Friday, December 26, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
A) Find the cheapest donatable item for the food shelf.
B) Calculate the how many items needed for the 'showiest holiday piece'.
C) Stay up until two in the morning and then dream about crispy noodles.
On Thursday, December 18th, I enlisted...
...Enlisted to help make a huge structure out of a food shelf items with JH. It was for Digi, Int'l, which has a holiday contest each year. We went shopping for the non-perishables.
Then got to work building...
and finally, crowning our new jewel.
We made our very own Holiday Christmas Ramen Tree!
(Complete with wifi controlled electronic train set and tunnel!)
It turns out we didn't win the contest after all, but even if we lost we knew we would win! All the soup was donated to the food shelf!
Marauchan Christmas to all, and to all a good Ramen!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Okay, enough about me. Now to JH's mad cooking skills. Brilliant! In just over 30 minutes we were able to plate up two huge plates of deliciousness. On the menu, angel hair pasta with a fabulous tomato garlic olive ragu, steamed mussels and clams. And the best brussels sprouts I've eaten (sauteed in garlic and pancetta). This was the most spectacular thing I have eaten in a looong time... until dessert anyway. :)
For dessert, I made an almond cream tart with peaches and rasperries. I made the almond cream from scratch, just like last time. Wooooweee that was good.
The meal was washed down with a glass of white wine, and opened by my new thrift store purchase (See top right of picture #1)! That's right, and automatic wine opener. $3.99. I think I'm in love!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
You Are An INFJ
You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener with almost infinite patience.
You have complex feelings, and you take great care to express them.
In love, you see relationships as an opportunity to connect and grow.
You enjoy relationships when they are improving and changing. You can't stand stagnation.
At work, you stay motivated and happy... as long as you are working toward a dream you support.
You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.
How you see yourself: Hardworking, ethical, and helpful
When other people don't get you, they see you as: Manipulative, weak, and unstable
ESTJs are civic-minded individuals who dedicate themselves to maintaining the institutions behind a smooth-running society. They are defenders of the status quo and strong believers in rules and procedures. ESTJs are outgoing and do not hesitate to communicate their opinions and expectations to others. ESTJs are practical, realistic, and matter-of-fact, with a natural head for business or mechanics. Though they are not interested in subjects they see no use for, they can apply themselves when necessary. They like to organize and run activities. ESTJs promote the work ethic. Power, position and prestige should be worked for and earned. Laziness is rarely viewed with ambivalence nor benevolence by this type.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I attended a memorial service for my late Aunt Dorothy Sauber. She was a teacher, a writer, a listener, wife, mother, and one heck of a sarcastic lass with just the right clarity and realistic poignancy. Lung cancer claimed her life at age 61. A woman of the world who never stopped learning and traveling. Dorothy's life took her to 31 different countries, most of those with two little children in tow. Her service was so moving and touching it really struck a chord with me. I realized I wish for a few things:
-the eloquence to put words down on paper that jump up off the page.
-the desire to touch people, friends and family alike, so that I may leave a legacy as timeless as she.
-to go back in time and get to know Dorothy better. I found out only recently she had over 500 aprons-a collection that I've just started.
Along with the wishes I realized, a few other things occurred to me as I sat there. First, gosh am I going to be a complete mess when that's my mom. I want to read more, learn more, travel more. I want to live genuinely, love freely, and die nobly.
Right about now I'm really wishing for that eloquent pen, but as I've always said, you should embrace the things which you do not do well. It's a learned skill, and I have learned much today.
Thank you Dorothy.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Last night I had one of the yummiest sandwiches I've had (to my recollection).
JH and I had been planning to get together for a late dinner last night. I received a call saying he wouldn't be able to make our reservations, as he was still in the car on the way home, 200 miles away! We forewent the restaurant
and decided to cook up a little sandwich action. $25.00 later and a Kowalski's receipt in hand (with a timestamp that read 10:39:44PM), we were on our way to make the aforementioned sandwich.
