Culinary School Here I Come (67) Finals, Guests & Retrospect

So much studying this past week. I felt like I wanted to put my head into a box…oh yeah, I did! Finals week brought 1 on Monday, 2 on Tuesday and 1 on Thursday. I felt I did pretty good on them all, pehaps with the exception of Adv. Baking. That one is always a wild card. So many question and so many opportunities for error. My big question is not if I passes or not. The question is how far off of perfect was I. Just saying I’m an overachiever. The majority of the final in Menu class was to create a menu from scratch. It was for a high end French restaurant in Wailea that featured local ingredients. We had to design the menu cover, font style, menu category placement, colors and menu items. I think I aced that. Don’t have the details because it was done with colored pencils and paper and turned in. My Garde Manger final wasn’t as difficult as I expected. A lot of knowledge to remember. I did get an A for the class. My Beverage class final was okay. I didn’t do as good as I hoped to…high B…but I think I’ll get an A. I’m pretty sure I’ll get an A for Menu but it’s  that darn Adv. Baking class that is getting to me. When finals were over it was nice to get back into the groove of doing my lap swimming in the AM. Much more energy then.

I did make a few things at home this week. Sundays seem to be productive days. I made a Braised Beef with Carrots, Potatoes and Mushrooms with Red Wine. It’s such an easy dish to make. A dutch oven is the best investment that you can make.


350 degrees for 2 hours

I also borrowed a few books from the library. I tried a recipe from an older book on breads. I’m not sure someone checked this recipe before it was published because the ratio of flour to liquid was way off, I thought. Sure enough, it was such a wet dough that I kept adding more and more flour until it seemed like it could be a workable dough. The final product was good though!

Raisin Walnut Bread

Sunday was an overcast day…perfect for tea and scones and guess what? I made some scones. It was from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe that was a little off too. I’ve been using recipes that call for flour to be measured in cups and not by weight. I wish there were more smaller yield recipes that were listed in weight measurements. The dough was a little on the wet side as well so I had to free form it. The flavor was good.

Cranberry Cream Scones. Nothing lasts more than a few days around here. If I keep baking I’ll turn into a hippo.

The week brought an out of town friend and her mom so we had her over for hors d’oeuvres and dinner.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Mousse in Poppy Seed Cups

Parmesan Crusted Shrimp with Roasted Vegetables on Sweet Corn Risotto. Dang, this was good.

Have you ever made and decorated dough ornaments. It’s really easy and a cool idea. I decided that decorating these were going to be our craft event before dinner. I had a house full of dachshund owners so what better ornaments to decorate but doggies, a couple of tea pots, some pears and a palm tree. We had fun but I forgot to take photos of the results. Nuts!

I’m so looking forward to 3 weeks of rest. I am actually reading a book that is not a text book and I plan to do a lot of swimming and going to the beach. It’s so wonderful to go to the beach on Christmas morning. I am so fortunate to be able to do that.

I had this wacky idea to take a look at what kind of food I was producing at this time last year and compare it to current items. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane shall we.

Okay, not bad. This seems to be a crusted fish dish with a hollandaise sauce, some Okinawa sweet potatoes and looks like some kind of sauteed vegetables. To me, the portion size seems a little large but since it’s dinner for me, that could be a good thing. It’s not too bad. Now let’s see what I’ve been recently producing.

So this was my most recent dish. It seems like the portion size is more manageable. I also like the height and having everything more centered seems a little more refined. Not bad, there’s hope for me.

I’m not sure when my next post will be. If I go crazy in the kitchen it will be sooner rather than later.


About tinfoilduck

I had this wacky idea to go to culinary school, while maintaining another full time career. I will be blogging about the program and how it affects me as I try to manage my daily life and how I try to keep everything together.
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2 Responses to Culinary School Here I Come (67) Finals, Guests & Retrospect

  1. steveaw says:

    like the box hat!

    i wasn’t aware the menu was 4 part of your finals! it looked gr8!

    where ever did u get the idea 2 do a 2011 rewind of dishes past dishes? brilliant!

    enjoy your well deserved break.

    you have earned it!

  2. tinfoilduck says:

    I was sipping a buttery Chardonnay a few nights ago and the retrospect idea hit me in the head. Who knew? Thanks for reading!

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