Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I love NYC!!!!

I really do!!! It is one of my favorite places. There is to much to do and to many neat ,cool places to shop and eat at.
I spent the past weekend with my son and a new friend in the city for a Rammstein concert( I am a fangirl as is my friend, Feather and my son , Charles( though he is more fanman...hehehe..lol)

2 days is not enough time to explore and while I am a walker, I have grown slightly overweightoutofshape as of late. But we managed to cover a some ground and eat so fantastic food.....more on that in a later post(I am at work...need to write fast...)

One thing that I love and hate( hate is strong word but lets face it when you are living in a small town and you go to a huge town, hate is the word to use) is the variety of stores that sell the best and coolest ingredients. I know that I am one  of the few weird freaks that love food shops and "chef" type stores. I love smells , and textures of new products. Seeking out new things that I might have seen on TV or in a book is like going after that one first edition book or rare gem.

  I suppose on some level I have a slight unnatural obsession with food...but not like a kinky I am sleeping with a side of beef or a box of fiddle head ferns. I enjoy my job and I enjoy food,moreover I enjoy sharing what I find and opening new doors for those close to me( oh the ego soaked words there).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010



So I did this essay thing....

I dont want to be number one cause i think the top 9 have great essays.
I want to be #10....so I am seen:)


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Captain Phil was a sexy crab man

I will admit it...I am a fan girl of "Deadliest Catch". I am not one do go all weird and watch reality shows( ok I watch like two just cause I, A) LOVE Kathy Griffin and B) LOVE Tori Spelling cause she only takes her family and career serious...and I want to feed her.

But I digress....

So I have been watching DC since it started  seasons ago and right from the get go I was a fan of the scruff tough love sarcastic Captain  Phil. Have to say it was the eyes and big bear exterior but soft heart that attracted me and kept me as a fan.(and for the record Jonathan Hillstrand is my second favorite just cause he is a guy who will be there for you when the shit hits the fan.)

So anyway... My heart broke when Phil passed away this past February and watching this years episodes that show Phil's stroke and ultimately his death made me very sad . I wish  sometimes I had stayed in Seattle...not that i think he and I would have met though ..rawr vvvavv la BOOOM. But i miss the pacific ocean( talk about a 180 on topic) I miss the fresh king and opial crab we could get . I miss talking to crab men and fishermen on their off season. They were/ are some of the coolest and hard working people I know...and they smelled GOOOD...

......if sea water and old spice are your thing.

So the least i can do for my fond farewell to my reality TV boyfriend is a favorite dish of mine....

King Crab Wontons:

The mixture is enough for 15 to 20 wontons....DON'T OVER FILL!!!!

1 package medium square wonton wrappers ..if you have access to an Asian market ,get them from there..FRESH.

2 pounds pound king crab legs, cooked,  and meat pulled from shell
1 red bell  and 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
1 bunch of green onion  finely chop the whole thing
10oz boursin or pub cheese

Vegetable oil, enough to deep fry
1)Combine crab meat, bell pepper, , green onion, and cream cheese and mix together

2)Separate wonton wrappers into individual wrappers . Place one   tablespoon of crab mixture in the center . Wet your finger with water, trace around the outer edges of the wrapper and fold bottom right corner of wrapper up to top left corner of wrapper. This should create a triangle shape. Pinch every edge to make sure the wonton is sealed. Fill all wontons until you've used up the filling.

3)In a skillet place veg oil and heat up to about 350. Carefully  deep fry the crab wontons until golden brown. Drain on several layers of paper towels. Garnish with some chiffonade of Basil and serve with a spicy dipping sauce.

Rest in Peace dear Phil!! You made this NY girl want to escape back to the Pacific Northwest time and time again.XOXOXOXOXO

Thursday, July 1, 2010

WHY do mothers laugh when we kids are being serious

My mum laughed today when I told her not only (again) about this blog but that I am a featured publisher on FoodBuzz...which to me is pretty darn cool.

