Friday, August 21, 2009

a little bit of randomness

IMG_4446 I don’t really have a specific topic for this post, and it probably won’t be my most stellar, but I just wanted to post and say hello!

Whew, today is Friday and boy am I a happy camper in the non-tent, non-outdoor form, of course!  Fridays always make me happy even though the weekends always fly by way too fast. 

Since my last post I went to the Farmer’s Market here in Las Vegas started by Molto Vegas.  I actually found out about it from our Staff Meeting at work.  Every meeting they highlight a specific program at UNCE, and this time it was the ‘Producer to Chef’ program with Bob Morris.  Wow, this really got me excited!  Doug Taylor, the executive pastry chef for Molto Vegas was also there because he was the man who started the great producer-to-chef relationship with all the local farms near the Vegas area (150 mile radius).  When they told us about this farmer’s market, I literally wanted to jump out of my seat with delight!  I’ve been to a few farmer’s markets here and just haven’t been that impressed.  This one . . . oh my gosh, loss for words.  It is located in a warehouse that is pretty cramped and there were a lot of people (word got out), but the product was just gorgeous!  The chefs in town get first dibbs and then the public gets to look around.  Connecting with the chefs is what really makes this farmer’s market work and helps the farmer’s to actually make money.  Boy, I am so glad they opened it to the public too. 

IMG_4444 I got some really great things and oh let me tell you I could have bought it all!  I got some pumpkin blossoms, leeks, yellow summer squash, figs, peaches, plums, lemon basil and purple basil.  I cannot wait to try these out!  I already had a bite of the lemon basil and it about knocked my socks off it was so good.  It’s like basil with a refreshing lemon-y punch.  You have to try this!  I also had one of the plums which was juicy and so full of flavor.  Usually at the store they taste like flavorless hockey pucks. 

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mmmm . . . I’m in heaven with this kind of stuff!  And you know what I’ve finally come to the realization that I have to go to culinary school no matter what that looks like or how I get there.  I’ve danced around the idea forever now.  This truly makes me excited and happy!  I’d like to go to Johnson and Wales because they actually have a culinary nutrition degree and I’ve taken a lot of the science-based classes already.  But, I may have to settle for the community college here because it’s way too expensive.  It is definitely on my must-do list :)  You have to hold me to it!!

This weekend we are planning on going to our friend’s double birthday/housewarming party which should be a lot of fun.  They plan on having beer pong, hehe!  Takes me back to the college days, although I wasn’t a big partier at all.  I didn’t even have a drink till I was 21 I swear.  But I do like to go dancing in da club!  I’d also like to get a good bike ride in on Saturday, but we’ll see how it goes.  I’ve been sorely sleep deprived this week and really just want to sleep in and catch up to be honest :)

Tonight for din din I went back on that chicken sausage broccoli pasta idea that I had in mind before my guy made us something special Wednesday :)  This is really a winner, and everyone I make it for really likes it.  My mom always requests it when I come to visit.  Oh and my mom is coming to visit me October 20th for a week!  I’m sooo excited!  Being that she is in North Carolina and I’m way over here in Vegas, it makes it really hard sometimes for me.  I do call my mom every day on the phone though!

Sorry for the terrible lighting, it was getting dark and the precious sunlight was dwindling!  Any camera pros know of a cheap light tent or some kind of light station to make great light?

I also added some of the farmer’s market leeks and TJ’s heirloom tomatoes.  This recipe is great because you can vary the ingredients based on what you have on hand :)

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I also made stuffed squash blossoms because, well, I’ve always wanted to try and make them!  I stuffed them with a mixture of ricotta, parmesan, goat cheese, garlic, pine nuts and lemon basil.  This is sooo good and would also be great stuffed in calzones, added to scrambled eggs, or as a bruschetta topping.

Then I made a tempura batter to plop them in before frying them to a crisp.  Here’s the recipe I based mine off of and this one too.  Wow!  So good!  I didn’t know how easy tempura batter is.  The blossoms are very unique and I love the puffy tempura batter!  Once we started frying Chris got a little fry happy, so we decided to try anything we could find :)  Broccoli, sweet potatoes(these are my favorite), whole wheat tortillas  . . .

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And even a string cheese!!!  

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Oooey, gooey cheese in the middle!  Yum!  I love tempura batter, and I haven’t fried anything ever in my own kitchen.  Can you believe that?  Of course I’ve had it at restaurants though.  It was fun, a bit messy, but oh so good! 

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Another big question for you  .  .  . I’ve been wanting to update my site for ages now, but it just hasn’t seemed to pan out mostly because I have no idea when it comes to website design.  I’d like to ask if you guys know of any one that is good with this kind of thing?  I’d be willing to pay, but I don’t have that big of a budget being that I just had to fork out my left kidney for grad school.  (Speaking of which, I’m going to be taking sports nutrition and research methods in physical activity).  I’d mostly just like to make it easier to navigate, with better graphics/background and add a few tabs, including a recipes tab with all my recipes I’ve posted.  Thanks for your thoughts!

Have you guys seen the FoodBuzz Blogger Festival itinerary yet??  Wow!  How freakin’ cool would that be?!  I am still in the process of being a featured publisher, but I would love to go! 

Well, if you’ve made it through this post and your head doesn’t hurt, I commend you!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Any fun plans??

 

 

 

 

    

16 comments:

Emmett said...

I love the pictures, looks very good and healthy, good job!

John said...

