Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An Experiment - you rate it!

I did this sort of experiment dish (I'm sure it's been done somewhere in the world but I tried it anyway) - for dinner last night. It's a Paula Deen type dish. My husband enjoyed it and that's what counts!

So I know this is horrible but I did bacon wrapped pork chops? HA! Don't say a word - pork wrapped in pork is not my idea of a healthy dinner but it sure made a good one! Wait till you hear just what I did with it!

I seasoned the porkchops, layed out about three strips of bacon, topped the bacon with a thin layer of pepper jack cheese. Then, I plopped the porkchop on top, wrapped 'em up and secured it with a toothpick.

Now wait - I'm not done!

I dipped it in egg and dredged it in flour, fried it (to cook the bacon thoroughly) then baked it for 30 minutes more.

Crazy right? It turned out really good, well...interesting. I think I would like to try this with chicken sometime and stuff it or possibly with portobello mushrooms? We'll see what I come up with next!

Simply Smashing!

I hope I nailed the interview.

When I got there it was packed. There were already almost 100 people ahead of me (I was number 98). Boy what a long wait. I arrived around 12 noon to check in. Conversations were buzzing all around. I made my way to a seat. I gave my girlfriend a call about 1230pm.

"AaAaAh - guess where I am?"


"At the interview, I'm just waiting to be seen!"

I had notified my friends and from California to New York the word was out. Everyone is patiently waiting to hear.

I am SO excited and humbled and grateful for the support I have here. How loved am I!!!!

So the waiting game began. I met a bunch of nice people all hoping to be the Next Food Network Star. Conversations of food and technique flared as time continued.

The bartender greeted me kindly, "Would you like a drink my dear?"

"No thanks," I said. "Too excited, my stomach couldn't bear it..."

Time continued on and I took a walk downtown to get some air. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky and the ocean breeze blowing through my hair.

Upon my return they were announcing number 68. Whew! Forty more numbers to go!

At about 4:30pm I was seen by this very sweet woman named Amy. She asked me about my background and how I came into cooking. I had a great time talking to her and sharing my passion for food. She seemed to enjoy herself as well.

She said I was sweet and she loved my enthusiasm for food! Now I am just waiting to see if I get a call back.

I will keep you all posted!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Could I be the Next Food Network Star?

OMGOSH! My bones are all mush over this one! I am actually going to go through with the audition tomorrow! Wish me luck!

I am so nervous! I will keep everyone posted. I so appreciate your patience in my transition. I am back as I have come to a close of preparing for school and preparing my two little ones for school. When they're gone all day I will be cooking and out to the farmer's market.

I will post after I do the audition and tell you how I think I did. I appreciate your support!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pain in the Neck

Okay I'm supposed to be this very computer savvy girl but I can't get the blessed (heh heh heh >:\ ) power point to load on here with sound and then to play through and so on and so forth so we'll make lemonade out of this lemon...grrr.

Here's some pictures of the final product which I submitted for the scholarship.

We have Polenta Stuffed Pasilla Peppers with Pepper Jack Cheese, Roasted Onion and Tomato Puree with Spicy Cajun Shrimp. For my appetizer I did Cayenne Pepper Cream Cheese Crostini and a fluffy green salad with creamy cilantro dressing:


Friday, July 3, 2009

..::So who won?::..

So the story goes like this...

I'm at a friend's house like 37 miles away from my home. I have my nephew and my two kids with me at my friend's swimming pool. We're playing and splashing around in the water. Okay so I just bought a new swimsuit this summer too (first one since my daughter was born) and my phone rings. I miss the call because I'm in the pool and I jump out and try to dry off my hands before I pick up the phone - no ringing, I miss the call. I'm like, OK I missed the call, that's fine I'll call them back later. I check who it is to see if it's urgent. Oh - it's my admissions counselor from the Art Institute. Hmm, he's probably wondering what happened the day before (my husband and I were supposed to stop by and take a tour of the school - my husband's checking out the Art Institute for Audio Production program they just started).

Alright, so I call up my husband or text him and let him know to call the admissions counselor back and I get back in the pool.

Am I dragging this out too long? :P

So okay - a couple minutes later I get this text:
"Congratulations baby! I knew you could do it!"

I'm like "what? do what? buy a swimsuit?....ok"

So then, my phone rings again and of course I miss the call because, once again, I'm trying to dry off my hands before I get to the phone. This time it's the admissions counselor again, so I call him back thinking my husband didn't get a hold of him.