We started the balsamic reduction, washed and sauteed green beans (as a side), fried up the bacon, sliced the apple, and baked the ciabatta. When i say "we" I mean, Ashlee standing in the kitchen doorway and JH tending to three burners and an oven. Again, "we" softened the apple slices slightly (in the bacon fat, of course). A straight apple with this preperation was strangely smokey and fatty tasting, but in the sandwich it sang! the bread and the cheese were melted together in harmony. Said acoutroments piled atop and drizzled with balsamic reduction.
Good times and yums well into the night.
Ashlee was a happy girl.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Two true things:
If America didn't raise/eat cattle, there would be no global warming. (click above link)
It takes seven pounds of grain (in the form of feed) to produce one pound of meat.
In 2006 I gave up eating alot of meat. My diet has ebbed and flowed, but has never contained that much red meat. I don't think it ever will, bring me fish or bring me methane-induced asphyxiation! :)
Sidenote Bonus: I made my own "409" the other day, smells like lilacs and lemons. Works great! Yay me!
I'm outta here...going to go hug me some trees.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I had the omelette of the day which came with a side of hash browns,
salsa and house-made sourdough toast.
BT feasted on some Eggs Benedict with a light side salad.
'Twas a good brunch and we vow to not wait another 4 or 5 years!
Friday, July 25, 2008
I packed a picnic, just like last year:
This year again went overboard with the picnic. I made some cornmeal rolls that I made a few months ago, but made them bigger so we could top with sliced apple, avocado, cucumber, cheese, and/or butter. I brought along my homemade Vanilla Granola and some fresh blueberries and coconut cream. Threw in a few chocolate covered peanuts, crackers and homemade peach-gnger iced tea for good measure. However, the piece de resistance was my homemade Almond-Cream Tarts with Blueberries and Pluots. Oh My Goodness!! I made up a batch of pate brisee and just kept rolling until I finished off the dough. I was able to get 4 small tart pans, 2 medium and one large. I only filled two small tarts and one medium with said almond-cream goodness. Wow, were they good.
Here's the thing when you make your own almond cream. You need almond paste. Well, I didn't have any on hand (and always prefer handmade over store-bought,) so I had to make some.
To make almond paste you need blanched, skinned almonds. When you don't have those you have to blanch and skin the almonds yourself!
First step--done! Then you grind them up with powdered sugar, and a corn syrup simple syrup to make almond paste... which is then added back to the food processor to create almond cream. With which you are able to fill your tarts, place your fruits and voila! Yums out the oven.
Obviously I went overboard with the picnic, but it was expected, I set the bar high for myself last year. No pictures from the event this year, but other friends were in attendance too, KW, AK, and a few others. The evening started sprinkling on us during the opening act so we packed up our picnic and went to get some coffee at the Black Sheep. We headed back downtown and easily parked and finished up the show with some rockin' JM. Can't wait for his new CD this fall!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Without further ado... My experience at the Salty Tart!
I met up with head chef, Michelle at 7am today to do a working interview. First she gave a tour of their little 400 square foot space. I quickly oriented myself and began a task. First, to make almond cream tarts with raspberries. Then I moved onto making the Amish Cookie Dough. I then did a bunch of dishes and moved on to my last project. Some turnovers with our very own puff pastry (yay!). I diced some peaches and added some sugar and orange zest for the sweet ones. Then, I did some roasted garlic, spinach and feta turnovers for the savory ones. Michelle really likes the idea of savory items, hence the name, Salty Tart.
The three hours flew by. At the end of the shift, she commented on liking my work and wanted to know if I liked it there. (This was MY kind of place! --Very Classy) We talked about hours and monies and all that jazz. I have the inkling I'll hear from her this weekend and (hopefully) be offered the job.
Tonight Matt and I are going to hit up Mears park (weather willing) and see Jeremy Messersmith play live. At the market on my way home I got some fruits to snack on during out music picnic later. I'm going to go start up some cornmeal rolls. I made them a few months ago--those were gooood! Happy Birthday to LM, who will not receive a food-present, but a textile one instead.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
As you know, I used to run a cafe. about 97% of the recipes came out of my head. People would come in often and request that I write a cookbook or something with "all of my wonderful creations" in it. Now, if I were Magnolia Bakery, or Ina Garten, or Sara Foster, or Bobby Flay....sure! But being the guy who's running a restaurant scraping to get by? Sorry. You don't get the recipes so you can make them at home and not show up to buy them. Maybe when I sell my 500,000th scone I'll let you in on my secrets, but for now that's just what they are...my secrets.
