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Breakfast!

Had an amazing breakfast today! pomegranate and rosemary pancakes drizzled with honey! It was simply delicious!

Try it out:

  • Have your original pancake batter
  • about 1tbs of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbs of cinnamon
  • about 1 1/2 tbs of fresh rosemary, minced
  • about 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds

 Add all the ingredients together and place in a pan or griddle. Let the pancakes cook till you see holes creating on top. Flip. Let cook for about 2 more minutes. Till both sides are a golden brown, then the pancakes are done! Top it off with some natural honey and you have a pretty yummy breakfast in front of you. ENJOY!

Authentic Mexican Food (Not the FAST FOOD kind)

When I eat and smell great Mexican food , I can’t help but feel warmth. Warmth is the feeling I get , because I feel at home. Proud of my heritage and food that we create. It might seems basic and simple to some people, but that’s where there wrong. The flavors that are created are simply harmonious. So please whenever you can, create a great Mexican dish. One that excites you, one that just has you salivating just thinking of it, don’t hesitate. CREATE & ENJOY!

5 Foodie Blogs, That I Enjoyed.

 The first food blog I came across was Fudehouse. This blog has videos with helpful tips and great step by step instructions.

http://fudehouse.com/

  The second food blog that I came across is 1796 Foods. This blog mostly is about someone having a list to go and eating everything on this list. They have 1796 different types of food to try before they die. Love the fact that they are down for anything type of food, it’s great to try new things.

http://1796foods.com/

   Thirdly, I came across this girl named Amy Cao who is a writer, blogger, and a creator of Stupidly Simple Snacks. She gives great advice on young writers, simple foods, and places that should be checked out.

http://amyblogschow.tumblr.com/

The fourth blog I came across was Adventures in Ice Cream. If no one knew, me and ice cream are best friends. This blog gives great new ideas and recipes for ice cream. yum!

http://milkmadeicecream.tumblr.com/

The Fifth blog I came across was FFFFood. This blog has limited information , but the pictures that they have are truly artistic. Goes to show that food is not only good for eating.

http://ffffood.com/

My Culinary School Experience…So Far.

   When I first started school, I couldn’t believe it. I finally deided what I wanted to do in life and I’m going through with it. I’m doing me. It was my time. First day was full of excitement and the case of the butterflies in my stomach. Felt like the first day of school when I was in Elementary school. When I walked in class, looked like everyone was feeling slightly the same way I was. Of course no one was really talking , due to the fact that we didn’t know eachother. The first classes that we all took together was Foundations 1 instructed by Chef Jones and Chef George. This class was slightly inappropriate and fun. Safe Serv was taught by Christine Kirchheimer.

   Over time we all warmed up to one another and were just trying to get by these first classes we had. Once getting to know these people I really do think I found some life long friends. Foundations 2 came around and that’s when bonds got tighter between the students. In a sense we had eachothers backs. When it came to getting our ingredients and someone didn’t have the proper ingredients we would say ” don’t worry i got some, you can have the rest”. Or we would get enough stock for the whole row of stoves. We took care of one another. Aww the good old days.

   Then came Fundamentals Speech with Pattara Kuramarohit. I really hated this class. The first speech that we had to do was about us and what motivated us the culinary industry. Unfortunately when it came to my turn, started talking, came to the obstacles in my life that prevents me to get were I am today and I started to cry. I never broke down like that infront of a class full of people. I was beyond embarrased and had to leave to get a hold of emotions. As I came back I finished as fast as I could and gladly sat down. I was so mad that we had to do this assignment , but in a sense glad, I got to learn alot about people that day. We also had Applied Math with Dawn Del Vecchio. This class kicked my butt , for some people it was easy, but i’ll be the first to admit that me and numbers are not best friends. The great thing with this class that every friday when it was test day , she would hand out candy. We would all grab handfuls of candy, we all were like kids over candy.

    Next was Foundations 3. This was a little different than Foundations 2. In Foundations 3 we had to do our mise en place a day before then the next day we would take care of business and make our dishes. On fire days it would sometimes get intense and fast paced and I loved every minute of it.

   Now we’ve reached Cost Controling with Rose Ludwig and English Composition with Sara Kuhns. Like I said earlier , numbers and I are not best friends so you can imangine how I feel about Cost Controling. As for English I do enjoy this class, I love reading and writing.

