Saturday, February 03, 2007

Restaurant Quote of the Weekend

"A flower for a flower..."


Said by PRMan01 to me as he put a sprig of basil in the pocket of my chef coat.

He's usually nicer to me than to anyone in the kitchen, but tonight, he was particularly sweet. Though the "If I were single..." with suggestive eyebrows and a wink was a little creepy.

No fights tonight. Yay me!

My feet hurt really bad today, and so does my back. They sell sex toys for lonely women, how about robots that give massages?

Cause I really need one.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Questions

Go HERE
Hi Everyone!
I started blogging because of Greg. I love blogging. I love all of the people who I've met, and I love that I have an outlet for my thoughts and feelings. It's brought me great joy to be a part of the blogging community, and I have Greg to thank for introducing me to what a "blog" was.
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Greg has weekly questions, just like I do...(or rather, I have weekly questions, just like he does) today happens to be his question day. Why don't you all stroll on over and answer his questions? It would make me smile if I went by later and saw some of your names in his comments section...
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And while you're at it, take a look at his archives and past posts. He's a pretty funny guy and his blog is definitely worth reading.
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Link him up!
Thank you very much.

As Seen on 91-N



Loosely based on a magnet I received for Christmas....

...and also on experience. ;)

But I don't really want to throw rocks. And I still like boys.

Prediction: Early Spring

Punxsutawney Phil may not have seen his shadow, but if I were him, I would have hidden from that crazy moustache!

And by the way-it doesn't take a genius (or a groundhog) to see that we're sort of "skipping" winter here...

Comatose

Hi folks!

(First of all-this proves how tired I am...I called you "folks". I've never called anyone "Folks" before.)

I'm too tired to come up with a good post today. I hope you forgive me. This week was the first week of my (kind of) senior mod in culinary school. I say "kind of" because there's actually 5 mods so we're like, in senior purgatory or something. In any case, this mod is looking like it will quickly be one of my favorites:

Monday: French Regional Cuisine
Tuesday: Patissier
Thursday: Restaurant Management and Garde Manger

Last night kicked my ass. Since we have 2 classes, we were in the classroom lecturing for 2 hours. Then, when we finally got into the kitchen, chef did a demo on how to cut different fruits and veggies to make them look fancy for platters and centerpieces.

For those of you who are not familiar with what Garde Manger is, it's basically the "cold" kitchen...salads, cold sauces, platters...ice sculptures and the like too. So he was teaching us some pretty cool techniques.

9:30pm came around, and we still hadn't started! (School ends at 11pm) We had to make 2 platter (large!) and centerpieces. It was a little frustrating, but we all had fun. Being that there are only 4 of us now, it's a little easier b/c we all work super well together and are all serious about doing the best we can.

I learned how to make a lotus flower out of a cantaloupe. It's so beautiful and simple too. Also, a spiral cut on a pineapple, as well as a fancy smancy topper with the pineapple top.

We also made our own mayo, which I think is gross. But it did taste fresh in the dressings we made. He made us whip them by hand! I have to tell you, I feel like Popeye today!

We didn't get out of school until 11:20pm. I got home at 11:45pm. And so you see, I am very sleepy.

So, please forgive me for this rambling post. I will, however, give you a recipe. I don't have my book, so I'm just remembering it off the top of my head, but oh my GOODNESS it is yummy!

Blue Cheese Dressing


1 1/4 C. Fresh or store bought Mayo (If you want a recipe for mayo, email me)
1/4 C. Buttermilk
1/2 T. Lemon Juice
1/2 T. Worcestershire Sauce
Tobasco (hot sauce), as you like it
1 t. Garlic, finely minced (I added more-actually, a lot more-2-3 cloves!)
1 t. Onion, finely minced
Salt To Taste (TT)
White Pepper TT
5 ounces Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola, crumbled

1. Combine all ingredients except for cheese until well mixed.
2. Fold in cheese. Taste and test seasoning.
3. Refridgerate until needed.

It's not like the overly heavy, gloopy (but still yummy) store bought dressing you're used to. The Worcestershire sauce really gives it a nice flavor, as does the garlic and onion. Give it a try!

Have a wonderful Friday everyone...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Who Ya Gonna Call?!

I fully recognize that what I'm about to tell you will make you think I'm nuts. Or crazy. Or maybe a little of both. And I also recognize that all of my lovely new readers may actually stop reading. I hope not, but I'm prepared.

The thing is, this blog has always been honest. It's my place to talk about my feelings, to be silly or serious, to write, dream and vent. And it's also a place for me to share things as they happen, and to get feedback about things I can't fully understand myself.

So it's only natural that I share this next bit of information with you, even though it's strange, and, quite possibly, impossible....

I'm being haunted by the ghost of a mouse.

Go ahead. Laugh at me. It's fine. I'd laugh at you too, if it were you telling this story. But I am speaking the truth, and it's really, no laughing matter.

During the last week, my "eyes" have been playing tricks on me. I'd think I saw something scurrying along the corner of the floor, only to find nothing but air. If I was laying down on the sofa watching TV, I'd see it under the table and when I looked full on, it would be gone.

