Premiere Baking Class

By the time I got home last night at 9pm, pretty much the only thing I had left in me was to plop down on the couch and watch some Modern Family. It was a long day, but a fun one, too!

I had to scoot out of work a little earlier than I normally will on a Wednesday because I was invited to attend yesterday evening’s Price Chopper Premiere Baking Class at the Century House.

Does this room look a little familiar to you…?


If you’ve got a really good memory, then it just might…

because the baking class was actually in the same ballroom where Jay and I got married. Smile

Shortly after I arrived, I spotted Lauren and grabbed a seat with her; then I made my way over to the coffee table to grab myself some joe.


It was definitely necessary…then again, it’s not like the caffeine has any effect on my anyways. I suppose I just find it comforting to sip on a warm cup while I’m doing something.



The event featured two instructors for the evening, beginning with Chef Gail Sokol, who is a professor at Schenectady County Community College. Gail was great with the audience and did a really nice job of explaining each of the steps she was doing while going through the recipes.


Gail demonstrated two different recipes for the evening: Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Babka and Espresso Almond Biscotti. I loved Gail’s recipes because she finds ways to reduce calories and fat without losing flavor. As she put it, “When you’re baking, if you’re not gonna miss the fat, don’t use it!” <—So true!

A few take-aways from the evening:

  • To make biscotti more chewy, use oil in addition to eggs. Just using eggs makes for a very hard biscotti.
  • I need to get my hands on a French rolling pin, STAT (no handles on the sides!).
  • Allspice is actually from a berry – did anyone else know that?!? Crazy!
  • When baking biscotti the second time around, stand up the slices on their sides so you don’t have to flip them.

I realized last night that I don’t think I’d ever tried babka up until this point, and let me tell you…I have seriously been missing out. This bread is SO good!


I thoroughly enjoyed both of my samples and can’t wait to try making BOTH of these recipes at home.


I mean c’mon…anything dipped in chocolate is awesome, in my book. Winking smile


The second instructor for the evening was Elizabeth Barbone, who focused entirely on gluten free baking. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She is the author of two gluten-free cookbooks, one of which will be coming out next year. She also has an amazing purple KitchenAid mixer that I really wanted to snag from her.


Elizabeth talked a lot about the ingredients that are used in gluten free baking, some of which I had never really known much about. There were a few other women who were live-blogging at the event and did a really nice job outlining everything, so if you’d like more details, you can click here to check them out.

Elizabeth demonstrated three different, gluten free recipes for the evening: Rustic Apple Pie (Galette), Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, and Chocolate Bark.


I wasn’t really a fan of the rustic apple pie (Lauren and I both said it almost tasted kind of soapy??) but the pumpkin whoopie pies and the chocolate bark were both delicious.


Thank you so much to Price Chopper for inviting me to attend last night’s baking event! Smile



This morning’s meal came together in no time, and was super-duper tasty.


A simple yogurt bowl, complete with:

  • Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup TJ’s Multigrain O’s
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon raisin granola
  • 1/2 diced pear
  • raisins

Oh yeah, and a side of Creeper. Winking smile



Today is my first official long day of work, so we’ll see how it goes! Smile

Question for the Morning:

Have you ever tried gluten free baking?

Which of the recipes above would you most want to try?

If you could choose, what would be your ideal work shift? (i.e., 9-5, 6-2, 10-8 etc)


  1. says

    Sounds like a great evening! What was the filling of the pumpkin whoopie pie! I am loving the hours of my ‘new’ jobs (I use ‘ ‘ because I stared in August): 10.30 – 6.30!…It doesn’t require me to wake up at a crazy hour to wake up yet it still leaves me with enough time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast! By the time I’m home and in my pjs (yes I change right away), it’s just past 7 and not too late to get started on dinz :)
    Khushboo recently posted..The Apple of my “i”

  2. says

    I have never tried gluten free baking but would like too, since it is a conman intolerance these days!
    That chocolate bark looks delicious. I have never had babka, or even heard of it but it looks good too!
    I work 8-5 right now which is fine and used to work 6-2 during the summer while in University and didn’t mind it since it meant I had my summer afternoons mostly off!
    Lindsey recently posted..Decades

  3. says

    I’ve never tried babka, either! Definitely sounds delicious though!

    It’s hard to think of an ideal working schedule. My current schedule changes almost on a daily basis, but I like that I have flexibility and that I have shorter and longer days. Since my siblings are still in school, I like to be home relatively early at night so that I can hang out with them.
    Colleen @ Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill recently posted..Secret Phone Call Revealed

  4. says

    OMG, I WANT her purple kitchen aid! I have NEVER seen that color….wish I knew they had that color before I got mine…although I do love my pistachio color too 😀
    Biscotti is super easy to make- and SO SO SO good- my favorite recipe is from Liz–
    Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Biscotti- & it is SOOOO good. Craig & I went through the whole batch in a few days…oops 😉 Love it with coffee. & what a great tip to bake it standing up- thanks for sharing that!
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!! 😀
    Holly recently posted..Fives & Legs

  5. says

    How fun! The bread dipped in chocolate and those pumpkin whoopie pies look SO good to me! I’ve never tried gluten-free baking before, mostly just because I haven’t needed to. It’d be interesting and fun to try it out sometime though.

    My ideal work shift would be from 9-5 I think. I like doing my workouts in the morning, so that way I can get my workout in without having to wake up TOO early and still get home in time for dinner and to have a nice evening.
    Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..The Un-named Awesome Workout

  6. says

    I work as a counselor in a drug & alcohol clinic, and I work 2 shifts: either 10:30am to 7pm, or 7:30am to 4 pm. Both have their pros and cons–I can go grocery shopping or work out in the morning on my late days when it isn’t crowded. But on my “early” days, I get out at 4 so I still have some afternoon left, which was great in the summer!

    Ideally, I’m right where I want to be–a mix of shifts!
    Coco recently posted..Allow Me to Explain…

  7. says

    That looks like a really fun event! I have never tried gluten free baking before, but I have a friend that is all about it since her husband can’t have gluten. She does an amazing job! I think all of those treats look amazing and would have tried every one of them!
    I set my own hours at work currently. Sometimes I work 8-4, sometimes 9-5, and sometimes 7-3. It all depends on what I have going on. I like a little variety!
    Shelly @ Cake is a Food Group recently posted..Where Did the Sun Go?

  8. says

    I work 8-4 and that’s pretty much perfect for me. I started working from home a few months ago, so I don’t have a commute anymore. I sleep until 7-7:15, which is pretty much my natural wake-up time. Then I workout right after work from 4-5ish, leaving me plenty of free time in the evenings.
    Cait @ Cait hates Cake recently posted..Frozen Dinner and Frozen Yogurt

  9. Carrie says

    I would choose 8-4 if I could choose anything. That would give me an extra hour every night, which would be awesome!

    • Courtney says

      Yeah, they were awesome. We have the recipe, I just need to get in touch with her to see if I can get permission to share :)

  10. says

    That looks like such a fun event! That biscotti looks amazing! :)

    My ideal work schedule would be 6-2. I would much rather get everything over with in the beginning of the day and have the rest of the day to myself.
    Hope recently posted..A Ruby Kind Of Thursday…

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