How does this relate to blogging? I read lots of other food blogs daily (Dozen Flours, Baking Bites, Amateur Gourmet, to name a few) and they all have amazing pictures and recipes to go along with their posts! But obviously mine don't. If I perfect a recipe, I've usually tweaked it silly. I feel then, that it's my property (well not really, copyrights and recipes are up in the air). I ran a cafe. I loved my job. I will get more experience, more business know-how and hopefully do it again someday. AND I assure you, that when the customer walks out the door with that 500,000th scone, I will sit down at the typewriter until I have a book of beauty for all to see. Is this selfish? Tell me what you think. Those 3 or 4 of you who read PB&GC. If it is selfish...that's okay...because only 3 or 4 of you read PB&GC, and most of you are my friends and (I hope) would forgive me.
Update on the working front:
Last I posted I just had an interview with Kowalski's. Well, they didn't want me to be the manager for the Eagan store, the current bakery manager at the Grand store was going to take that position....but.... train me in as her replacement! It turned out I didn't have to do the 3am shift but pretty 'easy' 7-3 shifts. I worked there for 3ish weeks learning the ins and outs.... mostly of stocking shelves and turning over product. Wait what?! I know. NOT MY idea of a dream job. Hell, not my idea of a tolerable one! So I've been looking on craigslist as of late for new jobs and applied to a few.
Had an interview at 20.21 which went quite well and they asked me to return and do a stages.
I also heard from Michelle Gayer-Nicholson over at Salty Tart in the Midtown Global Market! If you don't know who she is, google her. The lady knows her stuff! Today we kept playing phone tag, and in the spirit of someone who would kick someone's ass to work with her, I went down there to check the place out and introduce myself. Friend, LL and I purchased a few things and I set up a stages. To work tomorrow morning! I'll let you all know how it goes.
Oh, needless to say... (This morning actually,) I quit Kowalski's and threw that ugly ass hat in their face!!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Yesterday I also had an interview at Kowalski's Grocer to work in their bakery department. long story short, they want me to be the bakery manager for their Eagan store, which is currently being built! How cool is that?! We'll see what happens, because in the meantime, until it's built, I'd most likely be working the 3am shift. NOT doodily...at all.
The day ended with a grilled walleye sandwich at Tavern on Grand and some nauseating canoodling :D
Today, I have to do something with this mound of Basil. So when life gives you basil, you make pesto. I think I'll give some to GG's neightbor. Though appreciative of the birthday goodies, she is trying to eat healthy. I never am able to finish all the pesto in time anyway. I have fresh tomatoes, there's some chicken around here somewheres and cheese-o-plenty. I think I'll make pesto pizza tonight.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
We had fun there, until it started Typhooning! We lost power and, like children, ended up telling ghost stories! We left at about 11 and I was TUCKERED out!
Ok so I lost track of my posting (I brought the peonies over to Grant's place on Sunday--oops! Cant remember EVERYTHING! :D)
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday I made my own marshmallow fluff, then used it to make the filling for what I’m now lovingly calling Whoop-Dee-Doos (I changed my cake recipe and the frosting, mine now!). They are a circle of light chocolate cake with a vanilla fluff buttercream filling. To DIE for, and I don’t like cake!
I took two trays of goodies over to Encore, where mom works. The first, the PB bars – get them out of my house! And later in the day a few Whoop-Dee-Doos. I dropped those off and then went for a jog from Encore over to Stefs and then a jog back.
Later Wesnesday, I had the idea to make risotto. Silly me. A 9pm risotto challenge? But I had all of that fresh chicken stock! The finished product, Lemon Parmesan risotto was turned out at about 9:40pm and Roomie gave good marks.
I fed some of the WDDs and the Risotto to my Mom when she stopped by this morning. She commented pleasantly. Who says Risotto doesn’t keep!?
Monday, June 2, 2008
Fresh Roman Tomato Salad
Country Style Pork Ribs with Prune-infused BBQ.
Well. Gus, whom of I've spoken decided he wanted a treat of his own. Placed normally on the counter (out of reach) whereGus hasn't gotten to them, were the ingredients I needed for my yummy Monday Dinner (party).
We came home Sunday night to find NONE of the food still on the counter... and someone with w VERY grumbly tummy.
THREE POUNDS of tomatoes,
Two unripe Bananas,
a whole avocado,
a package of graham crackers,
and one bag (which contained THIRTY servings) of prunes!
He was one unhappy camper.
Determined to use up these pork ribs, I went ahead (canceling the dinner party) and marinated them in my regular BBQ sauce. I also served Herb-Roasted Onions, nixing the Guac salad.
Turned out yum.
The dessert was a pool of pastry cream (left over from the dessert I made for the party Saturday, tons of fresh berries and orange slices, and a few baked pastry sticks, to soak up the cream.
GG and I watched both Kill Bill movies, which I'd never seen before. Not bad! :)
Sunday, June 1, 2008
GG and I headed to my place (Just a block off of Grand Ave) for Grand Old Day, 2008. We met up with my mom and brother and got out there at about 1. We walked around and a few of use ate (how exciting). The only thing I full part-took in was dippin' dots. For lack of better ice cream offerings.
After the festivities, and GG's food-coma nap, we met up with LL & CL for ice cream. Hey! I was hungry from only eating ice cream! We met at Conny's Creamy Cone, Ice cream shack and had yums. We stopped at a Asian food market-loved it! And ended the night back at their place on the screen porch. I want one!
Yesterday, Saturday, I made a Strawberry Tart for a BBQ dinner party I attended.
I heard about this dinner party on Friday, so I put together the pastry and the pastry cream on Friday evening. and I went food shopping and I got some fun yums for the week ahead! I baked off the tart shell Sat am, then I spent Saturday afternoon boating, (snacks in hand).
On our way home from the boat, as soon as we got off of the highway he hit torrential rains and the worst hail I've seen! I pulled over to the side until I realized "Gus is outside!!!" I slowly made my way down the road, which looked white from the hail, and made it to the house just as the rain/hail stopped. EVERYTHING was white with dime-sized hail. Gus had never been so happy to see me. He was soaked and panting.
In about 30 minutes time, I showered and assembled the tart and glazed it, and even did my hair! (I hear the wonder woman theme playing).
At the BBQ, which wasn't really a BBQ anymore, due to the weather that had swooped through (ruining everyones hosta, flowers, and gardens.) I met Christine. A petite woman who worked with GG. She was a real sweetheart who loves flamenco, anything Latin, and looks a bit like "Lillith." Christine had two house guests in from Montreal. Constance, who had lived in the TC prior and Anthony, originally from London. Christine's beau, Mike arrived shortly thereafter (taking care of his storm-ridden brother's house a few blocks over). I offered my help in the kitchen, and after a while they let me cut pineapple! I pride myself of my pineapple knife skills. Had that baby diced in 2 minutes flat!
Guacamole - which was super delicious.
Guava marinated shrimp and pineapple skewers. - I had three!
Salad with a Pomagranite and charred red onion vinaigrette.
Grilled Veggies and Steaks and Hot dogs. Grilled corn as well.
All was very good, my favorite being the Shrimp. Yes, SHRIMP! I've only recently begun to embrace seafood.
