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This week my friend and colleague Sarah Carey and I gave a charity cooking class to benefit The Center For Living at Mt. Sinai which focuses on healthy aging (or, as I like to call it–Youthing). Victor scored this auction item and invited his friends Addie, Robin and Cynthia to our test kitchens for the class.

Sarah demo’d a peach pot pie from the July issue of MSL. One of her tips? When making pie dough in the Cuisinart, just pulse your (super chilled) butter/flour ten times. The cold butter pieces should be smaller then a pea but bigger than a lentil (this is what creates the steam hence flake in your dough). The cold water then goes in (a little less then the recipe calls for)–pulse slightly and check the dough. It should hold together when squeezed between two fingers. If it doesn’t then add the rest of your water and pulse again.

I did the Paella from MH, p181. My tip is on lobster. Everyone cooks lobster differently. I put 1-inch of water in a large pot and brung it to a boil. Add the lobsters and cover. Steam between 13-15 minutes for 1-2-lb lobsters. Clip the claw and drain the liquid post cooking to avoid pools of water on your plate. Also we offered, the simple and fresh Tomato/Avocado Salad, MH p.95. We couldn’t help but have cocktails waiting for them which we chose from EDF, the Watermelon Cucumber Cooler (from EDF July/August) which I demo’d in Chicago. This drink is now a summer staple of mine. We took a leisurely hour to teach and work together and then sat for our meal, accompanied by a chilled Rioja rose wine.

This menu was really manageable to pull off and all the flavors worked together well. Thanks to Victor for supporting such a great cause and getting his friends behind the scenes in our test kitchens.

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