Friday, July 2, 2010

Strawberry Volcano (for My Blog-a-versary) and Simple Saturday

It's my BLOG-A-VERSARY, holla! I've been posting pictures and talking about food in this blog for ONE FULL YEAR. Sing with me - Happy Blogabirthday to ShowFoodChefffff. And, here's my little tiny Strawberry Volcano to celebrate.
STRAWBERRY VOLCANO

*warning: this posting maybe a little self indulgent cuz it's my blogabirthday, afterall :D

I was born at an early age... haha, gotta love those old jokes.

I've been an actress for a while and actually in my little world of comedy and improvisation had some folks who professed to be my fans - I've been asked for my autograph several times and I've been on stage, television and movies in parts that I loved and in parts just for the health insurance credit. I've worked with a few well known people, shared the stage with some and I've taught a lot of them - and yet I still get star-struck -- not of celebrity TV and film people, but of real chefs and cooks. Even when I accompanied my truly talented writer/producer husband to one of his Emmy wins and people around me were looking for the usual stars they adored, worked with or wanted to work with -- I was swooning when I sat in front of Chef Tom Collichio. Later, I asked with no embarrassment if I could have a picture taken with him. He stared at my husband's giant golden Emmy and said, "I should be having a pic taken with you guys". He was charming and my husband, knowing me very well, said "Oh, believe me she was not going to let you get out of here without a picture and I get that." Tom is a nice guy, and my husband is the greatest!
When my husband worked on 30 Rock (in NYC) for a year, we were forced to have a bi-coastal relationship. That sounds a lot sexier than it is, believe me. I figured, why sit around moaning or waiting for auditions, the kids were in school, or working -- why don't I go back to school? I jumped into culinary school in LA with all guns firing, and graduated with honors. I loved it, and it was the hardest work I've EVER done. At the end of the day, I was too tired to worry about anything.

Cut to: Time passed and I learned that I did NOT want to work in the kitchen of restaurants. I tried it, and I have great respect for the long hours and enormous work.
What I love most is creating recipes, development and artisanal small plating, catering specialty events, calling up my "Southern Girl" past style of cooking mixed with a Southern California infusion, and being challenged. I've joined almost every blog challenge at least once, and I'm working on developing Gluten Free recipes for a gal's up-coming cookbook, now. I'm also still acting, teaching, directing, filming, being a mom, catering, and writing.
This year of blogging has been fun and I get seriously thrilled every time I see a comment on a post, or someone writes and tells me about making a recipe. And then, when someone actually FOLLOWS ME -- it's like applause, like a pat on the back, like a new friend somewhere. It's weird how moving it can all feel just from sharing a recipe!

But MOST OF ALL, I feel GRATITUDE. Over this year, when another blogger or teacher or person was particularly helpful to me, I made a note of it so I wouldn't forget. I'd love to share a few of those peeps with you-

THANK YOU TO:

Gail and Robb at Algabar:
I have been the Exec. Chef with this unique and stylish Tea team for quite a while and was allowed to create original recipes that incorporated tea or tea products for our catering events. It grew my confidence in presenting my ideas further. The Strawberry Volcano w/Tea infused cream that I developed for Algabar was used in last year's INSTYLE magazine. To see some of our other events click here.
My daughter, who has a funny and eclectic/addictive style blog called, BootsandCatEyes, and a beautiful clothing and utilities site, called Honey B, gave me constant encouragement, editing, teaching, photography lessons and listened to me be paranoid. Her fiance and partner at Honey B, created the ShowFoodChef logo that I love.

Before I even thought of blogging or knew what it was- I would swoon over the recipes and photos by Helen of Tartelette. Then I met her and she was so genuine and funny; You'd never know that she was a major food star in the blogging/photo world. It doesn't always happen like that in Celebrity-ville, CA. She continues to be supportive and inspiring.

Jaden Hair at SteamyKitchen left a comment and responded to me so early on, it gave me confidence to keep trying. Successful women, like Jaden, have great influence and she handles it with generosity and care.

Rachel at La Fuji Mama has always been so inclusive and positive - she made me feel one of the group and her style of cooking is just that welcoming also. I think she should have her own show.

Paula at Bell'Alimento started one of the first foodie themes that I joined: the Nutella Challenge. She is funny, inspiring and her Italian creations pull my heart strings with every post. She is another blogger who is super successful, yet feels like a neighborhood friend.

Lauren at CeliacTeen adopted me without choosing (through a blogger program) and then made me feel like a friend by choice. At only 17, Lauren creates amazing Gluten Free goodies and friendships through her genuine - ageless - passion for food.

Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites- I just can't say enough about this cute, crazy, lovable, super-talent. To be so gifted without lording it over anyone is life influencing, honestly. He makes me laugh, he makes me want to hang out with him and he teaches me with every shot he takes.

Dana at The Broke-Ass Bride - should teach a whole course on How to Create a Successful Blog. Her humor, talent and generosity is astounding. Her blog is so fun and she has been so encouraging.

Cherl at A Tiger In The Kitchen started one of the first blogger challenges I joined called, Lets Lunch. Again, I read about it on twitter and kinda butted in on the conversation. Cheryl invited me right in, responded with comments and even in her travels kept up with the group.

