Give the Gift of Cooking - Cooking Class Gift Certificates

Cooking Class Gift Certificates

If there is one activity that is guaranteed never to go out of style, it’s food preparation. We have to eat, right? Today, celebrity chefs have elevated the status of knowing how to cook well to new heights and many of us know that it’s not that difficult to prepare quality meals at home in the time it takes to order a takeout meal and bring it home again. What we lack is concrete knowledge as to just how to do it – a few basic skills that will make being in the kitchen a joy. That’s where cooking classes come in.

If you look around your area, you might just be surprised how many cooking schools there are. Nowadays, many cooking classes offer gift certificates, too, which makes gift giving easier than ever.

Try searching for “Cooking Class Gift Certificates” in your area. Internet search engines will generate links to all sorts of places where you can learn to cook and share your passion with friends and loved ones when you give them gift certificates for cooking classes. Web listings will tell you whether these are demonstration only classes or opportunities to get your hands in there and learn by doing.

Some cooking classes encourage you to stay afterward and eat what you’ve cooked, together with your fellow classmates, encouraging you to bring beverages or even supplying them for you.

Almost every cooking school nowadays offers gift certificates and it’s a terrific way to give that person you love a chance to enhance their skills or get past their beginner jitters and develop what is sure to become a lifelong love of cooking. And all for the price of a gift certificate!

You can buy gift certificates for series of classes or just individual one night offerings. The selection of cooking classes is myriad when it comes to ethnic specialties, such as Italian, French, Moroccan, Latin American, Mexican, Greek, Cajun, Asian, Sicilian, Creole, Spanish – the list goes on and on. Wouldn’t you just love to receive a gift certificate for a cooking class like that? Perhaps your cooking interest lies in certain specialties, such as sushi, pastry and other desserts, confections, artisanal bread-making, vegetarian, afternoon teas, breakfasts and brunches, curries, even barbecue. There are even classes to learn to cook for your beloved dog!

Specialty classes may include knife skills (learn to chop like a pro) and meat-handling where you learn handy things like how to bone a fish, and cut up a whole chicken or side of beef—how you cut can really affect how tender the pieces are and how easily you can prepare them.

Cooking class gift certificates are a terrific idea at any skill level. And wouldn’t that make a fabulous wedding gift? It’s even possible to purchase a gift certificate for a private lesson for one or two people or perhaps two couples. Or bring the kids!

There is a tremendous advantage to taking a cooking class over perusing a cookbook or recipes on the web. There is no substitute for hands on experience when it comes to mastering cooking techniques. Having the chef there to explain the hows and whys of choosing ingredients, measuring, knife selection, what tools are best for what types of cooking – all these are what set a cooking class well above reading a simple recipe. They make it so enjoyable that you’ll want to do it again and again.

Having a professional there to guide you can build your confidence when it comes to creativity in your cooking, someone who can instruct you how to plan a menu, present the dish so it looks its best when you’re entertaining – all the nuances you don’t get when you’re struggling in the kitchen all by yourself, unsure if a cup of sifted flour means a cup of flour that needs to be sifted or whether you need to sift it before you measure it. (Answer: in this case, it’s a cup measured after it’s been sifted.)

So, the next time you’re struggling to come up with an extra-special gift for your family and friends, that special co-worker, your child’s favorite teacher, or any newly engaged or married couple, consider giving them a gift certificate for a cooking class, something they’ll always remember. And, while you’re at it, sign up for a class yourself. You’ll love it!

If you are searching for Cooking Classes Los Angeles or looking for cooking class gift certificates, then please visit Elle A Cooking.

fleur de sel caramels

When I said it was time to indulge in a couple sweet treats, I wasn’t kidding =P It’s the day before Halloween and I’m already craving something sweet… something sticky and creamy, buttery, of course, a little nutty and perhaps a little French-y. If there’s a candy that can satisfy all those cravings, it’s gotta be fleur de sel caramels! These taste divine and look so lovely, I bet you can’t eat just one. Even Anthony, who’s never liked caramels before cause they tend to get stuck in your teeth, couldn’t resist a second helping! Now, that’s always a good sign ;)

