Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Rest of the Story

Christmas DAY has come and gone...but the celebration of the Octave of Christmas still continues!

But just wanted to catch up on my Garde Manger finals...mostly because I find the finals practical's oddly amusing. (And I just found out I did get an A!)

All people have different tastes and styles. Chefs are no different. And they make their likes and dislikes known! It's how they teach. For instance: My first Chef instructor liked salt, and his favorite herb was that's what I added to my sauce! My second Chef liked artificial flavor bases, LOTS of salt, and disliked white that's what I kept in mind when I made my risotto! Chef Johnston paid attention on presentation detail.

After 8 weeks of mastering Garde Manger from Chef J...came our finals. Naturally I'd use the techniques he taught me to prepare my food...but wait!... I walk into the classroom on the first day of finals (recipes in hand!) to find a substitute teacher!

We had two days of final practical's with substitute teachers. On each day we were to prepare a menu with a description, a diagram of the final product, recipes and an Mise en Place/prep list attached. We would take a day of finals to make cold salad, and the second day to make a tray of h'orderves. But just image walking into the classroom to find a total different personality there waiting to grade you on what you were taught by someone else!

The first substitute Chef on the first day called my salad "boring" (but it was how Chef J taught us!). So I received a lower grade than I expected. On my second day I had learned my lesson. I impressed my teacher with h'rderves of Pear Chutney Crostini with Goat Cheese. It was perfect. She even gave me a lead on a job position!

All in all, getting a good grade in this program is all about impressing the instructor! The end!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A quiz!

 Survivors Pro-Life Club of Elgin Community College, proud American Life League Associates, held a pro-life display on Tuesday, November 26th in the student lounge.

Our table display consisted of many educational materials: fetal models borrowed from Dr. & Mrs. Johnson (friends of the club), American Life League literature, and a short quiz composed by club members. 

The fetal models were very attractive to passers-by. One young lady in particular was interested in first trimester fetal development. After some brief conversation she told us that she was about 8 weeks pregnant. We were able to offer her local crisis pregnancy center information and exchange personal contacts.
In addition to passing out American Life League literature, members of the club created a short "quiz" with questions such as: "How many abortions occur in the US each day?" and "During what stage of pregnancy is abortion legal in the US"? Once students took the quiz and were given the answers, they were awarded a can of Coke for their participation. (It was a huge hit!)

This may be hard to believe, but the baby in this picture is actually a "Reborn" doll!
Most people thought baby "Ben" was real!  He is the size of a 4 month old baby.

About 50 students took the quiz, the majority of them identified themselves to be pro-life. However, most were shocked to find out that abortion is legal up to all nine months of pregnancy and that there are 3,288 abortions performed each day in the US. With this new knowledge, many students who took the quiz were prompted to sign up for the college club!

The club looks forward to our next week's event of showing "October Baby"and welcoming our new members!

Special thanks to our club adviser Mrs. K S for her time and assistance!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cake Day!

Today was back-to-back cake day!

This morning I made gluten free cake for a friend's 50th birthday!  I love how it turned out! (It was my first time baking a gluten free cake!)

Then I headed over to my friend Finley's house to "help" her with a baby shower cake.  (She did it mostly by her talented self!)

We are definitively not "Cake Boss" perfect (yet), but had so much fun just catching up and doing what we love!

The Future of the Catholic Church

A friend of mine wrote an article here.

I think he hit the nail on the head. Our generation is searching for tradition - and the latin mass. 

Here's another video that discusses the same subject.

The latin mass is truly timeless!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Tonight I received a late night call from a friend.

She was distraught over what I too have been dealing with lately: defending our faith against homosexuality.

Everywhere I go I meet people dealing with this disorder: the hair dressers, my culinary class, school clubs... And more and more our culture keeps force feeding the lie that homosexuality is natural, and that we should be accepting, or better yet "tolerating" of it. But no. We cannot remain silent. If you saw a friend drowning, would you not throw them a safety net?

But how does one go about this?  Well, turns out Holy Mother Church is the safety net.

Fr. John Hollowel of Indiana has great YouTube channel full of videos that explore the Church's teaching on the subject.  These videos are from the religion class he teaches, and some homilies. Check them out! Know your faith!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Guardian

It is always a treat to have friends visit. Especially when you don't see them very often... There is a joy that comes with catching up, as if there could never be too great of a distance between the friendship.

St. Stanisalus

Church touring with a friend. 

Holy Trinity 
Beautiful inside and out!

The children of the world are separated one from another because their hearts are in different places; but the children of God, having their hearts where their treasure is, and sharing only one treasure - which is the same God - are consequently always united and joined together. 
~St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Monthly Infant King Novena

O Divine Child Jesus, reign in our hearts! 