   To this point of Culinary school I have seen quiet a bit . There’s some things in school that I wish I didn’t do , but I don’t regret anything. I take them as learning experiences and I’m so glad that I’m learning big lessons right now. I can’t wait to get further in schooling and getting out there , trying to make it in this industry. Looking forward to the bumpy ride ahead of me and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.

Spicy Chicken Tacos

   My family and I loved creating dishes. We would hangout in the kitchen and decide what’s for dinner and have an hour long discussion about it. We were pretty much starving by the time we made up our minds. So one night we went to Sam’s Club to get a rotisserie chicken and we had no clue what we were going to do with it . We just said ” we’ll figure it out once we get home”.

   Once we saw our pantry tons of ideas were going around. Since we were getting close to the point of starving. We agreed something easy and quick! Automatically we thought taco’s. In the pantry I saw a can of green chilies and cumin. In the refrigerator I found everything else that would finish this dinner emergency. A little fact when my family and I are hungry, we get super cracky, so it was an emergency!

   In the refrigerator I found pretty much what every mexican family has in their refrigerator, jalepeno’s, limes, cilantro, yellow onion, pepper jack cheese, and corn tortillas. This dish was a definate go. I got started on some mexican rice and got started on the tacos. Here is the recipe and I hope people try this out and enjoy!

Ingredients:

About 3 tablespoos of Olive Oil

1 yellow onion, finely diced

1 can of green chilies

1/2 jalepeno , seeded and finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1 rotisserie chicken, picked and chopped

3 freshly squezzed lime juice

About 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

2 cups of grated pepper jack cheese

salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saute pan, add onions, green chiles, jalapenos, garlic and cumin and saute until onions are translucent.

In large bowl combine chicken, lime juice and cilantro. Add the onion-chili mixture and mix. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Warm up some corn tortillas and you got some Spicy Chicken Tacos. ENJOY!

Dream Menu

   If only we could have no worries when it came to one of the glories of life, food. Even though food is one of the greatest things in life, we do need to watch what we eat. ( I know reality sucks). I would love it if we lived in a world where we could eat anything we wanted and not worry about calories, carbs, and if that plate of deliciousness is going to kill me. My dream menu is basically a dream, but a great one.

  My family and I were watching the Food Network, a celebrity chef was explaing how he went to New York , expierencing their great food, great culture, and great nightlife. A place he swore by was a little family owned deli. He swore by their Bagels and Lox. When we saw this , we just thought” we could do that”. We bought all the ingredients and had an amazing breakfast. We even replaced it with our traditional breakfast that we have on Christmas. Why?, I really don’t know, it just happened. I think we were getting tired of having tamales.

   Bagels & Lox: Onion bagel lightly toasted with cream cheese, red onions, fresh wild salmon, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.

  Beverages: 4-5 Memosas. Yum!

  Sides: Fresh grapes, strawberries, slices of ruby red grapefruit, and rasberries.

  Now for lunch. Me and my family made this mostly in the summer. This is a family dish , so we really don’t have a name for the dish. We were always excited to eat this dish. The flavors are vibrant. They definately know how to wake up your taste buds, in the greatest way possible. One of the main reasons why this is on my dream menu , is my family. When ever I think of this dish it reminds me of our family dinners . I truly miss them.

  Mexican Salmon: Salmon with taco seasoning covered with fresh lemon juice, cilantro, and onions

  Beverages: 2-3 magaritas with patron silver

  Sides: Salad and brown rice

   For dinner, I would definately take a trip to my family’s favorite restraunt , Miceli’s . I love their authentic Italian food and everytime I think how appealing my favorite dish is I just want to jump in the car and make the trip to Hollywood.

  Appetizer: Brushetta and Melon with Proscuitto

  Main dish: Creamy Pesto Fettuchini with Chicken

  Beverage: Chianti

  Dessert: Pistachio ice cream scoop nestled next to a double dutch chocolate ice cream scoop in a waffle cup.

   This is my dream menu, it’s very family oriented because I love my family. Most of my food expierences were with my family. Their the ones that wanted me to get in this industry. So I thank my family for having great taste in food and thank them for showing me the great joys that food brings people.

When it Comes to Special Nights, I Think “Miceli’s”

   Miceli’s Italian Restraunt is one of my favorite Italian restraunt. The enviorment there is warm, authentic , romantic, and unique. (Perfect for a date.) The atmostphere is something a person doesn’t really get from a restraunt. It’s really something that everyone should experience.