I call him back, he answers the phone, let's me know when he and my husband have scheduled to meet and....

Congratulates me on winning the grand prize $8,000 scholarship competition!

Thank you to all those who support me. This journey's just begun and boy am I glad to have you along!

Sit down, we'll watch a movie and have a glass of wine!

Oh, by the way - if I can figure out how to convert my entry (power point) into AVI format (without spending too much), I'll post my presentation or a link for you to see! Ciao until then!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Scholarship Entry Winners?

Keep your fingers crossed! It's the end of June and soon we'll find out the contest winners of the 2009 Scholarship Competition for the Art Institute. They're offering $8,000 in scholarship money as the grand prize to the winning contestant.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An Exquisite Experience

Back in April I attended a social put on by one of San Diego's best local chef's of north county. It was an exquisite experience full of culinary delight!

When I arrived the staff was just setting up. I decided to walk around and explore the exciting venue at the Bohannan Estates in Mission Hills. Beautiful gardens and scenery surrounded the estate high up on the hill. Lounge music played as everyone came and the servers passed out the drinks.

Pomegranate Infusion, Lemongrass water, and Passionfruit cocktails. The air filled with oohs and ahhs and the smell of fresh grouper and spices. MmMm...the beginning of a savory romance!

The Menu:

Cocktails & Cuisine
Organic Vodka Concoctions of Spring Orientation
“Truffled” Chateau Briand on Porcini-Potato Duchess with Chioggia Beet
“Crabcake” Dungeness Clawmeat with Asparagus-Blood Orange Salsina
“Deviled” Quail Eggs with Osetra Caviar & Micro Chervil
“Hummiso” Butter Lettuce cups of our Signature 22-spiced Hummus & Icicle Radish

Amuse Bouche
“Oysters Scottyfeller” Organic Watercress, BĂ©arnaise, Ossau Iraty, Fried Shallot & Bacon Bits
Paired with Moet Chandon Champagne

1st Course
“Smoked Tomato & Fennel Soup” with Petite Oil cured Olive & Artichoke Panini
& more Moet Chandon Champagne

“Ms. Bohannon’s Meyer Lemon-Lavender Granite”

Piece de Resistance
“Catalina Offshore” Pan-flambĂ©ed Grouper with a Chipotle Cream Sauce, Gallo Pinto, Forked Avocado, Heirloom Tomatillo & Candied Cherry Tomato Confetti Paired with the Twin Oaks Winery Zinfandel

“Not Denny’s” Frangelico drunken French Toast with Caramelized Banana & Almond Praline
Paired with a warm snifter of Frangelico

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nose To the Grind...

I'm on my hustle trying to get a themed dish prepared for a scholarship and several events together to raise money for school and the Breast Cancer 3 Day coming up in November. Boy is this a challenge! I have a budget to work with but of course, a million dollars doesn't even scratch the surface! (LOL - just kidding) I'm on a mission and the wheels are spinning. By the way, I will be back in the kitchen soon. I know I haven't posted any recipes in a while. Don't you worry! Oh - here is a group photo from the birthday. I had SOOO much to eat! Let's see, I had and oyster shooter, an ahi tower (shared with my kids), some very scrumptious Paella, and a birthday sized slice of german chocolate cheesecake! ...::MmMmMm::...!

Thanks again to all who attended and all who wished me a happy birthday. It most certainly was and you totally made my year!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Countdown Begins!

So, I submitted my essay yesterday to the Art Institute. I'm nervous. Oh yeah! Here is what I wrote for my essay. It was 150 word limit on how the Art Institute could help me reach my goals:

"...No warrior goes into battle without armor and sword; no cartographer lays out his creation without first scoping the land to set his course. It takes unique strategy and edge of preparedness to reach ones goals. One must be properly equipped for the task, bearing discipline, focus, and drive.

At the Art Institute, I will have the opportunity for success in achieving my goal of becoming a world-renowned chef. The Art Institute’s Culinary Arts program provides its students with small classes which allow for individual instruction catered to each student’s creative culinary development. Additionally, with hands on experience, collaborative curriculums, and fervent instruction from faculty and staff, I will be able to pursue my passion for food with the preparedness and edge I need to stand out in a crowd. Through abundant resources, careful planning, and guidance at the Art Institute, my exciting journey to culinary excellence is victory bound!..."

