Thursday, June 19, 2014

Knife Course

I went to a knife class to learn different cutting techniques.  I learned a bunch of information and I was sure to record it all in my binder.  Now, it is transcribed and ready for me to share to you.  I broke this into categories of what the instructor went over, so I tried to make it easy to follow.   He was really funny so maybe I will include a follow blog post of the jokes he made :)  But the jokes where so good that I can't remember them.

Knife Safety:
Do not take knife and board together.  Instead just go with board.  Use back of the knife to scape off food.  Don’t plunge the knife into water.  To store keep the knife on a magnet or inside a bamboo block.  Not because it looks cool, but because you need to keep it somewhere where it is away from

Different Knives:
A pairing knife is used to cut small vegetables, and the other only knife you will need is a French chef knife.  A French chef blade has a rounded bottom and flat top, meanwhile a Santoku has a flat bottom and a rounded top.  Both the French chef blade and the Santoku do the same thing and give the same type of cut.

Caring For Knifes:
On the tip of the knife there are little pieces of metal that separate every so often, so a honer(hoe-ner not aw-ner) is used to put teeth back into position.  To use a honer you should be almost parallel to the blade and use a down and across motion.  Each side of the blade should be honed 20 times.  Overtime, the tip of the knife becomes dull, so you need to physically shave the blade 2 times a year with an electric sharpener.  To do so just run the blade through the coarse side about 10 times per side, and then through the smooth side 2 times per side, afterwords it should be honed.

Holding the Knife:
Right before the handle at the end of the blade should be the knifes balance point.  Hold the balance point with your index and thumb then wrap the 3 other fingers around the handle.

Using the Knife:
Press the tip down and use the back of the blade to chop the food.  Use a rocking motion to cut the food, and press the food through as if it was a car wash.  As you are pushing the food through be sure to grab the food with a claw grip, meaning the fingers are tucked away.  Aim for cutting the food in a way that they will all be a uniform size.

Other Tips:
If your cutting board is moving around on you that can be dangerous.  Therefore, place a wet paper towel underneath the board so it does not move.

Cutting Foods:
Cut a cucumber in half and then flesh side down start cutting it into uniform pieces.

Cutting a bell pepper can be easy simple cut of the sides and after all the sides are cut off the middle is what remains

To chiffonate basil layer the basil, roll it like a crepe, and then cut it into thin vertical strips.  To keep the basil fresh and to keep it from turning brown store it in cold water to use later as a pretty finishing garnish.

Cut off the root of an onion then cut slivers into the onion but not all the way through, then cut into the onion straight down to make cubes of onion that are roughly uniform in size.

To supreme an orange cut off the top and the bottom then cut around from top to bottom then cut out from the membrane.  Keep the membrane to make orange juice.

When buying a whole chicken drain out the juice over a trash can.  Then take out the gizzards and hearts out of the chicken and through them out.  Keep the necks and stuff them back into the chicken.  Cut off the fat near the bottom of the chicken.  Sometimes it is helpful to use a boning knife which is curvy and helps get around a bone, but a french knife works as well.  Pop the thigh of the chicken and cut off the whole leg.  Then to separate the thigh from the chicken leg look for a change in the color of skin and cut there.  The thigh will be yellow and the drumstick is purple.  Dislocate the chickens shoulder and cut down into the wing, so that all that is left is the body.  Cut off the little parts of the wing, because there is very little meat there anyways.  Cutting into the breast bone involves going to the side of the bone that sticks out of the chest.  Curve the knife around the body to get as much breast as you can.  The flap under the breast is the tenderloin, but if you cut up the next vertical piece, and then do a 2/3 cut, you will be left with 2 tenderloins.  It is easy to get 2 more if you take the piece you have left and cut it in half across the grain.  The oysters is right below the thigh and it is dark mean and it is the best part of the meat.

Different Kinds of Cuts:
A Julianne is a long thin strip, meanwhile a Brunoise is small cubes made from cutting up a Julianne.

Making Chicken Stock:
To the bones and water, about 1 inch above the bones,  and simmer for 8 hours and skim the fat you see within the first 1/2 an hour.  Then take a mirepoik, (2:1:1 ratio respectively) of onions, carrots, and celery.  Cook the mirepoik for 1/2 an hour and then strain it, finally add in parsley, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary.  If it is thick then you are doing it right.  Get the mixture to be in gentle simmer with no lid which is one bubble every second.  It can easily be stored in ice cube trays or in baggies.

Do not make fish stock unless you have a venting hood.  The best kind of fish to make a stock out off is trout and rockfish.  Note:  If you are making a fish stock then use white fish and please make sure you have a vent hood, other wise you would want to sell your home, but it won't sell.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Setting a Goal in 5 Steps.

