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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Classes start soon...San Marcos ROP Part 1 $75 for 11 weeks of cooking classes!!!

Registration Starts tomorrow!! Sign up first thing to make sure you get a spot in classes.

San Marcos Culinary Beginners Cooking class! These amazing class give you everything you need to get started cooking with style.

Class Starts Monday November 29 and runs to Febuary 14
All San Marcos ROP classes are held in the evenings from 5:30 to 9 p.m. All classes are hands on and designed for all skill levels. This class will teach the essentials; from basic knife skills to various cooking techniques, including basic baking skills; as well as food safety, sanitation and so much more. This class is designed for the home cook and is loads of fun.

Part 1 Culinary Arts- Mon from 5:30 to 9 pm
This class is a repeat of our popular hands on basics class with lessons on the basics of French Cuisine, Italian Cuisine, Asian Cuisine, Regional American Cuisine and more.

Classes are held at Mission Hills High School ~Room 810

Classes are $75 a session to register
To use follow the prompts
San Diego ROP
San Marcos Unified School District
Enter “Culinary Arts” in the search field
Click on “Culinary Arts”
Scroll down to “Teacher” Felmley
And chose from Mon or Tue classes
contact Roberta at (760) 752-1272
Or for questions about classes contact Chef Jenn at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

LA TIMES FOOD SECTION; ARE YOU KIDDING ME....The Dry-brined turkey (a.k.a. the 'Judy Bird') OMG!!

Ok I have a bone to pick with someone at the LA Times Food section! So they posted this recipe on twitter and I am so bothered by it.

1st They suggest you “dry brine” the bird. Or should we say cover in salt and let rest for 3 days (refrigerated of course)! This I just think is a waste of time when you can achieve the same result if you buy a kosher bird. But fine it you must “dry brine”

2nd They suggest you start the bird skin side down and then flip it over half way through cooking.

But don’t you worry “it's easiest to do this by hand, using kitchen towels or oven mitts”.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! It is simple to just flip a large bird with god only knows what else you have going on. And really most people are not cooking 5 to 6 pound birds. Then what about the skin; my guess would be it is stuck to the bottom of the pan.

3rd And my final “Are You Kidding Me” moment comes at the end of the recipe when they suggest you cook the bird to 165 degrees and then rest it for 30 minutes. What!!! It will continue to cook at the least another 15 degree and that is way over cooked.

I had to share my shock and horror. No wonder people are so scared and confused about cooking turkey for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The new and improved Green Bean Casserole; so good even your mom will love it

Everyone loves Green Bean Casserole. It is an American classic. And oh so out dated. My updated version may not be as easy as opening a few cans, but it can be made easier by purchasing sliced mushrooms and doing serval of the steps in advance. The sauted mushrooms can be made days ahead of time or even a month ahead and forzen. The same goes for the creamy sauce.

Try something old made new this Thanksgiving!!

Green Bean and Mixed Mushroom Casserole

Serves 4 to 6

1 lb Haricots Verts or petite green beans, trimmed

5 tbsp Unsalted butter
1 (8oz container) Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 Portobello mushroom, cleaned, gilled and cut into small cubes
2 cups Shitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and cut into quarters (or a 5oz container sliced Shitake mushrooms)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/3 cup Brandy or cognac

1 tbsp Thyme leaves

¼ cup Unsalted butter
1/3 cup Flour
1 ¼ cup Chicken broth
1 cup Half and Half
Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup Fried onions
¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375° and butter a 2 quart baking dish.

Green beans and Mushroom:
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat; add butter, heat till butter is melted.
Add Crimini, Portobello, and shitake mushrooms; stirring until golden brown and all liquid is evaporated.
Add garlic; sauté till fragrant.
Remove pan from heat and add cognac, return to heat and cook till all liquid is evaporated.
Add green beans into the mushrooms, cover and cook approximately 10 minutes; or until green beans are just tender.

Season with salt and pepper and transfer beans to buttered baking dish (RESERVING PAN FOR CHICKEN BROTH).
Sprinkle green beans and mushrooms with thyme leaves.

Add chicken broth to the pan, bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a sauté heat butter over medium heat to melt.
Stir in flour and cook for several minutes, till roux reaches a light brown color.
Add ½ of the warm broth to the roux and whisk till thick and completely incorporated; repeat with remaining broth and half and half (adding one half cut at a time). Season sauce with salt and pepper
Pour sauce over mushrooms and green beans.

In a bowl stir together fried onions and Panko bread crumbs. “Crunch” the fried onions with your hands to release oils; till fried onions and panko lightly hold together when squeezed.
Sprinkle topping over green bean casserole.
Place in the oven and baked till golden brown and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Check List~ Everything you will need to start preparing for Thanksgiving today

Don’t put things off till the last minute, several things can be done far in advance.


