Sara's Kitchen Adventures | Cooking Block

By: Sara De Leeuw

Hi Adventurers! I’m so excited about the New Year! Do you have any resolutions yet? One of mine is to become more confident in the kitchen. Becoming confident in the kitchen is a matter of learning how to be comfortable with what you’re doing. Cooking classes are a great way to achieve that goal, because they can teach you about a specific regional cuisine, favorite dessert or help you master new techniques. Fortunately for my resolution, and for you if you’d like to gain more kitchen confidence too, there are several great places that offer cooking classes here in the Inland Empire.

 

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Our first cooking class adventure brought us to Cooking Block in Redlands. I took a Greek Table class, and Chef Paul taught us how to make Spanakopita, which is a lovely spinach dish made with Phyllo dough and Horiatiki Salata and a simple salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, greek olives, plenty of feta cheese and a red wine vinaigrette. We also made homemade pita bread, which we filled with lamb Gyros served with homemade Tzatziki sauce, and then we finished our meal with a decadent Greek dessert called Galaktoboureko! No, I can’t pronounce most of it, but I loved eating it!

 

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One of the things I loved about this class was all the ingredients are readily available at our local grocer! There weren't any unordinary ingredients or difficult instructions. All of these dishes I can easily make again at home, all by myself.

When I arrived, there were about 10 other people there, and everyone was very friendly! Many of the other students had taken a class at the Cooking Block before! Class began at 6:30p.m. and Chef Paul didn’t waste any time explaining what we’d be cooking and what each recipe involved. We were then split into teams to make our assigned dishes.

 

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I worked with the Phyllo dough to wrap around the spinach filling for the Spanakopita. It was so much easier than I thought it would be! Chef Paul was a lot of fun too. He was constantly helping, directing teams where to find their ingredients and answering all our questions! If you had any down time, you were able to help other teams or sample things that were in progress!

 

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Once all the dishes were finished, we all sat down to dinner together, and each team got to share what they made, how they did it and any tips and tricks they learned for making it again. At the end of class, we were given a packet of recipes from our evening so we can make anything at home!

 

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Cooking Block not only offers a full spectrum of cooking classes for adults and children, they also have three fully equipped, health-department approved, commercial kitchens available for rent, as well as culinary-based Corporate Team Building programs, and you can even host a culinary social event with them!

One of the other programs offered at the Cooking Block is the C.E.N.T.E.R. Management Program. C.E.N.T.E.R. Management is an acronym for Culinary Education in Nutrition, Time, Expenditure and Resource Management. This six-week program teaches you how to feed your entire family with three meals a day using under $75 a week in groceries with NO processed foods!

 

Cooking Block is located at 721 Nevada St. #407, Redlands, CA 92373. For more information call (909) 878-6140 or email info@cookingblock.com. For the whole range of classes and programs at Cooking Block, check out their website.