Marquis and I are terrible at giving presents. Our friends and family know this well, although I hope that they know that we still love them. This terrible gift giving even extends to gifts to each other. We sometimes go years without giving each other presents, even for birthdays or Christmas. We have enough crap, why add more? The past few years we have come up with a brilliant idea. Instead of giving presents, we’ve been giving experiences, and for Christmas this past year, Marquis and I gave each other a cooking class at Sur La Table. There are no words to express how giddy and excited I was about this cooking class! We chose the Date Night: Romantic Italy class. A cooking class and a date night all wrapped in one? Perfect!
Since it was going to be a food-filled evening, we decided to add a little extra food and started with a stop by a fancy grocery store we’ve been wanting to visit called Liberty Heights Fresh. I’m not going to talk a lot about this store today because this post is already going to be gigantic, but I have to mention it because this is foodie heaven on earth. Just look how happy I am over a $10 stick of fancy pants butter. Yummm!!!! Marquis was equally happy about the huge cases of cured meats and cheeses, and we sampled many delicious kinds. I couldn’t leave without bringing home a bar of beautiful and delicious chocolate, although trying to decide from all the different kinds was hard!
Off we went to Sur La Table for our cooking class. We were put to work right away making the gnocchi for the recipe that I’ll be sharing on Wednesday. I’m sorry to make you wait because it was so incredibly delicious, but gigantic post, remember? After we made that and set it aside to rest, we made a simple salad. Every meal should have a salad right? I’m not sharing the recipe for this salad/dressing because, well, it was meh. It was super basic and too lemony. Thankfully the rest of the meal more than made up for the lackluster salad!
And of course, I was a good girl ate my salad anyway.
And then we made the most delicious dish ever, Truffle Gnocchi with Prosciutto and Cremini. I could eat this every day for the rest of my life, it was so delicious! I’m still working on recreating this at home with whole wheat flour, and an egg-free version for my egg-allergic daughter, but on Wednesday I’m going to give you the recipe as they gave it to me. If you are able to clean it up and still have it turn out well, let me know!
We took a little break at this point, and while we did we enjoyed sampling a wide variety of delicious mustards. Wow, there is a huge difference between quality mustard and the yellow stuff I used to put on hot dogs!
After the break, we made Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Medallions with Balsamic Glaze. This recipe is also coming soon in another post, because something this delicious really should get it’s own moment to shine. There were two things I especially loved about this one. First, it was ridiculously easy to make, yet seemed so fancy! Second, cooking a delicious pork product wrapped in another delicious pork product makes my handsome man smile.
It was so simple, they even trusted me to make the sauce for it.
And here is another recipe for another day, we finished the meal with some Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Caramelized Strawberries. I didn’t have the room for it, and yet I ate every bite anyway.
We had a couple of people that were surprised that we went to a cooking class. After all, we cook all the time, we are always creating new recipes, and we have watched an obscene amount of Food Network. That’s enough, right?
Nah! There is always another recipe to try, another trick to learn. I have been using things I learned in that class every day since. We had so much fun, we are definitely going back for another class as soon as we can!
If you are looking for a super fun experience, click the link below to go to Sur La Table’s site and see what cooking classes they have near you, and keep watching here for all the delicious recipes!