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WINTER BREAK – Kids and Teens Culinary Camps and Master Chefs Camps (Murrieta CA)

cream puffs with light vanilla cream filling

cream puffs with light vanilla cream filling

During these camps, kids whip recipes while learning: a pinch of math, world geography, health, culture, science and above all will have a lot of fun!

Not only do the children get to taste their creations, they learn about nutrition, they receive a diploma, along with the recipes of the dishes they made.

Camps have daily/weekly themes, which may focus on location-specific cuisines or on skills and techniques.

Spaces are still available and registrations are taken until the camps are full. Some Camps are Monday to Thrsday for 1.5 hours per day .

Registration www.murrieta.org

WINTER BREAK KIDS/TEENS CULINARY CAMPS- Murrieta

Cooking & Baking 6-9 years # 23066- $80.00
Monday 01-05-2015 – 01-08-2015 9:00AM – 10:30AM – Murrieta Community Center

Kids & Teens Master Chef 9-15 years – # 23067- $80.00
Monday 01-05-2015 – 01-08-2015 12:00PM – 1:30PM- Murrieta Community Center

Kids & Teens Cupcake War Camp 9-15 years # 23068- $80.00
Monday 01-05-2015 – 01-08-2015 1:45PM – 3:45PM- Murrieta Community Center

All details are on line. Registration is opened.

Le Merveilleux : America’s latest dessert trend has arrived from Lille ( France)

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We are two foodies. We never met in real life. We met via Instagram IG and we connected right away. We love cooking / baking. We live on East (Asmaa) and on West Coast ( me celine) of USA. We are francophile ( me born/raised in France and Asmaa born/raised in Morocco) for the second time we have decided to collaborate together into a Cooking/Baking project via Instagram.
Last June I opted for a Paris Brest, this time Asmaa opted for a Merveilleux. It was a great challenge and a few people decided to join this challenge.
We hope this one will get more people to oin you are welcome to participate.. it is fun, and deliccious and everybody can do it..
If you decided to join this challenge and share on Instagram -IG tag us : #homemadeACe and #celinescuisine #theglobaltaster

You can follow us on INSTAGRAM -IG :
Asmaa Lahlou Aka The Global Taster.
Celine Cossou Bordes Aka Celine’s Cuisine

So today I am sharing with my lucky followers, fans or readers an amazing Dessert Recipe for Merveilleux.……

It’s delicate, covered with small specks of chocolate or nuts or sprinkles, some whipped cream,filled with crispy meringue and come together to form a dessert that has been a tradition of northern France and Belgium for years. It’s called a “Merveilleux,” and it is pure heaven- bliss in your mouth at the first bite.

In France, pastry chef Frédéric Vaucamps called Fred is known for creating the most popular and amazing traditional Merveilleux. Native to the north of France in Lille, Fred has created a revolution with the Merveilleux that has increased popularity across France, and in other parts of the world too.

From France, to New York, to Los Angeles, and to Beverly Hills, the Merveilleux has begun its route into American desserts trendiness after the French Macarons, Canneles….

Ready to indulge…..??? here below is the recipe.

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Merveilleux

Meringues
Makes about 10-15

• 3 large egg whites
• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or few drops or lemon juice or pinch of salt
• 3/4 cup superfine or caster sugar (NB take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30-60 seconds in a food processor)
• 1/4 tsp extract ( any you like I used Mango)

1. Preheat oven to degrees 150 F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. You can form the meringues with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip, or use two spoons to make the meringues.
3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar/salt/lemon and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the extract if using.
4. Before placing the meringues on the cookie sheet, you can place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip. Pipe 2 1/2 inch rounds of meringue and pipe in rows on the prepared baking sheet. Make discs shapes.
5. Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours, rotating the baking sheet from front to back . The meringues are done when they are white and crisp . For best result, turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours or overnight.

Chantilly or Whipped cream

• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
• 2 -4 tbsp icing sugar

1. Before whipping the cream, place your bowl and whisk into the refrigerator or freezer to chill. You will get the best results if all of the tools and ingredients are cold.
2. First, measure out the sugar, and cream. Make sure the cream is very cold.
3. Remove the bowl and whisk from the refrigerator. Place the cream, sugar inside the bowl and begin to whisk.
4. While whisking, make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl periodically to ensure all of the sugar is being incorporated. The sugar needs to dissolve as you whisk so the whipped cream is not grainy.
5. Whisk rapidly back and forth until the desired peak has formed.
6. Once the cream has been whipped, it needs to be used as soon as possible It can be refrigerated for a short period of time, but it is best to whip it just before serving.