Though in retrospect we have a sort of love hate relationship in some ways , She and Da are supportive but still after 39 years shake their heads. My voice of unreason tells them," Hey ...you made and raised me. You have only yourselves to blame for churning out to kids who are now sous chef and executive chef respectfully( that would be my older brother and me, if you're not playing along on the home version of " this is Gretchen's silly misshaped and obnoxious life"

oh i have a new bannnnnnnner

Friday, June 25, 2010

I need a muse or how to make me happy without lifting a finger but incase you like to I have some needs that needs tending..thats NEEDS ,not weeds.

Inspiration is hard to come by these days.

I work in a windowless kitchen and office , so half the time I am not even sure if it is am or pm let alone if the weather has changed.
Hotter weather makes me happy...well ok not true. The sun in general just makes me happier. While not a sun worshiper, I do like the big old nuclear star in the sky.

For me the sun evokes thoughts of fresh corn on the grill and swimming. That pretty much sums up my childhood. ...Fresh Eden New York corn and swimming at Mang Park in Kenmore New York...where I am from. There is a sense of warmth and relaxation I feel when I think of not only those things  but when I have either, though my swimming  pool is a creek behind my house.

I am inspired though this year but the green pastures i drive by on my way to work. I live in the country so I see a lot of green as crops are just starting to grow. I wish we had a bigger area around our house that allowed for house grown vegs and fruits...and the time to do them....well for me to have the time. My family does but I dare say at 14 and 3/4 I don't think he finds much interest in tending the garden.

My food at work is resulting in more care I suppose. Or  I am more relaxed because we are not balls to the wall busy...still busy but not to the point where I wont to kill( though this wedding this weekend , someone might die) I find I want to create more and do more. But I am tied down with cost restrictions and time restrictions.

At home, they will eat it if I cook it, so that is more a time to see what might fly with college kids. My sons are like starving kids..they can never seem to get enough food and shovel it in as fast as I can make it. Only problem is, I am so tired after work, I just want to toss burgers on the grill and call it a day.

So motivation is more than inspiration I guess....At work, my catering partner is great. She knows food and knows that if she doesnt offer varieties to our clients that one  of us is going to get hurt....lol

What I need in the long run is money...lots of it to buy ingredient....lots of fun, fun ingredients and equipment like a mandolin or a top to my cuisnart...or better yet their own so I can have mine back.

I need a culinary sugar daddy to go along with my music sugar daddy....wonder if I can combine the two?

Never say Never Again

Why is it when you try to help someone out instead of just saying..."no worries, I have it all taken care" one gets a rude  comment that makes you not to want to help in first place.

It is a constant thing at work , that I try to help and assite someone particular that I work with and they just can not just be gracious.
When people offer to help me, If I don't need it I simple say..."nah..I am good, but thanks."

For once I like to stop myself and just not bother....But my pedigree forbids it. Damn parents and their installation or manners and morals on top of work ethic!!!!

though...honestly...in my head I am screaming at her at the top of my lungs!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chefs all think a like.....sort of


Nice post on plate online...not sure if you will see it.
If someone can comment if they can or can not see it..please. I will copy and paste if you can't....I responded too...which is the most important thing of course!!!

Why can't I have a cannoli cookie for breakfast? It has dairy in it!

I swear I rather just let the 14 year old have a cookie in the morning than hear him whine all day that he is hungry cause that is all he wanted for breakfast and by 10am he is still hungry but unwilling to eat "normal" food.

This is besides the fact he is a human garbage pail and can eat anything without it affecting his body weight. Unlike his dear old mama who looks sideways at a cookie and it costs her 5 lbs....lol

But they are sooo delish.

From Food Network Mag...Ted Allen


For the Cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking  soda
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped roasted unsalted pistachios
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


Make the cookies: Beat the butter and both sugars with a mixer until creamy. Beat in the milk and vanilla until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, if desired. Scoop the dough onto a sheet of wax paper
and shape into a 2-inch-thick log. Wrap in the wax paper and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/3-inch-thick rounds with a sharp knife. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine 3/4 cup pistachios, the mascarpone, ricotta, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt with a mixer on low speed until just blended; do not overmix or the filling will be too thick. (It can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated.)

