Sunday, January 12, 2014


Hey guys I'm back and I know it's been a really long time.
Life has been so weird and hectic and amazing recently and I just got that itch again to share a little bit about what I'm doing!

So, I had one post in the middle of summer last year on this blog, and I think we have quite a bit of catching up to do, now don't we?

In December 2012, I got accepted to my dream school: Kendall College.

I graduated high school in June 2013

And then started the longest summer of my life! 
I started at Kendall in October 2013, and it was everything I wanted and more.

I had days last quarter where I was at Kendall from 8am until 9pm, and I dragged myself back to my apartment feeling worn out but somehow still so ready for the next day.
I learned a lot in my first quarter, mostly about time management and being able to work well with others. 
My first chef instructor at Kendall, Chef Altieri, was exactly what I needed to succeed in that class. She was very hands-on and helpful and willing to explain in detail why things work the way they do. 

I also developed a little obsession.
Grant Achatz.

Okay, so I live in Lincoln Park and every single day on my way to school, I pass by this unnamed, black building on Halsted. I really thought it was somebody's house. 
[It's not]

I knew about Grant Achatz before, because my hair stylist 
{who dyed my hair purple for three days did I mention that was a thing? It was fun do it if you can. Being yelled at by your father about it is super invigorating ;)}
Well, my hair stylist told me all about this chef, Grant Achatz, who has this fine dining restaurant in Chicago and his whole mission is to "Redefine the way we eat". Some would call his food the pinnacle of molecular gastronomy, but he doesn't like that term, according to his memoir. It's unique, it's artistic, and it's everything I aspire to achieve in my career, and I didn't really know that until I started researching him more and more.

And once I put in a little bit of time researching, I figured out what that unnamed black building on Halsted is. It's Alinea, Chef Achatz's restaurant. 

Passing that building every day on my way to school was the most inspiring thing for me. Every once in a while in class, my chef would mention Chef Achatz and I would get super emotional because his food and his approach in the culinary field just get to me. 

Honestly, it gets a little out of hand.

But that's exactly what I want from this career. Because I know being a chef is hard work, but if I end up doing it right, and if I end up creating beautiful food that is a work of art, that makes people feel things, then I know I will have succeeded.

But anyway, Now I'm one week into my second block, or quarter, at Kendall. I'm taking Cooking Methods class right now, and my chef is French and is also very good at explaining his unique way of systematically thinking about cooking. It's extremely fascinating and I absolutely love it.

I just wanted to give a quick update, and I hope to keep up to date from now on, but no promises.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pasta Party

Hi guys it's been a while but please forgive me because I have something very exciting to share with you
I got a pasta machine.

(Ooooooh.... chrome)

And, you know, the only way to properly break in a pasta machine is to throw a pasta party.
So, I invited over some friends and they brought a couple sauces and we had bunches of fun

So, to make pasta dough, you need 1 1/2 cups of durum wheat flour (or semolina) and 1 1/2 cups of All-Purpose unbleached white flour. Mix that together and put it on the table (or a baking board). Create a crater in the middle, and add 4 eggs, 2 Tablespons of water and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.

Then you whisk that together gently with a fork, slowly incorporating the flour to the egg mixture. 

[and get real excited]

Then using your hands {And I used a dough cutter to help me out with this} knead to combine the ingredients together fully.

It should form a nice, doughy ball, like this. Knead again for about ten minutes

Then let the dough rest, covered, for ten more minutes. 

If you don't have a pasta machine, no sweat! Roll out your dough with a rolling pin to your desired thickness.

If you do have a pasta machine, be sure to follow the directions included in the manual.

After cutting the pasta, make sure to separate the strands [DON'T LET THEM TOUCH] before putting them in boiling salted water. 
{about a Tablespoon of salt will do for the water}

I made a pretty simple olive oil based sauce-
A few Tablespoons of olive oil (A little more than what will just cover the bottom of the pan- remember you can always add more), one clove of garlic minced, a little bit of sliced shallot- let that get slightly brown and add your pasta in with some fresh chives, and salt and pepper.


We also had some pesto

Having a great time

The pasta machine was made to roll out spaghetti and fettuccine, but someone got a little creative and made a whole bunch of bowties 



Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Winter! (Kind of...)

So, November just started, and in my mind that means that winter has officially begun. 
It's getting colder, we start breaking out jackets instead of just sweatshirts, we start holding onto our coffee in the morning just to keep our hands warm, and Thanksgiving is almost here!
{I love Thanksgiving.}

I carved my pumpkin three days before Halloween, and roasted the seeds. They are delicious.
[Also, how cute is that candy corn dish?]

