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THE TORTURE IS OVER

I was going to say something sooner about the Giants but then I got really superstitious all of sudden. Now that everything is all said and done: WE ARE FREAKING WORLD CHAMPIONS! WE WON THE WORLD SERIES!

From September to the postseason, it has been a dream you never wanted to wake up from. I can't tell you how surreal it has been and even now, it's strange to believe. At the same time, I don't feel as connected to everything that is going on. I wasn't even able to witness us winning, which will be disappointing for awhile. I was blowing up water balloons to make chocolate cups, making pate a choux and lemon curd. I so did not want to be at school.

My consolation was that going to the parade in San Francisco was a strong possibility. My dad gave me no choice but to miss school on Wednesday. We left at 6:30 a.m. to ride BART in. We were all over the Civic Center Plaza in the madness. I couldn't enjoy the festivities though. It was ridiculously hot out, could barely see or hear anything. So much pot everywhere! It was wall to wall people all along the streets so we couldn't even see them in the parade if we wanted to and then packed like sardines on the grass in front of City Hall. I was roasting in the sun for like four hours and we left after Gavin Newsom talked. All the good stuff happened later. Luckily, my mom taped it so we watched it when we got home. It was an exhausting 12 hour day. While I digress, I can absolutely appreciate what everything means not only for myself but for everyone.

To think of all the memories I've seen and been apart of as a Giants fan has been so rewarding. To see Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell hug each other after they had won tells you what you need to know. It's one of my favorite moments of the postseason. Being a fan has shown me great unconditional love.

Busy Worker Bee

Made a Macronade (chewy macaroon cake layers made of hazelnut meal and chopped walnuts with golf ball sized mounds of chocolate mousse and vanilla cream sandwiched in between), Caramel Pear Bavaroise (two layer vanilla sponge cake with a creamy pear flavor infused center insert and a caramel mousse dispersed through out) and Double Chocolate Mousse Cake (three layer chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with a dark chocolate mousse and milk chocolate mousse).

It's going to be a busy season. Not to mention all the other shows I'm juggling on top of this.

Fall TV Line UpCollapse )

Mom and I took Cody and Josey to Bark in the Park in San Jose on Saturday. I've been wanting to go there for three years now and to be honest, I think I built it up too much in my head. We got there kind of late and it was relatively hot out, but there was still a decent amount of people with their dogs. In the end, it was worth going because I got Cody a Giants jersey (not cheap either!), free bottle of shampoo just for demonstrating some dog tricks and free water bottles. We should have grabbed some free dog food samples but the dogs are already eating Trader Joe's food and some Honest Kitchen.

Can't keep loving with half of my heart

Book Pick: A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors by Michael Farquhar

My cousins and I saw Toy Story 3 on Thursday afternoon. We had a great time. It was funny, cute and clever with some drama mixed in. It's all the things you want in a movie. I got a little teary eyed but I don't know how anyone could see that movie and not have some sort of emotional connection. As much as I liked past Pixar films, they were good but not great. Toy Story 3 just delivered in every way.

Dad and I went to the Giants and Red Sox game on Saturday. We were right under the unveiling of Monte Irvin's jersey number being retired. It was so hot that after the first inning we spent most of our time sitting inside the Club Level dining area and watching the game on the TV, which was pretty sad. We got to see the rookie (Madison Baumgartner) pitch so I feel a little bit privileged. Giants lost but we met up with an old friend of my dad's that we hardly ever see, so that was nice.

Tonight, I made a Lemon Tart with a short dough crust and filled with a layer of pastry cream and lemon curd. I piped a lattice pattern of meringue and blow torched it for a caramelized effect. I also baked a Lemon Meringue Pie. Last week, we made four mini Banana Cream Tarts and a Fruit Tart.

It's the second day back in the baking kitchen after 10 days of dreaded culinary. I would say that I probably would have enjoyed cooking more if you didn't have to be so fast. Baking is far more relaxing and I missed it A LOT. I was way outside my comfort zone in a regular kitchen. I think I can cut better with a knife now though. If you really knew me before, I just stabbed everything with a fork instead of cutting anything. In the end, I passed and that's all that matters.

