Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cooking Class for Auction Winners at the American Red Cross

So, as many of you may know, I love Charity's. Well, worthwhile Charity's. Charity's that I know and feel in my heart that are making a difference in the community. In my opinion, the American Red Cross is one of those Charity's and I try to do what I can to give of myself for that (and many other) great causes.

The host and hostess of the evening won a few hours of my time during an auction that raised money for the red cross. So, as with most charity events, I taught a cooking class with a theme. Tonight's theme was "Pasta Night". We made a 5 course pasta dinner where scratch made pasta and raviolis were created. We stuffed them with a choice of three fillings and served them simply with butter, fresh thyme, lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil. Yum!

Here's the menu:

Theme: Italian Pasta Night

Starter Course
Bruschetta w/ Ricotta and Fresh Made Pesto Sauce.

Salad Course
Smoked Chili Shrimp w/ a Citrus Spinach Salad.

Soup Course
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup w/ Cinnamon Cardamom Sour Cream

Main Course
Home Made Ravioli w/ your choice of 3 fillings
Spinach Ricotta, Three Cheese or Sweet Italian Sausage

Dessert Course
Classic Tiramisu
And, as usual, some pics taken of this fine event:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cooking Class with the Junior League

Last night was a great evening of food and fun hosted by Weekday Gourmet. I had a great pleasure of being asked to teach a group of about 15 members of the local Junior League. The theme was appetizers. Yes, they're very popular this time of year! Three great stand-bys that everyone loves:

- Goat Cheese Filled Parmesan Cups with Bacon
- Vegetarian Thai Summer Rolls with Sweet Chili Dip
- Crisp Mini Pizzas with Grilled Vegetables, Basil and Olive Oil

First, I demonstrated the Parmesan cups and then broke the group up into two teams to create the others under my tutelage. As the wine flowed, food was chomped and laughs were chuckled, the event went smooth without any hitches.

Thank you to Weekday Gourmet and the Junior League for having me. It was a blast and I'm looking forward to more events like that soon.

Check out the pics:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Private Chef Suprise Birthday Party

I had the fortunate opportunity to cook an amazing "buffet-style" multi-course birthday meal for twin brothers and a few of their closest friends and relatives the other night. It was a suprise 50th birthday party and ,boy, were they suprised! After all was said and done, looked like there were about 35 people there. All believers and very nice people!

The house-hosts kitchen was an enviable site, to say the least. It was a fun challenging evening that was a night to remeber by all. After spending most of the previous day preparing the food with my lovely wife and good friend (thanks a ton to both of you!!!), I spent the 2 hours leading up to the event preparing the food in front of everyone.

The hostess(es) and I came up with this menu:

Menu: November 9th B-Day party Event


Goat Cheese Filled Parmesan Cups w/ Crispy Bacon

Smoked Salmon Platter with Assorted Accompaniments

Fruit and Cheese Platter

Vegetable Platter (aka Crudites)

Spinach/ Artichoke Dip w/ Chili Spiced Tortilla Chips

Main Course:

Herb and Garlic Roasted Beef Tenderloin w/ Green Peppercorn Sauce

Grilled Marinated Chicken w/ Mushroom Cream Sauce

Rice Pilaf Creamy Risotto

Sauteed Green Beans

Maple Glazed Carrots w/ Candied Pecans


Traditional Creme Brulee

Heath Bar Trifle w/ Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


Decaf Coffee and Soft Drinks

Here are a couple pictures I clicked off during this event:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Adult Cooking Class for Caring Hearts Foundation Charity

Being that the holidays are arriving, there are lots of opportunities to offer myself up for charity. As with years past, I've offered myself on the bidding block at a local charity called "Caring Hearts Foundation". Read more about them on their web site. They do some great stuff.

Any who, the winner had me over their house to show them how to create a party meal for about 1o of their friends. That night we did appetizers and the theme was "Entertaining on a Budget". What a great time!

There was a mixed crowd of cooks and a few folks that may have not stepped foot in a kitchen in a good long time. At the end of the night, no fingers were lost and they/ we ate some great grub! Lots of laughs (yeah, I'm a pretty funny guy, lol) and even more eating. Let's not forget the 12 bottles of wine they put away!

By the ooohs and ahhhs, I say they were pretty satisfied by the event.

Here are a couple pics to show you what went down:

And here's the menu of items we prepared together:
November 1st Appetizer Menu Recipes/ Chef Bradley Cooking Class

Entertaining on a Budget

Goat Cheese Filled Parmesan Cups with Crispy Bacon

Mini Stuffed Potatoes w/ Mushrooms and Carmelized Onions

Thai Summer Rolls w/ Veggies, Chicken and a Spicy Chili Sauce Dip

Chili Cook-Off Judge for American Heart Association Charity Event

A good friend of mine asked a newspaper food columnist and myself to judge a chili cook-off at a local law office. 12 employees offered their delicious chili concoctions for us to taste. The top three winners would be awarded ribbons, first place would get a trophy.

Although it was VERY difficult to reach a verdict (no pun intended, lol), we agreed upon the best top three.

There were 2 that were tied for 3rd, but after a quick review, we found our official second place winner.

After the judging, people from the company were encouraged to buy the chili and the money would go to the charity. They apparently raised about 300.00! Very cool.

Thank you Carla (and Dan) for having me as your guest judge, was a blast!

If you ever have a twinky or ice cream cook-off, lemme know :)

Some pics:

The winners

First Place Winner

The Entries