Vermont Culinary Weekend: Orange Crocs and Cooking Class

Hi guys, and happy Friday to you!

Here’s another installment of the Vermont Culinary Weekend getaway from President’s Day Weekend.  When we arrived on Friday night, we took a group cooking class.  The theme of our class was “Cote D’Azur Dreams,” and here is what we learned to cook (all French themed):

  • Salad Nicoise
  • Pissaladiere (caramelized onion & anchovy tart)
  • Bouillabaise (seafood stew)
  • Crepes Suzette

I took a ton of pictures, and feel like these capture the night better than me writing about it can.

The way this class was structured was that everyone got a packet of all the recipes we were going to be making, and these listed out the ingredients and directions.  However, we didn’t really reference them much!  The chefs had each of us contributing here and there for each dish, rather than splitting up the couples to put each couple in charge of one dish like they had us do when Tim and I took a cooking class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts last year.  Both ways were fine, and both were fun, but I found I didn’t learn as much during this cooking class as I did during the Cambridge one because I only learned a couple things based on what my duties were.  So I didn’t really get “the bigger picture,” if that makes sense.

Here are the finished products!

Salad Nicoise

This was AMAZING.  I’m usually a bit hesitant to eat such raw seafood, but I figured if I were to try it anywhere a culinary resort would be a pretty safe bet.  All these ingredients tasted amazing together.  And I actually liked the anchovy included on this!

Caramelized Onion & Anchovy Tart

This one?  Not so much a fan of.  Didn’t really do much for me.  It was fine, but I wouldn’t make it again on my own.


Uh-maze-ing!  So much flavor.  I’m hoping Tim will want to give this a go sometime.  🙂

Crepes Suzette

We all had fun flipping the crepes (except for me who couldn’t do it right and felt embarrassed).  This was so tasty too, but put me WAY over the edge after eating each course.  Definitely had to unzip my pants for the rest of the night!

We enjoyed a nice sit down dinner with each course after the class was done.  With wine, of course!

Oh, and I almost forgot something.

Vinnie’s Mario Batali-esque orange crocs were the perfect addition to the night.

Ever taken a cooking class before?  What did you learn to make?

Only one more of these Vermont Culinary Weekend installments to go!

A Must Try! Baked Oatmeal Casserole


How’s everyone’s week going?  Not to sound dramatic, but I sure am having quite the roller coaster of a week.  I’m all over the place and have definitely had a couple lot of breakdowns, but the quote I posted last night is helping me chug along.  When things feel out of control I just need to pause, take a deep breath, and remember that everything will be worth it in the end.


Yesterday I worked from home, which really was probably for the best so I didn’t hurt anyone at work with my mood.  And aside from baking a delicious breakfast I don’t think I moved out of my desk chair.  Like all day.  It was my off day from the gym, I probably injured my bladder from not getting up to go to the bathroom until the very last possible second, and I definitely didn’t drink enough water.

Yesterday me = bad healthy living model.


That delicious breakfast I just mentioned?

Delicious AND nutritious.  I stumbled upon the recipe on fANNEtastic food awhile ago, and I bookmarked it for when I felt like whipping up a fun breakfast.  Well, yesterday was that day.  I whipped it right up.  Whipped it good.  Whipped it real good.

You guys must try this.  I promise you won’t regret.

Baked Oatmeal Casserole

Serves 4

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit — I used raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts of your choice — I actually meant to use up the rest of my walnuts and FORGOT.  Shoot.
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Wet Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups skim or low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 ripe banana, chopped (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring gently until mixed.
  5. Coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray; pour in batter.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.  Serve warm.

Don’t you want to just grab that fork and gobble that slice right up?  This literally tasted like dessert, but it was a healthy breakfast!

Added bonus:  Vanilla Oikos Greek yogurt on top, and a handful of blueberries!  I actually doubled the recipe (note when I doubled the recipe and used a 9×13 I needed to cook for a few minutes longer than the called for 20) and baked a big batch of it so I could share with my roomies and Tim (you’re welcome!) and enjoy for the next couple of days.  I’m thinking it doesn’t really stand a chance at lasting very long though!

This kept me full for hours, so lunchtime yesterday wasn’t until 2.  I enjoyed some of the cucumber and black-eyed pea salad I put together on Monday to have on hand for the week.

And then for dinner, I had MORE salad.  And then more oatmeal bake for dessert.  Is it weird to eat a repeat breakfast and lunch as your dinner/dessert combo?

Oh well.

Ever eat the same meal twice in one day? 

Off to shower off the Circuit Training class I just taught, get my butt to work, and then survive the day.  Week 4 of Wellcoaches class tonight!