I also made some delicious pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies, which taste very similar to my Golden Gingerbread. 
If you liked that, give these a try!
(Recipe at the bottom)

On a more serious note, I am so sick of the election coverage. 
I'm not eligible to vote, but I sure wish I was. 
There are so many social issues that have been addressed in both campaigns, and the more I think about the election, I start thinking about "what if's". I wish I could vote, just to give myself some peace of mind.

Basically me.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Slightly adapted from here

For the cookies:
-1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 cup light brown sugar
-3/4 cup pumkin puree
-1 large egg
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-3 3/4 cups flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-(I also added 1/4 tsp allspice)

For the coating:
-1/2 cup granulated sugar 
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-dash of allspice

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree, then beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg (and maybe allspice). With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until fully incorporated. Cover and chill the dough for at least an hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degreed. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liner. Mix the coating ingredients in a small bowl. Scoop equal dough balls and roll in sugar mixture. Set on cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Dip the bottom of a flat drinking glass into water, then into the sugar mixture and use to slightly flatten the dough balls. 

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until baked through. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to make a freaking delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte.

It's {almost} officially fall. 
That means any and all devilbucks drinkers go crazy over their pumpkin spice latte.

From here

Now, let's set something straight. I was a barista. I enjoy a good cup of coffee. I enjoy pretty coffee art. Et cetera.

...And I am not a Starbucks drinker.

Yeah. And I'll let you in on a secret. all they do for a pumpkin spice latte is add in a shot of HFCS-filled syrup. 
[Say what????]

Anyway, let's make our own and rebel against Starbucks and their syrup.
-Buy a can of pumpkin puree.
-Brew a really strong cup of coffee.
{I use the smallest cup setting on my Keurig brewer}
-Take a heaping tablespoon of the pumpkin puree, and stir it into your coffee. Add your favorite sweetener (to taste) and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice and any other spices you see fit (Cardamom, nutmeg, etc). 
[I don't add too much, because I don't like feeling the spices in my coffee. It's unpleasant to me, but I do add some.]
-Heat up about a cup of milk.
(If you have a milk frother/foamer whatever like I do, use this to achieve the ultimate latte. Otherwise, using warm milk is basically the same thing.)
-Pour the milk right over the coffee/pumpkin spice mixture


I like this better than adding pumpkin and spices and sugar to a regular cup of coffee, because although you are using brewed coffee, not espresso, you can still achieve the latte effect, with the small amount of coffee to the foamed milk ratio that we have going on here. 
I have seen other recipes that suggest mixing up "pumpkin milk", and that was pretty delicious, but it had all the spices in there which I didn't like. With this recipe (It's not really a recipe, more like a tutorial, but whatever this is a food blog, everything is a recipe.), it is completely customizable and you can add as much or as little of anything as you want. I just wanted to bestow upon you the knowledge that I have, having worked with coffee before. 

So, enjoy my lovely darling friends.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Home-Made Pop Tarts

Over the summer, I got on the lazy side and didn't quite feel like making myself a fancy breakfast.
So I went to the pantry, and grabbed a pop-tart. I probably went through two whole boxes by myself.
As much as they did satisfy my grumbly morning tummy, I knew there has to be a way to make them more delicious.

So the obvious answer was Nutella.

I took a dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and instead of going with the healthy option of using fruit jam, I used our favorite nutty-chocolate-y spread.

The result was delicious.

Nutella Pop-Tarts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons milk

Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender, or food processor (I used a food processor), until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible and mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Whisk milk and one egg together in a small bowl. Place dough on a counter or baking board and make a crater in the center of the dough. Pour egg and milk mixture into the crater and knead it in with your hands until it holds together nicely. Add flour if needed.

Divide dough into two rectangles. Roll out until each is 1/4 inch thick. Cut each rectangle into nine 3x3" squares. Place on cookie sheet, brush with egg wash. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of Nutella onto 9 of the squares, cover with another pastry square. Press down edges with a fork and poke holes in the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cheese rolls

I finally got cheese rolls right!
My lovely friend Christine asked me to do a post for her blog, and you can find the recipe for these rolls here.
Give her blog a look, it's really adorable.

Sidenote: I have another personal blog that I will be updating a few times a week, so check it out if you'd like to stalk my life. 

Have a lovely weekend, you beautiful babes!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quick post: Patriotic berries

Hello, friends! 
It's been awhile since I've seen you here so I'd like to share with you the most delicious thing from my Independence day:

Now, I'm not one for white chocolate. It's kind of weird, but I'll eat it if I have to.
But these berries were out of this WORLD.
{There's something in those blue sugar sprinkles...}
Everyone I fed them to loved them.

If you don't know how to make chocolate covered strawberries, I'll run through a quick tutorial.

1. Set up a double boiler with white chocolate chips, bring water to a simmer and melt chocolate.

2. Dip berries in chocolate, holding them by the leaves

3. Carefully roll the bottom part of the berry in blue sprinkles.

4. Place on waxed paper, cool and refrigerate.