Learn and practice

I learned a lot in school, yes, compared to what I know and thought I know 6 months ago. I learned to properly hold a knife, learned what are the mother sauces, learned to baked classic genoise and many other cooking terms that I still have a hard time pronouncing. But to put everything I read in the book, chapter by chapter, that I have some issues on. Who doesn’t? It seems very tough when you have so many things to read and then for some reason it doesn’t stick to your brain. It only stick through hands-on, at least for me.

I know that I have been very lazy to try the recipes we cooked at school. I kind of tried to make espagnole, the base for my brown gravy, but it turned out really bad. I think I put a lot of flour in it. If I remembered correctly, the only thing I seriously try to make this semester was chocolate chip cookie. And that wasn’t great. A 10 year old can make better than that.

Soup and Sauce is a very interesting class, Baking basics is my favorite although I hate kneading and whisking, Purchasing class is a must in every aspiring chef. I may put a lot of time in Purchasing because of its math content but that doesn’t mean I favor to learn one than the other. But these classes aren’t easy as I thought. It takes a lot of courage, discipline and patience to survive on these class. I really need to practice. Practice is learning.

A day in Lincoln Nebraska

This is my first time to visit Lincoln, Nebraska. If it wasn’t for Purchasing class -Sysco tour, I may forgot that this place existed. Lincoln is the capital city of Nebraska but the city is smaller than Omaha. It is the home of university’s football team, Nebraska Cornhuskers, which I couldn’t care less.

My husband took a vacation so that he can drive me to Lincoln. I don’t trust myself driving that far and I’m scared that I will get lost in the middle of nowhere. After the 3 hour tour, my husband bought pizza at Valentino’s. I didn’t eat because I already eat my lunch in Sysco. We both decided to stay for awhile and stroll around the city. I’m glad we did because there are a lot of beautiful tourist attractions in Lincoln. My favorite spot there is the University of Lincoln Nebraska. It is very big and wide. The school buildings are old and have very beautiful architecture. I didn’t have the chance to take picture of the school because we were driving but we stopped for a minute and took picture of a ring formed sculpture of some sort. Our second stop is in Pioneer’s park nature center. I would say this park is the most beautiful public park I’ve been to so far. Most of the pictures above are from there. It is only 6 miles away from the city and the trip is worth it. The place is very huge and there are so many things to do and go. We stopped in the Nature Center where they have this children’s museum and old little prairie houses. And for the first time, I saw a real buffalo. God, they are so gigantic and hairy (and did I say yummy?lol)

It was a long and short day in Lincoln. Long because of the tour and short because I want to visit more places other than parks. I also want to eat at one of the local restaurants and maybe stay there for a day or two.

The seeds and the hint of spring

It’s already spring but it still feels like winter. You really can’t trust Nebraska weather. Sometimes we hit 70 degrees and then tomorrow we have snow. Really unpredictable. The thing that sucks is that I don’t wear my coat anymore. So everytime I go home from work, I’m all freeze out.

Just this late afternoon I decided to plant my vegetable seeds in the small cardboard pots. It was nice to stay outside with its 60 degree weather. I don’t want to waste this beautiful day. The reason why I put my seeds in the small pots is that I haven’t build my raised bed garden yet. Well, I’m just waiting for my husband to build it. We’re going to use used woods we found in our shed. Speaking of our shed, last Sunday, when we were cleaning it, we found a dead cat under the table. I found it first. I thought I saw a stuffed toy covered with dust, but when I looked closely, it was a dead cat! I freaked out so hard I ran and didn’t come back. I hate and I’m scared of cats. It also looks so creepy. My husband said that he saw whiskers and the cat doesn’t have a stomach. Maybe it’s been there for who knows how many years. I think that the cat was locked and starved to death. I really don’t want to know, I just want that corpse out of our shed. Anyhow, I’m going to drop most of the stuff we found in our shed into recycle area (definitely not the dead cat).

I hope that this weather will be better soon. And I hope that there is no snow coming. I want to see the spring sprung, literally.

Mango Smoothie

My job and my studies has been quite challenging lately. I need a break and that break lead me to make mango smoothie for myself. There is something in smoothies that makes me relax. Although its cold outside, it didn’t stop me from making and drinking it. But this is perfect when its very hot and humid out. I remember eating this when I was in the Philippines. We call smoothie “shake”, like mango shake or banana shake. I’m not sure why we call it shake, but who cares. It’s delicious and so refreshing!

I’m not sure with the term drinking because I don’t really drink it. I used spoon instead of a straw. I know its weird but I like it that way.

2 mango
half can condensed milk
1 cup milk
4 Tbsp granulated sugar
crushed ice

Beef Yakitori (beef trimmings)

With this unpredictable cold weather, I thought that grilling outside would help my cravings for grilled barbecue beef eased a little. And it did. I asked my husband to grill this delicious looking beef trimmings I got from Wal-mart (yes, wal-mart, don’t asked). When I first saw the beef, I thought of marinating it, put it on the skewer and grill it. Just like yakitori. I never have an actual yakitori, but I heard that it’s like anything skewerd in general, may it be poultry, meat or vegetables. It’s like asian version of kabob. So yes, even though my husband doesn’t want to grill because other than he hates the weather, he also hates our cheap charcoal grill. He can’t wait to get rid of it and buy a new bigger one. I can’t agree more.

The taste was good especially if you pair it with rice and a side or spicy hot soy sauce. My husband didn’t like it though, not because he thinks that beef trimmings are gross but because of the charcoal-ish flavor. As usual, I feel the opposite way. I love it. I may not share the recipe here because it’s just basically anything you want to put. I marinate it with soy sauce, vinegar, pepper, garlic and onion powder, and sugar for 3 hours and then screw it and grill it. While grilling, brush it with a mixture of oyster, chili and soy sauce (not enough sodium, eh?) I like salty food but I don’t eat this kind of food often because I’m watching what I eat now (finally).

Chocolate cookies

My first ever chocolate chip cookies I baked. I’m proud. I don’t really have any interest of baking cookies because I thought that it’s so easy to make, and yes, I was right, it was easy and fun to make (it was too easy that it was fun. Sort of). I am really starting to like baking.

9 oz butter
7 oz  white sugar
7 oz brown sugar
4 1/2  oz eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
15 oz all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
7 oz chip
creaming method. mix sugar and butter. use mixer.
add eggs, vanilla, all purpose flour and baking soda. don’t over mix
add the chip.
scoop and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degree.

project le jardin

Today is the first day of setting up my soon to be vegetable garden. I’ve been thinking about planting vegetables since we moved in to our new house last year but I didn’t have the chance. But this year I will make sure that this plan or project of mine will be fruitful and hopefully successful.

So I set up a schedule that every Monday it will be a Garden Day. Well, its my day off that’s why I have the luxury to actually do something productive aside from cleaning the house and doing the laundry. It is something to look forward to and something to accomplish besides school and work. It’s basically serve like a self outlet for me. Just like cooking, planting also relaxes me down and it’s also a hobby of mine that was long forgotten. But I’m taking it back and give myself a chance to show that I can finish something I started. I guess by sharing this, I am now accountable. I shared this on purpose.

Let’s see whose gonna eat fresh and sweet strawberries by the end of summer?