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The first thing we did today was put on a quick soup, so that we could spend the rest of our class time preparing for tomorrow’s practical exams.  The soup du jour – Pasta e Fagioli!  We started by browning some ground beef…


And adding our mirepoix vegetables.  Can you tell we’ve been practicing our knife cuts?  We get graded on those tomorrow, too!


Brought it up to a simmer with fresh herbs, chopped tomato, beef broth, and tomato paste.  We covered it and let it simmer about 30 minutes, until the vegetables were all soft.


To finish the soup, we added kidney beans and cooked orzo pasta, and another round of fresh herbs and seasoning.


I didn’t have any of this because it was beefy, but I thought I could at least share a spoonful with you guys! :)  I was bummed that we couldn’t make this one vegetarian – I love kidney beans and orzo!


Once our soup was finished, we worked on our sauces.  My hollandaise went pretty well today – much better than yesterday!  Here is my pretty béarnaise sauce…


And another one of my finished products – mornay sauce.  Not that exciting looking, but it’s basically a cream sauce with a melted blend of parmesan, gruyere, and swiss cheeses – YUM!


Since we are all trying to get our individual sauces done, and not working as much in teams, the classroom and kitchen are a DISASTER zone.  These pictures don’t do justice to the madness.  This was my work station – covered in bowls, knives, whisks, scales, etc.  And mine wasn’t even one of the worst!


Check out the table behind me!  Literally NO space to get any work done – just piles of crap everywhere.  You can imagine what the dish pit looked like…


And this is what it looks like on the line when 20 students each have 5 sauces to make.  You are literally elbowing each other back and forth while you whisk your sauces to perfection!  The crowded space also tends to lead to lots of classroom drama and bickering – not so fun.


I was staaaaaaaaarving by the time we broke for lunch.  One of my classmates brought me a grapefruit from Florida – thanks, Jeff!  It looked pretty scary on the outside…


But it was pink and juicy and perfect on the inside!  Yummmmmm!


Eaten with my new favorite – PB2 and apricot preserves on Great Harvest bread!


EXCITING NEWS when I got home!  Remember when I used to be a CinWeekly blogger for the Cincinnati newspaper?  Well I have made my way into the Charlotte news and blog world this time.  CHECK IT OUT –  Theoden Janes is a writer for the Charlotte Observer, and he featured me and Casey in his Valentine’s Day segment about “runners in love” – awwwwwww.  So cool!

LOTS to study tonight, so I better hit the books.  Had a great workout with Kath, and a fun dinner in the works, so I will be back to show you those in the morning!

Don’t forget – tomorrow is the LAST DAY to enter to win the EatSmart food scale!  Leave a comment before Thursday at midnight – winner announced Friday morning!