No Place Like Home

Carving pumpkins with the family.

Carving pumpkins with the family.

There is nothing better than a welcome home from your dog!

There is nothing better than a welcome home from your dog!

My youngest brother and I picked out some pumpkins to carve

My youngest brother and I picked out some pumpkins to carve.

I’ve been at school now for a little over a month and everyday I feel more and more at home here.  However, this weekend I decided to go home home to visit some family and relax.  There is nothing better than coming home to my dog, who turns herself inside out whenever she sees me after a long time. I didn’t even realize until I got home how much I missed missed her and my kitchen! I realize that I haven’t posted in a few days so I thought I would share with you a few pictures from my classes this past week and from my weekend at home! 

Tasting flowers in product knowledge....broccoli flowers on the left and asparagus frawns on the right.  The broccoli flowers were sweet while the asparagus flowers tasted very grassy.

Tasting flowers in product knowledge….broccoli flowers on the left and asparagus frawns on the right. The broccoli flowers were sweet while the asparagus flowers tasted very grassy.

In product knowledge this week we focused on mostly peppers and tropical fruits.

This week in product knowledge we focused on peppers and tropical fruits.

Peppers

More peppers…

We also learned the differences between mature plants and immature plants.  The left is an immature snap pea and the right is a mature haricot vert.

We also learned the differences between mature plants and immature plants. The left is an immature snap pea and the right is a mature haricot vert.

Tasting plate of bell peppers, pineapple and a green papaya salad with cilantro and fish sauce.

Tasting plate of bell peppers, pineapple and a green papaya salad with cilantro and fish sauce.

More bell pepper, persimmon and banana.

More bell peppers, persimmon and banana.

This week in fundamentals we learned how to make consomme (a perfectly clarified stock).  These are the aromatics and garnish for the finished consomme.

This week in fundamentals we learned how to make consomme (a perfectly clarified stock). These are the aromatics and garnish for the finished consomme.

By adding a clarifying mixture including ground meat, egg whites, tomato, mirepoix, aromatics, and salt (basically a meatloaf) to a stock you can remove the impurities through protein coagulation and denaturation.  The result is a crystal clear liquid with a complex, rich flavor.

By adding a clarifying mixture including ground meat, egg whites, tomato, mirepoix, aromatics, and salt (basically a mini meatloaf) to a stock you can remove the impurities through protein coagulation and denaturation. The result is a crystal clear liquid with a complex, rich flavor.

The clarification mixture will eventually form and raft at the top of the stock.   This is when the clarification begins.

The clarification mixture will eventually form into a raft at the top of the stock. This is when the clarification begins.

Finished consomme with celeriac and carrot garnish.

Finished consomme with celeriac and carrot garnish.

My team was in charge of stock again this week. We got stuck in the elevator with 120+ pounds of veal bones!

My team was in charge of stock again this week. We got stuck in the elevator with 120+ pounds of veal bones!

Learning how to make pincage...caramelized onions, carrots, celery and tomato paste. This is used to add flavor and color to veal stock.

Learning how to make pincage…caramelized onions, carrots, celery and tomato paste. This is used to add flavor and color to veal stock.

Herbs and finished pincage.

Herbs and finished pincage.

Learning how to make perfect mashed potatoes.

Learning how to make perfect mashed potatoes….”creamy and dreamy” as my chef would say.

Vichyssoise (potato leek soup)

We also learned how to make vichyssoise (potato leek soup).

Truffles at lunch!

Truffles at lunch!

Challah bread at dinner.

Challah bread at dinner.

Delicious cream of mushroom soup

Delicious cream of mushroom soup.

Soy glazed salmon, sesame carrots, bok choy, and jasmine rice for dinner

Soy glazed salmon, sesame carrots, bok choy, and jasmine rice for dinner.

Tiramisu for dessert one night

Tiramisu for dessert one night.

Fantastic lunch at one of the CIA's on campus resturants Caterina de Medici...seasonal white bean soup.

Fantastic lunch at one of the CIA’s on campus resturants Caterina de Medici…seasonal white bean soup.

