Friday, August 17, 2007
After the ceremony there was, of course, food. We all sat around talking for a while and took pictures. Afterward, Know-It-All and I went out for drinks with 2 of our chefs. It was very, very fun.
My post is late because I have a little bit of a headache today. Many beers were bought for Mags.
The director of the school talked to my parents and told them that he expects to hear great things from me as I was an excellent student and a passionate chef. I would say that is a fantastic way to go out...
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I know you all must be incredibly sick of hearing about how wonderful it feels to finally be on the road to realizing my dream, but it really is one of the most fantastic feelings in the world. I am so proud of myself for not following everyone else's dreams for me-teaching, business manager-I was good at both, but I never loved them. And now, I have successfully completed training to be a professional chef.
It wasn't an easy road, getting to this place. 1994 was the first time I vocalized my desire to attend culinary school, and I was promptly shot down. Perhaps my father thought he was protecting me, or even himself, but "You have to go to real college first" will always stay with me.
Years past and I got married. Our friends and family always mentioned how talented I was and that I should cater. After hearing his family say this, Matt finally gave in and told me to go find out how much it would cost to go to school. I made an appointment and got the information, only to realize that there was no possible way we could afford school and the house we were building.
I chose the house. He chose the girl in Mexico City.
Then there was Jamie. He actually told me that I couldn't cook and almost refused to let me do it at all. There were certain dishes he'd let me make, and even then, he would criticize them. I couldn't spend money on myself at all, let alone think about culinary school. At this point, the dream in me was beginning to die.
I often smile to myself when I remember these 2 men and I kind of giggle and wonder what their faces would look like if they found out that I am a chef. It would give me great satisfaction to show them both that I have moved on, and that I got to this place without them.
Of course, my parents have a great deal to do with the fact that I got here too-without that late night dinner at Bongo's Cuban Cafe at Disney, I would never have been able to afford the entire tuition alone.
Yes, it's been a long, winding road with twists and turns, heartaches and losses. But ultimately, it is a journey that has made me the passionate, optimistic and driven chef that I am today, and I wouldn't change that for the world...
Thanks again to you all for your support over the last year and a half-you're the best. Now, I'm off to plan a menu for a Christmas Party that I am trying to win.
My initial thought was: Screw the food and stick with Jack! But, being that I advertised that I'll tell you what to cook...I knew you wouldn't go for that. Using just what you have:
Cheese, Glorious Cheese
1 Box Macaroni & Cheese-powdered cheese discarded, macaroni cooked
3. T Butter
3 T. Flour
1 T. Mustard
3 C. Milk
1/2 C. Onion diced
6 oz Colby Cheese, shredded
6 oz Velveta, cubed
3 T Butter
1 C. French Bread, crumbed
Preheat oven 350
Melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook about 5 minutes whisking the entire time. Add mustard, milk, onion. Simmer for 10 minutes and temper in the egg. Stir in all of the cheese with the exception for a little colby for topping (or add it all and grate more for the top!) Season with salt & pepper and pour over drained macaroni.
Crumb the french bread by pulsing it in a blender or food processor. Saute them in a pan with butter just until they are coated. Top macaroni with bread and bake for 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.
For Danielle: Beer Marinated Raspberry Chicken
4 Chicken Breasts
12 oz Beer (Raspberry Beer!)
1T Garlic Powder
2 t. Salt
1 t. Dried Basil
1/8 t. Black Pepper
Marinate chicken in beer for 2 hours. Remove it & pat dry. Sprinkle with dry rub and grill until done.
For a healthy side, I would choose match stick yellow squash sautéed with a little salt and pepper.
Also, I've always wanted to try this:
2 Cloves Garlic
1 t. grapefruit zest
½ c. grapefruit juice
1 T oil
2 T. honey
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
4 chicken breasts
Combine all ingredients except for chicken. Grill chicken and baste with glaze frequently. Bring remaining glaze to a boil for 1 minute and pour over grilled chicken.
For Marilyn: Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette,
2-3 Ripe Tomatoes (depending on size)
Salt & Pepper
2 T. Spicy Brown Mustard
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle a little olive oil over tomatoes and season with salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes in oven until they just start to burst, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
In a bowl, crush cooled tomatoes, (if you don’t like the skins on, peel them off prior to doing this). Add mustard, salt & pepper and drizzle enough oil into the mixture (while whisking) to make a dressing.
Toss greens, red onions and dressing together just prior to serving. Crumbled blue cheese would be yummy on this too!
Grilled Garlic Lime Chicken:
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1 C. Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper
Marinate Chicken in lime juice with garlic for 1 hour. Remove from marinade and season with salt & pepper. Grill until done.