When I opened the bathroom door, I'd see it's tail scurrying away.

I thought it was just my imagination. As you may recall, I did have a mouse (Randy, the Rat-Faced Mouse) a couple of months ago until I brought Sophie (the kitten) home. Randy long tailed it out of my kitchen, and, I thought out of my house.

When Sophie ran away, I set up a trap in the basement again, just to be safe. I didn't expect it to catch anything, because I thought the problem was solved.

Let me make a side note here by saying that I am often in my unfinished basement. At least once a week I have to go down to drain the water that's flooded in because of my faulty sump pump. I pass the trap every time, and every time, it's been empty.

Until today. I didn't notice it at first, but as the water drained, I saw it's little tail and lets moving. I thought it was still alive, and almost (almost) shit my pants. But it was just the water moving it.

It's been there for about a week. I can tell. Which makes sense. Because that's when Randy started haunting me.

What I need this little mouse to understand is:

1. I used to be employed by a mouse
2. It wasn't personal
3. I didn't want to kill him, I just wanted him to live somewhere else
4. He should haunt the man at Lowes who convinced me to buy the damn trap

So...as you can see, I have quite the dilemma. So far, my mouse ghost hasn't done anything but make me jump. But what if he starts getting mean?

Will I have to call in the Mouse Busters?

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Whatever I'm Wondering

1. Have you ever wished so hard on a star that you think you might break it?

2. Do you ever think you have broken it because your wish did not come true?

3. How do you start a big process when you don't know if it's the right thing to do.

4. When will you know if it's the right thing or not?

5. Why is it so hard?

6. Why is Sex & the City so addicting and yet I hate them at the same time?

7. Why do I continue to watch it even when I feel like shit after I do?

8. It will never happen, will it?

9. How do I get from here to there? In one piece.

10. How long will my new tax forms take to get here?

11. Where are my angels?

12. Will I get to go to a baseball game this year?

13. Will I be able to sell my house if I need to?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Taxing

So, it's no real secret that I'm broke. I whine about it here sometimes when the pile of bills gets too high, and the oil in the tank runs low. That's why I was so pumped when I received all 4 of my W forms. I could file taxes.

As I began the process, I happily plugged numbers in, clicking boxes and shuffling papers, dreaming of maybe for once being able to patch the hole in my roof or replacing the faulty sump pump in the basement. Instead, I was shocked to see my numbers dwindling-down to $100 back.

I hadn't put in deductions or anything like that yet, but still, at this point I usually have about $1500 already to get back. Then I spotted it: My new company has not logged any of my medical insurance. Sure, they've been taking the money out each week-but it's not on my form. In fact, they have me listed as retired.

This all stems back to my start date in May. They input my birthday wrong, and in turn, delayed my insurance from starting. I thought the whole mess was straightened out.

Now, instead of getting my return back in 9 days, I have to wait for them to fix it. Actually-I have to find out who to talk to in the company (there's a whole lot of "I don't handle that, call so-and-so" and then "Oh, I don't know why she told you to call me-she's the one who does that").

Sometimes, I truly wonder who I pissed off and how long they'll hold this grudge...

Randomivity

I'm finding it extremely hard to stay motivated to wake up and go to work these days. It's a cool job, if they ever give me something to do. I've asked my boss several times for work, and he always puts me off. So, I sit at my desk waiting for his phone to ring and hand out keys.

He almost always picks up his own phone, and people need keys like, once a week.

I like to feel as though I am important-that what I do helps someone get their job done faster, easier...better. Or that what I do helps get the final product out the door. I don't like feeling that if I took vacation days for the rest of the year, no one would care.

I left my old job with the same company because I didn't get enough work. I work faster than the average person, yes, I realize this. And I've learned to adapt accordingly. But this position is worse. There's literally nothing going on. I'm told it will pick up soon and that I won't be able to breath when that happens.

Bring it. I've had too much breathing room. Give me work. I'm able, and I am willing.

I need a reason to wake up in the morning.

Switching gears-

I got a 96 on my Menu Planning project!!!! It's worth 60% of my final grade in the class, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Know-it-all got an 84. I feel bad for him, but also feel happy that we will be more even now with our grades. We've always been neck and neck and I hated it. I don't feel so bad because he knows why his grade is bad. He waited until the last minute when we had 11 weeks, and he's taking the result in stride.

We've actually become pretty good friends. With just 4 of us in the class, it's easier to talk and to support each other. What's nice is that we work alone now-not in teams, and so we're very helpful to each other. I like it.

I gave my chef instructor his card yesterday, and I'm glad I did. I was in my classroom in a lecture when he passed in the hallway, and his face lit up and he smiled a HUGE smile. It made me feel good that he knows that he influenced me in such a positive way. I'm glad I did it.

Patissier is going to be my favorite class-I can tell. Cake baking, Petit Fours and decorating. I've already learned how to make a rose out of frosting-which I could never do. 10 minutes with this guy, and I'm doing it. Amazing.

Also, he knows Colette Peters- the Queen of cake decorating. In fact, he knows her well enough that she came to a party that he threw and brought the cake! Way impressed...

