Monday, September 12, 2016

2016 Community Education Classes

At the finish line of our 10k race at 10k feet!! We did it! Timed in at 1:23. And now I feel invincible!! Running races is so inspiring! This was my first 10k + first mountain race. Nothing could've prepared me for the elevation and steep climb, but I did
When 10K training blogging is neglected. Rabbit Ears Pass in Steamboat, CO.
Hello, Foodie Friends!

I've been very, very neglectful of my recipe writing adventures here at Foodie in Minnesota because I've been travelling, running, being a mom, being a wife, cooking at Whole Foods, running, traveling, gardening, preserving, and so so so many other things! You'll have to forgive me, but I have to tell you about opportunities to hang out in person! While learning about food. And cooking! And food. And eating! YES. Don't miss out!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cold Buckwheat Sesame Noodles & CSA Veg with Carrot Ginger Dressing

Would describing noodles as slippery be strange? Slithery and slippery noodles with toothsome bite absolutely perfect for slurping. A buckwheat noodle with 100% buckwheat. Did you know that's kinda hard to find? Not anymore.

Give a hearty welcome to one of Minneapolis' newest local food creators, Dumpling & Strand creators of freshly made noodles and pasta available at three Minneapolis area Farmer's Markets.

After meeting the proprietors of Dumpling & Strand at the Midwest Pantry Local Food Trade Show Kelly and Jeff were kind enough to send over samples of their locally made carb delights for me to try and gush about. It's pretty safe to say I ended on the delicious side of the bargain. Toasted Basmati Pasta (topped with rainbow chard and an egg!), Sprouted Whole Wheat Levain Fettucine (lovely sourdough flavor!), Ramen (oh, the slurping!), Egg Fettuccine (butter and parmesan for days!). Dumpling & Strand is all things carblicious and you need to get yourself some!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Rhubarb Compote with Lemon Verbena

Rhubarb Compote with Lemon Verbena
It's possible you've asked yourself since my return from Ireland: "What has Becki been busy with since  her epic Irish cookery adventure?" Naturally, I've been happily cooking whenever the occasion may arise (Friday night backyard BBQ's! Birthday dinners for parents! Cupcakes for birthdays!) and, unfortunately, haven't found time to blog Ballymaloe inspired recipes, but Rhubarb Compote was just gorgeous enough to push me back into the blogger saddle, giving you a deserved update + a sumptuous way to eat the early summer staple rhubarb. Now, who doesn't love that?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ballymaloe Sourdough Bread + Beginning a Sourdough Starter

Ballymaloe Sourdough
Life After Ballymaloe is a life phase all past students will absolutely experience after leaving The Bubble. Darina and Rory forewarned their voices would fill our thoughts as we went about our lives. Which I had a hard time believing, but they knew better. 

Darina's voice fills my head when waste occurs in the kitchen. Imagine, Darina shouting across kitchen two, her hands waving wildly over her head holding the thrown out lemon destined to the hens "This thrown out lemon is the difference between your vacation in the Canaries or not!!" 

As I peruse Rory's recipes, creating menus for dinner parties and family meals, his suave elegance resonates through his writing. There are so many Ballymaloe recipes I want to share with you, so I'm going to start writing about some of my favorites. One recipe that easily can be a mainstay in every home kitchen is the maintaining of a sourdough starter and baking of Sourdough Bread. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Not Goodbye Ballymaloe But Only Cheerio, Until Next Time...

Shanagarry
Sitting down to write this Ballymaloe goodbye feels like that means it's all over. No more Buttermaloe, Doiliemaloe, or any other spoof on the cookery school on a mission to save the world from having the lights turned on when no one is around. Or does it? Maybe, it means I've only just started the journey chasing my true passion to cook, create, and inspire people in the kitchen? Surely, it means I'll embark on my own mission to save the world from the next horrible food fad, one forgotten culinary skill at a time! Yes, of course it does. Now, before I allow myself to accept Life After Ballymaloe, I'd like to draw out the honeymoon phase with a couple more reminders of my time in Ireland. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Culinary Industry Advice From Ballymaloe {that I don't want to forget}

Darina Allen's Dining Room Table
Darina Allen invited the students for dinner in her home.

