The Culinary Institute of America

As many of you know, it has been my dream to attend The Culinary Institute of America since I was in 2nd grade (8 years now). I fell in love with the campus upon visiting in 5th grade, and today I had the opportunity to go back for an open house!

Back in 5th grade, we visited informally. My family and I were able to  walk around and see what the campus was like, as well as dine at St. Andrews Cafe , and Apple Pie Bakery. Today at the open house, I now have the mindset of a prospective student, and although I am still two years away, it feels so real.

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May 2011 to May 2016 

Everything about the CIA is lovely. Laying right on the Hudson River there is a marvelous view. The classrooms are beautiful stocked with every piece of equipment a baker can dream of! The campus is pristine, and not to mention the amazing food. Along with touring the campus, we were also able to watch a chef demonstration. This made me so eager to start learning!

The one thing that I noticed each student, staff member, or chef had was a passion for food. As they say, “Food is Life”, and they embrace that in its entirety. The streets of the campus are even named after herbs! It was great to be able to experience that for a day, and hopefully I will be able to everyday for college.

The opportunities seem to be endless in the culinary field through the CIA. The ability to go on an externship to gain real-life experience, attend in the San Antonio, Napa Valley, or Singapore campuses to focus on specific programs, along with studying in a different country is incredible. My love for travel and food will be combined, and I think I will be one happy girl. Thank you CIA for a wonderful day, I hope to see you soon!

 

 

 

Ombré Cupcakes in A Jar

Hey y’all!

I’m a little late with sharing with you how to make these ombré cupcakes in a jar. I was on CT Style in March to make these cute little goodies for St. Patrick’s Day, however they are so versatile and can be used for any occasion. They are perfect anytime you need a mess-free dessert, or just a fun and unique treat to wow your guests!

I hope you enjoy these, and as always- let me know if you try them 🙂

Key Lime Pie… in a Jar!

Hello bakers, your probably wondering where in the world I have been the last few months, and the good news is I am still alive. I turned 16 back in December, and since then it feels like my life has been on fast forward. I am now working, and have my learners permit, so now I am focused on getting my license. I’m movin’ up in the world! Along with that I have also taken up a daily practice of yoga. Every morning I wake up at 5:20 and do a solid half an hour of it. Its been such a wonderful and rewarding experience. I love my job, love my yoga, and love school, however when my head hits the pillow at night I am exhausted!

This entire school year, I have been so into making desserts in mason jars. I have my wonderful teacher, Mrs. D to thank for feeding into my obsession 🙂 Not only are they absolutely adorable, and extremely convenient, but it has taught me to become more creative when coming up with the flavors I put into them. In the start of the school year I did a lemon pound cake layered with a fresh whipped cream, berries and peaches. Around Thanksgiving, I became a little more creative and came up with perhaps the most interesting combination of flavors…but it worked. It was a gingerbread cake, a cranberry apple compote, layered with an eggnog whipped cream. Lastly, for Valentines day, I made ombré cupcakes in a jar layered with buttercream and a raspberry pureé.

So anyway, here I am, and today I will be sharing with you the recent heavenly creation of mine- Key Lime Pie in a Mason Jar. These are the perfect treat for any St. Patricks Day festivities you may be attending. As you will notice, I did not include a recipe for all of the components, because the great thing about this treat is there is a lot of leeway for you to adapt it and make it your own. The components of this jarred dessert are:

  1. Pound Cake with lime zest
  2. Fresh key lime curd
  3. Whipped cream with lime curd
  4. A graham cracker and white chocolate “crust”

1. So to prep, you will need to grab your trusty pound cake recipe and add to it: the zest of one lime, and 2 tsp. of lime juice. Cube the cake when it is time to cut.

2. I attached the lime curd recipe I used via hyperlink. It is absolutely fantastic and I could probably eat it with a spoon.

3. The whipped cream- for every 1 pint (2 cups) of whipping cream, and 1/4 cup of the curd once stiff peaks have formed. Fold it in.

4. For the “crust”, create a standard graham cracker crust but omit any added sugar. Just use enough butter to allow the right texture. Add in some white chocolate chips.

5. To assemble, layer the components in the order listed above. Best of luck, and if you attempt this dessert, or any jarred dessert, feel free to share it with me!

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Individual Apple Pie Baked Apples

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, now is the time to be choosing what will be served at your family festivities. Instead of your classic apple pie, this fun twist will surely be a crowd pleaser. Not only are these apple pie baked apples delicious alone, but are even better when warmed and accompanied by vanilla ice cream. Make these for the holidays and your guests will never fight over who has the bigger piece of pie again! Check out how to make these delectable treats in my latest CT Style segment below.

