Friday, September 14, 2007

September 13, 2007

What a frustrating morning! I woke up early because I was supposed to meet this perspective student at school at 10 am. I try and help whenever I can. So i get there and text her and she said the taxi driver is lost. An hr and 15 min later she still hasn't shown. So i told her I had to leave. ARGH! So I went home, showered and left because i had bank issues to deal with. At 3:30 I had school again. Today we learned Quail yakitori marinated in lemongrass with a port wine glaze wine sauce, lamb with quinoa risotto and apricot chutney, lobster with kaffir lime and galangal with fava beans and bamboo shoots, and dessert was pineapple and sticky rice spring roll with espelette pepper sorbet. Everything was pretty delicious...although I still didn't eat too much. Demo ran til exactly 6:30 and we didn't start practical til 6:45ish if not later. We made the lobster and the lamb. We didnt think we would have time. And I ended at 9:30 but there were some others who ended after me. I said...its hard to do two recipes at a time. Today wasn't any easier after having done it once. Anyway, I'll start with my lobster presentation. He loved my sauce. He thought it was the perfect balance of flavors...although i couldnt taste the lobster flavor...but he knows better! My bamboo needed to be cooked a bit more and my lobster was cooked well (he didnt want to eat it because he knew i did!) My lamb jus...way too fatty! I knew it was. Oh well. Sometimes I get it headon...and others...not at all! My lamb was cooked correctly and my farce (stuffing) needed more fat in it...either from the lamb itself or some olive oil. But he said he forgot that it was ok. My quinoa was good in flavor and so was my chutney. So overall not too bad. As far as my plating...I could have done better for myself. But i have to overcome "when I dont like the dish, i dont like to plate it".

Dzintra drove me home. I went to bed around 11:30.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

September 12, 2007

After last nite's sleep I thought for sure I was going to be better in the morning. I had one disruption at 5 am, but I took some meds and went back to bed til 10. I woke up at 10 and low and behold...i felt great! I little lethargic and weak...but overall back to my old self! finally :) So today was a lot of catching up. I organized, cleaned up. And eventually ran out to run an errand. Came back and got ready for school. I went to school to thank everyone and to give them an update on my health status. They were all worried. So was i! But all is good now. I even ate some pasta for well as a piece of bread and a banana for a snack ;) So I had my first real class today. In the 4th level things are different. We have class Monday through Thursday 3:30-9:30. I get fri, sat, and sun off ;) This week we are focusing on international influences. We first have a demo and then we go straight into a practical. We learned 4 dishes and then we made 2 of them. Let me say...making 2 dishes where NONE of the ingredients are the same is HARD!!!!!!!! I thought i'd never survive. I got into class and said "where do i start first" cause you really have NO clue!!! Anyway, we learned the most amazing dishes. Pan fried foie gras on sweet potato puree with satay with a creamy emulsion of wild rocket, Squab pastilla with pistachio oil, Shortbread with crab in a lemon lime balm, with mango and lemon grass sauce, and a creamy white chocolate with tonka beans and green tea cappuccino and cocoa crisp. All delicious. I didn't lick my plate clean though. I only tasted because I didn't want to get any sicker! We made the crab and the squab plate. I forgot to mention...there are only 5 people in my class. Me and Dzintra who was in my class last trimester. Fernando, who has been an asst for a while at school. Peter who I knew from a few trimesters ago and went to do his stage and then came back. Then an asian named Emi who speaks no english. SO it's a pretty tight class. It's initmate and comforting. The best part...No rushing, no competition, and NO GRADES!!!!!!!!! I love it :) So I finished my dish first...No clue how i did that because i thought I was WAY behind...but I finished and chef was thoroughly impressed. He liked everything on my dish. He didn't have one bad thing to say. He wouldnt even let me plate my second dish before he tried it. But i insisted and then hated it...but i'll post the picture anyway :) (it's the pie looking one)

Anyway, I went home pleased. Dzintra is going to be driving me home at that's nice. I went to bed around 11 feeling very accomplished knowing this course is going to be very good for me!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

