Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Haunting!

Hubby, kiddo, and I carved some jack-o-lanterns last night. I didn't bother buying one of the carving kits this year. Thought we'd do just one big pumpkin with a simple face. Hubby carved the big one (mad face at kiddo's request). Kiddo was having so much fun that I tried to carve the "ornamental" pumpkins that I had in a basket. Not so easy without the kit (used a paring knife and a grapefruit knife). Anyway, it was fun. We roasted our pumpkin seeds and seasoned them with salt and cayenne (a little too liberally by kiddo), so they were pretty spicy. They'd make a good beer snack. Anyway, hope you and your goblins have fun trick or treating tonight!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tickled Pink

When I quickly looked through the Food & Drink Section of the Stateman yesterday, I read that they were selling Pink Chef Coats at the Cook's Store (Texas Culinary Academy Campus Store). I stopped by after a morning meeting and picked one up (both because I love pink and to support Breast Cancer Awareness month (my grandmother is still in chemo treatments for her breast cancer)). I couldn't resist picking up a pink knife roll while I was at it!

Jamaican Man!

Back from vacation, and back to Central Market Cooking School. I volunteered last night for the Terry Conlan class "What Jamaican for Dinner Tonight?" class.

We served: Goat Cheese/Hazelnut Fritter with Watermelon Syrup; Mixed Seafood Salad with Cilantro Dressing; Curried Roasted Prawns with Green Tomato Chutney; Bahama Style Snapper w/ Tropical Pico; Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Corn, Molasses Glaze, and Mango Cucumber Salsa; Individual Coconut Custard Meringues with Poached Pineapple.

Everything was delicious, although there was quite a bit of prep. We stayed busy, but had fun. We had a good crew. Paul was great as always, and two of the girls that were volunteering last night are just so wonderful to work with. Love them!

As I was leaving the store last night I ran into Chef Raif in the parking lot. He had been cooking for the store event "Grape Stomp". He was with some people, but still stopped to say hi and I got in a hug. Raif is such a sweetheart. I'm happy that he is having such success in his culinary career. I look forward to working with him on his holiday class in December.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

North of the Border

I have been eating entirely too much since I've been home. We were greeted at the airport (2 hours late) in Halifax by my parents and enjoyed some wonderful homemade seafood chowder and bread before bed Wednesday night. Thursday we had brunch at Cora's with the inlaws and I had an amazing fruit plate with Brie and raisin toast. We met some friends on Tuesday night for dinner at Jamieson's Irish House & Grill. The food was delicious. I had a Raspberry Wheat Beer, Buttercup Squash soup, and an amazing roasted veggie pasta with pinenuts and goat cheese. Never mind my fill of Tim Horton's coffee (and the kiddo is addicted to Timbits). I've had a little bit of everything I think, but still want to get some more seafood in before I leave. I guess food is a big part of the memories you hold dear from home...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Food Blogs

I could spend all day reading food blogs I'm sure. It doesn't help that my pending vacation this week has hit me with a bad case of short-timer's syndrome. However, if you enjoy food writings as much as I do, you can get your fix by visiting Food Porn Watch. It is a compilation of links to food blogs in order of recently updated. They are from every area of the world and all offer something unique. There are some beautiful and wonderfully written food blogs out there. Something for me to strive for!

Also, I learned about EGullet this weekend while at the cooking school. A few staff and volunteers are contributors. Check them out!

A Foodie Sunday

Sunday morning I attended the first book club meeting of the Central Market cooking school. We discussed the book "The Apprentice" by Jacques Pepin (per my earlier post). Most people there were avid readers, unlike myself. However, we were all foodies, and I have learned that I really enjoy food writings. The next meeting will be in November and we will be looking at Betty Fussell's book "My Kitchen Wars". This book is hard to find these days, but I located a copy in Ontario and hopefully it will arrive at my mother's place before I leave there. Also, I went over to the BookStop and picked up the January club meeting read "Heat" by Bill Buford and purchased "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman. It seems to be a favorite reference for a lot of folks.

So if the kiddo allows I will be reading Heat, Saveur magazine, and Delicious magazine on the plane Wednesday (with a little InStyle thrown in, so I'll at least be a well accessorized Chef). Of course, anyone who has traveled with a toddler realizes this is probably not going to happen...

On a side note, Chef Bull did not win the Iron Chef Challenge against Bobby Flay last night, but he did look like he had a lot of fun. Congratulations to Chef, Josh, and Jason for their accomplishment!

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Boar War

Be sure to tune into the Food Network on Sunday night for the Iron Chef America battle between Iron Chef Bobby Flay and Chef David Bull from the Driskill. The episode was taped back in January, but has not aired until now (it airs at 8 pm CST). Chef Bull is having a viewing party at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar on Sunday evening and serving food from the challenge. Apparently tickets are hard to come by. I tried to get some to no avail.

Anyway, the challenge was featured in the Austin American Statesman this week. You can check the article out here.

Be sure to watch. As much as I enjoy watching Bobby Flay, I'm going to have to root for David on this one! After all he did say he would hire me (serious or not). Any response from Mr. Flay? Hiring? ;)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dinner Plans Anyone?

Gourmet magazine published it's picks for the top 50 restaurants in America in the October 2006 issue. The top ranking Texas restaurant was #6 rated Le Reve. You might guess that a top Texas venue would be found in Dallas, Houston, or even Austin. But Le Reve is located in San Antonio. The tasting menu looks pretty decadent. Gourmet describes Chef Andrew Weissman's food as modern-American French-style. Sounds good to me. Anyone care to join me for a quick road trip to check it out?

On a side note, I'm barely getting into the October issue of Gourmet, but it is worth picking up.

The Apprentice (sans the Donald)

I finished reading the book "The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen" by Jacques Pepin on Saturday. I was reading it in preparation for a class at Central Market cooking school next weekend.

The class "Eat this Book: Jacques Pepin's The Apprentice" is being hosted by the cooking school manager Kelly Ann. It is the inaugural book club meeting, in which I hope to become a regular, featuring food writings.

It was actually a very easy read. You think "celebrity chef", you never imagine the beginnings they have. I'm sure many of the "flash in the pan" celebrity chefs have not endured (or even imagined) the hardships and the extensive experience that Chef Pepin has. I personally had no idea. He has lived his entire life in food and has a truly amazing story.

Anyway, I will fill you in on how the book club meeting goes next weekend. We are going to enjoy food featured in his book as well! Bon Appetite Y'all...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Fall Sunday

On Sunday morning, I headed off to Central Market to take a "Knife Skills" class. I have helped volunteer with the class a few times in the past, but this was a chance for me to take the class myself and practice my dicing and slicing. Also, I got to do a little shopping in the market.

I have been a regular "reader" of the wonderful foodie blog "Cooking with Amy". I read an article this week Amy wrote on Poached Pears and was instantly craving them. So while at the market today, I picked up some Red California pears and made poached pears for dessert. I served them with warm syrup and vanilla ice cream . It was pretty tasty.

So I turned the calendars over to October today, pulled the Hallowe'en decorations out of the attic, lit the gingerbread candle and was in the mood for Fall (even though it was like 35 degrees Celsius outside). Oh well, it feels like Fall inside! ;)