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August 03, 2017

Basil Roasted Tomato Goat Cheese Tart

The tangy flavor of the goat cheese and the sweet flavor of the roasted tomatoes make this a taste sensation. Try using different color tomatoes such as red, yellow and green (ripe) heirlooms.

To save time a prepared pesto can replace the basil leaves, garlic cloves and extra virgin olive oil step.

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July 04, 2017

A Perfect Grilled Burger

If you want a burger that has great texture, tastes delicious and keeps it shape try these few simple tips.

  • Use ground beef with enough fat content, at least 20%
  • Don't over work when mixing, this toughens the meat
  • Form burger and press into the middle making a serious indention or even a hole.

    In the UT Culinary Institute Community Cooking Class Chef Joseph used two salad plates to form the burger. Turn one plate upside down, place round ball of mixed meat mixture, about 1/3 pound (more or less depending on how thick you want your burger), then press down to form patty with second plate, bottom side down on top of the burger.

  • Make sure grill is clean, can use a little oil to help prevent sticking
  • Grill on high heat
  • Resist the urge to flip the burger too soon. It will stick
  • Only flip once
  • Keep formed burgers very cold until ready to cook. You can even put them in the freeze
  • Let the burger rest about 5 minutes.

    To enhance flavor and create a tender, moist burger follow this recipe.

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    July 02, 2017

    Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad

    Using all prepared commercial ingredients make this a pretty simple salad to make. The only effort you have to put into it is to grill the romaine lettuce. Not that hard and so worth the effort! It is one of my favorite salads.

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    Grilled Mexican Corn

    You can use a gas grill or charcoal. I prefer charcoal when grilling but if you are only doing a few ears of corn, the gas grill will save a little time.

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    Grilled Gourmet Hot Dog

    Even a hot dog can be turned into something special. And it is so simple you won't believe it.

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    Rolled and Stuffed Flank steak

    This flank steak was stuffed with an Italian flare but you could make it your own by creating a Mexican or Asian version or even a meat lover's version. It is wrapped in foil and cooked on the grill giving it a nice smoky flavor.
    The steak can be seasoned with just about anything you like, starting with salt and pepper, a commercial steak seasoning, a Cajun rub, or even a dried herb blend.

    To see additional pictures refer to the June 29, 2017 Grilling class

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    Grilling Class

    Grilling can be for everyone! In this hands on grilling class we learned how to:

  • Make the perfect burger
  • Turn a hot dog into a gourmet delight
  • Stuff and roll an incredibly delicious flank steak
  • Grill vegetables even Romaine lettuce

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    March 23, 2017

    Carrot Recipes

    Probably everyone has eaten cooked carrots with brown sugar and butter. But carrots can offer a savory side that will delight your taste buds. Here are 2 recipes from Cooking Light Magazine, March 2017 issue that I've tried and added to my go to list when looking for a great vegetable side dish.

    I included my modifications for the recipes.

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    March 19, 2017

    Anderson County Cookie Class

    A fun idea for testing your skills is to put your cookie up as the best. The students in first level culinary class did just that. I will have to say that they can meet any challenge. Not only were their cookies delicious but they were well presented. The judge was Anderson County High's very own Officer Bannach and naturally I had to be a judge since I watched them make the cookies. It began like a scene in "Chopped" the popular cooking show on the Food Network but as they settled in they began whipping, mixing, rolling and baking their way into fabulous results.

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    March 13, 2017

    Home Made Pasta Making 101

    You may ask why should I spend all that time making pasta. I can tell you why- it is so much better than boxed dried pasta. Fresh is always better! And YES it does take time but it is easy and actually fun. At least that is what the class participants told me at our recent pasta making class at UTK.

    Chef Walter Lambert joined us and he provided instruction for the best pasta sauces ever. Just the right accompaniment for the pasta.

    There are so many pasta shapes from big to small, fat and skinny. We made Tagliatelle and Pappardelle and stuffed tortellini pasta.


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    Chocolate Layered Cheesecake

    This cheesecake is silky and creamy with a rich chocolate flavor. When you slice it looks so cool. The students at Clinton High School did a fabulous job creating and eating this dessert.

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    Anderson County Career and Technical Center

    When I began teaching cooking classes I never dreamed I would find it so rewarding. But I did and it is because of the all the people I've met along the way. One program that stands out is the culinary school at the Anderson County Career and Technical Center. . The students are the cream of the crop. They have entertained me, surprised me with their skills and wormed their way into my heart.

    I've been substituting for two months now while their teacher recuperates from surgery. She will be returning soon and my time will be coming to an end. I will miss each one of them but I hope to see them again, maybe as a famous chef or a food science professional. Who knows where they might land but I am sure they will be successful wherever they go.


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    Cooking at Patterson's

    Pattersons is an appliance store located in Harriman, Knoxville, Oak Ridge and Rockwood offering Home Appliances, Kitchen Appliance, Laundry and Outdoor Products. But after hours watch out for their amazing cooking classes. These hands on classes offer you the opportunity to use many of their fabulous appliances. Located on Kingston Pike, Patterson's has served the Knoxville community for many years.

    Take a look at what we're making. And to top it all, you get to take home yummy treats that you prepare.


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    January 30, 2017

    Chocolate Fondue

    Have a Fondue party with friends and family. It is a great way to entertain without so much work. You'll enjoy the party and everyone will love you for it.

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    December 17, 2016

    Lemon Curd Parfaits

    Use prepared Lemon curd and frozen whipped topping for a simple but elegant dessert. Or make your own, it is your call depending on how much time you have.

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    Peppermint Candy Cookies

    This is a cookie recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine. I tested it in a cooking class and it was great. I thought it would be neat to make candy cane shaped cookies, so I did and they turned out really good. The secret to getting the peppermint to stay on the cookie and not melt out into the pan is to roll only the top of the cookie in the crushed peppermint. Be careful to use a light coating of candy for just the right flavors.

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    Pecan and Caramel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    What a beautiful cake this is and it tastes as good as it looks. But guess what? It is not that difficult to make. I used a yellow butter boxed cake mix and a few extra ingredients to make it rich and delicious.

    The recipe makes 3 round cakes each layered with caramel sauce. You could make the cake in a Bundt pan, just pour the caramel sauce over the cake after it cools. Then wait about 20 minutes and frost the cake.

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