caffeine fix

anyone that knows me knows that I am made of mostly caffeine and hairspray, and I have managed to find a way to make sure i have a direct line to one of those things at all times. for my love of tea, not only am i always drinking tea, but i also work at DavidsTea! i have had various retail-style jobs in my working life, but Davids is a whole other kind of experience. aside from making sure they are providing delicious, quality tea, Davids is also a fun, creative, and friendly environment for customers and staff, and i just love it!

one kind of amazing thing that Davids has done is their recipe page on their website! its super cool cuz they’ve made some really great tea-based recipes for things other than hot/cold drinks! check it out – http://www.davidstea.com/recipes

one of my personal favorite things to do with teas is mix them! Davids has caught onto this little staff secret and come out with some sets of teas that can be mixed to create more flavors! if you ever get a chance, may i suggest…

Blueberry Jam + Birthday Cake = Blueberry Pancakes!    

Birthday Cake + Coffee Puerh = Tiramisu!      

Super Ginger + Buddhas Blend = Ginger Peach    

And my personal favorite right now, maybe even of all time, is Cranberry Pear + Vanilla Rooibos = Cream Soda!

 

the cream soda combination does come already weighted out and ready to go, as well as other awesome combinations that are all delicious!

http://www.davidstea.com/cream-soda-perfect-match?&TF=&DEID

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found recipe monday

I wanted to share three awesome looking pesto recipes!

classic basil pesto

(http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/crispy-gnocchi-with-basil-pesto/#_a5y_p=1300443)

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avocado pesto

(http://detoxinista.com/2012/07/avocado-pesto-sauce-nut-free-vegan/)

 cilantro lime pesto

(http://practical-stewardship.com/2012/04/25/cilantro-lime-pesto-recipe-black-bean-burrito-recipe/)

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school saturday

im completely in love with school! im loving the people and what i get to do everyday!

im almost used to having only one class for three weeks, and then taking on a new one. after spending five years at the u of a, and grant macewan university, id gotten used to having more than one course to pay attention to at a time. nait is organized to focus one course at a time, and then move onto the next. not only has it made my days very intense, but they also kind of blur together! instead of spending four months in a specific class, each one is condensed into just under a month. each day is about five and half hours of class, with a break, and a lot of learning!

the sanitation class that all culinary students at nait have to take, is the only one that lasts all semester, but is only once a week. the second class that I took was the cold kitchen class, involving garnishing, salads, sandwiches, and presentation. i finished that just over a week ago and, i learned more than i thought i ever would about cheese, and garnishing and buffet presentation than i every thought possible, and it is all fascinating! lol

more than learning about the actual cooking part, i learned that i think i can do this whole cooking school thing. at the beginning of this specific lab, i was a little worried just because the instructor seemed to be a little intimidating, but we finished on a really good note and i am happy with how the class went. 

the lab that I am in now is soups, starches and vegetables, and it is intense! our instructor is quite nice and helpful for the most part. the only thing that i get frustrated about is how disorganized he seems. i like to try and stay as organized as possible and multitask but its hard when the person teaching you doesn’t always seem to know what he wants. but i am quickly learning that culinary school really has nothing to do with what i think, and more about what the instructors think. im learning, its frustrating some days but overall i am very happy with my decision to go to culinary school…for another week at least!  

something i love

i’m fairly certain than almost everyone has heard of etsy now, and if you don’t already know how awesome it is, let me tell you…it is amazing! i’ve bought a few things from different shops now and it has become my favorite place to find unique and interesting things.

i recently bought three gold hammered rings that I love! they’re super thin and i love how delicate they look!

(https://www.etsy.com/listing/178523760/set-of-3-16g-thick-14k-yellow-gold-fill?ref=listing-shop-header-3)

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i also bought a vintage cigarette case-wallet that i am not so patiently waiting for! i’m super excited!

(https://www.etsy.com/listing/95730001/beware-pickpockets-metal-wallet-vintage?ref=shop_home_active_20)

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make sure to go and check out both of these shops!

 

found recipe monday

on saturday night my family went to the red deer symphony. we’ve been going to the symphony for as long as i can remember, and we’ve started going in red deer because it is closer to where my grandpa lives. we went to this little family-run restaurant and i had the most amazing ravioli and i wanted to find some more tasty-sounding recipes to share this week.

i will also try and be more diligent with posting throughout the rest of the week, now that reading week is over and school is back to normal!

first, is chicken alfredo ravioli (http://www.restlesschipotle.com/2012/08/chicken-alfredo-ravioli/)

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next, is chicken and cheese ravioli (http://www.recipe.com/easy-cheesy-chicken-ravioli/)

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and lastly, and probably most amazingly. toasted ravioli! (http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2013/06/toasted-ravioli-recipe/)

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(all recipes found via pinterest)

found recipe monday

although i am not the hugest fan of valentines day, but I am a huge fan of the day after valentines day, which is the day that all of the valentines treats go on sale! Lol in the spirit of delicious treats for this found recipe monday i wanted to share three candy recipes that i would like to try!

first, these caramels have are salted, and have beer in the recipe…enough said.  (http://www.vegetarianventures.com/2013/11/25/milk-stout-sea-salt-caramels/#.UvLwCf16clJ)

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next, turtles, because, why not… (http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca/2011/12/turtle-candies-christmas-wish.html)

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and lastly, orange chocolate bark, because orange and chocolate are the perfect combination! (http://cakemerchant.com/2012/12/31/chocolate-orange-bark/)

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(all recipes found via pinterest)

 

lard sculpture and vegetable flowers

a major part of the cold kitchen lab that i am in right now is learning how to properly garnish and present an appetizing plate. i’m really enjoying this part of our class because i like putting beauty and detail into the, relatively simple foods we’re creating. it also doesn’t hurt that our instructor gives out prizes for the best plates, and ive won a fancy melon baller, a pair of tongs, and a new whisk! here is some photos of the vegetable flowers that i made on monday, and the lard-kracken sculpture that we finished yesterday! 

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i’m pretty happy that we’ve finished this project…its very tedious and time consuming, and i don’t really have the attention it requires. the lard itself has a really low melting point, so any extra heat, in the room, or from your hands, makes it very pliable and sticky. it seems like a fairly easy task, but after about 10 hours of work it gets quite frustrating!

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i really enjoyed making these flowers! i liked finding different vegetables with pops of colour to create flowers. i spent about three hours making this arrangement and it was one of my favourite assignments we’ve had to produce. 

weekend in photos

these are some random photos from this weekend…in case you didn’t know, it is superbowl weekend, which is awesome! i LOVE football and even though the teams I cheer for didn’t make it this year, I still love watching the game. the rest of the weekend was spent working, doing homework, practicing a recipe for school and watching downton abbey!

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donuts and downton

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football food

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homework

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to-do pile

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cinder kitten 

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sissy hiding

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my pick

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mint juleps

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practice recipe

brie adventure!

as, promised, the outcome of my adventure into the land of brie!

not only did we get to make a dish with brie, but we got to make the actual cheese! the whole process of making cheese is actually really interesting to me. we’ve made mozzarella, ricotta, yogurt, lemon cheese, mascarpone, and now brie. the whole scientific procedure of how to turn milk into something completely different is so cool!

while cooking today, i kinda decided last minute to make up my own recipe. everyone in my class liked it, the only criticism that i got was that it was a wee bit spicy, and it could have used more moisture. i agreed with the moisture, a little splash of some good-semi sweet balsamic vinegar would have been perfect! the time constraint kinda took me by surprise today.

with all of the little cooking challenges that we’ve been doing, it makes me feel like im on pretend episodes of chopped! which i would love anyway, so Im pretty much loving this component to our lab!

 

 

the recipe that I used, or made up goes something kinda like this….

(I made enough for 16 pieces of bread, you can obviously make more or less)

8 round pieces sliced, hard-crust bread (to be halved)

1 apple, diced ¼ inch

1 pear, diced ¼ inch

½ jalapeno pepper, minced fine

1 whole green onion, sliced fine

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

½ tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp olive oil

½ small wheel of brie, enough for ¼ inch strips for 16 pieces of bread

 

in a small pan, heat up the oil, apple, cinnamon cayenne, jalapeno, and half of the chopped onion. let the apples get coated in the oil, and let the mixture cook just until the apples are soft. (if you don’t want it as spicy, use less cayenne, and jalapeno)

transfer the apple mixture into a bowl.

in the bowl, add the pear, the rest of the onions and stir gently to mix everything evenly.

with the rounds of sliced bread, cut in half, however you want. i made mine into oblong triangle shapes.

spoon about 1 – 1 ½ tbsp of the apple/pear mixture onto the bread.

slice the brie into long thin strips and place ontop of the apple/pear mixture.

bake under the broiler until the cheese starts to melt – about 5-6 minutes.

sprinkle with a few drops each, of good balsamic vinegar.

enjoy!

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found recipe monday…kinda

i kinda failed at finding recipes yesterday for found recipe monday, but coincidentally today at school, we were given the challenge of finding a recipe that we want to make that has brie in it! so, these are the two recipes that im taking to school with me tomorrow, and ill have to make one, or a version of, and present it…and ill let you know how it goes!

first, is brie stuffed mushrooms (http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Mushrooms-Stuffed-with-Brie-The-Pioneer-Woman-Cooks-_-Ree-Drummond-41315)

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second is leek and brie bruschetta (http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Leek-and-Brie-Bruschetta-Martha-Stewart-191332)

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(both recipes were found via yummly)