Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pick of the Week III

This weeks pick of the week come to us from Four Non Blonds. So here it is ... "what's UP".

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Very Parker Christmas

Another Christmas has come and gone. Every year we have Christmas at my parents house. Christmas with the Parker's is a huge deal - complete with laughs and tears(always mine as I get overwhelmed at holidays and can't seem to help myself). On Christmas Eve we all go to church and then feast on Hoagies and Hot Wings ... An Amanda favorite! Then we all watch It's A Wonderful Life.. My ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIE. I always cry at the end (i always cry all the time anyway..and im sorry for that) when George Baileys brother Harry arrives at the Bailey house and makes his toast.."to my big brother George, the richest man in town"...followed by an inscription in the Book Tom Sawyer from his guardian angel Clarence that reads... no man is a failure that has friends. (tear tear). I am a mess by the end of that movie.
So then we all go to bed and then Santa comes.
We awake to mounds of presents there is barely any room to walk or sit. Seriously we probably overdo it a bit but it is nice to see my little brother Brandon so excited with all the presents. So we begin to open presents. This year was particularly special because my nephew Beckham was able to partake in Christmas this year. Becks is starting to walk. He took about 8 steps in a row and it was the highlight of the weekend. After all the presents are opened we go to the living room for the stockings. I got a lot of lovely gifts this year, clothes, panties, lotion, address labels, stationary, scarf, gloves, picture frames, books, artwork for my bedroom, jewelery, a new wallet and many other things. We all lounge around til dinner time, my mom and dad made a lovely dinner. The menu was Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, Caramelized onion mashed potatoes (i helped with these), Rolls, Grilled Asparagus, Mussels and Shrimp, Pumpkin Pie and Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise.
Unfortunately my tastes are a little simpler but no one can deny that this meal was lovely. After dinner we passed around the peppermint pig and all hit it with the hammer telling about what we were thankful for in 2008. Then we all ate a piece of the pig as good fortune for the new year to come. Then I pack up my car and head home, sad to leave.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pick of the Week II

So this weeks pick of the week is..(drum roll please).. Leaving Town by Dexter Freebish. I do realize that all my picks of the week are older songs ... thats how I do it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

So tonight me, Lauren and Chris went to Scalinis to celebrate Hanukkah! Yeah! We feasted on garlic rolls, salad, pasta and spumoni. After dinner we played dreidel. We did not have any gelt (chocolate coins) so we played with sugar packets. Hehe. Lauren won. She named the symbols on the side of the dreidel -cell phone, horse, tulip and 80s cell phone. It was quite funny. So to all my fellow Jewish friends wether you are 1/16th Jewish or 100% . Happy Hanukkah!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Working for the Man

December at the Villa is always very very busy which is great! So i thought I would run you through a typical day of my work.
Thursday: December 18, 2009

6:00 am - I clock in bring up the bread that has been in the cooler all night and transfer it to the proof box. I then go down to the freezer and bring up about 20 cakes and tarts from the freezer (we freeze all of our cakes so they slice nicer for buffets and parties...believe me you would never be able to tell). My assistant and I listen to music all morning while decorating the cakes. Then we baked off a lot of mini cookies. Everyone in the kitchen eats them so I always get stuck baking off extra for everyone. Today I gave two that stuck together to the girl who works the salad station.

8:00am - The Produce guy GENE comes, usually brings me a grapefuit. My assistant keeps decorating cakes while I make the Bread Pudding for the day. We then bake off all the breads for the day. As soon as one batch is done baking we usually split a loaf, I like to dip mine in Spinach and Artichoke dip.

9:00am - We start any plate-ups we may have for the day. A plate up is a banquet function where every guest receives the same dessert. Today we had a plate up for Tiramisu.

10:00am - Bread Pudding comes out of the oven and I put a shiny glaze on it. Then I proceed to making the mini pastries for a party. Usually this includes canollis, cream horns, mini key lime tartlettes, fruit tarts, chocolate mousse cups, Cream puffs, eclairs, chocolate strawberries, truffles and petit fours. We have dozens of other choices these are just the ones that are most popular.

11:00am - We take out the lunch items and deliver all the cakes to the right ballrooms and then roll the bread for the next day.

11:20am - Family Meal is ready. YAY! We all sit down and eat our lunch. Today it was Baked chicken and a pasta salad. I usually just eat the fruit Gene gave me.

11:30am - Lunch Begins and we all rush around until 2:00

2:00pm - I do all my ordering for the next day and then do some production. Today we made a batch of chocolate mousse cake, lemon shortbread cookies, cheesecake and a few other things.

3:00pm - I go and sit in a meeting to go over all the parties. I usually just doodle.

4:00pm - I make sure all the parties for the night are set up and my staff knows what to do. Then I get all my knifes together and LEAVE:)

5:00pm - Home

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A House is a House for me

Happy Home Anniversary to Me! Well friends, I have been at my new home now for one year and 6 days and I love it. I have made many new improvements to my condo. All the walls have been painted, new bathroom floors installed and artwork hung. This next year I hope to finish furnishing the 2nd bedroom. Living in Smyrna is great. There is a lot to do and some really cute restaurants. Most of all it's pretty close to all my friends and not too far from my family.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Straight No Chaser

Straight no Chaser is a men's a capella singing group from Indiana University. Here they are singing 12 days of Christmas with a twist. p.s. the 2nd guy on the right is pretty hot.

ps. the end of this song is great so make sure you watch it all the way through. They sing the 12th day to Out of Africa by Toto. Its GREAT!!

Joyeux Noel

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. "
-Ernest Hemingway

As many of you all know I have a bit of a love affair with Paris. To go to Paris was the only thing on my "things to do list", and about two years ago I was blessed with an opportunity to see and work in Paris. It may seem like I talk about Paris a lot, but it is one of the only truly amazing things that has ever happened for me. I was sent by my GM to go and work at Laduree (seriously the best Patisserie in the WORLD). So I went and worked for almost 2 months. A very surreal, scary and amazing trip of a life time. Truth be told I missed America more than you'll ever know but now I look back at my time in "the city of lights" with only the happiest of memories (i seem to have forgotten all the bad ones). So with all that said and for those of you who read the books I recommend here is my latest suggestion. Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas by John Baxter is the story of John Baxter and tells of what happens when he falls in love with a French woman and moves to Paris to be with her. Baxter not speaking a lick of French and with no talent in the kitchen is asked by her Parisan family to cook a Christmas dinner for her quite large family in their ancestral home. So Baxter searches all of France to find the country's best recipes and ingredients. This book is a lovely, romantic and witty story of the spirit of Christmas with a Paris twist.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A long December

December is going by too fast this year, I have hardly had any time to enjoy it. I miss watching all the holiday movies on TV, I have not had much time to finish my christmas shopping and I haven't turned on my christmas lights since I haven't been at home long enough to see them. It's a bit of a bummer. Work at this time of the year is INSANE! We have been booked solid with holiday parties and weddings. This week I worked over 90 hours decorating 60 cakes and hundreds of petit fours daily. But I have a job so I really can't complain. One more week to go and it will start to slow back down again. So I will finally have a day off next weekend and I can't wait! I am going to clean, and turn on my christmas lights, see my family, and most of all sleep in. YAY!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pick of the Week

This weeks song of the week is an old favorite of mine by a little band I personally LOVE ...QUEEN! So here is Freddie Mercury and the rest of Queen playing Somebody to Love.