29 October 2009

Interlude, and coming soon...

I haven't posted in a while, as I've been working on the cooking classes Jack and I are offering for this fall and winter. It's a lot of work to write down detailed, easy to understand recipes which we have always just improvised, but a terrific exercise, as well, since it forces us to think about the steps we take and why, which is important when we're showing other people how to make the same creations at home.

I appreciate the emails and comments from readers around the world - the internet is an amazing thing! And I know you want more posts on decorating and living life well, so I'm working on them. Coming next... I have been inspired by Jennifer of the wonderful blog, The Peak of Chic, to write a post on one of my favorite fabric houses of all time, Braquenie. I hope to have it finished in a day or two, so stay tuned...

13 October 2009

Cooking Classes Chez Nous

French Country Cuisine Series
with Kate

8 hands-on classes November 10 - January 20
Tuesday afternoons Noon - 2:30
Wednesday mornings 9:30 - Noon

Individual class price: $48, Complete series: $360 (save $24)
All food, materials, recipes and menu suggestions included in price.

November 10/11 - Roasted Tomato Rosemary Clafoutis, Fresh Homemade Herbed Farmer Cheese, Roasted Garlic Toasts, Mesclun Salad with Lemon/Thyme Dressing, Apple Tarte Tatin
An autumn provencal meal with a classic dessert from Normandy.

November 17/18 - Soupe au Potiron et Moules (Pumpkin & Mussel Soup), Homemade Cheese Crackers, Mixed Green Salad with Warm Chevre, Toasted Pecans and Lavender Honey Dressing, Caramelized Apples with Housemade Creme Fraiche
While the French don't celebrate Halloween, pumpkins are a
popular food.

December 1/2 - Winter Soupe au Pistou (Vegetable Soup with Pesto), Pissaladiere (Provencal Onion Tarte), Celery Root Remoulade with Homemade Mayonnaise, Baked Apricot Clafoutis
Several dishes I fell in love with, when I lived in Nice. Pissaladiere is a
traditional Nicois dish.
December 8/9 - Poached Chicken in Calvados Cream Sauce with Apples, Courgettes Farcis (Stuffed Zucchini), Oven Roasted Plum Cakes with Homemade Ginger Ice Cream
This chicken dish is Northern French, while the zucchini is from
the South.
December 15/16 - Ratatouille, Riz Provencal, Spinach Salad with Warm Caramelized Shallot Dressing, Lemon Tarte with Raspberry Drizzle and Lemon Crisps
More typical offerings from the South of France, using autumn
and winter vegetables.

January 5/6 - Aromatic Chicken Stock, Caramelized Fennel, Smoked Bacon Rizotto, Warm Wild Mushroom and Arugula Salad with Anise Flavored Dressing, Poached Pears in White Wine with a Wine Reduction Sauce
Learn to make fabulous chicken stock, and then several ways to use it.

January 12/13 - Rich Beef and Veal Stock, Classic Boeuf Bourgignon, Mashed Celeriac Garlic Potatoes, Winter Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette, Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse
A meal in honor of Julia Child.

January 19/20 - Grande Aioli with Poached Winter Vegetables, Bruschetta with Warm Tomates Confit and Housemade Olive Tapenade, Arugula Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, Almond Pear Tarte
Aioli and tapenade are typical of Provence as well as Italy and Spain,
along the Mediterranean. We will make them the old-fashioned way
with a mortar and pestle.

French Country Cuisine Series
with Jack

4 hands-on classes November 12 - December 11
Thursday afternoons Noon - 2:30
Friday mornings 9:30 - Noon

Individual class price: $48, Complete series: $182 (save $10)
All food, materials, recipes and menu suggestions included in price.

November 12/13 - Herbed "Poulet en Crapaudine" (aka Jack's Famous Chicken Under a Brick), Porcini Mushroom Sauce, Beets Roasted in a Bed of Sea Salt, Beet/Rosemary Chevre/Pecan Napoleon with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, Corsican Lemon Cheesecake
Learn why this chicken dish is cooked "like a toad".

November 19/20 - Crab Cakes and Salmon Leek Terrine, Housemade Rouille, Simple Risotto with Homemade Fish Stock, Cranberry/Pecan Cake
In the South of France, fish dishes are often served with rouille, a spicy red pepper/garlic mayonnaise.

December 3/4 - Melt-In-Your-Mouth Braised Pork Shoulder with Sweet Winter Root Vegetables, Papeton of Eggplant, Plum Cake Jacquesson
Tasty pork that is incredibly tender and a classic baked eggplant dish.

December 10/11 - Chicken Roulade with Fresh Herbed Chevre, Ham and Roasted Yellow Pepper Stuffing, Homemade Fettucine with a Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Reduction Sauce, Peach and Honey Upside-Down Cake
This chicken dish is so fancy looking, when served, and yet so simple to make.

Saturday Seminar Series

6 hands-on classes, each focusing in depth on a single subject
in November 14 - January 16
Saturdays 9:30 - 1:00

Individual class price: $53, Complete series: $299 (save $19)
All food, materials, recipes and menu suggestions included in price.

November 14 with Kate - Making homemade jams and jellies, both sweet and savory
Jams and jellies are not hard to make, when you understand the concepts and techniques behind them. This class will include a traditional sweet fruit jam, as well as herbed jellies to accompany meats and cheeses. Every student will take home a jar of herbed jelly, after class.

November 21 with Kate - Four Autumn Pies: Pecan-Ginger-Chocolate Pie, Candied-Orange-Macadamia-Nut Tarte, Pumpkin-Apple-Graham Pie, and Cranberry-Lime -Meringue Tarte
After mastering foolproof pie crusts (it's easy as pie!), you will be able to serve these at your Thanksgiving feast.

December 5 with Kate - Holiday cookies: Italian Florentines, Swedish Krumkake, French Nutmeg Sables, Viennese Crescents, American Bourbon Balls and German Spritz Cookies
Butter is queen today (Christmas comes but once a year), as you learn to make six different cookies - all from different countries and all divinely good!
December 12 with Kate - Classic French Croquembouche (a pyramid tower of mini cream puffs, all glued together with caramelized sugar, and surrounded with spun sugar)
Learn to make this amazing dessert, which the French have served at weddings, baptisms, and other grand occasions since the early 18th century. It also adds glamour to a New Year's Eve party.

January 9 with Jack - Homemade Sausages, Pates and Terrines
Learn to assemble various presentations using ground meat, with spices, herbs, nuts, vegetables and cheese.

January 16 with Kate and Jack - Homemade Country Breads: Herbed, Garlic and Plain Sourdough as well as Carte di Musica (thin flatbreads). Various Condiments: Fresh Tapenade, Eggplant Tomato Confit, Lemon Garlic Aioli
In the cold of winter, there is nothing more heart-warming than the smell of freshly baking bread, wafting from the kitchen. We also show you how to make several spreads to accompany your warm bread or toast.

All classes will be limited to 8 students each. Instruction will include demonstrations by Kate and/or Jack, as well as hands-on student participation, with one-on-one assistance. Each class will finish with a tasting "meal" and discussion of what we have made. Please bring your own apron to class.
Registration policies:
1- To register, call 781.749.8899 or email kate@katedickerson.com
2- Registration is first come, first served.
3- Payment (cash or check) must be received to reserve your spot.
4- No refunds for cancellations less than 24 hours before a class (since we need to purchase ingredients.)
5- We reserve the right to cancel or reschedule a class if the minimum registration (3 students min. per class) is not met.
6- We reserve the right to slightly alter menus or ingredients, based upon what is available at market the day of each class.

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