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April 30, 2024

Whole Wheat Waffles with Cinnamon Buttermilk Syrup

By

by Harvest Hale

Events Team

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Made With Love

My grandmother is an amazing woman!

Maren Hale—or Mun, as the grandkids call her—is always thinking of others and has charity towards all. She regularly sends thank you notes and gifts to each of her 44 grandchildren, and her gifts are always chosen with great thought, not to mention being color-coordinated, themed, and wrapped in a beautiful basket! Mun’s homemade birthday and thank you cards always have paper punched hearts and a little symbol on the back that says “Halemark: Made with Love.”

As the mother of eight children, Mun always looks for opportunities to gather her large family. Such gatherings always include a delicious meal around a beautifully set table. We spend every Fourth of July at her house for a barbeque, and we enjoy monthly family Sunday potlucks at a local city park. When I was little, Mun and Grandpa Pops also hosted Waffle Day every Friday at their home.

Waffle Day

Waffle Day started with a hug in my grandparents' entryway. Pops always added an extra few pats on the back as each child hugged him around the knees. Then it was off to the cozy kitchen with shelves lined with dishes, seasonal decor, and treasures collected through the years from all the places they lived during military assignments. Mun and Pops started the Waffle Day feast by giving us a steaming bowl of some combination of broccoli, carrots, onions, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and chard, which was topped with Pop's special lemon sauce. Eventually, every grandchild learned to love these delicious and lovingly prepared vegetables.

Once we ate our veggies, we could start stuffing our chubby, eager faces with as many whole wheat waffles as we could handle. Mun, always dressed in a 3/4 sleeve sweater and apron, would have three waffle irons running at once to feed the grandchildren army of waffle monsters. Pops would lovingly butter everyone’s crispy waffle with homemade whipped butter, and I was always amazed at how he managed to get the whipped butter into every individual waffle square. Topped with berry or maple syrup, the waffles were then distributed to children in highchairs, table chairs, or barstools while the aunts helped to manage all the chaos, sticky hands, and waffle cutting. The food, the smells, the family--those waffle days were some of the best memories of my whole childhood.

Now that the grandkids have grown up and Mun and Pops have slowed down, Waffle Days are a treasured memory of the past. But my family still loves to eat steamed vegetables and a lot of waffles! Our family loves to make homemade buttermilk syrup to go on top too. Below are our favorite homemade waffles and buttermilk syrup recipes.

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Whole Wheat Waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Blend together egg yolks, buttermilk, and oil in large bowl.
  2. Add wheat flour and baking powder. Beat briskly for 2 minutes until barely smooth.
  3. Beat egg whites in small bowl and fold into mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated waffle iron that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Cinnamon Buttermilk Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Add sugar, buttermilk, and butter to medium saucepan. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  2. Add baking soda, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir well.
  3. Serve over waffles, pancakes, French toast, or ice cream sundaes.

April 23, 2024

Falafel Cucumber Hors D’oeuvres

By

by Chris Riding

Sous Chef

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When I was younger, I always wanted to be one of two things, either a general contractor or a chef. Plenty of people in my family had worked in construction, but no one had ever been a professional chef before. I wasn’t ever told that I couldn’t be a chef, but it just seemed kind of impossible. So I took the more familiar route and decided to go into construction.

The Long Road to the Kitchen

As I earned my construction certificates, I took a job as a meat clerk at a grocery store to pay my way through school. The longer I worked in that job, the more I learned about food, and the more I wanted to keep learning. After a few years, it occurred to me that I could just stop school and become a butcher instead, so that’s what I decided to do.

Before long, I’d become assistant manager in the meat department and was training new people who came to work for us. One day, a crazy thought came into my head. What if I did that thing that had always seemed impossible ever since I was a kid? What if I became a chef?

Of course, becoming a chef meant going back to school, so I moved to Utah and enrolled in the Culinary Arts Institute at UVU. I learned from some amazing chefs who had dedicated their lives to the art, but I also learned that there’s a lot more to the job than just making great food. I had to learn how to work in front of house, how to function as part of a team in back of house, and how to handle all the logistics of the warehouse. It wasn’t easy, and I had some pretty embarrassing moments like on my first event when I broke a glass wall box and the head chef yelled, “Anyone need a job? We’ve got an opening.” I wasn’t sure if he was joking.