To assemble, sandwich about 1/2 inch filling between 2 cookies. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Roll the edges in the remaining 3/4 cup pistachios.

I predict you will not be able to stop at one.

My son ate 4 with a glass of milk  without even blinking......love that BOY!!

Porno for Chefs

mmmmmmmm wolf: the oven....not the other stuff around it.

from housetrends.com

And VIKING Ranges.....soooooo purrrrrtttty.

from nbm.typepad.com

from stainlesssteelkitchens.com 

Suppport Suppport SUPPPORT!!!

It's all about the support.


CSA is a great thing. Whether you do it as a group or just your self, supporting your local farmers is the way to go. It isn't just about organic food or eating fresh picked...both of which are still great and valid reasons. But by supporting local farmers of vegetables, fruits,meats and other goods you're supporting your local economy and neighbors.

I am lucky to have a farmers market literally right outside my door(pictures to be coming soon) and can go there and others around my area almost everyday for fresh products, even beef,bison and chicken.

I do wish though we had a whole foods/trader Joe's type of places. The best we have off season is Wegmans ,though the one near me is lacking. The biggest surprise is that my town ,while full of tree hugging organic types, there IS a lack of a market like Trader Joe's. But we are a small town with Amish as neighbors and farmers as other.

Logically also fresh produce should be cheap depending on the season no matter where it is grown. So why am I still paying a butt load for strawberries and lettuce.

Something needs to happen in order for people to provide their families and themselves with fresh products to help keep obesity down. But instead of that,at least here in New York State( love you dumb ass David Patterson...thank you for leaving early not that I have anymore hope for the next guy/girl who thinks they can "turn things around"...annex NYC...that would save us around 100million a year) there is talk of a sin tax.

WTF? Soda and junk food don't make people fat....I can get fat on a vegetarian diet just as easily as on a regular meat diet. Why don't give discounts on fresh produce or vouchers to people to go to farmers markets. And encourage companies to allow people to exercise by offering discounts to gyms and dietitians consultation or even free membership to curves and WW to those in need of permanent weight loss.

Don't get me started on sustainability.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

long and whining road

I am a slacker...I admit it.
It has been a long 8 months and I think my brain has finally up and quit or the very least taken a break from the rest of us...(by us I mean my body and soul).

I haven't cooked much these past few weeks and my natives are getting a bit restless with hambugers and tacos. I am just to darn tired to cook after a 16 hr day and the mike is to lazy to make the effort...love him but this is a sore point. I do wish , at times like this, that I had an easier job. One that let me be home more and cok more at home. I like the idea of experimenting and comeing up with new ideas for my sons and the mike to eat.

Then one of the boys punches the other cause they won't let them play with something and I realize I rather be at work experimenting with food alone with just me and my Depeche Mode.

Just a picture of my son making chocolates......he is adorable.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Anyway you want it...that is definietly not the way I will give it.

I love my mortar and pestle.

I LOVE IT !!!!!

it is probably a very unnatural relationship to have such affection to a cold marble object but gosh darn it..I just think he is swell!
.....yes, I called it he. Doug if you are familiar to him.

Lets face it...it is not only functional but a work of art. Before  wisks to mix oils with solid substance and knives to chop chop chop herbs...there were mortars and pestels...."goes all dreamy"

Not many people even know what they are ,let alone how to use them. Like my sons, they are mearly heavy ojects to play medival times in the middle of the kitchen with.

Every true cook should have and use one...besides your cusinart, kitchen aid and $300 knife, this is your next best best friend.

and is also a handy door stop.

Monday, May 31, 2010

I think to much

I really do think to much about things that most people find dull or uninteresting....