This mod is the death of my diet. It's literally impossible to be on the South Beach or Atkins diet while in culinary school. Especially because I have French Regional Cuisine (Lots of Puff Pastry) and Patissier-so, I'm going to just eat right when I can, and in school eat what we make. Hopefully someday, I'll be skinny again...

Lastly, I got my chocolate fountain in the mail today. I can't wait to try it out!!!! (I have to test it, of course, before the party!)

Wordless Wednesday-"This 1 Doesn't Taste Like Fish!"




Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Toosdae ?'s

1. You are being exiled to a deserted island for the rest of your life. The only reading material you are allowed is one (1) volume of the encyclopedia. Which volume (letter) do you choose and why.

2. I've recently been thinking about my readers-if we were friends in real life, I'd know a lot more about you. So: what nationality are you? Do you celebrate any holidays associated with your heritage? How old are you? Are you male or female? (You don't have to answer any of these questions, and I love you all no matter what!)

3. Would you rather be able to foretell the future, or have all the money you will ever need?

1. I'd choose "S" because I'm sure it's a thick one and I'd want as much variety as possible.

2. I'm Italian and Irish. We celebrate all of the normal holidays...but on St. Patrick's Day, my mom always makes Corned Beef and Cabbage and Green Milk. She's crazy. I am 30, female. White. Catholic. Straight. Fun loving! Silly! Hmm...what else?

3. I would rather have all of the money I will ever need. Though I've said I want to know the future, I don't think I really do. Plus, if it doesn't actually happen, there's severe disappointment. I happen to know for a fact...

Monday, January 29, 2007

Bestest...

Thank you Skittles and Bobby! It's quite an honor, and I am thrilled!!
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Go here to see what Skittles had to say about me and my little blog..
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Anyone who's ever been on a diet will understand. Or, at least I hope you do.
They say it's not wise to go grocery shopping when you are hungry. Well, for a fat girl, that's impossible. (We're almost always hungry, right?) And a fat girl on a diet? Lethal.
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And did I mention that I am a food geek. Or a foodie. Or a budding culinarian? Yeah. My free time is spent cooking. And if I'm not cooking, I'm reading about cooking, or planning to cook, or telling other people what they should cook.
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And you know the saying...you don't know what you had until it's gone.
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And oh boy do I miss bread. And chocolate. And cake and pies and bagels. And coffee with sugar. And crispy French fries and Chinese food and...Oh, I'm sorry. I'm blogging here. Right...
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Back to the shopping...
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They say you shouldn't shop on an empty stomach. (And who's "they" anyhow? A bunch of skinny chain smokers who's appetite is that of a hibernating squirrel?) So, I have a list, and it contains things like fat free cottage cheese, garbanzo beans and lettuce. Doesn't do anything for ya? Me neither.
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Most diets though, come with a "You can have 1 oz of (insert almost yummy food)". Mine says I can have 1 sugar free fudgsicle a day. This, to me, is a Godsend and so the frozen food isle is my first stop.
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On the way home, my mouth began to water. I'd stuck to my diet all day (even though I was home alone AND went to the movies-2 prime times to cheat!). I was a little hungry, but really wanted something good to eat. Enter Fudgsicle.
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The trouble with the sugar free fudgsicle is not that they are sugar free. It's that they're wrapped in Teflon. Really. You can't open those suckers! You pull and you tear, and occasional let out a grunt, but those bad boys just do not open, and eventually, you simply end up with a broken pile of mooshy fudgsicle.
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Which, by the way, gives you an excuse to lick the wrapper. Teflon, as it turns out, isn't so bad.
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I wonder how many calories it has...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Recipe: Pommes Fondantes

"The English translation of this dish, "Skillet-roasted potatoes" doesn't do it justice. The literal French translation, "Melting Potatoes", may sound wacky, but it does give you a sense of the creamy texture that you get when you cook potatoes this way."

Potatoes are simmered in broth until tender and the smooshed and cracked open to allow more yumminess to seep in. A rich, brothy flavor is achieved as the liquid evaporates. Because it's simply flavored with rosemary, olive oil and salt and pepper-you may think you've died and gone to heaven...

Serves 4-6


2# baby Yukon Gold or Red Bliss Potatoes (No larger than 1 1/2- 1 3/4 inches in diameter)
2 C. Chicken Broth
2 T. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 T. Unsalted Butter
1 Sprig of fresh Rosemary
1 t. Kosher salt
1-2 T. Fresh chives, chopped
Method:
1. Wash and clean potatoes. Arrange as many potatoes as will fit in a non-stick skillet. *Make sure you have some "wiggle room" in the pan-remember, we will be smooshing them later!
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2. Add all of the ingredients except the chives. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat and cover the pan, leaving it slightly ajar. Cook until potatoes are fork tender (about 15-20 minutes)
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*The liquid should still be halfway up the potatoes at this point-if it isn't, add more broth until it does.
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3. Remove the pan from the heat and press each potato with a flat edge (a dry measuring cup works great!) until it just cracks open. Set the pan over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, until all of the liquid evaporates and the potatoes have browned on one side.
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4. Gently turn the potatoes and brown them on the other side, 4-5 minutes.
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5. Remove from pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chives and additional sea salt (optional).
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