Monday, August 25, 2014

Re-Visited: Cooking Club #4

[Original post date Nov. 2011. --Updated 8/25/14: original, but separate, content, with updated photos and/or more details, if available.]

---> Cooking Club is coming up soon, and now that I'm blogging, I want to share these moments but I thought I should play catch-up first. So without further ado, here (and in more posts to come) is what we've been up to. Enjoy!

Jenny and I putting the final touches on the cupcakes.

#4 October: Interpretation of Orange
The Menu:
Orange Dream Delights
         Main Course
Ma Po Tofu
Apricot Kielbasa Slices
Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Sauce
Orange Rice Skillet
Mandarin Orange Fluff Dessert

I'd like to announce that Cooking Club now has eight members! Apparently my co-workers love to cook, which is awesome. This month our fellow co-worker, Kelly along with her two teenaged-daughters, Angelica and Rosea, and Jessica's sister Melanie joined. There was so much fun and craziness going on in Jessica's small kitchen. We actually had to make our dishes in shifts, but that just meant more hands to help. 

And this month's theme, not sure where it came from, but it left the guidelines wide open. We could either use an actual orange, or any ingredient that was the color orange.

Remember how I went on and on about peaches and them being my favorite fruit and all in the cobbler Cooking Club post, well guess what I brought this month that was orange?


Again, I spent hours going through cookbooks (I have a plethora; I guess it's something I collect) trying to find the perfect "orange" recipe. Nothing satisfied, and I remembered that I had marked some recipes online. Enter Peaches 'N Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes.

Another thing you need to know about me: I.LOVE.CHEESECAKE. There aren't even the right words in our English language to describe my love for this sinful dessert. Every year on my birthday, instead of cake, I get CHEESEcake. I'm so in love. Mr. B understands. I love cheesecake like he loves pretzels. However, I never keep it in the house because I too will devour it in its entirety.

Cheesecake + peaches = perfection.

So imagine my disappointment when these failed. Jessica said she thought they were great and was planning on making them again the following week, but I disagreed. I know cheesecake. And there was just something about the way these set up that wasn't cheesecake-worthy.

My recipe looks yummy.

Everything else was tasty, except the Mandarin Orange Fluff Dessert. It had pineapple. I hate pineapple. I can detect it in anything. [Trust me, my family has tried to pull one on me here and there. But I always know.] Alas, that is another Cooking Club rule: You must take at least one bite of every dish. (However now, after my strong fight to worm my way out of tasting, we all know who doesn't like what and we adjust our recipes accordingly. Of course, this excludes any allergies, or insensitivities, which we aim to avoid any way.)
This month my favorite recipe was the Apricot Kielbasa Slices that Rosea made. Quite tasty, and I think my hubby would even approve. Also, we had our first Cooking Club mishap. Apparently Andrew's pan was a little too hot, and when he added the chili oil, the kitchen was engulfed in spicy fumes. We were all gasping for fresh air!

Apricot Kielbasa Slices
Andrew's Ma Pa Tofu cleared the kitchen.
The spicy fumes were so much, we all ended up outside gasping
for fresh air. My lungs were burning!

*I hope you enjoyed these Cooking Club snippets. There are many more to come as I try to play catch-up before this month's meeting. I hope these themes, and even Cooking Club itself, inspire you to gather with your friends and family in the kitchen, and make sweet moments (and delicious food) of your own.

**I've only included the recipes to the dishes I made. Only because I'm unsure of where everyone got theirs...and hey, we gotta give credit where credit is due. If you have any questions about the other dishes, I'll ask the other members where they got their recipes and pass it along!

Check out our previous meetings!
Cooking Club #1
Cooking Club #2
Cooking Club #3

[Update: I've included the link to Jessica's homemade pumpkin ravioli recipe, and a few more pictures of my favorite tasty dishes recreated at home.]

Pssst...In honor of National Peach Month, here are a few of my favorite peach dishes, including a great morning smoothie, a family favorite cobbler, and a mouth-watering tart. What's your favorite peach dish?

With Love and God Bless,

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