Cookbook review of Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, by James Peterson.
I am no Chef, but definitely a foodie. Who isn’t nowadays? Whether we admit it or not, we all want to be as cool as Anthony Bourdain when it comes to dining out, and as skilled as a five star chef in our own kitchen. But as much as we daydream about having a sophisticated palate and a skilled hand with a sauté pan, the honest truth is that most of us will never have a truly adventurous appetite, or impress anyone with our cooking skills. The world of cooking seems too daunting and complex to have someone take the time and teach us the ropes… And then! This cooking book by James Peterson fell into my lap!
Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, by James Peterson, is an in-depth and comprehensive book about cooking. More specifically how to make sauces, but it’s much more than a collection of recipes (like any other cookbook). This cookbook reads more like a biography – a great one too! I started reading this book in bed before I’d doze off and found that I could not put it down!
The book is well written and starts off with a fascinating history of cooking: how cooking has evolved from the Greek empire, through the medieval period, and into modern day. It shares great insight into what to look for when purchasing ingredients at the grocery store. It highlights tips on keeping food fresh, how to dry your own spices, and how to freeze homemade stocks for dinners to come. It explains how to cook the most incredible sauces in the most down-to-earth way. This book has gotten me excited to cook at a higher level and I can safely say that it has improved my cooking.
James Peterson is an award-winning food writer, cookbook author, photographer, and cooking teacher who started his career as a restaurant cook in Paris in the 1970s. He is the author of fifteen titles, including “Sauces,” his first book and a 1991 James Beard Cookbook of the Year winner, and “Cooking,” a 2008 James Beard Award winner. He has been one of the country’s preeminent cooking instructors for more than 20 years and currently teaches at the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump’s) in New York. He is revered within the industry and highly regarded as a professional resource. James Peterson cooks, writes, and photographs from Brooklyn, New York.
This book hooked me in like a good novel, and it will always be referenced in my kitchen like a handy bible. I can’t imagine that there are too many cookbooks out there that are juicy enough to read from cover to cover, and I know there are few as comprehensive as this one.
If you want to improve your cooking skills Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, by James Peterson, is the best cookbook I have ever found. This cookbook has a lifetime of recipes and wisdom in it, and I can’t endorse it more enthusiastically. It’s a great introduction to anyone wanting to learn how to cook, and its reference guide for anyone one who’s professional trained. Go get it!
Get ready! We might be only days into 2015 but wedding planning for this year is already underway. Here are our top five wedding trends to look for in 2015!
5. Garden flowers. The just-picked garden look for table settings will be a big hit this year. Couples will select soft colored flowers and gentile tones with greens pooling over the sides. Crowning Glory or crowns of woven flowers worn in the bride’s hair will also be a big hit this year. Depending on the overall theme of the wedding these flowers might be more subtle or larger, blossoming flowers.
4. Organic food. Couples choosing organic catering have been on the rise in the past few years and we expect to see a big uptick in couples being more conscious about choosing organic and local foods.
3. Off-the-shoulder neckline wedding dress. A 2015 wedding trend we are witnessing in wedding dresses are the off-the-shoulder neckline wedding dress. This wedding dress trend fits in with the whimsical English fairytale décor of the garden flowers and catering from the locals. It’s a romantic and timeless wedding trend that we think most brides will fall in love with.
2. A burst of unique videos and photos. There are a lot of photographers investing more into Go-Pros and little drone helicopters to capture weddings from all sorts of angles, like viewing your ceremony from above along with all the beautiful surroundings. With cameras as small as they are today the possibilities are endless as to what new and wild ways couples and wedding photographers are going to capture that special day.
1. And the number one wedding trend of 2015 will be… Western theme. Yep. Western themed weddings are in and Southern California is going to be a hotbed for ranch weddings and wedding parties accented with leather, antlers wild flowers, and outdoor venues. Bourbon and whisky were big last year as mixed cocktail options and that trend will nicely carry over with western themed weddings.
