Sorrento (2)

January 1st, 2014

My Second week in Sorrento I traveled to Sant’Angelo where I ate at many cool restaurants, toured really great food markets, and took classes at two more locations.

Below you can see a few of the fruit and vegetable stands I would walk by everyday.

Fruit Market in Sant'Agnello

Fruit Market in Sant’Agnello


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Cooking School:
Mami Camilla is located in Sant’Agnello, Italy.

I had the opportunity to take classes with other chefs who attended this culinary school. The people who were my classmates were either chefs or aspiring chefs.
The fun thing about participating in these classes were that each class concentrated on a menu where the class would prepare and eat later for dinner.
My best memory of this class was defiantly the laughing and fun while we were learning. The mix of people who were in attendance were from all parts of the world. As students we all ate dinner together and I enjoyed this so much I stayed an extra day. The people who run the school & hotel are a couple that are really laid back, casual, and great hosts. I have made friends at this school that I stay in touch with today. I would recommend this school if you would like to learn cooking skills, have a good time, and eat delicious food.

Dinner with Classmates:
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I also had the opportunity to work on my plating technique with Chef David during class. Chef David was working at Il Buco and had picked up some great plating techniques that I still like to use today for my dishes. Below are some beautiful photos of what the plating was:

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Esperidi Resort also located in Sant’Agnello

This Resort is really beautiful and has a great outdoor pool. The class I attended was more for beginners, rather than professional chefs. After saying this I would recommend this class for anyone who would like to experience southern Italy cooking, with a very easy skill level required. I loved the resort and all of the people that were guests here. The place is set up into private bungalows that are surrounded by Lemon & Orange Groves. By the time I came to this resort I was exhausted and was ready for some TLC. I have a very funny memory where one night I went to meet friends I had made at Mami Camilla cooking school for the night. When I came home after a night out with new friends I was starving. Since I was staying in a Bungalow surrounded by Orange groves, I turned on my flashlight application on my cell phone and picked an orange off a branch near by. I must admit this is my happiest memory from Esperidi along with the memories of the wonderful staff I also made friends with during my stay.

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Sorrento (1)

December 31st, 2013

Sorrento Cooking School:

Location: Sorrento at the Alexia House
Studying with Chef Lucia
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This cooking class really blew me away. This location is a must for any culinary level. I was welcomed by a warm atmosphere that is a family run school. Lucia is the teacher and her sister and a few others work to provide the students with an unbelievable cooking class. Everything I prepared was either produce grown on the property or local produce. The class was small and I was able to really work on my techniques and learn really great new recipes.

Some of the dishes I learned:
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers, Squid & Potatoes, Assorted types of Pasta & Sauces, Sardine recipes, Rolled Peppers, Fish under salt, and Lemon Cake. The list I mentioned were only a few of tons of recipes we created during this class

Lucia is a great Chef, and a wonderful humble teacher who is filled with knowledge! If you are interested in cooking in a beautiful location, with a group of smiling Italians then come to this class.

Below you will find a few photos that are some of the many dishes I prepared during class:

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Stuffed Whole Fish

Stuffed Whole Fish

Stuffing for Salted Baked Fish

Stuffing for Salted Baked Fish


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To get information to visit this school- www.alexiahouse.com

Summer 2013 Southern Italy Culinary Excursion

December 31st, 2013

Summer of 2013 I decided to leave NYC (2 months) and travel to the South of Italy. My experience will stay with me a lifetime, and has made a very big impact on me and the way I express myself as a chef.

The best gift in my opinion I could ever give myself would be the gift of learning. As a professional chef traveling to the Mediterranean was a wonderful way for me to improve and also learn new techniques in the kitchen.

Before I take you all on a tour of my 2013 experience in various kitchens, I would like to thank each and everyone I met on my travels. Each chef I worked with in Italy has taught me techniques and ways of cooking I use today in my own practice. The culinary schools I attended were all very different, ranging from peoples homes to some of the best restaurants and celebrated chefs in the South of Italy.
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Maureen’s Cool Picks Sensible & Sustainable Items

December 31st, 2013

Eco Friendly Items5

Sport & Store
www.sportandstore.com
$19.95

To-Go Ware Repeat Utensil Set
www.to-goware.com
$12.95

Packit Freeze & Go
www.packit.com
$19.99

Self Filtered Water Bottle
$39.99
www.workofgreen.com Read the rest of this entry »

