PC Lvl 1 & 2 at UFV Culinary Arts Program

After attending SASET’s free (to Aboriginals) 16 week program I was so in love with the idea of cooking for a living that I signed up for the 39 week Professional Cook Level 1 & 2 program! Let me tell you, it is NOT free! And, after spending thousands of dollars on the program, I am going to say that if you know anything all about cooking, this program is NOT for you; challenge the ITA Exams instead!! It’ll save you thousands of dollars and give you the same feeling of satisfaction that you have achieved something great!

Okay, but that said, I mean, if you have worked in a professional Kitchen under a knowledgable Chef then you will not enjoy the course. If your kitchen experience to date is Maccas, A&W, or Wendy’s then, yea, for sure this will be a good experience for you.

Anyway, Level 1 is completed around February which I happily breezed through. Level 2 commenced, and after some extreme difficulty with a certain someone on staff in the Culinary Program (Hint- it’s not the Chef and it’s not Cashier Leah) I switched out of the daytime program to the evening course on offer. Which worked out really well because I had been hired as a Pastry Chef at Best Western Rainbow Country Inn at the beginning of March! Chef Dan Cool is an amazing person to work with – I did my SASET practicum at Garrison Crossing where Chef Dan was then stationed.

Sadly my health took a turn for the worse – I have been in Emergency more times than I can count, have had countless tests done, one surgical procedure with a very uncomfortable follow up appointment which had me bedridden for a few days, more prescription pills than you imagine and still, here I am 7 months later,   still in more pain than a body ought to have to endure. Through it all I have soldiered on! Like I said, Chef Dan is amazing to work for! You will currently find me manning the Carvery & Omelette Station at our Sunday Brunches – I did try to put in extra hours for a bit but it wasn’t worth the effort as I would be bedridden, or close to it, for the remainder of the week.

As a result of my poor health I have yet to complete my Level 2! I did manage to write my outstanding quizzes over the summer, Yea, Me! But I still have to do my Practical Final and my Written Final. I have done a fair bit of studying for my written and just over the past few days have finally touched up the Practical Menu that I started months ago! I AM looking forward to finishing this course up, being able to say, “Look, Dad, I did it!” Please know that my dad passed away a gazillion years ago…okay 19 years ago. I spent my whole life trying to prove to him that, yea, I am good enough and smart enough and by golly, by gosh, I am!

Without further ado, I would like to share with you my menu…oh wait, another quick anecdote:

While writing this real menu, it brought back memes of the Fanciful Menu I wrote for SASET. What a great time I had writing that menu; the imaginary road trip across Canada that  had me handpicking ingredients from each province and territory of our great country. I am very pleased to report that over the Summer I actually DID take a road trip across Canada! Well, to Thunder Bay, Ontario where my Australian husband was duly awed by Lake Superior! We took the northern route to Ontario, stopping in Jasper where I met up with a fellow classmate (Jordan) and also saw my niece, Jacqueline at Jasper Park Lodge (if you haven’t been there, go, NOW!); we returned along the Transcanada Highway which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was so great to see so much of Canada and awe inspiring to realize just how big Canada is! We have so much more to see!

Okay, NOW I will share with you the real menu that I will be using to complete my Professional Cook Level 2 training.



PC Lvl 2

Beef Tenderloin with Mustard and Caper Sauce

Cold Canapé

Beef Tenderloin Canapés with Mustard-Caper Sauce

Metric Standard Ingredient
225 gr 8 oz. Beef Tenderloin, trimmed
5 ml 1 tsp. Olive Oil
Pinch Pinch Sea Salt
Pinch Pinch Fresh Cracked Pepper
30 ml 2 Tbsp. Mayo
20 ml 1.25 Tbsp. Finely chopped Green Onion
7 ml .5 Tbsp. Drained Capers
7 ml .5 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
15 ml 1 Tbsp. Horseradish
9 9 Slices Baguette Style French Bread
9 9 Radicchio leaves
9-18 9-18 Sprigs Watercress


Heat oven to 450F.

Place beef tenderloin in ungreased shallow metal roasting pan or ovenproof skillet. Rub beef with oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place pan over medium high heat; cook until beef is browned on all sides.

