Saturday, July 14, 2007

Top Chef: Recipe 2

The winning ingredients...





The recipe: Serves 6: Appetizer


Sweet Potato Stuffed Scallops
with a
Citrus Beurre Blanc and Asparagus


Cheerios 1/4 C.
Garlic Powder 2 T.
Salt 1 T.
Pepper TT
Olive Oil, For frying
Sweet Potato 1
Shallots, diced 1/2
Orange Juice 8 oz
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
White Wine 8 oz
Heavy Cream 1/4-1/2 C.
Butter, 2 sticks
Salt TT
White Pepper TT
Asparagus 18
Scallops 6




The method:
1. Saute diced shallots in a small sauce pan until translucent-do not brown. Add orange juice, wine, lemon & lime juice and reduce to approximately 1/4 C.


2. Meanwhile, combine Cheerios, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a food processor. Pulse until fine.
3. Peel and cook sweet potato until soft. Drain and mash. Add 2 T. of the citrus liquid, 1/4 C. of heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper TT. Set aside.
4. While potatoes are cooking, fry off thin moon shaped pieces of sweet potato for garnish. This can be done in a shallow pan simply with olive oil. Fry until crisp and season with salt. Set aside.
5. Slit scallops horizontally partially thru to make a pocket. A paring knife is best for this task.
6. Using a pastry bag fitted with a circle tip, fill the scallops with the sweet potato mash until full. Wipe off the excess that spills out.
7. Finish the sauce: Add heavy cream to reduced juice mixture. Reduce by about 1/2 and remove from the heat. Add butter 2 T. at a time until completely combined. Whisk until thick. Season with Salt and White pepper. *You may want to strain this prior to adding the cream and butter to take the shallots out-this is how it is classically made-lump free!
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8. Using the Cheerios mix, bread the scallops on both sides. Sear them in a very hot skillet and olive oil until golden brown on each side. Cooking times vary based on scallop size.
9. Cook asparagus in boiling water-these should be al dente. Place 3 asparagus on a plate, perpendicular to each other. Top with scallop. Using the pastry bag, place a small dot of sweet potato mash on top, drizzle with citrus beurre blanc and garnish with sweet potato crisp.




*If this does not make sense, please email me-I'm very tired and may have skipped a step or forgotten something important!

**UPDATE: See? I'm so tired that I forget to say: IT'S YUMMY!!! The crispy sear on the outside with the garlic and salt with the sweetness of the tender scallops was fantastic. But THEN-a surprise inside! Creamy sweet potato mash with a hint of citrus...and the creamy sauce with the asparagus was great...I would serve this dish at a dinner party, and I would easily serve it to clients...

Sleep Over Date

I picked her up at 7:00. First up: Car wash. It's strange how a 5 year old can bring out the silly in you, and how a car wash can turn into an extremely fun event...

LOTS of singing and dancing on the car ride up-lots of people smiling and waving at us as we drove...

But this is what Aunts are for...Ice cream and dancing on the town green. It wasn't all fun and games, now-we discussed the controversial "cotton candy scandal" in which Rye Bread discovered that she did not like cotton candy. Tonight? She re-discovered that she DID. (Her ice cream: A DOUBLE-Playdoh ice cream on the top and cotton candy ice cream on the bottom. In a sugar cone. My ice cream: A single-Birthday Cake ice cream on a sugar cone-which she ate half of.)

Dancing on near the fountain in Aunt Mags' sweatshirt...

That thing called love...
After ice cream we went home and played with Legos, constructing a very complicated doggie and a very tall house. Then, I saw sleepy eyes and made this:

And read her "The Monster At The End of the Book" (Her favorite part-"I'm so embarrassed". Mine: "Did you know you are very strong?")
I set up a night light, layed down next to her and got a big hug and a kiss g'night....and she took every stuffed animal I own-minus a stuffed chicken which caused her extreme joy earlier on-and fell fast asleep...My little angel....

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Cutest Date I Ever Had

Guess who I have a sleep over date with tonight?!?!?!??!! YAY! My niece Rye Bread is coming to sleep over my house tonight-just her and I to play and laugh and giggle and share ice cream, and cuddle.

What a lucky duck I am...aren't you jealous!?!

Hmmm....I've never had a kid with me for this long by myself. LOL. Hope she doesn't get bored.

*Update: I just went back into my archives and found this story...it still makes me crack up with laughter when I read it....

Ocho

I was tagged by Linda at Are We There Yet? for this 8 Things Meme...it took me a little while to think these up, but I have prevailed!

