Thursday, December 16, 2010

Private cooking lesson

Mike surprised Rachel with a cooking lesson for her birthday. Check below to hear about some of the recipes they prepared.
"The lesson was really great and it was wonderful to have met and cooked with you! Mike and I really enjoyed the time together. Yes - Mike did a great job with the risotto and remembered to season it. That was actually my favorite part of the meal! Everything turned out great, however, and Mike and I had to split the leftovers (which is really saying something from someone who doesn't eat leftovers very often!) Mike's favorite recipe was the salad dressing. He just loved it. Thank you again for a great experience!"
Rachel D., Taunton, Mass.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Culinary Team Building

This marketing group from a worldwide company had lots of fun producing a 5 course holiday dinner. As you can see from this video clip, they were a very creative group!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Multicolored Baked Peppers

©1991 "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours""

1 lb ground beef
6 large red, green or yellow peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 C pignolia nuts (pine nuts)
1/2 C pitted black olives, sliced
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 C flavored bread crumbs
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper, to taste

Cut peppers into strips and place in a greased 9"x13" pan. Add everything except bread crumbs and oil. Then sprinkle bread crumbs on top and drizzle with oil. Bake uncovered at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Hint: The dish can be assembled early in the day and baked at serving time. Pignolia, or pine nuts, are usually found in the gourmet or international food sections of most supermarkets or at specialty stores.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Private cooking lesson

"The lesson was certainly enjoyable. I never thought that we could make so much flavorful food in so little time. We made four dishes in the amount of time it normally would take for me to make one and the prep work was surprisingly minimal."
Michael T., Hyde Park, Massachusetts

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Private cooking lesson

Melissa, a new bride, enjoyed learning to use many of her wedding gifts, while incorporating new cooking techniques and producing a delicious dinner.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chocolate Pecan Pie Squares

3 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1 C butter or margarine, softened
Dash salt

1-1/2 C Karo light or dark corn syrup
6 squares (6 oz) semi-sweet or German’s sweet chocolate
1-1/2 C sugar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 C pecans, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, beat flour and sugar with butter and salt until mixture resemble coarse crumbs. Press firmly into a greased 10-1/2”x15-1/2” cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. While crust is baking, stir corn syrup and chocolate in a double boiler, or over low heat, just until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Fold in pecans. Pour filling over hot crust, spreading evenly. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until filling is firm around edges and slightly soft in center. Cool in pan on wire rack. When cool, cut into squares.
Yield: 48 squares

Hint: If you want to cut the recipe in half, bake in a 7”x11” pan.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Culinary Team Building

This Quality Management Group recently enjoyed cooking their lunch, presenting it and then eating it while overlooking a foliage-rimmed lake.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Apple and Butternut Squash Bisque

©1991 "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 small (1 lb) butternut squash, unpeeled, seeded and
...cut in half
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
Pinch rosemary
Pinch thyme
1 qt chicken broth
2 slices white or whole wheat bread, trimmed and cubed
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 C light or medium cream

Combine everything except cream in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Scoop out the squash pulp and discard the skin. Return the squash pulp to the pan. Purée the entire mixture in a food processor or blender. Return the puree to the saucepan. Add the cream and then heat, but do not boil.

Hint: If desired, pre-cook the squash in the microwave. Wash the squash and prick it all over with the tines of a fork. Cook on high for 10 minutes. Cool and cut open. Remove the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and put it in the saucepan with all the other ingredients. Reduce simmering time to 35 minutes. This soup is perfect for a tailgate picnic on a brisk fall day. It can easily be kept hot in a thermos and served in mugs. Bread sticks or croutons are a good accompaniment.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Private cooking lesson

Can you tell by looking at Steve how much he enjoyed his birthday cooking lesson?

