Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in a Glimpse

2013 is OVER! How did that even happen? It's been a pretty incredible year with lots of fun trips and learning experiences. We celebrated 3 years of marriage. I finished my last semester of lab classes. Adam got a new job. We moved to Salt Lake and discovered Chungas Tacos. All in all another awesome year with my awesome guy. Remember 2013 with us...

That time in January when I traumatized Adam on the way-too-blue-square-run at park city. 

In February we celebrated my birthday in Los Angeles. 

We had some quality family time in Newport Beach in March

I fell in love with Paris in April

 In June we had the ultimate cookie taste off.  

Things got a little Kung Fu on the 4th of July

In August we tried Paddle Boarding at Lake Tahoe. 

In September I got to work in a Restaurant. 

We actually hosted a dinner party dressed like this in October

In November we cooked Thanksgiving dinner at our house. 

In December we celebrated Christmas like this:

I'm pretty sure 2014 is going to be our best year yet. Living in Salt Lake, an extended trip back to Paris, Culinary School Graduation and cool opportunities at work are all on the horizon for us. 
It's looking like it's going to be a pretty happy new year. 

We hope you have a Happy one too!  

Remember 2011 and 2012 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Culinary School Weeks 32 - 45

Well the lack of weekly posts throughout these last few months should speak for itself. This semester of school has been the most rewarding and education thus far. I have grown so much. Since that first week I have learned hundreds of methods, and techniques and shortcuts. I know the difference between a Chuck roast and a Round roast. I can break down a chicken in under 5 minutes. I can tourne a potato. I can make a killer Bearnaise sauce. I could whip out pastry cream in my sleep. All of these acquired skills are so special and important to me, but I think what I'm most proud of as my last semester of Culinary School comes to an end is the confidence I'll walk away with. I know there's still so much learning and growing to be done, but as of right now I feel like I could go work in any kitchen, anywhere and be proficient. And that feels pretty cool.

This semester pushed me beyond my comfort zone. There were days that I felt like I could not look at another lamb chop again. But it all paid off when I was nominated to be UVU's student chef of the year. 

(This was my competition Plate) 

I'm also happy to say that I gained NO weight this semester! No help from Plugra or This day in class: 

Also I can decorate cakes! I need sooooo much more practice so let me know the next time you need a birthday cake! 

At the very beginning of this journey I said I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to take this, and frankly I'm still not 100% sure. But I do know that baking make me happy, and that for now that's what I'm going to pursue. The beautiful thing about this industry is that I can change my mind anytime I want. And that
as long as there are hungry tummy's (and sweet tooth's) out there I'll have a job.

My last semester of lab classes are now over, and starting the second week of January I'll start my final semester of culinary school as an intern at Les Madeleine's a French Bakery in Salt Lake. After 7 weeks there, (...drum roll please...) I will leave for Paris where I'll work 8 more weeks in a real live Parisian Patisserie. I feel so lucky to have these incredible opportunities and love that I LOVE what I'm doing.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tea Party

This month my favorite person turned 50. My sisters and I took the day off and surprised my mom with a day out on the town. We started with tea at the Grand America and had the most wonderful afternoon. 

Love you Mom so glad you're mine.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope your holiday was filled with Pie and Family!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


It seems like these last few months have been a whirlwind. Like seriously, on my "to do" list I still have not crossed off buy books, let's talk about how the semester ends in 2 weeks. Actually let's not. Even though my free time is sparse these days it would be wrong of me not to publicly express my gratitude for some real important things. Gratitude lists in years past have included lots of silly things, like cookies and sweat pants, but more recently I've realized that at the end of the day cookies just make me fat and sweat pants...well they don't really help in that department either. Really the things to recognize are the things that don't go anywhere. The things that will rub your feet after a long day in the kitchen. The things that pick you up when you're certain your at your breaking point. The things that make you feel like you matter. Those are the things worthy of my gratitude list this year. 

I'm thankful...

...for a husband that gets me on a level that no one else does, and loves me more than I ever thought possible. 

...for this talent that has come out of what seems like no where. Culinary school has been one of the greatest things I could have ever done for myself. 

...for my family. The amount of love and support that exists between these people makes me feel whole and I'm so glad I get to call them mine. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Culinary School Week 31

First off German food is good. Second this week I was stationed in Garde Manger, or cold foods. I made 3 salads and an amouse bouche (like hous d'oevres). I made a really great German potato salad, a warm coleslaw salad and an awesome apple and celery root salad with a yummy dill vinaigrette. I think what was hardest for me this week was figuring out how to plate thing so that it doesn't just look like a pile of potatoes. I'm realizing I'm not really into super gimmicky garnishes and really fancy, fancy plates. Simplicity is my style. But not everyone is into that, so I'll put up something simple and my critique will be put another garnish on the plate, etc...then I'm frustrated because I'm having to do something based on someone else taste, that I never would have done originally. Anyway I felt like this was a great station to ease my way into the restaurant. I was able to get my dishes up and out on time and never really felt pressure. Wednesday's we do as much prep as we can and then Thursday and Friday it's go time, the restaurant is open. My cute family made reservations to come and eat every. single. week. I'm so lucky to have such awesome support.
My first tickets

German Pretzels

Friday, August 30, 2013

Culinary School Week 30

...And I'm back in the kitchen. Culinary School started off again this week with a bang. I feel like I went from elementary school to an MBA program. My semester is split into two blocks first half I get to spend Wednesday - Thursday nights in Restaurant Forte. Our student run fine dining restaurant and second block I'll be in Advanced baking.

