Archive for the '105 Degrees' Category

The Last Supper


March 22nd, 2010

the line
WOW. It’s hard to believe. Last night was our last SUNDAY SUPPER. This time, it was a collaboration of all the Level Two students…

level two
Here’s a picture of all of us (taken by RUSSELL). From left to right, we are: Hillary, yours truly, SONJA, and HELEN.

menu
Each of us drew a menu item out of a hat to determine which course we were assigned to.

amusebouche
Hillary drew the amuse bouche. She didn’t actually attend the supper, but LADAN served the bouche in her honor.

salad
Helen drew the appetizer. She made this beautiful hearts of romaine salad with herbed cheese and a citrus vinaigrette.

the don
Here she is making quenelles with Don scaring off mobsters in the background.

pasta
The entree was a pasta primavera by Sonja featuring linguine noodles cut to order. Apparently, Sonja gave herself a sore arm from cutting linguine noodles.

screw
Look at this weird zucchini screw that remained afterwards. I want one of those on my plate!

last supper
This picture of Sonja cracks me up. She kinda looks like she’s been hanging out at the BATES MOTEL, doesn’t she? Somebody has cut one too many zucchini noodles this evening…

shortcake
My course was the dessert…strawberry shortcake.

raspberry
Except for this one. There was one person who requested anything but strawberries. So, I made this one special.

Kinda sad, isn’t it? I hope I don’t start crying like a big baby on Friday. I’ll keep you posted…

oh PS! Dawn from HAPPY HEALTHY BALANCE posted a link to the first video of my UNCOOKING SHOW yesterday. She even wrote out the recipes with some ideas of her own. You should check it out. :)

date
 

The Countdown Begins


March 19th, 2010

null
I can’t believe I am going to graduate one week from today! Time flies. I am really going to miss this place, but I am READY and excited for what lies ahead. Speaking of which, I have BIG NEWS!! I started my own uncooking show, PUNK RAWK LABS TV! AND I just found out a few hours ago that it got picked up by ITUNES today!!! New opportunities await…

dance
As you might imagine, there is a lot of excitement/anticipation in the air these days. I caught a few action shots of HELEN and SONJA dancing on the line (before opening, of course). Did I mention that Helen used to perform on Broadway?! Her broadway moves are starting to rub off on people…

sunglasses
The level one class will also be graduating next friday. Here’s a funny picture I took today. It’s so bright and sunny in the classroom that they all wear sunglasses!

russell
Here’s a picture of RUSSELL taking a picture of me. Lots of picture taking and craziness this week. More updates to come…OH!! I should mention that this sunday is our last SUNDAY SUPPER, and it’s collaboration with all of the level two students. Come on by if you can.

date
 

Sunday Supper: Helen


March 17th, 2010

pakoras
Woah has time flown by! Helen HAS BEEN MY DATE for every sunday supper in the series. This week it was her turn! She did an East Indian theme, and WOW! It was wonderful. Her first course were these amazing pakoras with mango, cilantro, and tamarind chutneys.

pakora
Nobody could believe they were vegan and raw!

menu
If you know HELEN, you know that she thinks of everything down to the last detail. And I mean EVERYTHING. She designed her own menu for the evening and even scented them with incense.

wave
Here is a picture of me waving to Helen on my way in.

veggies
Her entree was curry vegetables, cucumber raita, and a black pepper pappadom.

rice
On the side was this amazing biryani with raisins and candied pistachios. I mean, just look at that!

flan
Dessert was a creme brulee with cardamom syrup and candied pistachios.

flan flecks
I love it when you can see vanilla flecks in dessert.

terrine
And if that weren’t enough, it was followed by this amazing terrine of coconut, pistachio, and ginger ice creams.

close up terrine
The layers were accented with a turkish apricot spread and garnished with a citrus saffron glaze.

ginger tea
She finished with this amazing ginger tea. It really hit the spot!

