Perfecting the classics for the holidays

The past two years, for me anyway, have been about learning the basics, and then pushing the limits, especially during the holidays. Let’s take Thanksgiving for example. Each year, I’ve tried to create something beyond the ordinary — a different spin on turkey, deconstructed green bean casserole, sweet potato souffles, mashed potato croquettes, coulis and unusual sauces.

I realized this year, I miss the classics, and am craving just a regular plate of mashed potatoes, plain old herb stuffing, and a bigger-than-life roasted turkey with nothing but butter, salt, pepper, sage and thyme. And so today, I started on the perfectly classic Thanksgiving. I posted my stuffing recipe on my blog last night — the bread is toasting in the oven as I write.

I’m relaxed, and loving it. A classic Thanksgiving doesn’t seem to bring on the same kind of performance stress as a past Thanksgiving culinary endeavors. But with Thanksgiving sort of taking care of itself, and all of this extra time on my hands {no school this week}, I found myself a little bored this morning and decided to do some pie dough experiments for the Crisco Professional Championships in April. I won the apple division in 2009 and want to try for another win in 2011.

I’ve been working on perfecting the flakiness in my original dough recipe, and I think I’m almost there…it’s taken an entire year of testing. I think today we have the winning formula. I’ll know for sure tomorrow when we have dessert.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of the culinary students, chefs and foodies out there; I hope you have a delicious day!

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
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            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
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            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
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            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
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            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
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