As a mom of 8 beautiful kids I am excited to share some of the recipes that we've enjoyed at family mealtime and the stories that go behind them. "Food is so pleasureful and powerful that it plays an essential role in creating a home that works. For your home to feel solid, meaningful, dignified and warm, you must have the means and skills to produce good, nutritious food, to dream up pleasant menus, and to set the table and serve the food in an attractive manner that is familiar and comfortable to guests. " Cheryl Mendelson Home Comforts : The Art and Science of Keeping House

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Culinary Cooking Class with The Pros!

For anyone who knows me, you know that cooking is a passion for me!  I also love eating just as much as I love cooking or baking! I am always trying new recipes and trying to learn from the best Chefs I know! I was so happy to find a top notch Culinary Cooking Class offered locally with the amazing Chef Mary Crafts.  We had such a fun evening learning how to make great food that would impress our guests!
Mary taught us how to make Savory Bread Roll-Ups.  She chose goat cheese, caramelized onion and bacon to be the stars of this dish.  They were absolutely scrumptious! Mary was right when she said "You must make caramelized onions and include them in this recipe because they make it delicious!" They really did make these rolls burst with flavor!  I also loved Mary's "Throw any leftovers from the fridge" attitude for this dish!  I think I will try sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts with a little fresh basil and parsley added for a pop of color!

Chef Vicki and  Pastry Chef Jocelyn  taught us how to make Savory and Sweet Popcorn.   There was a Truffle Parmesan and Black Pepper Popcorn and a White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn hands on station where we got to mix and bag our own popcorn!
Chef Mary taught us how to make Pulled Pork with Pickled Red Onion Sliders and Meatball Sliders with Marinara,  Mozzarella and fresh basil! What a taste sensation!

 We were taught how to create our own Italian Sodas with either raspberry, blueberry, peach or coconut syrups!  I took Chef Vicki's advice and tried her favorite combo of peach and coconut!  Yum!
To top off the evening,  Executive Pastry Chef Jocelyn taught us how to make baked pumpkin donuts!

This was a night to be remembered!  I loved how professional the evening was from start to finish!  I'm really looking forward to my next cooking class with the Pros!

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

We have yet another tradition where we make cinnamon rolls, drink hot chocolate and watch The Polar Express after we decorate our Christmas Tree.

This is an easy and delicious recipe.  It's Sister Clayton's Roll Recipe that's was my very first blog recipe.
I turned them into cinnamon rolls and they are even better because now they have cream cheese frosting on top and who wouldn't love that!
Cinnamon Roll Recipe:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup warm water
2 pkgs dry yeast (dissolved in the warm water)
7 1/2 cups flour

Cinnamon Sugar Filling
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
For Rolls:
Mix sugar, salt, eggs and butter.  Add evaporated milk, water and yeast.  Add 5 cups of flour and then continue to add flour until you make a soft dough (up to 7 1/2 cups).  Knead well.  Place in a greased bowl and cover then let rise until double.

Roll out dough.
Prepare filling and spread.  Roll up...
Bake at 350 for 17-20 min or until golden brown.
Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting:
Same as on my Banana Bars:

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter softened
1 8 oz cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar (or Icing Sugar if you're Canadian!)
2 tsp vanilla

I made over 150 Cinnamon Rolls in this batch!  We have lots of neighbors who we thought might enjoy them, too!  This is a must try!

Nutcracker Ballet Tea Party

Every Christmas I take my girls to see the Nutcracker Ballet. This year I decided to add a Nutcracker Tea Party!  I decided to pull this together a couple of hours before the ballet, so I didn't have time to make many of my own treats, but thankfully there were some yummy bakeries in town and a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory! What else do you need?

I had a blast pulling some ornaments off the tree, setting out my tea set and making the table festive for the occasion!

 Lucy sure loved the hot chocolate and treats after seeing Clara in the land of sweets!

 Can't wait until next year!