Making a goal is easy if you follow some simple steps

1) Write down everything you want to do, and I do mean everything.
  • Why?  Some “silly” goals can lead to realistic ones.
2) Cross out all the unrealistic goals, and prioritize your list based on what is most important to you.
3) Start with the #1 most important goal and make a list of steps that you will need to make to get to that goal.  Make sure to have deadlines included in the description of how to fulfill the step!
4) Now put the most important goal, and its step into a calendar.
  • Why?  Since your list is prioritized you are putting this into your calendar so that you can make sure this gets done.  That way the things you simply do not have time for are not urgent.
5) Great!  You might, actually you probably will, have to go back and re-work your goals.  It is not that you did it wrong, because everyone needs to re-work their problems at some point!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


If I could choose how I die then I would go with something quick and painless, or something really exhilarating and not painful... which sadly does not exist.  I am left with the most extreme and painful scenario of being skinned alive versus just gun to the heart.  Sadly, deaths are mainly unexpected and quick and need I mention painful.  So while I think about death often I do not want it to happen to me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Alchemist

The Alchemist meaning the man who can turn coal into gold.  Thou who can mix elements to create something worth more than the original value.  Also known as the title of my book about a sheapard, but not just a sheaperd, rather about a shepard and his metaphors.  I had to read this book and then create a game from the idea of a life long journey.  I decided to do it based on a school theme, so all the rewards and sacrafices are school based.  I think my game is entertaining and creative, which will make for great game play. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Do I Miss Makeup?

The only reason I am grounded from makeup is because of my unkept nails.  If I were to just stop biting them and let them grow out, then I would most likely be afforded the opportunity to wear makeup again.  I have a feeling like a novice all over again, because I do not know what the new products are out!  Seeing as I was able to catch up on everything when I was 13 and it took me about 2 weeks I don't see how I can't do it again.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tysons Corner has a Town Square?

When I was told to pack up my things, and that we were moving to a city called Tysons Corner I was scared.  Better said, I was timid for what was going to come next.  You see I didn't want to turn the next page and continue writing my story, because what if it didn't go the way I had planned?  I mustered up the courage to make new friends and continue my journey commonly referred to as life.

Originally I envisioned a corner named after a guy named Tysons, but that was were our apartment would be; I thought I was going to live on the corner that Tyson named.  I was wrong and Tysons Corner was a city, while it had a major mall it had the potential to get a lot busier.  Now with the implementation of the new metro there have been construction companies working at it for the past few months.  While it might be super crowded and we might live in danger and theft, there are benefits.

An example of what the benefits of the new Tysons includes the Town Square that has been built.  It is called to Learners Tysons Corner Town Square and this city is actually going to hold events there.  I can't wait to go to the first event, and see how they have put everything together.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Library's Kindle?

Recently, I have decided that I have an interest for reading all types of book, specifically mysteries.  I have not started Sherlock Homes, or any other famous thrill books.  What I have found the most interest is in is when I am turning the page to see what other clues the reader gives us about a case.  I have tried to download books from the Kindle, but I never actually used the Kindle device so we sold it.  Now I use the app for my Mac, or the iPad which makes reading easier on the eyes because I can change the font, and color.  I tried going to the library in my community, but all the books were feminist historical non-fiction books.  I did not pick up anything I couldn't put down.  Then I tried to visit the library on a Sunday, and that defiantly did not work out, because it was closed.  After that,  I tried to go to the online data base that the library has and I put a bunch of books on hold.  I suddenly got a flood of emails telling me the books were ready to be picked up.  That is when I realized I didn't have a sure way to get to the library, so I resorted to the Digital Library they have.  This Digital Library contains popular books that are free to check out and borrow for some time.  Which in my opinion is odd, because if it is online why can't everyone have a copy?

Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 World Cup

I still remember Barcelona winning the World Cup, was I in sixth grade?  I believe it was 2011, and we were in a crowded dimmed cafe with a widescreen television.  They were playing the final soccer match and people surrounded the television with appetizers.  I didn't have food, rather I had my aunt to keep me company.  We were watching the game and we stayed until Barca won.   It was great because she visiting from Spain, and I am half Spanish, so it was a great moment of pride when we won.  Now it is the 2014 World Cup and I have to say, time really does fly.  I have changed so much, for the better as always.  It will be interesting to see who would win this year. . .

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

College Essays...

It is not that time of the year, rather it is too early for that hectic season.  I am just finishing up my sophomore year, and I overheard upperclassman discussing the struggles of writing college essays.  After getting around to think about it those five minutes before class was over I realized that college essays are all about myself.  I just need to sell myself, and point out how fabulous my life is, along with my countless achievement.  I mean how hard could bragging be?