Category Archives: Sweet Things


The holidays have come and gone, and for that matter, so has the year. I finally undressed my Christmas tree. It’s limp limbs are far beyond dehydrated – they’re as crisp and dry as Melba toast.

I was on hiatus from the blog for a while – surely you understand how crazy it gets during the holidays – but I can make up with a recap:

Thanksgiving was truly a feast of family and food: rib roast, stuffed chicken, gnocchi, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, bread rolls, spiced nuts, gougeres, poached pears, almond lace cookies, chocolate pecan pie, pineapple pie, apple tart, and a partridge in a pear tree. The table that supported the buffet groaned as much as our stomachs after dinner. Here’s a taste…





pecan2Oh, and yes, how could I forget. There was An Accident. When it was time for dessert I went to unmold my carefully assembled tarte aux pommes. Since it was a false-bottom tart ring I insisted on doing it myself. I lifted the tart up and the bottom betrayed me. Or maybe it was the butter in the crust. Regardless, bottom or butter, I gently pushed up the tart only to have it slide and then fly right off the mold, above the table, past the edge, and down the side, to its final, catastrophic resting place: the hard, cold floor. Face down. I crawled under the table to see if a rescue was possible, but it was beyond rescue. So sad.



tart3Christmas was I regret to inform you, disappointing. I tried my darnedest to get into the spirit, with carols and twinkle lights, but to no avail. It was just the mister and me and we wound up dining with friends. The stuffed chickens made an encore, along with a chocolate sandwich cookies and a croquembouche, but even a mountain of éclairs couldn’t make up for the fact that we were away from family.
croqueSanta did pull through, though, which was a huge comfort. I am now the proud owner of a 2-quart ice cream maker. I’ve already made double-chocolate hazelnut, and there will be lots more to come… Cream cheese and guava…Key lime pie…pineapple caramel swirl… bananas Foster… chocolate and peppermint marshmallow… If he brings me a deep-fat fryer next year my arsenal will be complete!


I made an apple tart on Thursday and I felt a whole lot better about everything. Apple tarts are very soothing. They should change that well-known saying to “An apple tart a day keeps the doctor way.” Also, I’ve been interning at a catering company and worked my first event on Saturday night – all went smoothly and I have thus regained some confidence. Perfect timing, too, as I was swimming much too close to the deep end.

In other news, some of my classmates’ true colors have begun to shine through and they are not very flattering hues. Stereotypical tempestuous chefs in the making! Beware! Part of today’s assignment was to make fresh noodles certain pasta machines weren’t cooperating. One guy took this inanimate object’s offense quite personally and he became quite violent with it. One second the thing was attached to the counter and the next it was on the floor while its crank was in the hand of the raging perpetrator. Dismembered kitchen appliances. Oh the horror!

Speaking of horrors… The fish du jour was flounder and there were a couple extra leftover at the end of class so my partner was charged with filleting one of them. I was standing by and the gutting was going on as normal when all of a sudden a rather outsized “gut” was pulled out. It was quite unusual – larger than an egg sac and firmer. Filled with morbid curiosity, I asked my partner to “Just cut the thing open! Let’s see what’s inside!” It was the fish’s final repast! It was an actual whole fish inside the flounder! Like a man condemned to death, it had devoured one last meal! It was grotesque, now that I think about it. Too bad I didn’t have my camera today. I would have loved to share the gore with you.



Our culinary curriculum allowed us a few days of pastry and I loved it oh-so-much. Various times I caught myself staring distractedly at the doughs and creams we whipped up wondering, “Did I make the right decision by going culinary rather than pastry?” Don’t think I’m flaky — no pun intended! — it’s just that pastry is a very methodical art and I find the exactness of the process incredibly soothing and gratifying.

We made pâte feuilletée, numerous sweet and savory soufflés, fritters, mousse, cream puffs… Admittedly, I overindulged and was craving lamb shank and ribeye on soufflé day, but still, pastry was glorious. Here are a few photos of what I made:






Oh. My. God. I am tired. Exhausted. Fatigued. Cansadísima.
I started an internship – or “stage,” if we are to utilize the correct mot français– on Thursday night, at a chichi French eatery. Having been treated to a special birthday lunch there by the mister, it was my first choice when it came time to apply for an internship. It is magnifique! The food is très délicieux! A splendid treat for the eyes and palate! And of course, working there is nothing at all like dining there.

There is no chef, nor sous-chef, there at the moment, the former having departed to start his own chichi place and the latter – not sure, but the point is he’s not there anymore. In a way, this is good because I’ll probably get to do more than peel potatoes. Even with no one at the helm the menu remains intact and the dishes continue to amaze and delight but at the same time, the disorder is perceptible, even to a novice.

I decided to do a double-shift on Saturday, which meant a 16-hour day. It was too much, but my reasoning was that I should be there early to do some prep work and stay late to experience the dinner rush. Now I see that my reasoning was folly, but now I feel like I can’t back out. I don’t like to be that person who says “I’m tired, I can’t do this.” So I have to suck it up, right? I can do it, right? Right?

I made crêpes Suzette and beignets aux pommes (apple fritters) today and they scrumdiddilyumptuous!