Where has September gone?

September is always a crazy month and I’m shocked it’s almost over. Where has the time gone?

People have been asking me about the sauces course I took at The Institute of Culinary Education, so I thought it was time to blog about it. I spent three days in the city mixing and tasting and chopping and whisking and bleeding. Yep…I cut my finger and I’m going to have a scar to show for it. I sliced my finger while cutting an onion. King of the Castle told me he’s sending me to a knife course next so I can learn to use those things without hurting myself.

Other than the pain, I had a really fantastic time in class. We flew through the sauces. First day was all about classic sauces: veloute, espagnole, béchamel, glace de viande, demi-glace and classic tomato. Second day was emulsion sauces: hollandaise, béarnaise, beurre blanc and mayonnaise. The last day we covered contemporary sauces: coulis, salsas, chutneys, relishes, infused oils and citrus juices.

I now have the culinary school bug and desperately want to attend full-time. The sauce course was fun, but I want more of a challenge. I want to be tested and graded. I want to learn the “hows” and “whys” of cooking. Maybe someday…but the sauces course definitely helped change my outlook of cooking.

Meanwhile, I decided to join the Food52 project. It’s basically a website that holds online cooking contests, and those who win the challenges get their recipe published in their cookbook, plus other prizes. I wanted to challenge my culinary skills and if I can come up with a new recipe each week (and maybe win one or two contests) then I’ll feel like I’ve gotten an at-home education.

So, I submitted my first recipe yesterday. The challenge was apple cake. My mom used to make an apple cake with a cream cheese icing. I thought, what if I made an apple Bundt cake with a cream cheese filling? And, what if I made the flavors subtle enough to top it with a caramel glaze? So, I spent a couple days experimenting, and here’s the recipe I submitted. (My sister-in-law helped me with the photo…isn’t it pretty? It helps to live with professional photographers!) :)

Apple Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Caramel Pecan Glaze

Next week's contest is a paprika challenge. My mind is already spinning...and yes...this recipe will include some of the things I picked up during my sauces course.


  1. Love it! I am so proud of you for stepping up and stepping out.


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