Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Motorcycle Ride

After a long week stuck in an office/kitchen the only thing I want to do on an 80-degree Saturday is go on a motorcycle ride with my guy.  Especially when the mountains in our backyard are as breathtaking as they were today. Simply stunning.

We rode the Alpine Loop. It starts up Sundance Canyon and ends in American Fork. The road is paved the whole way and is twisty and windy and shows off some of the best views of fall colors I've seen yet. 

If you're a Utah local jump in your car, grab some snacks and head up into the mountains because those colors are not to be missed! We had a beautiful afternoon spending time in this pretty place.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Culinary School: Week 5

This week was good for the most part. I am happy to report that I lived through my first practical and that although I was very nervous, I feel good about how I did. I got to class on Wednesday, the day of my exam and I was at about a 6 on the nervous scale. I started pulling out my knives and getting my work station ready when my instructor told us not to be nervous, followed up with: "blah blah blah, I had one student who was so nervous, blah blah blah, peoples hands were shaking, blah blah blah, and there's always one who cuts them self bad, blah blah blah, don't be nervous, blah blah blah." After his well-meant story telling session I was at about a 8.9 on the nervous scale. He gave us our lists of what we needed to have chopped and prepared to complete the exam. Rondelled carrots, batonnet potatoes, small diced onions, a broken down chicken, one gallon of chicken stock, 2 quarts of veloute ect. When it was go time I grabbed what I needed out of the walk in and put my head down and went to work. When my hands touched my first carrot I knew I was going to be ok. Somehow my nervousness was diffused and I knew what I needed to do. I got through all of the practical requirements in just over two hours. It felt great to be through it. There, of course, will be a few more practical exams before I am through with the program, and each one will be moderately nerve wracking but at least now I know what to expect, and hopefully won't be quite so scared. In baking this week we covered A LOT! Foccacia, boule shaping, batard shaping, roll practicing, baguette practicing, beer bread, and most of it covered in one class! It was exciting to learn how to make some of my favorite types of bread. In other news I found a stash of cookie dough in the baking class freezer so that's good (ha!). Overall a good week - now I'm ready to crash for the weekend! Sleeping in till at least 10am tomorrow!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

This is called desperation

I'm not sure which is worse:
 The awkward moment when you finish season 3 on netflix and they haven't picked up the 4th season yet and you want to cry a little bit.
That awkward moment when you realize you're obsessed with a television show that's not even real.
#wetalkaboutitlikeitsreal #iknownothingaboutguns

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


 Me and my guy, dessert from the a recent culinary event, my 3 o'clock sugar rush,
my poor finger trying to get better, fall storms rolling in, the most beautiful boule, scared face for my practical exam, first boots day of the season.  

Monday, September 24, 2012


In case you're still in denial that Fall is here (cough, cough Adam - I'm going to hide those flip flops), I have some photographic evidence that may help you along:

Crunchy orange leaves, picked up off the side walk

A piece of spicy pumpkin pie, on a drizzly fall evening

My space heater, blowing as much hot air as I demand 

It's time - you summer lovers, to put away the swimsuit and shorts and say your goodbyes because the best season of all is here!
Welcome Fall!! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Culinary School: Week 4

This week was hard. There were several late nights on campus. And lots of time spent on my feet running walking quickly from thing, to thing, to thing. Some mornings when I got to my desk at work, I couldn't remember what day it was or how I got there, the days seemed to blend together and become one long day that went something like work, school, eat, sleep, repeat. Some mornings rolling out of bed felt like the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. At times I wondered if I could physically go on like this sleep deprived, with sore feet, unsure of whether I needed to be wearing my chef coat or my work clothes. But somehow I made it to Friday. I'm not sure how but I did. I'm sure this won't be my last week where I hold on for dear life and pray that my eye lids will stay open just a little longer, I guess the point is that this one is over and I'm still alive. One night after getting out of class later than usual I got home and Adam and I got talking about all of this. I told him about my frustrations and my concerns and he simply told me with all the sincerity he could muster up that he was proud of me. For some reason hearing that made me not just want to continue on this crazy course but excel. He's proud, that made something inside me click. I can do this. In pastry and baking this week we made baguettes! We made standard shaped baguettes and epi shaped baguettes, those are the funky piecey looking loafs. They were so delicious. I'm looking forward to practicing at home, and getting really good at shaping them. My instructor did a demo on the shaping and rolling process, I had never seen the baguette making process, but if you ever have I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say it's a beautiful process. It's almost like a dance between your hands and the dough. I loved watching her fold, and turn, press, roll, and drape it was lovely. The baguettes baked up to be crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, delicious, loafs of bread. In my cooking skills class we had a banquet this week so we did a lot of prep work for that. Overall a stressful week but in a good way. Next week is my first practical, it's basically a way to test my skills on the things we've learned so far. My instructor will give me 4 or 5 things to chop or make with various techniques and I'll have to do it without help, if that's not bad enough it's timed. Let the sleepless nights and anxiousness begin!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Three years ago