In any case, I learned to make a variety of dishes: Cream of Broccoli soup, Clam Chowder, Hearty Beef and Vegetable soup, Creole Rice, Risotto, Duck Ravioli, Spaghetti Bolognese, Hash brown, Fries, Potato Chips, Eggs Benedict (Damn Hollandaise sauce!), Denver Omelet, Scrambled Eggs, Fried Egg, Eggs Sunny Side Up, Cobb Salad, Caesar Salad, Greek Salad, Reuben Sandwich, Croque Monsieur Sandwich, Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich and learned to grill vegetables/salmon.
Reading right now: The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano (Totally loving it!)
Song of the Moment: "Blame It On Me" - Parachute

Menu of what I've baked in the last three weeks:

- Almond Biscotti dipped in dark chocolate
- Almond Spritz Cookies
- Banana Bread
- Basque Cake with a rum pastry cream in the center and sprinkled with almonds, crystallized sugar and dusted with powdered sugar
- Bran Muffins
- Brownies with walnuts covered in a chocolate ganache and sprinkled with toasted almonds
- Checkerboard Cookies rolled in crystallized sugar and Marble Cookies (same dough but different appearances)
- Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
- Corn Bread
- Gugelhopf (mini bundt cake)
- Peanut Butter Cookies sprinkled with chopped peanuts and dipped in dark chocolate
- Pumpkin Bread
- Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
- Snickerdoodles
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I got a B on my final. My Basque Cake didn't turn out so well and I forgot to add the cinnamon sugar before I baked my Bran Muffins. It was a very lackluster ending to the quick breads and cookies section.

We start 10 days of Culinary with Chef Udo and I'm nervous. This will be a real "throw yourself into the frying pan" time for me. I'm not completely inept when it comes being in the kitchen but I definitely don't cook on a regular basis. Frankly, Chef Udo looks like he could eat small children so the intimidation factor is fairly high right now. I just hope I can understand him through his German accent and I thought learning from Chef Alex for two days was hard, but at least I had some knowledge of the French language.

I managed to see Sex and the City 2 on opening night with my younger cousin and my sister's friends. Go figure. I barely had time to eat dinner and make it to the movie because my crazy sister decided to spend the night with another cousin, so I had to take her ticket.

My overall thoughts on the movie were that the first Sex and the City movie was better. There were probably funnier moments in the sequel but it consisted of a lot trivial moments that never formed a story. Michael Patrick King really dropped the ball this time. Two out of four stars.

Dad and I went to the Giants game on Sunday. It was a good thing that they won at the end because it was long and boring most of the time. When you score early on and six innings of zero action, it is painful. That's when people start breaking out "The Wave."

I've kept my heart under control

Band of the Moment: Parachute

I love their album, Losing Sleep, which I haven't gotten yet but thanks to Youtube for helping the obsession.

We're finally out of the breads sections but now, we're onto quick breads and cookies. It's still bread but you don't have to wait around. All I know is that I don't want to make bread for a living.

Monday - We had to get ready for our final on Tuesday, which meant prepping four Baguettes, six Whole Grain dinner rolls and a Whole Grain loaf. Shove everything into the fridge to bake on Tuesday. Since there was some time, we made Gressini (just another name for the long crunchy bread sticks you find in restaurants).

Tuesday - Baked our final breads and managed to squeeze in the Bacon Chive Scones that we never got to make during our first section because they ran out of bacon. This time around there weren't any chives so we used green onions, which worked fine. I thought the scones would be a lot more savory but they was an interesting sweetness to it. The key to a flaky scone is to NOT OVERWORK the dough. We had some downtime, so we prepped for the recipes next day. Good news is that I had the best looking baguettes but they weren't perfect, so despite my bitching I did okay.

Wednesday - We made Buttermilk Biscuits and Rum Raisin Zucchini Bread. The biscuits were a lot easier than I thought they were going to be. Biscuits and scones follow the same key. You just want to barely touch the dough to keep that moisture in and the butter will doing its magic in the oven. The zucchini bread felt like old hat to me since I've made it A LOT, but the school's recipe had some variations to it. We were in the beginning stages of Checkerboard Cookies. I can see why they are a pain to make because assembling it has to be just so or else it'll look rustic (it's become the word we use for anything that comes out looking weird).