September 11, 2007

Well after going to bed at 6pm and waking up at 10am I was for sure to be feeling better! Or so i thought! I unpacked, got organized for school, and blogged my entired ireland trip (make sure you check that out!!!). Then I ate some baguette and drank some water. I seemed to be feeling much better. I showered and went to school. I sat in class for about 5 min. I looked at Dzintra and said is it hot in here and she goes are you ok? and I said i left class to talk to Sylvie because I didn't know what to do. The second chef pulled out a piece of meat I KNEW i wouldn't make it through class. So i talked to Sylvie (the director of school) and we agreed I should go to the dr. So I left class and went directly to the dr. When i first told the Dr. i had the flu...i guess the european flu is like a cold. so he asked me if i was congested. right away I was like...i meant stomach flu...the american kind :) So he listened to my tummy and told me i had an infection. he gave me 2 drugs. I immediately took it. I got home in bed around 6. From 6- 830 ish i was tossing and turning and in SO much pain I almost was tempted to go to the hospital. I didnt know what to do. But i knew that all my nauseau was i thought maybe i should eat and drink something. I ate half a piece of bread and drank some water. That must have done the trick because I fell asleep comfortably after that. So once again...i missed class. But hopefully I am on the right track to getting better.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My plans for the future

Since many of you have been asking or don't know before I go on blogging I will explain what I am doing with my life.

Currently from Sept 10 to Oct 11 I am taking the professional course in cuisine

From Oct 15 to November 8 I am taking the professional course in pastry

From November 12- November 24 I am taking a course in Gastronomy which one week is in Paris at LCB and the other week is in Champaign. With this course I will get a diploma, provided I write a 30 page thesis :) It will be my biggest venture yet and I think will be the most difficult and interesting part of my time in paris! I look forward to these two weeks.

Starting in december I will be doing an internship. I don't know where this will be. I plan on doing 2 of them which will take me to May/June of 08. I have to be home for a wedding the first week of June so expect me home before then. But I'll be here til then! So stay tunned to fun blogs! And thanx for reading!!!!

First day!

I had a wake up call for 4 am and I am still feeling like crap. I get the 4:30 shuttle to the airport and check in. My flight left at 6:25 and it was horrible. I thought I was gonna die I was so sick. I got in at 9 but then I had to take an hr and 15 min bus ride to paris and THEN take the metro back home. By now Im dying. I get home at 11:30 and crash. I woke up at 2, showered and ate a piece of bread and felt a little better. Today was my first day of class. I managed to get through it halfway and then I crashed. i couldn't make it through and I went home. I got home and at 6 pm I was in bed for the rest of the night. The flu sux :(


Pictures of maureen's house:

This morning I woke up at 9 after a full nights sleeps! Showered and ate some bagels. Still not feeling perfect but better. Today we tried to go to the museum of country life but it was closed, so we walked around and had some coffee and scones. Then we drove around some more and then eventually came home. I then continued to read my amazing book and finished it. It was SOOO good! It was called Get Me Out of Here by Rachel Reiland...check it out! At 3:30 we at dinner (they eat dinner really early on sundays and that was actually late and then tea time is at dinner time at like 9ish). Still not feeling well I didn't eat much. Then angela's parents came over with Maureen's mom. We ate some pie. At 5:15 Angela and Maureen dropped me off at the train station. I was on the train from 5:55 to 9:40. I took a taxi to the hotel who got lost on the way there! I got to the hotel by 10:30. I went to bed by 11 after all my stuff was layed out and ready for the morning!

How's the Craic? (Crack!)

Just one of my new sayings I learned in Ireland which means hows the fun? I love it though! I was trying to pick up as much Gaelic as I's hard though. Anyway, I woke up at 9, showered and then we all lounged around for a while. We ate a big breakfast with eggs, scones, sausages (i didn't eat that) and coffee. We left around 11:15 and dropped off the youngest of Maureen's 4 daughters at work. We then drove the scenic route to Connemara (if i spelled that right) to see this beautiful boarding school which is also a garden. We walked around a bit, had some drink and a bite to eat. We then drove more and eventually stopped at another town to have lunch. Then we drove more (haha) and we got home. I was already sleeping in the car. I layed on the couch for a while and around 6:30 I went with one of Maureen's daughters to go milk a cow!! Yep I was so excited. They don't milk them like they used to anymore, but they do it mechanically which was fine bu me...i still got to see it AND partake! It was SO cool. We got home and I layed on the couch again and I wasn't feeling well and around 9 pm I got up and apologized that I didn't think i was going to able to eat dinner. So i went to bed. This was the beginning of my flu bug :(


