Archive for the 'Desserts' Category

Happy Holidays

December 25th, 2009

Happy Holidays, everyone! This has definitely been a holiday to remember. Oklahoma City is shutdown today from a record breaking BLIZZARD. So, my boyfriend and I spent Christmas in our hotel hanging out with stranded travelers and making holiday truffles. It was like a hallmark Christmas movie. Everyone was milling about in the lobby of the hotel. One family brought a tree, and everyone helped decorate. Nobody could get to where they were going. So, everyone just spent Christmas wherever they were.

origami treeHere is our holiday origami tree. We never even left the building. The news was urging everyone to stay indoors. So, we stayed in and filmed the holiday truffle episode of the soon to be launched Punk Rawk Labs video podcast. This was the second episode we’ve filmed. I think it’s going to be a good one.




xmas dinner
Since we couldn’t leave the hotel, our Christmas dinner consisted of whatever we could make in our state of the art KITCHENETTE.

This is where culinary school is coming in handy. My boyfriend said it was so good that he wants to make it tomorrow too.

blizzard salad
It’s the ‘blizzard salad’. Kind of an asian spinach salad with chopped nuts (leftover from truffle prep).

dehydratorI’ve got my dehydrator going now too. So we’re rocking the KALE CHIPS (which incidentally was the first episode of the upcoming video podcast). It’s funny. We didn’t even exchange presents this year because of the economy. But this is a definitely a Christmas to remember! Hope you’re having a magical Christmas.


Level One Graduation

November 27th, 2009

Well…it’s official now. I’m a raw food chef certified by 105 DEGREES ACADEMY. Here is a picture of the menu I created for our graduation on Tuesday.

We actually went through a series of tests on Monday and Tuesday before we graduated. This was part of our ID test.

knife skills
We were also tested on our knife skills…

…here were my julienned carrots.

Aside from the testing, we spent most of Monday and Tuesday prepping our meals…

…for the coup de grace which was the creation of our own three course menu. Mine was:

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with hint of pear and maca spiced pecans

plated mush
Truffle Portabella and Pignoli Polenta with organic spinach and porcini cream

Pistachio Flan with pecan crust and pomegranate reduction

My entire family came to our dinner. I was shocked that my NEPHEW ate his entire raw pizza.

meya and papa
My niece guzzled this raspberry smoothie. She came over to sit with papa for better access.

The only sad part of the evening was saying goodbye to my classmates, Brad and ANN. (Elizabeth graduated a few days EARLY). Hopefully I’ll be crossing paths with these folks again soon.

the line
Now that I’m graduated, I’ll be working on the line with these folks (Gonzalo, JET, AND DONNIE) through December until Level Two (the professional chef series) starts in January. We’re gearing up for a big menu change on December 14th (the start of the winter menu). I’ll keep you posted on developments…



November 23rd, 2009

tres leches
Well, things are winding down, and we’re nearing the end. Today we had our written final. Tomorrow we present our menus for graduation. Everything comes full circle. This is the mango tres leches cake that I tried on my FIRST DAY of class.

We worked with partners for this one. I worked with the lovely Elizabeth.

making cake
We used the mixer to aerate the cake layer and make it fluffier. I actually don’t have one of these. But as luck would have it, my sisters does! So I’ll have to be experimenting with that while I’m here.

The cake turned out good, but I think I liked the restaurants version a little better. Our cake layer was a little too thick, I think. The cake layer had an interesting accent. It had a little sesame oil. It adds a nice depth in a thinner layer, but in a thick layer it’s a little overpowering. Still, I like the fluffy layer cake concept. I’ll be coming back to it.

biscottisWe also made biscottis. The recipe was for an espresso anise flavored biscotti. I substituted cacao for the espresso. Coffee wreaks all kinds of havoc on my digestive system. My boyfriend actually suggested to me recently that I should start carrying tea bags in my purse. TEA BAGS IN MY PURSE?! I haven’t fallen to the dark side yet. Carrying tea bags in your purse is like a gateway drug. Once you’re okay with that, it’s a downhill slide to carrying kleenex packs and wearing reinforced toe pantyhose under your sandals. I may not be the healthiest girl on the block, but I’m not THERE yet.

chocolate biscotti
Once we had a nice firm cookie, we made a chocolate ganache for dipping. This would be lovely with the CHAI we made last week. Well, wish me luck tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted…