For my first batch, I added only hazelnuts, which turned out great, but since then, I’ve experimented with different nuts and one of the better combinations turned out to be hazelnuts with almonds, so definitely feel free to play around with your own creations. If you have a nut allergy, you can omit the nuts all together and still have a delectable little morsel at hand. You really can’t go wrong =)

Now, I like my caramels a bit on the softer side, so I cook it to around 245°F. If you prefer harder caramels, you can cook it up to 248°F, or if you like your caramels super soft, stop the cooking around 242°F. The important thing is to have all the ingredients and cookware close by, so you don’t waste any time once the caramel reaches the right color. You’ll have to move fast. Make sure to heat the cream and milk mixture before you add it to the caramel, otherwise, you’ll have an erupting pot of caramel that won’t be a pretty sight, not to mention, dangerous! Even with the heated cream and milk mixture, the caramel will still bubble, but it’ll be contained, so use a big pot and you won’t have to worry about erupting hot lava. I actually think a bit of bubbling adds to the Halloween effect; I secretly pretend I’m stirring up a witches brew, hehe… shhh

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green tea cupcakes with black & white frosting

Halloween is just around the corner so there’s really no better time than now to indulge in a couple sweet treats. These little green tea cupcakes with black & white frosting not only look the part, but also satisfy my sweet tooth without giving me a cavity. I’m not usually a big fan of cupcakes, but it’s most because either they’re way too sweet or just way overloaded on buttercream frosting. These green tea cupcakes aren’t too sweet at all and I have to admit, the white chocolate cream frosting with black sesame powder is finger-licking good. Of course, one of the best parts about being the chef is that I get to eat any leftovers, so the final dollop of frosting left in the bottom of the bowl was all mine ;)

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wine jelly wedding favors!

Back in culinary school, we had a special guest chef featured in one of our gourmet workshops on confit de vin, or wine jellies! Chef Marie Maryn of Les Jardins de Marie showed us how to make elegant wine jellies from just a few simple ingredients– a good bottle of wine, sugar, lemon juice and pectin. Et voilà! Paired with some superb cheeses and crackers, we were definitely living the life of a true gourmand

So my friend is getting married at the Wynn Resort & Hotel in Las Vegas this month and I thought these little wine jellies would make for the perfect wedding favor. I spent this past week filling up little jars with homemade Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz wine jellies and designing my own labels and I really love LOVE how they turned out! The colors were picked out by the bride and groom, which I think are just perfect for an October wedding. Even Anthony was pleasantly surprised when I showed him the finished jars… first it was “wow” and then “aww, so cute!”

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roasted autumn fruit crostata

If I wasn’t so set in my traditional holiday ways, I would totally swap out the classic pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day for this roasted autumn fruit crostata. It’s a beautiful dessert with a crust so good, you’ll want to eat every last crumb and while the apples, pears and quince are roasting in the oven, the kitchen will fill with the lovely aroma of an unforgettable holiday.

It’s just too bad that I’m so stubborn I have to have my turkey and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day =P A couple years ago though, I did swap out the turkey for a few cornish game hens, so I suppose that’s a start? Perhaps next year I’ll be able to move on from pumpkin pie and finally break tradition! (Last year was one exception because Anthony and I actually spent Thanksgiving Day on the plane flying back from Paris… but that doesn’t really count ;) )

For now, this crostata is going on my Halloween menu and perhaps if quince is still around in December, we’ll be having it for dessert on Christmas =) The roasted quince is so good in here, I’m actually considering swapping out one of the pears for another quince. It holds it’s shape incredibly well during roasting and tastes both apple-y and pear-ish… almost like having the best of both worlds! Anthony and I both really loved the roasted quince in the crostata so whenever we came across a piece in our slice, we’d cut it in half and share ;) After all, sharing’s caring!

We had the crostata with a scoop of the ginger-pear sorbet featured in our newsletter last month, but you can also go classic a la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream with some powdered sugar and ground cinnamon. It doesn’t really matter how you eat it, just be sure to have plenty of forks and plates to go around because everybody will be wanting a piece of this =D

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