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Archive for May, 2010

Supper on the Deck

Hi! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

We had a pretty uneventful ride to Cleveland yesterday, minus a bit of holiday traffic. Amelia Bedelia lasted all of five minutes in her crate before whining loud enough to be released. She was much happier reading Dog Fancy magazine on Louisa’s lap. ūüôā¬†

The weather is GORGEOUS in Cleveland right now, so we got to have supper on the deck when we arrived. We had wine and nibbles for a bit while everyone said hi and then sat down for the main event.

First, a salad of greens, cucumber and avocado. It was dressed with white truffle balsamic vinegar. Who even know that existed!? It was phenomenal.

And then a lovely boulliabase with crusty french  bread for the broth.

What a treat! My Dad is such a fab chef. I’m pretty sure it’s the #1 reason I like to go home¬†:).

It’s been a lovely day so far… we went for a sunny run this morning in the metroparks, got my hair cut because yes I still have not found a stylist in DC… and then I¬†went to my friend Kristen’s house for a lunchtime BBQ. Kristen’s husband Matt is a real talent at the grill. And no I did not tell him I would write something nice :).

Off to the mall with my mum now and tonight I’ll be¬†out with my friend Cody for some delicious Cleveland cuisine.

See you tomorrow with the re-cap!

Beth

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Pastry II

Morning!

Pastry II was even better than Pastry I, if you can believe it :).

We made:

  • Sweet potato pecan pie
  • Cherry chocolate pistachio biscotti
  • Pear almond ginger tart
  • Chocolate lava cake
  • Banana Fritters with mango coulis

Of course (because when is it not!?) the chocolate lava cake was amaaaaazing. Intense, melt-in-your-mouth chocolately goodness. The technique was built on to the skills we learned last week making souffle.

The banana fritter was tempura battered banana, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with mango coulis. Crispy hot outside with a warm, gooey banana center. Insane!

The pear¬†tart contains pickled, dried and fresh ginger, so it really packs some flavor. It was refreshing and light…would be perfect to serve in the summer :).

I loved this combination of flavors in the biscotti. They were made using a meringue which made them lighter, less dense than they usually are.

 

And helllooo sweet potato pie. I will be MAKING THIS next Thanksgiving :). There was a light layer of sweet potato so the flavor didn’t overwhelm like it sometimes does. I like how that¬†bit¬†of¬†potato cut the sweetness of the¬†pecan glaze…the two layers were a perfect match.

Then we moved into the kitchen and I attempted my own biscotti. Sometimes so many bakers popping in and out of the ovens makes the temperature drop quite a bit, which I fear is what happened last night. My biscotti WOULD NOT COOK! I stuck it out for about an hour before calling it a loss. Personally however I love my baking on the doughy side, so the one I sampled tasted pretty delish to me :).

SOOOOOOO, off to Cleveland in a little over two hours!! I am PUMPED. Just hope we don’t get stuck in that Memorial Day traffic. Amelia Bedelia will not be happy!

Beth

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Memorial Day Countdown

Good morning!

So happy it’s Thursday already. Tomorrow, my sister, Grant and I are headed back to¬†CLEVELAND and I can’t wait! Haven’t been home since February and it’s always nice to go back :). I’ll be celebrating two fun events: my friend Katie’s bridal shower and my Dad’s birthday. So I better get my party pants on!

Today’s my early day since I’ll be in culinary school tonight. Pastry II! Although it was a little rushed, I did have time to cook some breakfast.

  • 1/3 cup each oats/vanilla soy milk/water
  • banana
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • tbsp. chia seeds
  • energy cube, cubed
  • 20 honey roasted nuts
  • tbsp. dried cranberries
  • peanut butter spoon

That energy cube is a new find in Whole Foods bulk bins. It’s full of all kinds of nice things like nuts, seeds and dried fruit. I believe a couple of these little cubes also make a great pre-workout snack.

It’s hot hot¬†hot in DC these past few days which has meant oatmeal is not that appealing! But since I didn’t work-out this AM and we had the AC on I could enjoy a warm brekkie after all :).

What’s everyone else up to this Memorial Day weekend?

See you tomorrow with some sweet, sweet treats from L’Academie :).

Beth

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Delicious dinner last night.

It was originally inspired by this recipe, although based on what ingredients¬†I had on-hand it came out quite different. Different in a very delicious way, so I’ll take it!

For my dish I used:

  • 1 cup of polenta, prepared
  • 1/4¬†cup¬†grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of olive oil plus 1 tbsp.
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup broccoli heads
  • 1/4¬†cup¬†grated¬†feta cheese

First, I stirred my polenta with the parmesan, garlic and 1 tsp. of olive oil. Then I pressed the mixture into a baking dish.

Next, in a bowl I combined the broccoli, mushrooms, s&p and olive oil.

Then I spooned the mixture over the polenta base. This was topped with feta.

400 degrees for 20 minutes and voila!

I believe because I had used ready-made polenta, the “crust” came out less cohesive than what the original recipe yields. Instead it was spooned on to¬†the plate like so:

Delish! I adore polenta although I usually always enjoy it with butter and honey. I liked trying a more savory take on this grain.

