My Love of Marcel’s Cooking Classes by Graeme Reinhart

Welcome to our guest blogger Graeme Reinhart who has been taking classes in the Marcel’s kitchen since we opened and is currently enjoying his time in our classes for 12 – 16 year olds.  Read on for more about Graeme and his love of cooking.  Thanks for sharing, Graeme!
How long have you been taking classes at Marcels? 
I think I’ve been taking these classes for close to 6 years.  I know I was really excited when I got to start going to the Mid-Kid classes. Now I’m in the Big Kid classes. 
What do you enjoy most about the cooking classes?
I enjoy learning how to cook and learning new techniques, such as when we learned different knife skills.  The first trick I remember Chef Jamie teaching us was to always crack your eggs into separate bowls in case one egg wasn’t good.  I also remember the tip about washing your hands with a metal spoon to get rid of the garlic smell.  And of course, I like getting the discount to use at the end of class so I can get some new cooking gadgets. 
What are some key things you have learned from these classes?
The tips and tricks; why certain things in cooking are the way they are, and what gives certain foods their taste.
How would you like to use these skills in the future?
I want to continue to learn more advanced skills because it seems like we are refining our skills in these classes.  I like to know the correct way of doing things because the correct way is usually easier and if it is the correct way, it usually tastes better!  Chef Robin told us to always cut peppers with the skin down, that way it’s easier to cut them. She also taught us the right way to cut an onion, and I’m still trying to remind my mom not to cut the root!
Can you tell of a time you made the recipes outside the cooking class?
I’ve made the jalapeño coleslaw chicken sandwiches for out of state friends. I make the egg drop soup every so often as an after school snack.  I also liked recreating the lemon chicken, lasagna and a lot of the desserts too.  I still need to make the clam chowder that was so good. 
Do you have a favorite kind of food you like to eat?  
I’m pretty adventurous. I love trying new things so I wouldn’t say I have a favorite. 
Any thoughts of becoming a chef?
No, not at all.  I think it’d be difficult job, but I do want to learn how to cook better. 
What kind of class would you like to see that you haven’t experienced yet?
I’d like to cook foods from exotic countries and learn more advanced techniques.
To register for one of our fabulous kids classes, click on the appropriate age below:

Whole Wheat Berry Waffles

Whole Wheat Berry Waffles
  1. 1 cup whole wheat berries - not the flour - just the berries
  2. 1 1/2 cups milk
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  6. 1/4 cup oil
  7. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Put wheat berries and 1 cup milk into Vitamix.
  2. Blend on high for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup milk and blend an additional 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients - blending quickly — and cook on hot waffle iron until golden brown.
  3. You can also use this batter for pancakes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
  1. 3 ripe bananas
  2. 2 eggs
  3. ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  4. ½ cup milk or almond milk
  5. ½ cup maple syrup
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  8. 3 tablespoons ground flax
  9. ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  10. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  11. ½ teaspoon salt
  12. ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add eggs and combine thoroughly. Then mix together the remaining wet ingredients: Greek yogurt, milk, maple syrup and vanilla.
  3. Add in dry ingredients (flour, flax, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt) and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased muffin tin, filling each up about ⅔ full.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Heart-Shaped Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones

Heart-Shaped Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones
Yields 12
  1. 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  2. 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
  7. 1 teaspoon (packed) grated orange peel
  8. 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  9. 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries
  10. 2/3 cup chilled buttermilk
  11. 1 large egg yolk
  12. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  13. 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  14. Milk (for glaze)
  1. Butter and flour baking sheet.
  2. Whisk 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add butter and grated orange peel; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Mix in chocolate chips and dried cherries.
  3. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and almond extract in small bowl to blend.
  4. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; stir with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Press out dough on lightly floured surface to 3/4-inch thickness.
  5. Using 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out scones. Gather scraps, press out dough and cut out additional scones.
  6. Transfer to baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  8. Brush scones lightly with milk; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until scones are crusty on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes (or up to 20 minutes if refrigerated). Serve warm or at room temperature.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

French Apple Cake

French Apple Cake
  1. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 3 tablespoons dark rum
  8. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform on it.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  3. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they're foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it's fairly even.
  5. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it's fully opened, make sure there aren't any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
  1. The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream (vanilla or cinnamon).
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

LFK “Rub It Right” Bloody Marys

LFK "Rub It Right" Bloody Marys
  1. 4 Kalamata olives
  2. 1 tablespoon LFK "Rub it Right" spice blend
  3. 2 cups tomato juice
  4. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  5. 1 teaspoon creamy horseradish sauce
  6. salt and Pepper to taste
  7. ½ cup vodka
  1. Combine the first five ingredients plus the vodka in the blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pour over ice and garnish with your favorite accoutrements.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Vanilla-Rhubarb Jam with Earl Grey

