Typically I teach in person classes at The Baker’s Pin Cooking School and Cookware Shop located in Northampton, Ma. Since the pandemic, though, starting last July, we’ve been giving Zoom cooking classes. Dennis and Lisa Greco, the owners of the store, have set up a terrific tv cooking studio at the school where I and other teachers offer classes. From California to Maine as well s right here in western Massachusetts, people have signed up for our virtual classes!. We hope you’ll join in.
Students can ask real time questions of the teacher via Chat on Zoom and at the end of each class we have a drawing for a gift. I am listing my three winter classes here, but we have many others offered. To see full descriptions and sign up go to www.thebakerspin.com and click on “cooking school” then scroll down to see the class descriptions.
1.Winter Soup Nights- Wednesday, January 27, 2020, 6:30 to 8 PM
Cold Night Chili with Black Beans and Chipotles served with Warm Quesadillas with Smashed Avocado and Red Onion
Prepared with chili powder and chipotles in adobo sauce, this beef chili with colorful accents of black beans and corn, is garnished with dollops of sour cream, lime, and cilantro. Warm quesadillas, spread with grated cheese, smashed avocados, and sliced red onion, will accompany the chili.
Chicken and Wild Mushroom Noodle Soup with Parmigiano
Chicken breasts, poached in a rich, aromatic stock to form the base of this classic soup, are cubed and combined with earthy sautéed mushrooms and egg noodles. A hint of dry vermouth balances the potage’s richness.
Extra Smooth Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Swirls of Cider Cream
Diced butternut squash plus chopped apples and root vegetables are simmered in stock and cider, then puréed. Swirls of cider-scented sour cream garnish the silken potage. Some crumbled bacon is an optional garnish.
Dark Chocolate and Almond Studded Shortbread Bars
(Chunks of dark chocolate and toasted almonds are stirred into a buttery shortbread dough, which is pressed into a pan and baked. A hint of sea salt lends extra flavor.
2. Paris Winter Cooking- du Marché à la Table–Wednesday, February 17, 2021 6:30 to 8 PM
Spiced Duck Breasts with Cherry Port Wine Sauce
Creamy Polenta with Blue Cheese
Spice-rubbed boneless duck breasts, sautéed until golden and crisp, are napped with a pan reduction sauce made with dried cherries and port. The duck breasts are sliced and served with soft, creamy polenta scented with blue cheese.
Salad of Frisée, Red Leaf, and Bacon Lardons in Sherry Vinaigrette
A winter mix of peppery frisée and tender red leaf lettuce is tossed in a sherry vinaigrette and sprinkled with crispy bacon lardons.
Profiteroles with Vanilla Bean or Ginger Ice Cream with Warm Caramel Sauce and Crushed Salted Almonds
Golden profiteroles are filled with scoops of vanilla or ginger ice cream, then generously drizzled with homemade caramel sauce and a sprinkle of crushed almonds.
3. A Taste of Italy’s Fabulous Comfort Foods!–Wednesday, March 10, 2021 6:30 to 8PM
Pan Roasted Grapes, Olives, and Walnuts with Taleggio, Gorgonzola, and Fontina
Three of Italy’s popular cheeses are served on a cheeseboard along with a pan of roasted grapes, olives, and walnuts and some grilled bruschette.
Osso Buco Style Veal Shanks Cooked in Red Wine with Tomatoes and Sage
Veal shanks, cut crosswise into round pieces, are simmered slowly in an aromatic mixture of vegetables, stock, and red wine until the meat is fork tender and the sauce thickened and richly flavored. Gremolata a mixture of chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic will top each serving.
Risotto alla milanese
Classic risotto cooked slowly in the style of Milan is scented with saffron so it turns a beautiful yellow hue.
Espresso Panna Cottas Drizzled with Dark Chocolate Sauce and Toasted Hazelnuts
Silken smooth panna cottas are scented with espresso powder, then topped with a luscious dark chocolate glaze and a sprinkle of crushed hazelnuts.
I’m wondering when you will set your winter classes in Amherst. I want to attend with my son and his wife. I’m the Donna from Culinary Capers in Columbus. Enjoying your new book tremendously!
HI Donna, Here’s a link to the Different Drummer’s Cooking School winter schedule. I teach in Feb (on the 4th, 11th, and 25th) and in March on the 11th. Just click on those months and you’ll see my class descriptions under those dates. Would love to see you at my classes here!
Like you my husband and I spend close to two months a year in France. This trip I took a cooking class that used several ingredients that I’ve not previously found back home (Orlando, Fl).
Is there an equivalent in the U.S. for levure chimique? Maybe baking powder?
As we were time pressed, our instructor used a store bought pate feuillete. It has a more buttery consistency than puff pastry I would love to find an online or local resource for this.
The last item is creme patissiere et flan patissiere. It’s a powder that is added to milk and eggs to create creme patissiere.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Thanks for your note. It’s always nice to be in touch with others who love France. So here are some answers to your questions:
1. Levure chimique is baking powder.
2. Puff pastry- Here’s a link accessing the best brands
My Whole Foods selss the Dufour brand
3.Creme patissiere– I have not seen this powder anywhere in my local stores but when I googled “creme patissiere powder” I found several links that sold it. Meilleur du Chef (Looks like it’s British) does sell it.
Hope this helps! Best, Betty Rosbottom
I would like to sign up for a class how do I go about that
Hi Debbie, If you hit on “classes” on the top bar on the home page of my blog you will see my winter classes. To get the whole winter and spring schedule, hit on “here” in the first paragraph on that page.
Here is a link to the Baker’s Pin site as well.
You can reach the store and school by phone at 413-586-7978.
Hope to see you in class soon!