Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have been inspired to make iced sugar cookies. You know the ones - they come in cellophane bags and cost like 1 mill per cookie....
Here are some pics of my first attempt:

(This guy actually lost his head and neck, and had to be surgically attached)

A better shot of them on a black background:

They were a huge hit with the Thanksgiving crowd. What do you think?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Do the math

What is (17 + (14 x 3) ) x 13?
767, or the number of steps I climbed on a cook day this past Monday, a 5th floor walk up.
From floor 1 to 2, 17 steps, and 14 steps separating the other floors.
First flight was empty handed, second was with all the groceries, third was with one of my equipment bins, approximately 40 pounds (maybe more) and ditto for the fourth.
The descent was equally as painful.
THANK GOD for my legs of steel. HAH, just kidding.
But, really, thankfully I am in shape, or else I'd be crushed.
My legs were like jelly at the end of the day and felt like I had never worked out before in my life.
It was a good cook day, however, and so I was glad to endure the pain.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Who doesn't love cupcakes?

I love sweets. It's unfortunate, really, because I tend to have little will power where sweets are concerned.
Friday afternoon, I made cupcakes, and Saturday, my kids and I decorated them. We were going to a costume party on Saturday afternoon, and I decided to bring them. Here's a few pictures of some of the cupcakes. The were a big hit at the party, having a bit of Wow factor.

It was semi-disasterous with my daughter, being just about 3yrs old, and not yet getting it that you have to decorate the cupcakes and not eat them (or the decorations!!!)

Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My first press

Thyme To Cook was featured in the TAB newspapers, Living 50+ section, Metro West, this week.

Here is the link:
Thyme To Cook in the News

Check it out!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

In Season


Some apple facts:
1. Apples contain Vitamin C and antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of cancer by preventing DNA damage; an apple a day just might keep the doctor away.

2. The seeds of the apple are mildly poisonous, from a chemical called amygdalin, but large amounts of seeds would need to be consumed for any effect to take place.

3. Medium sized apples have approximately 50 calories, 2.5 grams of fiber and 0.2 grams of fat. Not a bad deal!

We went apple picking last weekend, and came home with over 10 pounds of apples, Japanese pears, and yellow peaches.

What to do, what to do.

I was inspired to make an apple tart today. It is extremely easy to do, using store bought puff pastry.
The basics:
Roll out the pastry, cutting 2 lengths vertically, placing them on either side of the pastry to make walls as they puff up.
Brush the middle with melted butter.
Place the cut up apples in the middle, and brush with butter, then shake cinnamon/sugar over them.
Butter the sides as well, and shake cinnamon/sugar over them as well.
Bake at 400 degrees.

Here is the result:

It is delicious.
The apples soften up so the texture is pleasing against the crisp and flaky pastry. Truly a treat, taking copious amounts of self control to not eat the entire thing. Right after I took the pictures, you know I took a huge piece....

Next up, Vanilla Apple Sauce, and my first stab at apple "chips", thinly sliced apples that are baked with a bit of confectioner's sugar in a low oven.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My first In-Store Demo

So, the day finally came, and I was a barrel of nerves. As I drove to the store, I thought, What the hell did I get myself into?!?!
I set up about 1/3 back in the store, right in front of the register area, and calmly got cooking.
The day actually was so beautiful, that foot traffic was on the lower side (phew). Anyways, I put out my brochure and business card, and people started to come by.

As people started asking, oooh what is this?, I got comfortable answering and it felt right.

The sandwiches came out great, and they looked beautiful, presented on a maroon dish, garnished with cilantro and scallions.

Here's a close up of one of the sandwiches:

One woman bought the book that I cooked from, so that was good.
I'd say about 10 people took the brochure and card, so we'll see.....
The manager was thrilled, and asked if I could demo once a month!
I don't know if I can swing once a month, but maybe once every 6 weeks....
We'll see!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Open for business

Check out my website:

Thyme To Cook

If the link does not work, try

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sur La Table demo

I went into Sur La Table last Friday to set up the ins and outs of my cook date, which is next Saturday, the 29th.
They are pushing "Mexican" right now, so I picked a recipe from one of Rick Bayless's cookbooks.
Rick Bayless is a guru of all things Mexican, when it comes to food. He cooks authentic Mexican.
You might be familiar with his line of products from his restaurant, Frontera Grill, in Chicago.
I'm using his book, Mexican Everyday.