Our San Diego catering team created an all organic and locally sourced menu for Robin and John’s romantic Junípero Serra Museum wedding!
Robin and John are the type of people you just want to be around. They’re fun and always smiling about something. Their San Diego wedding was held at the romantic Junipero Serra Musseum and we wish you could have been there with us! Everyone had a ball, including our San Diego caterers! Their celebration was infectious, and the San Diego History Center is a spectacular place to throw a wedding.
We prepared a hardy menu of Robin and John’s desired dishes, along with some fresh and in season appetizers for their cocktail hour. Our San Diego catering team kept all the bowls and platters full of delicious goodness, while Robin and John’s family and friends did their best to clean them out. Everyone nibbled throughout the night and spent their energy on the dance floor.
Eco Caters works hard to ensure that everything we serve is all-organic and prepared fresh. Our San Diego catering team puts in small orders with local farms (which we encourage you to visit on the tab above). Our chefs hand pick select fruits, cheeses, and seafood for our events and our staff can also help you coordinate your event. Either from start to finish or simply the day of.
The San Diego History Center is located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Balboa Park. Consisting of a beautiful grand atrium and 8 different galleries, this museum is ideal for corporate events and wedding receptions. The museum also houses our Thornton Theatre and Conference Room, perfect for meetings and lectures.
The Junípero Serra Museum, located in Presidio Park, is an ideal setting for a stunning and unique wedding or social event. The mission-style building was constructed in 1929 as museum, not a mission, and is located above San Diego’s historic Old Town. Centrally located in San Diego, the museum boasts spectacular city and ocean views. The rustic outdoor terrace and our intimate interior gallery creates a perfect historical atmosphere for any event.
For more information on the San Diego History Center CLICK HERE. Our San Diego catering team would be happy to help set up this wedding venue with you as well. Eco Caters also coordinates events making it easier for you organize!
Junípero Serra Museum, in Presidio Park | 2727 Presidio Drive, San Diego, CA 92103
Eco Caters, your San Diego catering company was pleased to work with Imagery With Impact, a classy, high end photography company that captured some amazing wedding photos. Imagery With Impact was fun to work with and as you can see, these wedding photos speak for themselves! They captured some wonderful moments, and bottled the electric celebration that carried on through the night.The more I began shooting portraiture the more I realized that people were my passion. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to parachute into some of the most important moments in people’s lives and document their story. I love the adventure that comes with wedding photography and how each wedding is so completely different from the next. Stunning wedding photos are more than your gear and technical skill behind the lens. It’s all about knowing and connecting with the people in your photographs.
Our San Diego catering team would like to thank the Junipero Serra Museum for inviting us to cater on their historic grounds. A special thanks to Imagery With Impact for allowing us to share these fun photos of Robin and John’s wedding with all of you. And lastly, we would like to thank Robin and John for choosing Eco Caters as their San Diego caterer. We truly had a blast being apart of your special day, and we wish you two the very best!
San Diego Wedding Caterer: Eco Caters
San Diego Wedding Venue: Junípero Serra Museum
San Diego Wedding Photographer: Imagery With Impact
Having trouble finding that special gift for that spacial someone? Check out our Last Minuge Holiday Gift Guide!
Reusable coffee Cup
If you have anyone on your list who loves coffee or tea, than a reusable coffee cup is a simple yet practical gift. These awesome porcelain mugs from DCI look just like the paper cups but feel much better in the hand. Being able to bring in a reusable coffee mug is a great eco-friendly way to treat someone and they keep your beverages warmer than the paper one’s any way. It’s also a great gift to help someone live a little greener without them even knowing it… Shhh!
We’ve all played Candy Crush a little too long and forgot to call mom back before our phone battery died. It happens. This powerful little solar pack is perfect for casual use, camping, or being prepared for the “Big One.” Not only is this little guy waterproof, it also packs a 5,000mAh battery allowing you to save up a charge for later.