Bianco pizza with acorn squash, goat cheese, grapes and arugula. *For more instagram pictures of CIA food and happenings follow: lauramaebowman, theculinaryinstituteofamerica, saidmdj

Bianco pizza with acorn squash, goat cheese, grapes and arugula. *For more instagram pictures of CIA food and happenings follow: lauramaebowman, theculinaryinstituteofamerica

Shared this pumpkin cheesecake one night...yum!

Shared this pumpkin cheesecake one night…yum!

I was excited to drive around and stop at all my favorite places while I was home.

I was excited to drive around and stop at all my favorite places while I was home.

Studying and having breakfast by the fire.

Studying and having breakfast by the fire.

I missed my doggie!

I missed my doggie!

I was excited to go grocery  shopping...I am rarely without food at school!

I was excited to go grocery shopping…I am rarely without food at school!

I stocked up on lots of fall fruits and veggies like apples, pears, grapes and squash.

I stocked up on lots of fall fruits and veggies like apples, pears, grapes and squash.

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When I came home our house was completely decorated for fall and Halloween.

When I came home our house was completely decorated for fall and Halloween.

Back to the grocery store on Sunday...I couldn't help it...

Back to the grocery store on Sunday…I couldn’t help it!

Mid-day frozen yogurt break with my brother...we called it lunch.

Mid-day frozen yogurt break with my brother…we called it lunch!

All fall flavors to choose from including cider donut.

All fall flavors to choose from including cider donut.

My favorite is the original tart yogurt with lots of fresh raspberries and dark chocolate.

My favorite is the original tart yogurt with lots of fresh raspberries and dark chocolate.

You couId say I missed cooking in my kitchen!

You couId say I missed cooking in my kitchen!

Perfect apples and grapes available right now.

Perfect apples and grapes available right now.

Sachet for soups: parsley stems, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and cracked black pepper.

Sachet for my soups: parsley stems, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and cracked black pepper.

I decided since I was making butternut squash soup and onion soup that I would make my own chicken stock. I used these carrots for flavor in my chicken stock and butternut squash soup.

I decided since I was making butternut squash soup and onion soup that I would make my own chicken stock. I used these carrots for flavor in my chicken stock and butternut squash soup.

5 pounds of onions for onion soup!

5 pounds of sliced onions for onion soup!

Fall salad with spring greens, grapes, Parmesan cheese, dried cranberries, candied pecans and pomegranate balsamic.

Fall salad with spring greens, grapes, Parmesan cheese, dried cranberries, candied pecans and pomegranate balsamic.

Endive, apple and pear slaw with a Gorgonzola dressing, pecans and dried cranberries.

I took inspiration from the restaurant I ate at last weekend in Rhinebeck, Market Street.  I made my own interpretation of there endive salad. I made an endive, apple and pear slaw with a Gorgonzola dressing, pecans and dried cranberries.

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Focaccia bread from Apple Pie Bakery at CIA

Focaccia bread from Apple Pie Bakery at CIA

Butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soup

My mom made a yummy pumpkin pie for dessert

My mom made a yummy pumpkin pie for dessert

Had to have my favorite breakfast while I was home...yogurt, granola and lots of fruit.

Had to have my favorite breakfast while I was home…yogurt, granola and lots of fruit.

Another fall salad: arugula, roasted butternut squash, grapes, Parmesan, feta, dried cranberries and balsamic.

Another fall salad: arugula, roasted butternut squash, grapes, Parmesan, feta, dried cranberries and balsamic.

Duxelle (a mixture of mushrooms, shallots and garlic) stuffed tomatoes and baked with Parmesan and breadcrumbs.

Duxelle (a mixture of mushrooms, shallots and garlic) stuffed tomatoes and baked with Parmesan and breadcrumbs.

My mom requested onion soup...so I made a big pot of it to have Sunday night and leftovers for my family for the rest of the week.

My mom requested onion soup…so I made a big pot of it to have Sunday night and leftovers for my family for the rest of the week.

Sperlonga grilled cheese with Havarti cheese, mozzarella, and arugula. I grilled this over high heat on our outdoor grill.

Sperlonga grilled cheese with Havarti cheese, mozzarella, and arugula. I grilled this over high heat on our outdoor grill until the bread was crisp on the outside and the cheese was melted.

I had a fun weekend at home cooking and spending time with family, but I am excited to go back to school. Check in soon for more posts on happenings at the CIA!