Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm quite fond of torture...no really

So I made a LOT of food on Saturday...too much food even for me. Variety is the spice of life I know, but this was insanity. You should have seen all the food I made our guests take with them.

I promised I would have a twist on the meringues. So I did a slightly smaller version of the other individual Lemon Meringues from last week, Larry had these cute little muffin tins, and I piped the meringue through my pipping bag. I ran out of time or else I would have changed the tips up and done different designs.

So the twist of it all? lol I bet you're all thinking something magical, really it was a raspberry in the center of each Meringue. It was a GREAT twist though. The tartness and sweetness's (is that a word? it is now!) from both the lemon and the raspberry worked so well together. It definitely was a nice treat to bite in and have that tickle your tongue.
I may even decide that the lemon meringues are something to make for future interviews. I think I am getting a good hand with them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Potter, Beatrix not Harry

I'm eating garlic Bagel chips are you jealous?
I went to the beach yesterday are you sad?
It's Beatrix Potters Birthday today are you happy?
She died in 1943 are you sad?
...I suddenly hate my job

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sarah's visit (Larry's first post)

Sarah says that this is "our blog", so I'm gonna post a little about Sarah's visit down to Florida.

Sarah flew down here on Thursday and arrived here Thursday afternoon. The purpose of the visit was to meet Joseph and to help me paint my living room/kitchen/dining room. It's one big room in the house that has some old paint and I've patched some holes in the drywall. When I picked her up from the airport, we went by Home Depot to pick out some paint. I brought some pillows from my small couch and a sample of the laminate flooring I will install to make sure the new paint matches. We picked out a few samples of colors we liked and headed home to decide. On the way home, we stopped in a small restaurant for some sushi. I let Sarah order because she has a good idea of what we both like and she enjoys it when I just let her pick out the flavors of sushi. She claims that she likes ordering because she gets to choose everything that she likes, but I really know she chooses things that I will enjoy as well. When we got home, she cut the paint sample papers into strips that would help us decide. It didn't take long for us to decide on a color. After picking out a color, we did some cleaning. I'll fully admit that organization is my strong suit and cleanliness is my weakness. Sarah looked in my fridge and found it in much need of cleaning, so we went through and threw away lots of expired items that I've just left in there until it starts to crawl. Once the fridge was clean, Sarah played some of my games on my PS3. She played Call of Duty and Rock Band. It was fun to watch her take a part in my hobby. After that, we decided to pick my son, Joseph, up from daycare. I told Joseph that when I come to pick him up, Sarah would be with me. He's seen Sarah on webcam and they've talked on the phone, but they've never actually met in person. When we got to the daycare, Joseph saw me and wanted me to pick him up. He looked at me and asked "Where's Sarah?". I pointed over to where Sarah was standing and he saw her and immediately held out his hands so that he could give her a hug. It was such an adorable sight and I knew they would hit it off nicely. We were going to meet my best friend, Jason, and his wife, Lydia, for dinner at Chik-Fil-A, one of Joseph's favorite places to eat. This will be the first time that Sarah would meet Jason and Lydia. We ate dinner and everyone had fun. Joseph even wanted to sit in Sarah's lap to eat his dinner. After dinner, we let Joseph play in the playground at Chik-Fil-A. Then we went home, gave Joseph a bath, read him some bible stories, and put him to bed. Then, we watched some of Last Comic Standing and headed to bed after a very busy day.

Friday, we woke up and took Joseph to daycare. On the way home, we went by Home Depot to pick up some paint and painting supplies. The paint machine was broken at Home Depot, so we picked up the painting supplies and went to Lowe's for the paint. They recommended that we use a primer first since the new paint is a little lighter than the current paint on the walls. We stopped off and ate breakfast at IHOP before heading home for some good painting action. It took a couple hours to put all the pictures away and tape off the ceiling and baseboards in preparation for painting. We got some of the primer painted and headed out to eat at a little sandwich shop near my house. We went back home and kept painting the primer on. We got 75% done and had to run out and get Joseph from daycare. Joseph wanted tacos, so we got a chicken wrap from Chik-Fil-A for Sarah and tacos from Taco Bell for Joseph and I. We watched the Jonah Veggietales movie that Sarah bought for Joseph when we got home and put Joseph to bed. We finished painting the primer on the walls. Sarah claimed that she wasn't a very good painter, but she did just as good a job as I did. She's very good at rolling paint on the walls and also very good at doing trim work. She also did a great job of taping everything off. We didn't finish painting the real paint on the walls, but I should be able to knock it out in a day. When Sarah comes back in Thanksgiving, I should have the walls painted and the laminate flooring installed on the floor.

Saturday, we woke up and had some breakfast. Lowes has classes where little kids can build things for free, so we went to do that at 10am. Joseph built a little tetherball game with Sarah's help. I video taped it all and it was very funny to watch. They gave Joseph a little apron and some safety goggles. They used a little hammer which was funny to watch them trying to hammer these little nails into the wood. The top piece was a little loose, so I took the hammer when they were done with it and tried to finish the job. In doing so, I actually broke the top piece of wood in 2 pieces. Joseph was quick to say "Dada, you broke it.". After we were done at Lowes, we went to the Children's museum where Joseph got a chance to show Sarah all the cool stuff he likes to do there. We went to Wal-Mart to do out shopping for the dinner party we were going to have that night. We ended up making so much food for 6 adults and one 3-1/2 year old. Everything tasted wonderful. We had a veggie tray, fruit kabobs, chicken wings, meatballs, cheese and crackers, and some mini-lemon meringue tarts. We had Jason and Lydia and Jason's parents over. Everyone had fun and really enjoyed the food. Then we put Joseph to bed and everyone played a little poker. We cleaned up everything and went to bed. Painting is very tiring work.

Sunday, we woke up and watched Thomas the Tank Engine on TV with Joseph while he ate his cereal. We went to church where the pastor talked about the movie, Hancock. He's been talking about some of the movies that came out in the movie theater lately and some things that we can learn from them. The title of the series is called "God on Film". We talked about Iron Man, Indiana Jones, and Prince Caspian in past weeks. This week, we talked about Hancock and the fact that he had an image problem where everyone thought he was a bad example even though he had superpowers. The pastor had 5 mirrors on stage and explained that everyone bases their personal image on one of 5 things, their parents, peers, culture, significant people, or God. His underlying message is that we should base how we see ourselves on how God sees us because if we live our lives based on anything else, we will end up disappointed. It was a very good series and I enjoyed the lessons the pastor took from each of the films. At church, Joseph made a lion mask out of a paper plate and they talked about Daniel being thrown in the lion's den. After church, we took a trip to the beach and an outside shopping area that I wanted to show Sarah. We collected some shells and ate at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. We all had a great time. We drove to a park close to my house that Joseph and I like to go to that he calls Castle Park because it has a huge castle that kids like to play on. Unfortunately, we needed to leave to take Sarah to the airport. It was a sad time for us all. Joseph was very sad and didn't want her to leave. Fortunately, Sarah and Ava will be flying down in about a month to visit with my parents.

I took the picture above of Joseph while we were leaving the airport. It was so sad. He kept saying "I miss Sarah" and "I want Sarah to come home with us" all the way home. I'm sure he's looking forward to meeting Ava in about a month.
Thank you baby for visiting us. We had a great time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm kind of an famous baking rockstar now!

Not really, in fact I'm more full of myself than anything, however I did receive this email to boost my ego:

Hi Sarah,
Thank you so much for the cakes. I have spoken with Chef Tory and we would love to have you on board; however, due to the size of the bakery and kitchen, and to the busy nature of summer business, we simply do not have room for another body. With that said, we would love to consider you again for this upcoming winter when things slow down a bit. Per Chef Tory's request, please contact us again in late December or early January and we would love to revisit this idea. Again, thank you so much for thinking of L'Etoile and Cafe Soleil and I look forward to hearing from you in the future.


L'Etoile Restaurant

I feel extremely good about this, and understanding, I laid out the terms of which I would and would not be able to work and they were very understanding. Keep your fingers crossed for a December-May romance...

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's my version of a bubble bath

Well if you've been keeping up you know I like to bake. Baking to me is relaxing, the methodology of it, the time and precision you need to put into the finished product. The reward and satisfaction you receive, knowing you've created something delicious. It's relaxing to me, it puts me at ease and relieves my stress.

Tonight's stress reliever was individually made Lemon Meringue Pie.

Here is the pastry before I put it in the oven. The round glass beads are to keep the pastry from puffing up.

Just out of the oven with that beautiful golden brown meringue!!

Aren't they just beautiful??
And while constructing them it made me think of a new twist on the recipe, that I will try out this weekend!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Give it up for the man himself!!!!

I would just like to embarrass my absolutely gorgeous, hunky, intelligent, generous, amazing boyfriend as it is his Birthday today.

Darling, we unfortunately cannot be together on the exact date but I will be there on Thursday and the celebrating will continue.

I would like to tell you most importantly you have not only my absolute respect for the person you are, the man I love, but you have my heart.

I hope you have had a great day, and I cannot wait to see you.

When a full house flushes straight to the heart of pocket aces

So we are hosting a Poker night next Saturday and I was wondering if anyone had some good idea's for food. I'm thinking a bunch of appetizer, that would be simple yet enthusiastically delicious.

I have stuffed mushroom caps, because who doesn't like stuffed mushroom caps? I was thinking my world famous turkey meatballs with toothpicks at the top so that we can pick them up easily. Anyone have any other suggestions??

Or even something you have heard of that you've never had that you've wanted to try but are not as fabulously talented as I and would now like to live vicariously through us and our guests?

I'm open to all suggestions people!

Friday, July 18, 2008

One step forward

Just a quick note. I was at the bank to pick up a transaction record booklet and I all of a sudden found myself reaching up and grabbing a brochure for a Business VISA. Seeing me the teller then launched into a 5 min spiel about how great it was. I looked for some books online to help me write a business plan and plan on starting.

This in no way means it's happening tomorrow, but we'll see how the business plan goes. I've written one before, and if it's a total bust, at least I will have a written business plan under my belt for my resume.

No harm no foul........right?

I'm not an expert, but I know what I like!

So I have a few "things", I guess they're basically differences I've noticed between my life in Canada and my life in the States. Most to all of them revolve around food in some way, but hey give me a break food is my passion.

One of my more bigger gripes was Pizza. It's not the same here, in Wisconsin specifically as it is in Toronto, and southern Ontario. Toronto's is better, by a long shot, they're not even in the same league as far as I am concerned. I've desperately tried to find ANYTHING that would come even remotely close.

Last night Ava and I had pizza from a place called Falbo's and it was actually pretty good. I enjoyed the sauce to cheese ratio, as I don't like too much sauce. And the toppings were fresh and tasty! So two thumbs up Falbo's! Although you could work on your customer service a little because the guy who I ordered from sounded like he was doing me a BIG favour by taking my order and getting it delivered to me.

Mmm pizza, now you're all jealous. Admit it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Half way up the hill?

So I brought a bunch of my cakes into work today, needless to say there were none left, correction only one left. Everyone who wanted one had about two and a coworker of mine had four and was not afraid to tell everyone that passed.
People were stopping by my office before they left to tell me how great they were and that I should open my own bakery.

I should state that if it isn't or hasn't been obvious, I'm a Christian, and have big Faith in the Lord. I leave a lot of things, or am learning to, up to God because, well...even if you stray from the path he's going to redirect you to where he wants you to be anyways.

I have often wondered in the past if I'll miss something if I'm not paying attention. I mean I felt really good today when everyone was complimenting me. When my coworker told me more than once (I should also state that she can be an extremely picky eater) that I should open my own bakery and "like totally sell these", is this a boost for my ego, or is God trying to communicate to me through Debbie? Give me that extra push in the right direction.

I think I'll just keep my eyes as open as possible along with me heart.

-Okay that was incredibly sappy even for me-

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Go ahead...lick your computer screen...no one's looking

So my interview baking went down VERY well. I am thoroughly pleased with my results. I made a chocolate cake, which I cut into circles (thank you baby for suggesting WS to find the right shape). Then I put a thin layer of homemade dark chocolate mousse in between two of the circles. Topped off with a little more mousse, a fresh raspberry, some raspberry coulee drizzled on top with dark chocolate shavings. I am just proud of myself and not ashamed to say it, I did a darn good job and they not only look fantastic they taste fantastic.
No matter what happens I feel like I have taken a step in the right direction.

I will explain the process in pictures, because..well it's my blog, so just deal.

Letting the Cake cool after baking.

Making the raspberry coulee

This is after cutting the circles and adding the mousse. I wrapped them in parchment paper and let them set in the refrigerator.

This is just one plate design, I went with something different in the box.

Friday, July 11, 2008

So Monday is the so called Coffee Off. I have a coworker that has a Tassimo pod machine so we will be setting our machines up to have a coffee off to see who's coffee maker truly does make the best cuppa joe.
I will be baking all weekend for a sort of job interview...more me trying to prove how utterly fabulous I am. And perhaps if I have treats left over I will bring them in to go with our coffee.

I'm not worried one bit, not one little bit, I know my man can take her.

Monday, July 7, 2008

yeah yeah I have a blood clot, but more importantly a NEW coffee maker!!!!!!!!!

The jist of what I consider the boring part of this post is that I went in on Tuesday July 1st (Canada Day) to the emergency room when I realized my leg that had been throbbing on and off and randomly turned numb was twice the size as my left. After waiting and an ultra sound on my leg, they found a large clot in a major artery at the top of my leg...y'know where the big veins like to hang out and pick on the little one's.

So all this lead to two shots of lovenox a day in my abs, and 4-6 months of cumiden. Many blood tests during the week for the first 3-4 weeks than at least 1-2 a month for the remainder of the cumiden. Plus a whole slew of things you can't eat many which happen to be my favourite, including sushi which I am just not ready to talk about yet. Anyways I'm fine and my leg is feeling better which means the clot is getting smaller, not ready to run a marathon but at least it no longer hurts to drive...sort of...okay it still hurts a little.


I bought a new precious shiny thing. Here's my story:

I was mulling around the grocery store minding my own business p’od that I just broke the carafe to my capp machine when low and behold I am buying milk and happen to look down to see the most beautiful coffee brewing system in the world. Senseodoesn’t even the name sound sexy? It’s one of those pod coffee makers that make the absolute most delicious cup of coffee, one at a time. And it had a coupon attached to it for two free bags of the pods…and came with one free bag on the inside…and…and it was marked down from $70 to $20. I cried, the machine and I wept together actually, I had finally found the absolute love of my life, and he had found an owner that would love him and use him every day until he was rusty. I bought it without hesitation, set it up and brewed the most breathtaking cup of coffee the world has ever known. Seriously I could cry at how beautiful the cup of coffee in my hand was. Sigh…I still have tears