On the 19th of September for the last 3 years in a row Adam and I have eaten at the Goodwood. We request a specific booth and after dinner we go to Macey's grocery store and get soft serve ice cream cones. We play a round of pool and we do some serious flirting. If we were being really thorough though we would watch the best of Will Ferrell SNL and talk about politics over dinner, but usually we leave those two details out of the reenactment of our first date.

Every year when this day comes around it's fun to think back and remember the emotions (anxiety) we were feeling before our last first date. I love any reason to celebrate the relationship that I have with my guy and why not celebrate the milestones. This is a big one - today three years ago is the day the search ended. I found him and that is worth celebrating. Happy three year 1st date-iversary to us!
You can remember with us here  and  here 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Shredded Pork Tacos

Do you like tacos? I hope you said yes - because I have an awesome recipe for you. These pork tacos are packed full of yummy flavor and will have your family and friends going back for seconds (and thirds, and fourths, and...) but are completely fool proof too! Delicious and super easy is a no-brainer, right? The pork gets so tender and is slightly spicy but not over the top. Topped with cheese and fresh salsa, these tacos will be a hit on your dinner table. We grilled up corn and served them along side this rice, black beans and plenty of napkins. Give them a try soon you'll be glad you did!

Slow Cooker Shredded Pork Tacos 


4lb pork shoulder (picnic or butt) roast
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo  
1 can diced green chilies
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 c. chili powder
1 tsp. taco seasoning
1 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 salt 

Start by trimming pork of excess fat. Into the bowl of a slow cooker or crock pot add chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and diced green chilies. In a small bowl mix together apple cider vinegar, garlic, chili powder, taco seasoning, oregano and salt, mix together to form a thick paste, rub all over meat and add excess to slow cooker. Add meat to slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours and high for 3 (or low for 8, or high for 4, whichever is easiest for you), until meat shreds easily with a fork, and is falling apart. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Until the consistency is to your liking. Pick out excess fat from meat and with a ladle remove half of the cooking juices, add the meat back to the slow cooker to keep warm until serving.  Serve with warm tortillas, cheese, salsa fresca, limes and all of your other favorite taco fixings. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Out to Breakfast

One of my favorite places to eat (particularly for breakfast) is Ruth's diner up immigration canyon in Salt Lake. The food is always wonderful and today the company wasn't bad either. We went with my family and had a great morning in the sun.
 The cinnamon french toast with strawberries is my favorite, and today Adam tried the Corned Beef Hash, they were both delicious!

If you're in the area try Ruth's it's great!!

An evening at Lagoon

Adam and I had the chance to go to lagoon this weekend for my company party. We rode roller coasters, and ate hot dogs and finished off the night on the Ferris wheel.

It was a great night out with my love. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Culinary School: Week 3

Classes are getting better and better, I am beginning to feel comfortable with my classmates and with my instructor. This week in my Pastry and Baking Class we finally did some baking! We shaped rolls! And I learned I have a very, very long way to go before I'm a master roll shaper. I even had a scale to measure how many ounces each piece of dough was and I still couldn't get them the same size. I guess that means I need to practice (hey-o who wants some to come over and eat rolls this weekend?). In my Cooking Skills class we continued to work on the mother sauces. We made a Beurre Blanc, Hollandaise, and a Bechamele. The Beurre Blanc is basically just butter, white wine and shallots, It was probably my favorite. So much butter. And so good. We also continued working on our knife skills and I am becoming a pro at breaking down whole chicken. It's pretty awesome. But of all of the things I learned in classes this week the thing I am most proud of, most excited about, is my poached egg. I did it. I poached an egg. And it was beautiful. And delicious. And perfect. I realized I had never even tried to poach an egg before my attempt on Wednesday. I think because I was scared. I have this problem you see, I'm afraid to try things I know I might be bad at, or might not work out. Even if I know that all it takes is a bit of practice and some time, I still have a hard time trying things if I feel like there's a chance of it not working. Hence, the reason I had never poached an egg. After some thinking, I asked myself this question: How will I ever get better if I'm not willing to try new things, always, but especially while I'm in school? Isn't that the point? I answered with a resolute yes. This is the time to get out of my comfort zone and try things that are scary, even if I try and fail, and try and fail, and try and succeed. That's the point. Poach an egg...check!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Our summer bucket list included making s'mores over a bon fire. Unfortunately with all of the wild fires in the Utah mountains this summer there are some serious fire restrictions going on therefore making it difficult to have a fire, making it difficult to roast mallows for s'mores. But being the problem solver that I am, I didn't let that come between me and my gooey summer treat. We started up my parent's grill and roasted them over the coals.

