The Moveable Feast Food Blog

The Moveable Feast is a Personal Chef Service that serves the Hampton Roads area of Southern Virginia. This blog is an extension of my web site and will go into more details about food and any food service industries. Any pictures and or recipes that are published here are all the property of The Moveable Feast unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Summer's Last Bounty
This is the 5th time I have tried to post this and hopefully this time will do the trick! I am not sure it's Blogger but maybe my virus protection program. We shall see after I try to publish this!

I was so excited a few weeks ago when I went out into the back yard with my colander to harvest what I thought was probably our last vegetable bounty. I was right. I was armed with my snippers and spotted a pretty nice sized vine ripe tomato. I had to struggle to reach it over another large tomato plant. When I finally snipped it, I was so pleased...until I turned it around. This is what I found...

Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel had brought their growing family over the Brown Garden Fresh Buffet to dine and they ate well. Half of all my tomaotes this year, well...looked like that picture above. I am so happy the enjoyed my tomatoes. Alas, they are not the only satisfied customers at the Brown Garden Fresh Buffet. Mrs. Rabbit and her brood had a lovely time cutting their new baby rabbit teeth on my summer squash. They tasted each one leaving perfect teeth marks in the middle of everyone of them.

I wanted to have a lovely picture of all the things that I gathered in one day. This picture is a big fat lie. I turned half the tomatoes around that looked like the one above so they looked nice in the picture.

I recently got a seed catalog and am plotting how I can set up the buffet for next year. I was hoping to do a winter garden but am re-thinking that.

I will get back to semi-regular blogging soon. I have had company for the last two weeks and my youngest son has moved back home. So it's been a zoo to say the least. I am looking forward to the changing weather. I love the hearty fall and winter foods and will baking my buns off this year. I have a little more confidence this year and armed with yeast and dangerous!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Good Grillin'
I have only heard of people using their grills to cook a pizza but have never done it myself. I got a bee in my bonnet on Sunday and decided that I wanted a grilled pizza. So I tried to find my pizza recipe that has to rise and could never put my hands on it. I found my Cusinart book and low and behold there was a recipe for pizza dough in there. Better yet, it did not have to rise. So I was good to go.

I went out into the garden and picked all the ripe tomatoes I could find along with some sad looking Basil and decided that would be the topping for one pizza. I checked in the pantry for the Pizza Quick that I had in mind for the pizza sauce. I got to thinking about how long it has been in there and just as a lark, read the expiration date. Good Grief! It expired in 2005. Can we say (FIFO-First In, First Out)?

I mixed up the dough in the Cusinart, which I have never done before. It was so fast that I just might not ever use the Kitchen Aid recipe ever again! Too quick. Then I opened up a can of tomato paste and smeared it all over the top of the two rounds that I had rolled out on the cart. I didn't add anything to it, just wanted to keep it simple. One pizza had some really over ripe roma tomatoes with some sad looking heat frizzled basil and then a handfull of mozzrella cheese. I brushed the exposed crust with olive oil The second pizza had crumbled up cooked sausage and assorted grilled veggies and of course, a hand full of cheese. But of course, I can't get Blogger to load the second picture and so all you get to see is the one with the Roma tomatoes.

Then it was off to a non-stick sprayed, pre-heated grill to see what was going to happen. I was shocked that it was so quick and they turned out right nicely if I do say so myself. They weren't pretty by any means, but they did hit the spot. Both hubby and I were shocked!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

St. Louis Eats...well I might add!
While I was at the USPCA conference I got a chance to sample some local cuisine. We weren't really in St. Louis but in Clayton. The hotel we stayed at is a few blocks from some really cute restuarants all lined up in row so eating there was so easy. The places I wanted to talk about first, were a cab ride away into St. Louis.

During the chef's conference you can take classes that you sign up for in advance, like months and months in advance. I basically forgot what I signed up for, but when I got my schedule, I was totally pleased with myself! I took all cooking demo classes. Some classes were taught by USPCA chefs, and some by local professional restaurant chefs. All the classes that I took, were great. I got some new ideas and my motor has been renewed. Too bad we can't do this every 6 months!

One the classes that I signed up for was a French cooking demo. I was tickled pink because I went to France right after Sept. 11 for ten days and had a ball. I went to the south of France and was enrolled in a four day cooking school there. I had a great time and have spent the last five years since trying to get back there. So this class was just what I needed to make me want to charge more on my credit card so rack up those free miles.

The French cooking demo was taught by Eric Brenner. He is the Executive Chef for two restaurants. The first one is Chez Leon. Eric is the head chef there but goes two doors down to his own restaurant Moxy. Chez Leon is more of a white table cloth French restaurant as where Moxy is billed at a "contemporary bistro". Either way, you will just love both places!

After we watched the cooking demo, we all wanted the phone number to Chez Leon. Sadly it is closed on Monday nights so we got the number to Moxy and made reservations for four there at eight. We bearly got out of the class and I was dailing the number. We could not wait for dinner there after watching and listening to Eric passion for his craft. Please use the links to check out both places. If you are ever in St. Louis you will want to eat at both places.

We did not know that another party of happy personal chef eaters had made their reservations for 6:30 and we ran into them while we were there. Chef Eric was doing a $50 tasting menu with wine for every course. We said we would have the same and did not regret one single morsel.

I took pictures of every course but we ate by candle light. I did not want to use the flash because there were other diners besides us and it would just be rude. So this is as good as it gets for candle light.

First course...Truffle Risotto with Procini, Crimini and Parmesan

Second course...Rainbow Trout and Crab with Citrus Wild Rice, Sauteed Spinach and Dijon/Tarragon Beurre Blanc

Third Course...Seared Duck Breast with Roasted Apple, Rhutabega and Carrot-Pomegranate Reduction with Cinnamon

Fourth Course...Roasted Bistro Steak with Red Onion Jam, and Garlic Whipped Potaotes, Gorgonzola Demi Glaze.

...and last but not least DESSERT!

Black Cocoa Torte with Nutella and Toffee Ice Cream Bombe

Blogger Blunder
I have been trying for over a week now to post about what I ate in St. Louis while I was at the conference. I posted the other night and tried to link my photos to the post. Then I got totally frustrated and deleted the post. I have photos to post but can't get them to post. So I have not been able to do much of anything. I just wanted to let all of you know I am trying to post things, but it just isn't going well.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Leavin' on a Jet Plane!
This is my annual working vacation. The United States Personal Chef Association will be holding their once a year conference in St. Louis, MO. I am so excited to get on that plane and have a fun filled 5 days talking about food and my clients. I will be teaching a ServSafe class to 50 students on Friday and then I will be attending some classes on Sat-Monday myself. I will get some see some old friends and make some new ones. I will get to talk to Mark Tafoya from the Culinary Podcast group. Mark is on fire with his Pod cast which just celebrated it's 50th episode. I called in and gave Mark a shout out. I was a bit shocked to hear my voice on his podcast. I sound like I am 12 years old.

Anywho, I won't be able to blog while I am gone because there just won't be time and I am not dragging the laptop with me! I am however, taking the camera and will try and take some pictures of places I eat. I know we have reservations at a Tapas place. I might just starve to death there...

Talk to all of you and will catch up on your blogs when I get back. Happy blogging, ya'll!