Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
After our final spread (to which I brought an incredible 9 year old Cote Rotie), we took some final pictures, we vowed not to eat any butter, bacon or heavy cream for the next several days and we said our goodbyes. I made one last trip to the book store and the local cafe and then hit the road with Wendy as well as our newfound local foodie friend, Rachel.
This was an incredible vacation. If you are interested in becoming a more confident home cook or just learning some new skills, I highly recommended a CIA Boot Camp. I also recommend you stay at a local hotel that has a workout facility. Though I did not even work off 1/8th of one daily meal, I worked out almost every day of boot camp which helped with some of the guilt!
Until after my food detox is done,
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
48 crazy hours ago (that would be Monday night), was our first dinner at one of the 3 CIA restaurants we'll be visiting this week - Caterina de'Medici. I originally wrote up a nice description of our entrance through the wines we drank, but with all I have to get through, I've decided to condense it:
Glass 1: Nebbiolo d'Alba "Sontuoso" Valdinera. It was a tasty, classic Nebbiolo - dry and structured, with a nice bit of black cherry and some earth.
From there, we moved on to the wines they had pre-selected for our dinner - Feudi di San Gregoria Falanghina from Campania and Tenuta le Querce Aglianico del Vulture "Il Viola" from Basilicata.
Glass 2: Falanghina is a lovely Italian white varietal that you see more and more in good Italian places. This Falanghina had notes of green apple and citrus and was enjoyed by all.
Glass 3: Aglianico - yum. Though it was more fruit forward than the Nebbiolo, it complemented it nicely as it had similar dark cherry notes. Paired very well with the mushroom sauce that seemed to be used in both the pasta dish our table shared and the trout dish I ordered. Odd they used the same sauce in two completely different dishes, but it worked. Shoulder shrug.
Glass 4: Moscato D'Asti - OF COURSE! At the end of the meal, I had to introduce our table to one of my personal favorites and a consistent crowd pleaser - Moscato D'Asti. By this time we'd began calling ourselves "Table Debacle" as we were the most raucous group amongst our classmates, as well as in the restaurant so everyone was up for something fizzy and tasty.
Suffice it to say I slept very well on Monday night.
Day 2: We split into the teams we'll be working with for the rest of the week. I'm on a team with my friend, Wendy, Laura K. (a.k.a. LK, Laura #1, LauRock, Lola, Lo) and John. The focus of day 2 was frying and sauteeing and after some time discussing the assigned menu, we went about preparing our various components. We also convinced the instructor to let us deep fry our main entree - fried chicken (as opposed to pan frying as the assignment called for).
I also worked on a bacon topped salad and learned an important lesson about cooking in a convection oven. The air moves fast and the suction is great and once the fat gets cooked down, bacon becomes really light and can easily get sucked up in the fan of a convection oven. Despite this very funny looking lesson, I salvaged the bacon which turned out to be perfectly crispy. Of course the dressing was way too liquid-y which brings me to another lesson of the day - when making a dressing that includes a solid, start with the solid (in this case mayonnaise) and THEN add the liquid (in this case buttermilk). It helps control for soupiness.
Oh, and today was wine class. Was a good refresher, but nothing new. Then again, when the wine was delivered late and the instructor got behind opening the wine, I jumped up and started corking bottles with own wine key. It was a truly proud moment for me.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
When you have some time, check out the full article:
It takes a good 15 minutes to read, but it is very interesting and helps explain why people are so confused about what constitutes good nutrition. It also makes me wonder why my tax dollars are subsidizing Dominos pizza. I find this company hateful enough, but do they really need the government's money when they can afford to advertise during every possible sporting event on t.v.?!? Moreover, did they really need a study showing that people would be happy with more cheese on their pizza?!?
Unfortunately, this is the way of things and I'm sure if we looked into every industry, we'd find similar types of wasteful expenditures. It's just maddening that we've gotten to a point where everyone is so busy pointing fingers and covering their asses that no one wants to take a look at this stuff and ask, "what the....?!?"
It's just infuriating so I thought I'd share (there are only so many voicemails once can leave for the offices of her Congressman and her Senators).