Cooking School: Pepper Roasted Chicken

I recently had a girls night at Lenore’s Cooking School.  I had no idea what to expect as the only other cooking class I took was at Publix and that was demonstration only.

My typical self was running 5- 10 minutes late and arrived to Lenore speaking to the guests of the class.

Cooking Class Intro

The class was titled Fast Food Fresh! Sassy Weekday Meals.

On the menu: Honey Garlic Lamb Kebabs, Spicy Salmon with Corn and Tomatoes and Pepper Roasted Chicken

Now my first impression was that we were going to be able to make all of the things on menu. I was quite wrong.

There was six stations – 2 stations for each meal on the menu.

The girls and I quickly went for the Pepper Roasted Chicken.

Pepper Roasted Chicken


2 teaspoons black pepper

5 5oz chickenbreasts

5 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 cups baby potatoes, sliced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

A bag of baby spinach leaves

Honey Mustard Dressing

2 Tablespoons mustard & Chopped Tarragon

3 Tablespoons of Minced red onions

2 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

Combine the mustard, onions, honey and vinegar in a bowl and stir to combine.  Drizzle in the olive oil. Set Aside.

Directions for Chicken

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the carrots and potatoes in some olive oil, tarragon, salt and pepper.

Brush the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle the pepper over the chicken and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet with the carrot and potato.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through

Toss the fresh spinach and warm potatoes and carrots. Place on a plate top with chicken and spoon over the dressing to serve.


The only thing I can actually say I learned was how to “properly” dice an onion. If you saw the way I tried to dice an onion, you would just laugh.  Don’t go the easy route by using a food processor, you don’t want it to be a watery consistency.

When cutting an onion… “the root is the core“.  So remember to leave the root on the onion and to slice towards to the root but still leaving the root.

Diced Onion

I would say that this honey mustard was actually quite good, but it took some time to get to the right taste buds that we were looking for.  Lenore’s assistant told us not to measure the oil, and quite frankly I did not feel comfortable “not measuring”. Luckily when you cook, you adapt!  So we added more mustard and more vinegar till we got to the taste we were going for.

Honey Mustard Ingredients

I’ve never made honey mustard this way.  I usually take the easy route and combine Honey and Spicy Mustard. It works just as well :)

Honey Mustard

Potatoes and Carrots Poured on Chicken

Potatoes Carrots and Chicken

The girls and I with our dish

Girls and Our Dish Pepper Roasted Chicken

This is so easy to make and I plan to make it again.

Pepper Roasted Chicken Plated

Overview:  Now the food was delicious, but to be honest I didn’t feel like we learned anything and we certainly did not learn how to cook the other two items on the menu. It felt like we used their kitchen and just followed the recipe on the menu.

I really loved how bubbly Lenore was at first.  Then every time I went to ask her a question or make a comment she would walk away. She reminds me of Rachael Ray. I hate Rachel Ray.

We later find out at the end of the class, that they charged $5  for every glass of wine we had.

My friends and I have another Living Social Coupon to go to Lenore’s Cooking School, but otherwise I don’t think I would go back there.  Unless she changes the way she sets up her classes.

The girls and I decided after the class that we are gonna do a monthly cook and learn at our places. Looking forward to the first one!

For those that have been to hands on cooking classes, how are they structured?  Do you learn more at demonstration?

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  1. This look like it was fun! and looks delish! I stumbled and pinned this recipe!

  2. LOL! I used to be a measurer but I get worse by the year I think! This looks lovely!

  3. I wouldn’t even bother using the coupon if that’s the way they treat you. Send it back with a note saying, “thanks but no thanks.” That’s absurd.

    At least your chicken dish looks fantastic. :)

    (I’d have gone with the lamb kabobs.)

  4. The dish looks great and I’m sure it tasted great too! Great job!!!!

  5. yummy! cook for me one of these dayss

  6. I also learned how to dice an onion the non short bus way… revolutionized my life. Def making this chicken asap. Thanks!

  7. Yummmmmm…. pictures are terrific Gabby! I am looking forward to trying this! :)

  8. Rachael Ray rubs me the wrong way, too! :)
    The dish sounds really tasty… I want to try that dressing! Sounds so good!

  9. Does seem like it wasn’t quite worth the $, because if the only thing you learned was how to dice an onion, you could google that! Sorry it wasn’t the best experience.

  10. Yesterday I was talking to my sister about activities for Girls Night Out. We aren’t “partiers” so the club scene isn’t one either of us or our friends look forward to. Going out to eat is fun but we’ve been looking for something we can “do”. This is such a great idea! I can’t wait. Thanks for the foodbuzz add.

  11. My favorite picture is the onion cuts, and this type of activity is sure to be a fun girls night out! Happy Cooking!

  12. I am going to remember how you learned to cut an onion properly. I have a habit of cutting both ends off. Very cool.

    I have been to only cooking demonstrations and have never done hands-on cooking class. I think I would enjoy it.

    Great post.

  13. At least you found a great deal on Living Social for these classes… too bad they nickle-dimed you for the wine. I am taking my first hands on cooking class in a few weeks on cake decorating (totally not up my alley – I can’t make “pretty things” to save my life). The meal itself looks delicious!

  14. So funny, my boyfriend and I signed up for this same class that we found on Living Social. We had 6 months to book and of course we waited until the last minute and when we tried to book they were like, “oh, we’re going on vacation, but you can book after that, and they wanted to charge us extra… how is that fair. So we asked for a refund, which they did.

    I’m glad you were honest about your experience, as I was wondering how the class really rated. Still, looks like it could be interesting, and above all you can meet some really great people there. Bummer how they charged for all the wine though. Not that one wants to get “sloshed” at this type of event, but geesh…share the wealth a little. Make people relax and they are sure to have a great experience.

    Wish the instructor was a little more hands on, and accepting of questions! I think we still might give this class a go. If anything, seems like it makes a great blog topic! Kudos to you for getting out there and experiencing something new with your friends.

    P.S. I’m anxiously awaiting a new blog from you. :) I was also glad to find your page on FB.

  15. I’ve taken a few baking / cooking / chocolate / cake decorating classes and have had different experiences at different institutions. All of the classes that I’ve taken at ICE in NYC ( have been great. Yes it’s true that you only get to make 2 out of 6 recipes, but there’s no way you can make everything – it would be a full day affair. The great part though is that the instructor teaches you techniques before you even begin so no matter what recipe you end up making, you still learn something. Compared to that, I took a cupcake class at a local NYC bakery because of a Groupon deal and was really dissapointed. Same setup – 1 cake recipe out of 3, and 2 frosting recipes out of 6. But the main difference was the teaching methods – I didn’t learn anything here. Even the ingredients were pre-measured for us! So all it was at the end of the day was tossing cups of stuff into a mixing bowl. And the worst part was that all of the recipes are posted on their FB page! If I’d known that, I’d never have signed up. Bright side is that we got to take over a dozen cupcakes home with us so it ended up evening out the Groupon cost. Anyway, that’s my experience with cooking classes :)

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