1. For half an hour I owned a pencil signed Salvador Dali drawing. I was at an art auction and I bid on a “wild card”. (It had it’s back to us and we didn’t know what it was or who drew/painted it) and they said that if we did not like it, we could opt not to buy it. I won and when they turned it around I was not enthralled with it and Dali isn’t one of my favorite artists so I opted out. They had to go 3 more bidders before someone bought it for $175.

2. Though I do not hate chocolate, I would take vanilla over it any day of the week. A good vanilla soft serve ice cream can’t be beat in my mind, and if paired with strawberries and whipped cream-orgasmic.

3. I hated cats until 2000 when I was bribed into getting 2 newborn kittens. I fell in love with them immediately and often marveled at how I could love them so much, just like children! I had to give them away (to save them from being hurt by Jamie) and I miss them. When I sell my house and move, I plan on getting a kitten again because I will have more time to dedicate to loving them again.

4. I do not miss my ex-husband at all, and in fact, am only reminded of the fact that I was married when people are talking about planning weddings or when they mention divorce. It comes to me as a surprise, almost like, “Oh yeah! I was married!” It simply is not who I am anymore.

5. I get skeeved out by ugly feet, long toe nails (even on women who think they look nice painted with French manicures) and dirty fingernails. Bad teeth also sometimes gross me out.

6. I have very sensitive eyes. I can’t be in the sun without sunglasses or else I get an almost immediate headache. I also can’t sit under fluorescent lights for too long. Even shopping in a mall for a few hours gives me a headache.

7. I dream in color. This is apparently very rare, and I never thought of it before until someone exclaimed, “DO YOU DREAM IN COLOR?!?!” because I was describing a dream (the midget one) and knew what colors things were-vividly.

8. In order to absorb knowledge, I need time to process the information-the best way for me is to read, listen to lecture and be allowed to process what I’ve heard before spewing the information back to the professor. I am not able to do quick answer oral tests right away, even though I may know the material well.

So...I am supposed to tag 8 people. The last time I tagged you, only 2 people played, so, if you would like to play, you may do so eithe rin comments, or on your blog....let me know you posted so I can come harass yousay hi.

Top Chef Ingredient Results

And the winners are....

With 43.8% of the vote: Sweet Potatoes
...32.4% of the vote: Scallops
...62.5% of the vote: Asparagus
...36.7% of the vote: Cheerios
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Thank you everyone for your participation! Last week I had 22 votes total-this week? 36! Keep 'em coming...tell your friends. You never know, I might be famous one day. ;)
*
Stop by this weekend to see what I've come up with!
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*Results as of 11:59pm EST 7/12/07

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Overheard in the Classroom

I think we should call the hanger steak, "flat iron steak". If we
call it hanger steak, my friends will think we're serving them testicles.
They call balls, hangers.


Who knew writing a menu could be so entertaining...

Graduation & Birthday List

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE FOR TOP CHEF INGREDIENTS!

It is getting close to 2 big days for me-graduation & my birthday. Some of you have inquired about what I would like, and besides for my family, I hate doing this...

So, instead of telling you specifically, I will say this: If you are interested, there is a wishlist created on Amazon.com. Go to their site and search under wishlists for my name as follows:

The first name my mother gave me and my last name (the name my father gave me).

If you don't know these, you probably shouldn't be buying me presents! (Though I would never shun a present. LOL)

Top Chef: Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of Top Chef-where YOU pick the ingredients and I create a recipe! Voting ends tonight at 11:59PM, so get your picks in now! Invite friends to join in-the more the merrier.

And once you've voted, don't forget to leave me a comment letting me know you participated! (If you want to tell me what you voted for that's cool too!)

So, without further ado...

VOTE!




Next...



Then...



And last...



Thank you for voting! Stop by for results tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Water Logged

Tonight I learned a few things in the kitchen and I thought that I would share it with you...

1. I should have become a pastry chef. Why? The kitchens are air conditioned. They don't tell you prior to studying to be a chef just how hot it will be in there during the summer.

2. If I had balls, I would have sweated them off tonight.

3. You can be so hot that the water you are drinking is literally pouring out of you at the same rate. Gross, I know, but true.

4. Taking hot pans out of the oven with a wet towel is a big fucking mistake. Yup. Fucking mistake. They don't tell you these things in school, but in hindsight, I can see why it makes sense...water is the best conductor of heat.

5. Blisters on your index finger hurt.

6. Lobsters can be stuffed while they are still moving.

7. Lobsters cook better if you put them on their backs. True story.

8. It is possible to lose 5 pounds in 3 1/2 hours.

9. If you ever get disenchanted with the shower-go work in a kitchen for a few hours. Angels will sing, harps will play and Jesus himself might even appear. It's that good.

