Spring Detox Cooking Class at Ramekins Culinary School

Ramekins Culinary School, Events, and Inn features chefs from around the globe in their cooking courses. We were lucky enough to attend their Spring Detox Class with Chef Molly Molofsky and Chef Brigitte Theriault. Around this time of year I think we could all use a little cleanse, so this class came at the perfect time. Summer is around the corner, and our new years resolutions we may have made (and even attempted to stick to) have probably gone to the wayside. If you are like me, and generally just need a little extra inspiration to get things moving, you've come to the right place! 

Chef Molly Molofsky is a certified nutritionist and personal chef for people with specialized diets. She studied holistic nutrition at Bauman College and transitioned into being a personal chef after assessing the needs of her nutritional clients. She met Chef Brigitte Theriault through Theriault's online courses about jump-starting a business as a personal chef. Brigitte has over 10 years experience in the personal chef industry and found her true passion in creating healthy foods that taste as good as they are for your body. The two found that they had much in common, quickly became friends, and recently came together to collaborate on the menu for the Spring Detox Cooking Class. Stay tuned for so much more from these two by subscribing to their newsletters via their websites, here, and here. Also, keep your eyes peeled because they have some really exciting things coming, like online nutrition and cooking classes! Brigitte is also getting ready to make the move to Sonoma, so let's give her a big wine country welcome to town. She will be providing her personal chef services to the Sonoma are as well.

The menu for the night was as follows:

  • Green Detox Vegetable Soup
  • Ginger Turmeric Carrot Soup + Cashew Cream
  • Layered Lentil and Roasted Vegetable Mason Jar Salads
  • Freezer Smoothie Bags

The common thread between all of these recipes was that they had simple ingredients and simple preparation. When you see how easy it can be to prepare good, healthy food in your own kitchen, a spring cleanse is a no brainer! The key is to balance your intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats- you need all of them! But, you need high quality carbohydrates, proteins, and fats- not just anything will do. Pay attention to the oils you cook with, how much a food has been processed, and how many ingredients they have. In general, the simpler, the better! Your body has all the tools it needs to cleanse itself and all you have to do is make sure you aren't polluting your system with what you are eating. It can seem overwhelming but professionals like Molly and Bridgitte are here just for that reason- to simplify people's lives by providing them with healthy, home-cooked meals. 

Ramekins Culinary School cooking classes are certainly a team effort. The group was broken up into smaller teams to tackle each of the recipes Molly and Brigitte had formulated for the class. ASL was on team Ginger Turmeric Carrot Soup + Cashew Cream. The Cashew Cream was what we were most curious about, and it was beyond simple to make! Simply blend cashews, lemon, salt, and varying amounts of water (depending on how thick or thin you would like the cream to be). If you make the cream thicker you can actually replicate ricotta cheese by letting the cream sit in a cheese cloth. If you make it thinner, you have cashew milk! We were blown away by the simplicity of something that appears to be "one of those healthy things that is too much work". Not to mention, it is delicious! It is a great substitute for dairy if you choose not to include that in your diet.

We chopped carrots, shaved ginger, and eventually, had a delicious soup to enjoy and share with all of our peers! Although we did not get to have our hands on every single recipe, we left with a handy booklet full of notes so that we could replicate everything at home. 

One of the biggest takeaways from the class was that everyone needs to take into consideration the basic rules of nutrition, but do what works best for their own body and system. Everyone has their own quirks, and finding a way to create delicious, but still healthy food makes everyone happier!

Another big takeaway was about this thing called the instant pot... We had never heard of it but it is essentially a more high tech version of an electric pressure cooker. Both Molly, Bridgitte, and a few members of the class had nothing but good things to say about the instant pot. It makes preparing healthy, flavor-packed food simple and quick. You would use it similarly to how you use a crock pot- except it will take 20 minutes instead of hours. We are definitely very curious and may have to check them out more closely. If you've ever used one, let us know!

The Spring Detox Cooking Class was the perfect way to find a little balance here in wine country! We can't say thank you enough to Ramekins Culinary School for hosting the event, and to Chef Molly and Chef Bridgitte for sharing their knowledge and passion for food!

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A Grown Up Easter Basket, By Salt and Pepper Co.

Easter is coming up quickly (I mean we are already half way through March for crying out loud), and we sat down with Mary Noon from Salt and Pepper Co. to create a grown-up spin on the classic Easter basket. 

"When I think Easter, I think elegance, pastels, celebration, and family gathering." - Mary Noon

Mary created an Easter "brunch basket" for two, complete with tea cups, champagne flutes, votives, fresh florals, and much more. It is the perfect reason to cuddle up with your special someone, your family, or your friends, on Easter Sunday. Inspired by the beautiful pastel colors Easter is known for, Mary chose lavender hues for the napkins and flowers.

Accented by white and gold tea cups, and crystal votives, this basket brings an elegance that is often lost in children's Easter baskets. The bottle of Sofia Blanc de Blancs by Francis Ford Coppola Winery has floral details on the label, and paired with a bottle of St. Germain makes for the perfect spring cocktail to accompany your Easter celebrations.

Mary's exquisite taste and thoughtful curation shine through in every piece of this basket. There is no detail left forgotten, and you can see that in the presentation and contents of each box that Mary produces. 

A little bit more about Salt and Pepper Co.

Founder and Owner Mary Noon used to be a wedding planner. It was through her experience in the wedding industry that she saw an opportunity to create custom, high end wedding welcome baskets. After a bride accidentally forgot to blind copy a group of planners on an email inquiry, Mary and her fellow wedding planners got to talking. She realized just how great a need there was for a company like Salt and Pepper Co., and the rest is history! Now, Mary draws most of her inspiration from the changing seasons, and sources product through boutique shopping and exploring instagram. Each box or idea is expanded from the inspiration of a photo- and built from that environment that the photo portrays. As you can see, Mary's work is beyond beautiful for any occasion. Check out her website here for more!

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