Like food at sports games......(I am watching the Stanley Cup and FIFA friendlys for the World Cup)

Ok so I like hot dogs, cracker jacks and lukewarm beer...but seriously havent we evolved to the point where we can have a nice panni sandwich,high end COLD beer, maybe food on a stick...

wait...thats it ....FOOD ON A STICK!!!!

It would be the most convenient food to have in stadium. Stick them in holders with a sauce in the middle.

ANYTHING can be on sticks,,,,,meat, chicken, lamb, fruit and even (god forbide) VEGETABLES!!!!
There I said it...Healthy Food at a sports event. I swear to you this will be the trend. Healthy, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan food will become the norm at your next Super Bowl!

Nachos with good beer in Montreal...healthyish

Saturday, May 22, 2010

what the frickiety frack!

That's a phrase I tend to hear at 8pm when my eldest son ,Cj, is battling the zombies or whatever he does in his room with the Xbox.

Some day he will stabilize and be a "normal" boy....though I doubt that day will come anytime soon.


OK...I will admit I have been super duper slacker and probably could have stopped watching Real Housewives of New York, but DAMN IT!!!! That Jill ...you can't stop watching her. Its like crack for cooks.


Anyway...so short story long....The women who was the catering director quit after having surgery that didn't quite heal her properly...her arm at least...(baddaboom...I do two shows daily)So I had to do a lot on my own and to tell you the truth..I sucked at it. Ok I probably didn't suck, but all I could think of for the entire month of February was work. I didn't pay bills, didn't have sex ( i love sex fyi)forgot my kids a little. And worse, i lost my concentration. My attention span flew out the door. And it took me till May to get it back.

But lucky for me we had a gem waiting to take the catering director job and she is a perfect match for me and the job. We work really well with each other and while there have been a few hiccups we have a rock solid team.

Our busy season is done and while we haven't made millions, we have done well.We even feed 325 people a plated dinner(duet of sea bass and Beef Filet ) all at once in 30 minutes....which is kick ass.If you saw the kitchen you would be like .."HOLY &(*&&&^^%%%%%***&&**"

So I am back...and back with plenty of stories and funny stuff.

So lets all come in for a big hug and butt squeeze...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Meetings are just so much more than naptime

I had a meeting last week that I have every week.
Most of the time there is stuff in them that pertains to me.

This week...I seriously don't remember any of it but this....

"Oh dear god..what he just say.? I can't even remember. Oh god this
has nothing to do with me. I could be napping. Wait, maybe I am. No...I am
awake and writing so I can't be napping. oh dear god it has been going on for 2hrs. WHAT DID WE ACCOMPLISH??????

I want a cookie and cocoa...."

That's what I wrote .......I think I was a bit bored.
But highlight was the person next to me trying to keeping lol....literally LOL...

Monday, February 1, 2010


Just a quick "waves" HI
to the three followers I now have.

Yes, to me it is a big deal to have you guys on board. I am , after all, a geek.

big sloppy kisses

Frozen to my silk pink panties

Here a few (crap) cell phone pixs of my night in the frozen tundra  while cooking corn and ribeyes



this is from a function I did where I plated up in the hallway.....yes that is a bottle of wine.
That's how I roll......(well not really, it was for the president..of the college.)

Friday, January 29, 2010


It has been a very long 2010 already.

My madness has increased out of pure necessity at this point.

I am doing my job plus the catering directors job and this week has just been the razor's edge for me. I am not actually complaining.. It isn't all that bad  except I haven't a clue what I am doing.

Plus it seems that we are just getting inundated with more and more catering plus doubling up on days which normally isn't all that bad except they are 400 people functions each....makes the head spin . And any chef who says it doesn't make theirs, is a fucking liar.

Right now all my weekends in February are full with the weekend of Valentines wiped out completely with catering.

Then there is of course my work with the two dining halls. My office is located in the newer one and the other suffers for this. I don't have a desk or even a stool to sit on when I am there. But when I am there I do enjoy the company of the staff and of my production manger ,who GOD BLESS HER...is a godsend right now.