Helen’s meal was so successful!! Not only did her meal sell out, but it was attended by one of Oklahoma’s biggest celebrities…WAYNE COYNE!!! Can you believe that? I was so jealous. That is so punk rock!! Congratulations Helen!!

Sadly, this week will be the last Sunday Supper, but it will be a combined effort of all the students. I can’t believe how fast time has flown.

date
 

Artisanal Cheeses


March 14th, 2010

blue cheese
Ladan has been GOING CRAZY lately making the most amazing cheeses. Lucky for us, we had a special class last week on making artisanal cheeses.

italian
Look at this Italian flavored wheel she made last week for a special event.

white cheddar
White cheddar anyone?

herbed
Herbed cheese. This one is really creamy on the inside.

plate
This is one of the plates that went to the special event.

peppercrust
Here are a few of my experiments…This one is a pepper crust.

jal cheddar
I also made a jalapeno cheddar wheel. I think my boyfriend will like this one.

smoked
The smoked cheese seemed to go over well with my co-workers. I think I’m going to be continuing this experiment into my SHOP PROJECT next week…

date
 

Tostada Special


March 12th, 2010

tostada
This week, I ran another special…tostadas! They featured a corn tostada with spicy ‘beans’, salsa, and queso fresco with a quenelle of mango guacamole and mole sauce.

queso fresco
Thes secret ingredient was definitely the queso fresco which my instructor, LADAN, helped me with. She’s been developing ALL KINDS of fancy cheeses lately. This one was a macadamia nut cheese fermented with kefir (have I mentioned that I have developed quite the kefir addiction while being here) and dehydrated into a crumble.

tostada
It seems like they went over pretty well. They sold out right away. So, I offered them again the next day. I was really excited because my boyfriend was passing through town that day, and he actually got to try one of my dishes! He really liked it. He is going to be so happy when I come home with all these new recipes in my repertoire!

date
 

Shop Product: Sonya


March 7th, 2010

products
One of our project rotations here at school (one which I haven’t done yet), is to create a product to sell in the SHOP. Well, last week my classmate, SONJA, blew everyone away with her project. The challenge was to create a product and package it using only the materials we have at the restaurant, and this is what she came up with. AMAZING! The packaging is so beautiful and clever! Did I mention that Sonja went to art school with one of my ex-boyfriends?

coco bar
She actually made two version of this chocolate-coconut bar (one with almonds and one without). Here I have the coconut bar. There was also a line of rawlmond joys. Both of these went fast. She had a lot of trouble in production, actually. As soon as she would make a batch, someone would eat them.

cooling joys
Here is an action shot of the production process. The bars are all sold. Don’t tell anyone, but I have the last one. It’s hidden away in my fridge. I was waiting until my boyfriend got here (today) to eat it. We’ll have to keep an eye on SONYA’S PAGE to see if she puts these in production.

pizza bites
These pizza bites were also a big seller. It came with six bite size pizza bits. They were beautiful too. With a green layer and a red layer. YUM YUM.

granola
She also did two lines of granola bars. A blueberry-lime and a spicy curry. I definitely have a weak spot for the spicy curry. I think there actually might be one or two of these left.

last three
Here I am with Sonja (on the right) and HELEN (the same girls I had my picture with on the FIRST DAY). Oddly, they became my closest confidantes. Interesting coincidence…

date
 

Wine Pairing


March 5th, 2010

wines
Last week, we had a discussion about wine pairing. I actually don’t drink at all because I have a lot of trouble with my LIVER. But since this seemed an important topic, I tasted a little.

champagne
As with any party, we started with champagne.

baileyana
Then, we had with this lovely chardonnay and some mango.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

wine pairing
We also tried the mango with some reisling. I think I preferred the chardonnay. I’m generally not a big fan of riesling, but this one was nice.  Still, the chardonnay complemented the sweetness of the mango better.  (All this talk of wine is admittedly making me miss my wine tolerating days.   But I suppose ten years from now, I’ll appreciate their absence.  At least, that’s what I keep telling myself).