I picked Crusty Black Bean Chorizo Subs to make - basically one pot, cooking black beans with Mexican chorizo (which is fresh, not cured/cooked), and serving it on a crusty roll, with Queso Fresco (a Mexican cheese like goat or feta), and avocado.
I am currently having a hard time finding Mexican chorizo, which is strange, because I live about 2 miles from JP's Latin Quarter.

I did get Portuguese chorizo and Italian sweet sausage (just in case) to practice with. However, this morning, I went into one of the Spanish markets in the area, and asked if they had Mexican fresco chorizo (fresh chorizo), and he said they were out, but would get more on Wednesday.....
In the mean time, I'll practice the recipe with the Portuguese chorizo, and hopefully, it will be similar to the Mexican.

I bought a portable electric burner to use, as Sur La Table is not set up with a cooking area. God, I hope I don't burn the place down.....

If successful, the sub should look like this:

(Picture taken from Rick Bayless's website....hope it stays up, if it's gone, than be on the lookout for my end product after Saturday)

I plan to make a whole bunch up, and slice them thin, displaying them on a couple of Sur La Table's serving platters. I will serve them with chips and tomatillo salsa from Bayless's Frontera line.
I'll post pictures of what my final end product looks like after Saturday.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday September 28th

Thyme-To-Cook website will go live!

Test 2 Passed


One more to go, it is on Culinary Theory.
It's amazing how much of the "theory" I've forgotten since I went to culinary school, many moons ago. It's all coming back to me now......
I plan to take it next week (early).

I've got my business cards, letterhead, address labels and car magnets all done. I'm working on my brochure now.
1 more week and Thyme To Cook will be "open" for biz!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Almost there

Thyme To cook is almost ready to go live; the website is just about done, business cards, letterhead and car magnets are ordered. My brochure is going to be printed soon as week.
I have 2 more exams to take (at my leisure) to complete the Personal Chef Diploma. I intend to tae them over the next 2 weeks.

I'll post when I'm ready to go live.

Look for pics, recipes and talk about whats seasonal soon!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Chutzpah, that's what's happening

Me and my big mouth.
Yup, me and my big mouth got me some free advertising!

I was in Sur La Table the other day and I asked if anyone every did food demos there. The manager of the store was there at the time, and she was not sure. However, the District Manager happened to be there that day, and she said she would ask. She gave me her card and told me to call her back.
So I called her back and she said she was unable to connect with the District Manager, and that I should call back tomorrow.
(Interesting how she never took my contact information - she left it all on me).
I called back the next day and She said, Why don't we go forward with it!!!!!!
I'm going to do a food demo at Sur La Table!!!!
After Labor Day, I'm going to go in and look through their cookbooks, and select one to cook from. Then we'll decide on a cook day.
The only stipulation I had was that I be able to have my business card and brochure out on the table.
The kicker is that they give a professional discount to cooking professionals, so now whatever I buy there, I'll get a 15% discount.
:) have a good weekend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

1 test down, 2 to go

I took the first of 3 tests from the Culinary Business Academy yesterday on Business, Accounting, and Marketing.
Damn, now I know why I went into science and the arts.
I still don't have a clue about business and accounting and marketing.
I just hope I "wung" it enough to pass. I'll know in 5 - 10 business days.....

2 more to go, one on the routines of Personal cheffing and food safety, the next on cooking techniques.

God I hope I pass, I have SO much anxiety over these tests, you don't even know.

The website is under development

Thyme To Cook website is under construction and will be up and running probably at the end of August:

Thyme To Cook is almost open!

Hi all,
I've started a Thyme To Cook blog to post about what's happening, and what's cooking with Thyme To Cook.
Soon I'll be posting recipes, pics of what's cooking and stories about life as a personal chef.
Check back for more details soon!