Place beef in 450F oven.

Immediately reduce oven temperature to 375F; bake 15 – 20 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in centre registers 140F (60C)

Remove beef from oven.

Cool for 30 minutes or until completely cooled. If desired, wrap tightly in plastic wrap until serving time.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine mayo, onions, capers, mustard and horseradish; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Slice beef very thin.

Spread bread slices with sauce.

Top each with small piece of Radicchio beef slice and watercress

Serve immediately, or cover loosely and refrigerate until serving time




8 ounces Beef Tenderloin

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

2 Tbsp Mayo

(2)Green Onions

7 ml Capers

7 ml Dijon Mustard

7 ml Horseradish

9 slices Baguette Style French Bread

9 Radicchio Leaves

9 – 18 Sprigs of Watercress



Stuffed Zucchini
Stuffed Zucchini

Hot Canapé

Stuffed Zucchini 

Metric Standard Ingredient
7 ml 1.5 tsp. Olive Oil, divided
1 1 Clove Garlic, diced
½ 1/2 Small Onion, diced
110 gr 4 oz. Mushrooms, diced
60 ml .25 cup Cherry Tomato, diced + 2 Whole Cherry Tomatoes for Garnish
7 ml 1.5 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
22 ml 1.5 Tbsp. Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
30ml 2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, divided
2 2 Small Zucchini, sliced on the diagonal, cored, leaving a base


Preheat oven to 350F (175C)

Cut zucchini into 4-5 cm high chunks, on the diagonal; scoop out inside, leaving a 1 cm bottom. Finely chop the scooped out zucchini and use in the stuffing

Prepare Stuffing:

In large skillet, on medium high heat, heat 1/3 of olive oil

Add garlic, onion, mushies, finely chopped zucchini and tomatoes; sauté until mushies are softened, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and add remaining olive oil, vinegar, breadcrumbs and 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese; mix thoroughly.

Spoon equal amount of stuffing into each prepared zucchini round.

Bake on a foil lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes in preheated 350f (175C) oven



Olive Oil

Clove Garlic

½ small yellow onion

4 oz. mushrooms

8 cherry tomatoes

Balsamic Vinegar

1 ½ Tablespoons Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs

2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese

2 Small Zucchini



Stove Top/ Induction Burner

Cutting Board

Chef Knife

Measuring spoons


Sauté Pan

Heat Resistant Spatula/Wooden Spoon

Dessert Spoon to scoop out zucchini



Roasted Cornish Game Hen
Roasted Cornish Game Hen


Metric Standard Ingredient
1 1 Cornish Game Hen
6 6 Fresh Sage Leaves
2-4 2-4 Lemon Wedges
3 3 Green Onions
30 ml 2 Tbsp Butter, melted
15 ml 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
5 ml 1 tsp Sea Salt
Pinch Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper


Preheat oven to 375F.

Gently lift skin from hen breasts and place sage leaves under skin.

Place lemon wedges and a third of the onions in the cavities.

Tuck wings under hens; tie legs together.

Place in a small greased roasting pan.

Combine butter, oil, lemon juice and garlic; spoon half of the mixture over hens. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake 20 minutes. Add remaining onions to pan.

Brush hens with remaining butter mixture.

Bake 20 – 25 minutes longer or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170-175F (75C – 80C)

Remove hens to a serving platter.


1 Cornish Game Hen

6 Fresh Sage Leaves

1/2 Lemon

3 Green Onions

2 Tablespoon Butter

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

2 Cloves Garlic





Cutting Board

Chef’s Knife

Turning Knife

Butcher’s Twine

Small Roasting Pan

Small mixing bowl

Wooden Spoon

Soup Spoon – for administering butter mixture

Pastry Brush


Serving Platter



Creamy Polenta
Creamy Polenta

Entree – Polenta

Creamy Asiago and Sage Polenta

Metric Standard Ingredient
325 ml 1 1/2 cups Whole Milk
250 ml 1 cup Polenta
250 ml 1 cup Chicken Stock
60 ml 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
30 ml 1/8 cup Asiago Cheese, grated
1 1 Sage Leaf, finely chopped
1 1 Sprig of Thyme, leaves removed
TT TT Salt and Pepper


Bring the milk to a slow boil.

Slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly to avoid lumping.

Continue whisking and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, until very thick.

Add the chicken stock while whisking the polenta constantly.

Mix in the Parmesan, asiago, sage, and thyme.

Season with Salt and Pepper.

To serve, spoon some polenta onto a plate, garnish with Fresh Sage


 1 1/2 cups Milk

1 cup Polenta

1 cup Chicken Stock

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

1/8 cup Asiago Cheese

2 leaves Fresh Sage

1 sprig of Thyme

Salt and Pepper


Stove top / Burner


Liquid Measuring Cup

Dry Measuring Cups


Wooden Spoon


Spoon for serving
Entree Vegetable #2

Braised Brussel Sprouts
Braised Brussel Sprouts

Braised Brussel Sprouts

15 ml 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1 Shallot sliced
113 gm 1/4 lb Brussel Sprouts, trimmed
60 ml 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
2ml 1/2 tsp chopped Fresh Thyme
TT TT Salt and Pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add shallots and brussel sprouts and cook, stirring often, until the shallots are starting to brown and the brussel sprouts are browned in spots, 2 – 4 minutes.

Stir in broth, thyme, salt and pepper; cover and reduce heat to medium-low.

Cook until the brussel sprouts are tender, 10 – 15 minutes



Olive Oil


1/4 lb Brussel Sprouts

1/4 cup Chicken Stock

Fresh Thyme

Salt and Pepper


Stove Top / Burner

Large skillet

Large Mixing Bowl – to hold brussel sprouts

Colander – to drain brussel sprouts after washing

Cutting Board

Chef’s Knife

Wooden Spoon

Liquid Measuring cup

Measuring Spoons

Plate, to serve



Sweet Short Pastry
Sweet Short Pastry

Sweet Short Paste Filled with Lemon Curd


Metric Standard Ingredients
70 g 2.5 oz Unsalted Butter, softened
42.5 g 1.5 oz Sugar
22.5 g .80 oz Whole Eggs
100g 3.5 oz Pastry Flour


Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl using the paddle attachment.

Slowly add the eggs to the creamed butter.

Mix until smooth and fee of lumps, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour to the butter and egg mixture.

Mix only until incorporated; do not over mix! The dough should be firm, smooth and not sticky.

Dust an 8” (20cm) round pan with flour. Pack the dough into the pan evenly,

Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill until firm.

Dust a clean work surface with a bit of flour, coat rolling pin with flour; gently roll dough out to 1/8” (3mm)


Cut circles 2” (5cm) larger than tart pan.

Carefully transfer dough to tart pan, easing dough into pan.

Press dough around the edges of the tart pan, removing excess dough.

Dock dough, cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest in fridge for at least an hour.

Remove from fridge, cover loosely with L-Foil and ease into tart pan; fill with baking weights, dry rice or beans.

Bake weighted crusts at 400F (200C) for 10 – 15 minutes; remove weights and L-Foil and return crusts to oven.

Bake until golden brown and fully cooked, approximately 5 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before filling.

When cooled, fill with cooled Lemon Curd and return to refrigerator until ready to serve.

Reserve a slice of lemon to garnish Lemon Tart with


3.5 oz Pastry Flour

2.5 oz Unsalted Butter

1.5 oz Sugar

.80 oz Whole Eggs

Mint Leaves



Food processor


Measuring Cups

Liquid Measuring

Measuring Spoons

Plastic Wrap

Tart tin

Rolling Pin


Baking Tray


Pie Weights

Mixing bowl




Lemon Curd in a Sweet Short Pastry
Lemon Curd in a Sweet Short Pastry

Lemon Curd


Metric Standard Ingredient
118 ml 4 oz Lemon Juice, Fresh
170 g 6 oz Sugar
4 4 Eggs
170 g 6 oz Butter, cubed


Zest and juice the lemons and strain

Mix the sugar and eggs together and then add the lemon juice

Cook in a double boiler, stirring constantly and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until the mixture is very thick (curd will thicken at 170F (75C)

Whisk is butter and cool quickly in an ice bath

Strain, cover and chill – cover with plastic wrap, allowing wrap to rest directly on top of the curd.

