Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chocolate & Zucchini

I visited a fantastic culinary blog tonight called Chocolate & Zucchini. I highly recommend it if you love food and chocolate. Click on Chocolate & Zucchini in the title and you will be on your way. Do not forget to bookmark ChefTami first.

Friday, April 14, 2006

King of Queens!

The King of Queens was not part of the CBS renewal announcements, due to a contract war. I really love the show and I hope it comes back for a 9th season in the fall. I hope the popularity of the King of Queens will save it and CBS will give them the money. The show makes me laugh and is one of the few where I will laugh out loud. Long live the King!

Word of the Day for Saturday April 15, 2006

Croquembouche is a tall pyramid made of cream filled choux pastry spheres coated with caramel and decorated. Traditionally served at French weddings. Photo by my friend at flickr pastrylife.
French origin.

Word of the Day for Friday April 14, 2006

Seven Minute Icing
Egg whites, granulated sugar, boiling water, cream of tartar and flavoring beaten briskly for 7 minutes over hot water bath until it reaches a meringue like consistency.
Origin United States.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Top Chef!

The finale for Top Chef airs Wed, May 17th on Bravo at 6:00 PM Pacific time. It is going to be filmed in Las Vegas, instead of the usual San Francisco. Head Chef Tom Collichio and food writer/host Katie Lee Joel (married to Billy Joel) have done a great job of telling the chef that needs to go at the end of the week to go pack their knives and go. A little catch phrase. This week Andrea was voted off and told to pack her knives and go. I do like her, but I think that just cooking vegetables put her at a disadvantage and she did not seem to have the drive to win the competition. Tiffani is really there to compete and to take home the fantastic prizes of $100,000, food and wine magazine spread, and new viking kitchen. I think that Leann is also strong in the competition her cooking skills are right on and she is the Executive chef at the French Culinary Institute one of the best cooking schools. She has a combination of skill, heart, talent, intelligence, and artistic ability to win the competiton. Harold is also doing well in the competition and he definitely has skill, but I do not think he will win. Stephen is one of the most arogant and self absorbed person in the world.His plating is beautiful, but after eating the little amount of food he plates anyone would still be hungry. I like Dave a lot and out of everyone on the show I could see myself actually eating his food. He cries a lot, but seems to have a big heart. As a chef, crying is not something desired. I am really enjoying this show and I hope it comes back next season.


I am going on a cruise in May from Tampa, Florida to the Grand Caymans, Costamia, Cozymel and Belize than back to Tampa. My brother Bill lives near Tampa in Lakeland, Florida and I am looking forward to seeing him, since it has been over a year. I went to Orlando, Florida for Christmas 2004 and that was the last time I saw him. I miss him. I am looking forward to the cruise and spending time with my Mom. We are taking the cruise together and we even have a balcony room, so that will be nice to be able to see the ports when you are entering each destination. This is my first cruise! I will take lots of photographs and the food is also going to be an interest to me and my camera.

Versatile Vodka

Portion of my Essay for my principles of gastronomy class.

The first vodka introduced in the United States in nineteen thirty-four was the Smirnoff brand. Rudolph Kunett bought both the formula and the name from Vladimir Smirnoff in Paris. Vladimir Smirnoff originally produced vodka in Russia. John Martin bought the company from Rudolph Kunett in nineteen thirty-nine for fourteen thousand dollars. Martin was very successful at promoting the drink in Hollywood movies. The Smirnoff vodka marketing campaign of the nineteen fifties increased the drinks popularity in the United States. In the United States, vodka consumption accounts for one-fourth of all distilled spirits sold. Vodka is more popular than ever accounting for one out of every four bottles of alcohol sold worldwide. The reason for vodkas dominance in the spirit market is its ability to be mixed into so many drink recipes. It also became popular due to its odorless quality and leaves no trace of alcohol on the breath allowing people to function at work or in social situations. In the United States, the Cosmopolitan became extremely popular and trendy in society and the bar scene due to its appearance on the hit television show, Sex and the City.

Neutral and colorless alcoholic beverage vodka consists of sixty-percent water with a smooth taste and odorless aroma. The water source is very important and explains why no two types of vodka taste alike. Unlike other spirits, vodka can be made with any carbohydrate that will ferment. Foods such as potatoes, beets, corn, rye or wheat can be made into vodka. Vodka is made from ethyl alcohol, fermented mash and water.