My class changed this semester which is unusual, normally in the program you start and end with the same people. My original class was split and I joined a class of day students who on the first day referred to me as "night class" and made sure to welcome me to the "big leagues". I laughed and played along modestly itching to get into the kitchen so that I could make my presence (and abilities) known to the class. 

I had the opportunity on the second day of class when our Chef announced that our two day practical exam would start then. I fell right back into the flow of the flow of the kitchen and prepared 4 really awesome dishes. Day one was an appetizer of duck breast with a cherry gastrique, and an entree of red trout with a tomato compote over orzo pasta. Then on day two I made scallops in a white wine and browned butter sauce as an appetizer and an entree of chicken breast with a mushroom sauce and rice pilaf, with pretty vegetables. I went from being "night class" to the girl people ask when they don't know if their wine is reduced enough, or the girl who is on the other end of questions like:"hey taste this sauce, does it need any more thyme? Or salt? Do you feel like I should finish it with a little cream?". I really love being good at this. I love getting better. I love going to school and learning more and more and absorbing everything I can from my experiences and from the people I work with. But probably more than anything I love the confidence it gives me. Being away from this program for the summer was nice in ways...like how cool it was to spend time with my husband...or how awesome it was to not be sleep deprived. But I live for this, I thrive in this environment and, boy, does it feel good to be back.

These first 7 weeks of the semester the restaurant will be cool. Each week my classmates and I will rotate positions. One week I'll be the garde manger chef, one week the baker, one week the sous chef, one week the pastry chef, all our positions change. Additionally the restaurant cuisine changes, one week Thai, one week French etc. It's going to be challenging but I'm really excited for it. 

Next week is the first week the restaurant is open. German week here we come! 

My new classroom

My day two entree

Monday, August 12, 2013

Reno, Tahoe, San Francisco and the Amtrak

 We'd been planning to visit Adam's brother and wife all summer. Scott and Christie live in Reno and we figured why not, plus we wanted to check out Lake Tahoe and a quick trip to San Francisco wouldn't be all that bad either. Of course I expected we'd make a road trip out of it so you can only imagine my surprise when I got a text from Adam the day before we left that said: We're taking the train to Reno I just bought our tickets. Awesome, I thought, I'll be riding in some box car with transients and hippies. Who rides Amtrak anyway..? But after doing a bit of research I became really excited, observation cars, cushy lounge chairs, a restaurant on board. We were in for a luxurious ride across the desert.

Our train left Salt Lake at 11:30pm on Thursday and arrived in Reno at 8:30am Friday. We slept all night and woke up in a new place ready to take on adventure.

When we got to Reno we threw on our swimsuits and loaded up the car and drove into the mountains to Lake Tahoe. 

 The lake was stunning, tall mountains surrounding clear blue water with huge pine trees.
It was heavenly.

 We picnicked on the beach and wandered around the trails surrounding the water.

 Later we rented a paddle board and decided that it's much harder to keep balanced with two people on board than just one. Ha! The experienced paddle boarding crowd on shore was probably getting a kick out of us amateurs!

After the lake we cleaned up and headed out to "Hot August Nights" in down town Reno. Where one of the largest car shows in the world was taking place. A seemingly never ending parade of cars drove down the main street and casino parking lots were filled with row after row of hot rods. 

 While in the city we decided to try the famous Awful, Awful burger at the diner in the Little Nugget.
It's awful big, and awful good, just like they say.

 The next days destination was San Francisco!

 We hit fisherman's wharf for some clam chowder and shrimp sandwiches on sourdough and then Ghirardelli for treats. 
(Salted Caramel banana shake, we love you!!)

 Later we road the trolley car and hit up China town.

 Where we got some pretty killer Chinese food.

 Adam's favorite part about the restaurant were the sea creatures waiting for their demise.

 On Sunday when we got dropped off at the train station we took the elevator to an empty platform with no waiting train. Come to find out we missed our train because of a miscommunication. After a bit of panic the wonderful Amtrak workers switched our ticket and we had one more day of vacation. Ha! Whoops. Tonight we'll go hop our train home and be there tomorrow morning. After traveling by train I will definitely do it again, it's so comfortable, cost effective, and very convenient, it takes longer than flying BUT when you sleep on the train overnight it's no big deal. We're already trying to decide where we want to go next!

Overall a great trip with great company!