Cooking at Sur La Table

My mom is an excellent cook. For as long as I can remember, she feels at ease in the kitchen and is always challenging herself to learn new techniques and try new recipes. While I have always admired her passion for homemade meals, I sadly am inexperienced in the kitchen (except when it comes to baking).

Therefore, every few months, I like to treat my mom to a cooking class. It is a great opportunity for both of us to learn together, despite our different levels of expertise. While we have explored a number of cooking schools over the past couple of years, a favorite has become Sur La Table.

On Saturday, we took a Homemade Ravioli Workshop. The chef leading the class provided a booklet with instructions, a live demonstration, and answered all of the questions our small group had along the way. In this particular class, we made a smoked salmon ravioli with a vodka cream sauce and a sausage ravioli with a tomato sauce.

The class was two hours long with a short break in the middle. At the end of class, we sat down and enjoyed the ravioli we made. I was surprised to find that pasta dough and ravioli were a lot easier to make than I expected. It was great motivation for me to try new recipes, which I am excited to do for Thanksgiving next week.

While a full price classes can be expensive (this class was $69 per person), Sur La Table often has specials like half price classes.

Here are some photos from the class:

Rolling out the pasta dough was a process! All hands were on deck for this portion of the class.

We made both round and square ravioli. While the square ravioli may not be as pretty, it wasted a lot less dough.

The final product! First, salmon ravioli and below it the sausage. The salmon was definitely my favorite. At first, I felt like the salmon and vodka sauce seemed like an odd combination, but it was absolutely delicious! I can’t want to make the recipe for my fiancĂ©!

Have you taken a class you love? Feel free to share in the comments.

Quick and Easy Mini Apple Pies for the Novice Baker

While I love to bake, I am not a very experienced baker and do not have as many occasions or as much time to bake as I would like.

This week I am participating in a fundraiser, for which I volunteered to bake. After seeing a 2-Ingredient Mini Apple Pie recipe that Pillsbury posted on Pinterest, I decided to give it a try.

It really was as simple as the instructions implied, which can be found here.

I did make a couple of modifications however. First, I baked the apple pies in paper cupcake cups to avoid them sticking to the metal pan.

I also added about a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the icing that came with the cinnamon roll dough and heated it in the microwave for a few seconds prior to putting the icing into a pastry bag and drizzling over the mini apple pies.

I doubled the recipe to make 16 mini pies instead of 8. However, while I doubled the amount of dough, I ended up not needing additional pie filling. I only used one 21-oz can to make all 16 mini pies.

Overall, I thought it was a great and easy-to-follow recipe, not to mention inexpensive and time-saving. The only changes I would make in the future would be to use a pan with bigger “cups” or section out each cinnamon roll pack into more than 8 pieces, as my crust came out a little thick. This is definitely a dessert meant to be served fresh out of the oven. Use caution making the recipe too far in advance, as the crust can become tough.

If you use this recipe or have a great hack to add, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.