Monday, February 28, 2011

Thank You Note

Dear CCAA,

Thank you for sending a second set of referrals in the month of February. The surprise batch of matches last week caught us all off guard and much to our delight you pushed us even further into June 2006. With the previous set of referrals arriving February 2nd, a 22-day span between matches is fantastic!

Our family has an LID of 7/6/06 so if you don''t mind, could you continue to send matches in either really close spans or really big batches? Your call. Either one is just fine with me. Oh, and also, if it isn't too much trouble could you make sure to include 7/6, 7/14, and 7/22 in the same set of matches?

Thanks so much!

The Pickle Family

Thursday, February 10, 2011

12/30 ArtChallenge: Most Recent Accomplishment

***IMPORTANT NOTICE: My laptop met a glass of white wine in the most unfortunate of ways. She is currently at Betty Ford Apple getting a tune-up. Until she is released, we are going to put the ArtChallenge project on hold.***

After five months of working at 5 Corners Kitchen the Chef/Owner offered to make me the Pastry Chef. While he likes to call me that, it makes me uncomfortable considering how little restaurant experience I have. It is a great gig because I can come in while my kids are at school and I don't have to do nights. 

He has been encouraging me to come up with my own ideas for desserts and the one thing that has been nagging at me is cheesecake. It is a dessert loved by many, it can change with the seasons, and is actually best when made in advance. 

So a few weeks ago I set off on my own to develop a winter cheesecake to put on the menu. My first thought was to do a chai and blood orange cheesecake. In the end I just used the cardamom spice from the Chai blend. 

All said and done, I created a cardamom cheesecake with a ginger almond crust and a blood orange cranberry topping with candied blood orange peel. The day it was ready the Chef was absent most of the day with a family emergency so the Sous Chef, the line cooks, and I all tasted it. It was well received all around but the deciding factor would be the Chef himself. 

He arrived just as I was about to leave. I quickly ran to plate a slice with all the toppings and presented it to him. He was impressed with the presentation so things started off well.

After he took a bite, these were his words.

"That is delicious. Wow. That is really good. I wouldn't change a thing and I will proudly put this on the menu here at the restaurant. I want to serve it tonight"

My response:

"OMG. Thank you so much. Oh Shit I didn't make enough sauce for service."

But a week later it became a staple on the menu and there is enough sauce for everyone.

I am very proud of the Cardamom Marscapone Cheesecake with Ginger Almond Crust served with a Cranberry Blood Orange Sauce and Candied Blood Orange Peel I created all on my own, that now resides on the menu at a highly acclaimed restaurant.

Don't forget to visit the other half of my daughter, SweetPea, and her art can be found here: SweetPea Prose

Thursday, February 03, 2011

5/30 ArtChallenge: Best Friend

The person I first want to call with exciting news.
The person I want to make me feel better when I am down.
The person with whom I want to see the world.
I am so thankful he is my husband.

Don't forget to visit the other half of my daughter, SweetPea, and her art can be found here: SweetPea Prose

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

4/30 ArtChallenge: Favorite Place

Parisian Balconies.

This was taken from ours last July. 
I adored the setting sun bouncing off the buildings across the street. 
We would sit after dinner out here and read or I'd sit here and wait for SJ to come home from a late work dinner. We watched the world go by from here. Families returning from late dinners in the evenings. People running errands during the day. We were blessed with a traveling accordion player one morning who filled the streets with old-time Parisian favorites.

Don't forget to visit the other half of my daughter, SweetPea, and her art can be found here: SweetPea Prose

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

3/30 ArtChallenge: Favorite Food

If you know me, you'll understand when I say picking my favorite food is a wee bit difficult. But really, could anyone resist this breakfast? While it may look staged, this really was a tray of breakfast I carried in from our Parisian kitchen last summer. The kids were waiting at the sun-drenched dining room table, which sat in front of open floor-to-ceiling balcony windows. It was all so dreamy...and yummy.

Don't forget to visit the other half of my daughter, SweetPea, and her art can be found here: SweetPea Prose