"I never thought taking a cooking class would be as fun and enjoyable as this one. The experience was fantastic. Ellie was so great...We had great conversation, the recipes were so simple and easy to make, but the end result was some of the most incredible food. I highly recommend anyone who likes to eat to take a class with her!"
Tara B., North Easton, Massachusetts

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Microwave Meat Loaf

©1999 "So Easy, So Delicious"

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/3 C bread crumbs
1/4 C ketchup
2 T water
Garlic powder, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

2 T ketchup
1 T water
1 small onion, sliced

Whisk together ketchup and water. Pour over meat loaf. Place onion slices on top. Cover with wax paper and microwave on high for 13 to 14 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

Hint: You can slice leftovers and use them for sandwiches, or freeze in individual portions for future meals. If you prefer, you can bake the meat loaf in a conventional oven at 350° for 1 hour. Ground turkey or chicken may be substituted for the beef; however more seasoning will be required for these.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Culinary Team Building

Culinary Team Building provides “bonding over a hot skillet”, a delicious meal and lots of fun!

"As a company that does team building ourselves, we found that ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ was a great way to build team spirit and collaboration in a friendly competitive atmosphere. I would highly recommend it!"
Paul H., Norwood, Mass.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Spaghetti Salad

©1991 "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"

To give this recipe a real nutritional boost, use spaghetti that is high in fiber. Also, if you prefer goat cheese rather than Feta, that also works well.

8 oz spaghetti, cooked and drained
4 medium tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 cucumber, peeled and cut in chunks
1 onion, chopped
1/4 C parsley, chopped
1/3 to 1/2 Ib Feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 C olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T wine vinegar
1 T sugar
T fresh basil, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
Dash Tabasco sauce

Combine ingredients for dressing and refrigerate for several hours or up to a few days ahead. Cook spaghetti and drain. Transfer to a large bowl. While spaghetti is still hot, mix with Feta cheese. Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion and parsley. Add dressing and toss.

Hint: If you find that Feta cheese is too salty, try the imported Feta from France. It is much creamier in texture and a lot less salty than domestic Feta. You may substitute 1 heaping tablespoon of dried parsley for the fresh parsley. The ratio between fresh to dried herbs is 3:1. You need three times as much of the fresh as dried.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Strawberry Cheese Pie

© 1991 "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"

Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 lb cream cheese, at room temp.
2 eggs
2/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 C sour cream
2 T sugar
3/4 to 1 C red currant jelly
2 pts fresh strawberries

Combine cream cheese, eggs and ⅔ cup sugar and beat for about 10 minutes. Fold in vanilla. Pour into prepared crust and bake at 325° for 40 to 45 minutes. Mix sour cream with 2 tablespoons sugar, spoon on top of pie and bake 5 minutes longer. Cool. Melt jelly until syrupy. Coat each strawberry with jelly and place on pie, stem end down. Pour remaining jelly over the top. Chill. When fresh berries are not available, canned pie filling may be used as topping.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Private cooking lesson

As you tell, Matt enjoyed his birthday cooking lesson!

"Food was great, thanks."
Matt T., Upton, Mass.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Delectable Blueberry Muffins

1 egg
1/2 C milk
1/4 C canola oil
1-1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 C blueberries

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk and oil. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Blend two mixtures together until smooth. Gently fold in blueberries. Ladle batter into 10 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 400° for 17 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean.
Yield: 10 muffins

Hint: These muffins are so simple to make that you don't even need an electric mixer. Fresh or frozen berries may be used.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pre-Baby Dinner Party

"Thanks to Ellie and her fun filled cooking lesson, we had a wonderful Mexican dinner party. We got hands on experience cooking a 3 course meal together along with many laughs along the way. I highly recommend Ellie for any party!"

Rachel G., Brookline, Mass.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Private cooking lesson

Fahd’s wife gave him the gift of a cooking lesson as a birthday gift. As you can see by his smile, he seems to be enjoying himself!

"Thank you so much for a wonderful cooking lesson Friday night! We had so much fun and are still enjoying the leftovers - and the crab rangoons and shortcut cannolis were a huge hit today at our Mother's Day get together!"