Recipe Testing and Menu Planning

November 22nd, 2009

This week was all about planning our menus for our final. We were given a basic structure (first course, second course, and dessert). After that, it was the wild, wild west (I heard this phrase uttered a lot this week). This is probably the hardest time to be the teacher and the funnest time to be the student. Ladan and Chelsea seemed baffled at times by the issues that arose. Though admittedly, it was rather amusing to watch the whole thing play out.

corn and pom
At first, it’s a little overwhelming. No recipes? No parameters? What will I do? It’s interesting how when you just sit back and let things unfold, a natural order emerges. Chaos actually has a rather elegant structure. Things that are seemingly unrelated actually have a recurring theme. Mother nature actually went to great lengths to leave us some clues. Here’s one she left for me.

pom reduction
I spent a lot of time scraping seeds out of pomegranates to make this pomegranate reduction sauce.

marinated veggies
I’ll wait until tuesday to tell you what my menu is. But here is a sneak preview of some of my prep.

This was a first run of my entree. I think I’m on the right track, but I want to make a few improvements…

One of my classmates, Elizabeth, had to take her final early. So, we got a preview of the process.

She made the most amazing empanadas! She also made tostadas with ‘beans’ and ‘rice’.

mole ice cream
For dessert, she served cacao mole ice cream.

me and elizabeth
I was sad to see her go. We’ve had a wonderful experience together.


Chocolate Truffles

November 19th, 2009

I finally made something my nephew will eat! I was starting to get a bad reputation. Everything was so healthy looking that he wouldn’t even try it. So, it was time to bring out the big guns…chocolate truffles!

truffle miseThis is my mise en place for truffles: mesquite, almond, lavender, himalayan pink salt, goji, and maca. I laid them all out on parchment paper for easy cleanup. Ladan said it looked like a palette. The mesquite, almond, and maca powders were rolled all the way around. But the goji, lavendar, and salt truffles were sprinkled more sparingly on top.

This is the almond truffle, my nephew’s favorite.

salt truffle
Himalayan pink salt truffle.

truffle rows
Maybe I shouldn’t have written this post in the morning. Now I think I’m gonna have one for breakfast…


Strawberry Macaroons

August 17th, 2009

strawberry mac
This is another recipe I tried from my NEW ANI PHYO book. I’ve recently gotten really ADDICTED to the Matthew Kenney recipe.

macs and me
We drew some inspiration from those and added some chopped macadamia nuts to the recipe. Macaroons and mac nuts seem to go hand in hand. This was really tasty. I would recommend though if opting for this varation to also add a little coconut oil and extra strawberry sauce. You can’t go wrong with extra strawberries!


Chocolate Almond Raisin Bark

August 14th, 2009

This is the first recipe I tried from my NEW ANI PHYO BOOK. It was nice and easy.

wet bark
I pretty much just mixed up all the ingredients and threw it in the freezer. She recommends adding whatever you want to the mix. So I threw in raisins and almonds. She also recommended experimenting with cocoa butter. I did that too.

cold bark
I blended it for a long time with the intention of melting the cocoa butter all the way. I’m not sure if this contributed to the layers separating. But it ended up looking kind of interesting. Kind of an oreo effect…


Addicted to Macaroons

June 4th, 2009

macaroon shelf
Life is good. My boyfriend keeps making double batches of MACAROONS from EVERYDAY RAW!

va almond
We have vanilla almond flavor.

And the much loved chocolate ginger flavor.


cocotubs We are up to our ears in coconut, literally! My boyfriend went crazy and ordered three different kinds of dried coconut from TROPICAL TRADITIONS. One for every occasion. And they are SO GOOD for macaroons. We use the shredded coconut in the recipe mostly. With a few flakes. And then a little dab of flakes on top. The chips are excellent too. We don’t use them in the macaroons. But they are a lovely garnish for soups. Among other things.

Gotta run. We just inherited another GARDEN BED in our community garden. Much to do. Update soon…


Strawberry Chocolate Parfait

May 6th, 2009

This is another recipe from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. The recipe actually called for raspberries, but I made it more than once. And the strawberry picture turned out better. Either way, it’s really good.

ginger crumbles
The secret weapon in this recipe is these yummy ginger crumbles – made from macadamia nuts and ginger. YUM! I would have never thought of that…


Chocolate Ginger Macaroons

March 29th, 2009

My boyfriend made this lovely recipe from EVERYDAY RAW recently. Ordinarily, I would have tried to have a better picture than this. But unfortunately, these puppies never made it out of the dehydrator.

macaroon dough
I think I’m going to try to make some more tomorrow…