Reserve a slice of Lemon for Garnish


3 Lemons

170 g Sugar

4 Eggs

170 g Butter


Induction Burner


Cutting Board

Chef’s Knife

Strainer, small

Juicer, or fork for juicing lemons

Mixing Bowl, small

Wooden Spoon

Liquid Measure

Measuring Spoons


Double Boiler


Heat Resistant Rubber Spatula


Mixing Bowl, Large


Plastic Wrap

Mixing Bowl Small



Raspberry Coulis
Raspberry Coulis

Dessert – Raspberry Coulis

Metric Standard Ingredient
350 g 1 pint Raspberries, fresh or frozen
55g 1/4 cup Sugar, to taste
15 ml 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 ml 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest


In the bowl of a food processor, place raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest.

Blend until pureed.

Place a fine meshed strainer over a bowl.

Pour the berry mixture through the strainer to remove the seeds, pressing down with a spoon to force the fruit and

juices through.

Transfer to a covered non-reactive container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The puree will keep for several days.


1 pint Raspberries

1/4+ c Sugar

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Lemon Zest



Food Processor

Rubber Spatula

Measuring cups

Measuring Spoons

Fine Mesh Sieve

Mixing Bowl

Non-Reactive Container – squeeze bottle


Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia
Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia


Metric Standard Ingredient
15 ml 1 Tbsp Sugar
250 ml 1 cup Warm Water [(105F-110F) 40C-43C]
15 ml 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
600 ml 2 ½ cups Bread Flour
30 ml 1 oz Butter, melted or Olive Oil
4 ml ¾ tsp Salt
60 ml ¼ cup Olive Oil for brushing on focaccia
TT TT Sea Salt
Sprinkle Sprinkle Rosemary and Thyme


In large bowl, dissolve sugar in water; sprinkle with yeast and let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.

Using wooden spoon, stir in 1 cup of the flour, butter and salt; beat until smooth.

Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease all over.

Cover with plastic wrap or damp tea towel and let rise in warm place for about 75 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough form into a ball.

Place on lightly floured surface and sprinkle with flour.

Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

Stretch and pull out dough into 16 inch (40cm) long oval.

Place on ungreased baking sheet.

Using side of hand, make ridges 1 inch (2.5cm) apart down length of oval.

Brush loaf with olive oil, rosemary, thyme

Let stand for 15 minutes.

Bake in 375F (190C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from baking sheets and let cool on wire rack.

Makes 1 Focaccia

Each Focaccia serves 4 – 6 depending on use.


15 ml Sugar

250 ml Water

15 ml Active Dry Yeast

625 ml Bread Flour – 600 for recipe, flour for board, rolling pin

30 ml Butter, melted or Olive Oil






Warm place to bloom yeast and proof dough

Liquid measuring cup

Large mixing bowl

Wooden Spoon

Measuring spoons

Dry Measuring Cups

Wooden Cutting board, very clean or Marble slab

Plastic wrap

Clean mixing bowl to rest dough in

½ size baking sheet

Rolling pin

Bread Board

Sharp knife


I have to make Focaccia for my Professional Cook Level 2 Practical exam…well, I don’t HAVE to make Focaccia but it seems Dinner Rolls are frowned upon as …. That’s such a Grandma thing to make….well, hello? I AM a Grandma! I also have the choice of making a Baguette but the truth is, mine always tend to have gaping holes in them!  Anyway, I decided to make this Focaccia instead of my tried and true Dinner Rolls.
I have to admit, the second time I made this recipe, I was quite impressed! The first time, I made as recipe suggested and it came out thin and crispy – second time, I let the Focaccia proof for about 45 minutes before I baked it.

