Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanks for Thanksgiving !

Thanksgiving is long gone and the holidays are right around the corner (Yay). Today was the start of the Winter trimester, and I must admit it wasn't half bad. I did switch from evening to morning classes and am terribly missing my former compadres. Thanks Be To God, that one tagged along with me. I will admit there are a few people I already can't stand, but I like to blame that on my "old age", where things tend to bother me more than used to. Stay tuned, it is only Day 1 and I have 3 more months to go with this new crew !! Wish Me Luck - I will need it :)

Here are few photos of some things my family and I made for Thanksgiving! It was all so YUM !

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Dulce De Leche

 Homemade Cranberry Sauce (I added Dried Canberrys for texture)

Gourmet Sweet Potatoes Courtesy of Mari

Corn Bread and Biscuit Stuffing courtesy of my Mom

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Prosecco Party

The other day I hosted small gathering of close friends to celebrate a special someones birthday. Since I am now in culinary school, I knew that some of friends were expecting the best, I tried to put together a few small treats for us to snack on before heading out. The party was of course themed, well, because I just love themes. There was an over abundance of Prosecco, which I offered with Peach Puree and little balls of lemon sorbet. As well as two kinds of crostini, Caramelized onions with goat cheese and thyme, and Ricotta with Honey and Orange Zest. I also put a spin on the classic Prosciutto and Melon, by topping it off with a strawberry (something I learned from my catering boss). The star of the night, besides my beloved Giulia, was the Chocolate Espresso Mouse with Orange Mascarpone Cream. Here are some pictures, sorry there aren't more, the battery on my camera was charging :( Let me know what you think ?!?!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fab Finds !

Fab Finds aren't just for fashion anymore. For you culinary geeks like me, TJ Maxx, Ross, Home Goods & Marshalls are great places to find fancy smacy good quality olive oils, salts, and balsamic vinegars. My last professor kept telling us about the fab finds she would get there, Truffle Oil for $6 bucks, Truffle salt for $8. I finally decided to check it out for myself.Yesterday I visited my "local" TJ Maxx and look what I found !!!!! White Truffle Italian Olive Oil for $6.00, Balsamic Vinegar infused with Chilli Pepper for $12.99, and Madagascar Bourbon and Thaitian Vanilla for $12.99. I encourage you to run, skip, hop, or jump to your local discount store and find these Fabulous Finds for yourself. Just don't come to the one in Miami Beach :)

Here is what you want to look for when buying olive oil. It should come in a dark bottle, it protects the oil from going bad. We, as Americans are the ones who request clear bottles, but good quality olive from Italy or Spain most likely will be found in a dark glass bottle. Cloudy Olive Oil equals Fresh and Good. Most of us would think cloudy would mean spoiled, but in fact when the olives are first pressed (also known as the extra virgin olive oil) is comes out cloudy, so if you pour some out and it looks cloudy you are in luck, freshness is at your door! Another fun fact is that yes, Italy is the #1 producer of Olive Oil and is considered the best, but Spain is also a large producer, in fact since the space for Olive Growing in Italy is limited, so they import olives from Spain, but grind in press in Italy, therefore calling it Italian. (sorry if I burst the bubble for my Italian friends) none the less it is ALL Delicious !!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

One Tri Down, Three More To Go ....

The trimester is over and Thanksgiving is around the corner ! I made it through the class from Hell, it did however affect my "perfect" GPA (I had to brag a little) but at least it is out of sight and out of mind. The class that followed was a purchasing and product identification class. I really enjoyed this class, from our daily task of "shopping at the market" (filling requisition's) to our final project of picking a menu and costing it out. I of course, made it hard for myself and picked a real life menu I really want to produce. It really taught me the other side of the business, the side that most people don't want to deal with or tend to hire accountants for. I mean, math isn't fun for anyone, well unless you are a math geek. But it at least showed me that for the tiny/restaurant/store I have in mind to one day own, that I could handle the finances and day in and day out expenses. Thankfully, Thanksgiving is giving me a much needed break, at least before the next trimester starts. Below are some pictures of some tastings we did in the Product Identification class; Mushroom Tasting, Black Truffle, Cheese Tasting, Fruit Tasting, Dragon Fruit.