The perfect relaxing gift. This diffuser releases an ultra-fine water mist, suffusing the air with the scent of your favorite essential oil. Because it doesn’t require heat, this diffusion method maintains the integrity and holistic properties of the essential oil. A color-changing light provides soft illumination through the frosted glass cover, adding to the restful spa ambiance. Simple controls allow you to select white light, cycling colors, a solid color of light, or no light, as well as continuous mist, mist at 15-second intervals or no mist.
Normally you would get the stink-eye if you warped a thermostat and gave it someone as a gift, but not the Nest. Not only does this little guy save you 20% from your AC and heating bill, it looks cooler than Jimmy Dean in a leather jacket! With it’s simple interface and smarty-pants innards, it’s just begging to be played with. The thermostat learns when your home and away, and seamlessly adjusts the temperature of your home throughout the day. It even helps you save money during peak energy hours. The Nest thermostat is a great gift idea for any of those tech loving friends/family members of yours. Nest.com
We all want to come up with that thoughtful gift but often we end up racking our brains trying to comb the malls and department stores, but rarely do we ever think about getting someone a trip or tickets to a concert, or an outdoor retreat. Giving the gift of an experience can be much more meaningful, memorable and unique. Movie tickets, cooking classes, camping retreats, pottery classes, a night at a B&B… They all offer a refreshing change and can fit anyone’s price range.
Let one of ur chefs come into your home and prepare an all-organic meal for you and your family or a group of friends. It also makes a great gift for a friend. Having a professional chef cook up a meal in your very own kitchen is so much fun. We’ll customize a meal off of your suggestions, come in and prepare everything fresh, serve it, and we’ll even do the dishes! We receive lots of private dinner requests as gifts for other clients and we’d be happy to set up one for you!
Robert Wood, head chef of the Eco Caters Washington D.C. branch receives a nice tribute for the great work he’s doing as the head chef of the Washington Capitals.
Head Chef of the NHL Capitals talks about the important work of fueling the bodies of these amazing athletes. The Washington Capital hockey team consume anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day and eat all most a pound of protein! Eco Caters, Washington DC’s organic catering company, prepares food that is sourced from local farms and fisherman, and focuses on in season fruits and vegetables. Whether you’re looking to feed a national hockey team, or your upcoming private event, Eco Caters has you covered!
Your Los Angeles wedding catering team created another organic wedding at the Fig House.
Christine and Tim pulled together an amazing wedding with lots of laughs and bursting with vintage color. Christine and Tim served an all organic feast from Los Angeles wedding caterers, Eco Caters, and celebrated under the roof of a spacious industrial warehouse space nicknamed the Fig House.
The Fig house is a spacious Los Angeles wedding venue perfect for parties under 250 for sit down dinner, and 450 for standing cocktail style parties. The Fig House pulls in mid-century modern design elements and melds them with an indoor/outdoor layout, giving it an iconic California feel. The Fig House was founded by Steve Fortunato (roomforty) as the first venue venture of The Hospitality Collaborative. Eco Caters, your Los Angeles wedding catering team has coordinated and created custom catering menus for countless events at the Fig House. We abide by all house rules and can work with the venue to make sure your next event their is a flawless one.
Eco Caters, your all organic and locally sourced Los Angeles wedding catering team, tailored a special menu for our clients Christine and Tim. Our head chef combined some traditional dishes requested by the couple and created them by using in season fruits and vegetables. Aside from implementing a few dishes the couple felt were key to their menu, Christine and Tim were not sure what appetizers and side dishes they could pair with their special requests. These are the creative moments our chefs love!
During Christine and Tim food tasting, our chef explained what flavors would go well with certain foods they requested and our Los Angeles wedding catering team presented them with a special selection of popular recipes our past clients have fallen in love with, and they did as well! We talked over the menu, made some tough choices and paired it down to a flavorful selection that fit their budget.