Vanilla-Rhubarb Jam with Earl Grey
  1. 8 cups chopped rhubarb (about 3 lb.)
  2. 4 cups. sugar
  3. 1 cup double-strength brewed Earl Grey tea
  4. 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  5. juice of 1 lemon
  6. pinch salt
  7. 1 packet liquid pectin (3 oz.)
  1. Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 one-pint jars or 8 jelly jars.
  2. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover with water and simmer over very low heat.
  3. In a large, nonreactive pot, combine rhubarb, sugar, and tea and bring to a boil. Add the vanilla bean and seeds, lemon juice, and salt to the pot and let the mixture bubble gently over med.-high heat for 15-20 min., stirring regularly, until the rhubarb has broken down. Add the packet of liquid pectin and increase the heat to high, to bring the jam up to a rolling boil. Let the jam boil vigorously for 3-4 min., stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from burning. Remove the pot from the heat and ladle the jam into the prepared jars.
  4. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 min.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Decadent Baked Strawberry French Toast en Casserole with Roasted Strawberries

Decadent Baked Strawberry French Toast en Casserole with Roasted Strawberries
Serves 8
  1. 1 pint ripe strawberries, hulled and diced
  2. 4 T. sugar
  3. 1 ½ pounds challah loaf, crust sliced off
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 3 cups half and half
  6. 1 pint ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
  7. 2 T. maple syrup
  8. 1 T. canola or grapeseed oil
  9. pinch of salt
  10. erizzle of balsamic vinegar
  1. Place 1 pint strawberries and sugar in a food processor or blender and puree. Set aside.
  2. Slice the challah into ½ “thick slices. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a buttered 13 x 9” casserole or baking dish. Arrange the next layer in the opposite direction. Continue with a third layer in the first direction.
  3. Pour the strawberry puree into a large bowl and add the eggs and half and half. Whisk to blend. Pour the mixture over the sliced bread. Push down on the bread with your hands to fully submerge the bread. Cover loosely with foil and place on a sheet pan. Place boxes of pasta or stock on top of the French Toast to weight it and keep it submerged. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Meanwhile, make the roasted strawberries by arranging the berries (1 pint) on a Silpat lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the maple syrup, grapeseed oil and salt. Roast in preheated 350 oven for 20 minutes, or until the berries have darked slightly. Let cool a few minutes then dribble with a bit of balsamic vinegar. Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350. Carefully remove the foil. Bake until puffed, golden, and fully baked (pierce the center with a small knife to insure no liquid comes out). Let cool, then cut into squares. Serve topped with a bit of the roasted strawberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

B.F.D.* (*Breakfast for Dinner) by Kelly Montgomery

As a young mom, many years ago, I would often on occasion prepare Breakfast for Dinner, which, loosely translated, means “what we’ll be eating when it’s 6pm and I have no idea what I’m going to put on the table (again) and I didn’t quite make it to the grocery store (again) and I’m still in my pajamas (again).” Breakfast for Dinner was a go-to for a reason. It was a rare occasion when I couldn’t cobble together a satisfying meal from what could be found in the refrigerator and pantry. In those days, a breakfast in the evening was the result of an epic meal planning fail.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 6.32.55 AMAs time went by, “breakfast dinner” became something else entirely–my kids’ most requested meal; one I began to plan for and intentionally include in some weekly menus.  When this shift occurred, my B.F.D. game stepped up considerably. With a little foresight and a decent grocery list, I was able to dabble in more sophisticated breakfast offerings, some of which were more involved than many of my non-breakfast standbys, most of which received an enthusiastic thumbs down from my children.  They didn’t want fancy frittatas. They had no interest in blintzes or benedicts. They didn’t see the point in trying to fix what in their opinion wasn’t broken. What they craved was good old-fashioned breakfast fare. And one of their favorites was waffles. Our favorite waffle recipe is from the book that came with the waffle maker I bought 20-some years ago. We’ve tried others, but haven’t found one that we like better. 

Sour Cream Waffles
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1 cup sour cream
  3. ¼ cup butter or margarine - melted
  4. 1 cup buttermilk
  5. 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  6. 1 t. baking powder
  7. ½ t. salt
  8. ¾ t. baking soda
  1. Combine eggs, sour cream, butter (cooled) and buttermilk. Beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Slowly add dry ingredients to liquid mixture; stir until well blended. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Bake according to directions provided with your waffle maker.
Adapted from Vitantonio Waffle manual
Adapted from Vitantonio Waffle manual
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Stovetop Granola

Stovetop Granola
  1. 1 T. olive oil
  2. 4 cups rolled oats, not instant
  3. 1/3 cup butter
  4. 2 T. honey
  5. 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  6. 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  7. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add oats, cook and stir until starting to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove oats and spread on rimmed cookie sheet to cool.
  2. Melt butter in same pan over medium heat. Stir in honey and brown sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Return oats to pan. Cook and stir 5 minutes.
  3. Pour onto cookie sheet and spread to cool. Once cool, add cranberries and nuts.
  1. This is a great snack any time of day, but it also makes a yummy and healthy topping for fruit and yogurt for breakfast.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/