**Raw Cheesecake Cupcakes**Made With Love

February 14th, 2012

Valentines Day Theme

*Sweets for my Sweet*

Crust:
1 C Almonds, Soaked 2 hours
1/4 C Coconut Oil
1 Soft Pitted Date ( Optional) Very yummy though
Directions-
Process all ingredients in Food Processor
Press Mixture in the bottom of greased Cupcake tins
Filling:
2 C soaked Cashews
1/3 C Agave
1/2 C Coconut Oil
1 t Vanilla extract
1 t Almond extract
1 Carton Raspberries ( 1 pt)
Directions:
Blend Cashews, Agave, Coconut Oil, Vanilla & Almond extract until smooth ( use blender or a food processor)
* ***Tip add1 Tb coconut milk if very thick still***
Push Raspberries in between Filling
Spread another layer of filling & Push down with a spoon or spatula so they are packed down tightly
Freeze between 1.5 hours to 3 hours No longer then 1/2 a day they will get freezer burn
Before Serving you can make Ganache!
1/2 C Cocoa Powder
1 t Almond Extract
1/2 C Agave
Directions:
Mix well!
Pour on top of cupcakes after you remove from freezer
You can now refrigerate until you serve
To look like a professional Chef:-For beautiful Plating- Sprinkle Dried Coconut and place a piece of Fresh Mint on top!
Yum! Enjoy xo Maureen

Drinking Your Way To Health

February 11th, 2012

Why we love Alkaline Water:

For your body-

Increases energy and aids digestion

Helps you loose weight

Restores balance and proper health

Improves Skin and nails helps prevent aging ( Is said to be called beauty water)

Using Alkaline Water Balances the PH in your scalp and therefore giving you vibrant healthy looking shiny hair

For Food-

Prolongs Produce Shelf Life– By removing oxidation that occurs on fruits and vegetables.  Food tastes fresh and tastes better for longer when washed with Alkaline Water

Removes Pesticides- If you are not always eating organic produce then most likely your farmers are spraying with pesticides.  Alkaline Water has been proven to dissolve pesticide residue and chemicals on your fruits and vegetables


Healthy Raw Granola

February 10th, 2012

Yield: 1 cup (2 servings)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup soaked raw almonds
1/4 cup soaked raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup soaked raw walnuts
4 pitted medjool dates, unsoaked, chopped
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 C Coconut Flakes
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup Almond Milk

Directions:

1. Place almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts into a food processor fitted with the S blade and pulse briefly, just until coarsely chopped.
2. Add dates, cinnamon, and Coconut Flakes. Process briefly to mix.
3. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Granola will keep for up to 2 days.
4. When ready to serve transfer to small bowl and combine with fruit. Serve immediately with the Almond Milk.
ENJOY!

Vegan Gluten Free Rosemary Walnut Bread

February 10th, 2012

Ingredients:

Dry:

1 Packet rapid dry yeast

2 tsp Xanthan gum

1 C Tapioca Starch

2 C C24 Flour ( This is Gluten Free Flour )

1/2 C Chopped Walnuts

1/4 C Chopped Rosemary

1 Lemon ( Use Zest- which is the skin Grated)

Wet Ingredients:

1 1/4 C Warm water

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Tb Olive Oil or Canola Oil

1 Tb Agave ( Be Generous if you want this bread a little sweeter

1 Tb Egg Re placer- Or Flax Egg see below for Directions

Directions

1- Pre-Heat Oven 400 Degrees on Bake

2- Coat a Baking Dish with Coconut Oil so it will not get stuck to the pan when it is done baking

3-Whisk all wet ingredients until frothy

4- Using a mixer, or a spoon mix in dry ingredients ( Mix so all ingredients are completely combined)

5- Put your mix into the well oiled baking dish and put into oven.

6- Bake for 35-45 Minutes on 400 Degrees Bake

Check to make sure the top of your Bread is Golden Brown and the middle is not still wet.

*Hint if you stick a knife or a tooth pick and it is still wet continue baking until you can stick the toothpick in without getting any gooey mix on it. *

** How to make a Flax Egg**

Here are the ratios just mix and you have your egg- easy as 1.2.3.

1/3 C Ground Flax Seeds

1 C Filtered Warm water



Enjoy- Be creative you can add Orange Zest, Dried Fruit, or any Herbs that you Love! Rosemary is my favorite.  Keep me posted on your exciting new creations !

Coconut Key Lime Breakfast

February 10th, 2012

Ingredients

1 Tb Coconut Flakes

1/2 Tb Agave

6 Oz Plain Yogurt ( I use Plain Coconut Yogurt)

1 Tb Chia Seeds

1 tsp Organic Bee Pollen

1/4 C Flax Granola ( I use my homemade one with pecans inside)

Directions

In a Bowl mix Coconut Flakes, Agave, Lime Juice, and Yogurt

Mix Bee Pollen, Flax Granola, and Chia Seeds ( This is your topping)

Enjoy

How to open Avocados

February 24th, 2011

To open an avocado you must first begin by cutting around the fruit length wise and twisting the two halves to separate. To remove the seed, take a knife and whack it sharply against the seed, twist slightly. The seed will separate from the flesh and you will be able to easily remove it. Be careful taking the seed off of the knife, it can be slippery. You have two options, you can either peel the skin from the flesh, or cut the flesh into slices or cubes and scoop out using a spoon.

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