees and the other was for desserts. My entree class had 9 students – together, we made a mushroom garlic risotto, bacon and Brussels sprouts, and honey soy sauce chicken thighs (my fave). To prepare for the class, I looked up techniques for making the best risotto possible and then tested it out on my friends the night before the class. I bought all the ingredients and packed all my kitchen utensils in a suitcase that I brought to a large dorm kitchen the day of the class.
I had such a fun time teaching both classes and was glad to see the students did too! Not only did we make delicious food, but we also had a great time. At first, we didn’t all know each other but by the end of the 2-hour class we had all bonded from cooking together. It turned out to be a huge success so I’m definitely hoping to teach again next year!
A week after the class, I woke up to several texts from friends saying the article about me had made the headlines of our school’s online newsletter, the HUB. Check it out here!!! Ever since, I’ve been getting so many encouraging comments about my blog and cooking, which has inspired me more than ever! Stay tuned for more
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 small onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon celery, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (porcini, white)
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 5-8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add celery, salt and pepper.
- In a separate medium skillet, saute mushrooms. Set aside.
- In the large skillet, add rice. Stir well so that rice is coated in the onion mixture. Then, flatten the rice mixture so it is even. Pour vegetable broth into the skillet until it just covers the top of the rice (about 4-5 cups). Continuously stir so the rice absorbs the broth. Make sure to take a break once in a while to let the rice sit. When the rice looks like its getting dry, add a cup of broth in, stir and repeat. The stirring should take 25-30 minutes. Make sure to taste the rice to test whether it is done. It should be al dente.
- Once the risotto is cooked, add the butter, Parmesan cheese, parsley and mushrooms. Mix well and serve hot!
When was the first time you had a quiche? I remember my first time so vividly. It was one of those afternoons where I was buried in the library, swamped with never ending homework. A friend and I ventured to the library cafe to grab something to eat. Seeing how I was unable to decide what to get, my friend suggested I try a quiche. I had never even heard of a quiche before and I was skeptical of the odd-looking “egg pie”. For some reason, I trusted him. I took a bite and marveled with wide eyes at how incredible this new food tasted!
That memory of the quiche has stuck in my mind ever since which is why I was so excited when I found a recipe for mini quiches. My family had never heard of a quiche either so I was more than happy to introduce it to them.
These mini ones tasted…unbelievable. Biting into the quiche was an experience of its own because of the spongy, juiciness of the quiche. I compared them to muffin-shaped omelettes. After all, they had similar ingredients – egg, cheese, vegetables, and bacon. However, they had a fluffier, airier texture since more egg whites were used than yolks.
My family seemed to have a positive first experience with the quiche as well. They were impressed by how flavorful they were and said they were even better than omelettes.
The best moments are those when you discover something new and wonderful, making your life just that much better. So go out, be brave, and try something new. You might end up pleasantly surprised. 😀
MINI MUSHROOM AND SPINACH QUICHE WITH BACON
6 strips turkey bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
2 cups baby spinach
Pinch of nutmeg
4 egg whites
1/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup grated white cheese (I used Queso Blanco)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
Cook the turkey bacon strips in a large skillet on medium heat. Keep turning strips until crispy. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into small bits.
Using the same skillet, heat olive oil. Add mushrooms, shallot, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are dry and browned and shallots are soft (about 10 minutes.) Add baby spinach and nutmeg and stir for about a minute, until spinach is just wilted but still bright green.
Whisk eggs, egg whites, milk, salt and pepper until well blended. Stir in cheese. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tins, filling them halfway. Top with mushroom and spinach mixture. Sprinkle chopped bacon on top.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until quiches have risen and are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.
adapted from Food Network