Keep those little fingers crossed! I will get back to you as soon as I know!
You have just read Part 2- "The Making of a Chef - Phase 1: The Essay"

Back To The Drawing Board

Arg, okay - so not able to happen just yet. I'll have to postpone the dinner. Good thing is, I was able to do that before I had to pay for anything. I plan to have it later in the year.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Drum Roll Please! (Opening credits - "The Making of a Chef")

Today (the last couple of days actually) have been completely crazy! One semi-disaster after another but all's well that ends well. (is that the right phrase?) Today started out super crazy and chaotic but ended on a light and exciting note.

Sound the drum roll.....da da da daaaaa! I've begun the enrollment process to the Culinary Arts program at the Art Institute! I went there, talked to the admissions counselor, got the tour, even showed him my blog!!! (**blushing**) I know that must've been bold but I was so excited. I've got a lot to do but the process has started. I've got the ball rolling.

Okay so I was supposed to be at work today...Life happened yet again and my poor husband had to be admitted to the hospital. So there I was, ran off to drop my daughter off at school, but since I didn't want to be home alone, I went to a workshop instead of going in to work (which I would've only been able to work like two hours because by the time I got to work through traffic, it would've been time to go and pick up my daughter from school - waste of gas, energy and time - I mean not to work but you get the point). Downtown during the day, parking prices are RIDICULOUS but the class was SO worth it. I got some networking info and learned a lot of information. I randomly decided last minute to go to this workshop on as a walk-in, paid the walk-in fee and learned about how to open a restaurant from concept to opening the doors!!! (How awesome is that?!?!?!) The instructor is a very successful restaurant owner and gave a lot of personal experience scenarios as well as his professional opinion with the help of some experts in accounting and lease and legal expertise. I was so glad I went.

The creme of the day, however, for me was definitely registering for school. I have an essay to write (which I don't know if I'll be able to post but if I get permission I definitely will), I have to request my transcripts (which I will fax tomorrow if possible) and my tax info (ugh the dreaded tax stuff it kills me). After all that I still have to wait for a letter of acceptance (or rejection) in the mail.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed! I can't imagine that they'll say no, but just in case they do...hmmm a plan 'b' ?..::sigh::.. Back to the drawing board to start from scratch.

Form me out of the dirt and breathe life I say! [enter Frankenstein music here] - LOL

I don't think that will stop me (I mean it won't crush my dreams of wanting to be a Chef - there's more than one way to skin a cat and if at first you don't succeed...find someone who has and ask them!). For now I'll just set my sights on getting in (with God's favor). :P

Updates coming soon! I appreciate you sharing this AMAZING journey with me!

You have just read Part 1 - "The Making of a Chef - Phase 1: The Application"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Coming Up...

Okay - I've been missing a couple of weeks yes? Life's got a lot going on but coming up next, here's what we have:

Shrimp Parmesan Fettuccini
Banana Walnut Bread Pudding with Buttery Rum Sauce



Oh also - this is part of the reason I've been gone...party planning! I'm catering a benefit dinner (LOL is it wrong to say it's benefitting me?....ahemmm...I mean...) for my husband who is trying to raise tuition to seminary and to launch (well kinda) my catering services and get my name out there. I will be working with an experienced caterer for the event and possibly talking to him about doing some of my dishes so I can get out and socialize while I'm serving the guests.

I'm REALLY excited. It will be family and friends mostly but a lot of people nonetheless and we get to dress all jazzy and what not. I'm going with a 40's theme for my flare. We'll see how it all turns out but I will be sure to post pictures of the event so you all can see what God does with my hands for His glory! I'm praying everyone will love the food and music and just have a great time. I'm also using this (the event and pictures/dishes from it) to keep a running "chef-olio" of my work before I even get into school. So everyone keep your fingers crossed!!! I'm looking to make my b-line here soon unless the Lord does something else!

Love ya!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reaching a Consensus...

I've been thinking for sometime, reflecting on my life in the new year and all it's come to be. I have settled that cooking is more than a passion for me. I'm contemplating going to school for Culinary Arts this September and in the meantime, devising a plan to get ahead of the game. I am excited to be venturing with strength. While life has thrown me some challenges, currently, I am patiently waiting for the right time to make a move. Until then, as always, I will keep you posted. I look forward to an exciting Culinary adventure with you this year!!

Salute! A votre sante!
(Cheers to our health)

Thursday, January 1, 2009