The first two weeks of my Culinary Arts Program at The Institute of Culinary Education have flown by and I can honestly say that I couldn’t have dreamed of a more amazing and eye-opening experience. I have been exposed to an array of techniques and preparations that I never even knew existed, and best of all, I’ve gotten to actually experience them by doing them.
I’ve filleted a fish, shucked an oyster, killed a lobster, and fabricated a variety of beef, veal, pork and lamb sections – all for the very first time. I entered the program with no formal culinary experience, so half the time I find myself having to curb my wild enthusiasm and verbal exclamations to so many new sights.
What better way to put that leftover Halloween candy to use than to whip it into a homemade dessert? Grab your bulk-purchase favorites and use them as toppers on this quick-fix mix for super moist blondies. I used up my leftover Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on this first batch but would also suggest trying Snickers, Butterfinger or Andes Chocolate Mints for a sweet twist atop this comforting classic.
In the mood for Italian but don’t have the time or the skills to get homemade Chicken Parmesan on the table in time? Welcome to Book of Cooks, the first online portal to link local chefs with hungry consumers. It’s the Craigslist of the culinary world and the Amazon for appetites.
Type in your area code and food preference and Book of Cooks will generate a list of local chefs that are willing and able to make that gourmet wish come true. The site features reviews and ratings on each registered chef’s profile and includes a brief bio of their experience and interests. A map of your area code pinpoints each chef’s location, making your homemade meal just a click away.
The site it still in its early stages, so beware of a few kinks. I’ll be curious to see whether Book of Cooks takes off and I’ll be monitoring the site with every hope of adding my name and culinary school credentials to the list in just a few short months.
Celebrate the arrival of autumn with a fun twist on everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving flavors! I’m a huge fan of individual desserts, and with a layer of cream cheese frosting sandwiched between two pumpkin pie cakes, these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are the perfect sweet finale to any meal.
Part cookie and part cake, this recipe was inspired by my original chocolate foray into this classic dessert. I’ve borrowed the cream cheese frosting recipe from my Pumpkin Bars and adapted the pumpkin batter from a recipe featured on Serious Eats. The miniature cakes bake up in less than 15 minutes, making these hand-held sandwiches the perfect quick-fix dessert for your big feast.
I am on day four of my culinary arts program and not too surprisingly, I’m having the time of my life! The last few months have been spent in careful preparation for my start at The Institute of Culinary Education, and among the preparations was readying for the launch of my latest project, DICED: The Official Blog of the Institute of Culinary Education.
As managing editor, I have been busy organizing editorial calendars and getting familiar with the school’s endless offerings for both career and recreational programs. In addition to blogging about all of the exciting events taking place at ICE and around New York City’s food scene, I’ll also be chronicling my firsthand experience as a student in ICE’s Culinary Arts Program. This “behind the scenes” feature is aimed at providing an honest, first person perspective of life as a culinary student. So check out DICED for more information and stay tuned to Just a Taste for all the latest in food news and culinary trends.