The holidays are officially over and what a nice break it was to sit at home and essentially do nothing. I had a week and half off from work, no major plans besides a small family gathering and friends over for New Years Eve (before we saw Billy Joel yo!) and a nap every.single.day. It was the life and I’m not going to lie, heading back to work today was a little tough, especially with a blizzard happening right out my window as I type. Tomorrow will be more difficult but at least it’s Friday and I can give myself two more days to pump myself up into the normal swing of things.
Before the vacation of lazy took over (my official name for it this year), I managed to get myself and Braden out of the house for a fun afternoon at a new culinary program in lower Manhattan. I had met Carey Nava, the Culinary Director of Asphalt Green Battery Park Culinary Arts Program by Great Performances at the New York City Food and Wine Festival. Carey was generous enough to offer the opportunity for me to take a class of my choosing along with a guest. I though this was the perfect opportunity to get my husband with barely basic cooking skills to learn a little something.
See now, I could sit and teach him how to cook but we have the tendency to get a little snippy at each other when one other might know something better than the other. I will forever call it “snare drumgate”. If you want to know more about that, ask in the comments. 😉 I digress. So we choose the healthy holiday cooking class and for me it was a fun and fantastic afternoon out to cook some dishes that were new to me. For a beginner or even intermediate cook this class was perfect. Our class size was smaller than usual do to the close proximity to Christmas but under normal circumstances classes are no larger than 14 people.
We divided into groups of 2, each with recipes to tackle. I let Braden take the lead on a lot and it was a pleasure to have Carey come over and teach him the correct way to chop. By the end of the class, Braden said he chopping felt very “zen”. Hey, he can prepare my mis en place anytime! Despite the title of the class, the dishes are really versatile year round. Herb pork roast with an amazing port wine and fig reduction, cauliflower mash, a raw brussels sprouts salad (already made that at home), goat cheese stuffed dates and perhaps my new favorite butternut squash mac and cheese.
Just one week after class I had to remake that mac and cheese. I already had some butternut squash at home, so clearly it was meant to be. Carey’s version called for less cheese than mine and no walnut topping but I needed to do something to little red kitchenize it. 🙂
So next time you are looking for something to do in NYC I highly recommend one of the classes. The facility is brand new and Carey is a knowledgable and personable instructor.