A Take on 2 Thai Cooking Schools, Plus Recipes

Kate Crowley
Dining after class at the Blue Elephant Cooking School

Having recently traveled to Asia to attend classes at a few cooking schools, I brought back a number of great recipes, memories and a long list of ingredients not available at Fry's. While in Thailand I had the opportunity to attend day long classes at two very different schools. Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai and Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok. If you're considering traveling to Thailand and want to decide where to cook, read on for a glimpse into what each school offers and two great recipes direct from each school.

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Chef Justin Pfeilsticker of Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho on What He's Growing

ZuZu, Hotel Valley Ho
Chef Justin Pfeilsticker stands in his impressive home garden.

Justin Pfeilsticker, executive sous chef at ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, has an enviable garden. He has passion for taking care of his produce and uses unusual (and often discarded) parts of the plant in his dishes. Lucky for you, Pfeilsticker gave us a sneak peek into his garden and shares an inspiring seasonal recipe after the jump.

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10 Crazy Recipes for Your Holiday Cookie Exchange

Heather Christo
Bourbon? Butter? Bacon? These cookies have it all.

The season for cookie-exchange parties is in full swing, and though you can always whip up a batch of iced sugar cookies or Nestlé Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies, showing up with the same cookie as someone else can feel a bit like wearing the same dress as another guest to a party. Ensure a "who baked it best?" moment doesn't kill the holiday spirit at your friendly exchange by bringing one of these ten unique cookies.

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DIY Coconut Vodka Berry Slush

Laura Armenta

If you're looking to impress your guests at Fourth of July celebrations and weekend BBQs, look no further. We've got you covered with this simple slush recipe. Just be sure to keep it away from the young ones because it packs a punch! Non-alcoholic versions of this could made -- but let's not go there.

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DIY Raspberry Red Wine Spritzer

Laura Armenta
The season of outdoor parties and barbecues is officially under way, and refreshing cocktails are a must. Whether you're hosting or an attendee at your next soiree, indulge in this simple and delicious cocktail.

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DIY Alcohol-Infused Paletas

Laura Armenta
Many of us are lucky enough to have our very own neighborhood paleta man. I hear the ringing of the little bell and the sound of the paleta cart coming down my street just before sunset each day. The sound of that bell makes me want to run out the door with a dollar in hand, but there's one thing the friendly neighborhood paleta man can't deliver: boozy, icy goodness on a stick. Turns out, neither could I -- on the first try. But I made it work and I'm ready to share.

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Put Your Juicer to Good Use with Our Margarita Recipe

Categories: Cocktails, Recipes

Laura Armenta
Pineapple, Cucumber, Watermelon
The juicing craze seems to still be in full swing, so let's go a step further from the typical post gym pick-me-up and throw some alcohol in the mix! Margaritas are a summer staple 'round these parts. They're easy to make, refreshing, and can be made in frozen form. What's not to love? Take a look at these non-traditional but still delicious margaritas made using a juicer.

See Also: How to Make Perfect Frozen Margaritas,10 Best Margaritas in Metro Phoenix

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Vodka Is NOT the Secret to the Perfect Pie Crust. We've Got a Way Better Recipe -- and White Russians, Too


Ring the bell, it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column.

The folks involved with Chow Bella are getting more than a little excited about our upcoming Pie Social. How excited? Even the booze column is giving pie tips.

See Also:

- Want to Be An Official Pie Social Judge? Here's How.

Five years ago, the staff of Cook's Illustrated magazine started a baking revolution when they developed a new pie crust recipe. The number one enemy of pie crust bakers is gluten. If you overwork the dough, you develop too much gluten and end up with a tough crust. Someone at Cook's Illustrated realized that if you replace some of the water with vodka, less gluten develops, making it a piece of cake easy as pie to create the tenderest, flakiest crust you've ever had.

There is one problem with this technique. The problem is that the alcohol burns off in the oven. I'd rather enjoy a drink with my pie, and I'm sure you would too.

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May I Now Present the Awards for the Chow Bella Halloween Candy Showdown

Categories: Recipes

The best thing about being the judge for the 2012 Chow Bella Halloween Candy Showdown is, well, being the judge for the 2012 Chow Bella Halloween Candy Showdown. Bring on the sugar rush, Baby.

With the challenge being to whip up a dessert incorporating their favorite Halloween candy, my fellow scribes cooked, crafted, and, overall, helped the bottom lines of Valley candy sellers with their all treat-no trick creations.

My challenge: to choose the winner -- or in this case, winners.

And for this spooky-themed showdown, I've decided to hand out the awards based on some of my favorite monsters.

The best part? You can try the ones that make your sweet tooth tingle simply by clicking on the links and scoring the recipes.

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Make Your Own Chocolate Chip Heath Bars: Chow Bella's Halloween Showdown

Categories: Recipes

Claire Lawton

Trick... or treat? For the latest Chow Bella showdown, our writers whipped up a dessert reminiscent of, or incorporating, their favorite Halloween candy. Check back all week for recipes; tomorrow our critic Laura Hahnefeld will pick her favorite.

Today: Claire Lawton's Chocolate Chip Heath Bars

See also:
- Make Your Own Candy Corn
- Make Your Own Candy Sushi

I've always been a huge fan of anything chocolate, but I've successfully kept my thing for toffee a secret (especially from my dentist). You can't like all the sweets, right? In any case, when I discovered the killer pairing of chocolate and toffee in a Heath Bar, I couldn't be stopped. I was so happy to put 10 of them onto the checkout conveyor belt for this recipe, it was slightly embarrassing.

Here's the recipe for a dessert using my all-time-favorite Halloween (and year-round) candy.

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