Friday, March 1, 2013

Breakfast Cooking Class

I recently volunteered to teach a cooking class to middle school parents twice a month.  (The parents of middle schoolers, that is. Not middle schoolers with children).  

The class only meets for an hour, but I figured the worst possible thing would be to run out of things to talk about and have a bunch of parents staring at me and tweeting on their iPhones that my cooking class its the worst cooking class ever.  Needless to say, I overprepared.  Never forget the five P's people!! (In case you don't work in a restaurant, said P's are Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance)


I may have overdone it on the bananas.

I was pretty stoked about this class, envisioning some sort of Iron Chef-like kitchen stadium and a bunch of Suzy Homemakers wearing matching aprons, dicing apples like nobody's business. The reality was slightly different: 


Lo and behold, I find out 36 hours before the first night that my class is happening in an actual classroom… meaning no stove, oven, microwave, or even sink. Actually - that's a lie. It was in a science lab, so we had some of those eye washing sinks that you use in a chemical emergency. Also, I'm sure there was a Bunson Burner lurking around there somewhere.  And those desk tops look sort of clean, right? RIGHT!?!?

I am never one to back down from a  challenge, so we made it work!  I watched plenty of cooking shows as a kid (and, who am I kidding, I watch them all the time today. I love you, Nigella.) so I know the old trick - mix up the ingredients in front of your audience and then pull  out the beautifully pre-made tray from underneath your counter.  You can't fool me with your ALLEGED thirty-minute meals, Rachel Ray.  

This week's topic was healthy, make-ahead breakfasts and I have to say that it was a smashing success. We made almond cranberry granola, which we used to make greek yogurt parfaits.  A few of the people hadn't tried greek yogurt before, which was pretty hilarious. I forgot how gross it tastes if you've only had, like, yoplait or go-gurts before.  For the record, I have never had a go-gurt. My mother has always had a strict ban on any food that comes in tube form. 


My "station" -- someone is totally going to use this spot to make a baking soda volcano tomorrow.  We made the parfaits in those little mason jars so that everyone could take them home and eat them for breakfast the next day. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of their finished product, because they were so stinking cute!



After the parfait extravaganza, the hit of the night was the banana sushi.  Admittedly, I poached this idea from pinterest, but it worked great and all of the parents really got into it! 

IMG_3174 - Version 2

Above: One of my students hard at work. Call me sexist, but I wasn't expecting a lot of dads in my cooking class, so I was pleasantly surprised that I had a few!

Basically, you flatten a piece of bread with a rolling pin (you could probably use a tortilla instead), smear some peanut butter or nutella on it, and then wrap it around a banana. Once you slice it up into little pieces, it looks just like sushi! Adorable.  

The cooking class was a total blast and I can't wait for the next one. Also, if anyone has ideas on how to cook an show-stopping meal without an oven, stove, or fridge,  let me know! 
Here's the recipe for the granola that we made. I've been munching on it for the past two days, so I would suggest making this immediately! 

Cranberry Almond Granola

What you’ll need…

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Steps for success…

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
  •  Mix oats, nuts and seeds in a large bowl
  • In a small pitcher, mix honey and oil together. You might need to zap it in the microwave if your honey is goopy. 
  • Dump this honey mixture on top of your oats and nuts and stir well.  Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Give it a good stir after 20 minutes so the bottom doesn’t get too brown.
  • As soon as you take it out of the oven, dump the granola onto a big piece of tin foil. It will get harder as it cools down, so it’s good to get it off the pan quickly.
  • When cool, break the granola into clumps and toss with the cranberries


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