Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The picture on the top left is a piece of chocolate flourless cake that I decorated special for one of the employees at our store. The picture on the right is a cream puff that we made in class right before we left for spring break. They turned out perfect and were absolutely delicious! I'm definitely going to be making them again!
In OTHER news, I just got back from 8 glorious days in Cali-forn-I-A! I've been planning this nonsensical trip since the fall actually. Started looking at driving back then too and have been having a hard time trying to convince my parents I was capable of doing it on my own. After asking....hm, at least 3 different friends (and being rejected each time due to various excuses), I was giving up on the idea altogether. I began looking into plane tickets seriously again the week before I was planning to leave (genius, right?). I almost bought a ticket on Sunday night, the week I was planning to leave. I held off, and asked one last friend, and she said she'd get back to me by the next day. Sure enough, the next day she texts me saying she can come!!! I start figuring out all the details, checking weather in the states we'll be going through, and am absolutely elated. Unfortunately there was also a bunch of stuff due for culinary school that week so I was having to focus most of my attention there and wasn't able to pack until the very day I left. About 2 hours before, to be exact. So then I shove a grilled cheese down my throat, throw my stuff in my car, and drive to my friends to pick her up. We get on the road around 4:30 and drive straight through (what can I say- I was excited to surprise my friends)! Drove through boring ol' Nebraska and then got into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in the wee hours on the morning (not a great idea), drove through beautiful Utah during the sunrise, Vegas during lunch, and finally sunny California for the remainder of the trip. We arrive the next day (albeit after about 30 stops just for me to pee), at 3:30pm California time.....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Continued Chaos

Albeit the weather is better (no snow), March has really been kicking my butt.
Lots of injuries in the kitchen.
Lots and lots of driving (and reaching new speeds).
Lots of stress.
And very little time for much else.
Honestly, I don't even remember when it all began but I've had at least three really bad days in the last week. One was over the weekend at work where I had an emotional meltdown. I can't even remember what day it was but I just broke down. It was awful and I felt like going home, not talking to anybody, and going to bed. Oh and last Monday I slept through my first class. Great for my weary body but not great for my grade!
Then today....it started out pretty well actually. I went to school and went to my first class where we calibrated our thermometers and drank ice water (or at least I did). We learned about receiving shipments and using the different kind of thermometers out there. After class I realized that I forgot to bring the cheese I signed up for to class by 2:30. So I went home and had about two hours of downtime. I watched Heroes, did my mise en place, and study guide questions...then it was time to go. I started driving until I got on the interstate and realized I had forgotten to grab my cheese (yet AGAIN)! So I sped up trying to figure out what I should do. Passing a cop who had someone pulled over, I got to about 70 mph and decided to try to make it back home to grab my cheese. After I took the exit I realized it was a bad move and I didn't have enough time to go home AND make it to class on time. So then I started planning how to get back on track. Yeah, I ended up wasting about 10 minutes trying to get headed in the right direction and then everyone was going sooo slow (take in account I was also going WELL above the speed limit)! Oh and of course I got every single red light once I got to my exit. All the student parking was full so I parked in the forbidden faculty lot and literally sprinted to my lab. I got there and the door was locked so I knocked. A Chef standing out in the hall told me to go around so I did and right as I got to the door our instructor was shutting it so I squeezed in real quick. WHEW! Made it! Five minutes late, but I made it. She had me write down "late" on my paper so the Chef would know (we had a sub for the day). Anyways so today we made biscuits and muffins. I did my blueberry muffins first and they were real easy to make and then I stuck them in the oven. I've never made biscuits before but it was equally as easy. My muffins didn't set up quite right and I have two theories:
1. The substitute chef told me to grease and SUGAR the pan before putting in the muffin batter. This may have been okay (I've never tried it before) but I'm not sure I used enough, plus I think she sabotaged me.
2. The door of the oven was opened too much and the product didn't brown enough.
Anyways, it turns out that "according to her sheet", I overmixed my muffin batter and in return got the pale tops and "soggy bottoms". They tasted good at least and she only took off 5 points out of 35.
My biscuits were perfect, though I critiqued them more than she did (haha) and I got 35/35.
BUT as I was cleaning up and messing with my muffins in the oven to see if they'd cook more, I got burnt (again). I swear, all the scars I will acquire in the program will be permanent reminders. We got done in lab around 2 and then I had to speed home, grab my cheese, and then speed back. I technically got there 2 mintues past the deadline but Chef wasn't there so hopefully he won't know. haha so that is the stress of my life right now!

Since the biscuits and muffin are pretty standard looking I do have a picture from last Thursday's lab where I made Rice with Chicken. It includes a converted rice that is browned in the pan, diced tomatoes, green peppers, and some spices.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Madness

March has not been treating me well, to say the least.
Monday I woke two hours late and missed my first class of the day. As I was racing my way to my second class I spilled pomegranate juice on my white chef's jacket and so I had to turn around immediately in order to treat it and change. Then at work that night I burnt two of my fingers pretty badly when I had to retrieve a ladle out of the soup for a customer. Later as I ate some of the soup, I burnt my tongue (more so than usual).
Then yesterday in lab when we were preparing our rice and pasta dishes, I reached into the sink to start rinsing the pots and I burnt my finger like none other. Seriously, ridiculous pain and it wrinkled the skin on my finger and blistered.

In other GOOD news, I'm getting an A in both my lab and lecture class for Food Prep I. Registration for summer school starts next week. Four 8-hr classes sounds fun, right? I've never been in school during the summer so it is going to be quite interesting to say the least. But it's required so what can you do- ya know?

Here is a picture of one of my projects at work this last weekend. We had a sponge cake that had been sitting in the freezer since the summer so instead of throwing it away I made a two-layer tres leches cake and divided it into just enough pieces for everyone on staff to enjoy.