After Monday’s post,¬†I received a few suggestions for¬†other sites similar to foodgawker. I thought it would be nice to compile a little¬†list for sharing :).

Any others to add?

See ya tomorrow!

Beth

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masa 14

Oh my, I am in love!

My friend Anna first visited masa 14 a few weeks ago and has been raaaving about how good it was. So last night Anna and I, along with our friend Diana enjoyed a happy hour there.

Of course we began with drinks!

Anna and Diana had strawberry lemonades and I had a margarita. Delish! I love tequila in the summertime. You can be sure a few more of these made their way to our table over the course of the evening :).

masa 14 does a bunch of different small plates…which pretty much all looked amazing!¬†We narrowed it down to four to share between us.

Serrano Ham Flatbread – goat cheese / cantaloupe / arugula / truffle / lime

Of course I browsed the menu before we went and as soon as I saw this one I knew we had to get it! Anything with truffle wins my heart automatically but truffle with goat cheese, cantaloupe and arugula!? It was heaven.

Wagyu Beef and Pork Meatballs Рcotija cheese / scallion / smoked tomato yuzu sauce

The meat was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. They also had a really nice kick to them. And I love spice! 

Crispy crab won ton rolls Рcream cheese / corn / mushroom / shiso / truffle / spicy ponzu

These were probably my absolute favorite of the evening. So many amazing flavors that worked so well together. I loved the contrast of the crispy outside and warm, melty interior.

Black cod Рchipotle miso / pickled onion

Like butter! For real. As Anna said, cod is not usually one of those menu items that stands out. But this particular piece made me realize how amazing this fish can be when done right.

I cannot say enough about how good this meal was…and we only just scratched the menu’s¬†surface!¬†It’s rare to find somewhere where everything is amazing, you know? I think I’ll just have to go again and again and again…¬†

Good way to start the week, no? ūüėČ

Beth

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Morning! What a weekend. I can’t believe (as always) how quickly it flew.

I have a new foodie blog love lately, foodgawker.com. The pictures are just delectable and it’s a great way to link to¬†other food blog sites I’ve never seen before (there are a million!). The other day I saw the most beautiful picture of¬†Fruit Salsa with Baked¬†Cinnamon Chips¬†and I¬†knew I just had to make it.¬†¬†And when we had a little¬†farewell party¬†get-together this weekend I got my chance.

The most time-consuming part of this dish is all the fruit chopping. But beyond that it’s a breeze!

Chopped fruit includes: 2 kiwis, 2 apples, a container of strawberries and a container of raspberries (which actually go in whole).

Then¬†the recipe calls for¬†3 tbsp. of fruit preserves, 2 tbsp. of white sugar and 1 tbsp. of brown sugar. I cut the amount of sugar in half though as I didn’t want to take away from the fruits’ natural flavor.

Mix!

Then the fruit is covered and chilled. While that was taking place I made my baked cinnamon sugar chips.

Pita wedges, sprayed with butter then dusted with cinnamon sugar. In the oven at 375 for 8 minutes and then these sparkly little wedges appear.

And here we have the final product:

Beautiful, right? Felt so nice and summery on a rainy, gray day.

After that little gathering I went to visit my sister and kitten-niece. Since they found out Hobbs is actually a girl, she has been renamed.

Meet Amelia Bedelia!

Such a perfect name for this clueless little lady :).

See ya tomorrow!

Beth

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Pastry I

Oh my, pastry night was glorious. And the best part is, there’s a Part II next week!

We learned a ton of different things:

  • Madelines
  • Mousse au Chocolat
  • Creme Patissiere
  • Roasted pineapple
  • ¬†Frangipane (tart filling)
  • Pate Brisee¬†Sucree

Demonstration tastings:

Madeline with sweet glaze. This was so puffy and wonderful. Like a little cake in cookie form.

Chocolate mousse. Although the process was a little intense, this was to die for!! I love chocolate :).

Get ready for this one… homemade vanilla ice cream, topped with roasted pineapple and candied bacon. So many flavors! Sweet, salty, spicy, citrusy deliciousness. WOW. Also,¬†roasted pineapple is amazing. It was slow cooked for an hour in a mix of caramelized sugar, vanilla bean, fresh ginger, passion fruit puree and¬†dark rum. It cut like butter.¬†I MUST recreate this at home soon!

Then we moved into the kitchen to make some treats of our own. It is a bit hard to work in groups when it comes to pastry, so we kind of all did our own thing. I decided to try making souffles. My first attempt was a massive FAIL! My souffle¬†mix didn’t thicken enough so when it went into the fridge to cool it separated. Yuck!

At 9:30 at night I was told to start over and I kind of wanted to cry. But start over I did! And look how lovely it worked out.

Because really, if you don’t make souffles¬†in culinary school, when will you?? Yum.

So there you have it. Pastry I. I think it gets a whole lot more complicated next week so I better get ready!

See you later alligators.

Beth

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