Dinner and Dessert

It’s been a fun and crazy month! I kept intending to post after each assessment and just didn’t take the time to do so. So here I am now with several to post! So, here is your warning: This is a long post and there are a ton of pictures!

Let’s see, first up would’ve been the Club Sandwich and the Reuben Sandwich:

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Center Cut bacon is remarkable! I can’t believe that I’ve been missing out on it all this time! That and a Club Sandwich is SO much better with actual freshly cooked chicken breast as opposed to deli meat! On that note, I’m excited to say that I am much more confident in pan-frying a chicken breast now… I was always so afraid I’d leave it undercooked that I overcooked it and dried it out. Now, it comes out nice and moist and tender!

After this, the Baking and Pastry Arts class started up and I feel like I’ve been in the kitchen ever since! It’s been a blast though…

My first assessment was Buttercream Icing and Ganache… I decided to make a layer cake to showcase those items:

I cheated a bit with the cake itself. I used a mix. I know! But… I tweaked it like crazy! It’s a French Vanilla mix to which I added French Vanilla pudding mix, an extra egg and I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It was wonderfully rich and moist. The filling layer is a combination of the Ganache and the Buttercream. Neither my best friend/roommate/primary taste-tester or I are really fans of Dark Chocolate (again, I know! But it’s true…) so the straight Ganache was a little much for us. Mixing it with the sweet Buttercream really worked well though.

Next up, back on the Culinary side of things, was the Sauteed Vegetables. Most of the veggies had to be cut into batonnets (1/4 x 1/4 x 2). They are seasoned with garlic, basil and lime… Nice and fresh tasting! I was fun working on my knife skills. Did you know you can remove the membrane from bell peppers are they will be sweeter? The membrane is a thin layer inside the pepper that has a bitter taste.

There are a couple more assessments that I have done on the Baking and Pastry side, as well as a contest through the school that I entered; but I have another entry I’m going to make this weekend, so I’ll post all those in one… hopefully soon!

Thanks for taking the time to look at all those! I’d love to hear from you…

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Waxed Paper And A Dozen Eggs…

Hello again! I hope that you had a special Christmas and are off to a good start with your new year… 2013.. crazy! Let’s see, since I talked to you last I made all those treats for Christmas (which turned out quite well I must say!), the Italian Seafood Stew, and I’ve completed the last two assessments for the Culinary Basics section. I’ve also completed my first quiz which allows my to move on to the 2nd of 4 sections- Culinary Groundwork.

I’ve learned a few things over these weeks…

1) Waxed paper does NOT work for baking cookies on… It didn’t catch on fire, thankfully, but it sure did smoke like crazy! (and it must be peeled shred by shred off the bottom of the cookies, but the cookies were worth it…)

2) Decorating gingerbread cookies takes hours when you’re a perfectionist.

3) I love Marshmallow Caramel – with or without the popcorn. It’s basically incredible.

4) Flipping 1 egg over easy is much easier than flipping 2 eggs over easy.

It literally took a dozen eggs to successfully accomplish the 2 unbroken eggs over easy! I had done it successfully several times during the week for my own meals, thinking “Wow! This is so much easier than I expected!”… well, it is – but only with one egg. Flipping two will take a while to master! The omelette on the other hand was very simple and fast. As soon as you pour in the beaten eggs, you stir it with a fork until it starts to get pretty set, then holding the pan with one hand at a downward angle you hit the handle with your other fist – scooting the eggs down over the lip of the pan. Fold that side to the middle with the fork then bring the other edge to the middle, invert it to the plate and voila! It sounds harder than it is…looking at the pictures above will help, or perhaps I can post or link a video if anyone is interested. Let me know!

My next section has a LOT of assessments in it! I’ll be busy! That and the fact that the Pastry Arts Course starts up on the 14th! I’m super excited for that… it’ll be interesting tackling both! I need to create a schedule for myself and stick to it… we shall see.

I’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to follow my blog and get email updates – just click on the Follow button on the left of the page.

Rest in Him.

A new, flavorful adventure!

Thank you all for joining me here at my new blog site, I’m hoping that the layout here will be better than the other one was. I’m so excited to have you all coming with me on my new adventure! I’ve begun online culinary school! Escoffier Online Academy is great so far and I’m learning so much. My goal is to bring you along through my assignments and I’d love to hear any feedback you have to offer me.

Right now I’m a little ways into the Culinary Arts program, in a few weeks the Pastry Arts program will start up as well… I hope I’m not tooooo crazy for trying to do them both at the same time! You’ll help me, right? I hope so! 🙂

As always, (well… when I did get around to posting) I’ll be posting about other random happenings as well…

Thank you for letting me share this adventure with you!!!

Enjoy the photos below…. (you can click on them to enlarge)

I made for the Herb-infused Oil and the Pesto today… They were both surprisingly easy! When I have an assignment I have certain photos that I have to take (like the ones above) that I turn in along with personal assessments to my chef mentors at the school, they are then graded and critiqued. I don’t know all the assignments that I’ll have yet as I can’t see them until I’m in that section of coursework. I do know that next up is an Herb Omelet and an Over-easy Egg. I’ll let you know how they go!

This weekend is a busy one for me! Now that I’ve done my required assignments I can tackle all the holiday baking and goodie-making that I’ve been planning! Tonight for dinner I’m making a Seafood Soup with fresh Clams and Cod… I’ve never attempted seafood! I’m hoping that I’ll like it… After that, at some point throughout the weekend, I’m going to make gingerbread cookies, chocolate truffles, caramel-marshmallow popcorn and “marshmallow sticks” (for stirring in hot chocolate)… I hope you’ll check back in to see everything as I post them!

Until then…. Have a wonderful Christmas weekend!

Rest in Him.