Birthday Extra-vaganza Recap!
WOW- last week was jammed packed, but went by lightning fast! To put it slightly — where have the last 5 weeks gone? It is now Wednesday of my second to last week of B-Block. (B-Block, for new readers, is the first six weeks of school here at the Culinary Institute, where students — baking and pastry– have all academic classes and have to wear business casual wear before entering the kitchens.) Next week will be my last. Then starting Tuesday, March 9th, I will be IN THE KITCHENS! Hopefully sharing with you some new tricks and trades of the culinary field. And I get to don my chef whites! But don’t worry.. there is only one standard for chef white attire, so I won’t be posting pictures of myself everyday.
Last week I definitely didn’t take as many pictures of my food. A lot of the menus at the Banquet & Catering lunches were repeats, so I didn’t bother, and I also consumed many a bowls of microwaved broccoli with tahini and maple syrup — and I was probably too hungry to snap a photo at the time; but, regardless, I did eat.
Egg white oats with almond butter and maple syrup.
No- I still haven’t found a way to hang my mirror. What a pain right? I believe my slanted mirror is my least favorite part of my entire dorm corner. Ooooh well.
Special DARK hot chocolate oats. Instant oats+dark cocoa powder+stevia+water+PB+shredded coconut on top!
My shoes in this one I absolutely adore. Found them for 7 dollars at Buffalo Exchange in Tucson. Do any of you have a Buffalo in your area? It is my favorite place to shop- I buy, sell and trade there. There is a large one in New York, as well as some all over the country- but did you know it originated in Tucson, Arizona??
Tuesday night, by the time I got out of class, I couldn’t find any kitchens that were serving food I wanted, or food at all! I get out around 6- but sometimes a little late, and the last serving time I believe is at 6:15. Even the salad bar stage shuts down at around 6:30. Cruelty. So, I went back to my room and finished off my egg whites in a banana-egg white cake! 1 mashed banana+about 1/3 cup of egg whites+cinnamon+vanilla extract+1-2 T oats, with tahini+maple syrup on top. On the side was a Brown Cow blueberry Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of pumpkin granola.
Breakfast- maple nut oats. A la oatie. Instant oats+shredded coconut+maple syrup+almond butter+cinnamon+vanilla extract+chocolate chips on top!
Wednesday I ventured to one of the downstairs kitchens for lunch and found a mighty tasty dish at “Cuisines of Americas” of poached chicken breast with homemade biscuits, root vegetables, brussel sprouts and mushrooms with a light gravy of sorts. Oh my goodness, it was so good! I was so happy to finally get some chicken and an array of simple but seasoned vegetables!
Thursday 18th: (BIRTHDAY!!!)
Whole Foods basically exploded onto my dresser when I opened my package from my mother. She is the best! I miss my regular eats indefinitely- so I was beyond happy to see some tastes of home. Included were my many items I simply forgot to pack; as well as butternut squash puree cans, pumpkin puree cans, Artisana coconut butter, TWO kinds of raw honey, 1 lb of Bisbee coffee and some homemade blogger goods.
Birthday outfit! Long pants and heels add so much to my day. Even in high school I loved adding a good couple inches to my 5′ 2″ frame with a pair of heels and long jeans. In the kitchen will be another story….
Last year for my 18th birthday, my best friend Jordyn gave me a gift that keeps on giving- an “Edward” scrapbook; on that night, one year ago, I asked her if for the next four years we could each make a scrapbook for each other coinciding with the four Twilight movies. BEST idea ever.
I know, nerdy-obsessive-compulsive-psycho-embarrassing right? But it is fun. This Edward Vol. II/Jacob book definitely exceeded expectations! (I wasn’t expecting much, being that New Moon is all about werewolf, Jacob Black.)
Um, yeah. Both Edward and Jacob are winners in my book. Any other Twilighters out there? Twi-hards? Hehe.
My mom risked her fear of cooking and made my coconut-chia-granola for my birthday! A huge container too. This bad boy will last me a good while. So excited. It turned out perfect too- good job Mama!
