Monday, April 20, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

A gougere, stuffed with crab, avacado and a mixture of heavenly things.

Roasting tomatoes for the Tomato Tartar from 'Happy In The Kitchen'. A beautiful book by Michel Richard.

Lee and I did a test run for the charity dinner we will be cooking for in a couple of weeks. I don't like to go into things blindly, at least when I'm serving a bunch of people that paid good money for a fabulous dinner. Thankfully, Lee feels the same way, plus it's really fun for us to plan these dinners out and cook together. I'll post more pictures and the official menu after the actual dinner on May 2nd, but for now, here are a few of them to let you know how it all went the 'first time around'. We did a good job, but it took a lot of prep and hard work. And love of course.

The colorful Le Creuset pots on our stove. We made a special trip up to the Marysville outlet mall to get another of the shallow yellow pans that April let us borrow.

I picked fresh flowers from our garden and put them above our new wine cabinet. On the wall is our personalized menu from Joel Robuchon, the first and only 3 star restaurant we've been to. I plan on going to another on our honeymoon!

This is the mignardise I made, hoping I'll get to make these for our wedding favors if I can perfec them. It's a salt caramel chocolate covered pretzel, a bit savory since I don't like super sweet things.

In the food processor, a mixture of herbs to be added to some olive oil. This will be served alongside the deep fried pork belly amuse bouche.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm a slacker

My posts are getting fewer and far between, but I'm still here, still busy and still doing VERY well. Consider busy as being good for me, because it really is. I might be looking forward to writing my novel when I'm 70 and therefore not writing so much at 34, or that's how I like to think of it.

The place that Lee and I met through, Culinary Communion, closed a few weeks ago. It was really sad to see them end, but they had a great run and my culinary skills have flourished. I've made friends upon friends and traveled through France. And of course, I was introduced to Lee by these friends, so they will forever have a special place in my heart. They ended up having a sale in order to move on with a lighter load of cooking supplies and I scored a fabulous omelet pan that I've been using nearly every day with fresh eggs from April's chickens. I had the most incredible breakfast this morning! A still warm croissant from Cafe Besalu, in my opinion they have the best croissants I've ever sunk my teeth into. Some Oikos Greek Yogurt with honey on the bottom. And to top it off, a fried egg from April's chickens. I think it was the perfect breakfast, I love eggs for breakfast!

We celebrated Easter with Dad and Step-mom who came to visit from Michigan. I made up a scalloped potato dish with goat cheese, sauteed criminis, herbs and roasted garlic. Turned out really well (very rich though). We also went on a wine tour of Oregon, and since I've never been on a wine tour before, it was a learning experience. The food and restaurants in the Willamette Valley were so good, very fresh and local. The wine?? Well, I'm not so sure I like Oregon, or for that much, any New World wines. At all. I'm sticking with my French and Italian reds until I find something just as good. I also have a suggestion for the wineries offering tastings--serve some water and snacks. That might help with the headaches and drunkedness. It's good we did this trip--I did feel a little weird about being a food lover from Seattle that had never been on a wine tasting trip.

We are hoping to sell the condo, so keep your fingers crossed. We've got a wedding to pay for! :) I'll post some pictures of the big charity dinner Lee and I are doing for Schmitz Park Elementary. Should be really fun.