I was lucky enough to get some free tickets to the event and even if I couldn't get them, $20 at the door was an OK price for me considering everything that we were given. The recipe knowledge alone was worth more than that!
The Cooking School was held at the Waukesha Expo Center. We entered a littler after 5 pm and received a swag bag and "chair saver" sign - such a smart idea. We found a few seats, put our name on the paper, taped it to the seat, and got in the already growing lines to check out the booths before the cooking began.
Many local vendors were sharing samples of their products and services with us. Unfortunately the rooms were really crowded and I couldn't get my phone out to take pictures.
I was able to try a sample of Red Elephant Chocolate from Milwaukee's 3rd Ward. It literally melted in my mouth and was so delicious. La Coppa Gelato was also there and I tried Pumpkin Gelato that she suggested I pair with the Cinnamon Gelato - it was a wonderful Fall flavor explosion in my mouth.
Simma's Bakery was there with samples of their decadent cheesecake, as well as toffee. I think I might get some of the toffee for the holidays! Weissgerber's was there with some of the options for banquets and the rice pilaf with chicken and asparagus in a white sauce was so yummy. I wanted to go back for more!
There are so many vendors there that I am not going to be able to name them all but Woodman's supplied us a bag to hold all our goodies as well as coupons, Jif Hazelnut spread, cook books, flyers and more.
The one fatal error that my friend Tiffany and I had was that we didn't look through our bags first and we missed that there was a grand prize giveaway and about a million other giveaways throughout the event. We didn't fill out the cards and thus we weren't eligible for any of the goodies, including Electrolux appliance giveaways from Colder's! Oh well - we still had a blast.
From 7 until about 9 pm we were walked through 10 different Taste of Home recipes by Karen Davis of Taste of Home. These recipes were submitted by Taste of Home readers around the nation. We were provided a Cooking School magazine to take notes in and follow along with the recipe. Taste of Home takes fabulous photos of their finished products. I just hope mine turn out looking that nice.
I had actually made the crescent wreath last year for a holiday party but she even put a twist on it to change it up.
The tricks of the trade, the fact that complicated recipes seemed so simple to put together, and the beautiful end products made the night completely worthwhile. Taste of Home has the Cooking School program down to an art and I can't wait for the next one to come to the area in maybe spring?
In the meantime, I was told to watch for a day when Taste of Home will offer a lot of their cookbooks for just $5 online. The outlet in Greendale Village is another option if you want to pick up some cooking stuff for the holidays.