As you can clearly see, Jennifer of Jennifer Fujikawa Photography is a beautiful Los Angeles wedding photographer. She has an artistic approach to her work and captures some unique and candid moments. She also has a refreshing take on shooting the wedding party, setting her style above the rest. We encourage you to visit her website to see more of her fabulous photographs: Jennifer Fujikawa Photography
A special Thanks to Christine and Tim for choosing Eco Caters as their Los Angeles wedding caterer! Everything turned out beautifully! We would also like to thank Jennifer Fujikawa Photography for sharing her work with our team. We love seeing all the happy faces and the colorful decor.
Los Angeles Wedding Caterer: Eco Caters
Los Angeles Wedding Photographer: Jennifer Fujikawa Photography
Los Angeles Wedding venue: The Fig House
Eco Caters proudly served all-organic and locally sourced food for Superhero You.
Superhero You, a cool organization dedicated to unleashing the superpower we all have inside us; our brains! The organization has thrown some amazing events and their work is truly inspiring.
Our Los Angeles catering team prepared all-organic and locally sourced ingredients. Our chefs focused on cooking in-season products from local farms. For example, at our Los Angeles catering events we use Springhill cheese from an amazing family farm just north of San Fransisco. The assortment of olives we served were chosen from Olive Ranch, a farm just east of Sacramento that is growing flavorful olives that could easily compete against the best Italian olive farmers.
Our Los Angeles caterers served a delicious menu of crowd-pleasing appetizers and finger foods that ran the gambit of flavors. From an elegant dish of seared scallops topped with a bright carrot puree, to a down-home, comfort food dish of melt-in-your-mouth roasted pork belly drizzled with a sweet apple glaze, there was something for everyone.
Sea Bass Crudo with Pimento, Pickled Onion, and Crispy Capers
Seared Scallop with Carrot Purèe and Chive Oil
Roasted Pork Belly with a sweet Apple Glaze
Cucumber Cups with Mango, Chili and Preserve Lemon
Marinated Golden Beet Ravioli with Almond Ricotta and Chive
Tahini Chicken Skewers with Marjoram Coconut Yogurt
Fermented Curry Cauliflower with Pickled Onion and Mustard Seed
Marinated Fennel with Sage and 4 Month Old Springhill Cheddar
California Olive Ranch Olives with Orange Zest
Marinated Artichoke with Chili Flake, Parsley and Lemon
Chef’s Choice Charcuterie Display with Cornichon, House Mustard, Brown Rice Crackers Carrot and Celery Root Slaw with Marjoram
Our Homemade Hummus Trio with Gluten Free Flatbread and Tabouli
Our staff had an enjoyable evening catering this fun Hollywood Hills party and we want to thank Superhero You for choosing Eco Caters as their Los Angeles caterer. We take pride in the quality of food we serve and its always nice hearing compliments from our clients and the guests we serve. Odin’s beard!
Every week Spork Foods is offering gourmet vegan cooking classes and they have one more spot open just for you!
We all wish we could expand our cooking skills and give our tastebuds a little variety – especially us vegans! Everyone could benefit from a few cooking classes. Whether your treating yourself, gifting a few classes to your partner, or going with a group of friends, Spork Foods has some fantastic and down to earth cooking classes for vegan foodies. Their chefs are fun, knowledgeable, and you will leave with great cooking tips and hands-on experience. We highly recommend them to anyone wanting to enjoy gourmet vegan cooking.
Eco Caters has had the distinct pleasure of working with Spork Foods for several years. We use their flavorful vegan recipes at our events and our team love owners Jenny and Heather. Together they have injected a fun dose of pizzazz back into vegan cooking.
