Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Decorating

So as I write this, I'm catching up on some Top Chef.  This particular episode has been pretty cool because they've talked about stuff I've learned in school (Escoffier, mother sauces, roux, genoise...) AND they're using a Cordon Bleu campus as their home base. :) 

I didn't think we'd get to decorate for Christmas, since we left our Christmas bin back in Kent, but we did! 

Now I gotta review for my final! :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving, School & Portland

Stick your butt out!
It was supposed to be a touch football game...

We got to spend Thanksgiving with both families.  It was good to see them! 

This picture is of us and a few of our cousins.  This wasn't even the silliest thing we ended up doing on Thanksgiving. 

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we got some friends together to play some football.  The weather held out for us and it turned out to be a good day for it. 


School Stuff

We got to grind our own wheat and made our own sourdough bread starter.  My teacher referred to our starter as our "babies" because we had to feed it every few hours.  One night I had to get up at 2am to feed the thing!  There are a couple cool things about sourdough starter: 1) the starter can live forever as long as you take care of it and 2) the sourdough bread you make from it totally depends on where you live (sourdough starter made in OR can taste one way, but once you move it somewhere else it will taste differently over time because of the wild yeast found in the air in the new place)

We made donuts in class.  They were delicious!  We also had to come up with our own original bread formula.  I decided to do an orange cranberry cardamom boule.  It turned out pretty well! 

We started our vienoiserie portion of class.  It has been really interested learning about how puff pastries are made.  All of the products below were made with puff pastry. 
Cheese straws
Palmiers ("palm tree" - they are supposed to look like palm fronds)

Cream horns (without the cream)

Pithivier (puff pastry with almond cream filling)
I need to work on the shaping; don't worry, I get to try this again for my next practical.

Vol Au Vent (loosely translated "Flying in the Wind")
Bouchee ("of the mouth" - small puff pastry cups filled with pastry cream and fruit)

a traditional Napoleon

Life in Portland

Portland has been pretty good.  We're both keeping busy with work and school.  Thanksgiving time was pretty busy at Finales (the bakery I work at).  I have never seen so much pie dough, pie shells, pie filling and completed pies in my life.  I got to practice fluting pies...a lot of them, good thing I like doing it. :) 

Eric has been doing pretty well.  He has stayed healthy even though I had a cold for about a week and a half. He's even found some time to golf!

We recently went down to the Milwaukie area of Portland to see Jo Koy (a comedian) at the Aladdin Theater.  The show was HILARIOUS!  We would totally recommend seeing him if you have a chance. 

We're continuing to explore the city and getting comfortable with our new stomping grounds.  It has been a fun adventure for us so far!