Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is it Fall yet?

Hey there, did you think I dropped off the planet? Sorry for the long hiatus, I hadn't planned on being away from blogland for so long. Time just seemed to slip away from me, or more specifically August slipped away. So I thought I'd just jump right back in give you a quick rundown of my comings and goings, musings and rants for the past month.

I took an impromptu vacation. I realized at the last minute that we had a week-long semester break at the beginning of August, so I quick booked a flight to my home state of Nebraska to visit my family and best friend, Erron (Hi Erron!)

While in Omaha I just HAD to visit my very favorite restaurant in the whole country--The Bohemian Cafe. My family and most everyone I know think I'm nuts, but this truly is my favorite restaurant and favorite meal anywhere...

Who wouldn't love a place like this? It's been here in Omaha since 1924 and it's looked exactly like this at least since I was born (trust me, that's a long time). Doesn't it look like it promises good eats?

The inside has been expanded and update a few times over the years, and it's always spotless, yet the overall decor looks basically the same. Gotta love those paintings!
This is it, my favorite meal. Yes, I'm in culinary school. Yes, I love escargot, I like foie gras, I truly enjoy very high-end cuisine, but I'd pass them all up for this any day.
I know, you're saying, "What the hell is that?"
That is a heaping plate of Hungarian goulash, covering two massive yeast dumplings and a side of sweet and sour cabbage, accompanied by killer rye bread. I also always order the liver dumpling soup.
You're probably questioning all of my previous food reviews and descriptions, and I know it's not everyone's favorite (sorry Judy), but to me it's the ultimate comfort food. And it's been made the same way for nearly seventy-five years. So I guess I'm not the only one who likes it. Thank you Bohemian Cafe, I'll always love you!

On the school front, I came back to a less than exciting class: Baking Technology. Basically it's a whole class of experiments to learn how baking ingredients work, and what doesn't. Things like what happens when you substitute various fats, can you swap out honey for sugar, what do different flours do, etc. I thought this might be fun, but I was wrong. I mostly had to sample and observe a lot of really disgusting products that were intentionally baked wrong. To fill up time, we made a few things worthy of sharing.

Classic Cannoli garnished with crushed pistachios, mini chocolate chips and served with chocolate ganache for dipping.
I developed this one myself--Chocolate Napoleon: 2 Chocolate palmiers with chocolate pastry cream, raspberries, and whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with pistachios. This was soooo good!

We're finally done with this boring class and on to the one I've been waiting my whole culinary program for--Cakes! I guarantee I'll have tons of fun things to show you from this class. The first week was mostly banging out tons of different kinds of cakes, which we've wrapped up and stored in the freezer. Now we're finally starting the assembling and decorating. I've also been whipping up extra goodies in class as time allows (we're always hungry even though we're baking).
These are chocolate cupcakes topped with maraschino cherry buttercream frosting. The cherries had been soaking in their own juice plus Kirsch liquer, so this frosting was extra decadent and the cherries were killer!

This is a layered sponge cake, soaked in Grand Marnier syrup, Grand Marnier flavored whipped cream and Mandarin oranges in the center and on top. Very delicate flavor.

Well, that about catches us all us. I've also been crafting quite a bit, but I'll save that for it's own post. This week make a point of doing at least one thing you absolutely love!


Laume said...

Others might not agree but I think that your favorite dish looks mouthwatering delicious! I immediately thought of my Lithuanian grandmother's meals. Dang woman, now I'm going to have to make canadles tonight - that is, potato dumplings.

Erron said...

"Dumplings and Kraut Today,
At the Bohemian Cafe!
Draft Beer that's Sparkling,
Plenty of Parking
Join us for lunch--okay!"

Now, darling dear, I need you to scan the menu we picked up from our wonderful waitress and get it posted on your blog. Hurry about, sweetheart--the world is waiting!