Toppings: shaved chocolate, sprinkles, grounded nuts…

Place your topping on a plate.

To assemble:

Take one meringue spread some Chantilly on it to cover it then add a second meringue and top it like a sandwich.
Spread Chantilly on the top then on the side to cover it completely.
Roll and coat gently the merigues/ Chantilly with the topping of your choice rolling on the plate.Press a little.
Place in paper cup and place in the fridge for a few hours.
Better to be eaten the same day.

Voila

Bon Appetit….

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JAPANESE CHEESECAKE ( or Soufle Cheesecake) best Cheesecake ever…..

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I have to tell you, Cheesecake is one of my favorite American Dessert. But it can be a pretty heavy dessert; I like to eat my cheesecake with some earl grey tea milk tea during tea time.
I think the first time I saw Japanese Cheesecake ( also called Soufflé Cheesecake) was on Pinterest and I was under the charm of these fluffy light cheesecakes pictures. So I decided to make my own… a light as a cloud , as a fluffy cheesecake sounded really good.. no?
So after searching on the web, I found a great recipe on “just one cookbook Blog ” blog. I really like this blog, you should visit it if you like Japanese food.
So I adapted the original recipe I did not want to use rum since my kid will eat some ( I used lemon zest instead) and I like the lemon flavor of this cheesecake it makes it very unique. I had not Apricot preserve but a delicious homemade Quince jelly that I use as a syrup on my pancakes, crepes, ice cream…Actually I can’t give you the recipe of this Quince syrup because I attended to make Quince jelly but I cooked it too much it became more like a caramel, so I use it I add some water to make it more liquid/syrup style.
I really invite you to make and try this amazing cheesecake. Believe me it will be the best cheesecake you will ever taste. I promise.

Happy Baking!

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JAPANESE CHEESECAKE RECIPE ( Adapted from “Just one Cookbook” )

Serves: 9-inch cake
Ingredients
• 400 g (14.1 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
• 60 g (6 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
• 60 g (4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into ½” (1 cm) slices, at room temperature
• 6 large egg yolks, beaten, at room temperature
• 200 ml heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
• 10 ml (2 tsp.) lemon juice
• 2 tsp organic lemon zest
• 80 g (8 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour
• 3 Tbsp. homemade Quince jelly + 1 tsp. water

For Meringue/ fluffy White eggs
• 6 egg whites
• 100g (10 Tbsp.) granulated sugar for meringue

1. Keep cream cheese, butter, egg yolks, and heavy cream at room temperature.
2. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9″ (23 cm) spring-form pan with cooking spray or butter and line with parchment paper. Wrap the base of the cake pan with aluminum foil (preferably with extra-large heavy duty foil)
3. Preheat oven to 320F (160C) degree.
4. Start boiling water.
5. In the bowl of the electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth
6. Add the butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
7. Add the egg yolk and heavy cream and mix well.
8. Add lemon juice and zest and mix until the batter is very smooth.
9. Sift the flour twice.
10. Add the flour all at once and mix well.
11. Transfer the batter to a large bowl. Wash the mixer bowl and dry completely.
12. Meringue: beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In the bowl of electric mixer, whip the egg whites on medium low speed (speed 4) till opaque and foamy and bubbly. Then add ⅓ of the sugar at a time as the mixer runs. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to high (speed 10) and whip for approximately 4 minutes, until the meringue has doubled in volume and is thick and glossy.
13. To test for stiff peaks, the peaks should stand straight up when you lift up the beaters. The whites should not slide around. If the meringue has not reached the desired consistency, continue whipping at high speed for another 30 seconds, then stop and test again. Once the egg whites are over beaten, they can’t be used for the recipe.
14. Add ⅓ of the meringue to the batter and mix well first.
15. Then add the rest of the meringue all at once and fold it in (not mix this time).
16. Pour the batter in the cake pan and then drop the pan from 2-3″ (5-7 cm) high to the countertop to remove any air bubbles.
17. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan and pour 1″ (2.5 cm) of boiling water in the roasting pan. Place the baking pan in the middle rack of the oven. Bake at 320F for 60 minutes or until light golden brown. Then reduce temperature to 300F and bake for another 30 minutes.
18. When a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean without wet batter, turn off the oven. Let the cake sit in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Take out the cake pan from the roasting pan, and let it cool on a wire rack.
19. in a small bowl, heat quince syrup and water in microwave for 30 seconds and spread the jam on top of the cake. When the cake is completely cool, take it out from the pan and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Cut the cake with warm knife (run a knife under hot water and wipe off completely before each cut).

