Tuesday, April 24, 2012


A few weeks ago Carla and I had the amazing opportunity (thank you Mom and Dad) to embark on our first cruise with the family. We sailed out of New Orleans with stops at Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. We didn't really know what to expect going into it but we came away very much impressed with the entire experience. Some of the highlights included:

  •  Food - endless amounts of delicious food. Both buffett and plated options. One night we even had unlimited Lobster tails!
  • Weather - Always warm, never too hot, plenty of sun.
  • Entertainment - shows every night, various trivia contests, a climbing wall, and I even played in a 3 v 3 basketball tournament with the bros. We were bounced in the elite 8.
  • River Rafting - we all either kayaked or boogy boarded down a river in Jamaica through the rapids. 
One thing I would say about the cruise is that you definitely forget that you are on a ship in the middle of the ocean. The interior of the ship feels like you are in a mall. or a restaurant, or a casino.  There is even a sports bar, Irish pub, video arcade, dance club, and many more things on board. If you ever have the opportunity to go cruising, I would highly recommend. It is not just for the retired folks.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My last Advanced Patisserie Techniques projects

The last section of my last class was all about chocolate and candies.  I didn't realize how hard it would be to be a chocolatier or a candy maker.

 We made 6 different candies and chocolates and had to arrange them on this mirror however we wanted and I chose this kinda crazy pattern.

On the mirror:
Raspberry & Peach Gelee
Pfeffermintzalers (Peppermint Patties)
Peanut Brittle
Walnut Fudge
Chocolate Covered Caramels
Spicy Truffles (Cinnamon and Cayenne flavored)

Here is my chocolate showpiece.  Our instructor provided us with a model and we had to recreate it.  The whole thing is chocolate, even the "granite" base.  There are a bunch of techniques that we used on this showpiece.  My favorite components are the stacked spheres, the flowers and the butterfly!  I really enjoyed working on this project.  But like the other projects this one was just as stressful (if not more so), with a time limit and having to walk it across the room to our presentation table. Fortunately, I got it to the table without it falling apart! Yay!!

This was my second to last class.  I started my last class (before I go off to my internship) this week. It is called Centerpiece and Cake Decoration Techniques.  So far it has been going pretty well.  I'm kinda nervous about it because our final project will be a sugar showpiece, which I think is going to be way harder than the chocolate showpiece. 

Outside of school, life has been great!  We've been able to spend time with family and travel lately.  I'll let Eric blog about that. :)

Here are the cookies Eric and I made for my aunt's 65th birthday party.

My aunt likes to golf.
She has a weiner dog named Karlo.
She likes the color purple.
 I think Eric did a great job!! :)  I couldn't have finished them all without his help!