Wednesday, January 20, 2010

OM - absolute, ultimate state of peace

OM -

I was fortunate to work with the now Head Chef of OM, Jaime, during an Arboretum class taught by Raghavan Iyer.

His teacher, Raghavan, credentials straight from the OM website read: "Raghavan Iyer is an internationally awarded cookbook author and culinary educator. He is a two-time James Beard Award finalist and a Julia Child Award winner for Cooking Teacher of the Year. His most recent cookbook, 660 Curries, has been shortlisted among the top cookbooks by National Public Radio, The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Food and Wine Magazine."

Raghavan is of the best teachers; particular yet creative, harsh but forgiving, talkative and reserved. I've been very pleased to work with him and hear the stories of his tours to spice plantations in India.

Raghavan introduced Jaime as the chef for the upcoming opening of OM, a new modern Indian restaurant opening downtown. During the class we worked to prepare the meal for the always huge number of attendees. I quickly told Jaime my story of the first time I worked with Raghavan where I mistakenly de-seeded the Thai chili peppers from the recipe. You never de-seed for his recipes. Never.

Finally months after the opening my husband and I were able to get to OM and try out some of the flavors that I have been using from 660 Curries. We weren't disappointed. The Naan was amazing, all the Tandor items perfectly seasoned, and after the waiter found out I knew Jaime we were able to go back into the kitchen and talk to him. Man is it hot back there! Must be all the chili seeds....

I highly recommend trying this restaurant out if you are in the Minneapolis area!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

Photos: Earthquake in Haiti

Almost a week since the tragic earthquake hit Haiti and reports are still coming in from the devastation. If you have the means to donate, even a little, look at this website for a start: Charity Navigator

This site lists all the valid funds and rates them on performance, service, and expenses. Give with confidence and assurance that your help will be received by those who need it.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy (21 Point Buck) Birthday!

My baby brother turned 21! And what else does every young buck need than a deer cake. With 21 antlers ofcourse...
I used the same application for the paint as I did with the Thomas the Train cake, thick food coloring with alcohol for faster evaporation.

When I first made the devil's chocolate cake I forgot to flour the pan, so my not-so-non-stick pans made a destruction of that boxed delight. The second attempt was much better :)
I molded out the fondant and painted on the deer head. I had initially wanted to do 21 antlers, but I couldn't figure out how the heck they would look, so I just did 13. First thing the birthday boy does when he sees the cake is start counting the points. Now that's a true Wisconsinite! So after an explaination of where the A1 antler would go and at which level the D4 (whatever) would start, we got 21 points on there.
Thank goodness, cause it didn't last long.....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I am willing

"If my eyes and heart are opened to receive new impressions, each day will be a new adventure. Even in the monotony of my life, no two days are ever the same and the differences will reveal to me a succession of fresh delights -- if I am willing."