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What to make with the last summer strawberries: Strawberry and Pistachio tart

 

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 STRAWBERRY AND PISTACHIO TART ( Adapted from Michalak recipe)

 In Southern Caifornia, the first strawberries appear usually in January. Then their pick season is around Easter. Then during Summer we have the best fruits, sweet, soft, ripe and perfect:  stones fruits, then figs, grapes… we forget about … strawberries. But I guess Strawberry is still one of my favorite fruit because it is so versatile raw ( juice, smoothie, salad, yogurt, in tart…) or cooked ( marmelade, jam,….). A good strawberry should be small, smell like heaven, sweet not too firm not too soft.

Last week was “back to school” and even if my son is sick ( and is still sick from a bad virus) I wanted to share with you one lovely Strawberry recipe because the one you see now at the market may be the last ones…

Do not forget to eat Organic Strawberries the conventional ones are full of pesticides and yuky stuff. True they are more expensive but if  I like better eat less organic that plenty conventionional.

 

For this tart, I used Michalak recipe to make the shortbread and decor but I decided to go with something simpler working with different layers:

The shortbread dough + creme anglaise + marmalade + fresh strawberries. The result ” une tuerie” how my French Foodies Friends would say.

RECIPE

For the Shortbread dough:

  • 120 g  All purpose flour
  • 4 g baking powder
  • 20 g caster sugar
  • 110 g butter at room temperature
  • 20 g almond flour or meal
  • pinch of sea salt

 

For the Creme Anglaise

  • 235 ml heavy cream
  • 10 ml vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 65 g white sugar

 

For the Strawberry marmalade:

  • 250 g strawberries
  • 40 g of sugar
  • water

Decor:

  • 30g strawberry jelly
  •  1/2 kg of fresh strawberries, very thinly sliced
  •  50 g pistachios, finely chopped

Crème anglaise

  1.     In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and vanilla until bubbles form at edges.
  2.     While cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

 

Strawberry marmelade

  1. In a saucepan place water, strawberries and sugar.
  2. Cook on medium heat and stir.
  3. Cook until the fruits are tender and smooth.

Shortcrust pastry:

 

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  1. In a food processor, with “paddle” combine the flour, baking powder, powdered sugar, cut into small pieces of butter, almond flour and salt. The finished dough, roll out to a thickness of 2 mm, place on a pan tart ( I used the long Rectangle quiche pan with fluted edges and a removable bottom lined with  parchment paper .
  2. With a fork pok the Surface of the dough very well. Bake shortcake 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and set aside. Do not remove the frame.

 

Assemble.

  1. On the baked shortbread dough delicately spread the crème angaise then place back in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then later spread the marmalade. Place strawberry slices on the marmalade.
  2. With a knife spread the jam all around the cake and place the pistachios with your fingers and press it with the back of a spoon.
  3. Place in the fridge for a few hours. With a sharpened knife cut slices then leave them a few minutes at room temperature .

Bon Appetit

 

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Le Paris-Brest Made in USA

 

 

pbone

As you may know I am French and I live in suburban Southern California.  I often crave for French dishes, treats or desserts like: éclairs, tarte aux pommes, or croque monsieur. Since I can’t find any of those where we live I make them at home, in my own kitchen.

A few weeks ago, I saw on Asmaa Lahlou Instagram feed (@Theglobaltaster) located in Philadelphia  a gorgeous picture of a Paris Brest pastry she bought at her local Pastry shop and just looking at the picture I wanted to taste one….so badly… it looked so scrumptious.

I never thought of making a homemade Paris Brest from scratch before. In fact,as most classic French pastries I thought it was almost impossible to make it at home… only trained French Pastry Chefs could make it. So I decided to make my own and asked Asmaa if she would like to make one also from scratch and may be open this project to other people who wanted to participate to this challenge, just for fun on Instagram.

