Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Cooking is Like Love; It Should Be Entered Into With Abandon or Not At All." -Julia Child

As I mentioned, last night I hosted cooking class.  I'm heading to Texas in a few days, and I thought it would be fun to have a "Southwestern" theme!

I have recently become obsessed with Gina's Skinny Recipes.  I mean OBSESSED!!  She uses so many spices and peppers and onions and other things to make even the lowest calorie dish have so much flavor.  Now that I've moved past the very basics of cooking, I'm no longer intimidated to try some of her recipes.  Last night I went buck wild friends.  BUCK WILD. 

Before we got started, Daisy had a little surprise for us.  Last night marked our Six Month Anniversary of cooking class!  I can't believe it.  Looking back, I'm amazed at what I have learned in 6 months.  It's incredible.  But, in other ways I realize that there is so much I still don't know.  I even learned something new last night....DON'T USE YOUR SHARP KNIVES ON A GLASS CUTTING BOARD.  That explains why they keep getting dull.  Oops.

Anyway...Daisy was in the dining room doing this:

She had a gift for Marilyn Monroe and I:

This picture frame with a quote from Julia Child:

("Cooking is like love; it should be enter into with abandon or not at all.")

This is the photo I plan to put into my picture frame:

She also made us (yes, hand made) corduroy bags for our cooking class.  For each class we bring our aprons, a bottle of wine, whatever someone left at our house the last time we hosted, and sometimes our "accessories".  It's quite a bit to lug around.  Now we have our very own cooking bags!!  I'm so sad I don't have a picture to show you :(

After our celebration, I took over.  We had quite the menu to prepare! 

Hungry Girl Strawberry Daiquiri

Southwest Turkey Meatballs 
Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Baked Empanadas with a Cuban Picadillo Filling

(are you familiar with Hungry Girl Lisa Lillian? if not, check out her website HERE, or see her on TV.  i actually got this recipe off of her TV show - message me if you want it!  120 calories per cocktail, versus 600+ in a standard daiquiri.  just as delish!)


(Daisy took the Slap Chop for a spin...)

(24 Southwest Turkey Meatballs made from 97% lean turkey meat.  2 meatballs = 67.1 calories)

For some reason we didn't take a picture of the Creamy Cilantro Tomatillo Dressing, which is pretty funny considering it was our absolute favorite thing we made all night!!  We even  ate it as a salad dressing.  If you know me well, you know T loves her Ranch dressing.  LOVES.  Well, I think that this Creamy Cilantro Tomatillo Dressing is going to replace Ranch for me.  Seriously.  I think it would also be great as a veggie dip!

(borrowed this picture from Gina's website.  1/4 a cup of this magical sauce is only 43.3 calories)


(it scares me how Marilyn Monroe cuts tomatoes!)

(this mixture is called sofrito.  it consists of onion, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro)

(never seen this done before, but another new trick!  no draining the grease into a jar, and then throwing it out.  just soak it up with a paper towel!  it took us two paper towels)

(daiquiris while cooking...why not?)

(Cuban Picadillo with 95% lean ground beef, peppers, cilantro, cumin, etc.)

(Marilyn rolling out the Goya discs)

(after stuffing the discs with the Cuban Picadillo we brushed the top of the pastries with egg.  then...into the oven!)

(each Baked Empanada was somewhere around 250 calories. they were so filling, we each only had one!)

(me, Marilyn Monroe and Daisy enjoying our piece of the fancy cupcake!)

So there you have it.  Cooking class at T's house was a Southwestern Success!  I've linked to all of the recipes that we used if you are interested (message me for the daiquiri recipe). 

Overall, I was surprised at how "bland" the turkey meatballs were.  We put a jalapeno in there for heaven's sake!  I would definitely recommend making these, but not without the dipping sauce.  Then again...that dipping sauce could make cardboard taste good :)

The Baked Empanadas were out of this world!  I know there are many things you can put into an empanada, but I would make the Cuban Picadillo again any time.  We did each use a dollop of Fat Free Sour Cream with our empanadas.  I think we had eaten so much "spice" last night, that a little dollop of sour cream helped to cool our taste buds :)

Que Aproveche!



MCW said...

I just made a Gina recipes the other day. Chicken with Mushroom and Garlic something or other. So good. However, I don't think you follow Weight Watchers, but if you do her points are off! She reports them as less points then they are :(

Kori said...

How fun!!! Do your friends refuse to be pictured? LOL.

I'm hosting a linkup tomorrow for Fashion Fridays. The new button is on my sidebar. I hope you'll join us and link up! Have a great day honey! Kori xoxo

Miss Sweet Tea said...

Looks like a blast! I love the idea of cooking classes, so fun!

Your food looks awesome. I have a weak spot for empanadas - thanks for sharing that they are not as difficult as they seem!

BelleinBows said...

I just had lunch and this post made me hungry all over again!
I can't wait to try the Creamy Cilantro Tomatillo Dressing.

Pink Champagne said...

6 months! You are a gourmet chef now! Looks delish and like such fun. XO

jillian :: cornflake dreams. said...

this looks like SO much fun! i need to take a cooking class. and those empanadas look ahmazing! thanks for sharing :) xoxo jcd

Unknown said...

What fun! I just love it.

Alexandra Bee Blog said...

that looks like so much fun!! i would love to someday take a cooking class myself..and those turkey meatballs-- YUM!

Anonymous said...

1. I die of envy again (it happens every time you do the cooking class)

2. I need a job like yours because I adore the travel you are doing.

3. Texas is my old stopping ground (pre-DC). Thought I was going back there but nooooooooooo, I had to fall in love with a guy and move to Savannah after law school.

I adore Texas. With a mad passion. Have lots of fun!

Tote said...

You and your ladies look like you have so much fun together. I love the frame. It is perfect for your group.
Food looks awesome.


Mrs. Kindergarten...aka...Madame Spoiled said...

Love the Hungry Girl Cookbook. Took it to the beach on our last Girls Week. We made a ton of the recipes for lunch! We always eat dinner out! (except for Frogmore Stew night) Y'all look like you are soooooooooo fun!

Mrs. Kindergarten

katelyn w said...

Looks like so much fun! I have always wanted to take a cooking class. I do love the Hungry Girl cookbook! Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

That's so cool that you got to host! I think it's so fun that you do the cooking class regularly. If only I was there I would totally do it too!

Dee Stephens said...

I'm obsessed with Gina too. I've made both of these recipes but had a hard time finding the dough for the empanada and ended up using pie crust :(
The recipe MCW is talking about is what I made last night but I did it with pork tenderloin.
Her best recipe of all time? Aisan Turkey meatballs with soy/cilantro sauce. UM!!

Tiffany and the Munchkins said...

Yum! I can't tell you how much I enjoy these posts! I wish I had a cooking class with my friends. That would be so much fun!

Unknown said...

Fabulous...looks amazing ~ I want to come over!

I'm jotting down your recipes and looking forward to trying them soon.

Visiting from FFP recipe swap ~ Traci

DIMH said...

Yum! I want those meatballs and dipping sauce!

Hannah said...

Oh my goodness, these look so yummy! I am bookmarking this page so I can make them all. That dressing sounds delish! I love your blog--your newest follower! Stop by mine for some great giveaways that are going on right now.