Coming to Culinary Crafts

I was lucky to get a working internship at Culinary Crafts, and after I graduated in May 2022, I went to work there full time. Learning from Brandon, Hunter, Robert, and so many people who are masters in their field has been the best part of my education so far. Even though it took me a long time to decide on my career, I feel lucky to be doing what I love.

For my recipe, I’ve chosen the falafel cucumber hors d'oeuvres we were serving that night I broke the glass wall. They’re delicious, but I also love that they remind me of how far I’ve come.

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FALAFEL CUCUMBER HORS D’OEUVRES

(serves about 40)

Falafels

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Add first nine ingredients to a food processor and pulse a little bit at a time until coarsely ground. Be careful not to grind too much. It should have a nice gritty consistency.
  2. Squeeze the falafel into firm 1.5” balls, then flatten them into patties about ½” thick. Place falafel patties in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat vegetable oil over medium high (around 375° F) in a pot that is deep enough for falafel patties to be completely submerged in the oil. The oil is hot enough when a drop of water dropped into the oil will sizzle and pop.
  4. Carefully lower several falafel patties into the oil and let them fry 1.5 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pot.
  5. Use slotted spoon to remove falafels from oil and let them cool on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.

Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1½ teaspoon fresh dill chopped (save some dill sprigs for garnish)

Instructions

Whisk ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly

  1. Make 40 slices of cucumber cut ¼ inch thick on a bias.
  2. Arrange cucumber slices artfully on serving tray. Top with falafel balls and a dallop of sauce.
  3. Enjoy!

January 5, 2024

Cauliflower Bacon Penne

By

by Michelle Hamby

Event Team and Reluctant Chef

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I consider cooking a Necessary Evil. If I’m the one making a meal, it’s probably going to be hamburgers or grilled cheese sandwiches, and maybe, if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add tater tots. My husband, on the other hand, is an excellent cook and actually likes doing it. He even teaches cooking at a local university . Our children, and pretty much anyone who eats at our house, are very grateful I did such a good job picking a husband.

Early in our marriage, my husband made a pasta dish for me that I absolutely LOVE. Unfortunately, I got pregnant six months after we got married. That came out wrong. Actually, I was thrilled to be pregnant. It was only unfortunate that becoming pregnant nearly ruined this dish for me. As most people who have been pregnant (or had to deal with someone who was pregnant) can confirm, pregnancy plays havoc with your eating habits. I have been pregnant three times, and I can tell you that I ate more corndogs in those 27 months than I have in the entire rest of my life. On the other hand, I used to love V8 juice, but in the twenty years since I became pregnant with our daughter, not a drop of the stuff has passed my lips.

This dish was banned in our house

The pasta dish my husband made for me has two main ingredients: bacon and cauliflower. Now, the smell of cooking bacon is one of my love languages, but the smell of cooking cauliflower is like Hell just burped in your face. I could tell from the very beginning of my first pregnancy that if I were to smell this dish being made, I would never be able to eat it again, so I banned it from the house. Each time I became pregnant, the ban was reinstated, which is how this dish has remained my absolute favorite.

You don’t get more authentic than this dish. My husband learned it from a little old lady in Favara, a tiny town just south of Agrigento, when he lived in Sicily. The way he tells the story, the first time she made it for him, he ate “an embarrassing amount.” Afterwards, he begged her to teach him how to make it. Over the years, he modified the recipe slightly. It’s much harder to find good quality pancetta in America than it is in Italy, so he substitutes bacon in its place. The smoky flavor of the bacon complements this dish very well. Just be sure to find good, thick-cut bacon, and cut off the end parts that are just fat.

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CAULIFLOWER BACON PENNE

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 large head cauliflower, broken into 2-inch florets
  • 1 lb thick cut bacon, with the fatty ends trimmed off, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1-2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • salt

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put in the cauliflower florets to cook.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Drain most of the fat.
  3. When the cauliflower florets are cooked, but not yet soft (around 10 minutes depending on your preference), remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and put them in the hot skillet with the bacon.
  4. Fry the cauliflower with the bacon until it is lightly browned.
  5. Meanwhile, put the penne to cook in the still boiling water that the cauliflower was in.
  6. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it in a colander. Do not rinse it.
  7. Put the pasta back into the pot that the water was in, and pour the bacon cauliflower mixture over the pasta. Stir gently until well mixed.
  8. Add in the parmesan cheese, and stir gently until well mixed.
  9. Salt to taste and serve while still hot.