    The first time I came acros this wonderful find, was with my family. We just finished watching a play at the Pantages and decided to walk around. We came across this wonderful find. We just saw a sign at Hollywood and Las Palmas that said ” the oldest Italian restraunt! Since 1949”. We love Italian food , so we decided to check it out. When we entered the restraunt, I was in automatic awe. You have a pianist playing, waiters singing, very lively crowd, and an older gentleman gretting you once you open the door. One of the things that threw me off, was how the inside looked like the outside. I really enjoyed that switch up.

   For the appetizers we had Brushetta and Fried Calamari. Once I took my first bite of the Brushetta, I could tell automatically that all the ingredients were fresh. The taste and the aroma of fresh ingredients is quiet ideal. The Fried Calamari was served with a creamy tarter sauce that went perfectly with the flacky fried calamari. I ordered the Creamy Pesto Fettuccini, my brother order a pepperoni pizza( no matter where we go , he will always order a pizza or hamburger. He’s too simple). My mom ordered Aunt Angie’s Original Lasangna and my step father ordered Veal Scaloppini Piccanti. Yes, we were starving!

   As we waited for our food we were entertained by the wonderful music and atmosphere. Our food came out within 30 minutes. Time went by so fast with the livelyness of the restraunt. The plate in front of me had steam rising , the plating was so appealing , and the aroma had me salivating. Seriously. Once I took my first bite, my taste buds were in heaven. This was truly divine and authentic Italian food. Not the crap you get from Olive Garden. Hands down the best Italian restraunt I’ve ever been to.

   Miciel’s has been around for a long time . Due to the fact they know what it takes . They are very keane on customer service. I always see the same happy old man there when I go . Live music that is truly dulcet to your ears. Most important, the food. They have true authentic Italian food. Everyone should try this place at least once in their lives. So happy my family and I came across Miceli’s years ago. It’s become one of my family’s favorite restraunts.

The Ways That Genetically Modified Organisms Affect Us

   Are GMO’s benefitting us? An organism is genetically modified ” when a gene from one organism is purposely moved to improve or change another organism in a labortaory”(bt.ucsd.edu/gmo.html). Now take the definition into consideration and think of the fact that we consume food that isn’t in it’s natural state. Sounds like a science project to me. Do we know what we’re eating isn’t harmful to our health? Is ther scientific proof? We depend on GMO’s in our food, but there have been countless problems with our land, animals, insects, and our health. We pay with our hard earned money to feed ourselves, to later face the possibility of being in harm’s way. It’s not only harming us, it’s harming earth. GMO’s are the main reason why the “life cycle” that keeps this world functioning , is going downhill.

   Right now we are in a crisis. Bees pollinate about 1/3 of North America’s crops. Unfortunately, the bees that pollinate our crops are dying. Without bees we’ll lose more than our agricultural production. Studies have been done on bees that have been pollinating GMO crops vs. bees that have been farm raised. What they found was a discolored black digestive system by the stinger versus a normal, clean, digestive system. Scientists say the discoloration is similar to colon and rectal cancer in humans.

   Colon and rectal cancer share the same risk factors. In the past 20 yaers colon casualties have remained the same. Though rectal cancer has increased an average of 3.8% per year, scientists reported , JOURNAL OF CANCER, more people under the age of 40 are being diagnosed with rectal cancer. Dr. Joshua Meyer of the Fox Chase Cancer Medical Center in Philadelphia and a team performed studies at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, they noticed rectal cancer was rising with their patients, especially those under 40. ” The team studied data from the government Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results cancer registry, which includes about 26% of U.S. cancer cases. They identified 7,661 colon and cancer cases in patients under 40 from 1973 to 2005” (Maugh). They’ve changed the results over time. “Colon cancer incidence remained flat over time, while rectal cancer grew from 1985 onward.  The increase was the same for all races and both sexes” (Maugh) In 1982 the FDA approved GMO’s.

   Given this data, I think it’s obvious that GMO’s are BAD! There’s a big contorversy for a reason people. There’s no labeling on GMO based so people don’t even know if their food contains GMO’s. I really do think labeling will have to take effect to fix our problems. People around the world, are figuring out the downside of GMO’s . ” Hungry African and Asian Nations are concerned enough about it that they are refusing food aid that contains GMO’s.(eathealthyfoods.ca) People that are dying from starvation are turning down our food aid, that definitely should be a concern in America.

