A hands-on culinary journey in the capital
Exquisite Bakery in Shunyi is your one-stop baking shop. You can pick up all the supplies you need to bake your own homemade creations, or sample some of their yummy in-house treats (we recommend the cupcakes). If you’re looking for an afternoon activity to occupy the children, book the kids into a cooking class, where they’ll decorate their own cakes and cupcakes. Ask them to bring some of their creations home to share with the family. Closed Jun 15-23. From Jul 10-Aug 10, open 9am-5pm. Shop 7, Riverville Square, Tianzhu, Shunyi District. (6450 9838) 南炉, 顺义区天竺温榆广场07店
Co-founded by two Australians, The Hutong offers Chinese culture classes in its charming Chinese teahouse facilities. The twice-weekly cooking class covers two or three dishes (Level I classes teach two dishes and also includes a market tour). Bilingual instructors ensure good engagement with the students, although classes can get crowded on weekends. Check online for a description of kids’ cooking classes available on Saturdays, such as learning how to make hand-pulled noodles or jiaozi. RMB 200, 150/child. Tue 10am-12.30pm and Sat 2-4pm; also available for private classes/events. Jiudaowan Zhongxiang Hutong near Beixinqiao subway station. (8915 3613, www.the-hutong.com) 东城区九道弯中巷胡同 (北新桥地铁附近）
Cooking Classes for the Older Set
For adults who want to try their hand in the kitchen, try the cooking courses offers at the Hilton Beijing (near the Kempinski hotel). Cuisine ranges from Thai to Italian and each class provides history and background of cuisine, introduction to basic ingredients and preparation followed by a cooking demonstration. Dinner follows with soft drinks, wine and fruit included in the RMB 300 price. For classes in June and July, see Events.
Shake it Up
What better way to beat the heat than with an icy cool shake? These delicious drinks are packed with vitamins and fiber, plus a hidden super-food ingredient that blends in so well, the kids won’t even know it’s there! Each recipe below makes two servings.
• 1 cup chopped strawberries • ½ cup blueberries • 1½ cups sliced banana • 1¼ cups chopped pineapple • 1 cup ice cubes • Super Boost: 1 heaped tablespoon of tofu
Tofu is rich in iron, protein, calcium and the essential amino acids found in meats (but with no cholesterol). Blend fruits and tofu until smooth. Add ice cubes and pulse until liquefied. If you like your smoothies on the sweeter side, add honey to taste.
• ½ sachet (55g) powdered vanilla pudding mix • 2 apples, peeled and chopped • 1½ cups orange juice • 1 cup ice cubes • Super Boost: 1 tablespoon wheat germ
Wheat germ is almost a complete food – it contains more nutrients than any grain or vegetable, and more protein and iron per volume than most meats. Blend all ingredients. If your kids don’t mind pulp, use three peeled and seeded oranges instead of the juice, making sure to remove all the pith. Blend at high speed until liquefied.