Jenny and Heather are the Chef Ambassadors for GO Veggie! Foods. As the Chef Ambassadors, Spork Foods creates original recipes and unique, high quality cooking videos to demonstrate how to use the GO Veggie! vegan product line. They also travel the country to trade shows and festivals, produce cooking demonstrations on television, organize and throw product launch parties, and host demonstrations and lunches at corporate events to engage consumers. Jenny and Heather give customers a chance to be inspired about GO Veggie! products and how to creatively use the products in their everyday lives.
To find out more about Spork Foods vegan cooking classes we encourage you to check out their website! Every week they offer a different class focusing on teaching you how to be a better cook. www.Sporkfoods.com
One sunny afternoon while catering a private event in Malibu our team had the pleasure of working with Crystal, the energetic, quick witted cupcake-baker behind Cream By Crystal. Her cupcakes were amazing! And so was she! Winning last years Cupcake Wars on Food Network and her growing list of celebrity clients, I was eager to know the chef behind these incredible sweets.
WHAT’S THE MOST AMOUNT OF CUPCAKES YOU’VE EATEN IN A SINGLE DAY?
Probably a dozen-but of course it’s in intervals! A mini or more keeps the doctor away! 3 minis=3-different flavors. That is equivalent to a full size cupcake but this way you get variety with each bite!
YOUR CUPCAKES REALLY DO TASTE AMAZING. CAN YOU TELL US YOUR SECRET?
Affectionately known as “Cream”-The Signature Mini Cheesecake Cupcake is our specialty! Unique flavor combinations and fantastic taste combined with quality ingredients and fresh products has helped to place Cream by Crystal on the map as one of the best new confectionery spots in Los Angeles, California. Not to mention our new CbC award-winning gourmet hybrid-CreamCakes won national recognition on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. It’s the best of both worlds-have your cake and eat cheesecake too!
WHAT GOT YOU INTO BAKING?
I’ve always loved to cook. I actually auditioned for the job when I was a child. The job was for “Big Mama’s Little Helper”:) Everything from Scrambled Eggs to German Chocolate Cake I tried to assist her in. Spatula..Check..Teaspoon..Check..Measuring Cup..Check. However, there was always one specialty that we made that I couldn’t wait to bake & devour. Cheesecake! After my Grandma passed, the mission was to share my love for our family recipe with the world. The creation of Cream by Crystal is a tribute to my Big Mama’s memory. By baking each batch of sweets, I honor her legacy as she will always remain the original Dessert Queen in my heart.
CAN YOU SHARE ANY BAKING TRICKS WITH US?
Instead of using a measuring cups and spoons you can buy a inexpensive scale and use glass ramekins to weigh out your ingredients. It really takes the guesswork and eyeballing out of measuring ingredients plus you will get the right amount every time. No waste, no worries, no spills trying to pour back or throw out the extra;)
WHAT’S THE BEST CUPCAKE YOU’VE EVER HAD?
Mine of course. Duh;) No seriously, kudos to all my fellow “Baker Cupcakers”. There are so many talented cupcakeries in the Los Angeles Area: I love Sprinkles-Dark Chocolate, Confection Co-Op formerly known as Frosted-Lemon, Doughboys-Red Velvet and I’m still adding to my list!
HOW HAS THE CUPCAKE WARS AFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS?
Being a Cupcake Wars Champion has been an AMAZING honor, being amongst the Hall of Fame of the best cupcakeries in the country. The victory is even SWEETer after coming back Season 9 and winning our redemption episode www.creambycrystal.com/cbctv. I am forever grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to me and I am having a blast sharing our Award-Winning CreamCakes Confections with the world! #creamdreams DO come true!
WHO’S THE MOST FAMOUS MOUTH TO EVER HAVE CHOMPED DOWN ON YOUR DELICIOUS CUPCAKES?
Good Times! We were featured on Kris Jenner show with co-host Khloe Kardashian, Jason Kennedy and the E! crew for his Birthday Bash! The Mending for Kids charity event at the London West Hollywood, caught up with the Revenge Stars-Emily VanCamp and Joshua Bowman for their cream commentary. Red Velvet and White Chocolate Peppermint were the faves that evening!