November 9, 2023

A Perfect Apple Pie

By

by Mistie Tunbridge

Pastry Chef and Girl with the Golden Smile

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A Thanksgiving meal isn't complete until you end it with a slice of perfect apple pie.

When I was growing up, my grandma always took on the job of making what seemed like hundreds of pies for Thanksgiving dinner. I remember pulling a stool up to the counter, helping her stir, and putting together pies all day long—of course sneaking tastes along the way.

When I got older and more into baking, I decided that I wanted to contribute a pie of my own to Thanksgiving. Thus, my journey began to make the perfect apple pie. Through many trials and errors, from soggy crusts and soupy fillings to pie dry as the desert and sprawls of notes filling a notebook, I finally found the sweet spot of what I consider to be a perfect apple pie: a sweet, flakey, buttery tart shell filled with the crisp sweet flavor of golden delicious apples caramelized in cinnamon sugar. I was finally ready to bring my pie to dinner, thus beginning a new Thanksgiving tradition that's been going on for seven or eight years.

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Perfect Apple Pie

Pie Filling Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 3 lb golden delicious apples
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp caramel sauce (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Peel and chop apples into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, and apples.
  3. Melt half the butter in a frying pan and add half the apples. Cook over medium-high heat until golden and caramelized.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat Step 3 with remaining butter and apples. Let cool completely.

Tart Shell Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3½ cups flour

Instructions:

  1. Add butter and sugar to a food processor and blend until just combined.
  2. Add the eggs and blend for 30 seconds. Add flour in small portions and blend until dough just comes together. (Do not over blend.)
  3. Add a tablespoon of cold water if dough is too dry. Divide and shape into two disks and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Roll out one disk of crust to about 1⁄8 inch thick. Place in a 9-inch pie pan, and trim off excess pastry around edges.
  3. Add cooled apples to the pie shell and brush the edge of the crust with water. Roll out remaining crust and place over the top. (I like to do a lattice.) Crimp edges and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

September 12, 2023

Alpine Mule

By

by Danny Bonilla

Bartender and Executive Vice Party Animal

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When I was a teenager, my uncle would sometimes throw parties, and my family usually went. At one of those parties, I found myself all alone in the basement. Everyone else had gone to eat dinner, so it was just me and an open can of Bud Lite sitting on the coffee table in front of me.

This was my chance!

Even though I’d been around alcohol all my life, I’d never actually had a taste before. I picked up the can and gave it a sniff. It didn’t smell very good, but the temptation was irresistible. Checking to make sure no one was coming back down the stairs, I raised the can to my lips, held my breath, and took a big sip.

I nearly gagged. It was terrible! I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to drink something that tasted so bad. Right there on the spot, I decided that I never wanted to have another drink of alcohol my whole life.

It probably seems funny that someone who hates the taste of alcohol would become a bartender, but that’s exactly what I did. Years later, I started working behind the bar at Culinary Crafts events. At the first event I did at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, I was working with Ryan and Luis who showed me how to make a signature cocktail called an Alpine Mule. I figured if I was going to be mixing Alpine Mules all evening, I probably ought to know what one was supposed to taste like. I totally expected it would be disgusting, but for the second time in my life I held my breath and took a sip. To my surprise, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, it tasted great!

I’ve mixed a lot of drinks since, at events or just with friends. There are a few other cocktails that I really like (Alan Starks makes a good Moscow Mule and I like Tyler’s Whiskey Sour), but my favorite is still that first cocktail that Ryan and Luis introduced me to, the Alpine Mule. It’s 1,000,000,000,000 percent better than Bud Lite.

Alpine Mule

(makes 1 serving)

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Fill a glass halfway with ice. (Mules are traditionally served in a copper mug to keep the drink cold, but if you want to see the blue color of this drink clearly, use a clear glass.)
  2. Add the vodka, curacao, ginger beer, and optional lime juice. Stir.
  3. Garnish with a wedge of lime or sprig of mint if you feel like getting fancy. Or just enjoy it like it is.

August 15, 2023

Apple Pie Bars: How to Win Friends and Influence Teachers

By

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Back in the day, at the start of a new school year, a shiny, polished apple was the way to win over your teacher. To be clear, we are not advocating acts of apple-related bribery. But…if you happened to send your young scholars back to school this year with a lunchbox full of delicious apple desserts (like, say, the recipe for amazing Apple Pie Bars below), they just might find themselves making instant friends and becoming their teachers' favorite. Just saying.