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Parfaits

Crisp air, leaves falling, and of course, pumpkins and apples everywhere- it is finally beginning to feel like fall. Personally, some of my favorite foods are enjoyed in the fall season. From hot apple cider and apple cider donuts, to pumpkin iced coffee, pumpkin scones, and of course, pumpkin bread, you just can’t go wrong . The only downside of loving fall foods so much, is that theres so many things to make and try, but autumn only lasts for a such short period of time. Making caramel apples, cheesecake, and apple pie can take quite a while, but what if I told you you can get all of those wonderful fall flavors in one easy and elegant dessert?

Because you can 🙂

Heres what I call a Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Parfait. There are some recipes similar to this on the internet, however I have adapted them to create my own with a balanced amount of flavors.

There are 4 components to this dessert; apples, caramel, cheesecake filling, and graham cracker crust. and although it looks intimidating I promise you it is not.

Cooked Apple Ingredients:

  • 5-7 apples of your choice, peeled& diced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. or so of cinnamon
  • Nutmeg, ginger, and cloves to taste

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, simmer until apples are tender.

Salted Caramel (courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Cheesecake Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 container of Cool Whip
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Optional: 1 tsp. cinnamon

Beat cream cheese and Cool Whip until smooth, add ingredients, mix.

Graham Cracker “Crust”

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 3-4 tbsp. melted butter

Combine all ingredients.
To assemble your parfaits, layer in this order (starting from the bottom):

5-6 tbsp. Graham Cracker Crust

1/4 cup cooked apples

Drizzle of caramel

1 layer of piped cheesecake filling

Multiple layers are necessary, end on the caramel and top with a sprinkle of sea salt. Enjoy and please let me know what you think!

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Coastal New England Cuisine

As a foodie, I love to try new things. This summer I have done just that upon a few small vacations & weekend getaways. The destinations I have visited included Newport RI, and a few small towns in Maine.

I am always looking to try foods local to the area. Last years travel included southern BBQ in North Carolina, while this year was more focused on the coastal seafood cuisine found along New England. Growing up in Connecticut, I have always been exposed to seafood and enjoyed it. However, it wasn’t until this year that I have had the opportunity to travel further north and into Maine.

Our group ventured into Wiscasset and found it a necessity to dine in Red’s Eats. It is a small shop with big flavor, great lobster, and lots of coastal charm, as it it located right on the water. Red’s is actually recognized nationally as having the Best Maine Lobster Roll. Although I have nothing to compare it to, I can definitely see how it is on that list! A generous amount of fresh lobster adorns the warm buttered roll and is quite heavenly. A must try if in the area!

While in Newport I dined on many Pina Coladas (Virgin) as they are my favorite, lots of ice cream, and of course some more lobster and seafood. So far its been a delicious summer, and I can’t wait to see what August has to offer! I just wish summer would slow down as it always seems to fly by. Comment below with what your summer diet has consisted of, i’d love to hear it! 🙂

Lobster Roll from Red's Eats

Lobster Roll from Red’s Eats

Wild Blueberry ice cream in Camden, Maine

Wild Blueberry ice cream in Camden, Maine

Lobster Tacos in Camden, Maine

Lobster Tacos in Camden, Maine

Ginger Ice cream in Maine

Ginger Ice cream in Maine

Virgin Pina Colada in Newport

Virgin Pina Colada in Newport

Coconut & coffee ice cream in Maine.

Coconut & coffee ice cream in Maine.

Grilled Dessert?

Ah sweet summer, my favorite time of year. Juicy fresh fruit parade the counters of grocery stores, lemonade and ice cold soda quench thirsts, and burgers and dogs are flipped constantly. I think we can all agree there is no better feeling than indulging in the food of summer.

So many people are tempted out of utilizing the oven to bake because it will just elevate the temperature of the house. I have a dessert option for y’all today that combines 3 summertime favorites all in one ridiculously easy treat that will be sure to impress your guests. What do grilling, fresh fruit, and ice cream all have in common? The answer: Grilled Peaches. And they are pretty dang good.

You will need a grill, tongs, 4 peaches, 1 tsp. cinnamon sugar, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla bean ice cream. (Optional: a caramel sauce to drizzle)

1. Combine the cinnamon sugar and brown sugar in a small bowl.

2. Slice your peaches in half and remove the pit.

3. Use a pastry brush to coat the exterior and interior of all peach halves in oil.

4. Place peach halves on a medium-high grill with the skin-side facing upward. Cook until grill marks show and are cooked through. Flip them over.

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Special thank you to Maegan Wing

5. Sprinkle a few tsp. of the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the peaches right before you take them off of the grill.

6. Garnish the peaches with ice cream and caramel sauce if prefered. It looks sophisticated, but its surely a quick and easy treat! Enjoy! 🙂

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