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Start From Scratch Applications Now Open!

After a few months of prepping and planning, We’re now accepting applications for the second run of Start From Scratch! Head over to now to fill one out. Remember, this time around, the class is open to both University of Calgary AND Mount Royal University students!

We will be offering a Tuesday night and a Thursday night class! It’s going to be awesome, I promise! Also, just a quick FYI, all future updates regarding Start From Scratch, will be going up on it’s website. There will be interviews with past participants and guests, as well as recipes, and more! So check back to often!


Start From Scratch


Without further adieu, let me present to you the new face (botox-free) and name of the program formerly known as Kick The KD.

Say hello to Start From Scratch!

I hope you’ll like the new look and title! We’re working on a new website for this program,, which will go live in July 15th! I’ve had an overwhelming amount of support with this program, and am excited to bring it back in the fall, offering it both to University of Calgary and Mount Royal University students. For now, I’ll be taking a brief, and much needed, vacation to Washington, D.C., but will return refreshed and eager to start planning for the fall!

If you would like more information about this cooking initiative, or are looking for sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, feel free to email our team at!

Stay tuned for more updates on Start From Scratch!

You can follow us on twitter at @StartFrmScratch


KTKD: New Program Name TBA at 4PM May 15th!

It’s almost time!

It’s been just about one month since I was ‘encouraged’ to change the name of this cooking initiative. Now, the wait is finally over…well…almost…Check back here at 4PM on Sunday, May 15th to check out the new look and title of this program, formerly known asKick The KD!

The official announcment of this new name and logo is happening during our graduation party, which is taking place at Home Tasting Room. I’m excited, and hope you are too! Until then, please wait with baited breath.


Stacey: A Look Back on the KTKD Experience

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the KTKD program.  I hope you have gotten the sense from my blog posts that I am grateful to Dan for his vision and inclusion of me in this experience.  I started the course with some cooking knowledge and am leaving with the confidence and creativity to put it to use.  I hope that my fellow participants who had less skill going in than me realize that all that it takes to start cooking is finding what you like, learning to read a recipe, and the ability to chop ;) .  The rest we learn as we go along.

One of the most surprising things I learned in this course was that following food blogs can be fun!  I really thought this would be my least favourite part, however, I have learned that food bloggers don’t just post recipes, they post life experiences too.  For example, my food blogger Ethan shared with his readers his personal story of love and loss of his ‘Bubbie’ and her love of food.

Additionally, things I could never dream up on my own are revealed by those who have a talent with the culinary arts.  Yelp community manager Wendy shared her molecular gastronomy project which inspired me to plan to create my own ‘caviar’ and I have found many other exciting projects simply by paying more attention to the immense amount of information available by friends and contacts (i.e. on Facebook, Twitter, etc).  I might wager that food bloggers use Twitter more than any other group of collective hobbyists.

I went into each class with the goal of learning at least one new thing each time.  As a result I have built a rich collection of memories and tools that I hope will impress my dinner guests who have all been jealous of this opportunity and keen to hear about it.

I hope Dan’s program will continue to expand and be successful; University students are smart when it comes to a lot of things, but we are often too complacent when it comes to the necessities of life.  All too easily we settle for KD (or something like it) because it uses one pot and is ready in 15 minutes.  Dan has showed us that making just a little extra time for proper cooking is easy and rewarding. Thank you



Stacey: Cooking Local in Week 9

This week we took a look at using local ingredients for every day recipes.  We made a roast chicken from Spragg’s Meat Shop, ‘smashed’ potatoes using King’s Orchard purple potatoes and honey apple tarts using apples also from King’s Orchard (grown in Strathmore, AB) and honey from Golden Acres Honey (Three Hills, AB).

Dan’s hope for us was to develop a ‘feel good’ connection with our food by supporting local, sustainable and natural ingredients.  My response is that I did feel good supporting farms from around the city since you can almost see your money put to work.  You are not paying some bureaucratic chain; you are supporting your neighbours.  Additionally, I think food that is almost ‘fresh off the vine’, as it were, just tastes better.  It’s like picking carrots from your backyard.

Our special guest this week was Dan’s grandma, Evelyn.  I think it is a rare privilege to get to share something like KTKD with your grandma and having her there for us to display our new cooking knowledge too was a real treat!  She wasn’t so sure about the purple potatoes or the chili powder in the apple tarts, but she was very proud of Dan! (and rightly so!)

With ‘local’ in mind, this week’s homework was to recreate a meal from a recipe already seen in class this time with local ingredients and then reflect on if being aware of where the ingredients came from helped us give pride in what we had cooked.  I think I already knew the answer to that, but was excited to treat it as homework nonetheless.

I decided to make the alfredo sauce because it was an easy recipe, we loved the taste in class and because the ingredients were as ‘in season’ as anything can be right now.

Unfortunately, I did not get myself together in time to make it to the Farmer’s Market where I could have found the onions, garlic, chicken, butter and cream from farmers near the city so I instead settled on finding ingredients that were at least from Canada.  Going to the grocery store and being conscious of the producer made me feel savvy and I noted that the prices were comparable to the imported products.

The alfredo sauce garnered excellent reviews however I am getting a little worried that my family is catching on to my one trick pony (I always choose the pasta sauce recipes!)…but it doesn’t seem like they are complaining ;)

I would like to try this again (once exams are over) but instead make it to the Farmer’s Market as I do believe there is strong merit in being food conscious and supporting local businesses.  It’s all a part of Kicking the KD!

- Stacey



Kick The KD: What’s in a Name?


Well, apparently something quite substantial…

If you checked out the press release that we put up on the site yesterday, then you’ll know that the name of my cooking initiative has got to go. Yesterday morning, I was presented with a letter from a representative of Kraft Canada requesting the removal of the ‘KD‘ mark (which I was unaware was trademarked) from the program title, as well as all marketing materials (i.e. images) using the letters ‘KD‘. As my current legal team is comprised of google’s search engine, I will comply with their request by the suggested deadline of May 2nd, 2011. Speaking of google, I did search ‘KD logo’ prior to the program launch and got these image results. Just saying…

I do appreciate the fighting spirit of my KTKD-ers (can I still call them that?), and I am as let down as they are that a small, fifteen person cooking class can’t use a name with ‘KD’ in the title. Using a nickname like ‘KD’ (again, not knowing it was trademarked), for me, encompassed any semblance of mac ‘n’ cheese (is that trademarked?) coming out of a cardboard box. The idea of this program was never to say: ‘Stop eating that right now, or else!’, it is meant to give students exposure to hands-on cooking, where they can see different dishes and think: ‘Ok, that was surprisingly easy and just as convenient as making a bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese!’

So, now what? It’s time for a change…

We are looking for a new name. This initial run of the program ends this Thursday, but is returning in the fall with two sets of classes, which will be offered to both University of Calgary and Mount Royal University Students!

If you have a name suggestion, then myself and the Kick The ____ team want to hear it!

(I do generally err on the side of humour, so your suggestion has to make at least one of us smile!)

Post your program title idea(s) as a comment on this post, or…

you can email them to us directly at:

We’re really excited to hear what you’ll come up with! The new name will be announced at our KTKD graduation event being held in mid-May. Stay tuned for details on that!

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