Stowe, Vermont

My sister lives in one of the cutest little towns in Vermont. Vermont is lots of skinny roads, rolling creeks, farms, ski centers, cheese and maple syrup. It’s a place you must visit sometime in your lifetime. Growing up in Lake Placid, you would think that it was a lot like Vermont, but Lake Placid is a giant tourist trap (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Over here, it’s a little quieter, and sometimes that’s all you need.
My sister had to work most of the day on Friday, but once she got home she wanted to show me a few Stowe staples. First we went up to a little farmers market at one of the resorts.
There wasn’t much fruit, but there was plenty of samosas.
Shannon was dying to take me to the Cabot store. Free cheese? Yes please!
Shannon was dying to take me to the Cabot store. Free cheese? Yes please!
I found a Maple Seltzer drink here. It was pretty awesome, very light with a slight after taste of maple. It was a much healthier decision than those delicious little maple candies.
Then we headed to a little store that makes and sells cider and cider donuts. Their kitchen was beautiful!
They even had some souvenirs for Reddick!
After that we met up with her boyfriend and headed up to the Von Trapp Resort. Clearly, it’s gorgeous up there.
We had a little snack while waited for my aunt to drive over from Lake Placid. It was a great way to start my little vacation!

Creativity in the Kitchen

Last week, some weird things ended up in my kitchen.

Purple is my favorite color, but purple peppers are not my favorite peppers. I’ve found them before at farmers markets back in NY, but never down here. I ended up picking these two up at Whole Foods the other day and had no idea what I was going to use them for. Tonight I got a little restless and started to chop one up in hopes that inspiration would come my way. I ended up taking a bite and was not happy. The purple peppers are pretty flavorless compared to other peppers. They are not sweet and have a slightly bitter, pale taste. I ended up putting them into an omelette with some provolone and my favorite, Newman’s Own Black Bean and Corn Chili. (This is one of the best salsas you will ever have. I promise.)
I did have a little bit of random kitchen success last week. Earlier in the week we made cake rolls and ended up having a ton left over. I had been reading The Flavor Bible and was inspired to try something with the leftover cakes.
I took them home and dried them in a low heat oven for about 2 hours. Leaving them out to become stale would have yielded the same result. After they were dry and slightly hard, I processed them until they became a fine powder, or a flour…
I knew that the flour was a little too rough to become another cake or bread, so my first thought was to make cookies. I also thought that the flour was automatically going to be fluffy and spongy, like the original cake, but I was very wrong.
 I went with chocolate chip cookies and this is how they turned out…
They certainly aren’t the prettiest cookies you will ever see, but they tasted pretty damn good. You could definitely taste the raspberry from the cake roll and they were a little mushy from the “flour” itself. I still have some of my homemade flour, so I plan to try this again really soon and have a much better looking final product.

Puppy Love

Look who wants to say hi!

He looks so stoic and mature. My little boy is growing up.
One of the cool things about going back to school is that you get to meet new people. While we’ve learned that I might not be a class favorite to some, I have been lucky enough to meet a few people that have become really great friends. While we have all become close another discovery has been made – our dogs are meant for each other.
This is Lillian, Reddick’s new friend. She’s the cutest little beagle. While you might not be able to tell from their facial expressions in these photos, we’re convinced they love each other.
This one has to be my favorite.
There is nothing better than meeting a good match for your pup. Sometimes when it’s too crappy to bring them outside or we’re just tired from a long day at school, we just bring the dogs together and they wear themselves out. They make a mess, but I think a lot of you can understand how awesome it is to wear your puppy out.
Love is in the air.

Meet my Maid of Honor!

There has not been much wedding talk on the blog lately because there hasn’t been much wedding planning. The wedding planning is definitely taking the back burner right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not constantly on my mind. Honestly, I just don’t want to half-ass my own wedding, so I should probably wait for a time where I can sit down and get things done the way I want them done.
There’s been a little progress with the venue selection, and then a few steps back, but we’re getting there. Worse comes to worse, we start all over again.
Still no date, still no venue…and that’s ok! We want our day to be perfect, not rushed.
There is one decision that we made and we’re pretty excited about it! The decision was actually made a long time ago, but I think it’s time you guys met my Maid of Honor!
This very important decision comes pretty easy when you grow up with a sister who is seventeen months younger than you. Not only are we practically twins, but it was a pretty sweet set up to have your sister as your best friend. It wasn’t always this easy, but our sisterhood has become an amazing friendship. There isn’t anyone else I could imagine helping me plan my wedding.
Another plus, her and MJW get along just fine. They’ve been hanging out, bickering, laughing and drinking with each other as if they were brother and sister for over seven years now.
One big happy family!
Our wedding is going to be a blast with Shannon my our sides. I finally asked her formally last month when we were both home for our engagement party. My original plan was to do something really fun and creative and ask my maid of honor and bridesmaids at the same time. But I’m still working on the rest of my bridal party and I wanted Shannon to know ASAP that it was official. I took one of my bridal magazines and put a post-it on one of the pages saying “Shannon, you will” and then on the following pages circled the rest of the question word by word…”be” “my” “maid”…you get the point. Corny, cheesy and really awesome.
Funny story though…I actually ended up asking her flat out when we were taking Reddick for a walk.
Oh well. She did see the magazine, but basically she came into the room when I was doing it and started flipping through other bridal magazines. The timing just wasn’t right, but it was still a nice thought, right?
I’m so excited for her to start helping me plan and basically kicking my butt into gear. And somewhere down the road, I can’t wait to return the favor to her!

Awesome Weekend

Hi friends!