The tart was a hit, though the pastry cream was a bit runny. I was scared to take the cream too hot at my place as I didn't have a whisk. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to beat the curdles out of it sufficiently. The taste, however, was great. (I added a splash of Brandy.) We stayed too late! Later today, Grand Ole Day!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Yesterday was my Grandmother's 90th bday. I was in charge of all the food. Simply put, here's a list of food I made (to feed 50):
Lemon Herb Potato Salad
Black Bean Salsa Salad
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pound Cake
Chocolate Pound Cake
Lemon Pound Cake
Oatmeal PB Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Strawberry Rhubarb sauce (for the vanila ice cream)
Herb Roasted Corn with Compound Butter,
Roasted Garlic Aioli
Mango Red Onion Relish
I'm Pooped! At least I got reimbbursed for food.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The first, Babka, was interesting. It seemed more like a vehicle for butter and chocolate than an actual "bread." I divided into three portions, cooked the first two as loaves, and the last, I cut up and threw in muffin tins and made little rolls. Those would have turned out better, but they were on the bottom of the oven the whole time, a bit overdone on the bottom. On the bottom, to give the two real loves a chance to have the streusel brown. After said baking time, sigh, no browning. So I lowered the rack and turned the broiler on HI. Well, I turned my back to tend to the other breads just for a minute and wham! Blackened sugar topping, and lovely mildly-smoking kitchen. I managed to scrape off the black yums and salvaged the loaves.
The second, the chocolate swirl bread turned out divinely!
The thirs, Cornmeal rolls, took about 3 hours to do their first rise. I think maybe this could be shortened by adding more yeast. I plan to try this one as a loaf.
That obviously took ALL day in the kitchen...painting tonight. I'm pooped!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Today/this morning, already I've made:
Rocky Road Fudge
Smoothies for Roomies
Eggs and Whole Wheat English Muffins for lunch!
Been trolling for great breakfast recipes as of late.
Also been reading Morgan Spurlock's book "Don't Eat This Book" - bought it at the dollar store.
Why is is SNOWING?!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
No cooking lately - medical probs.
Mostly eating edamame and stuff.
That's all folks.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Also made some Cole Slaw like grandma used to make. Made too much dressing so shredded up a few zucchini and threw it in the mix - delish! This may be my version of grandma's recipe for good!
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday night was spent at Mackubin as I was taking Mom to the airport early in the morning. She arrived before I did and I, once again, made some fresh pasta. This time roomie was nowhere to be found! I threw a quick sauce together and we were done! After Ma' cut my hair it was off to bed. Or so I thought. I probably got about 2 hours of sleep-no joke! Up at 4 to head to the airport... !
Hankering for some pizza dough right now.
Tomorrow is Jennifer's Birthday. The plan is to make her some birthday toffee!
Why is it cold?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I am smitten with my Lamb.
Wednesday I hadn't made anything of note when I was phoned by my good friend (and frequent dinner guest/partner) SC. She had mentioned nonchalantly that she hadn't eaten yet. I offered to make her some fresh pasta and she obliged and headed over. I had no more roasted-garlic pesto in had as I had the previous time she'd been by for eats. I threw together a quick Romesco sauce. This sauce is made with various types of roasted peppers and toasted nuts. I made this with toasted almonds, red peppers a bit of crushed red pepper. I threw together some fresh egg/olive oil pasta and voila! Dinner in no time! SC was kind enough to bring over a few aged cheddars and a Gruyere - divine! We had a little side of steamed vegetables and a glass of white wine.
No dessert as we were plenty full of dinner!
Our other dinner guest, Gus, also approved.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Monday, March 31st:
Homemade Fettucini with Pesto
Tuesday, April 1, 2008:
Wednesday, April 2, 2008:
Dinner w/ Grant:
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breasts
Mango Chutney Glazed Vegetables
Fruits & Greens Salad
Movie: Gone Baby, Gone
Thursday, April 3, 2008:
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
1st degree burns on the insides of my lips (Just ask!)
Friday, April 4, 2008:
Honey-Whole Wheat Bread
Trip to Penzey's Spices to replenish my cinnamon stock.
Saturday, April 5, 2008:
The wee hours of Sunday morning were spent making waffle batter and cleaning up around the place. Early to rise Sunday morning, as I was hosting brunch immediately following family bowling day at Minnehaha Lanes, in Saint Paul.
The Guest list:
Ashlee - Host
Craig - Brother
Beth - Mom
Wally - Dad
Grant - The bf
John - Friend
Chips - Roomie
Waffles with Maple Syrup, Mixed-Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
Banana Crunch Muffins
Strawberries and Oranges
Honey Whole Wheat Bread with Herb Butter
I was the second-best bowler.