Baby, I'm an alien like you.

Reading right now:

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Irresistible Henry House: A Novel by Lisa Grunwald

Song of the moment: "Alien Like You" by Sebastian Pigott or The Pigott Brothers

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie. WTF. They had a baby too. Major WTF.

Went to the Giants game on 23rd and totally missed out on the free Snuggie. At least, the Giants won. Went to the game on the 1st and had a better time since it was a day game. After all my hemming and hawing about the Red Sox, it turns out my dad's friend is flying in for the Red Sox so dad broke down and paid a pretty penny for tickets so we're going now. Hopefully, we don't get swept or something.

My sister is moving back home after spending the last couple of years in San Diego. She got a job she really wanted, so I'm glad for that part. It's the other stuff I'm not exactly looking forward to a.k.a. cleaning up after her. I just hope she'll be taking care of her dog more.

Cooking Rundown:

We have to rotate our tables every week so I was Chef's sous chef. It's a job that I would rather not do. He didn't ask me to do that many things but you are the kitchen gopher. I was definitely flustered the first day and I wasn't getting the stuff I needed to do on top of what Chef wanted.

Monday - Made Pita Bread (not on the curriculum) and it turns out that you can over bake them to the point that they are no longer pillow like. Prepped the Francese Bread and Flower Bread.

Tuesday - Baked two loaves of Francese bread, Flower Bread (looks like a flower hence the name) and its sister loaf.

Wednesday - Chef changed one of our breads to a Cheese Bread (pockets of Smoked Gouda cheese chunks melted into the bread), made Parmesan encrusted bagels, Parmesan Herb Crackers and Bavarian style pretzels. The pretzels are a rather involved process that included goggles and protective gloves.

Bread, bread and more bread

Today was pizza night in the kitchen. It was surprisingly low key but fun. I made three 10 inch pizzas and two mini pizzas with variations of prosciutto, green bell peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and roasted garlic. One of the girls made sauce from scratch and it was delicious. (One head of garlic, tomato sauce, two tablespoons of rosemary, thyme and oregano.)

We took orders from all the kitchens and made personalized pizzas for them.

Chef Peter's class (the hot culinary guys) moved down to the second floor with Chef Tom's class because the kitchen was bigger. We were told message that they were lonely and we have to make a point to visit them a.k.a. give them food. Very Single White Female of them.

I also made four Foccacia rolls from the leftover pizza dough.

We baked off our loaf of Sourdough bread. Mine was quite sad looking because it deflated a little bit, so I'm hoping it tastes okay.

There was a lot of action at the school tonight. Ebay had a team building experience (the guest company gets to make food in the kitchens and eat it together). It's a weird feeling to have a large group of people watch you like you're a zoo animal. Even a guy from the wait staff was sampling our food.

Done and DONE

Compliments of Chef DougCollapse )

Out with the old, in with the newCollapse )

I took home the extra Hazelnut Short Dough plus someone else's and made four 10 inch tarts, two mini tarts and four cookies on Friday. I had forgotten about my cousin, Kelly's, birthday and decided to make a fruit tart for her. I only managed to complete three of the 10 inch tarts. Damn, I am sore. On top of rolling out the puff pastry and the short dough. My arms are aching.

Mar. 14th, 2010

My dad picked out 20 Giants games we will be going to this season from a season ticket holder (well not all). I was so freaking close to seeing the Red Sox play at AT&T except dear old dad completely FORGOT. *face plant* I swear, why send a man in to do a woman's job? Details, details. I don't know how to help myself anymore than I could have. I wrote all of the home games down for the season down according to month and circled/starred the dates that I wanted and told him about the Boston series. All he had to say to me was, "I didn't study it the night before." I digress.

Game DaysCollapse )

Cody and I went to visit Jimmy, Bridgitte and Lulu (Bassett Hound/Cocker Spaniel mix) since we never get to see them at the dog park anymore because Josey got into a fight. I am so waiting for the day when my sister decides to take her dog back with her to San Diego. His food aggression, anti-social behavior and abandonment issues is real tiresome these days. A lot of his issues have gotten a lot better since he started living with us in November but it's just not the same as a single dog household. I never had to worry about so many things when it came to Cody. We're not a social anymore. It's sad, really.