A New Twist With Hunger Games – Pots and Plots

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As you know, I’m a wannabe foodie. I love recipes, eating, following a recipe and eating. You get the idea. I’ve had it on the Quest List for a while now to take a cooking class from a fancy foodie place. I finally found the class for me!

It wasn’t your run of the mill cooking class. I need something out of the ordinary. This was a Pots and Plots class. Each month they pick a popular book and create a menu based on what the main character in the book would eat. There’s also an in depth discussion on the book during the eating part of the class, but that pretty much took a backseat for me.

Hunger Games MenuThe class I took was Hunger Games and I had to wait until I arrived to find out what we would be preparing. I admit I didn’t read the book, but I saw the movie. That counts and thankfully I wasn’t the only cheater in the bunch. They started out talking about Katniss and explaining why each dish was chosen for the evening.

We then got the rundown on what we were going to do and we all washed our hands. There were 5 stations and we paired up at a station of our choice to get to work. It was like on a network cooking show where there were little bowls of ingredients everywhere, measuring spoons and cups, and a recipe to follow at each table. We did have to cut and chop a few things and measure out the proper portions.

Date SaladI chose the salad/dressing station and introduced myself to my partner. We got started and fell into a great partnership while dividing up duties. She cut the fresh figs and I used a lemon juicer gadget for the first time ever. Yes, it’s true. I have always juiced by hand! I’m so old school. That gadget was the shizzle and now you know what to get me for my birthday. 😉

Everyone else set about their stations and it all seemed to come together at the perfect time. Salad and bruschetta was up first, and we snacked on that while waiting for the main course. They had a lot of tips on stretching an expensive cut of meat – (hint mix lamb chunks with boneless skinless chicken thighs). Add a punch of flavor to your mashed potatoes with caramelized onions. Holy tater gods they were good! We also had champagne with mint and crushed blackberries to go with our dark chocolate cake concoction.

Lamb Stew and PotatoesI loved that all the portions were small, non-restaurant sized! This made it perfect for me to stay on plan while still enjoying myself. You’ve no idea how much that made a difference to me to actually participate in the eating part. I did skip the salad dressing though since it had so much oil. Old habits are hard to overcome all at once. I’d rather eat the chocolate dessert than use up calories on salad dressing any day!

I was quite impressed at the interactiveness (I just made that word up) of the evening. All of us strangers just paired up perfectly at our stations like a team. No one argued over who was doing what and the discussion flowed very easily. We all participated in some way and no one sat back quietly. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Unfortunately I felt an uncontrollable urge to recreate a couple recipes later with my own modifications. I immediately walked downstairs and made a couple purchases – vinegar and spices! What are the odds that they used the only vinegar and spices not already in my extensive collection?! Sigh.

Have you ever taken a cooking class? Also if you have any suggestions on things to add to my Quest List, send them my way. I’m crossing things off so fast that I’m going to be running low soon! Not a bad problem to have though.

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