The students of the September 2015 12-Week Cookery Course have cooked their final exam meals for Darina's tasting, sat for four separate two hour written exams, we've finished up last goodbyes at The Blackbird, and knives are packed-up ready to head home destined for a new adventure. The ending, of course, is bittersweet but exciting to be headed into the unknown because, You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one. With that, I'd like to write out some learning points I don't want to forget (not that I'd be re-reading, or anything).

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Afternoon Tea at Ballymaloe House

Afternoon tea at Ballymaloe House
The students of the 12 week cookery course were invited to afternoon tea at Ballymaloe House as part of our culinary learning experience. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon walking the grounds, touring the wine cellar, meeting the on-premise coffee bean roaster, viewing two of the sumptuous guest suites, visiting the event center, named The Grainstore, and finally, sat down for afternoon tea. As we sipped from elegant fine bone china teacups and nibbled an array of sugary biscuits, Tim Allen told the magical story of how the home became his parent's, what it was like growing up in the large country manor, and how his mother started the empire it is now. The afternoon was a refreshing change of pace for all the students and some (me) almost forgot we needed to get home and start writing up our order of work for the next day's cookings!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Final Exam Time at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Walled Gardens at Ballymaloe Cookery School turning brown in the fall.
Hello!! How is everyone? I miss home so bad. My bed! My car! Running on an actual path! Running! My friends! My Mom! My Dad! Sleep! Babysitters (you know who you are)! So much to say, I'm not sure where to begin. The 12 Week Cookery Course students are heading into week 10 at Ballymaloe Cookery School. Last week, some of the highlights were poaching a ray wing (basically a huge sting ray with massively sharp spikes all over it and slime. So much slime.), saucing up some spicy pork ribs (going to use that recipe again!), Christmas demonstration day (Pam sure knows her Christmas Cakes!), tasting Lustau sherry with the actual makers from the Jerez growing region in Cadiz, Spain, an olive and olive oil tasting (my belly hurt so bad that night — too many olives!), butchering a pig and helping the Nomad Food Company throw a pop-up dinner at school, making of puff pastry, a tapas demonstration, and most loomingly, preparing for our final exams!!! Daunt, Daunt, DAAAA!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week Eight at Ballymaloe Cookery School

How Julia Child would've sealed a classic French Paté Terrine, with fluting paste, not tinfoil.

I'm never going to be the same again. Without sounding like an egotistical culinary snob, at this point in the Ballymaloe 12 Week Cookery Course my culinary prowess has been elevated to such heights the universe's destiny to utilize me as a scepter of cooking knowledge is certain. So much has been covered, to actually attempt processing the knowledge while still enduring the process of learning is entirely overwhelming in itself, but let me try.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Midterm Exams at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Tim and Darina Allen in the Fruit Garden at Ballymaloe Cookery School.
We're heading into week eight at school which means almost four weeks have past since the last update on the lightening-fast-paced cookery adventures. If silence is any indicator of lacking mental energy remaining for these at the end of my day then let this be clear — I am tired. So. Tired. A teensy, weensy part of me wants the course over to allow a time of processing all I've cooked/read/learned/seen/heard/experienced. But, the other mostly large part of me says: bring it on! more. more! More! MORE!!! What else can I learn? Cook? Do? See? 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Week Four at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Marzipan Stuffed Dates in Kitchen 3 at Ballymaloe Cookery School.
Things are getting real as week four has been completed at Ballymaloe Cookery School because I've scheduled myself a sit down with Darina Allen in hopes of contemplating my future in the food biz and a couple resumes are in potential employers' inboxes. One resume to Travail Kitchen & Amusements, a fine dining restaurant in Robbinsdale, MN doing a unique chef tasting menu, small plates and seriously whacky behavior during service including drinking beer from a boot. Another resume to Scripps Network in Chicago, the mother network to Food Network, for a peon sales position job. The prior submission has me refreshing my inbox with fleeting hope they've emailed me a return message. Alas, trying to stay present and not worry too much about the future, knowing it will all work out, but I'm only human and I need to worry a little bit or what else would I worry about? In two weeks we'll be tested on our knowledge thus far, so I guess I could worry about an exam about identifying twenty types of lettuces and herbs. A more productive worry.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week Three at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Sunrise over Ballymaloe Cookery School
Sunrise over Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland.
On my way into school Friday morning the sunrise over the Ballymaloe Cookery School fields takes the breath away. As the third week of chef school ends and I head into week four, sitting down to write out some thoughts, I find myself needing to unbutton my jeans so I can breathe. Bread and butter in abundance (the school makes their own and it's divine), so much dairy (Irish cows make the best cream!), dessert after every meal (yes, I'll have seconds! and thirds! and fourths!). Eating comes with the culinary territory, I know, I know, and we're heading into sweater season, so I'm going to continue to eat with abandon. Because I'm probably here only once in my lifetime and if I miss one Orange Creme Scone or Smoked Haddock Fish Cake I may have missed a great opportunity to learn more about Irish culture (ahem). 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week Two at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Another week down in the Ballymaloe Cookery School Book has me falling into the groove of this place. Some of the highlights of the past week were breaking down a whole chicken, filleting a fish, and learning how to butcher half a lamb. It's so empowering to know I can now go to my local butcher, buy half a lamb and I'll know how to process and make it into cuts of meat.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week One at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Farmer's Market in Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland

Monday, September 14, 2015

First Day at Ballymaloe


Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland
Reception lobby of Ballymaloe. 

Exxxxxxxxhale. First day of school, check and done. Where to start describing this surreal experience (I still don't believe this is my real life, pretty sure I'm actually in a really, really long dream)? Ok, so,  at this point I'm adoring living in a European country. Spaces, cars, bathrooms, roads, everything is smaller. People don't waste like Americans do, paper cups, paper towels, paper everything is not a thing here. When you leave a room, the lights are turned off. Water is treated as gold. Europeans talk about issues. And they are quiet. So fucking quiet. Dam, I can easily feel like an elephant in a china shop because, first, I suffer from tinnutis making me deaf as a bat, so, I can't hear what the fuck you said anyways and second, people fucking mumble here. They are, like, mysterious and stuff. Well, hot dam, I can be mysterious, too! Back to the adoring part. So. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The calm before the storm // Exploring surroundings of Ballymaloe

Penn Castle, Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland.
Penn Castle in Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland. Birthplace of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania State.
It's Sunday so naturally (ha!) we went to church. Liam is getting used to walking everywhere, it was weird for him walking to church, but he did and sat through Catholic mass. Big exhale. After a little lunch and rest, tonight I (nervously/excitedly/scaredly) make the five minute walk to meet all my classmates and have enough social lubrication to quell the butterflies a brick oven pizza. It's so unbelievable to have had this Mental Checklist of things I'd be doing before actually cooking in their kitchen, but here I am, completing the list and rockin' it! Like a MAD WOMAN! Let's keep the confidence. Yes? Yes. YES. YES!!! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Making my way to Ballymaloe // A morning in Dublin


Regency Hotel Dublin, Ireland
Good morning from Ireland! It's surreal to be drinking coffee in a Dublin hotel restaurant, about to write a blog about my travels, amidst din of other travelers, foreign language utterances floating around me, soaking it all in before it's work, work, work. What was a night of trying to sleep into the correct time zone, read: my eyes were brightly open after a measly two hours of sleep, staying that way for about four more hours, but thankfully fell back asleep and woke up at 8:00 am local time and *hopefully* will be on the regular sleep schedule tonight. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Chocolate Beet Cake + Preflight Musings

Chocolate Beet Cake Tomorrow I leave! Goodbye house, goodbye stuff, goodbye roads appropriate for two cars, goodbye family and friends, goodbye moon, goodbye chair, goodbye noises everywhere.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bacon Jalapeño Poppers {no cream cheese}

Bacon Jalapeño Poppers
Let's start September off with a plate of hot peppers stuffed with sweet corn, cheddar and basil. Huzzah! Huzzah? Mmm, hmmm. Over the weekend I was at the Renaissance Festival and they say things like "Huzzah" and "Good Moro" and the people watching can't even come close to the State Fair. And, I would contend, that the eating is just as good, if not better! Popovers, Scotch Eggs with gravy (!), the ever-present cheese curd, Shepard's Pie wrapped in Puff Pastry (gasp, choke, salivate!), Popovers drenched in butter and honey (yep, stung by a bee twice - not so allergic this time!), fermented honey wine called mead you drink out of clay goblets. It's so fun. If you've never attended, it's worth the drive. Make sure to pull out your archer costume and dress up! Something about an eclectic festival and a plate of hot peppers has me happily savoring the last bits of summer. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sweet Corn Fritters with Honey Butter

