Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Team Buildings Reclaimed!!

Have you ever been part of a company that does “Forced Family Fun”? That’s what we heard Team Buildings called today and maybe Team Building has become a four letter word these days. I know that I’ve been dragged (literally) to mandatory bonding events where I had to bowl or play laser tag or do a trust fall with my colleagues when I’d rather be getting work done or actually be engaged in a fun activity (though laser tag was a cathartic slaughter of my boss). How about we take back Team Buildings and make them a good time where you can take something that is essential, almost primal, and simple, and break bread with each other.

PCW invites you and your team into our space to learn a new skill, work together in a new dynamic way to build morale and develop lasting relationships that end with sitting down together and eating an amazing meal. Seriously how cool is that? What a great way to get your managers or employees to engage and work in cooperation.

Anyone who is in business knows that turnover is one of the number one labor expenses. How about cultivating a work place environment where your employees look forward to a quarterly gathering because they know it’s going to be something useful to their business relationships and to their own personal growth.

Keep Portland’s Culinary Workshop in mind next time you have a company gathering, we can cater it directly to fit your needs and budget. Reclaim Team Buildings!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Delicious Diabetic Meals

Today, one in twenty people are diabetic in the United States, and if the trend continues the way that it has, one in three children born after the year 2000 are going to develop Type II diabetes in their lifetime. That’s huge. Even typing it, it seems overwhelming and unbelievable.

If you are someone who is living with diabetes or has a loved one with diabetes you know that foods can seem like an area filled with landmines. You have to know which things are going to spike your blood sugar and learn how to avoid all those hidden sugars and carbs.

PCW is having a Delicious Diabetic Meals class on Wednesday at 6pm that will steer you away from all of the fake foods and artificial sweeteners that are marketed to the public, and help you learn about natural alternatives that are easy to use. Come and learn amazing tasty recipes and develop the techniques to make things at home for a healthier life where you are missing out on decadent food.

Sign up at http://www.portlandsculinaryworkshop.com/store

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunshine Berry Tart

On this rainy Portland day, the sun has left us once again and while I am search for one little bright ray I don’t think it’s going to happen. Most of us in the culinary field will tell you that at some point we chose this profession because we love to please people with food. I am taking it upon myself to bring all of you a little sunshine from my kitchen to yours.

Since we are in the middle of Oregon strawberry season I can’t stress how important it is to gobble us as many of these luscious berries while you can. Mine rarely make it to the car from the Farmer’s Market, strawberries out of season really just don’t compare. So in celebration of the berries that are popping up, here is my berry tart recipe that will be a guaranteed winner at any dinner or BBQ.


1# powdered sugar

2# butter

3# AP flour

3 eggs

1 T vanilla

This is often called 1-2-3 dough and if you look at the ingredients you can see why. While this makes a gi-normous amount I figured I’d leave the original amounts so that you can see the ratios, it makes it easy to remember in a pinch without a recipe. Yes you can cut this down by a third no prob AND this freezes really really well. Make leftover dough into a 1” disc and wrap well in plastic wrap.

Okay for the procedure.

Throw it all in your mixer with a paddle attachment and mix. It’s that easy. Make sure your butter is room temp.

Now the dough needs to be COLD, butter shrinks when you cook it so if you want your beautiful tart to hold it’s shape you need to:

1) Roll the dough out while it’s cold- which is near impossible since butter is solid out of the frig-this is therapy and cathartic, beat it with your rolling pin- I mean it, beat it hard!

2) After you roll out your dough to about 1/8” thick lay it into a tart shell-preferably with a removable bottom, make sure you press it into the corners and refrigerate till it’s COLD before you bake it.

3)Put pie weights in the bottom, or dried beans- I recommend putting the beans in heat proof plastic wrap or tinfoil so you can get them out easily-

Bake at 375 for 10 min and then remove the weights and finish cooking all the way through.


16 oz. half and half

2 oz. sugar

2 ea. Eggs

1 ¼ oz. cornstarch

2 oz. sugar

1 oz. butter

1 t vanilla

Use stainless steel pan. Scald half and half with first 2 oz. sugar. Combine eggs, cornstarch, and sugar and mix until smooth. Temper liquid into egg mixture, return to heat until mix thickens. Pull off heat and add butter and vanilla.

Pastry cream will form a skin on top so if you aren’t going to use it right away wrap it will plastic wrap pressing it directly on top of the cream. Once it’s cold you can spoon it into the cooled tart shell and spread out so that it’s even.

Decorate and completely cover the top of your tart with fresh berries, kiwi, or favorite stone fruit. In order for your berries to retain their color and to look shiny and beautiful dilute a little jelly (apricot is classically used because it’s almost clear) with water and heat up till it’s a little runny and brush on your tart. This will seal it.

Refrigerate or serve!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Butchery and Utilization

Let’s be honest. Americans have become a chicken breast nation. We will happily fork over (sorry for the pun) $8+ for 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts rather than the same amount of money for a whole chicken. And why would we not want two legs, two thighs, 2 breasts, 2 wings and bones for the same price as 2 breasts, because we like the convenience, which of course has gotten us in to a whole mess of trouble in other areas of our diet. It takes effort to separate a chicken into its individual parts, or package those for the freezer, or use the bones to make a stock.

It’s estimated that Americans throw away almost 50% of their food. Fifty percent!!! I don’t know about you but I can’t afford that. Not as a business or as an individual!

I took out my recycling the other day with a moment of glowing pride that my household recycles so much, that we have a compost for the chickens, and a worm bin, and then I took another look and saw that the recycling had paper bags in it from when we forgot the cloth ones, bottles that could have been reused or turned in for deposits, paper that could have been used for scratch, junk mail that we should have called to get removed off the lists, stuff in the garbage that could have been recycled, compost that could have been utilized instead of being thrown out or product that went bad because we didn’t use it when we should have. I still have a long way to go to consume less in general instead of being proud about the items I manage to recycle. I could have saved myself money too.

One of the ways that I try to incorporate utilizing in my life and business is to teach the Snout to Tail classes. What better way to pack your freezer on the cheap than to learn how to break down and utilize an entire animal?? More people are buying whole animals for home or going in with friends, it’s another way you can also find out where your product is coming from.

Our Snout to Tail: Pork! class is coming up Sunday June 26th from 9am-noon. It’s $95 which includes a lecture about meat make up and help you learn that knowing where it comes from will help you know how to cook it. You’ll be the one that breaks down the animal and you’ll take pork home with you. You really can’t beat that deal.

Take another step with me in making our dollars count, using the whole thing, and finding out where all that magical pork comes from.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cooking Classes for Kids

Are you staying in town this summer, trying to save money on gas and travel? Do you know how you are going to continue your kids learning through the months? Why not send them to Portland’s Culinary Workshop to learn vital life skills!

PCW offers kids classes on Thursday morning for children 5 yrs and up and starting in July a teen camp for an entire week. Kids will learn how to make their own Smoothies, Tacos, Crackers, Fruit Leather, Pita Pockets from scratch and more, as well as working in a team environment and developing skills that will last a lifetime. Make sure your kids are prepared with kitchen know-how so they can make healthy choices all while having a great time.

For Teens, July 25th-29th from 9am-noon students will start off learning Knife Techniques, and Cooking 101 and add to their learning throughout the week. Classes can be purchased individually or the whole week for the price of four days.

Register soon on our website though our online store or at 503-512-0447. There are only 7 spots left for the Teen Camp in July.

Kids Classes $45

June 16th Tacos!

June 23rd Smoothies and Snack Bars

June 30th Fruit Leather and Crackers

July 7th Pizza

July 14th Awesome Pita Pockets

July 21st Tacos!

Aug. 4th Sushi

Aug. 11th Pasta from Scratch

Aug. 18th Dips and Salsa, Chips and Crackers

Aug. 25th Muffins and Biscuits

Teen Camp $45 a day or $190 for the week

July 25th Knife Techniques

July 26th Sauces Make it Better

July 27th Cooking 101: Principles of Cooking

July 28th Food from Around the World

July 29th Baking and Desserts