Renee S., Worcester, Mass.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Private cooking lesson

Sasha, quite an experienced cook, skillfully enjoyed the challenge of working with filo dough.

Mandarin Salad

© 1991 "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"

  • 1/2 C sliced almonds

  • 3 T sugar

  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce

  • 1/2 head Romaine lettuce

  • 1 C celery, chopped

  • 2 scallions, chopped

  • 11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 C olive or canola oil

  • 2 T sugar

  • 2 T cider vinegar

  • Dash Tabasco sauce

In a small pan over medium heat cook almonds and sugar; stir constantly until almonds are coated and sugar is dissolved. Cool and store in an airtight container. Combine all dressing ingredients and chill. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add celery, scallions and oranges. Just before serving, add almonds and dressing and then toss.

Hint: When heating almonds and sugar, watch constantly so that they don't burn. The almonds may be caramelized several days in advance and stored in a tin. The only problem is that they are so delicious that there may not be any left when you go to serve the salad! This salad has gotten rave reviews at many of my cooking classes and dinner parties!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kid's birthday party

Kailey obviously is enjoying her cooking birthday party!
"Thanks again."
Julianne W., Sudbury, Mass.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rachel's bachelorette party

A bachelorette cooking party was the perfect choice for a future bride who loves to cook.

"Thank you so much, Ellie! We had so much fun :)"

Rachel, R., Braintree, Massachusetts

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kid's birthday party

Lily celebrated her 9th birthday with her friends, while they all cooked their own lunch.

"Our daughter (& son) and 9 of her closest friends had a wonderful time celebrating her 9th birthday with Ellie. Dressed in chef hats and aprons, the girls really enjoyed making their own fruit dip & kebabs and personalized pizzas from scratch. The girls also showcased their creative talents by decorating a giant -- the biggest we've seen -- chocolate chip cookie. Of course, the most memorable were all the creative imperfections and resulting laughter shared by all.

Ellie was a calm, soothing presence amidst all the enthusiasm and creativity. She handled the girls (and our boy) with patience and care. She clearly was a seasoned veteran in the kitchen, even with 10 third grader sous-chefs working with her. Thanks Ellie for a memorable 'Lets Get Cooking™ party."
Nicole C., Acton, MA

Friday, April 2, 2010

Private cooking lesson

Knowing how much David wants to learn more about cooking, his wife and son gave him the gift of a private cooking lesson last Father’s Day.

Cooking with Ellie is much more than figuring out the difference between a pinch and a dash ... it’s about unleashing the cook within. She removes the intimidation from cooking so you can take pleasure in the process and pride in the results. We chopped, sliced, sautéed, mixed, and baked, and the food on the plate more than satisfied both the palate and the appetite. In addition to her excellent book of recipes, Ellie left me with an appreciation for cooking and a confidence that I could hold my own in the kitchen.

David B., Newton, MA

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chocolate Macaroons

4 oz semi sweet chocolate
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 egg whites
½ C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 C shredded coconut

Melt both chocolates in a double boiler or in the microwave. In an electric mixer, beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the sugar. Fold in vanilla and melted chocolate. Add coconut and mix until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto 2 greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for about 12 minutes, or until a light crust forms on the outside. Cool on cookie sheets or move to a cooling rack.
Yield: 24 macaroons

Hint: These macaroons will keep well in a tin.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Roasted Ratatouille

1 medium eggplant (1 lb), peeled and cut into ½" cubes
2 medium zucchini, cut into ½" pieces
1 medium onion, cut into ½" pieces
1 red pepper, cut into ½" pieces
2 to 3 T olive oil
4 T balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 T basil
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
14½ oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

Combine all the fresh vegetables in a large shallow roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine oil, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables, tossing to coat. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Then stir in tomatoes and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Serve hot or at room temperature.


