Why I take cooking classes

To learn new recipes and techniques. These are great reasons. But it’s more than that for me. The first time I went, it was to learn new appetizer recipes for the Christmas season. It was a great experience. But ultimately it was lonely. I wanted to share with my friends. It would have been great to turn to someone you know and say “We’ve got to make these the next time we get together”. So the next time I went, it was with a friend. Thank you Jean for signing us up for the Mexican interactive cooking class (circa 2017).

Mexican Cooking

So, a few months ago, Jean reached out to me, again, and asked me if I wanted to go to an Instant Pot demonstration class. Let me explain, an Interactive class is where the chef does most of the cooking but you get to try your hand at a few things, for example, in the Mexican class we made our own dough, shaped and stuffed the empanadas.

Empanada made by me.

A demonstration class is where you watch the chef cook and you relax while trying each tasty creation. This was the one that Jean and I went to this past week. Instant Pot Cooking Class, held at our Superstore, with Chef John Bela.

The Recipes

Chef Bela made 5 dishes: Chinese Lemon-Honey Chicken, Southwestern Vegetarian Lentils and Brown Rice with Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheeses, Quick Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Pho, Beef Brisket Sliders with Caramelized Onions, and Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter.

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Pho

I made the Lentils and Brown Rice, Shredded Mexican Chicken and the Chocolate Brownies with Caramel.

Southwestern Vegetarian Lentils and Brown Rice with Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese
Shredded Mexican Chicken

I made Chicken first, then set aside (covered), while I made the Lentils and Rice. This was the first time I’ve cooked with Lentils and it was so easy. I found an identical recipe on this site, Platings and Pairings, which is great because it has a video to follow. I followed the recipes exactly as they were written (a first for me). They turned out great. I had my serving in a bowl, but my family put theirs in a wrap.

Next, I made the brownies, I didn’t want to use Peanut butter so I used a few chopped up caramels instead.

Sorry, no Brownie photos, we devoured them too quickly!

My recommendation: Instant Pot

OK, so I know that I’ve mentioned this before but if you are short of time or if you really enjoy great food (hopefully all of you), then you should really consider purchasing an Instant Pot. This is one small appliance that I get a ton of use out of. It still amazes me when I take out chicken that is not only perfectly cooked but doesn’t have that “dry” taste that slow cooker chicken sometimes has.

See below for a link to the Instant Pot that I purchased.

I will be posting some more low carb recipes, due to Doctors orders I need to restrict sugar (as much as possible) from my diet. I wish they had cooking classes for that. Maybe I’ll just host my own class!!!


“Plan for tomorrow, because tomorrow you won’t have time”

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