Credit Counseling

It is no secret that I am flat broke. In fact, until payday (thankfully Friday) I only have $6.25 to my name.

Seriously.

Though the main reason for my money woes stems from the fact that I am an educated woman (I hold a bachelors degree and a Culinary Arts degree) and have two student loans, I also own a home. And owning a home is expensive. Especially if you are doing it on your own.

I did, however, get off to a very rocky start financially. My freshman year in college I was approved for a credit card. Even though I had no job. BIG mistake. What started out as just one little purchase at the mall ended with THE best Christmas my friends and family ever had! Though I did have a great time and enjoyed giving wicked awesome gifts that year, it took me years upon years to pay it off.

Needless to say, I have struggled. Recently, I looked into getting
credit counseling to help me gain control of the debt I still have. After speaking with the counselor, it was determined that I could pay off my debt in as little as 3 years-unless I paid extra money when I could.

Credit counseling has been a huge help to me and though I can not yet say I am.

Top Chef Update

Badge by Janna

Vote 4 Ingredients Tomorrow!!

YOU vote for ingredients, I create a recipe...

Can you stump me, or will I prevail?

Stop by to cast your vote Thursday after 8 am

Randomivity

*You should not look like you are pooping on the dance floor when you dance. Especially when it is being photographed.

*Sometimes announcing that you are going to blow dry your hair brings an unexpected but utterly delightful surprise.

*Motorcycles make WAY too much noise-especially when the guy on top has a tiny penis and needs to rev it up every 2 seconds. At 11pm. Hello! We know you're here-in fact, the whole state of frickin' CT knows you are here!

*Calling someone "Nubs" is hysterical. Especially when other people not in on the joke hear it and think it's meant to be dirty.

*Sharing french fries and soggy underwear stories is the way to certain friends hearts.

*A hunch about someone having a crush on you is solidified when during kitchen production he yells, "Hey! Mags....MAGS!!! Do you want a cold water?" This may seem harmless (and it is) until you realize there are 30 other people in the kitchen and we are no where near each other. And I haven't talked to him all day.

*No, he's not hot. I know you are wondering.

*MySpace sometimes tells tales that people don't want it to.

*Only 7 more classes. Again, I have mixed feelings.

*The "I'm not sad about this" comes from the fact that my classmates have been very grumpy lately.

*White is not a good color for the fat girl. Thankfully, when I work for myself, I can choose other color jackets.

*The man in the center in the picture below is the add on to my class-he is the one that from the very beginning of school, I've hated looking at him because he's freaky. His blank stare below is his typical look.

*Video Camera: Check

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It Does More Than Just Stopping Ya From Havin' Babies

That may be the longest title I've ever had in the whole 2 years I've had this blog.

The birth control pill is apparently in cahoots with the sandman. When combined with caffeine, the pill may be preventing me from sleeping.

Doh.

Caffeine is absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream from the gastro-intestinal tract. It reaches maximum concentration within about an one hour. The blood distributes it throughout the body. It even manages to pass through the blood-brain barrier.

The half life of caffeine in the human body varies between 3 to 7 hours. Throughout the body it increases metabolic rate by around 10%. Females metabolise caffeine 20-30% more quickly than males. However, it will take women on "the pill" twice as long to metabolise caffeine as women who are ovulating.

Looks like somebody will have to stop drinking coffee all together!

Ugh.

Toosdae ?'s

Hi everyone! Happy Toosdae! Take a look at my new badge-my friend Kyra from the 108 made me a bunch of them and I can't wait to tell you all why! In the meantime, sit back, relax, and answer away! The more the merrier...hint, hint.


1. You have just been shipwrecked and are deserted in the middle of the ocean. Which one item would you prefer to have with you to help you survive, and why? (a) A blow up pool raft (b) chapstick (c) A pointy metal shaft (a la harpoon) (d) A single canteen of clean drinking water.

2. The leaders of the world have gotten together and decided that all holidays with the exception of one are banned, and celebrating them results in public hanging. Which holiday do you vote to keep and which month would it be celebrated in?

3. Besides breathing and blinking and any other bodily functions-do you have any involutary habits or ticks that you do on a daily basis?


1. I bet you all think I'm going to say chapstick, huh? Well, that's what I would choose if this was a plane crash question...for this answer, I am picking the raft. Even though it is flimsy and not sturdy like a life boat, it floats. And I could hold onto it to rest in between my heroic attempts to save my life.