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR COUPLES LOOKING TO HAVE CUPCAKES AT THEIR WEDDING?
Ahhh I LOVE Weddings it’s a day to celebrate LOVE and you want to be surrounded by people and things you LOVE. Couples who are looking for a new spin on dessert to add the WOW factor to their BIG Day should look no further than Cream by Crystal. Our Cheesecake Confections would be the perfect addition to a Pre-Reception Cocktail Hour. Meal reversal, it is a proven fact sweets before eats helps curb cravings and helps you lose weight;) Or as a part of the Dessert Bar people love variety and Weddings are a day to indulge so why not invite your guest to try all your favorite dessert picks. And because of the size of our minis they are guilt-free you can pop at least 3 without blinking an eye. Not to mention they are decorations themselves. Our beautiful bites can be customized to your theme, for the BlingBride add sparkle with glitter, gold or silver shaves or for the NaturalBride, we can use elements such as zest, chocolate shaves or fruit and to top it off we can custom color the frosting and add a edible personalized logo-this can be a couple’s monogram, signature or tagline for the day. Lastly, our swag sweets can be used as a fun favor idea-a gift box of goodies as a guest giveaway. It is the perfect ending to the perfect evening.
Celebrate with Cream! #carpecream
DO YOU HAVE ANY TOP SECRET RECIPES IN THE WORKS?
Of course, new flavor finds are always in the works at the Cream Confectionery Citchen. We are looking to revolutionize the world of sweets with cutting-edge flavor combinations! Even today I was thinking of whipping up a White Chocolate Apple Cheesecake Cupcake topped with Rum Drizzle and a Praline Crunch. Go BIG or Go Home! If any EC readers out there have a flavor personality they would like to share with us we are open to suggestions, contact our cream concierge email@example.com or 800.875.8027×1 for details.
Stay tuned to www.creambycrystal.com for updates to our flavor personality family.
HOW CAN THE REST OF US GET OUR HANDS ON YOUR CUPCAKES? DO YOU SELL THEM AROUND TOWN?
Cream by Crystal’s Cheesecake Confections are made to order, guaranteeing freshness, from our heart to yours. Our sweets can be purchased in our online cream shop creambycrystal.com/shop select your date and time and within 24 hours dessert can be delivered right to your door, your office or your clients, family or friends as gifts. It’s the gift that keeps on giving especially for the Holidays, as a Thank you or Just Because. Need an immediate fix…You can also find us inside:
B&K Sugar Arts Lab 2835 South Robertson Boulevard
To find get your fingers on some of Crystals fantastic cupcakes visit her website at CreamByCrystal.com
Every couple is looking to take that unique wedding photo. While everything on land may have already been captured, the sea seems to be the new frontier in wedding photos.
Wedding and Lifestyle photographer Adam Opris has captured absolutely amazing under water wedding photos. Combining his love of the ocean with his work behind the camera, Adam Opris is turning heads with each and every photo session he has. His technical use of underwater lights combined with his SCUBA license set him atop the growing pile of wedding photographers.
“I began shooting my future nieces in their swimming pool to test out the new housing and to learn how it all worked with lighting and exposures,” Adam says. “After seeing what was possible I started dreaming big.”
Anyone can take underwater photos nowadays but there is a quality in Adam’s photos that you just don’t see in other wedding photos. There’s something captivating about the way the beams of light sparkle through the waves and the way the wedding dress magically flow with the current. The images feel still and peaceful. What a beautiful and unique way to remember your wedding day.
His wedding photos have inspired countless couples to think outside the box for their photos. Adam Opris didn’t stop at just wedding photos either! He has a fantastic collection of galleries on his website showing underwater maternity photos, yoga, fashion shoots, even the behind the scenes photo shoots are amazing to see.
Check out some of Adam’s work bellow: