Showing posts from November, 2006

Thanksgiving Trip

I surprised my dear mom this Thanksgiving by popping out from behind the fridge! I didn't think I was going to make it home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but about a week before Thanksgiving I found out I was off Thursday and Friday. So, I called up my dad and asked him if he could perform a miracle. I worked two hours longer on Wednesday night in order to get more prep done for the Thanksgiving buffet and went home to pack and finish cleaning and sleep. I got about one hour of sleep before heading to the airport. My dad picked me up and of course, we had to hit a couple of stores for last-minute items. I called my mom on the way home and told her that I'd just woken up and that I was going out to eat since I didn't have any time to cook. I then asked to speak to my dad and since he wasn't there, I told her I'd call back later. By this time, we're in the driveway. My dad goes in first and I can hear mom tell him that I'd called. Next thing she kn…

Bumpy Road

I've had a difficult time lately. I haven't been sleeping well, sometimes staying awake until after sunrise (6:30 - 7:00 am), doze for a couple of hours, get up and go to work, only to start all over again. I think things are settling down now (fingers crossed), since I've been falling asleep around 3:00 am the past couple of nights.

Work was pretty exciting today. Early in the evening there was a fire on the line bad enough that it had to be shut down and everything was moved into the kitchen to the IRD (In Room Dining) line. Thank God for that second line. But then IRD was shut down. The good thing was the fire was contained, we didn't need to evacuate, and we only had about 49 on the books. I gotta hand it to those guys, they rocked and rolled and everything went out pretty well as far as I could see.

Thanksgiving is coming up. I really haven't started cooking or even planned anything at this point. I'm working 8 days straight ending tomorrow and am o…

After a Day of Success . . .

I tried my second batch of gingerbread souffles. This time, they didn't rise as much and they were a bit too sweet, due to the increase of sugar for the Italian meringue. I'm still messing with the recipe. But at least the gingerbread base is really good.

I don't know about you, but I am ready for the snow. I look outside and see the bare streets and wonder, where is all the snow? While on the one hand, I'm glad that I don't have to walk to and from work with snowflakes being blown into my face, but at the same time, it's difficult to be excited about baking when it's unseasonably warm outside. I want to bake rich, spicy cakes and loaves of crunchy, toasty bread, but even with the window open, it still gets too warm in my home, ruining the effect.

Sometimes I think about baking a sweet potato pie, but other than that, I can't seem to get into the mood for Thanksgiving. Looking at the forecast, there may be some snow on Saturday, but with the high t…

Something Sure Smells Good

Today, I finally baked my apple bread. I've got eight loaves, sitting on my kitchen cart, waiting to be delivered tomorrow. They baked up perfectly.

My trip to the Spice House was a good one. I bought some Dutch processed cocoa powder, and some of their hot cocoa mix to try out. I was staring at the cinnamon trying to decide which one to buy because I thought they were out of my usual choice, the China Tung Hing Cassia Cinnamon. Turns out that they had it in stock, so I didn't have to decide on another kind. I also picked up some Maldon sea salt since I hadn't bought any in a while. A quick stop at the grocery store, then I was home to unpack, cook dinner, and start baking.

My mother introduced me to this recipe. She loves Granny Smith apples, but I don't like their tart flavor. Since moving to Chicago, I've started using different apples, and I've replaced the raisins with dried cherries, cranberries, and even blueberries bought at the Farmer's Mark…

In the Mood

For baking, that is. Unfortunately, I'm missing some key ingredients such as cinnamon and eggs. I'm taking care of the mise en place for everything else so that I can bake tomorrow. Good news is that I get to go to the Spice House again! I'm excited.

I'm also excited because I have the cracker recipe from my restaurant. I know you're probably thinking, what's the big deal about a bunch of crackers? But, they're so good. We make them for our cheese plate. Plain and thyme. Anyway, they are addicting. Maybe I'll make some tomorrow and pick up some cheese from Whole Foods.

Things are getting easier at work. The only thing I'm having a bit of trouble with is getting things done at the end of the night. When I leave at 10:30, I have to clean the bakeshop, inventory the croissants (butter and chocolate), ice cream, and tray up the croissants for the next day as well as for parties. I also have to dish up butter and cream cheese if needed. I try…

Vanille Patisserie Closer to Home

Chalet now sells Vanille Patisserie pastries. Now I don't have to go to their bakery, but it's still a fun trip!

Thanksgiving Practice

I'm stuffed. I mean, to the point where smelling foods while walking by a restaurant makes me sick. I ate at Bijan's after taking a couple of hours trying to decide what I wanted to eat. I'd had dinner there more than a year ago and remember their barbequed norwegian salmon on top of mashed potatoes with sauteed spinach and fried onions. Luckily they still had it on their menu. For my appetizer, I had the spinach and artichoke dip, which I had been craving for a few days. Other than the nice crackers that looked house made, it really wasn't remarkable. I should have stopped there, or even stopped at half of my entree, but no, I had to include dessert. Not only should I have stopped because I was filling up quickly, but because it really wasn't "worth the wait" as the server stated. Now, I am the first person to say that I don't like sugary sweets, but this melting chocolate cake with cocoa whipped cream and chocolate sauce was not sweet in th…

The Tardy Foodblogger's NaBloPoMo

Oh my. Where do I begin? It seems that in my mad week of working out at the gym, getting back home to eat, then rushing off to work for the past seven days, I've missed out on a few things.

1) Almost, my friend's birthday. It was last week and I'd planned to meet her and her friends at a new club to celebrate. But thanks to late customers and stuff to do, I got out late. She met me at a bar we used to go to for a shot. It was a short celebration, but at least we got to see each other. I didn't get a chance to make her creme brulee she wanted. I still have the base in the fridge.

2) The end of October. I did catch snippets of Halloween movies, which I love. I got to see the original movie The Fly and it was pretty cool.

3) Almost missed the changing of the clocks. I think every electronic I own changed over except my cell phone, but in my confusion from waking up I still had to call dad to check. Things got more confusing when I punched in at work. The time cl…