I woke up ay 8:30, showered and waited for everyone to get ready. We ate breakfast and then drove to Achill to the beach. We walked the beach shore. It was gorgeous!!! It took a while to get there. Everything takes a while to get to because they live on a farm in the country. On the way back we stopped at a pub for lunch that was owned by a family member. Then we came back to the house for my mystery evening! We left the house and I still didn't know where I was going. When we arrived I felt so stupid cause i STILL didn't know what it was. Anyway, it was the Ashford Castle. Let's see, John Wayne, Sharon Stone, and Brad Pitt have stayed there (amongst others) and Pierce Brosnan got married there. So this was PRETTY big that I was going there for dinner. It was GORGEOUS! For my dinner I had scallops, then apple and horseradish soup, then chicken with truffle beignets, and then for dessert I had black forest cake. It was all really good...but for some reason i wasn't so hungry so I didn't eat much. Dinner was with Angela, Cousin Jer, another cousin maureen and her husband Gus, and another cousin ann and her partner porrick. After dinner we went to stay at Maureen's house. I went to bed asap cause it was about 12 and I was exhausted!


This morning started off HORRIBLE! So my phone hadn't done the time change. And i didn't think about that when I set my alarm for 8 am!!! So I really woke up at 7. Got dressed and started to walk around and wondered while nothing was open. Well I also didn't change my watch :) So I walked to the Guinness factory at "9:30" and was like "am I early" and the guy was like "by an hr" ARGH! I am so dumb sometimes! So, he told me to go back and get my luggage and take the 123 bus back. Ok, so I walked back and got my luggage and got on the 123. I told the bus driver I wanted to go to the Guinness Factory. He said he would tell me when to get off. Well I obviously recognized where I was but he kept going. i thought maybe he was taking me the back way. So i went with it. After a while I said to him are we almost there. He goes "shit" and he told me to get off and get on the bus going back and he would tell the other bus driver to let me on and tell me when to get off. So I eventually got there but 30 min later than planned. So I went through the museum, guzzled my free guinness and shopped for mom and dad :) Eventually I walked to the bus station and got on the 12:40 train to westport. I slept most of the train ride and read my cosmo the rest of the way. I arrived at 4:20 and Angela and her cousin Jer (short for a name I can't spell!) met me! We drove to grab a drink (guinness for me ofcourse) while we waited for jer's husband and two sons. Then we ate some pub food for dinner. We eventually came home. We went to Jer's parents house where I also met another aunt and uncle and saw Angela's parents who I already know! We chatted with them for a while. Then someone's daughter inlaw came in with their daughter. Their family is so huge I was so confused! Then we went home for good to Jer's house and her daughter came over with her fiance and we chatted for a while. I was so exhausted by 9:45 that I went to read for a while then went to bed.


I forgot to mention on my last post, that I wasn't going to be posting for a while because I was leaving for Ireland, but I am sure you picked up on that from posts before. Anyway, I woke up a did last minute laundry and DEF last minute packing. Went to mom and dad's hotel. We sat there for a while waiting for the taxi. We went to the airport and we all hungout together til 12:15 when they had to go board their plane. It was sad...but for some reason, it was a different sad because I feel grown up now and i don't depend on them as much. Where as other times I would be miserable because I felt like I had to rely on them for things. Wow...only took 26 years :) Anyway, I went to buy a magazine, then I walked around for a while. At 3:30 I boarded my plane. The flight was an hr and 40 min. I arrived in Dublin and took a bus to the main bus terminal. I walked to the Hostel. I talked to the receptionist behind the desk who told me she was a food writer and then told me she was from springfield, IL! So she gave me a suggestion for dinner. First I walked around for a while to see what was going on in Dublin. Then I went to this restaurant called Eden. They just came out with a cookbook for their 10th anniversary. I had (in order of the pictures) Smokies (outstanding-gonna have to make those at home!), Beef and Guinness stew and then dessert was special. I couldn't make up my mind on the menu, so I asked my waiter to tell the pastry chef that I was also a pastry chef and I wanted her to make something that was her favorite or most fun thing to make! So she did. It was great. I had a little of everything. Also, I could watch the entire kitchen cook while I ate. I asked a woman who was cooking how many woman worked in the kicthen. She said 5. That a good amount for a tiny kitchen. After that i went back to the hostel to talk to people for a while and I met some guy named bryan from Iowa. He went over to the Temple Bar which is their famous bar. So i met him and his friend there for a guinness. They came out with a new kind in Oct of 06 which is called North Star. It's SOOO good. I mean I like guinness, but this new kind was SO amazing. After that I left at 11 and went to bed.