She also made Heabie’s famous Oaties! I have been craving these probably more than any other food since being here. They are that good. And Heather… my mom succeeded with these too. Definitely wearing the Oatie badge proud!
Got a birthday card from Anthropogie in the mail. How cute is this??
Even my roomies made me feel special on my day…. (LOVE them both! Even though they’re not my best friends, they are probably two of the coolest, most different from each other girls I could have gotten paired with. I lucked out. I was even especially worried about the roommate situation, so I am very grateful.)
PSH, forget not making a big deal out of birthdays. All birthdays deserve special attention!
From roomie number 1..
From roomie number 2….
Roomie number 1 also decorated our ceiling with what I call “slinky-fied” post-it notes! Need I say more?
Dinner was at Mediterranean Kitchen- I didn’t like my dinner (was under pressure upon ordering)
So I ate a whole lot of veggies, and the side soup (spiced lentil soup! yum!) with hummus, babaganoush, and pita on the side.
Jordyn also sent me a candle (don’t tell the campus safety!) to light in my oatmeal. Unfortunately I opened her gift post-breakfast on my actual birthday, so I celebrated with my pumpkin-oats Friday morning.
With coconut butter on top. (Please forgive my shirt-towel-head. Obviously, not a part of the plan.)
Dinner on Friday was at Meds again. (They always have the best food!) of shrimp and a huge pile of braised Swiss chard.
Woke up late (meh, it was probably like 9. Late for me!) to a nice bowl of leftover Chobani+leftover pumpkin puree+maple syrup+cinnamon, and a generous sprinkle of coconut-chia-granola on top!
Microwaved kale, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, maple syrup, pepper and coconut butter.
With a container of leftover sampler plate from Meds the night before which included pickled beets, hummus, babaganoush, tabbouleh, tzatziki, and pita. I ate that with a couple raw carrots. (Weekend lunch success.)
And that concludes my long recap of one week. Goodness me!
A few weeks ago in my Product Knowledge class, my professor, who is also a chef, (used to teach some of the Skills kitchen classes) was going over some cooking greens. When we got to kale, it seemed like it understood to be the bore of that day’s tastings and specifications. Kale, I learned, is actually a part of the Cabbage family, but is a cooking green. My chef, who is probably one of the nicest men I have ever met, is such a sweetheart –kind of an older man– but you can’t even tell. He’s got a lot of youth and excitement to him, and he never fails to make me smile. I giggle, smile, and laugh in each and every one of his classes. He was discussing greens and cabbage, noting which ones could be cooked and whatnot. When he picked up the curly head of kale, he proclaimed, “Now, this one you really have to braise.” As in, normal cooking won’t even cut it. I shot up my hand and said “What! I eat it raw, like everyday!” I told him how I make it, MASSAGING the kale leaves until they wilt– but the inner-French-chef-man inside of him just could not understand the concept. He even jumped to conclusions asking if I was a secret vegetarian. Um, definitely not. I just love my veggies.
The other day I was able to visit a farm about an hour away, touring the grounds and whatnot. The farm also had an indoor market with local produce from the surrounding areas and organic produce, well, from California. I found my first sighting of lacinato kale since being here! I bought a bunch with the intent on making some raw kale salad for my friend and professor, Chef Brash of my Product Knowledge class. I had a block of Pecorino Romano cheese in my dorm, as well as a few lemons- and voila, I made raw kale salad! I brought it to him in class two days ago, so today I will find out if he liked it! I did think my fellow kale salad fans out there would enjoy my story though.
- 1 bunch Lacinato kale, washed and sliced thinly (or red, curly, whichever you prefer)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2-4 T olive oil
- 2 oz shaved/grated Pecorino Romano
- Red pepper flakes or black pepper to taste
All massaged and ready to eat!
Hope you have a fantastic week! A friend of mine from my classes started a blog before he started at the CIA, and it’s pretty neat to read from a different perspective. Check it out!
Heather, he’s from Nashville! Haha.
Haappy Wednesday Blogland!
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