Wednesday, September 30, 2009

appetizer feast and Hyatt Training...

So, I know I know I am flaking again. But, its not my fault this time (cross my heart). I have been very busy with training at my new job! No, I did not finally give up on serving I still have that job but I am now also part time order taker at the Hyatt. The training was intense though, and it hasn't given me any time to post. But, finally today I got out early so I posted.

Last tuesday in my Garde Manger class we did cold appetizers. Mango shrimp curry in phyllo cups, and turkey mousse on french bread. Oh, they were delicious. Here are some pictures.

And finally, this tuesday I we did hot appetizers a bacon wrapped shrimp, mushroom bouche, spankonitas and our own creation of shrimp wontons! .....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

the SANGRIA cake.. Ole!!

Well today was finally my day off after working like 10 in a row! I really don't know how I do it, and school work well it keeps me pretty busy. But, finally today I was able to bake! Yippppyyy!
I decided to go with something of my own invention rather than follow a recipe. So, as I browsed the aisles of the nearby grocery store I found a Sangria bottle. Lets make a Sangria cake, I though to myself so here is the result.

The recipe is fairly simple,

12 Tablespoons butter,
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups sifted all pourpouse flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Sangria
1 egg
2 egg whites


Combine butter and sugar and whip until smooth, then add egg beat well.
In another bowl mix salt, powder and flour
then combine dry mix into butter, alternating with Sangria mix.
Finish and Start with flour
Beat until mixed.

In another bowl beat whites until they form stiff peaks, fold into batter.
Put into molds.

Bake in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the toothpick test comes clean.

The dessert also has a sangria syrup.

it is very simple to make


2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2/3 cups Sangria


Boil sugar and water to create a simply syrup,
slowly add Sangria, let it reduce, then let it cool before putting on cake

And the apple crisps are also a cute and simple decoration.


1 apple sliced
1/2 cup grahams crumbs with sugar
butter as needed


Put apples on a baking sheet, coat both sides with crust, butter a little so they wont stick.
Bake until crisp

To assemble, Position cake in the center of plate, Add apple crisps on side, pour the syrup on center of cake, letting it drip down to surround the dessert. Top with sour cream. voila!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." - Coco Chanel

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Show and Tell Tuesdays ...

So I had class again today ... Hospitality Law which is always fun with my favorite teacher and then GardeManger. I did have to dice half a pound of potatoes before class and make them into large dice for the chef to grade. But, that was forgotten once we got to the real cooking. Today was dip/spread day. gosh. All the fun things we did. First off out each person had to do mayonnaise a basic emulsion. 6 to 8 eight ounces of oil for 1 egg yolk and lots of whipping. WOW were my arms tired. But after that we got to play around and do hummus, babba ganoush, tomato coulis and pesto. My favorite no doubt is the Hummus. I could eat hummus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I could eat it all day and I would feel like a winner . See? It even inspires me to write poetry.

Well the hummus was the fastest to make, since all that is needed is to puree all the ingredients, the coulis is a little more labor intensive, the pesto is same just to puree the basil leaves with pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Oh, I love basil leaves!!
And the babba ganoush is roated eggplant. The only hard part is to roast the eggplants...

But we could not eat the dips alone, so we made pita chips and zucchini sticks. Oh, that was the best dinner for me..
Im thinking of naming Tuesdays ... School Tuesdays? Taco Tuesdays? Show and Tell Tuesdays? Yup, thats what they will be called Show and Tell Tuesdays, every tuesday I will show and tell you what I did at school. They will only last as long as school does though. Oh, well nothing in life is permanent...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Restaurant Nights...

So this post is not specifically about food, it does not include recipes or measurements, it does not have fancy pictures of rolled sponge bread, or strawberry compote. I do not mention intricate baking pattern of famous chefs. No, this is a post about the madness and craziness that the restaurant industry can have. The stress, the emotions, and then the calm that is much appreciated.
I hope to give those that have never worked in restaurants a little blimp of what it is.
Last night the restaurant I work at, ran out of Alfredo sauce in the middle of a Friday night busy shift. OMG. The two managers on duty were overwhelmed when they started to realize that other dished were coming out, but hey the ones that had alfredo were not. The GM who had opened and was about to take off, stood watching as the cooks scrambled and hurried to not go insane with all the tickets popping up on the blinking screen, and the ones that were backed up. The servers having to deal with customers who had to wait up to 45 minutes for a bowl of pasta. Some took it lightly like my table, that laughed it off, and patiently waited, other however were not so lucky and got blamed for what was a culinary mistake.
"How can this happen?" asked the managers, who is to blame in this situation. the cooks for not making more, the managers for not checking? And who is held accountable?
Servers kept coming to the line and telling the manager expoing, "where is my food?" "my table has been waiting" "what do I tell them?" "they are mad". She was doing the best she could, the manager running the floor, probably went to half the restaurant and apologized to the tables. the managers aid ended up "comping" (taking off) many of the dishes so the customers would not pay. My whole table's check was paid by the restaurant. Oh, the loss of profit on a night like that.
At some point the manager on the line, yelled at the one running the floor... Oh, all the things that happen when people are stressed.
But as much as can go wrong, there are many things that go right, as you see other servers helping those that were behind, people helping the expo manager, apologizing honestly to their tables.
And it is those moments when the customers realize you care, when they thank you even though they waited an hour to eat, when everyone helps, and laugh it off. When after all is over, you can throw the towel on the line and exhale. Those are the moments that brighten my day. When you are so tired than instead of asking for a dessert you ask for sauce and everyone laughs. When you ask your table is they would like you to grate salad when you really meant cheese.
And when in the end, we are one big dysfunctional family.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fruit Carvings....

First day of GardeManger and we have to do cuts. Of course! Knife skills is the most important thing said the chef.
Okay so we did large dice, small dice, julienne, and tournes. Oh those things are hard to do. Yup, I could not do them, correctly. The fun part was doing the fruit trays... We did an individual portion and a large tray. I love doing this.. maybe I'll take fruit carving class?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Poem to my Mother...

Will you be my hero?

And dry away my tears

Will you walk with me in the dark?

I will be your hero and

Keep you from your fears?

And hold your hand when you are lost

Will you be my friend

When no one want to be?

I will be your friend and help you see

life is worth fighting for

Will you be my shelter

And keep me safe from harm?

And read me a story to fall asleep

I will be your shelter

And keep you warm

And make you smile when you are sad

Will you be my angel

And carry me in your wings

When I am weak?

And guide my path in life

I will be your angel

And give you words when you cant speak

And keep and eye for you

Will you be my teacher

And tell me what is wrong?

I will be your teacher

And keep you strong

so you don't fall apart when things don't go your way

OH will you be my all

I will help you when you fall

Will you be there for me?

I will always help you be