Corn with Cilantro Butter:
½ Stick Butter, softened
1 Bunch of fresh Cilantro, chopped
Boil or Grill (preferred method) corn on the cob. Combine cilantro, salt & pepper into butter. Spread onto your corn and enjoy!
C-Unit: Yummy Pork Chops
Pork Chops-however many you have!
2 T. Olive Oil
4 t. Brown Mustard
4 t. Dijon Mustard
1 t. dried fennel
3 T. Flour
1 C. white wine
3 C. Chicken Stock
Preheat oven 400 degrees. Whisk in olive oil, 2 t. of each mustard, fennel seed, 2 t. salt and ½ t. pepper. Rub mixture on top of chops and roast for about 20 minutes or until done. (Depends on how thick they are) Allow to rest outside of oven for 10 minutes prior to serving.
Take ¼ C. of fat from roasting pan and place it in a sauté pan. Over medium heat, wisk in flour for 1 minute. Add wine and scrape bottom of pan. Add stock, remaining mustard, 2 t. salt, ½ t. black pepper. Bring to boil and lower heat for 5-10 minutes until sauce is reduced and slightly thickened.
So...how'd I do?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I wonder if I will ever be over it.
Getting a random phone call from a friend is nice, but also funny when they say, "I'm not really in the mood to talk, I'm not sure why I called."
I still maintain my love for my hairdresser. She gives the BEST head massages I've ever, ever had.
Rigamortus sets into mice too, just not into their tails. I'm sad that I know this.
Why is it that weird boys like the Mags? You know my funny "There's no one else in the theater but us but I'm going to sit right next to you anyway" joke? Well...it happened to me, only in the mall's food court and he sat RIGHT next to me in the BOOTH!
And then tried to talk to me-with his mouth full.
#1-no, he was not hot.
#2-he could barely speak English
#3-this might be a false statement considering the amount of food he had in his mouth at the time-he could have just been held back by the ungodly amount of pizza he had stuck in his pie hole.
I shall have to re-think the shopping after I'm rocking a new haircut thing from now on. I will probably be single forever.
Graduation is tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I only got 1 chef a gift. I don't know how to sneak it to him without hurting the other chefs feelings. I may just keep the gift until I can give everyone something.
**Scroll down for Top Chef information**
How does this affect you? Well, besides missing me to pieces (you know you will) and me coming back the color of a freshly boiled lobster (yum) I will not be able to cook for you this weekend...
SO....instead of playing TC this week, we are going to do something different. Email me (or leave me a comment) with a few ingredients that you currently have in your house and I will tell you what you should make with them! Ever wonder what you should do with those capers you've never opened? At a loss for a recipe idea for those chicken thighs? Let me help you!
Please be specific if anyone in your house has food allergies or if there is something they definitely would NEVER eat. I will try my best to not make you shop for more things, but sometimes a recipe just needs cheese. (Can I get an AMEN?!)
Recipes will be posted on Friday.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Alternately, Thursday is my actual graduation ceremony, so answer these questions as a gift to me. ;) Either way, I want to see your names in my comments!
1. If you could freeze the time for one hour, (you'd be the only living thing that's "alive" in that moment) what would you do?
2. If you were a noise, what would you be? Why?
3. What is at the end of your rainbow? (Assume that the pot of gold is already gone & it can't be money)
1. I think being the only person in the world "alive" at that moment would be very freeing (only b/c it is for an hour-otherwise it would be lonely). I think I would take it a step further by skinny dipping. Hopefully it would be in a crystal clear, warm blue ocean, but a nice pool with waterfalls would be lovely too.
2. It's silly, but I think I would be this: Chink Chonk, Chink Chonk, Chink Chonk...because it's kind of funny. The chink part is kind of like chimes in my head and the chonk is a duck-like noise-together, it's pretty and silly, kinda like me! And really, I bet you if I said this to your faces, you'd laugh.
3. At the end of my rainbow there would be cheese balls. Do I even need to explain? They're something that are really yummy but you never eat them because they are so 7th grade and bad for you. But damn, they're good.
Monday, August 13, 2007
WTF?! I finally got the courage to scoop the one mouse away and now this? Ugh. This one died right away though, thank goodness.
What should I do? I don't have anymore traps here but I can get more, I guess...should I get an exterminator? Is that what people with more than one mouse do?
I so need to live in an apartment.
I need a pressure washer. An electric power washer is the way to go-it ensures I can get the job done from start to finish without worrying about running out of gas.
As a homeowner, owning a pressure washer is a smart purchase. Not only can I wash my siding, but also my walkways, my deck and my car!