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  • The Chopping Blog

Shelley

Shelley
Shelley has been teaching people to cook since she opened The Chopping Block in 1997. She spent 17 years as a professional chef, working in busy restaurants and private homes but realized her calling was to get other people to cook. Shelley’s unique concept of a recreational cooking school, gourmet kitchen store and private event business provides Chicago with over 300 cooking classes and private events each month. Shelley loves to garden and entertain for family and friends in her Lincoln Square home.

Recent Posts

Cocktails with the Most Aromatic Orgeat Syrup Ever

  This is a great story of chef meets mixologist. I was recently teaching a virtual Trip to Hawaii cooking class on a warm August Saturday night. I noticed that one of my students was drinking a ...

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Oklahoma Style Fried Chicken

  I started cooking in restaurants when I was fourteen. My mom was able to land me a job at MP’s Chicken where the only items on the menu were fried chicken, coleslaw, French fries and honey buns. ...

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How to Work with Phyllo Dough

  Frozen phyllo dough is a great time saver: you can create appetizers, pastries and desserts without having to make the dough. Traditionally, phyllo dough is made by stretching a flour-and-water ...

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How to Preserve and Harvest your own Grape Leaves

  My dear friend Kathleen introduced me to stuffed grape leaves or Dolmas. She was a consummate entertainer; she really knew how to throw a fun party. She was an equally great cook; her food was ...

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Lolla-pea-looza: How to make Sweet Pea Hummus

  I’m not sure the return of fresh peas can match the excitement of the return of summer concerts, especially Chicago’s beloved Lollapalooza, but it is something to be celebrated. Pea shoots, pea ...

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The Perfect Strawberry Pie

  Until I was seven years old, I lived on a small homestead - my grandparents lived on one side and my great grandparents on the other. We grew sweet corn, my grandparents grew green beans, my great ...

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How to Roll Pie Dough

  If you want to earn your baking creds, learning how to roll pie dough is a must but don’t feel alone if you have had some failures! Doughs of any kind require more than just a good recipe; they ...

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How to make Rhubarb Curd

  My mom worked full-time and between work and taking care of four kids, it didn’t leave a whole lot of time for baking. We didn’t have a lot of money, so buying premade cakes and cookies was not an ...

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Methods for Cooking Rice

    I graduated from culinary school in 1986, and one of the essential cooking skills I learned was how to cook rice. Cooking rice was formula driven which made it incredibly simple to understand and ...

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Whole Wheat Pita Bread, Step by Step

      My first experience with pita bread was 40 or more years ago in the small Midwestern town from where I am from. I don’t exactly remember what was in the pita, but I do remember thinking pita ...

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