Cooking with Julie is a delicious success


Shreya Voruganti

Spinach and Cheese ravioli made by Shreya Voruganti while attending the Cooking with Julie class.

Shreya Voruganti, Staff Writer

Cooking with Julie is a free cooking program offered at the JV Fletcher Library for teens and tweens. It runs from February 4th to April 8th from 3:30-4:30 pm and teaches you how to make a variety of dishes. Some are dinners for one, and other dishes are for the whole family. I attended the first class on February 4th, where I learned how to make spinach and cheese ravioli. This class was very fun and resulted in some delicious ravioli.

The instructor for this class, Julie Manning, is a very sweet person who started Simply Focused Coaching. She is a personal life coach and professional wellness mentor based in Palmer, Massachusetts. She taught us how to cook from her home through Google Meet, so everyone could all go through the experience of cooking.

The first class was on how to make spinach and cheese ravioli, which is vegetarian but contains eggs. The only requirements for this cooking class are that you need to have the ingredients and a stove to cook the ravioli or an oven for other meals.

However, the class poorly caters to people with dietary restrictions. I am a vegetarian, and some of these recipes contain meat, like the chicken and dumplings class that will be held on February 25th. I wish this class did better to cater to people with dietary restrictions because I cannot attend those classes involving meat, so I am missing out on cooking some delicious recipes.

The class started with some technical issues with Google Meet, but it was all resolved after a few minutes. When we started making the ravioli, I felt as if the class went a little bit fast. The class was scheduled for an hour, but it only took half an hour to make the ravioli. Since I was rushing and trying to keep up with the class, some of my ravioli exploded while I was cooking them. However, I just ate the broken ravioli before plating. If I did not set out all my ingredients before starting the class, I would have been extremely behind and I would have had a hard time making the ravioli.

Manning showed us each part of the process, however, I could not see what she was doing clearly. She had a laptop and was holding things up to the camera to show us, which was a little bit tricky to see what she was doing, but it was not a significant problem.

With the ravioli itself the only thing a little difficult was closing the wonton wrappers and making sure they did not open in the water. The first couple of ravioli I made was a little difficult to get fully closed, but then I got the hang of it and mostly all of them survived being boiled in water. I tried to keep up with the rest of my class and make sure my ravioli turned out okay. I wish Manning had gone a little slower because I took a lot of time to make sure the ravioli were close to perfect and did not explode in water.

The only problem I had on my side was that it was a bit tricky to make the ravioli on my side and watch what the instructor is doing on a small screen since I could not use my laptop as it was too big. Nevertheless, it was not too big of a deal and I still had a lot of fun making the ravioli.

However, making the spinach and cheese ravioli was super fun and easy. I put all the ingredients into the bowl and mixed it up, making the filling. Then, I took the wonton wrapper, filled it with the filling, and closed it, making it into the shape of ravioli.

Shreya Voruganti assembles the spinach and cheese ravioli. (Shreya Voruganti) 

I had never made ravioli before, and it was a great experience. I would totally do it again! I got to eat some yummy ravioli, share it with my family, and have the experience of cooking a meal. The process does not take long at all, and it is perfect for a snack, or a meal if you make more.

I definitely recommend taking this free class to anyone who wants to get into cooking, or wants to try making something very easy. If you are a fan of yummy food and love the process of cooking, I urge you to sign up. These classes are amazing for people in their tweens and up, so almost everyone can make these ravioli. This was a very fun experience, and I am definitely going to attend the next class.