The original recipe came from my ancient The Canadian Living Light and Healthy Cookbook, page 38.

soft and chewy flatbread
Soft and Chewy Flatbread

2 Tbsp (1 Tbsp) Sugar
2 cups (1 cup) warm Water
1 Tbsp (1 1/2 tsp) Active Dry Yeast
5 cups (2 1/2 cups) Bread Flour
2 oz (1 oz) Butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp ( 3/4 tsp) Salt
Olive Oil for brushing loaf(ves)
Himalayan Salt

*I only need to make 1 for my practical exam so I have listed the ingredients for a single Focaccia in brackets

In large bowl, dissolve sugar in water; sprinkle with yeast and let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Using wooden spoon, stir in 3 cups (1 cup)  of the flour, butter and salt; beat until smooth.
Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease all over.
Cover with plastic wrap or damp tea towel and let rise in warm place for about 75 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Punch down dough and divide into 2 portions ( No need to divide dough if only making one Focaccia).Form each portion into a ball.
Place on lightly floured surface and sprinkle with flour.
Cover an d let stand for 20 minutes.
Stretch and pull out each portion of dough into 16 inch (40cm) long oval.
Place on ungreased baking sheet.
Using side of hand, make ridges 1 inch (2.5cm) apart down length of each oval.
Brush each loaf with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, thyme and salt.
Cover loosely with tea towel and let proof in draft free for 45 minutes.
Bake in 375F (190C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from baking sheets and let cool on wire rack.
Makes 2 Focaccia  (1 Focaccia)
Each Focaccia serves 4 – 6 depending on use.


Cinnamon Roll Biscuits

When you are craving Cinnamon Rolls but no time to bloom, ferment and proof the yeast variety, this will hit the spot!

cinnamon roll biscuits
Cinnamon Roll Biscuits

4 cups Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt

2/3 cup (150g) Butter, cold, cut into cubes
2 cups Milk
2 tsp Vanilla

1/4 cup Butter, softened
1/2 Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp Butter, softened
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
Milk, to right consistency

Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
Lightly grease a 9X13 (33cmx23cmx5cm)

In a small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Softened butter in microwave for 10 seconds; set aside.

In large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Using a pastry blender, two knives or rubbing together with hands, cut in cold, cubed butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Using a fork, gently stir in milk and vanilla, to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto floured surface and gently knead 10 – 15 times; let rest for 10 minutes.
On floured surface, gently roll dough out into a 15″x9″ rectangle.
Carefully spread softened butter all over the surface of dough, leaving a 1/4″ border; sprinkle with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Beginning with 15″ side, roll up dough, pinch the long edge to seal.
With a sharp knife cut into 12 equal pieces.
Place rolls into prepared pan and bake in preheated 375F oven for 20 – 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time.
When golden brown, remove from oven and cool, in pan, on wire rack.

Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting
In medium mixing bowl combine softened cream cheese and butter until no lumps remain.
Stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk; stir until smooth.
Add another cup of powdered sugar and stir – adding a splash or two of milk, to right consistency.
Stir until smooth; spread over slightly cooled Cinnamon Roll Biscuits.

Yield: 12


Mexican Chicken Manicotti

I came across this delicious recipe over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake.  Please do head over to her site to check out her vast array of recipes!

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins Total time: 1 hour 45 mins Serves: 6-8 servings


1 (16-ounce) package manicotti shells

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 jalapeño peppers, minced

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can use a rotisserie chicken)

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup sour cream

1-1/3 cups salsa, divided

1 (8-ounce) can enchilada sauce

¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

See a Quick Sausage Alfredo Recipe


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13″ x 9″ pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In large skillet, cook onion, garlic, and jalapeños in butter until softened. Remove from heat and stir in chicken, cream cheese, and sour cream; stir until blended. Let cool 20 minutes, then add ⅓ cup salsa.

Cook the manicotti shells until almost al dente according to package directions; drain. Stuff the shells with the chicken mixture.

In small bowl, combine remaining cup of salsa and enchilada sauce; mix well. Place ½ cup of this mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Top with stuffed manicotti shells. If there is leftover chicken filling, just put it on top of the stuffed shells. Pour remaining sauce mixture over and sprinkle with both cheeses.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until mixture is bubbly and cheese is browned.

Shepherd’s Pie Soup

Shepherd's Pie Soup
Shepherd’s Pie Soup


I had some leftover Roast Beef but didn’t want to make a traditional Shepherd’s Pie; found this recipe over at Canadian Living  for a soup version and went with it.


Bannock on the side was a delicious addition!

http://aysontespli.ca/?p=408 Bannock