2. I vote to keep Christmas because it is the most splendific holiday in the world. And, I would not change the month because there is nothing in the world like a cold snowy Christmas season to warm my heart.

3. I clear my throat a lot. I didn't realize it until I moved back home and my little sister said she used to love it when I did it. I now realize I do it tons of times a day, and I try not to. When I try not to, it makes me feel like I'm suffocating, and so I have to do a bigger clearing than I normally would have to begin with. In fact, I've got to do it now...

Project 15

Project 15

Click the button above-it'll change your life!


Beginning tomorrow my good friend and blogging buddy Kyra from The 108 will open the doors to Project 15-a site dedicated to creating graphics for people like you and I.

Kyra's creativity and talent can been seen all over the blogosphere, and especially here on Toosdae's (and also see my sidebar-Most Bitchin' in the Kitchen)...check out these awesome headers she whipped up for me...












Not only are these badges fantastic, each and every one matches a different part of my personality! Her skills are outstanding, and anyone with a website or blog would benefit from working with her.

Stop by Project 15 to check out Kyra's online portfolio, pricing (VERY reasonable) and packages and to welcome her and wish her luck.

And buy a few things to pimp your blog out...you know you wanna...

Thank you Kyra for my pretty, pretty badges!! I love you and wish you LOTS of luck...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Manic Monday: Seven

Manic Monday's are MoMoLicioius!


It's been 2 years, 7 months and 3 days since he walked out, leaving her soft naked body sleeping peacefully in their small, upper west side apartment. 2 years, 7 months and 3 days.

And 25 minutes.

Not that she was counting. And now he was back, as tan and strong as she remembered, his smile pulling her in-his kiss, making her beg for more. How is it, Sadi wondered, that one kiss could erase her heartache-how his arms were still her haven?

As she lay there, legs entwined with his, naked and devilishly sweaty, she could not find the answers she needed. Instead of allowing her thoughts to run circles around her, Sadi closed her eyes and allowed herself to get drunk on the smell of his skin.

Yes, in her dreams he'd always be there, even if in daylight he would not.

Language Learning

While working at Disney, I quickly realized how many different cultures there really were in this world. Coming from a small town which was predominately white Catholics like myself, I was not truly exposed to what diversity really meant until my Disney time.

And boy, were my eyes opened.

One of the very first things I realized was that Spanish 101 did nothing for me. People from Brazil, Mexico and yes, even New York needed questions answered, but I could not help them.

I did not speak Spanish.

Learning an extra language is becoming an increasingly important skill these days-for business and for personal reasons. Pimsleur Language Audio Books can help. Here, you can download audio books to help you learn almost any language including Albanian, Croatian, French, Italian and Chinese!

Imagine how impressed your boss will be when you can converse easily with overseas clients.

Check out Pimsleur Language Audio Bookstoday and be on your way to fast, easy language learning.

The Mo Show

(Scroll down for today's Manic Monday Post)

Don't forget!!!


The Mo Show
The next Mo Show on Blog Talk Radio will be
Tuesday July 10th6:30pm to 7:30pm EST
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This week's topic: Why do we blog?
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Don't forget-if you can't listen live, you can always listen to the archived version of the show, anytime that's convenient for you!

The Number 9

I just realized that I have only 9 classes left until I am done with school.

That makes me sad.

I know that lots of people who be psyched to be done with school, and that me saying I am sad about it ending makes me even more of a dork than you already thought I am...but...it's sad.

I am going to enjoy more free time though. And hopefully getting work more at the country club, which means more money.

And not being obligated to go to school and to be here all of the time allows me to be free-wherever I want to go, I can...

But still...sad. 9 more.

Short Cuts

I've posted a lot today...and I'm happy to say that I am not up to $169 for my paid ads. Some days it seems like they unload the opportunities all at once, and then other days they trickle them in. Sorry for the onslaught of them today...

Be sure to read today's posts:

Manic Monday-Seven and The Mo Show

I'm off to school now for my 2nd to last International Cuisine classes. 8(

Boy am I gonna miss my teacher. That silly man...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Power of Schmooze

Yes, it's true...I was trying to love someone again....

Was that wrong? Thank you Tegdirb from And Miles to Go...for awarding me with this sexy, muscle bearing blue schmooze badge!

"As it goes, schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship."

And we all know I like happy trails! Oh, what? It's "friendly trails?" Huh...go figure.

It's always nice to be recognized, but, it's especially wonderful when it is for smiling, making new friends and engaging others.

Thank you, a thousand times...