Well it’s already that time of year, and as per usual it snuck up on me….again. Since catering is my full-time job, this time of year always goes by way too quickly because of the ridiculous amount of holiday parties we cater at work. This year was a little strange because all of our clients packed their parties into a 2 week period. Since Thanksgiving was early this year, the weekend of December 1st was just too early I guess for people to start thinking about spreading their Holiday cheer. So the last couple weeks were hectic, with everyone wanting their event on the same days. I think one day we had food for 5 parties all leaving between Noon and 4pm. With a couple 14 hour days under my belt, cooking at home was sporadic at best. I love to bake holiday cookies and desserts though, and tried to take advantage of the little time I had (this of course was between holiday shopping, wrapping, nursery decorating, etc.). Continue reading
I know it has been forever since I have posted a blog. This whole baby thing has kept me busy. Fall is my favorite season though, and I have been busy in the kitchen lately with a bunch of apples and pumpkins. A couple weeks ago the Fam and I went to Apple Hill in Placerville, CA. We started this tradition just a couple years ago, but it is one that I love. I would like to say we drive 2 hours to California and pick apples at the orchards in order to have the freshest, most organic, and local apples at home for the rest of the season. I guess that is part of it, but really it is to gorge ourselves on apple cider doughnuts, apple fritters, and to drink local beer (well not this year for me) and apple cider. This year we took Luigi’s mom and grandma who just moved to Reno this past month (yay for more babysitters!). They moved from Denver where there is not a lot of apple growing. I think they were impressed with the amount of apples (and people), but not with our foliage. Don’t get me wrong, the drive through Tahoe in October is beautiful, but the Aspens in Colorado this time of year can’t be topped.
Almost two months since my last blog post. What have I been doing this Summer? Slacking off? Cooking nothing? Living off rice and beans? Not exactly. My little garden has taken some of my time. Who would have thought 200 sqft could be so much work? But Luigi and I have also been cooking up a little something of our own. A little something that has zapped most my energy this Summer and had me spending more time on the couch than in the kitchen.
Did I drop off the face of the Earth? Just about. This past week has been devoted entirely to moving and I have not had a spare minute to get in the kitchen and make a single thing. So much for my Italian Challenge. I guess I will have to extend my self imposed deadline on recreating dishes from my Italian honeymoon and give myself the entire Spring Season! The kitchen at my new house is finally put together though, and I am ready to
eat cook. Continue reading
That’s right. In case you missed the title of this post, today is the first day of spring. It may not feel warm, but there are signs of seasonal change all around. Even though there was a dusting of snow this past week at my house, the tulips in the yard are starting to sprout and I found one lone pansy in my garden box (where did that come from?). Hopefully this is a hint of sunnier days to come.
The company I cater for is lucky because we get to do all the catering for the local art museum. A new exhibit just came to town that highlights the Art Deco movement of the 1920’s. The premier event was last night, and we did a seated dinner for 200 guests. These events are always fun because the menu is in the style of the exhibit. Since the Art Deco movement started in Paris, the food we made had french flair but was still seasonal. We also added some modern touches to the classics. The passed apps included foie gras mousse in puff pastry with a port wine gelee, beet and goat cheese napoleon with a mandarin reduction, and a seared scallop tostada. Continue reading
Chocolate has always been my dessert of choice. I was never into the sugary, sweet candy as a child. As I’ve gotten older my taste has changed to crave darker chocolate, the darker the better. On Valentines Day though, it seems that the general public craves sweet and gooey. At my restaurant the most popular dessert has been the Red Velvet Cupcake. I HATE the Red Velvet Cake! It’s not necessarily the flavor, but that really fake, bright red, food color. I wanted to create my own red velvet cake, but take it one step further and turn it into a lava cake. As you can tell by the picture above, I failed at the “red” part. I guess food color is in red velvet cake for a reason! When I searched Google for a cake that didn’t include food color, almost every recipe used beet juice. Now, I do love beets, but I wanted something a little more sexy for V-day. I think raspberries are over done, and strawberries are just not vibrant enough, so I went with the pomegranate. Not only are they in season right now, but they are also an aphrodesiac…perfect for Valentines. I also happened to have a Chocolove chocolate bar, so I just had to use that. Continue reading