   ” A GMO is created when a gene from one kind of organism (eg:fish) is transmitted to a completely unrelated species (eg:tomato)” (Butler). If someone can make this sound at all natural and healthy, I personally would love to hear it. Many studies suggest that inadequate for human consumption . So why do Americans continue to put our lives and other nations’ lives at stake? It makes no sense. Over the past couple of years we’ve been noticing animals and insects dropping dead in their tracks. Bees are dying . Test show that bees that pollinate in the GMO fields later die with black digestive systems. What’s even scarier is that the discoloration in bees replicate colon and rectal cancer in humans. Connection?

Refernces:

Cuilnary Memoir

   Ever since I was little, Thanksgiving was a great big feast shared with family. My parents always had to decide which side of the family we were going to each year. We had never a Thanksgiving at our house , so this year instead of debating , we invited everyone to our house.

   My step-father and I were going stir crazy with ideas for the feast we were going to have. This was our bonding time. Since we’re Mexican , we had a huge family coming over, a total of 30 people. We decided to have 3 turkeys( one roasted, one deep-fried, and one smoked), a ham, stuffing , mashed potatoes, sweet yams, homemade cranberry sauce, cornbread, sauteed green beans, and much more. I couldn’t believe how many groceries we had to get for this holiday. We prepped for two days and finally when the day came, we all had to get up at six in the morning. I usually hate getting up so early, especially on my day off. This was little different, though we were making a full on feast for my family, from both sides.

   I was excited because I wanted to show them what I could do in the kitchen. They all knew what I wanted to do with my future , so this was my time to shine. My step-father was in charge of the turkeys and I was in charge of all the side dishes and the desserts. We were in the kitchen for about 7 hours. The smells through out the house were lovely; our house smelled like a home. This was of the most comforting smells to one’s heart.

   My family began arriving around 3 o’clock. It was great to see their faces light up when they smelled the great aromas. Thankfully the food was ready because they were all salivating. And once they saw the layout of the food, they were in awe. They made fun of me and my step-father, asking “Do you think you cooked enough?”. We didn’t care, more leftovers for us!

   Everyone was amazed with how well everything came out. Both sides of my family were pretty shocked that they actually like the green beans. For some reason , no one really like green beans in my family , maybe because  they’re actually good for you. My step-father said ” You have to try them, they’re really good”, and since they knew I made them, I’m pretty sure they felt obligated to try them. They were in for a surprise. They all loved the green beans with caramelized onions and almonds. Now here is the recipe that changed my family’s preference for greeen beans, which could have been very hard because my family is very stubborn. If you decide to make this, I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients

Directions

Fill a large high sided skillet with some water, adding enough to be just shy of the rim of the pan by about 1 inch. Place over high heat and bring up to boil; add a big pinch of salt and the green beans. Cook for about 5 minutes, the beans should still be crisp. Drain the beans and then run them under some cold water to stop them from cooking. Reserve the beans while you start the onions.

Return the skillet you cooked the beans in to the cook top over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast stirring every now and then until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the almonds from the skillet and reserve. Return the skillet to the heat and add the butter and olive oil and heat until the butter has melted. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook stirring frequently until the onions caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the thyme, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked cooled green beans and almonds, and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Personal Chef Philosophy

"Everyone does it with a smile. And cooking is a subject you can never know enough about. There is always something new to discover." -Bobby Flay

I totally agree with Bobby Flay on this one. There is always something new to discover. Food is a never ending journey and we should never stop learning what it has to offer us. Learn from your chefs, your peers, and your ingredients. Never put a wall up between your education and your opportunity to a better chef.

   In this industry we cannot afford to lose focus and stop learning . This industry is constantly changing from the newest craze or the newest top chef. One way to get a great education is to work for  great chefs. You don’t have to go work for a chef who’s been on TV. You’re fine with a chef who knows what he/she is doing. Pay attention to what they’re doing. When they want to explain a technique, absorb as much as you can. When they critique you, take it all in. Don’t let your pride get in the way; accept the critcism and learn from it. They have to do this because the food represents them. When they seem harsh, just take it as them wanting to perfect your skills.

   Learn different cuisines. Explore your opportunities in the field. Even take it to the next level and try to combine the cuisines together. ( Food for thought). You can learn different techniques and different ingredients from foreign cultures. Try things that will take your taste buds for a ride.

   Learning different foods, techniques, and cuisines can make you a better chef. For your own good, absorb all you can during you journey through this field . At times this journey may not feel as if it is worth it, but in the end you’re bettering yourself and the field you’ve entered. People will enjoy the food you create because you didn’t stop learning. Once you stop learning you stop creating.

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