She loved the idea and we decided to make our own Paris Brest and start this challenge.

For this challenge, few steps would need to be done and we would need to coordinate our actions. Since Asmaa is working full time and a busy mother as I am and being on east/west coast have been already a challenge to coordinate everything.

Here is what we ‘ve planned so far:

a)       We will make our own Paris Brest,

b)      We will post / share it on the same day on Instagram  and will invite people with an Instragram feed to join the challenge

c)       We will post our recipe on our blog

I do not know Asmaa personally. But after we decided to start this project, we exchanged some emails and even Skype. She is Moroccan, lives in Philly and studied in France.  Like me she wants to share her country ‘s traditions, roots, culture and food witn her family. It was so great to talk to her and this is so much fun to share a passion like this with someone else. I guess technology can bring people together. This is why I L O V E Instagram this is a wonderful way to visit the world, discover talented people and met strangers that you would have never met in another way.

So what is a Paris- Brest? The Paris-Brest is a classic French pastry traditionally made of a ring of choux pastry/ pate a choux  filled with a praliné mousseline cream .

It was invented in Maisons-Laffitte (FR) by Louis Durand (pastry maker) who was on the route of the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race in 1891 (one of he oldest cycling race still being run) and he decided to make a celebration cake called Paris-Brest to honor the race.

The round shape is meant to evoke a bicycle wheel.

There are many possible ways to make a Paris-Brest. The choux shell is a constant, but they can be any size, , filled with either pastry cream, buttercream or whipped cream (or a combination) and flavored with praline, coffee, vanilla….

The genuine recipe calls for praline or pralin, a paste made by mixing caramelized hazelnuts and almonds: it can be store-bought or homemade and I opted for this one. This is a dream rich cream.

My recipe uses a regular pate a choux topped simply with powdered sugar when baked. The filling is a mixture of homemade whipped cream, pastry cream, buttercream and praline paste combined together for a unique and delicious mousseline a la praline…. to die for. Mine was a little too liquid. I guess I should use less whipped cream of leave the mousseline longer in the fridge.

This is definitely one French amazing dessert and everyone can make it, you just need to be organized and ready. I recommend to make the praline paste, pastry cream, buttercream and whipped cream in advance and to keep everything in the fridge. Then bake the pastry choux, then let it cool, assemble the cake and then to keep in the fridge.

 

RECIPES

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Choux Pastry

135 grams all-purpose flour

1 tsp granulated white sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt

85 grams unsalted butter

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup  water

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

 

Instruction for the Choux pastry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw an eight inch (20 cm) circle ( I used a plate) on the parchment paper  to use as a guide when piping the choux pastry.
Pipe the choux pastry using a large star tip or use a large pastry bag and cut the end. Pipe one circle on the drawn circle

Place the butter, milk, and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon, quickly stir in the flour mixture pour at once in the saucepan. Return to heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and stir to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is lukewarm, start adding the lightly beaten eggs, in small additions, and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick shiny paste.

Transfer the dough to a large piping bag Pipe a 2 inch  thick ring of dough just inside the 8 inch (20 cm) circle that is drawn on the parchment paper.

Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F . Bake for extra 35 to 45 minutes or until the Paris Brest is a golden brown color, puffed. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shell dry out for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and finish cooling on a wire rack.

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Whipped Cream

1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions for the whipped cream

  1. Pour the cold cream in the bowl of a stand mixer add
  2. Begin whipping and increase mixer speed to medium and begin whipping and whip for 7 minutes. To check if the cream is ready take your whisk out of the cream: the peaks in the whipped cream will hold firmly . Store it in the refrigerator until needed.

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Praliné buttercream

60 g Praline paste ( see recipe)

90 g unsalted soft butter

 

In a large bowl mix the butter with the paste.

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Pastry Cream

1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

 

Instructions for the Pastry Cream

 

Bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan.

