Friday, January 29, 2010

Dutchess County Tour

Although I did spend much time at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, my Dutchess County tour consisted of more. I took Metro North from Grand Central Station to Poughkeepsie. Nancy Lutz from Dutchess County tourism met up with me and we were off to lunch at a restaurant called Shadows on the Hudson. The restaurant looks over the Hudson River where you can see the bridge that goes from Poughkeepsie to whatever is on the other side of the Hudson. In fact they recently built a walkway for the same. It was too farkin' cold to do the walking and so I'll wait until the late spring to do that. I had a Cobb Salad and Sweet Potato Fries that were covered in cinnamon and sugar. Didn't need dessert. Of course, Esther came along and was quite thirsty from the 2 hour ride plus the hour or so for me to get to GCS.

After lunch I was able to check into the Grand Hotel. Actually, the Grand Hotel and Shadows on the Hudson are owned by the same company. Hotel room was large and had a refrigerator and microwave, but only needed the refrigerator to house the desserts that I had gotten from the CIA.

From there we went to the FDR Library as FDR's Home was closed due to some filming. Esther enjoyed many of the exhibits. After that we went to the Vanderbilt home to remind me of how much money I don't have.

The day after the boot camp, we went to Vassar College to tour their art museum and talk with someone about their theatre. I will visit the theatre during the summer. Esther almost lost her balance and would have fallen onto the Picasso painting.

We had lunch at a nearby place called Babycakes Cafe. Had desserts to go. Best was a carrot cake cookie with the cream cheese frosting in the middle.

Dinner at the CIA American Bounty

Dinner on the second night was at the American Bounty restaurant where we also celebrated Lee Newlin's birthday. I was attempting to bring in a tiny cake to share, being that it was the healthy cooking class. It got ruined in the transporting and got a jar of vanilla rice pudding, both which had come from the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe. However, Lee's daughter bought a fabulous cake that had a layer of hazelnut cream on top, orange marmalade in the middle and almond paste at the bottom. Well, that wasn't enough as dessert was part of our dinner as well.

Dinner at the CIA

I met with the group, joining them for dinner at St. Andrew's Cafe, the night before my big day. Here are photos from dinner that Esther also took part in.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

CIA Boot Camp: Back to the Classroom

After lunching on our own creations, we went back to the classroom for some more information. First, however, I must comment on the food. Everything turned out with a perfect taste and you'd never know that anything was a "healthy" version of cooking. I was even more surprised to find out that none of the women were "chefs".

CIA Boot Camp demos

The chef did a few demos. Thank goodness Esther was not in the kitchen when he cut up the chicken. How to kill and cut up a lobster! Oh yeah....that's me the YES! CHEF!

CIA Boot Camp: The Food

Each group had more than one recipe to prepare and with the assistance of the student chefs, here is how the food turned out.

CIA Boot Camp, The Kitchen

As I don't have the info in front of me regarding the recipes that I worked with, I'm going to show a whole bunch of photos as we were working in the kitchen.

CIA Boot Camp

That's the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. I was there for a day at Boot Camp on Healthy Cooking, lead my Chef Michael Skibitcky, Assistant Professor on Continuing Education. I brought Esther with me as she was eating everything I was and gaining too much weight. There were a total of 10 women in this class divided into 4 groups of two and three. The day started in the classroom with much information prior to going into the kitchen.

Monday, January 25, 2010


It seems like Esther is busy testing out some of the products that I received after the Sneak Peek Housewares Show in NYC. There's a Slow Cooker from Hamilton Beach and a heavy duty shredder from HoMedics.