Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Portland

I flew back to Portland again this year to spend the holidays with my family. Stanley is back in the States this year, so this was the first time the whole family had been together for Christmas in a few years and it was really nice. As is usually the case with me and my parents, there was quite a bit of cooking going on. We all felt like last year's feast was one of the best we've ever done, but we managed to improve upon it this year with a little help from Thomas Keller.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Emily's Chemistry Adventures: Dressed Up Vodka Tonic

It's a stretch to call this an adventure, since it was super-easy and I knew it would work. My actual chemistry adventure was a bit of a failure due to a misinterpretation of an ingredient... but I'll get to that at the end. First, I had this calcium chloride bath sitting around from last week, so I decided to get some nice fruit juice to spherify. I had no luck finding what I wanted (which was guava), so I grabbed a can of mango nectar at H-Mart and made this fun and simple cocktail:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Emily's Chemistry Adventures: Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake with Nutella Powder and Frangelico Caviar

I got a big box of chemicals in the mail the other day, and am looking forward to playing with them. My pain issues are making it hard for me to spend 13 hours in the kitchen making fun, elaborate dishes these days, so I thought molecular gastronomy would be a way to keep having fun in the kitchen without spending quite so much time in there. There will probably be a lot of failures to go along with any successes, and I promise to report on both. I'm easing into things by starting with two garnishes for Mini Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut Cakes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Champagne Dinner

I typically tend to pair champagne only with appetizers, so the Gordon's Annual Champagne Dinner turned out to be an eye-opening experience. Chefs Bryan Roof and Dan Souza from America's Test Kitchen came up with some fantastic food pairings for every wine, and at the end of the night I found myself wondering why I hadn't started exploring the world of champagne pairings earlier. After an aperitif of Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top (a really nice light, slightly fruity chamapgne), the meal got under way with an Amuse of Chatham Oysters with Tobiko Caviar Vinaigrette.