When Simple is All You Need: The Grace of a Well-Cooked Egg (Egg Primer 101)

Daniel making eggsSome say that the numerous pleats of the tall, chef’s toque hat is a nod to the gastronomic wonder of the numerous ways to cook an egg. Even after culinary school, I can neither confirm nor deny whether there are more than a 100 ways to cook an egg. Investigative reports thus far seem inconclusive. See http://www.bonappetit.com/people/chefs/article/why-are-there-100-folds-in-a-chef-s-toque.

I only know that I love a well-cooked egg. It’s beautifully packaged and complete unto itself.

The other day as I sat with a small panel of chef instructors to taste students’ final presentations of their French cuisine menus, a conversation around eggs began. We were tasting exciting dishes such as

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Ancient Chinese Secrets 101-Boost the Immune System

IMG_0012Disclaimer: I have no medical background and claim no knowledge of medicine. The name of the recipe below is “Immune Boosting Tea” but neither I nor anyone mentioned in this article make any medical claims about the tea made from the recipe provided.

Brrr…cough, cough. Sun? Not always. Freezing rain, maybe. Snow in spring, almost a fifty-fifty chance in Wisconsin.

This year, students of mine fell ill in droves, and so did I. A student came to me to ask if I could help her, because she was experiencing chills and rising heat. She had heard of a time when I brewed a pot of tea full of spices, including garlic, ginger, and cinnamon to help a Product Identification class overcome a wave of sickness. In Healing Spices, Bharat Aggarwal, PhD, writes about the thousands of studies done by the National Institutes of Health. According to Aggarwal, a small study in England and Russia found a correlation between garlic and cold prevention. Ginger may help to manage the nausea of flu.

I had my student peel the ginger in the recipe with the tip of a spoon facing downward toward the ginger root, because it’s safer. I worked at slicing the scallions. The interesting thing about this immune boosting tea

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Beating Batman-A Diversity lesson in cupcakes for Superman and Friends

Sweet treats | March 11, 2017 | By

daniel-with-his-superheroes-and-cupcakes-2Sweets and The Arrival of Superman
Superheroes do things for us that seem beyond our reach in the moment. They have clarity of purpose and often a power that we secretly wish for in ourselves.

Daniel’s daycare instructor, Ms. Dee (abbreviated here), recently told me that distinguishing whether you are a boy or a girl is a developmental milestone, one that our two-year old son, Daniel, hasn’t quite caught on to yet.

He distinguishes males and females as “dadas” and “mamas.” Daniel has never given much thought to his peers and his identity within groups, because he is an only child; and talking about gender isn’t a big topic in our household.

When Ms. Dee asked him,

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Foie Gras-The Crux of My Gastronomic Dilemma

Food Politics | August 20, 2016 | By

foie gras terrine with crostiniI never thought I would say this, but I may be “foie gras-ed out.” My friend, Jaimee, would probably come to Wisconsin to check my temperature if she read this. Maybe my friend Millie would too.

In days past, I used to dream of having more time in Chicago to dine on Graham Elliot’s foie gras lollipops. I used to hope to see foie gras on more common menus in other places. Locally, in Wisconsin, I ordered it most recently when I saw a chef’s rendition of a foie gras crême brûlée. It was beautifully done, so much so that we ordered two. It isn’t part of the culinary lexicon of most Wisconsin commercial kitchens, only the bold and higher-end establishments. Its scarcity has always made me want it more.

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Wanna cookie? Pianos and Persian-style Almond Cookies

Sweet treats | August 3, 2016 | By

persian almond cookieCookies, especially small ones, remind me of Mrs. Thomas, my first piano teacher in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

By the time I was four and old enough to follow my brother, Gus, into her home to take piano lessons, she was fully white-haired. She had friendly, Mrs. Santa Claus glasses and an up-do to match. Her thin, patterned print dresses  loosely swayed around her legs whenever she answered the door. She moved slowly and very intentionally to welcome us. We might have been among her youngest students, but despite the difference in age, she understood us, our motivation, and the root of our happiness.

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On Chocolate-A blog post revisited

Chocolate | July 23, 2016 | By

on-chocolate

Chocolate in almost anything is good. I was nostalgic in looking at my old blog posts and pulled this one back up, because of how much fun I had cooking with Jules Blanc. She is a pastry chef extraordinaire. She calls me “Cocoa Bean,” one of my favorite nicknames. I’m hoping to do more pastry work someday. For now, I rely on Saucy Guy to do a lot of the baking while I chase my Saucy Boy (who is nearing 2 years old) around the house. The photo above is evidence of Saucy Guy’s genius. He put dark chocolate into the bottom of a pecan pie. He elevated the pie right into the atmosphere!

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