The Hummingbird’s Kitchen - by Adrienne Schroeder

February 19, 2013

Posted By: Shaunescy

I’ve always heard about group cooking classes but I’ve never taken one.  It’s been on my list of things to do…  But when a friend of mine recently told me about an Asian cooking class she took, I was intrigued.  I think toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger are three of my favorite ingredients to cook with.

My 10-year old daughter actually made fun of me over Christmas break when she realized I eat stir-fry every single day for lunch.   Come to think of it, one of my roommates in college also commented on how often I made stir-fry … I might have a stir-fry problem.  Anyway, my friend who had taken the class said the food was fantastic and when I met the woman who teaches it, I was in.  She’s so friendly and always seems to have a smile on her face.  Her name is Linda Huang and she teaches the cooking classes for The Hummingbird’s Kitchen at The Emerson.  (I always love an excuse to go to The Emerson.)

It’s $50.00 for a two-hour class (she teaches them twice a month) and she provides everything you need to create your new recipes.  The night I went each student made three different dishes and Linda demonstrated a fourth that we all got to try.  I told her I was a vegetarian and she said that was no problem; she just set me up with tofu instead of meat.  When I got there, she had 8 stations set up and each one had it’s own burner, it’s own wok, saucepan, cutting board, various utensils, lots of spices, and all the fresh ingredients we would need for the evening.

I would be cooking three different tofu dishes while the others in the class cooked chicken, beef and tofu.  First I made Ma Po Tofu.  It was really spicy which I loved, used silken tofu instead of the firm I normally buy, and included fermented black beans, which I’d never cooked with before.  I have a bag in my cabinet now.  I love the flavor.

Then I made Stir-Fry Cucumber with Baked Tofu, and Stir-Fry and Cilantro with Pickled Pepper.  They were all delicious!

A friend of mine went with me to the class and it was so fun!  Like a mini girl’s night out.  We got to cook and eat a grown up meal without having to stop 30 times to get our kids milk, or help them find a toy, or take someone to the bathroom, or try to remind two toddlers to share and not fight with each other…

It was also great for me to cook familiar foods but with different herbs and spices.  It really changed the flavor of the whole dish.  Everything was simple to make but also new to me.  For example, I have never, in all my years of making my vegetarian stir-fries, cooked with cucumbers or cilantro.  Those have always been on my summer list of ingredients and I mostly used them in salads or quesadillas.  I don’t think about them for hot dishes.  But they were fantastic and gave each stir-fry such a light, fresh taste.   How could I have never tried that?!  Plus I got to bring home the leftovers, and a handy little recipe book of everything we cooked complete with where to buy the more obscure ingredients like the fermented black beans.  (Town and Country).

I’ve since made all of the dishes at home, and I think they’ll end up in my rotation on a regular basis.   I had the best time, the food was great, and it was worth the money.  (It would be a fun date night too…)

Next I want to take one of her Thai classes…

You can find Linda on Facebook by clicking HERE .


Today's guest blog is from Adrienne Schroeder who writes . Adrienne is a mother of three (vegetarian) children who loves to create simple, healthy meals for her family.  She is also a local photographer whose work has been published in Montana Parent, Mothering and Parenting magazines and can be seen at www. adrienneschroederphotography. com. 

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