I get a text at 8:09am from Suzzette “Almost there”, I'm thinking “What, oh no, wait shes almost an hour early”. Lucky I was up since 7am, I threw on a t-shirt, jeans and my Janeen St. Louis earings ready to go.
I met Suzzette Turnbull (SOM '03) when she was the associate director of the MBA Program at Simmons School of Management in Boston. In addition to her duties as the associate director, she also was an advisor for the Women of Color Club, where I was the co-chair of the student group.
Suzzette and I became reacquainted after she moved to Florida over Facebook. I learned that she had the entrepreneurial bug and started Valentine Consulting of South Florida,LLC (www.solutionsmavens.net). Valentine Consulting provides business solutions for small business. One of her areas of specialty that resonated with me was social media design (ie how to integrate, twitter, facebook, myspace,YouTube,etc). I took one of her classes and was able to see the benefit of “tweeting”. Follow me at(www.twitter.com/thegourmetdiva)
I learned about twitter and facebook from Suzzette, so it was only fair that I teach her something. Today we made crème brulee french toast. (Recipe below)
Work, Life and Cooking Balance...
At first I was upset that Amare interrupted the Kitchen Coaching session. Thinking to myself, I'm trying to make this video as professional as possible and then you hear the loud “Bam, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy can you help me”. I realized this is my life, this is a lot of peoples lives, its reality.
On traditional cooking shows they film in a controlled environment. Does Rachel Ray help kids do homework in her 30 min show (humm maybe thats why she can get her meals done in 30 minutes) , Does Bobby Flay have to answer his Blackberry while doing a throwdown? Have someone on the Food Network create a show called “Real Life Cooking Challenges”, I'll gladly host it.
Gourmet Diva Tips for dealing with Real life challenges:
Kids: Have them help you out in the kitchen to keep them occupied. It helps them be comfortable in the kitchen as well. If they don't like to cook, then tough, you like to eat right?!
Work: If you can turn the phone off, there is nothing like getting caught up in a conversation and your meal goes array.
Do you have any tips to help deal with “Real life”?
Crème Brulee French Toast (recipe courtesy of Epicurious.com)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
an 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread ( I used Challah bread, you can find at Shaw's or Stop and Shop)
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature.
Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve hot French toast immediately.
Gourmet Diva Tips to Perfection:
1. Make sure you whisk the eggs, half and half, etc throughly, you dont want to see clumps of egg yolk
2. Its a very sweet french toast, you do not have to add syrup to it.
3. Dont have Grand Marnier – use orange juice
4. This recipe works great with any type of loaf bread (I heard croissants don't work though)