A bunch of new workshops and cooking classes added for the end of November. November 18th we’re cooking with Vegetarian In Balance, November 20th has us uncooking with Raw Food Power, November 21st has us Eating For Awesome Energy, November 25th we’re Cooking with Spices, Easy Indian Style and November 28th we end the 2010 cooking season with an extra special Total Health Workshop: Foods That Heal. Come play!
See, I loved fashion design, sewing and creating, right up until my first day of my sewing skills class in my undergraduate fashion degree program. Why? Because suddenly I had to play by someone else’s rules. My first job after university was for a company that made me sign a dress code. I felt it was open to interpretation- especially the ‘skirt to the knees’, and ‘stockings required’. I sewed crinoline to all my mini skirts and bought tights in every colour except nude or black.
I really have a hard time following rules, guidelines, instructions and directions. I prefer to follow the ones I make up in my own mind. This habit sometimes finds me lost, sometimes finds me dressed inappropriately, but more often than not, results in unexpected adventure.
The same applies to cooking. I see a recipe as a suggestion. When I am teaching my workshops, I usually have a guest guide me through my own recipe to make sure what I am making will taste the same as when they try and make it at home. When in a cooking class and a guest asks me how to cut something, I’ll often respond with “into pieces”. I may offer suggestions on how something can be done but I really don’t think it’s my job to tell someone how to interpret my directions on a recipe.
So let’s take my chocolate truffles as an example. I have made them before and they looked like this.
And I added mint and rolled them in coconut and they looked like this:
So when Ted, a guest of the cooking program, raised his hand at the last of my six week program wanting to make the dessert, I welcomed his enthusiasm. I had suggested a couple different ways of making the dessert and he, thankfully, didn’t listen to me and came up with this beauty.
He took the basic chocolate truffle recipe and dressed it up right with the optional strawberry garnish. They tasted absolutely as amazing as they looked.
So here is the recipe:
1 cup raw walnuts, unsoaked
1 cup almonds, unsoaked
1/2 tsp salt
15 pitted dates, unsoaked
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 Tbs agave or honey
2 Tbs water
1/2 cup shredded coconut or 1/2 cup extra cocoa powder
* for cake method: add 1 cup fresh strawberries
- Place the nuts & salt in a food processor fitted with the S-blade and process until finely ground.
- Add the dates, cocoa powder, agave and vanilla process until the mixture starts to stick together. Add water as needed & process briefly.
That’s all the directions you get. Let me know what you do with them!
Question Of The Day: What is your fave rule to break?