Friday, January 29, 2010

Focaccia and Snow

Last weekend for our anniversary I made Hunter dinner (which is my favorite thing to do!). I usually like trying something knew every chance I get but I'm low on money so I can't get too crazy with it. Soup, salad, and bread is always a great meal so I thought I'd play with that. In culinary class last semester we made an awesome soup called Vichyssoise. It's a leek and potato soup served cold (yuck) but I skip the chilling part and enjoy it nice and hot. That turned out wonderfully! I didn't add any cream to it either just because I'm not a big fan. I also made a vegan Caesar salad dressing. It didn't taste anything like real Caesar dressing but was still pretty darn good. Then there was the focaccia... I have to say I've gotten pretty lucky and most of my first tries in the kitchen turn out fantastic. This one, not so much. It still tasted great! But it turned out more like a bread stick than a big, fluffy loaf I was hoping for. The starter had to ferment for 16 hours, then rise for one, punch down, rise again, spread in pan, then rise for 2 and 1/2 more hours! My house is pretty cold unfortunately and I think maybe that was the reason it didn't rise like it should have. But it was still a lovely, delicious dinner and of course Hunter ate up everything :) That's all the thanks I need.
Finally after waiting all winter we have snow! It is suppose to snow 6-12" all together. That's the most snow we've seen in a couple of years. I'm suppose to still be going to work tomorrow but I like at the bottom of a hill...There might be no way out lol At least that will give me plenty of time to play and make snow men! Hope to have more pictures up tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I have had a very busy day of baking and decorating! I've been wanting to learn to do some decorating on my own and work on building my portfolio. So today I made some vegan chocolate cupcakes and some (almost vegan) vanilla honey cupcakes. I decorated the chocolates with pink buttercream and marshmallow fondant roses with leaves. It was my first time making fondant and only my second time using it to decorate.

The vanilla ones I topped with a circle of fondant and then
made them look like Ace playing cards. It was a lot of work doing
everything from scratch but it was good practice. My friends even
bought them from me so I at least got paid for my work. They
also all said they were delicious! Hoping to play some more this weekend. Enjoy the pictures! Hopefully they'll look even better with a little more practice.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Joys of Crème

Wednesday in Hot and Cold desserts I got to make my first Crème dishes! What excited me even more was the fact that this meant we were going to be using a blow torch in class! Yay for the pyromaniacs! We first made a tart shell for our Apple Custard Tart. We then made 6 small Crème Caramels. It turned out beautifully, especially since I had never made one before. My teacher also said upon tasting it that it had great mouth feel and looked wonderful. Great was to start off a new class. She also said the same about my -->Crème Brûlèe.Using that blow torch for the first time was a little tricky. Not sure how many Crème Brûlèes I'll be making in the future but it was a lot of fun. Sadly I had to leave before my apple tart finished so I didn't get a picture of how it is suppose to look before serving. I just bought a tart pan at William Sonoma today with a Christmas gift card and can't wait to break it in. Hunter (my boyfriend) has never had a tart before so I intend to make him his first this week. We made beautiful small pear tarts in baking last semester and I have been dying to veganize the recipe so that I may try one as well.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Garde Manger!

Back to school! I have Cake Decorating and Design, Garde Manger, and Hot and Cold Desserts. Cannot wait to dive into the cake decorating but so far I like Garde Manger the best! It's all about how to plate stuff and make you food look amazing. Tonight we made a mayo based dressing, a vinaigrette, and a cooked dressing. The vinaigrette is probably the only one I would ever use again lol Not a big dressing fan. Plus they weren't very vegan with all their butter, milk, and egg yolks. Then we made a tomato rose, an orange basket, a radish flower, a scallion flower, and strawberry fans. I've always loved the fruit and vegetable carvings and they weren't as hard to achieve as I thought! I was worried about this class because it's from 5-10pm but it was so much fun. Did not feel like 5 hours at all. Can't wait to see what else we'll do! I have Hot and Cold Desserts for the first time tomorrow. The first day was actually last Wednesday but I had e coli (we think) and was throwing up for 6 hours Tuesday morning. So needless to say I was not there but my friends told me it was a lot of fun and they got to make bread pudding and cheese cake :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Vegan Stop Sign

I had to run to my house today and pick up somethings. When I was driving through town I saw this stop sign and just had to take a picture of it. I wish I could be the one to take credit for it but sadly this is not my work. Good to know there are other veggies in this area!
I am taking up the vegan diet again! I have bought a couple of Brendan Brazier's books: The Thrive Diet and Thrive Fitness. I really want to gain muscle but have had the need for animal based protein drilled into my head all my life so I'm unsure how to get the nutrition I need for a strong healthy body from a vegan diet. These books look like a great resource to help me gain more knowledge on becoming a strong, healthy, fit vegan! I can't wait to get the books and get started. I've already cleaned out my fridge and given all my meats and cheeses to my Mom. Wish I could get my family to join me but unfortunately the only real grocery store around them is Walmart. It's a lot easier being veg when you have places like Whole Foods (even if they do cost you an arm and a leg) and Trader Joe's (best place for cheap, delicious produce ever!). Hope to keep you posted and start feeling better and stronger soon!