Summer Classes Begin!

Hello!

I just had my first week of classes this term and I think its going to be a good one! I’m taking Garde Manger and European Cakes & Tortes; garde manger is defined as “keeper of the food” and refers to the preparation of many cold dishes, hors d’hoeuvres, appetizers, canapés and pâtés. European cakes and tortes is basically what it sounds like — a whole lot of cake making!

In garde manger we’ll be making salads, sausages, pâtés, terrines, cold seafood dishes and putting on a ‘Grand Buffet’. Last week we made a variety of cold soups – vichyssoise (leek & potato), roasted tomato, carrot with toasted coconut and almonds, cucumber, avocado, and gingered melon.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m not a huge fan of cold soups; I definitely prefer my soups to be hot. These weren’t bad, however and if cold soups are your thing I’d recommend looking up some recipes for these. {Disclaimer: the melon soup tastes like a margarita!}

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In my cakes class, we’ll be focusing heavily on icing skills and piping techniques. Each class period we’ll be decorating a cake and getting graded on how well we ice and decorate them. We started off with a pretty easy cake this week – a Sachertorte. Apparently a Sachertorte can only be called that if the word “Sacher” is piped on top, so that’s what we did. Each of us made an individual cake, iced it and piped on the word. I’ve got some work to do, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and learning different techniques!

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I had big plans to have a recipe for you all this weekend, but it hasn’t turned out the way I want it to yet so I’m tweaking the recipe, testing it again (third time’s a charm, right?) and I’ll hopefully have it for you soon so stay tuned!

Pimm’s Cup

Yesterday was Independence Day here in the good ol’ USA. Being from England, I don’t celebrate this holiday the same way my friends do. While they were wearing the red, white & blue, watching fireworks and (probably) drinking beer, I was drinking this beauty. IMG_6850 A Pimm’s Cup is a traditional summertime drink in England. It’s literally the most refreshing, delicious drink in the entire world. It’s especially prevalent at Wimbledon, where you can see people enjoying the tennis, sipping on some Pimm’s and eating strawberries & cream. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back. This drink is really, really easy to make. Typically in England we make it with lemonade, which is different from the lemonade over here. The closest substitute is either Sprite or 7-Up. Other than that, all you need is Pimm’s, a variety of fruit, and mint. You have to have mint – it’s basically required :) IMG_6845As far as fruit goes, I like to use any combination of oranges, cucumber, strawberries, kiwi, raspberries. Pretty much any fruit will work, although I wouldn’t recommend bananas – I think that would be weird. The best part of this drink? Eating all the alcohol infused fruit at the end. Takes the fruit to a whole other level! This particular recipe is for one glass full of Pimm’s Cup, but if you want to make a pitcher of it for more than one person to enjoy, I highly recommend it. I’ve got my friends, Mary and Taylor, on the Pimm’s train and they love it. IMG_6846 IMG_6848 Pimm’s Cup:  Makes 1 serving Ingredients:

  • Ice cubes, however many you want
  • 1.5 oz Pimm’s (I use a shot glass to measure it)
  • Sprite/7-Up, to fill glass
  • Sliced fruit
  • 2-3 mint sprigs

Directions:

  1. With ice cubes in your glass, add the Pimm’s. Add as much sliced fruit and mint as you would like, then fill glass with Sprite. Enjoy!

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Cabin Weekend

Have you ever wanted to just get away for the weekend with your friends? Escape the crazy, fast-paced life in the city, days filled with work and school and a million other things you don’t have time for?

My friends and I did exactly that last weekend.

We packed up our bags and enjoyed a couple of days filled with pjs, sweatpants, no makeup, girl talk and lots of laughter.

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In keeping with our group’s tradition, we made lots of delicious food – Dutch babies, eggs, quinoa, pizza, a wonderful salad and a variety of croissants/pastries. Yum. We also had a little campfire by the lake with s’mores, guitar playing and some singing.

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Mary, Taylor and I drove together and we passed the time going there and coming back home by talking, singing at the top of our lungs, and dancing in the car. We probably got some weird looks from other drivers, but who cares. You only live once, right? I can guarantee we were having more fun than anyone else on the road.

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There is something so nice about getting out of the car and smelling nature. Pine needles, trees, lakes, all of those things we can’t get in the city. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Portland and I love being able to call it ‘home’, but there is something so nice about being able to unplug and escape from the hustle and bustle in PDX.

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We had no cell phone reception, enforced a no makeup rule and were totally content to just sit around in our pi’s for most of the day. You know you have good friends when you’re comfortable doing that.

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If you all ever have to opportunity to get away for a day, weekend, week, whatever works for you, I highly recommend it. Unplugging and getting some distance from the ‘real world’ for a while is the best.

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