In a large heat-safe bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until slightly pale.  Add in the cornstarch and mix until combined.  Pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking, transfer the mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over low heat while stirring with a whisk until slightly thicken.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Pour the custard into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (touching the surface of the custard to prevent a film from forming), and let cool.    Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

 

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Hazelnut – Almond praline paste

200g of raw hazelnut

40 gr of raw almonds

160g of white sugar

 

Instructions  for the praline

  1. Pour  nuts into a dry saucepan and roast under medium heat for a few minutes only.
  2. Add sugar and stir well
  3. Keep stirring under medium heat.
  4. The sugar will dissolve and caramelized (darker color) after few minutes.
  5. When the caramel is formed stop the heat.
  6. Pour the mixture onto a plate covered with a wax or parchment paper sheet
  7. Let it cool.
  8. Pour the caramelized hazelnut into a stand mixer.
  9. Mix until a paste is forming.
  10. First you obtain a powder.
  11. Keep mixing and it will form a nice paste.
  12. If not add with drops of water or olive oil

Mousseline praline

In a large bowl mix gently the pastry cream with the praline, the buttercream and the whipped cream. Transfer to a pastry bag.

To Assemble:  Split the pastry round shell in half horizontally. Then pipe the praline mixture whipped cream into the center of the round shell. Place the top half of the pastry shell on the mousseline praline and dust with powdered or icing sugar.

The Paris-Brest can be served right away or refrigerated, but must be brought out thirty minutes before serving

Makes one large 8 inch (20 cm) Paris Brest.

1-frenchhalzenutpraline

#homemadeparisbrest

#homemadebyal&cc

(MURRIETA) Summer Cooking & Baking camps for kids and teenagers offer more than just good eats!

SUMMER BAKING AND COOKING CAMPS FOR KIDS/TEENAGERS IN MURRIETA

Tuna in Tomato-stuffed tomatoes / Pack a Lunch cookbook

Tuna in Tomato-stuffed tomatoes / Pack a Lunch cookbook

During these camps, kids whip recipes while learning: a pinch of math, world geography, health, culture, science and above all will have a lot of fun!

Not only do the children get to taste their creations, they learn about nutrition, they receive a diploma, along with the recipes of the dishes they made.

Camps have daily/weekly themes, which may focus on location-specific cuisines or on skills and techniques.

Spaces are still available and registrations are taken until the camps are full. Some Camps are Monday to Friday for  1.5 hours per day and other are Monday to Thursday for 2 hours per day.

-        6-13 years old:

Baking Camp 20234 07-07-2014 to 07-11-2014 – 9:00AM – 10:30AM

Baking Camp 20235- 07-21-2014 to 07-25-2014 – 9:00AM – 10:30AM

Culinary Camp 20230 -06-16-2014 to 06-19-2014 – 1:00PM – 3:00PM-

Culinary Camp 20228- 06-23-2014 to 06-26-2014 – 4:00PM – 6:00PM-

Culinary Camp –20231 – 06-23-2014 to 06-26-2014- 1:00PM – 3:00PM-
Culinary  Camp 20229 – 07-14-2014 to 07-17-2014 – 4:00PM – 6:00PM-

Culinary  Camp – 20232 – 08-04-2014 to 08-07-2014 – 1:00PM – 3:00PM-

-9-15 yrs. old
Master Chefs camp- 20237 : 6/30-7/3 12:00-2pm-

$80 per camp/ per kid

For details please email celinescuisine@gmail.com or visit www.celinescuisine.com

SUMMER BAKING AND COOKING CAMPS ( TEMECULA)

 

Kids Cooking Camp via Celine's Cuisine

Kids Cooking Camp via Celine’s Cuisine

Our new children’s Summer Culinary and Baking Camps are designed to give kids and teenagers, real, in-depth, hands-on cooking experience as well as exposure to a wide selection of ingredients, recipes, techniques, and equipment while having fun and making new friends.

During these camps, kids learn skills, recipes, nutrition and cooking ideas that lead to a lifetime of good health and cooking.

 

Located in our new-brand renovated TCC’s kitchen in Temecula, guided by Celine Cossou-Bordes a French born cooking instructor and a cookbook author, kids all ages and all levels gain the confidence to explore, taste and enjoy cooking and baking while learning new flavors, textures, expand their palates, reinforce academics, nutrition, teamwork, and kitchen and food safety.

 

Each day session is 2 hours a day in the morning or afternoon over four consecutive days. Each camp is based on a different cooking theme: Around the world, Chocolate lovers, French Pastries, All American classics….

Camps start in July and run through first week of August. At the end of each class, kids will eat or will bring home their creations. At the end of each camp, kids will receive a Cooking Diploma and copies of all the recipes they made. Twelve kids per camp maximum.