Even though the marshmallows had expired in January and we only had one Hershey bar to go around the s'mores were great and I got to cross another activity off my summer bucket list!


Out golfing, lumpy brown sugar, pretty summer sun set,
my new kitchen toys, the best french toast ever, a sachet full of herbs for my sauce,
Farrs with my mom and sissys

Apple Pie

There's apple pie and then there's this apple pie. This apple pie is unique because of the cinnamony, vanillay, buttery syrup you create and then toss with the apples before adding to the crust and baking. It makes the pie moist and so full of flavor. The pie is sweet but the tartness of the apples help to cut the sugar, it's a great flavor combination and is especially delicious when stuffed in between two salty flakey layers of crust. This is a fabulous apple pie, give it a try - you'll be glad you did.

Apple Pie

1 prepared pie crust, enough for double crust pie
1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
8 apples peeled, cored and sliced thin (granny smith work great)

Begin by separating top and bottom crusts into two dough balls, roll one ball out and press it in to the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan and cover with a damp kitchen towel, refriderate. Mix flour and cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium low heat, when the butter is completely melted sprinkle flour over the top and stir to combine, the mixture will get thick and pasty. Allow to cook 30 seconds. Pour in 1/4 cup water and vanilla and both sugars into pot, and whisk to combine, bring mixture just to a boil and remove from heat. Pour all but 1/4 cup of butter sugar mixture over sliced apples and toss to combine. Add all apples to prepared crust and with second dough ball roll to create a lattice crust over apples. When top crust is finished brush remaining 1/4 cup of butter sugar mixture over dough, to help with browning. Place pie on a large sheet pan and bake in a pre heated oven at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 and bake 35-45 more minutes until crust is brown and apples are cooked through. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack to room temperature. Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Take me to the fair

That's what I said to Adam Friday afternoon before we got off work. "Take me to the fair, I want a funnel cake". And so he did. And I was happy. 
We saw animals, giant pumpkins, and prize winning peaches.
But most importantly I got a funnel cake.
The state fair was a total success!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Culinary School: Week 2

Week two of school was still filled with some lecture, but this time I got to eat chocolate for an ingredient tasting. So it was kind of ok. I'm anxious for my pasty and baking class to get out of the classroom and into the bake shop. In my second class, cooking skills, this week we learned how to de bone a whole chicken, make chicken and veal stock, and make two of the five mother sauces: veloute and espagnole. I'll be honest the day we worked on chicken I was a little nervous for various reasons. But breaking down a chicken turned out to be no big deal and is actually a really handy skill to know. Buying a whole chicken is much more cost effective than buying chicken pieces. And let's be honest I felt sort of awesome when my cuts were all mostly right on my first attempt. We made a mirepoix which is a ratio of 1:1:2 of carrots, celery, and onion chopped the same size. And then added chicken bones, water and the aromatic veggies all to a big pot and let it cook overnight. When we got to school the next day the whole kitchen smelt like I was swimming in my moms chicken noodle soup. It was so yummy. After the stock was done we worked on our sauces the veloute is a sauce made out of the chicken stock and an espagnole is a sauce made out of the veal stock. I still have no control over my head nodding up and down at everything the chef says but I'm happy to report that the "oohs" and "ahhhs" are becoming significantly less common. In other news I bought a pair of kitchen shoes. They're black and made of rubber and are most commonly known as crocs. It's true I own a pair of crocs. They're comfortable and appropriate for the kitchen so don't judge me (unless I wear them in public, in that case please gently remind me that crocs should never leave the kitchen.) Happily I'm still feeling like school is the greatest thing ever. And although my days are long and my back hurts after standing for hours, I'm tired in a good way, my back hurts in a good way. And I'm happy, that's got to count for something. 


Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor day and Tie Dyed Mountains

The holiday weekend in our home was very relaxed. We slept in everyday till 10. Zucchini bread was made. Swimming was done. Movies were watched (finally saw Avengers). And the motorbike was taken out for a spin. 
Seemingly over night it has become autumn in Utah. The leaves are changing, and soon the mountains will be ablaze in reds and oranges and yellows. But right now before the full fledged change has occurred the mountains are more tie-dyed if you will. The colors pop here and there and it's spectacular. Such a beautiful time of year. We took a long, relaxing drive up a local canyon today to bask in the splendor of early fall.
Hope you had a great Monday off!