• Make your guest list/Make your menu.

Make sure you have your menu ready so you can coordinate both guest and food at the same time. When you are inviting your guests, have a list of guests and a list of dishes. Then, if someone offers to bring a dish, accept the offer. And if they don't offer, ask them.

• Order your turkey especially.

If you want a fresh one. Plan on 1 1/4 pounds per person. Making sure your eyes aren’t bigger than you oven…measure your oven to make sure your turkey will fit.

• Don’t wait till the last minute to realize you don’t have what you need

Take inventory of your dinnerware and everything else you will need to serve an amazing meal.

Table (one large enough for all your guests)
Dishware (Dinner plates, Dessert plates, Coffee cups and saucers
Silverware (Polished forks, knives and spoons)
Glassware (Water glasses and Clean wine glasses)
Linens(Clean napkins and Tablecloth, large enough to fit your table)
Cooking and serving items (Roasting pan: Is it the right size for your turkey? Will it fit into your oven? Don't laugh: It's easier to buy the right pan today than it will be on Thanksgiving morning. Bowls, pots and pans.
Digital thermometer, if you do not own one you, must have one to cook a perfect Turkey!!



• Work on your shopping lists.

Include ingredients for all of your dishes, plus candles, napkins, flowers, etc. Don't forget tonic, seltzer and apple cider or juice for the kids.

Prepare a grocery list by dividing it into two parts ?
(1) items that can be purchased immediately, and
(2) items that need to be bought the day before Thanksgiving.

• Begin cooking. Relish will keep in the fridge for a week; gravy freezes, along with any casseroles (like my super easy Potato Casserole).

• Select a wine. Caterers recommend providing a half bottle for each guest - not counting children, of course.

• Organize your serving platters and more

Serving platters…try labeling with post-it notes. So you, and whomever will be helping you, will know what each platter will be used for.
Bread basket
Gravy pitcher
Sharpened knives, yes you should get them sharpened!!
Coffeepot--Can yours make both regular and decaf for a crowd? Maybe you should get a thermos.
Sugar bowl
Cream pitcher




Tidy up the house.

Decorate your home for the holiday.

Make a final shopping list. (Remember ice, cream for the coffee and nuts and other snacks for nibbling in the living room).

Confirm the number of guests who will be attending the holiday dinner.



3 or 4 DAYS TILL:

Defrost your turkey (if it's frozen). Remember that you have to allow 24 hours for every 5 pounds if you're going to defrost a turkey in the refrigerator. That means a 15-pound turkey will take three full days.

If you choose to prepare a fresh turkey, purchase it 2 to 3 days before Thanksgiving and store it in the fridge until time to cook ( just to be safe).


If you miss that deadline, you can defrost the bird faster in a sinkful of cold water, allowing about half an hour for each pound of turkey and changing the water occasionally. (It will still take 7 1/2 hours for that 15-pounder, then refrigerate it.)




Do your final food shopping.

Make a cooking schedule for Thanksgiving Day.Writing down the time everything goes into the oven. Don't forget the dishes that will have to be reheated. And to make time for you to shower and clean up before guest arrive.

Thaw any frozen side dishes and desserts.


Chop any vegetables that will be used and store in air tight containers.

Make any side dishes (or salad dressings) that can be refrigerated.



Set the table.

Clean the guest bathroom.

Decide on a table centerpiece. (Flowers or collections of candles work well. Line votive candles down the center so the entire table is aglow. Since it's fall, you could also try an arrangement of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Place pumpkins, gourds and wheat around the house for decorative touches).

Prepare you refrigerator for guests. (Clear out any unneeded food or move to another refrigerator to make space for anything you friends kindly bring to help you for Thanksgiving).


Make the stuffing in the morning and stuff the turkey right before it's ready to go in the oven.

Roast the turkey.

Warm prepared side dishes.

Have a great Thanksgiving!










Monday, November 1, 2010

Chef Jenn's Thanksgiving Party

Come for the turkey....stay for all the info on how to make your Thanksgiving super easy!!

Join Chef Jenn for an evening of the perfect thanksgiving dinner. Come learn all the tips and tricks to make Thanksgiving easy and fun (as well as yummy).
You'll make an oven roasted Herb Turkey Breast with a Maple Pecan Cranberry Sauce, Turkey Gravy, Cheese Crusted Baked Mashed Potatoes and Apple and Cherry Cake with Caramel Pecan Sauce. Bring an apron, closed toe shoes, chef's knife and containers to carry your creations home.

All classes are completely hands-on and not more than 10 students in a class

Chef Jenn’s Thanksgiving Party $50.00
November 11~ 6 to 9pm ~
at Alchemy of the Hearth (960 Rancheros Drive Ste L, San Marcos, CA)
To register online go to
Or call CA (760) 233-CHEF(2433)