Showing posts from February, 2011

More Works in Progress

These are two more desserts on the menu, realized for the first time.  After plating these samples for a tasting today, I've rethought some of the elements.  And while they're good enough to serve, I still want to tweak them a bit.

Creme Fraiche Bavarian, Lemon Curd (insert and sauce), Raspberries, Streusel, White Chocolate Decor
Classic L'Opera with Mocha Sauce

Almond Cake

I'm a bit of a pastry snob.  If I crave a particular sweet, say, a cookie, or chocolate cake, I'll make it myself instead of going out and buying something from the grocery store.  There's one pastry shop near me that I go to when I am really craving a cupcake and don't want to make any myself because they're good.  This snobbery keeps me from eating a lot of sweets just because I'm having a craving and can get my hands on anything out there.  I figure if I really want it, I'll get up off my lazy butt, get what I need and make it myself.  That's acceptable, right?

So today I finally gave into a sugar craving by making almond cake.  What started out as a simple snack has turned into a small plated dessert.  Made with almond paste, this cake has a richness that is balanced by a light crumb.  No more dense than a pound cake, it is quite easy to eat a lot of-especially if you're hungry and having baked a 6 x 6 cake, you have batter left over for, say, …

Manjari Cremeux, on Valentine's Day

Manjari Cremeux on a Chocolate Pretzel Cookie, Caramelized Honey Ale Sauce, Chocolate Dentelle, Raspberries
One of the new desserts I did for a dinner party tonight.  I like this version much better than what I did for the tasting.  What a difference the right equipment makes.  I feel like maybe it could use a smaller dentelle on the front right corner, or . . .  something.

Work in progress.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nutella Tarts for The One

I think this blog has become a sort of confessional for me.  I say this because I confess that this tart wasn't ready for World Nutella Day on February 5th, but it is in time for Valentine's Day!

It took me a while to think of a few things to make for the holiday, then to narrow them down.  I actually decided to do this tart and made one-got it right first shot!-but with the snow storm, I was feeling a little cozy and lazy, similar to what I believe bears go through during this time of year.  So, I did a lot of napping, watching movies I won't admit to watching, and eating soup.  Laziness prevented me from getting my entry in, but, like I said, Valentine's Day saved me!

In Praise of Carrots or The Rice isn't Ready & the Fish Fell Apart

Yea-ya (ala Dave Chappell).

Posting this while I wait for the rice I thought was ready to finish cooking (I always start cooking rice first).

Or it may just be carrots and fish now, rice later.

10 points goes to the photo looking better on my computer than on my blog.

I used my Benriner with the cross blade to cut the carrot.  Brought water to boil, salted it, dropped the shreds in, watched until color brightened, strained, put back into the pan and seasoned them.  The heat from the pilot light kept them warm.  They were delightfully al-dente!

Just for the record, the fish didn't "fall apart" one fillet broke in two places.  I'm dramatic sometimes.

Did you know that fish fillet has 2 l's and filet mignon has only 1? Just realized this myself!

Snow Days, Breakfast and a Lazy Day

Last week's snow days were truly a study in laziness.  In between peeping through the window at the flurry of flakes, napping, and watching tv I did a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y nothing.  The snow started Tuesday, and stopped some time on Wednesday.  Lakeshore Drive was shut down, people were stranded, downtown closed-it was like something out of a movie.  I love snow and this is the first real snowfall we've had in a long time.  So far, before this storm, we had some precipitation, but it was gone within two days.  This time, however, I got a message from work on Tuesday that we would be closed and I didn't have to go in tomorrow.

I woke up Wednesday morning excited like a kid on a snow day from school.  I got bundled up, grabbed my camera, and headed outside.

It was truly a winter wonderland.  The streets were clear, and people were walking in them since many sidewalks were still covered and the cars were buried.  I didn't know what to do first!  I wanted to play in it, offer…