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Week 3: Spotted

You see the way this photograph was taken? Blurry and unstable but trying to capture the moment...its an exact portrayal of how I'm functioning these days.
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Come week end I'm left with empty pockets and a brain that is overfilled.
Then, I ponder where did all the time go?

Where in the world did the 168 hours before my midterms escape to? Lets investigate!










42 short hours devoted to sleep. [Source]

38 hours spent earning the money required to support my lavish lifestyle. Laughing
25 mandatory hours extracted in the class room where I learned about:

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Herbs

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Clarifying Butter

IMG_2192Step 1: Melt REAL butter. Do not boil, stir or disturb in anyway.

IMG_2190Step 2: Remove milk solids without mixing or bring the "moisture" from the bottom. IMG_2194Pure milk solids look appetizing, huh?
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Here is the "moisture" (water substance) that rest on the bottom of the pan. Yuck!IMG_2195You are left with pure clarified butter.

Clarifying the butter increases the smoke point so it wont burn as quickly and it keeps much longer. Note, the taste will change slightly.

Blanching
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First: Cut and X on the bottom of the plump tomato and place it in boiling water.

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You will know it is done when the skin starts to peel off.
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Then, shock it in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
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Next, remove EVERY SINLGE seed. Not even one seed left behind. Or else! Tongue
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Then, chop into submission. The end.

I spy with my little eye! This beauty!
I was paralyzed by her presence.Disappointed Maybe one day when I grow up I will own one of my very own...
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Mrs.Vitamix pureed the tomatos with sugar and salt into a shot of vitamin c!

I perfected the Bouquet Garni and the Sachet.IMG_2210IMG_2212

Both of these are used to add flavor to stocks in a way that is easily removed and doesn't disturb the other ingredients. The Bouquet Garni is simply leek, celery, carrot, parsley stem and thyme. The Sachet is the one that looks like it is in a bag. Inside of the cheesecloth is parsley stem, bay leaf, cracked pepper, 2-cloves and garlic.
This weeks bakery photo is brought to you courtesy of the "new-to-me" bread window I discovered. Can you see my drool on the glass? Batting Eyelashes
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{End of this weeks lessons}Winking

Another 6 hours absorbed from studying.
Followed by 3 hours of practicing knife skills.
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Check it! If youre interested, I found this video on knife skills. It is one of the better ones I've seen. My first practical exam is this week on MY knife skills. Ekkkkk






2 wimpy hours spent working on my fitness. [Source]

4 meaningful hours invested spending time with the family.

IMG_2232IMG_2229 Watched my little brother spar.

IMG_2240Met the newest member of our family. Welcome, sleepy baby cousin Kylyn!

IMG_2238 And laughed at my mom's costume.

IMG_2237Obviously, Kylyn did not want to be included in this photo.

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And 30 minutes stolen to drop the pup off at his grandma's for a sleep over.

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6 glorious hours catching up with my BFF from elementary school who I have not seen in years!

3 painful hours updating our budget and paying expensive bills.

2 short hours invested in the bedroom with the love of my life Red heart

Resulting in.....

IMG_2241Things that I would have never dreamed of neglecting - like washing my hair, cleaning the dishes or meal planning just didn't make the cut this round.

I'm sure we can survive on beefy-mac, dry shampoo and paper plates this week.Winking

Until next time my friends... That is if I survive the 2 HUGE midterms this week and the state SafeServe certification exam!

Week 2: Vampires

You know what I learned this week in school? There will always be means girls, no matter their age. Oh and… if you sacrifice a few hours to study you might just get a 92.5% on your first test! Ekkkk. Not tryin to name drop or anythang but someone may have had one of the top test scores and she might have received an orange tootsie pop as a reward from her Chef. Just maybe…

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Week two provided me the opportunity to absorb the knowledge that has been streaming through my veins. Everything here is exceptionally fast paced, takes some getting used to! Though I’ve already forgot what well rested feels like I am exactly where I should be.


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Our class was finally able to get our hands dirty!


Some even got them a little bloody but my record is

Kristy (2) - Knives (0)! No finger cots for me this week…


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Julienne, Brunoise, Batonnet, Tourne, oh my! Clearly – My skills have not completely developed.


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And then there was the epic tastings.
The mission: Prepare onions four ways. Raw. Lightly cooked. Caramelized. Burnt.

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Prior to the tasting I hated raw onions. After the tasting I still loath raw onions. I mean does it get more pungent and offensive than raw freaking onions?!? Onions were meant to be caressed delicately in butters and browned to their glory not chopped and shoved in my mouth. Ugh. Bleeeek!

The burnt onions are my work of art. See I got mad skills. My group did great! Look at Wanda’s caramelized beauties! Yes, please!
We all dried our tears and processed to flavor testing.

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Did you know that this is how we taste? [Source]


In this challenge we tasted each flavor. Sour (lemon juice), Salty (salt water), Sweet (sugar water) and Bitter.


As we drank the liquids we were instructed to indentify where on our tongues we actually tasted them! IMG_2167

The diagram above proved true to my pallet. I did notice that I was less sensitive to the sugar water :le sigh: Chef claims we can train our pallets to be more of a supper taster. I’m intrigued…

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Then, there was some more drinking. Of course not chilled wine or warm herbal tea but FISH SAUCE. Yeah, I’m talking fish in a bottle! Well, the first sample was basic fish stock. The second sample was the basic fish stock enhanced with Umami (fish sauce).

I have to say, fish sauce is defiantly a secret trick of the culinary trade! It seemed to brighten every flavor in the basic stock and enhanced the salt profile to perfection. Some people felt it was slightly over powering but the saltiness that was achieved is indeed the perfect balance! It was that type of edible harmony that makes you question if you are still mortal. According to Chef, this fish sauce can be used in all types of dishes not just fish or stock.

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He won everyone back when he began feeding us Jelly Beans. I promise it was part of the lab, exploring textures and contrasts. We honestly don’t eat jelly beans and do shots of fish sauce in our free time.

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Confession: You can find my nose glued to the bakery windows daily in-between breaks, before and after class, during session….. Every moment I get I chase the aroma that fills the hallway down to the bakery. I peer through the windows envious of the mess… That beautiful mess that evolves into fluffy love which rests in a plain metal bread pan waiting to be chewed into submission.

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You see it was a very productive week. Stay tuned for Week 3!

Herbs. Spices. Salts. Resumes. Oh and more FOOD SAFETY….

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By the way, what do you consider yourself?
A super taster? A medium (average) taster? Low level taster?
Did you know that smokes taste less than non-smokers?