So far today has been a great birthday! I started my morning off with a big ole bowl of birthday oats – coffee-soaked oats topped with bananas, slivered almonds, POMEGRANATE seeds, and PB2 icing…
I rushed out the door, running a bit behind, to discover that my gas light was on – ugh. I made it to a gas station with no time to spare, and when I went to pull my wallet out, I discovered that it was not there. Oh crap. With ten minutes until class started, I decided to go for it on fumes, and figure out how to get home later. I made it to class on time, and one of my classmates was nice enough to lend me $20 to get home – thank you, Sid!
Not the greatest way to start the day, and I was in a panic all morning about the wallet. I checked my bank balance several times, and after hours of no activity, I decided that it must be at my house, and I stopped worrying about it.
When I got to class, I was greeted by lots of birthday wishes, and even a few birthday gifts!! I can’t tell you how nice it was to realize that I’ve made such good friends here in Charlotte in such a short amount of time. Working so closely together day in and day out – aaaaaall day long – has allowed me to make real, lasting friendships, for which I am very grateful.
Jeff, who works at Starbucks, hooked me up with this awesome travel mug! He assures me it is spill-proof, which is perfect for tossing in my school bag. My old coffee thermos is horrendous – this one is beautiful!
Today was my dining room practical exam, which meant I was graded on my service and attention to detail – eeek!
I was given a booth table today, and my table number was lucky #12 – score! Plus the booths are really easy because you only have two people, so that made my day even better.
Service went well, and I think I did just fine on my practical – no mistakes that I know of! Crossing my fingers for a good grade tomorrow. Today’s menu features cuisine from Spain and Portugal – yum! Appetizers included…
Gazpacho – chilled vegetable purée of tomato, cucumbers, peppers, and onions, topped with ceviche calamari and a yucca chip
Check out the scary tentacles coming out of the gazpacho! Eeeeeeeeew!
Catalan-Style Vegetable Soup – catalan-style vegetable soup with saffron, rice, tomatoes, onions, garlic, turnips, celery, and spicy chorizo sausage
Tapas – a selection of traditional tapas (the International Cuisine students had to make a variety of tapas for their practical exam, so their products were used as appetizers!)
Portuguese Salad – fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, Spanish onions, tossed with a sherry-garlic vinaigrette
And onto the en
Paella Valenciana – classic Spanish rice casserole with seafood (shrimp, lobster and clams), chorizo sausage and chicken, scented with saffron and paprika
Cataplana – spicy Portuguese dish of littleneck clams, cubed pork loin and potatoes, stewed together with white wine, garlic, and Piri Piri, a fiery condiment of peppers, vinegar and lemon zest
Braised Chicken with Nuts – braised chicken with almonds, pine nuts and with a savory wine sauce (this was originally supposed to be rabbit!)
Veal with Sherry – veal cutlets pounded thin, sautéed and nappéd with a sherry veal demi-glace garnished with smoked ham, olives and mushrooms
Dessert was another ice cream dish, but I didn’t have to scoop today – just serve! Cinnamon ice cream with a berry crumble, and dried fruit – looks good.
After my dining room class, I had my LAST DAY of Menu Planning & Cost Control class – crazy! Remember that huge project that I pulled an all-nighter for a few weeks ago? I got it back today, and got an A and lots of great comments and feedback – whohooooo! I took my final exam in menu planning today too, and I think it went well. Crossing my fingers that the 4.0GPA is still intact!
First order of business when I got home was to tear my house apart and find my wallet. Ta-da! WHEW…
Next up was making myself a birthday snack – pomegranate Chobani with blueberries, frozen pom seeds, and TJ’s high fiber cereal. In a pretty bowl because it’s a special day!
A knock on the door brought a BEAUTIFUL surprise!! I can’t tell you the last time someone sent me flowers – thank you, thank you, thank you, Lindsey!!
Now that our table looks so pretty, I’m going to go hang out with Casey and make birthday DINNER! Thank you all so much for your nice birthday wishes – I feel very loved! :)