Seven Day Scramble…April 17, 2011

Dear Lord, I am exhausted.

Exhausted in the best possible way, though. Elated.  Exhaustion from elation in some kind of wonderful.image

I spent the past week immersed in all things culinary, taking a World Cuisine Bootcamp at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, New York. I knew it was going to be a beautiful place – seriously, look at the photos – but I never imagined it like it was.  Gorgeous campus. (My classes were on the lower level of the Italian Villa there in that picture)Amazing dining. Kitchens upon kitchens outfitted with ovens and grills and mixers galore that one can only dream about.  Heck, even the student dining room was full on gourmet.  One morning I had brioche French toast topped with warm caramel sauce and whipped cream.  They threw on a side of bacon as big as my arm to round it all out.  Ridiculousness on a plate. The Student. Dining. Room.

Good Lord.

As for my class – it was something I will never forget.  Chef Dave Bruno led our class of 11 students, who ranged from my new friend Ale (Alexandra) from Mexico, a young 20-something banker who tops the scales at maybe 90 pounds, to Pam, a high school Culinary Arts suswok2bwteacher that held my hand through the week when it came to things like tzatziki and harissa.  I met so many wonderful people in the class, and made great friends.  One you will be meeting here in the upcoming weeks – Lauren, who is an extern at the C.I.,who was a delight to get to know.  She’ll be guest blogging for me…her first blog post EVER.  Can’t wait to see what she does!

I’ll be posting many, many things about the Institute in future posts, as it was such an experience that I can’t get my thoughts to slow down and concentrate on just one aspect!  So many great recipes and techniques I want to share with you – I hope you will love them as much as I do!

For anyone within driving distance of Hyde Park, I HIGHLY recommend you doing the weekend Enthusiast culinary classes – the price is right and you’ll gain so much.  If a class isn’t your things though, at least go to dinner at one of the on campus restaurants.  You’ll be hard pressed to find a dinner any nicer or any more thought out and exquisite.  I know I thoroughly enjoyed each and every dinner!

I also highly recommend taking one of the Bootcamps like I did. I know, I know – scrolling down to the price can be a little intimidating.  But let me assure you – you are getting SO MUCH for that price.  Chef Uniforms, daily cooking classes, gourmet breakfast, lunches, and even superb dinners in the school restaurants.  just being able to learn from the best is worth it!  So, take a look!  one of the sweetheart ladies in our class sets aside $50 a week just to treat herself to classes each year…isn’t that smart?  Also, if you work in the culinary industry, there’s a good chance your business will help you pay for the classes – and if nothing else, it could be a tax write off!

I sincerely hope you’ll take a look into it.  I know for a fact I will be going back one way or another!

A What?

On another note…I got a contract this week on writing a cookbook!  It’s one of the “Everything” Series books- 300 recipes! While it isn’t a “personal” cookbook – it IS a foot in the door so that maybe one of these days I WILL be able to write a book about anything I want…and I have so many ideas!  I don’t want to spoil the details, but look for lots of chilly desserts to start popping up here throughout the summer…

Posts Last Week

imageSo many great ones!  I had a Mississippi Mud Snapping Turtle Brownie that was off the charts on Monday – thick and gooey, caramel, chocolate, toasted marshmallows – heart attack on a plate!  They are some kind of delicious, too, in case you were wondering!

Tuesday showcased a ManPan  Giveaway…you should go enter!  I can’t tell you what a great piece of cooking equipment it is – you need to try it for yourself!

The rest of the week I had some amazing guest posts –image Carrie started us off with a bang and her Chocolate Bottomed Banoffee Pie.  Great God of Mercy.  I don’t know where she comes up with these things…but I’m so glad she did!  Miss Tania followed the pie up with a sinful Salted Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce…I could just sit and eat it with a spoon!  Friday we met Lisa, who wowed us with her Mini Cheddar Biscuit Muffins with Vanilla Honey.  I hope you all saw that one, it would be great for the weekend.  Lots of leftovers to keep you fed throughout the week!

The Upcoming Week…

I have to start telling you more about my trip, so expect a few recipes and stories from my time in  New York.  I had incredible food, so expect incredible recipes!

We’ll also have a couple of Guest Posters here as well – great bloggers you already know and love, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us!

Until then, have a great Sunday, and an even better week…it’s almost Easter! (How can that BE??)

See you tomorrow!