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

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)

Image

 

 

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)

Image

 

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/)

Image

 

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

Image

 

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

Image

 

(all recipes found via pinterest)

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!

Image

donuts and downton

Image

Image

football food

Image 

homework

Image

to-do pile

Image

cinder kitten 

Image

sissy hiding

Image

my pick

Image

mint juleps

Image

practice recipe

something i love

i have always had a fondness for awesome, unique, pub-style bars to go eat and drink. one of my favorites is in downtown edmonton, called mercer tavern. the building itself is a 100-year old warehouse that has now been transformed into a functional space housing numerous business’ and maintains the beauty of the original building. among them, a digital arts college, a barber shop, a flower shop, and a fantastic tavern.

Image

one of my best friends, s, goes to school at guru digital arts college and we’ve given ourselves the personal challenge of trying all the beer they have before she finishes school. i think we are completely capable!

Image

so far all of the food I’ve had, from the caprese salad to the nachos to the fish and chips have all been amazing! the atmosphere and décor highlight the “warehouse feel”, while still being comfortable. if you’re ever in the area and want a classy, yet awesome time, i highly recommend mercer! (mercertavern.com)

ImageImage

at school i learned…

the last few days at school we’ve been focusing on how to highlight specific flavors, what flavors will work together, what will not, and how to achieve complex combinations. we’ve spend a lot of time tasting ordinary ingredients, everything from chocolate to cinnamon to raw onions and bacon, trying to understand what makes up their flavor, and how it can be changed.

one assignment that i really enjoyed was making sauces. we used simple ingredients in different amounts to try and achieve something beyond a basic pasta sauce or spring roll sauce. it is really interesting to me how the twelve people in my class can be split into teams, and come up with such different versions of the same basic concept.

Image

today we had our first assessment in the cold kitchen. we all were given a piece of pork tenderloin, two hours, any ingredients we wanted, except for lemon/lime, vinegar and salt/pepper, and the challenge of creating a dish that had awesome, dynamic flavor. it was kind of like the worst episode of chopped ever! lol. some really great, and some not so great dishes were presented. my favorites were the breaded, schnitzel-like dishes…way better, and completely different than what i made of corse!  i made a spicy orange pork and leek stir-fry. i got a “very good” from the chef…we will see what that translates into grades wise.

Image

the last kind of on-going project that we’re working on in class is lard sculptures! yes, exactly as it sounds. lard. we were given any material we wanted to build the structure…coat hangers, chicken wire, doweling, styrofoam…anything…and we had to some up with something to cover in lard. the whole concept is very bizarre at first, but just like anything else, the further you get into it, the more normal it becomes. my friend amanda and i wanted to do something that had a lot of movement so we decided on a squid-kracken creature. ive reached the point of normalcy in the statement “im making the kracken out of lard”.

ImageImage

not only has the lard sculpting portion of my day become normal, but also the whole culinary school experience, at least to this point. i’ve become comfortable in the environment, with the people, the uniform, the tools, and even the early mornings (which I have down to an exact science, lol). as soon as I started seriously considering going to culinary school, it made complete sense for the type of person and learner that I am, but it has only recently started to feel real, and like i fit there. It’s kinda exciting!