Sweet Corn Fritters with Honey Butter
Sweet Corn Fritters with Honey Butter are for everyone. Evv-err-reee-ya-one. Everyone: your kids, duh, these are like puffy little pseudo-donuts. People at campfires. Husbands, or other manly men, like my brother — who just got engaged — yahoo! And just about anyone else on the entire globe who enjoys placing their lips around a pocket of juicy sweet corn (so, so sweet right now!), fried in luscious lard until slightly crisp, but decadently moist and tender on the inside. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 10

CSA Cooking Week 10
Hello! How are you today? Today Minnesota is having the most gorgeous weather day of the year. Guaranteed. Temperature is right around 72º, slight breeze, bright blue sky, a teensy, weensy chill in the air, alerting all to the certainty fall is right around the corner. In fact, I noticed the leaves of a maple tree turning orange yesterday as I bee-bopped around town. So many things to love about fall. Soup and crock pots, the smell of drying leaves, apple orchards, back to school, crisp days. This fall, my family may be experiencing the season a little differently in Ireland, but we are very excited. Fall is my absolute favorite season. What's yours? 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Roasted Eggplant Rice Bowl

Roasted Eggplant Rice Bowl
Eggplant was intended for a great love affair with basil. Like Harry and Sally, red wine and chocolate, peanut butter and jelly, blue jeans and T-shirts, some things are meant to be paired together, forever and always. You can smell each individually and sense that somehow, together they are a match made in culinary heaven. This recipe was created impromptu and can (should) be interpreted a million different ways in your own kitchen. My only intention here is to inspire more eggplant eating as a self-proclaimed eggplant hater, I'm here to arouse eggplant conversion because eggplant should be loved, or at the very least, tolerated. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

10th Annual Minnesota Garlic Festival

Minnesota Garlic Festival
Cochon King, Thomas Boemer's Festival Masterpiece.
If you are a lover of all things allium sativum the 10th Annual Minnesota Garlic Festival held at the McCleod County Fair Grounds in Hutchinson, MN was the place you wanted to see, taste, hear, and be yesterday. A festival dedicated to all things garlic, garlic-afcionadoas traveled from far and wide to stock pantries for the coming winter months, snatch up garlic seed for the garden, and most definitely, to eat and enjoy all things garlic. 

Festival-goers devoured Wild Rice Burgers, Salumi Baguettes, Pasties, Heirloom Tomato Salads, and other garlic-laden eats from the Great Scape Cafe prepared by an all-star line-up of Minneapolis restaurants while enjoying several traveling bands like Scottish bag-pipers, a lively brass band, and a mysterious group dressed as animals dancing and playing folk music. Local craft beers, cider by Sociable Cider Werks, and wine by Crow River Winery saved people from withering under the hot, humid August day. And if you never thought you'd eat garlic and ice cream in the same bite, you did yesterday at Cranky's Ice Cream Roasted Garlic Ice Cream stand.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Moving to Ireland // Chef in Training @ Ballymaloe Cookery School


St. Paul's Irish Fair. Fairly certain Irish people will not dress like this. Or will they?
I'm moving to Ireland. To become a chef. That's right folks, I'll be attending culinary school in Ireland at Ballymaloe Cookery School. EEEEEEEK doesn't begin to describe the emotion I'm feeling. The possibility. The everything. There is no more preparation that can be made, I've crossed every T and dotted every I. I've googled and read each and every blog known to man on the subject of the school, I've networked with people in Minneapolis who've attended the school, I've read every Facebook post to see what the school is like, I meandered through Irish Fair in St. Paul last weekend and got a couple snapshots of what life might be like while in Ireland. They say the first two weeks of school will be the hardest. And I'm almost guaranteed to cut a finger, burn an arm, or at the very least, set something on fire.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 9 + Turmeric Refrigerator Pickles

Turmeric Refrigerator Pickles
If you're receiving a CSA basket, you may have reached the point of the season when staggering feelings of overwhelming anxiety hit you as you stand in front of the fridge and wonder where the fifty-third beet will fit in. But instead of becoming frozen in terror by a beet, get down to business. Pull all the produce out onto your counter, look it square in the eye, and show those vegetables who's boss.