Friday, August 22, 2008

The Closing Ceremony, The Final Project and getting there

So, it’s Friday and yes yesterday I attended my cake decorating class. I have done so faithfully for the past month and a half. Unfortunately no more cakes have been involved just a lot of frosting. Butter cream, royal, and color flow. That is the reason why I haven’t made any posts on regards to that. However next Thursday it’s the ‘final project’ for Course 2 and I though I’d post some pictures of the things I’ve done with the leftover frosting!!
The first are champagne petit fours, with melted candy and cocoa power, these got to the company picnic. Everyone loved them…

And these are decorated with leftover color flow and royal icing. They just layer around the house for … 1 second!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

School and some thoughts!

School season officially started this Monday. I have been stressing out over, classes, schedules, and job commitments and of course all the money costs related to school, especially culinary school. F Y I there is lab fees, tools, uniform, etc.
Did I also mention that I joined a gym, have been job hunting, and recently started going to a church group, try fitting that around friends, family and some free time… there is just not enough hours in a day!!
But, alas I have made some free time to post in my lovely blog and describe to you how my days are going so far... yesterday I had my internship class, super fun just introductions and some basic instructions. Today, Quantity took the spotlight… here they’ll teach us about food manufacturing and portioning. Tomorrow (I’m very exited) it’s Baking and Pastry, and Thursday, I’ll have International Food, here we prepare food for actual customers! And at night I have Menu/Layout.
So, you can all feel pity for me at my busy schedule I have three classes at another college that include Small Business, Marketing, and ServSafe Foods. 24 units in total…
And to celebrate all this, I need to share to home recipes that can’t be made in a commercial kitchen; because the crock-pot is not commercial.
Bon Appetit!

Cran-Apple Risotto

1/4 cup butter
3 little apples (diced)
½ dried cranberries
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1/4 t kosher salt
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
4 tbsp Splenda
4 cups rice milk

Use a 4 qt round crock-pot
Set the crock to high and add the butter, let it melt
Add the rice to the butter, and stir it around to coat it.
Add the apples, and spices. Stir in the rice milk
Let it cook on high for 3-5 hours or on low for 6 or so.

Banana- Chocolate Pudding

1 ¾ cup self rising flour
6tbsp butter
2 ripe bananas
6tbsp caster sugar
1 ¼ cups milk
1 egg (beaten)
2/3 cup chocolate chips

1. Grease and line the base of a 4 cup pudding basin
Put an inverted saucer in this bottom of the ceramic pot and pour 1 inch of hot water. Turn on to high.
2. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl, and rub in butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. In a separate place mash bananas, then stir into the flour and butter mixture. Add the sugar and mix.
3. In a clean bowl, add the milk and eggs, then beat into the banana chopped chocolate and spoon in to the prepare pudding basin. Cover with a double thickness of buttered foil and place in the ceramic cooking pot. Pour enough boiling water around the basin to come just over half up the sides.
4. Cover the pot, cook for 3-4 hours, or until the pudding is risen and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rustic Summer Pizza

Every time I go to a restaurant I see a change to get inspiration. Inspiration can be found in the flavors, in the presentation or in the ingredients themselves!
About a month ago I went to file a job application at a new bar that’s opening in Anaheim, California. After filing the paper application and getting no immediate response, I and my faith companion perused trough plaza (near Disneyland). I should mention lunchtime neared and our stomachs growled from hunger. The choice seemed very easy California Pizza kitchen. Hip, hip hurray!!
As we placed our order consisting of … coffee, hummus appetizer, and mushroom pizza… a table tent called my attention. Pear pizza? Hmmmm? It got me thinking. Of course the thought faded as dessert time neared and caramel cheesecake made its way to our table. Delicious!!

The days passed, the calendar pages flying of the wall as they always do. And then yesterday as I cleaned my pantry to go grocery shopping again, a can of pears peered at me, lonely and forgotten. I had cheese in the fridge, tomato, flour, everything set to prepare a pizza. Lovely! My provolone-pear pizza follows:

1 can sliced pears
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 cup purple cabbage sliced
15 sliced provolone cheese
½ teaspoon thyme
Homemade or prepackaged pizza dough

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Coat a baking sheet with no-stick spray.
2. Roll- out the dough onto the sheet, place the tomatoes in rows, top with provolone cheese, then put pear and cabbage slices alternately on the pizza.
3. Sprinkle with thyme, bake for about 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and pizza is crispy.

What is the next restaurant dish that can inspire me!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Buttercream Beauties

Today has been a great day! I haven’t fought with anyone. I don’t have work tonight, and I stayed home and watched a movie. And if that weren’t enough I had my favorite meals today!
Yep, that’s right, the day started with my comfort bowl of oatmeal and fruit. Then I had homemade pizza, yep from scratch. I made the dough, the ‘sauce’, and baked it for 15 minutes until crispy. Now isn’t that yummy! And right after I finish my post, I am going to my weekly decoration class. Tonight there is no cake involved just frosting. That is not to say I’m not heading over for a coffee and sneaking in some raising bread…
lovely day!! So, since I’m in a hurry, I’ll only post the picture of the beautiful butter cream flowers I made last week. Ahhhhhhh!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The "Asian" Flare

Here is my dirty little secret!
I love Asian food more than Mexican (gasp) so, for dinner today I made lovely Asian-inspired tofu and rice. Its pretty simple, to maqe, all it needs is basic ingredients, 30-40 minutes of your time and it can look BOMB on your dinner table!!


1lb extra-firm tofu (cut and marinated in soy sauce)
1 cup canned, sliced carrots
1 cup canned, sliced potatoes
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
1 cup broccoli (steamed)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 sheets dried seaweed
4 cups boiled white rice
1/2tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp thyme
Salt & pepper

Heat a curved pan (wok). Add olive oil and let it heat up.
Quickly add the carrots, potatoes and garlic. Let it stand for about 5 minutes.
Add tofu and all the sauce it has left, Add spices let stand for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile roll the seaweed tightly and slice vertically (you’ll get serpentine looking strands.)

Once the tofu is slightly brown and tender, add broccoli stir for another 2 minutes or so.
To plate, scoop rice onto center of plate, square, put tofu around it and put the seaweed on top of the rice.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

July Favorites

Okay, so I’m a few days late! July is over and gone, but it’s still fresh enough for me to post the favorite things of this month. Being that’s its late summer and peach season, I have to say my number 1 favorite is the
doughnut Peach
It looks sooooooo cute, and tastes delicious. If you’ve tried it Congrats!!! And if not go and buy today!! Another of my favorites this month is Paula Deen’s memoir "It Aint All About the Cookin" Paula Deen - Book And guess what she’s a Georgia Peach (hehe!) It’s a must read, I could not put it down, I mean I was eating and reading! I also discovered this great site about recycling and saving the Earth. If you didn’t know I am (or at least try) to be an environmentalist. So, go see the site and help out mother Earth!!
Earth 911 I also enjoyed going to the gym. I just joined… so I can eat more of those pastries! And last but not least, as the saying goes. The Olive Garden’s noveau “Flat Breads”
“That’s All!”