altaluna
This pinot grigio was excellent. Ladan thought it a nice all purpose wine for raw food. I agree.

bp wedge
The next pairing was my favorite. It was black pepper truffle cheese paired with pinot noir.

paraiso
YUM! I’ve always had a weak spot for pinot noir, and it was amazing with this cheese.

olives
Next, we tried some heartier wines with olives.

syrah
This one was nice too. Though I’m admittedly biased towards syrahs and pinot noirs.

zin
Zinfadels can be hit or miss with me, but this one was wonderful.

rose
Generally, I hate rose. It brings a bad association with White Zinfadel. But this one is actually nice. Maybe I should be more open minded.

port
The last wine we tried was a port. HELEN was gaga over the port. Me…not so much.

handout
All in all, the tasting was lovely. I think I had less than a half of glass of wine, but I definitely paid for it. Good thing I’m not an alcoholic. I don’t think I’d still be here. Regardless, I’m going to be including a lot of these wines in my repertoire (for service). HOORAY!

date
 

Sunday Supper: Hillary


March 3rd, 2010

saugsages
This week’s Sunday Supper was hosted by my classmate, Hillary. Her menu was a German theme. The first course was these little smoked portobella cocktail sausages with horseradish mustard.

menu
Here was the menu for the evening. Not entirely legible, but you get the idea.

cheeseplate
This wasn’t actually part of the menu, but HELEN and I got a little crazy. This was the CHEESE PLATE I’d had my eye on all week. We’ve actually made a sort of unofficial tradition of going to the Sunday Supper’s together. I’ll have to find another date next week when it’s Helen’s turn.

cabbage
The main course was cabbage stuffed with sweet and sour vegetables in a tomato consomme. Pretty.

crepe
My favorite part of the menu was dessert. It was an almond custard filled apple crepe with a port wine reduction sauce. Delicious.

date
 

Exotic Cheeses


March 2nd, 2010

assorted cheeses
When she’s not busy in the Academy, our Level II instructor (LADAN) doubles as the kitchen director. Last week, she developed some really exotic cheeses. If you are in Oklahoma City at dinnertime, you should definitely check out the cheese plate!

making cheese
Here is Ladan (well, her hand anyway) demonstrating her technique to me.

blue green cheese
The blue cheese is amazing with the candied walnuts.

plain cheese
This cheese looks like a plain. But pair it with some lavendar honey, and it’s a party in your mouth.

black pepper and truffle
Black pepper and truffle flavor. O. M. G!

herb
Mmm…herbs. You can’t go wrong.

assorted cheeses
And you know what the best part about them is? They’re good for your digestion (not like the other kind), AND they don’t cause ASTHMA attacks. This is a particularly attractive feature for SOMEONE like me.

date
 

Asian Station


March 1st, 2010

pho
Things have been heating up in the raw food kitchen here. I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time to post. So hopefully, the next few days will be a barrage of sorts. I just finished my rotation in the Asian station. Pictured here, is the pho (one of the top sellers in that station). It was my favorite dish when the new menu came out. I’ve been finding since being here that my favorite dish doesn’t seem to last long. It’s hard to stay committed in this environment.

kimchee dumplings
My nemesis on this station has definitely been the kimchee dumplings. I was definitely grumbling under my breath over these things. Here you can see my less than perfect dumplings. They’re persnickety little buggers.

dumpling
As the week progressed, I started to get into a flow with them. Once we accepted that we didn’t like each other, our relationship evolved.

coconut curry
The coconut curry is another hot seller on the Asian station (also a former favorite dish).

close up
On my last day, I was dubbed the ‘Dumpling Queen’ by Kelly Lee (the General Manager) here. She DID NOT like my nascent dumpling attempts, and she let me know. So, it was kind of nice to rise above the ashes of my dumpling failure and triumph. Well, at least it sounds good on paper.

date