Culinary School Here I Come (68) Happy New Year, Catering and a Restful Vacation


I have really come to appreciate a break longer than a few days. One problem for me with school is that it cuts into my workout time. Call me crazy but I love being active and sometimes my school schedule doesn’t allow it. I was able to catch up on all things that I like doing; lifting weights, swimming laps, yoga, spin classes, canoe paddling and finally working on my yard. The yard has come a long way.

The grass is slowly growing in and I have to plant out the dirt section but I’ll take it slow and maybe finish it after this semester…which will be my last semester!!!!

New Years Eve and Day were spent doing a lot of cooking. I went to a friends house for New Years Eve and was asked to bring an appetizer so I made this Turkey Galantine with Chicken, Cranberries, Raisins and Walnuts. They were amazed at by charcuterie skills and they did learn a new term.

New Years Day was a big day for the duck! The get together was at my house and I had been prepping for a few days. I decided to do hors d’oeuvres instead of a dinner and it worked out well.

I found a great recipe for lemon & pepper crackers. It was a Sarah Moulton recipe that I found online. It was a roll out dough as opposed to the Martha Stewart roll in a log and cut dough which is impossible to cut into even slices. I have to figure out a way to stop these puppies from puffing up. Maybe another silpat on top. Not sure how that will affect browning. I’m sure the butter in the dough released the steam causing it to rise slightly. I served the crackers with 3 cheeses and dried fruit.

One of my favorite classes so far has been Garde Manger. I learned how to make a savory mousse and that is my favorite go to item. I’ve so far made gouda mousse, roasted red pepper mousse, kabocha squash mousse and my most recent creation….asparagus mousse. You can make a mousse out of almost anything. Oh, and did I say I also love these poppy see barquettes. They are pretty time consuming to make but worth it.

Smoky Spices Seared Ahi was next. I served it with a Lemon Aioli on Shaved Fennel.

Leek, Kale and Sundried Tomato Tartlettes.

One of my favorite gadgets is my grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aide mixer. I made these Mini Ground Chicken Burgers on Portuguese Sweet Rolls. Yes, I did bake the rolls from scratch.

I feel like I missed something.

I also served Tofu with Teriyaki Sauce and a Plum Tomato and Roasted Asparagus Salad. I also made to Spiced Beef Empanaditas which are mini empanadas. The beef was seasoned with cumin, coriander, chili powder, cinnamon & cocoa powder and mixed with walnuts and raisins. The flavor was awesome. I had so much left over filling and dough that I made a huge meat pie the next day.

For dessert, I served my famous Pumpkin Cheesecake, Cocoa Mochi and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. I had wanted to make this pie for a while and finally did.

Chocolate cookie crust, peanut butter & cream cheese and chocolate ganache. It was so dangerously good even using Skippy peanut butter. I’ll have to try it with real peanut butter next time….sugar coma.

I suppose you could say that I catered my party but that sounds weird. I think I could easily slip into a private chef mode for someone. Maybe I can work my real estate sales into it and sell a customer a house.

I also baked and cooked things over the holidays.

I made Peppermint Bark for the first time. It was pretty easy…semi sweet chocolate, butter, heavy cream….white chocolate, butter, heavy cream….crushed candy canes. That’s it. A little too sweet but just a little bit makes it feel like the holiday.

I love Fruit Cake and baked about 12 mini loaves and I still had leftover candied fruit so I decided to make Oatmeal Fruit Cake Cookies. They were awesome.

I also made some profiteroles and this one looked like a little chick to me.

This coming semester will be my last. I’m excited and cannot wait. With 3 semesters under my belt, the time did go by pretty fast. The only lab class that I’m in is Advanced Baking II. I also have Purchasing and Cost Control and a Practical Experience class. I think I’ll have to work in a real kitchen to accumulate 240 hours or something like that. I’m not sure if I want to be in a kitchen or a bake shop. I will see what opportunities come my way. I’ll probably have to smuggle my camera in. Hope I don’t get busted.

Only 3 more days of vacation then back to school…ugh!

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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 (68) Happy New Year, Catering and a Restful Vacation

  1. All your food looked so delectable! Invite me over for dinner!!!

    Have you considered doing a cooking show for your blog?

    • tinfoilduck says:

      Thanks for reading. I actually did a mock chopped episone for one of my blogs. I don’t remember which one though. I will be done with school in 4 months so I’ll have to see what direction my blogs will go. I may do some video snippets here and there. Thanks for the suggestion.

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