Sunday, March 15, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Greek to Me....
this week we made spanikopitas and tzatziki sauce. It was adventurous and fun for the children were enthralled with the phyllo1 dough. As Delicate as it is, we still found it easy to work with and forgiving in our application.

Many of the kids had been in the previous class
session and were able to make the connection
between potstickers and spanikoptas. What was most enjoyable for me is dreaming up other options for fillings... everything from seafood to nutella... yum! I say go out of the box a little bit and give it a go. The most important thing to remember is to keep the phyllo under a damp cloth so it doesn't dry up.

Folding the
phyllo dough
with sweet little

1 lb spinach (washed and drained). You can use frozen too.
1/4 good olive oil (divided)
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
3 scallions, white and green parts, choppped small
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 eggs
4 ounces crumbled feta
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 pound phyllo pastry sheets
1. heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan, add the spinach and cook & toss with tongs until it wilts. Set aside in a strainer over a plate and let cool. Add the additional 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook the onions and green onions until translucent and wilted... add parsley in a minute before you remove from the heat.
2. Gently squeeze out most of the water from the spinach and chop into small pieces. Place spinach, onion and parsley mixture into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg into the bowl. Add eggs to combine. fold in the feta until fully incorporated.
3. Melt the butter in a heat proof bowl.
4. Preheat oven to 350* and brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
5. Unroll the phyllo dough on a flat surface and keep covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn't become brittle and dried out. Take one piece of phyllo dough and fold in thirds along the longer side (so essentially you have 3 layers). Brush the top of the phyllo dough with the melted butter. It is easiest to hold the bottom end and brush up.
6. Sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs. Place a small spoonful of the filling at the bottom of the phyllo dough (approx 1 " from the bottom) and fold the end over the filling to form a triangle. Continue to fold up the strip in triangles as if you were folding up a flag until all the dough is used. Place on a lightly buttered cookie sheet and brush the top of the dough with butter and gently sprinkle with flaked salt.
7. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve hot.
We also had our Dr. Seuss ~ Zainy Food Fun Saturday Class today. We made Nupboard's Chicken Nuggets, Scholff's Knots (curly fries), Silly Sammy Slick's Soda (fruit Smoothie) and Who Chocolate Pudding.... Yes, we were busy, but it was all really whosical, dr. seussical, wonderfully good.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

French Apple Tarts


Bonjour! We traveled to Paris this week and made French Apple Tarts. We began our journey with perfect tart dough, peeling apples on our perfect apple peel and core contraption and then assembling the tart... not to mention eating it.

We had delightful french music playing in the background and finished with a story "Ten Apples Up On Top".
I really enjoy watching and learning what makes the kids excited and happy.... rolling out the dough and coring the apples on our peeler were the highlights... and as always, seeing a finished product come to life. I was amazed at how many apples the children ate as they were peeling them.. this machine we have peels, cores and slices in a spiral fashion. The children were so excited about it and I was so happy to see them enjoying & eating the apples. It is very true that the more children are involved in the process of cooking and being involved in good foods the better they'll eat... it also helps when they have no other options, but whatever the reason... we had a great time and loved the tart.

It is very easy to make and delicous as well.... I hope you give it a try!

French Apple Tarts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 TBSP sugar
12 TBSP (1 1/2 sticks ) butter - diced and placed in the freezer for 20 + minutes
1/2 cup cold water - from the refrigerator
The Apples
4 Granny Smith apples (or any other apple that is a harder apple)
1/2 cup sugar
4 TBSP very cold diced butter
2/3 cup apricot jam
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBSP water
For the pastry: place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine.
Add the frozen butter pieces and pulse until the butter mixture is in small bits or looks like peas. Slowly add the cold water 1 TBSP at a time until the dough is just combine. Do not over mix.
Dump the dough onto a floured surface, pat into a ball, wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. This will help the dough to be more elastic.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the dough into a rectangle or circle - making sure that it fits nicely onto your cooking sheet.
Mix the apricot jam, vanilla and water together and heat so that it is warm and easily spread.
Take a brush and glaze the top of your rolled out pastry with a light layer of the jam. Reserve the rest of the jam for the apple topping.
Peel and core the apples, slicing them in a consistent size of 1/4 inch thick. Place the apples on top of the tart in an overlapping pattern in a single layer. We choose to make a circular pattern with our apples. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the apples, dot with the cold butter and cook in the over for 40 to 45 minutes.
Once the tart is done, brush the tops of the apples and the exposed tart with the remaining jam.. eat, serve and enjoy by itself of with French Vanilla Ice Cream (what else?).

Monday, March 2, 2009

About Frog Legs

Hello Everyone,

I am a Mom of 3 that started a children's cooking school in Seattle. My adventure began in the fall of 2008... well, it began earlier than that... but that is when the doors to Frog Legs, Kids Culinary Academy began. I have a love of children and food so the combination of the two has been very exciting for me.

I was a food buyer for Starbucks Coffee Company, a Merchandiser and food buyer for Caribou Coffee, Tully's Coffee and Seattle's Best Coffee (definitely a Seattlite now!). I started a cookie company several years ago - Firefly Fandango - which led me to teaching Culinary Classes at Sur La Table and now to Frog Legs.

I have had such a wonderful time with the kids and my many experiences with food and wanted to find a way to share the JOY.

Our new class session begins this week and I will be sharing our food adventure on this blog along with the many other gastronomic experiences I have along the way.

So hold on tight to your chef's hat cuz here we go...... Stay tuned for our recipe this week... French Apple Tarts!

Hoppy Cooking