The zucchini flowers look fantastic! I started culinary school a while back (I am on the 4-year plan in a 2-year program ;-) and it is amazing...but I think that you can't really PLAN to go because you will never find the time; you will never say to yourself "OK, I have nothing to do for the next year...." so you just have to GO!!! Email me if you have questions about it, or check out my blog (I've been posting about an opportunity at school lately).

MelindaRD said...

That string cheese looks crazy. String cheese is one of my favorite snacks and I often recommend it to clients. It's low cal, filled with calcium, and easy to take anywhere. My caramel chew chew ice cream was great, but we moved on to these fruit pops I've been making. I'll post more about those in the future. If you haven't tried the yogurt and honey flavor from Edy's, you must. It is very tasty.

balancejoyanddelicias said...

Hi there~ like your randomness. those veggies from the market are so pretty!
really excited about your decision to go to culinary school, it will be so fun! that's a to-do list for me.
web design? I'd say it's really not so hard to do it by yourself. I just moved to wordpress and I'd say the transition took me few hours but it wasn't a big deal. if you have question about how to do it, I can help.
have a great weekend! :)

Gina said...

How wonderful!!! What a huge decision you are making, to go back to school, and for a culinary degree!! That's a great combination, RD and culinary master :) Good for you. You obviously have a lot of talent in the kitchen, it's very clear. The tempura looks amazing. I love taking healthy foods and making them a little sinful.
As for updating your site, check out "She Wears a Red Sox Cap..", she just paid someone to update her blog and it looks AWESOME. She has the contact on her blog too, I'm pretty sure.

Sweta said...

I keep hearing so much about TJ's-unfortunately we don't have one here!!
Kristen-you must join foodbuzz as a featured publisher.
I'm heading off to the Farmer's Market myself now-BTW,what do you do with the pumpkin blossoms?Do let me know.Will pick up some today :)
We had a great time in Vegas(heat not withstanding).We even drove down to the Grand Canyon-which was SO much fun.

Shannon said...

Hi there. I've never commented before but wanted to say hi since I am just entering into this world of blogging myself. Great blog you have! I am just going back to school to be an RD, so I enjoy seeing what people already in the field are doing with their careers. Culinary school sounds like a great next step. Good luck!

That tempura looks so good! I have seen at-home tempura kits, but have been afraid to try it. Glad to know how easy it is!

I'll be reading :)

Emily said...

Love the fresh veggies you got at the farmer's market. It's hard for me not to run deliriously from booth to booth, snatching up veggies because I get so excited.

One of my fellow interns at SLU attended J & W for culinary school! He says he's an expert energy bar maker, so maybe I'll have him do a guest post sometime. :-)

The tempura looks amazing! I've never tried it before, but you make it look so simple.

Kelly said...

Thanks for checking out my blog. I was getting so sick of looking at it myself that when I heard you could pay I was like lets do that! I used Leslie, this is the link: http://designedbyleslie.blogspot.com/

She was recommended to me by another blogger Sneaker Teacher and I believe she has competitive pricing. I should probably not have been paying for someone to design my blog but like I said I couldn't stand it anymore. The other thing I love is that she is a teacher and she uses the money she makes designing blogs to buy items for her classroom. How can we argue with that? It's almost like donating to a good cause. Anyway, I totally recommend it- just go to her site, you pick a design you like from the ones she lists and then she asks you a few questions about what you want to title things etc and then you are all set. She did mine in like 3 days and 2 of these days were her first two days of school! Impressive. Let me know if you have any more questions. I'm following you now :)

Astra Libris said...

Oh my goodness, I am SO excited about your tempura battered blossoms! They are G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!!

Ah, your farmer's market bounty is possibly dreamy... and your pasta recipe sounds Soooo yum! Looking forward to fixing the recipe soon!

Thank you so much for your incredibly sweet comment on my post... Your brought tears to my eyes with your kind words...

The Globetrotter said...

Congrats on deciding to go back to school! It sounds like you have a lot to look forward to :) all the food looks delish, by the way, oh my gosh. Hope to see you at the FoodBuzz Festival!

Lainie said...

Oooh I had no clue how easy tempura was! I'm very intriguied...I LOVE tempura. It's so darn good. And your farmer's market produce looks divine!

Thinspired said...

Wow, I am so impressed that you made tempura at home! That is so cool and definitely something I would love!
I'm excited about the FB Festival. I hope I am living back in CA by the time it comes. I have pre-registered to go. It would be neat to see you there!

Leslie said...

Hi Kristen-

I just read on "She Wears a Red Sox Cap" that you were interested in a blog makeover. I'm actually the person who designed her blog, and I'd love to help you if you're interested! Just email me at leslieflambert@gmail.com for further information.

burpandslurp said...

You're planning to go to culinary school? GOOD FOR YOU! WOW! That must take a lot of guts and passion...I wish you ALL the best and have no worries that you will rock it and love it!

And I know a lot of bloggers get website help from Zestycook...You may want to contact him! Here's his webby: http://zestycook.com

Tiffany! Van said...

Oh man, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I used to prepare a weeks worth of outfits in advance and there was nothing I loved more than getting brand new school supplies! Haha.

I completely lagged on getting my books this semester that I had to go make a trip to my school on a Saturday to rush and get all my books since I already had hw assigned! I thought I was the only one who didn't get excited for the first day of school anymore. On the second day, I completely forgot my writing utensils. Talk about unorganized.