Gifts for Foodies in the Learning Center

On December 19th, 2012, the Learning Center was ringing in the holiday spirit with “gifts for foodies.” The menu included sweet and savory treats, baking and pickling, and strawberry dipping. Healthy Living’s Service Lead, Trisha, was a student in the classroom and shares the experience:

Gifts for Foodies Learning Center Class

Chef Instructor Nina Lesser-Goldsmith scoops brown sugar cookies onto a baking sheet. After patiently waiting for butter to brown, but not burn, we mixed it with dark brown butter, eggs, vanilla, our dry ingredients and chopped pecans. The butter was aromatic and had a nutty smell to it during the browning process that was out of this world. The cookies came out amazing!

Chef Nina lead us in a demonstration on how to make Bourbon Kissed Cranberry Relish.


Chef Nina and Learning Center Assistant, Lauren, peeling the skin off of boiled golden beets:

Peeling Beets











We made Pickled Golden Beets with Cinnamon and Star Anise, which was another vibrant and delicious gift idea. The smell of boiling apple cider vinegar, sugar and spices filled the room as we sliced onion and golden beets.











The golden beets were absolutely beautiful. All the students jarred up their recipe to take home.

The class favorite may well have been candied almonds – so simple, yet so incredibly delicious. Seven simple ingredients were combined and spread on a baking sheet.  The room could not have smelled any better with toasting cinnamon and caramelizing sugar coated almonds in the oven. A few students decided to dip the candied almonds in melted chocolate. It was incredible.

Chocolate Dipping

Chocolate covered strawberries – need I say more? The class learned from Nina how to temper chocolate before diving in berry first into melted semisweet chocolate.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries