A Chefs Update…Culinary projects… and the Loudmouth
I’ve been up to a plethora of culinary concoctions as of late but not for my usual audience.
This week I’ve been lucky enough to book three culinary gigs for myself which have been keeping me quite the happy little camper but definitely putting a strain on my blogging. I also had a wonderful little get together at my local bar of crazies The Fox Fire Room with the beautiful and talented Stephanie from the-loudmouth.com. Stephanie and I met on Livejournal at about sometime during the last bit of 2010 I believe, since then I was hooked on her writing and I knew we would fast become friends. Stephanie is out here in Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of fashion writing which will be coming true shortly in my opinion. Her beautiful sense of self and wonderful fashion forward attitude propel her into a class of people that are hard to come by and a fresh face to give fashion writing a new makeover. So please keep in touch with Stephanie, follow her on facebook, twitter, bloglovin, of course at her blog the-loudmouth.com and see this wonderful transformation take place. I’m so glad to of been able to make a new friend that’s so genuine and lovely.
Here are a couple of beautiful pictures of Stephanie.
I hope everyone had a little love for themselves on Valentine’s Day. Here are a couple of pictures of what I made myself for dinner that night and a little photo of me in my kitchen wishing all of you all the love possible. Every day!
Oregano champagne Pollo “Saltimbocca”, smashed potatoes, roasted asparagus
So the beginning of my week was filled with tell tale signs of my anxiety when I cook for other people, not really sleeping, eating, or paying attention to anything other than cooking and reading cooking related materials, which is my life most of the time anyway. It’s like the 1st day of school, a dreamy love hate relationship with all those little ups and downs and not knowing what’s going to happen. Over and over in my mind I’m thinking exactly what I’m going to make and if I’ll have everything, checking all the lists especially the one in my brain triple time. I love the feeling of butterflies that rumble around in my tummy when I’m thinking about all the things I have to get done. A little performance anxiety I believe is crucial to the best performances because if you always think “you got this” you won’t be able to think on your toes when something happens that you weren’t anticipating. So number one rule I always have is to be prepared but not overly confident. I trust myself in the kitchen more than anywhere else but it doesn’t mean that I know it all because I don’t but I am a great problem solver which helps.
So I started out on Tuesday with a Private Dinner at a home in Thousand Oaks. The lovely family that invited me to cook in their beautiful home have the most wide open, spacious kitchen a chef could ask for. With lots of counter space which for me is essential because I use a lot of space to cook. Ryan had asked me to come by and cook for his wife and daughter and gave me a list of all the things his daughter loves and some things his wife fancied and I pretty much had creative reign of whatever I’d like to do. This was their menu. Some of it sounds a little weird but they were things specifically asked for by Charisma she’s 7.
Four Course Valentines Tasting Menu
Raw cauliflower, Cambozola (French blue brie) and Baby mixed greens with a balsamic Vinaigrette salad aside California grown heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, aged Parmesan and white balsamic glaze
Ryan and Deborah
Creamy Asparagus and farro risotto with aged parmigiano reggiano and topped with crispy pancetta, and roasted asparagus spears
Steamed white rice topped with edamame
Ryan and Deborah
Pan seared herb encrusted beef Fillet Mignon served atop roasted butternut squash mashed potatoes, roasted rapini, and glazed with a gorgonzola cream sauce
Caper-less Chicken Piccata served with squash mashed potatoes and creamed corn
Hand dipped spiced Callebaut dark chocolate covered Organic California grown strawberries
I was really proud of my timing, budgeting, and they loved every bit of the meal which was even more rewarding. Unfortunately I have no pictures of this event but I have a great visual of what I did and I’m really happy with how everything came out.
I think the stand out of the meal was the Farro Risotto which I’ll blog about at a later date it’s a definite crowd pleaser and wow factor for a meal. Risotto is one of my very favorite things and a definite love and passion of mine.
So there’s one event down
I volunteer teaching cooking classes 2-4 times a month depending on the budgeting at Pacific Lodge. Pacific Lodge Boys’ Home provides a therapeutic residential treatment program for boy’s ages 13 to 17. These boys are kids who need a little extra love. Through this program, kind people show them the compassion they deserve and through this compassion these kids are given a second chance but it’s really up to them. I’ve taught about 14 classes there and I’d have to say it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. These kids are so welcoming most of the time and literally hungry with the desire to firstly eat something that isn’t from the cafeteria and also just to have someone listen to them. I make it a point to try and spend time teaching everyone something the boys are in class with me about 2 and a half hours cooking a main dish, side, and dessert. They might not know exactly how to do it all but they get the hands on experience of cooking themselves a good meal.
I was asked by one of the activities coordinators if I could cook for 25 people on Wednesday with a budget of 100 bucks and some really hungry tummies to feed. So I shopped and I cooked and I got it all done and everyone seemed really happy.
Going Away Dinner Party Menu
Spaghetti Arrabiata with Sausage, Garlic bread, Mixed green salad, and strawberries
It was nice just plating 25 plates and seeing them all go out and plates coming back empty or asking for more. It was just a really nice experience, I’m very happy I can contribute to such an amazing place.
Now for the weekend I’ll have the biggest challenge left. I’m cooking for 55 people on Sunday. Of course it has to be pouring down rain when I need to go grocery shopping and everyone in LA decides they want to be a worse driver then they already are but I braved the crowds and came back with a car full of groceries for which I need two ice chests and my fridge to hold the craziness I plan to make.
This is the baby shower menu
Kristen and Steven’s Baby Shower Menu
Assorted Fruit, Cheese, nuts, and crackers
Strawberries, Blueberries, grapes, pears, Apples
Dried Fruit, nuts, crackers
Brie, Provolone, Cheddar, Swiss, Manchego
Green onion dip
7 layer bean dip
Tortilla chips, Potato chips, Pretzels, crostini
Balsamic cob spears
Romaine, bacon, tomato, hard boiled egg, roasted zucchini (balsamic dressing)
Spinach, roasted asparagus, shrimp salad with lemon cilantro vinaigrette
Baby Mixed green salad Gorgonzola vinaigrette with button mushrooms, garbanzo beans and roasted beets
Vegan Split pea
Beef and black eyed pea
Pasta Panna prosciutto and Haricot Vert
Roasted Chicken Cordon Bleu
Vegetable Confetti rice
I’m sure this menu will change a little bit cause i like improve in the kitchen. But its the main idea.
So I think I have my work cut out for me it’ll be an entire day and a half sprint in the kitchen as soon as I finish writing this. If you got through all that I commend you because this is really just a reminder for me of what I’m working on. The inspiration of all these things are here to keep me going and show you guys a little of what I do outside of the home cooking spectrum. I hope you all have been cooking, eating, and living the beautiful life. I’ll have plenty of baby shower pictures to share with you all when I’m in a coma on Tuesday because I have cooking class on Monday as well.
This is what I do… And I’m really happy to be doing it.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.
I also am going to put up some other food pictures for you of things I’ve worked on other days for a little visual effect.
Spanish Rice and Layered Carne Asada Enchilada Casserole with chipotle sauce and Shredded Avocado
Rosemary Parmesan Focaccia
Chocolate peanut butter pretzel bars
Irish cheddar, stout beer braised, spinach and bacon stuffed mushrooms
“Cali” Sour dough Cheesesteaks with roasted tomatillos and bell peppers, Roma tomato aioil with melted Parmesan and provolone cheese served with Chopped Bacon and mozzarella Cobb Salad
Spinach rice with peppered steak and roasted zucchini
I love a new reader and even more so love a new read!
Lets be friends!
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