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Here at Culinary Crafts, we love finding ways to feature locally grown, in-season ingredients in our menus, and there are soooo many ways to enjoy the sweet abundance of Utah’s apple varieties that are ripening to perfection at this time of year. Apple-infused drinks. Apple butter. Apple chips. Crisps. Cobblers. Crumbles. Chutneys . Hors d’oeuvres. Cheeseboards, The uses for apples are limited only by the imagination. (Whoever said “You don’t make friends with salad” had never tried our Winter Greens with Apples, Beets, and Walnuts.)

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Of all the “apple-ications” you can make with this amazing fruit, some of our favorites are bite-size apple tarts, spicy ciders, and our own Hattie’s Apple Spice Cake.

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If you want to send your kids back to school ready to win a few points with their new classmates and teachers, we’ve got just the thing!

APPLE PIE BARS

Ingredients

SHORTBREAD CRUST
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
APPLE FILLING
  • 2 large apples, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
STREUSEL
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ⅓ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • salted caramel sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Make the Crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. apple pie bars, crust, dough, pastry dough, cookie sheet, hand spreading dough, Culinary Crafts kitchen, baker working dough, how to make crust Bake for 25-30 minutes, then remove from oven. (As the crust bakes, you can prepare the filling and streusel.)
  3. Make the Apple Filling: Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
  4. Make the Streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Set aside.
  5. Turn oven up to 350°F. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. It will look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown. apple pie bars, streusel, apple slices, spreading the apple filling, roll the crust, spatula, oats, cinnamon, sugar, butter, flour, Culinary Crafts, Utah catering, catering Wasatch Front, best caterer in utah
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or overnight). Lift the parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. After they are cut, you can make the dessert even more decadent by drizzling salted caramel sauce on top.

Pro Tips:

  • If you want even more of these delicious Apple Pie Bars, you can double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13 pan. Just make sure you pre-bake the crust for only 18 minutes (instead of 25-30) and then extend the baking time in Step 5 to 45-55 minutes (instead of 30-35).
  • The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. If you’re going to be storing the bars, avoid unnecessary mess by waiting to add the caramel sauce until you’re ready to serve them.
  • If you’re going to use only one type of apple, Granny Smiths are the way to go! They keep their shape beautifully when baked, and their wonderful tartness balances out the sugar in many baked desserts. For a fuller, more complex flavor, use two or more different types of apples; we like to combine a Granny Smith with a sweet variety like Pink Lady or Honeycrisp. Of course, the best guideline for choosing apples is to pick something ripe and fresh from one of our local growers.
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Where to Find Fresh Local Apples

Starting in August, Cherry Hill Farms in Alpine, Utah allows you to pick your own apples straight off the tree. You can’t get fresher than that! (Call ahead to check on availability.) And while you’re there, don’t miss their chocolate-covered cherries.

Throughout September, you can also pick your fill of apples at Rowley’s Red Barn in Santaquin on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 AM to 7 PM. (Treat yo'self to their apple cider donuts and fresh apple cider slushies!)

Allred Orchards has been a local favorite on University Avenue in Provo for generations. We are huge fans of their fresh-pressed cider! Along with the classic apple types, they also grow some unusual varieties like Zestar and Mutsu.

McMullin Orchards in Payson grows half a dozen different varieties of apples including Fuji, Honey Crisp, and Ginger Gold, all of which make school lunch snacks that are delicious, nutritious, and expeditious!

Crandall’s Fruit Farm in Orem is a great place to get fresh Gala apples. For the 2023 season, call ahead to find out exactly when they’ll be opening.

Wishing all the best to you and yours at the start of a brand-new school year!

Eat well!

August 2, 2023

Mango Pulled Pork

By

by M Parker Reed

Event Manager

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When I was six, my parents taught me to cook my first recipe, which was Whacky Cake, also known as Great Depression Cake. Ever since then, I have loved to cook. When I am in the kitchen, I feel like the chef in Ratatouille who has a rat secretly telling him what to do. The voice in my head isn’t a rodent, obviously, but I have wondered if some past relative of mine is connecting with me from the other side, or if it's just an unconscious part of my psyche manifesting itself. Whatever it is that I feel when I’m cooking, it gives me peace and makes me feel centered, like I’m in the right place doing what I love.

It’s also cheap therapy.

Growing up, my favorite TV channel was always the Food Network, but along with cooking, I also loved the broader field of hospitality. I went to UVU to study Hospitality Management (with an emphasis in Event Planning), which is where I came into contact with Culinary Crafts. I ran into Clayton Price at a career fair and later interviewed Kaleb Crafts as part of an assignment. Starting in May 2022, I began working at Culinary Crafts.

I love the family culture here and the feeling I get from people that “I’ve got your back.” They really walk the talk and take excellent care of the clients as well as the team. I’ve especially appreciated the mentorship of Chris, Sara, Amber, Jinous, and others who have been so generous with their help. Even the owners take the time to teach and share their knowledge.

The recipe I want to share, Mango Pulled Pork, is a creation I developed for an assignment at UVU. My wife (who is very particular about her pulled pork) claims that this recipe is better than her mother’s, but I’d never dare to mention that to my mother-in-law.

Bon Appetit, darlings!

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Mango Pulled Pork

(Serves 2-3 people)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork roast
  • 1 can (11 oz) mango nectar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix 1 cup (not the whole can) of mango nectar with 1 cup of water. Add a dash of onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Pour mixture over the pork roast in a crockpot.
  2. Cook on high for 2 hours. Then semi-shred the pork, turn crockpot down to low, and cook for another 2 hours.
  3. Mix the remaining mango nectar with ketchup and brown sugar. Drain the pork and place it in a mixing bowl. Pour ketchup mixture over the pork.
  4. Season with a dash of pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir until evenly coated, then serve.

May 30, 2023

Basil Pesto Salmon

By

by Danielle Mahoney

Director of Staff Development

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Ever since my children could stand, they’ve been next to me at the stove as I cooked. When they were very young, they would join me at the cutting board and put their hands on mine as they “helped” me slice, dice, and chop. I’m a firm believer that the more opportunities children have to help in the kitchen, the less picky of eaters they will be and the healthier attitudes they will have about food and about themselves.

I wanted my daughters to be adventurous eaters, so I liked to introduce new foods and make sure they always tried everything. As they got a little older, they would express their likes and dislikes, which was also something I encouraged.

“Pink Chicken”

One day when my oldest was two or three, she came in from playing and asked what we were having for dinner. I told her we were having Basil Pesto Salmon, and she told me, “I don’t like salmon.” I knew that she had eaten salmon many times and had always enjoyed it, but I didn’t say anything. She went off to play some more, and her young memory forgot the interaction.

When we sat down to dinner that night, I thought I would try to fool her into eating, so when she asked what was on her plate I said, “Pink chicken.” Pink was her favorite color at the time, so it worked out well that the salmon was a sort of pink color. She ate every bite and said it was her favorite dinner and thanked me so much for making it. For years we continued to call salmon “pink chicken,” and even when she was old enough to know the difference, we continued the nickname. To this day, Basil Pesto Salmon is one of her favorite meals to eat and to cook herself. It’s super easy, nutritious, and delicious, and a great way for kids to flex their cooking skills.

To turn this dish into an extra-fancy affair, serve it as bite-size hors d’oeuvres on an appetizer buffet! And if you’re short on time, just buy some quality pesto instead of making your own.

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Basil Pesto Salmon

Salmon

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 salmon fillets, 5 oz each
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place salmon in lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper and allow to marinate while you prepare the pesto. (See Pesto recipe below.)
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Place 4 piles of parmesan (about 2 Tbsp in each pile) on a baking sheet, gently pat down to form into approx. 3-inch circles. Bake 4-5 min. until cheese starts to bubble and turn golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool and become crisp.
  4. Remove salmon from marinade, generously coated.
  5. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in sauté pan over med heat. When oil is hot, carefully place salmon in pan, and cook 4 min. Turn salmon over and coat with heaping Tbsp of pesto sauce. Cook additional 2-3 min. just until the fish flakes with fork.
  6. Serve topped with cheese crisp.

Basil Pesto

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (I like to substitute ½ cup fresh spinach leaves for half of the basil. It’s a great way to sneak in some greens)
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a food processor or high-powered blender, place the spinach, basil, and pine nuts. Pulse a few times to chop roughly.
  2. Add the cheese and garlic, and pulse several more times to combine.
  3. While blending, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream to keep the mixture emulsified.
  4. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides so all the ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Consistency should be similar to mashed potatoes with small, uniform chunks.

Enjoy!

May 16, 2023

Rice Atole

By

By Jenna Winger

Event Manager

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When we were trying to decide what recipe I should share, someone asked my son, Jaxon, “What’s the best thing your mom cooks?” Without even thinking about it, he instantly said, “Atole!”

Rice atole (pronounced “uh-toe-lee”) is a Mexican dessert—kind of like a pudding. Jaxon’s grandparents made it for him when he was a baby, and he looooves it. In fact, it was one of his first words! And since he loves it so much, I realized I’d better learn how to make it.

My one bit of advice is to be careful that you add both condensed milk and evaporated milk. I’ve tried to leave one out and double the other, but it doesn’t work!

white rice, spilled rice, white bowl, rice

Rice Atole

(makes 8 servings)

Ingredients
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 5 cups water
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Directions
  1. In a rice cooker, combine rice, water, and cinnamon sticks. Cook for 10 minutes, longer if needed. Rice should be soft but not mushy.
  2. Remove cinnamon sticks. Add in butter, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and vanilla.
  3. If needed, cool the atole by adding a splash of milk.

April 25, 2023

Not Yo’ Mama’s Peach Cheesecake

By

by Clayton Price

Director of Event Operations

Clayton Price, Culinary Crafts, pasta, eating noodles, cheese wheel, Director of Event Operations, bald, chef, funny eating picture, chopsticks, slurp, black and white,  Utah caterer, top catering, Utah events

It’s hard to explain how important Jell-O was in my childhood. My mother had an entire section of her pantry dedicated to that relic of the 1950s. Jell-O was a staple at our table, and more than once, after she’d set out a delicious Sunday dinner of homemade rolls, homegrown veggies, mashed potatoes and gravy, and homemade pies, I heard Mom apologize, “I’m so sorry; I didn’t make Jell-O.”

My wife sees it a little differently.

As a member of the Crafts family (as in Culinary Crafts), my wife grew up with a very different culinary childhood and a different attitude about Jell-O. In our first year of marriage, my mom happened to tell Meagan that my absolute favorite dessert was a no-bake peach cheesecake topped with Jell-O. Always excited about a new recipe, Meagan decided to surprise me with it one day when I came home from school.

Well, Meagan is experimental when she bakes, discarding and substituting ingredients when it suits her, which consistently leads to tremendous results that are 1000% better than the originals. However, this is not one of those recipes.

Sometimes, there’s no substitute for Jell-O.

Meagan spent months working on this recipe, making dozens of edits and substitutions. She replaced the Jell-O with a homemade peach gelée, and she substituted fresh vanilla whipped cream for the Cool Whip. She tried using Culinary Crafts' famous cheesecake base instead of this no-baked version. Meagan experimented with fresh peaches, frozen peaches, diced peaches, sliced peaches, pureed peaches, compotes, marmalades, and curds. She tried a myriad of different ingredients, combinations, and setting methods, but nothing seemed to work the same way as the Jell-O original.

After one of these attempts, I finally asked Meagan, “Why not just follow the recipe?” She admitted that she had—several times—but she had to throw them out because she couldn't make the Jell-O set.

I had to laugh. Of all the millions of things my wife, the Queen of the Kitchen, does expertly, making Jell-O is not one of them. And in this recipe, there really is no substitute for these classic ingredients.

We still make this peach cheesecake with Jell-O whenever we visit my parents, but Meagan reminds me every time that once my mother passes away, she’s never making this recipe again. She says I’d better enjoy it while I can.

And I do!

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NO-BAKE PEACH CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 12 oz Cool Whip, defrosted large bowl of popcorn

Jell-O Filling

  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 oz peach Jell-O
  • 6 cups of peeled & diced fruit of your choice (Frozen fruit works great, but I love using fresh peaches in season. Match the fruit to the flavor of Jell-O.)

Crust

  • 16 graham crackers, crushed in a blender
  • ½ cup butter

    Directions

    1. 1Melt butter and stir together with graham crackers. Gently press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Place in fridge to chill.
    2. Combine water, cornstarch, and sugar in a saucepan. Boil until thick, then add peach Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Set Jell-O filling aside until it has cooled, then add peeled & diced fruit.
    3. In separate bowl, stir cream cheese filling ingredients until fluffy and well blended.
    4. Spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the crust. Spoon the Jell-O filling over top of the cream mixture.
    5. Chill until set. ENJOY!
  • 27x winner Utah’s Best of State

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