Erika from In Erika's Kitchen started an LA Blogger's group and when I came across it on twitter, Erika immediately just told me to show up and join in - her recipes are just as inviting.

Patti @ WorththeWhisk made it all feel so stress-free. In every conversation she has been assuring and reminding me that I'm an adult - it'll be great, it'll work out, next time maybe. Her style is fun, relaxed, informative and she is truly successful.

Donna at Dishygoodness connected so effortlessly and made me feel that it was sincere and a buddy in the food world. I'm very excited that she is in LA, now.

CosmicCowgirl has been so charming and responsive to anything I asked, even went out of her way to compile a list of great sites to see in her town (Austin) and tried to connect and meet with me while I visited.

Danielle at Bon Vivant, who I met at a Food Styling Class was immediately warm and at one point sent me a jar of Kaya (from Siagon) in the mail to try.

Karen at GeoFooding has inspired me with her humor (in the middle of some of her own struggles) her unique recipes, and her intelligence. She is so diversified and it crosses left and right brain thinking.

Anita at Married With Dinner who I met and has been so generous with her encouragement and teaching by example - to just do what you do, be who you are and don't worry about others.

And now, I THANK YOU - the reader. For every time you pause on my page and for today I say, WHAT PATIENCE! I'll be back to just post 'em and pic' em with the next entry. When your heart swells with appreciation for your blessings, a good life, a great country, and the chance to cross paths with some wonderful people - sometimes you just have to write about that!
Oh, and this recipe:
STRAWBERRY VOLCANO:

Use sturdy fresh strawberries.
With a small melon baller, or the tip (carefully) of a pairing knife: hull out the center of the strawberry tip.
Remove or cut the bottom greens off and discard.
Drain the strawberries on a paper towel, wide bottom down, for about 10 minutes.
Dip the wide bottoms in melted 60-70% dark chocolate, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Fill strawberries with Flavored Whipped Cream* just before serving if possible.
Garnish by sprinkling with ground cocoa and/or powdered sugar.

If you prefer not dipping in chocolate, present strawberries on a fresh mint leaf.

FLAVORED WHIPPED CREAM:

Infused:
Heavy whipping cream can be infused with tea or coffee by barely heating the ingredients together in a small sauce pan, cover it and infuse for 15 minutes. RECHILL for a few hours at least. Whip (adding 1 Tbls. sugar if sweetness is also desired) til peaks form.

Sweet Cream:
Using chilled heavy cream - whip til soft peaks form, then add 2 Tbls. sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla or other flavorings. Continue to whip til stiff peaks form.

Spoon into a pastry bag for filling strawberries or other pastries.

15 comments:

thecosmiccowgirl said...

happy blogiversary to you, girl! and aren't you so sweet for mentioning others that have inspired or assisted you in some part along the way. i, too, am grateful for my 'fake internet friends' (as my husband calls them). and thank you for the exhaustive hawai'i recommendations-we had a blast!

let me know the next time you come this-a-way!

Lauren said...

What a beautiful post Cathy! So kind of you to include me :). You've done so much in this past year - I can't wait for many years to come! xox

Patti at Worth The Whisk said...

Many happy returns of the day! You're doing a kick-ass job on your blog, very happy for you.

Erika said...

I'm flattered to be among your thank-you's, but I'm sending them right back: Thanks for being part of our terrific food blogging support group, for bringing your gorgeous teeny tiny treats and sunny personality to our gatherings, and for showing me just how elegant cocktail food can be!

Fuji Mama said...

You are so sweet to include me! It has been a joy to get to know you and finally meet you this year! You are a gem and one of the sweetest most genuine people I've ever met! Here's to another fabulous year!

Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

happy blogiversary, Cathy! :) I'm so touched to be included in your thank-you notes. And man, those volcanoes look great.

Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro said...

Hey Cathy! New food blogger here... just dropping by to say hello, and HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! I've got a long way to go until I reach mine. :-)

What a wonderful shout-out to those who have inspired you - much of those folks have encouraged me as well. LOVE this community.

Hope you have a great week!

[K]

Paula - bell'alimento said...

Happy Happy Blogaversary to YOU! Ah, could you be any sweeter? I mean really! Thank you for the very kind mention xoxo I'm so happy to have met you this past year!

Boots and Cateyes said...

Happy Blogabirthday to you!!!!
You are amazing and I thank you for your constant inspiration in life and the kitchen.love you, mom.

ajcabuang04 said...

Hi!!
I'm a new blogger myself and I found your blog!! Happy Blog-A-Versary!! The strawberries look delicious!! I can't believe you met Tom Collichio!! I love watching "Top Chef"!! Congrats!!
Would you mind checking out my blog? :D http://ajscookingsecrets.blogspot.com/

Charles G Thompson said...

Congratulations on 1 year! That's a huge milestone. I remember mine well as it happened a few months back. Nice blog you have here!

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Tom Nixon said...

Wow! These look so cool - I am going to make them at the weekend!!

Anonymous said...

You had me @ Strawberry!

Cori said...

Congrats!!!!!!!! You've made this year yummy!