I know, I’ve been MIA again…it’s a sad trend. I’m sorry.
This weekend was so crazy I honestly didn’t get on a computer until today. I’m going to work on a bunch of posts for you guys, including Asian Day at school, a recipe and an instructional post.
This weekend was the third weekend in a row I got to hang out with my sister! It was so much fun.
Friday started out by going down to Chinatown to go to Sushi-Go-Round.
I’ve been here a few times before and I think the concept is pretty brilliant. It’s a bar that has a rotating belt of sushi in the middle going round and round until you choose what you want and you pick it up off the belt. Each plate is colored so that you know how much it is. At the end of your meal, your waitress simply picks up your stack of plates and adds it all up. Simple sushi. I love it.
OH! I didn’t tell you…my cousin, Austin, was here because he just graduated from high school! My sister and I gave him a weekend in DC and tickets to OAR for his graduation present. Congrats!!
Sadly, he didn’t try any sushi…
 Next, we walked around DC like we always seem to do when my sister is around.
Once we got tired of walking around, it was time for a cold drink…
Every Friday there is a free jazz concert in the Sculpture Garden, appropriately named Jazz in the Garden. The place gets packed and there is never any room left around the little pond, let alone on the grass.
The weather was great. The company was better. It was an amazing afternoon.
Afterwards, we headed to Rosa Mexicano where my camera and I were just not getting along. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Sangria pitchers we drank at the garden. But I ended up having ice cream for dinner (again, nothing to do with the drinks beforehand) and it was fantastic. Right now, they have an incredible Ice Cream Menu. I had the Sweet Avocado, Mexican Corn Truffle and Toasted Marshmallow. I could not even pick a favorite. They were all incredible in their own way. The avocado had a little bit of bitterness that was needed to distract you from the fact you were eating avocado ice cream. The corn truffle tasted like a fancy cookies and cream and the toasted marshmallow…well, you can imagine how good that one was.
It looks like they are having an ice cream cooking demo THIS SATURDAY! I think you should check it out.
Anyways, after I had ice cream for dinner we went home to rest up for the next day.
OAR!!!
Do you like our OAR-inspired jello shots? If you need jello shot advice, consult my sister. They were amazing.
OAR holds a very special place in my heart. I’ve been listening to them for about ten years now, and we’re really lucky to catch them live in the DC area because they are from Rockville! Saturday’s show was their last stop on the summer tour, so it was full of really old songs and some really great new songs, too.
A concert isn’t a concert without a good tailgate, and unfortunately, I only have a few pictures (none of which are food). I honestly can say that I can’t blame the drinks for this one. I blame Mr. Weatherman.
An hour or so into the tailgate, we found ourselves building this…
And then we saw this…
So, it poured. We got wet. We still had fun.
I had an amazing weekend with some of my favorite people and am in a slight depression because they are gone…
Come back!!

This little piggy went to…

L’Academie.

We met another pig today. This one was way younger smaller. Sorry vegans/vegetarians.

P.S. That’s Chef Brian. He graduated from L’Academie and has been teaching there for three years. He’s a pretty great teacher, but one thing that I really like about him is that he is also a great writer. He writes for Bethesda Magazine and other DC publications, so look him up if you’re into food writing!

Good Morning from Lake Anna

Not too bad, right?

Someone is making himself right at home.

We rented a house in Lake Anna to celebrate one of our friend’s birthdays. So far lots of eating and drinking has been going on…not so much swimming. Apparently there’s a nuclear plant around that makes half of the water as hot as a hot tub. It’s pretty weird/gross/wrong on so many levels.
If we come back with green hair, an extra toe or so and Reddick turns into a cat. Blame it on the water.
Have a great weekend!

Reddick’s New Life

Until yesterday, I felt a little bad for leaving Reddick alone all day. While he has graduated from being crated all day and has free reign of the living room, it still must suck being here alone all day. He’s been so good. Like, almost too good. I’m so surprised that he hasn’t completely destroyed something at this point. I won’t work him out in the morning because I really think that it just makes him crazy. We spend the afternoon at the park once I get home.

Anyways, I felt bad until yesterday because yesterday was my first Friday home with him and I got to see what he does all day. I’m crazy jealous.

I cleaned my cabinets, did laundry, vacuumed, moved furniture and the kid didn’t budge. If only we could all take day long naps…

Kitchen Tour

I finally started taking pictures! Without going too crazy (and looking like a complete creeper…remember, I’m also trying to make friends here) I snagged some pictures of our kitchens today.
Like I told you before, we start our mornings in lecture. We do this in the James Beard Classroom.

Every morning, recipes are written out for us to copy into our notebooks.

The rest of the day is spent in the Paladin Room.

Maybe next time I’ll remember to snag some pictures with all of us in action. Don’t you wish you had this kind of kitchen at home?! I’m seriously in heaven all day long…even if it’s 110 degree heaven.

Adirondack Love

Hi everyone! I’ve been a little lazy about posting. There’s something about the Adirondacks that just makes me want to tuck my computer and cell phone away and disconnect from everything. I’ve been home since Thursday night and while the weather hasn’t been great, it’s already been an amazing few days.
The first thing I did when I got home was to go and visit my new baby cousin! She is six weeks old and is the smallest little bundle of cuteness. For a little baby, she has so much personality (or it could easily be gas, I’ll go with personality). Her smile is contagious and I’m so happy to have another baby in the family!
 
Yesterday morning, Reddick and I woke up to run around the lake. It’s about a 4.25 mile run. We were able to squeeze it in before the rain came in (and for the record, the rain hasn’t stopped…). Once we were done with that we made our rounds and visited my grandmother, aunt and her pup and then eventually this little one…
I’m so excited to see my little Reido again. We’re going to have such a fun week.
This was Reid working on her serious face…
Last night was my other cousin’s graduation. You’ll meet the rest of my family in the next post! And instead of going out, my sister and I decided to bake these last night. YUM.