The vodka martini, screwdriver, Bloody Mary, White Russian, the Gimlet and Cosmopolitan are popular drinks made with a vodka base. Aromatic vodkas that are flavored with ginger, lemon peel, lime, mint, chocolate, cinnamon, grapefruit, banana, orange, raspberry, nutmeg, red pepper and vanilla have become popular in recent years. In the nineteen nineties Belvedere and the French Grey Goose was introduced. These have a brandy like toffee flavor and fruit aftertaste. Absolut is Swedish vodka with citrus and pepper flavoring thought to lighten the harshness of the near pure alcohol. These new vodkas in their fancy and frosted bottles have proven that vodka can sell for more than thirty dollars a bottle. The flavored vodkas have lost the traditionalism and authentic quality of the Eastern European vodkas. The real test of a good vodka producer would be the taste of unflavored vodka. In the United States, the flavored vodkas are intended for drinking as the base or mixer in a cocktail and they serve that purpose.

The fondness of vodka, in Russia has caused the government to profit over the weakness of their people. This has been great for the Russian economy, but the problem had been that Russians drank too much vodka. However, many Russians have become alcoholics. Vodka is a part of everyday life in Russia and could be compared to the consumption of coffee in the United States.

Hollywood movies, such as James Bond films have popularized this versatile vodka and have lead to the drinks success. Popular television shows, such as Sex in the City have also increased vodka consumption and awareness of the pink tinted Cosmopolitan. In the United States there is also an increase in Vodka Bars specializing in an extensive range of premium spirits. This has led to problems of addiction in the United States.
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jam Cupcakes Recipe!

12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons plus 1 Teaspoon pure maple syrup
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Jam or Jams of your choice

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line 12 standard size muffin cups with paper liners. Beat the butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is pale, light, and fluffy. This may take a few minutes, but it is worth it due to the lightness that it adds to these tasty cupcakes. Beat in the maple syrup and vanilla until incorporated. Then beat in the eggs one at a time and mixing just until incorporated after each addition. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold this flour mixture into the butter mixture just until compined. Spoon the batter into the paper liners. Bake the cupcakes for 18 to 24 minutes depending on oven accuracy. Use a cake tester or toothpick and insert it into cupcake and when it comes out clean they are done. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove them and set them on a cooling rack. While the cupcakes are still warm, spread the jam on the muffin tops. It can be spread as thick or thin as you like. When you spread it on thin it looks translucent like stained glass on top of these heavenly cupcakes.

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Word of the Day for Thursday April 12, 2006

Baking Term
Gelatinization is the process that starch granules go through to ultimately thicken a liquid. Gelatinization occurs when a starch and a liquid are heated, the starch absorbs the liquid, then the starch swells and ultimately thickens the liquid.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Word of the Day for Wednesday April 12, 2006

Dessert pastry
A round or oval puff pastry case filled with a cooked savory mixture. It is made by rolling out the pastry, then cutting out a shape. Then half cutting a smaller shape in the center. When baked the center is removed and the crisp top is replaced over the filling.
English and French Origins.

Word of the Day for Tuesday April 11, 2006

Cherries Jubilee
Vanilla Ice Cream topped with a sweet cherry sauce and flambeed tableside. Origin United States.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Place your blog on blogChalking at

This is my new blogchalk:
United States, Washington, Seattle, Tukwila, English,  , Tami, Female, 31-35, cooking , baking. :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Gastronomy student working hard!

I am going to Le Cordon Bleu for my master's in gastronomy. The degree takes place entirely over the internet. I am learning about food history, wine, confectionery and how to write about food. There is a lot of reading, studying and writing, but I have a better understanding of the vast field of gastronomy. It would be great when someone would pay me for writing about food, but I still enjoy doing if for free. Food is my life!!!
Chef Tami

Word of the Day for Monday April 10, 2006

Creole Crab
The meat from freshly boiled crab (10 minutes) fried gently in olive oil, a little water, chopped onion and garlic, lemon juice, seasoning, thyme, bay leaf and a chilli pepper added, then simmered slowly for thirty minutes. Served with boiled rice after discarding the bay leaf, thyme, bouquet garni and chilli pepper. Origin United States New Orleans.

Word of the Day for Sunday April 9, 2006

Crepes Suzette
Small pancakes folded in quarters, simmered in a buttery orange sauce, flamed with brandy and served as a dessert. French origin.

Duck Ala Orange!

I prepared this dish when I worked at the restaurant of my culinary school, The Art Institute of Seattle. It was my favorite dish to prepare and my Dad even ordered it three times.