Resolution Rehash

My friend has mantras instead of new years resolutions.  I saw a quick post on facebook, in January, but it stuck with me.  I can’t do an epic new years resolution that supposedly will last all year and make me a stronger and improved human.

So in the same spirit, a mantra or two:

Be a better person to yourself.

Do things that make you feel better.

Water is delicious, always.

Eat the way you want to.

Do yoga everyday, even if its 10 minutes.

Have some tiny balls, at the least.

Dont give up because you think you are dumb or wrong- the times that you are right make up for the times that you are wrong.

Stop being so stressed out and vent your issues in a constructive and non-intrusive way.

Marigold has been ignored for long enough- time to make time for her, and for art.

Don’t be afraid to do things for yourself.  Be more selfish, tell people what you need them to do for you.  STOP doing everything all the time- it’s not fair to anyone.

Be positive, be happy, feel the love.

 

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Fire Cake

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Flaming piri piri marshmallow, candy coated chocolate mousse, honey caramel, candied cocoa nibs, dulce de leche crumb, pomegranate preserves.

This dessert captures the essence of the restaurant, more so than anything else I have created.  The concept of the restaurant is built around a wood burning kitchen that is open for the diners to see.  The kitchen is basically a wall of flames dancing in the backdrop of a delicious meal.  I wanted to bring a piece of that excitement to each table, I wanted to bring a slice of the action to each diner, I wanted the fire to be an integral part of the meal.

I am pretty happy with the outcome of this dish.  It is chocolate based but not too heavy.  It is not overly sweet, it is gooey, an array of textures backed by a fruit component, and a hint of spice.

To be honest, I have been working on this dish for a while, documented here Table side Effigy and here Wait for It and again here Version 1.0

Still, this dish is not done yet.  It still has to evolve into something greater, into something better, into a new identity.  It is always hard to top a winner, and the challenge leaves a lot of room for disappointment.  Nevertheless, I only see room for potential.  The evolution continues.

 

Cut off

It’s that time of year again.  I dread this time, but I am simultaneously looking forward to changing my ways.  Every year I do a 30 day paleo challenge- a time when I have to drastically change my lifestyle and eating habits for the better.  This year, I really need it.  I have really gone off the rails in terms of using red wine as a source of stress reliever and personal reward.  I have been taking most of my meals out of the fryer, I have been ordering food on my weekends, too lazy to grocery shop,to  cook, and to clean.  Lately I have trimmed my meals down to once a day because I don’t even want to take the time to chew.  I am not mad at myself, I am not disappointed in my past behavior, but it is time to act mature about the things I put in my body.  This is the time to concentrate on everything that I put in my mouth.  No more comfort eating, no more boredom snaking, no more stress french fries.

So, the next 30 days will focus on vegetables and fresh food.  It will focus on water and self-improvement.  Aside from the diet goals, I have to do a full body overhaul.  I have to stretch, exercise, write, read, photograph, and create art.  I have to stop so much focus on work, and focus on my physical and artistic self.

VDAY 2017

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Red Wine Velvet.  Dark chocolate, red wine, toasted almond, red rose petal, pomegranate.

This plate is a celebration of love and sensuality.  Chocolate, red wine, and roses- all the things a luck lady wants to receive on this Hallmark of Love Holiday.  Complimented with almond and pomegranate, a dark chocolate ganache cake spiked with red wine is the centerpiece.  All the flavors are aphrodisiacs, the texture is very rich, smooth, and deep.  Topped with cold, creamy toasted almond ice cream, below a tangy pomegranate glaze, paired with crunchy rose petal candy and caramel almonds, red wine pearls strung along, this is memorable dish was created to enjoy with love.

Now that its over, more!

Good God restaurant week was the cherry on top of hell after the craziest 8 months I have ever known.

Then valentine’s day, the couples haven of romance and dining out.  That particular weekend was met with a mountain of challenges, a rant in which I will keep to myself.

Today is the day after, the day when I wish I could call in sick and hide in bed sheets all day, fogetting that I even exist.

No, instead I press on with much needed changes.

Goals to get done as soon as I can:

Pao  de queijo improvement project

Manioc crackers

Cassava Crepes

New 3 leches

New self bruleeing dessert

New fire cake

New pionono

Fry bread

Pan de chapa with cheese accoutremente.

After taste testing and making the recipes fool proof, then the staff has to be trained, details have to be written, then everything costed out.

It’s an unending circus of creating, and I love it.  Tiredness and loss of motivation be damned, we have to plan for spring.

 

It’s not a Sundae

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This is the realization of an ice cream dream flavor.   Presented above is yerba mate ice cream, fernet spiked fudge, fresh mint candy, candied cocoa nibs, and creme chantilly.

The vanilla ice cream base is infused with mate tea before it is spun.  A rich, thick, gooey dark chocolate fudge is finished with a moderate hand of fernet- a minty herbaceous digestif that is a staple in the Argentinian liquor palette.  Here I combine two flavors that demonstrate a large culinary influence in Argentinian culture.

The ice cream is complimented with two crunchy textural items- a crumbly mint candy and the harder cocoa nib.  The mint candy is a simple ingredient that I am very proud of.  It is a method that I contrived by trial and a small dash of non-intention, or coincidence perhaps.  I wanted to make a candy cane concept that was crushed.  The main issue is that when you crush sugar candies they leave sharp shards that can impale the tongue.  I figured that candy canes must be made from pulled sugar, and from there I intentionally created sugar crystals.  Normally the crystallization of sugar in an end product is a mistake- it changes the entire texture to that of a sandy nature.  I took that effect and manipulated  it into a desirable form.  These large crumbles have a strong flavor of fresh mint leaves, that quickly dissipate after a few rounds with the teeth.

I am pretty much obsessed with candied cocoa nibs- they are just divine.  This very rich and bitter little nugget of raw cocoa responses alarmingly well to a dose of sugar-coating.

The final touch to the dish is a dollop of whip cream, a refreshing cloud of creaminess to lift the dish up, to add some air to the web of flavors and textures.

 

Brain Freeze

I love ice cream, and I really love finding new flavors to make and sell.  I like to do things that nobody else is doing, to push people’s curiosity.  I want to be inspiringly interesting.

Food can made you think, food can give you a different perspective.  It’s not going to change anyone’s life, but like art, it can open up a part of the brain that has become dormant from working too much and watching too much terrible TV, defense mechanisms used to cope with this strange, flawed adventure called life.

I recently made a yerba mate meringue and it’s deliciousness surpassed my expectations.  This got me thinking about other ways to use this Latin American tea as a flavor.  I was reading about this ingredient, and discovered that adding mint to mate is a traditional pairing.  As the holidays approach, this made my mind race.

Mate and mint,  this is a good base for ice cream flavor.  I would use spearmint because I prefer it to peppermint.  But it has to be fresh mint- I don’t like to use extracts or artificial colors.  Plus fresh mint create the most glorious natural green color.  Nothing can beat it in flavor and visual appeal.

Holidays make me think of peppermint bark, candy canes, and brittle candies.  I want to use yerba mate as an ice cream base, and serve it with house made crushed up candy cane.  And chocolate.  The people are going to love it- a perfect Latin American fusion.

I am looking forward to creating this great ice cream flavor… stay tuned for further updates.