Nervous probably couldn't even begin to describe what I was feeling when I first walked into the class kitchen, I mean here I was back in school of all things! I didn't know how I should address the professor, call him Chef, Sir, Mr./Ms. ______ or something different! At least the equipment looked familiar (twins of the J. Clarke kitchens) but I didn't know just how much us students were trusted with on our own. Turns out I didn't have to worry at all. The prof came breezing in with a big smile on his face and introduced himself heartily to everyone. I instantly felt "this is a guy who loves his job". Turns out I was right. Chef Amjad (just Amjad to us students) was full of stories about his experiences with food, starting out in culinary school in a butchery class where they docked 10% for each piece of meat left on the bone, and joking about how with a plastic bowl scraper (my arch-enemy, never will I own one I tell you!) you will make enough money to buy a condo in Florida. Not only is the prof a great guy, he genuinely cares about the students, taking the time to explain certain questions and quirks with the recipes and paying attention to how each of us worked from start to finish on our pie doughs. For any J. Clarke Richardson kids who happen to read this, Amjad reminds me of Mr. Kondracki! It was a great relief to me to have the experience start off so well, God only knows if we had been given a Gordon Ramsay!
As you can no doubt see by the photos, our first two classes were focussed on the art of pie dough and apple pies. My partner (Ferdie) and I scaled out our ingredients as quickly as possible, given the 24:3 student:scale ratio we had, and my somewhat sad hand-peeling technique (12 kg of apples with one able peeler and me... that takes patience!). After that, it was a breeze... we had plenty of time to chat amongst ourselves (and on week two a group of us even went to Starbucks while the pies baked). I have to say I am glad to have met all the people in my class and I hope to continue fostering the friendships. Here's my cheesy shout-out to both Ferdie and Phil, who unfortunately are the only two names I can remember (I will get better, promise)!
But anyways (and no more apples for a few days), wow, who knew there were so many random foodie events in the world? Today is Blondie Day, which is awesome! Back when I was a starry-eyed young'un, banging my head against the wall while being stuck in Political Science at Carleton University (why I chose that major is beyond me, though it is an awesome university, IMHO - gotta love those underground tunnels in -40C weather!) their all-you-can-eat cafeteria had some of the most amazing blondies I'd ever eaten. Sigh... good old Aramark and your factory-produced delicacies!
For a still delicious and slightly less processed gooey-chewy blondie sensation, I teamed up butterscotch chips, caramel candies and marshmallows with the brown sugar and butter base. I tell you, it is hell to chew if you have fillings, but heaven in your mouth once it melts! These make a big batch, which is good if you do a lot of bakesales for school or charity.
Makes 20 decent-sized squares
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
4 oz chewy caramel candies
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F, grease a 9x13" pan.
- Melt butter, butterscotch chips and caramels together, stirring. Cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, beat together brown sugar, eggs, & vanilla.
- Stir in the melted mixture, then add the dry ingredients, mixing until smooth.
- Fold in marshmallows and chocolate chips.
- Bake 15 minutes being careful not to overbake!
- Cool completely before cutting.
Total Fat: 8.6 g
Cholesterol: 34.9 mg
Sodium: 103.9 mg
Total Carbs: 34.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 2.4 g