Then there are the upcoming ,ongoing, I know they are coming events that i need to write menus for....22 in all I think right now. And these are my B&B...these make me happy. I can pretty much offer what I want and hope they go for it. 99% they do.

One thing in my life I know I am good at and which nearly no one can make me feel stupid is cooking. I am not a genius and I am not world famous or all that sort of thing. But I do make really good food and I am pretty creative when it comes to actually writing a menu.

Of late though, I have felt like people have been purposely tearing me down...to basically prove how unintelligent I am. And somehow..it has been working. And it SUCKS.

I am not a typically girl..I do process my information quick and I speak from the hip. And I am wrong...But I am also right at times. I just chose at times not to care  when people seek to prove me wrong in order to prove how smart they are.

But right now...I just don't need it or going to engage in it. It makes me cry and brings on a kind of depression that last way to long and I have no time to get into that sort of mind set.

So the bad week of chef is just that...bad week but not really.

Things are coming together for me and thank god I am anal and OCD with my organization...go me.

Tonight I am going to an Equestarian Center on Campus to grill ribeyes outside in -3 degree weather.....

yah...I do lead the glamorous life.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I want to SCREAMMMMMMMMM right now!!!

Bitch and Moan time:

I usual don't give two hoots about my work hours cause it comes with what I have chosen to do.
But when I have to drive in for 3 dinners....3 dinners on a Sunday !! We aren't even open on Sundays!!!!!
I work long weeks and don't get any extra $$ for my troubles or extra time off(well sometimes i do...but I just take a day off if I need it.)
 But I can't do that much anymore as I am responsible for catering and my own shit.

I am tired and getting sick more often than I usually do. Plus I am losing weight...which is a plus but still . I am tired and feeling tugged in many directions. I have a family too and I like that to be considered. I can't work 74327329743284324 hours. And I am sorry , these chefs...male... that have families and do YOU ARE A FOOL!!! to think your kids wont throw that up in your face when they are teens or older.

I have been careful for a long time to make sure I had balance...hence why I am not one the cover of Food Wine New Chefs etc etc. My career suffered but fuck it..I had kids cause I like kids and wanted me to raise them.

So that's my cold induced I am tired and such rant.

cause its funny

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A case of WTF???

WHO !!!!!!!!!!

that's all I am saying.

And of course......
*from seriouseats.com***

cause we are way to lazy to mix water or milk to a dry mix!!!
But it is organic and gluten free...wooohoooo"insert eye roll"

Ok this isnt exactly ....icky to me...lol Bacon and chocolate....mmmmmmmmmmmm

Then there is the weird crap McDonald's sells:




Friday, January 1, 2010

And all that Jazz

So 2010....."looks around kitchen"

Nope  Baby New Year  didnt leave important part to cusinart....bastard!!!!

Well anyway, not like i expected it.

Made a bit of sweet treat lst week at the request of son:

so step by step for
                                                                   Tiramisu(well sort of)

I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips  just for a nice touch.
And I made a doublish batch.
Basically 12 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
18 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup espresso made super strong
2 packages of LadyFingers ...should have used like 3
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon real vanillia( dont fudge and use crappy imitation...makes a difference)
1 cup Ghirardellie chips..milk chocolate.
                                              Made in a 2 inch 1/2 hotel pan i borrowed from work.

Instant Espresso...double the dose  i.e extra extra strong. Yummy.

My son duncan separating the egg yolks from the whites

Whipping the egg yolks and sugar together (till pale)then adding mascarpone cheese  and some vanilla

Duncan assembling....dipping lady fingers in cooled espresso


 Layering mascarpone cheese mixture then adding more ladyfingers

Whipping Cream for top layer

Final outcome...topped with Ghirardellie Chips...mmmm
2hrs to Chill and eat away!

Another key is to add sugar to the heavy cream as you whip it...but not to much otherwise your head with break off from rot.

Was very very good.