1 loaf French bread, about 3" in diameter, sliced into 1” pieces, pita triangles or English muffin halves, cut into quarters
2 C Mozzarella, Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Place ratatouille on slices of toasted French bread, pita bread triangles or English muffins. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 5 to 6 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Hint: Ratatouille can be made a few days in advance. Let it cool and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Private cooking lesson

As you can probably tell, Channing was enjoying his cooking lesson, which was a birthday gift from his wife.

"All of the food was very good and everyone who came over for dinner enjoyed it as well."
..............................Channing F., Wayland, Massachusetts

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Private cooking lesson

Family from Vienna gave Sarah and Patrick a gift certificate for a cooking lesson as a Christmas present.
"We thoroughly enjoyed cooking with Ellie! The recipes we prepared were easy, yet with a certain twist and will become standards in our kitchen! Ellie's cooking expertise as well as the fun we had chatting with her about cooking and beyond really made the evening a memorable experience and a great Christmas present for us!

We really had a great time, and I already wrote a glowing email to my sister-in-law who was very happy that we enjoyed her present!

I need to have a closer look at the cook book you gave us, and if I have any questions on the recipes, I might get back to you!"
...............................Sarah & Patrick W., Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Private cooking lesson

Elaine and Frank enjoyed their cooking lesson, which was given to them by their children.

"Thanks so much for a wonderful experience! The lesson was interesting, fun, informative and best of all left us with some great food. You have awakened our taste buds and we are looking forward to trying the many interesting receipes in your cook book."
............................Frank and Elaine C., Topsfield, Mass.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Susie's 'French Picnic' shower

Since Susie has studied in France, and teaches French, her friends and family surprised her with a 'French Picnic' in February - in Wellesley! Here she and her fiance are working on cheese soufflés.

"Thank you so much for all of YOUR help. Everyone enjoyed it immensely, even more than I had hoped!"
.............................Janeen H., Wellesley, Massacusetts

Monday, February 1, 2010

Raspberry Brownies

© 1991 "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"

2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter or margarine
2 eggs
2/3 C sugar
2 tsp raspberry liqueur (Chambord, or Framboise (optional)
1/2 C seedless raspberry jam
2/3 C flour
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 C chocolate chips

Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling on the top
In a double boiler, melt unsweetened chocolate and butter or margarine, stirring until smooth; cool slightly. Whisk in eggs, sugar, jam and liqueur. Fold in flour, salt, baking powder and chocolate chips. The mixture will be thin. Pour into a greased, 8 or 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350° or 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut when cool.

Hint: You can melt the butter or margarine and chocolate in a microwave instead of a double boiler. To serve, sprinkle confectioners' sugar on the brownies or, to make them look spectacular, cut them into small squares and make a rosette of whipped cream in the center of each square. Place a fresh raspberry on each rosette. Serve on a platter lined with a white doily. The brownies may be made up to 2 days in advance or frozen. Decorate with whipped cream and berries 1 hour in advance.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Private cooking lesson

"Thank you so much for the lesson!!! I really enjoyed it and look forward to scheduling some more with you. All of the food was delicious! We are enjoying it and I'm sure my parents will too when they visit this weekend.

Thanks so much again!"
.............................................Danielle D., Needham, MA

Friday, January 1, 2010

Fish and Spinach in Foil

4 C (6 oz) fresh spinach leaves
4 salmon, halibut or cod fillets
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 T orange juice
1 to 1½ T olive oil
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 scallions, chopped

Spread out 4 rectangles of foil, approximately 10”x12” each. Divide spinach among the pieces of foil, mounding it at the center. Season fillets with cumin, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and place on top of spinach. Whisk the orange juice, oil and ginger together and drizzle over the fish. Sprinkle with the chopped scallions. Bring the 2 longest opposite ends of the foil together and fold over tightly. Then seal the other 2 ends. Place foil packets on a cookie sheet and bake at 450° for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until fish is cooked through.