6- 14 years  – 2 hours – Price: $85.00 per camp plus Materials Fee: $5 due to the instructor.

3-5 yrs “Pots and tots” Camp – 1 hour – Price: $ 55.00 per camp plus Materials Fee: $5 due to the instructor.

 

Registration is open now! Register online at www.cityoftemecula.org or call (951) 240-4266. today!

 

Week #1  Jul 7-Jul 10

1020.301 11:00am-1:00pm         Culinary Camp            Around the World

1022.301 1:15pm-3:15pm           Sweet Treats Camp    French Pastries

1022.302 3:30-5:30pm                Sweet Treats Camp    Cookies, Cakes & Brownies

 

Week #2 Jul 14-Jul 17

1021.301 9:00am-10:00am         Pots & Tots Camp

1020.302 10:30am-12:30pm       Culinary Camp            American Classics

1022.303 12:45pm-2:45pm         Sweet Treats               Cupcake Wars

 

Week #3 Jul 21-Jul 24                      

1020.303 11:00am-1:00pm         Culinary Camp            Around the World

1022.304 1:15pm-3:15pm           Sweet Treats Camp    Chocolate Lovers

1022.305 3:30-5:30pm                Sweet Treats Camp    Cookies, Cakes & Brownies

 

Week #4 Jul 28-Jul 31

1021.302 9:00am-10:00am         Pots & Tots Camp

1022.308 10:15am-11:15am       Pots & Tots Camp

1020.304 11:30-1:30pm              Culinary Camp            American Classics

1022.306 1:45pm-3:45pm           Sweet Treats Camp    French pastries

 

Week #5 Aug 4-7

1022.311 9:00am-10:00am         Pots & Tots Camp

1022.312 10:15am-11:15am       Pastry camp

 

For more information, contact: Celine Cossou – Bordes (951) 285 9487

Spaghetti alle vongole

 

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Sometimes the simple dishes are the best.  But the ambiance, the souvenir, the memory, the surrounding, and the specific situation makes what you eat super delicious and unforgetable.

I discovered “Spaghetti alle vongole ” in my not even 20′s  travelling with Joel to Italy.

We spent two amazing weeks discovering, visiting, drinking, eating, tanning, exploring Italian cities treasures ( Capri Island, Napoli, Roma, Pompei ruins…). We were starving and strugling students but so into adventures, travel, discoveries, freedom….nothing was stopping us.

We enjoyed so much our Italian escapade and loved every minute spent  in our little and so cute Sorrento town and the surroundings. The coast was stunning.

One morning, we decided to spend the day at the beach. We did not have a car so we usually took the bus, hitchhiked, rented a vespa or we had to walk. Someone mentionned a fantastic little beach not too far from our camping, but it was deep down the hill, and not having a car and it was pretty hard to get down there and it was always taking us (me) long time to arrive at the beach. It was a little creek with turquoise cristal warm water just located between Almafi and Sorrento, a few small restaurants were lined up their feet into the sand and water. One day, we spent the morning snorkelling into the clear waters. But when we reached our beach towel the delicious smells from the restaurants wanted us to taste their food and we decided to eat al fresco in one of the little family owned restaurant.  . It was the perfect spot to watch Italian kids and families having fun at the beach and stay cool  during a super hot August day drinking up some “cafe al fredo” and “iced tea’.

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The menu was simple but very promissing. We ordered “Spaghetti alle vongole ” .

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And it was all we could expect, fresh, tasty perfectly cooked and seasonned with plenty of fresh caught up seafood and perfect al dente spaghetti.

We then ordered some espresso and gelato. We finished to spend the day at the beach. Then on our way up (already exausted at the thought of walking up the hill) an Italian mama stopped her tiny Fiat car and proposed us  to drive us back to the top. It was a kind of epic drive the car was so small and the turns so deep… but we managed to arrive… alive. And I guess this is a fun and memorable souvenir. We were so thankful to have a ride up.

car

Today I am sharing a similar recipe with a lot of shortcuts and not as perfect and fresh as the one served in Italy  but it was very good…. .and I was so happy to eat this dish years later again with the same person I did years and years ago.