O Divine Infant Jesus, I have recourse to
Thee. Please, through Thy Blessed Mother,
assist me in this necessity (mention intention here),
because I firmly believe that Thy Divinity can
help me. I hope with confidence to obtain Thy
holy grace. I love Thee with all my heart and
with all the strength of my soul. I repent
sincerely of my sins and I beg Thee, O Good
Jesus, to grant me the strength to triumph over
them. I resolve never more to offend Thee and I
come to offer myself to Thee with the intention
of enduring everything rather than to displease
Thee. Henceforth, I desire to serve Thee with
fidelity and, for the love of Thee, O Divine
Infant, I will love my neighbor as myself.
 All powerful Infant, O Jesus, I implore
Thee again, assist me in this need. Grant me the
grace of possessing Thee eternally with Mary
and Joseph and of adoring Thee with the angels
in the heavenly court. Amen.

Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest 

Novena is to be said the 17th-25th of each month.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Semester #____

Yeah, I've sorta lost count at what semester I'm in, but I'm slowly moving along in my community college culinary program.

This semester I'm studying "Garde Manger" - "to keep to eat."

So far the class has discussed the history of food preservation, caviar (not so tasty on it's own!), appetizers and hors d'oeuvre, cold sauces and condiments (like mayonnaise and mustard), cold soups, plate preservation, and salads. And we are only in the 5th week!  I really can't believe it's going by so fast.

Food preservation.  I always think of canning, but in the food industry, it goes beyond that! Today food preservation consists of the "cold kitchen" or those in charge of the salad station, appetizers, sauces - and the things I mentioned above.  And it's a very important position. 

Condiments for instance: mayonnaise and mustard, help emulsify so many dressings!  Add a little bit of honey mustard to your lemon poppy-seed vinaigrette and you've got a thicker salad dressing! (And oh so good!)

But making mayonnaise from scratch is another story.  After watching a demonstration - that made it look so easy, I confidently walked back to my cooking station and began whisking my egg yolk.  But right after my Chef said "let's see if the entire class can make their mayonnaise perfectly the first time" I started having problems... (fortunately, I wasn't the only one)

You see, all mayonnaise is is an egg yolk, a little vinegar (2 tbl. spoons) and 6-8 oz of oil for each egg yolk.  First, you whisk up the egg yolk and vinegar until slightly foamy  or ribbon stage. (think thick sauce ~ bbq sauce) Then, gradually add your oil in very extremely slowly.  That's where I went wrong.  I added my oil by a steady stream right from the beginning.  When first adding your oil, add it drop by drop.  It should take 5-10 minutes of whisking and gradually adding your oil to incorporate it into the thick consistency you want.  Salt, pepper and lemon juice was added to taste.

In a vinaigrette, the oil and vinegar separate from each other.  But because of the yolk in the mayonnaise, they come together with the help of your whisking muscle.  This is because of a chemical called lecithin found in the egg yolk that makes it an emulsifier.  Fascinating, right?

But besides that mishap, everything else has been going great.  We've made a cherry chutney, a "perfect pesto", yummy mustard, and a mixed berry coulis that was served with chocolate cake.

Next week we start smoking fish and pork!  MmmmMmmm!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Crown of Roses"

October is the month of the Holy Rosary!

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description." ~ Ven. Archbishop Sheen

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sub tuum

Sub tuum praesidium
Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias
in necessitatibus nostris,
sed a periculis cunctis
libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta

Under thy protection
we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions
in our needs,
but from all dangers
deliver us always,
Virgin Glorious and Blessed.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Warning: I'm fasting today

Maybe it’s because of my doleful given name, but over the years Lent has become one of my favorite seasons.  I have been reading daily mediation from “The Liturgical Year” by Dom Prosper Gueranger to keep me on track this year. So with that being said here’s a little what I’ve read so far:  Holy Mother Church (in her apostolic succession authority) reminds us of the forty days and forty nights of the old testament deluge, the Hebrew people in punishment for their ingratitude in the dessert before they could enter the promised Land, the when God told Ezechiel to lie forty days on his right side as a figure of the siege which was to bring upon destruction in Jerusalem.  It was thus for God chose 40 days for his Son to fast in the dessert.  The act of fasting is pleasing to God and helps purify our souls by denial of the flesh and makes us strong – so that we are worthy to sing the Alleluia once we conquer our enemies: the devil, the flesh and the world! Blessed Lent, everyone! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Happy feast of Bl. Jose del Rio who was martyred in Mexico at the age of 14 on this day in 1928. 

Just wanted to let you know about a giveaway going on at Catholic Cuisine!  Comment before the 16th of February, and this apron could be yours!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

March for Life 2013

Here's a short video of one of my favorite experiences of this year's March for Life.


This video makes me so happy.  Great for those days when you need a little pro-life boost!

(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI has pledged his support for the March for Life in the United States. Using his @pontifex Twitter handle, the Pope said, "I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life." This year's March for Life is marking the 40th anniversary of the US Supreme Court's decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal in all fifty states. Earlier this week, the Holy Father issued his Message for World Communication Day, in which he called on Catholics to be engaged through all forms of social media, especially new media, in spreading the Good News and building up public discourse.