One of the default outings for the Momtourage was lunch out – we didn’t have to cook and got to spend a few hours together…perfect! The only downside to that as the babies got a bit older is that it gets a bit trickier. It got to the point where we needed 5 highchairs (couldn’t keep them sleeping in the strollers anymore!) and after awhile they wanted to move and explore – in other words, our lunch outings became shorter unless we were at a playplace.
I started trying to think of activities we could do together, and ended up getting in touch with Chef Deb. I have known Chef Deb for a few years, and she has catered a few events for us, including our rehearsal dinner and showers. She is fantastic, and cooks so many different cuisines. My personal favourite is her Greek dinner – chicken souvlaki, homemade tzatziki, yum!!! But I digress – I called Chef Deb and asked her whether she would be willing to host an afternoon cooking class for a few moms at my place. To my delight, she agreed 🙂 We settled on an asian theme, learning to cook a proper stir-fry, and then we could sit down and enjoy our work!
|Mandy working on her knife skills|
We got so much more than we bargained for – to start off, Chef Deb taught us proper knife skills. Apparently none of us even knew how to use a knife properly. It takes some practice to get comfortable using knives the way chefs do, but when you get the hang of it, you can chop pretty fast…plus I kinda feel like a contestant on Masterchef…a contestant that Gordon, Joe and Elliott would promptly swear at and throw out of the kitchen.
|Jen and Char taking in all the action
|Sharon and Brody taking a break from the kitchen|
|General Tao’s Chicken|
First up was learning to make General Tao’s chicken. I’ll be honest, I’m not a very adventurous eater, so I had never actually tried it before. However, I did try it this time and it was delicious! Flavour was amazing, chicken was crispy and perfectly cooked. Hard to believe it came out of my kitchen and not a restaurant!
|London taking in the sights from the floor|
Next up was tackling a proper chicken stir-fry. I know we all know how to essentially throw together a stir-fry, but let me tell you…doing it properly makes a HUGE difference. First was learning to cut up vegetables the correct way – doing matchstick veggies makes it look nice and makes it a whole lot easier to cook!
|A look at our work in progress|
|Stir-fry in action!|
Both of the recipes were deceptively simple, and I have made them numerous times on my own since then. I haven’t quite mastered the General Tao chicken, I don’t usually get it quite as crispy, but the stir-fry turns out perfect every time, no fail. I’ve done it with chicken and beef, and they are both yummy. If you like doing a stir-fry at home, check out Chef Deb’s blog (details below), as she has a video on stir-frying. There are some really simple techniques and tricks that make a world of difference in stir-frying.
|Cooking with Chef Deb|
|Chef Deb and A|
As always with the Momtourage, it was a fantastic afternoon! We all learned a lot, had a great meal, and spent time with one fantastic chef! A few of us even took cookbooks by Chef Deb home!
Take a few minutes to check out everything Chef Deb has to offer – her blog is witty and entertaining, her cookbooks offer lots of weekday meal ideas, and her catering is phenomenal!
Catering site: http://www.culinarycaravan.com/