 Spaghetti alle vongole  (Adapted from Jamie Oliver Recipe)

  • 1 16 oz package Steamers clams in garlic butter sauce
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped or chives
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  •  1/3 cup white wine
  • ½ package =8oz High fiber dried spaghetti
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 12 oz package frozen  langostinos
  • lemon juice

* All Trader Joe’s Ingredients

 

Cook your pasta in boiling salted water according to packet instructions, until al dente, then drain.

Meanwhile, get a large pan on a medium heat and allow it to get hot. Put 2 generous lugs of extra virgin olive oil into the hot pan and add the garlic, langostinos, clams with butter juice,half the parsley and pepper. Stir everything around constantly and pour in the wine. Put the lid on and shake the pan as they cook. Take the pan off the heat.

Add the spagetti to the pan of clams along with the remaining parsley and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Stir or toss for a further minute or two to let the cooking juices from the clams be absorbed into the pasta.

Serve right away with fresh hunks of bread to mop up the juices.

Viva Italia and Buon Appetito  

 

How to make your own almond milk at home

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When I discovered and drank my first Almond Milk a few years ago I loved it right away. It was velvety, not too sweet, light and delicious.I was hooked.
I still buy my store-bought almond milk once in a while, since we also love and drink our Straus Organic Whole milk.
But after reading a lot about it I found out than you can actually make your own Almond Milk at home. You know me I like to make homemade things from baguette, cheese, cakes, pasta….
I had some leftover almond meal from my previous French Macaron Cookies cooking class, some Medjol dates from our local farmer’s market so I decided to make some yesterday…. and to enjoy it today…
I do not think that I will buy the one from store anymore, it is easy to make and you can really flavor it the way you want: You like Vanilla add some Natural Vanilla extract, chocolate add some cocoa powder, sweet add some honey, thicker add more dates….
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Here below is the simplest recipe I came out using on 3 ingredients.

Homemade Almond Milk

Ingredients:
• 1 cup raw almond meal , soaked 3 cups filtered water
• 1-2- pitted Medjool dates

Directions
1. Place almond meal and dates in a bowl and cover with water and soak overnight (for 8-12 hours) in the water.
2. Place into a blender along with pitted dates.
3. Blend for 1 minute or so.
4. Place a thin nut milk bag, muslin or cheesecloth over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the muslin .
5.Gently squeeze the muslin to release the milk.
6. Pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-days.
7. Shake jar very well before using as the mixture separates when sitting

What to do with the leftover almond meal I mixed it with some honey, cinnamon, and make my own spread .

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Crunchy, Sweet, Salty and Chocolaty Treat- David Lebovitz Recipe

 

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Happy New year! Actually in France you can send your “voeux” (Happy New year wishes) until January 31st, so I am not that late.

I hope you had a great holidays as I did. I took a break from my Iphone, meaning no Instagram, no Pinterest, no Twitter, no FB.

I loved every minute of it. It was relaxing, sumptuous, lazy. My kids were as usual great, fun, full of energy. We enjoy days at the beach, we hiked, we biked, we had fantastic picnics, we visited new places in LA area and we had the best time at home playing ping-pong (Santa brought us a nice set incuding a net, racket, balls….to place on our wooden table), the perfect gift.

Joel even organized a fun Ping-pong tournment with our great friends Jackie/Michael and Robin/Rick and their kids. So much fun…Actually my son won….

So, true the holidays are over, but it does not mean that you can’t enjoy some chocolate treats. A fews weeks ago, I found on Pinterest David Lebovitz picture of his amazing Chocolate- almond Buttercrunch toffee and could not think of a better treat for the holidays. So I made it once, then twice……and I should have made it more. I will. My family could not resist.. can you believe I only had one. I am always an advocate for homemade meals, cookies, snacks and now treats. You can use any nuts you like. For my recipe I used Trader Joe’s Mix Trader Joes with seeds and nuts, and put it in the food processor. I like it crunchy so I did not process too much but it is up to you…I am sure some bits of caramel, or ever dried fruits will be great too.

Here is the link to this amazing treat… go ahead do not be shy. The only equipment you need is a candy thermometer – available now at any major grocery stores. Another important point: do not leave the kitchen, you need to check your oven quite often to be sure your nuts are not burning and you need to pay attention and look at the color of the caramel constantly….

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Here is the link for the recipe. click on it ….

Chocolate- Almond Buttercrunch Toffee recipe

 

Happy Snacking my friends!