What is the most daunting part of cooking for you?  Is it deciding what to make?  Finding the time to go grocery shopping?  Getting out of a culinary rut where you feel like you’re making the same things all the time? Or is it the prep work that needs to be done before you can actually start cooking?

I find that many people dislike the cutting, chopping, dicing, and prepping.  Mostly because not knowing how to cut an onion, celery stalk, or zucchini is confusing, messy, and difficult. 

The other common issue is the rut.  Making the same recipes every week can get boring.  And just trying a new recipe can be intimidating, especially if you are feeding fussy or picky eaters and not familiar with the ingredients in he recipe.

One of the best ways to solve both issues is through cooking classes.  In a cooking class you get to see, and practice, the correct way (meaning fastest, most efficient, and safest way) to prepare meats, fruits, herbs, and vegetables before they are cooked.  You also get to try new dishes, made with interesting ingredients and new cooking techniques, so you can reduce the uncertainty of a new recipe.

In the Mercer County area there are several grocery stores, cooking supply shops, and restaurants that offer cooking classes – some hands-on and some demonstration only.

At the Jersey Girl Café we offer classes on select Monday nights.   Most classes are $35 to $40 per person, and last about 2 and a half hours, including time to sit down together as a group and enjoy the food we’ve made.

Cathy Campbell, editor of Mercer County Woman, recently spent some time with me in my cafe kitchen, learning just how best to dice and slice, and cook with spices.  You can view the video of our cooking lesson at …

Our next cooking class is scheduled for Monday, December 4 at 7pm.   We will be focusing on improving knife skills.  Online registration is available at

Kathleen RanaComment