Chapter Two.

Farewell Vermont. You will be missed. It’s back to North Carolina we have gone.

We would be lying if we said we didn’t struggle with leaving; funny because we only moved to Vermont for Harrison to attend culinary school. But we ended up falling in love with the area with its contagious locavore lifestyle and deeply rooted good food community.


And we continue to crave the breads…

The cheeses…

The hidden treasures…


The beer…


I like to say that it was in Vermont that I finally entered food rehab. I went from microwaving to making from scratch; from drive-thrus  to farm stands; from cans and boxes to picking and canning. We moved for Harrison but in the end we think it might have been equally for me.

In Vermont my passion for food grew ten-fold. And so did my love for working side by side with Harrison. He cooks and I photograph. He explains how-to and I write. He learns hands-on and I read his textbooks to ask questions. He executes our event menus flawlessly and I make sure our guests are enjoying themselves. He continues to inspire me. I continue to challenge him.

Isn’t it funny where life leads you when you just let loose and let it?  If you were to ask me a year and a half ago if I could see myself working side by side with him day to day I would have thought you were nuts. But today I can’t think of any other place I would rather be.

For us, life has led us back to North Carolina to give his mom some much needed support with her thriving catering business with him in the kitchen and me in the office with coordination. And we’re looking forward to using our passions to create lasting food memories for clients.

While we’re here, we also strive to create new farm to table experiences with the community in our home state. Ultimately, it is our dream to one day have a small farm and cafe and do it all on one site. We’ll see…

So although the New England culinary adventure has ended, we know that a whole new adventure is about to unfold. We hope you’ll continue to join us here to share in new inspiration and continue to celebrate the community that food builds with us.

Hello Winston-Salem. Here goes…

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Rhubarb and Chipotle Pork Tacos

Whew! We’re baaaaack. It’s been a hot minute but we’re back in the home cooking saddle again. A couple of new exciting developments to share before we pull out the pots and pans….

He Graduated! “Attend culinary school” once loomed on the bucket list after years of working in the family’s catering business. Completed – check!

And look who met Chef Daniel Boulud and Chef Gavin Kaysen.

Big day. Awesome!

And we moved…to beautifully green Stowe. We’ll be here for the summer cooking goodies to share from the cutest little red cabin in the woods. Thanks to Annie and Joey for opening up their home to us for the summer. We promise to take good care of her and we’ll make sure she always smells delicious.

And finally, we’re helping out (Ok it’s mostly Harrison) on an organic produce and flower farm until September. We get to play in the dirt and bright sunshine and score some gorgeous veggies for true farm to fork meals. Another bucket list item underway… double check!

Now that you’re officially up to speed … let’s jump back into the kitchen shall we?!

Today’s recipe was inspired by the ripe rhubarb growing in our new backyard. “Hmm… what should we make” we said. Pies, tarts, jelly…nah, c’mon it’s us. Of course we’re christening the new country crib with some killer rhubarb and chipotle pork tacos. Let’s let loose. Ole!

Ingredients: 

  • (2) small stalks of rhubarb – sliced thin
  • Half can of chipotles (7 to 8 ounce can)
  • (2) Pasilla Negro Chiles (dried and reconstituted)

  • (2) small yellow onions – julienned
  • (1) bulb of garlic – peeled and mashed
  • (1) can of organic tomatoes and green chilis
  • (3) bay leaves
  • (1/3) bunch of fresh cilantro (ours freshly picked from Sandiwood Farm)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (1/2) teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • (1/2) tablepoon of dried oregano or (3) tablespoons of fresh oregano
  • (2) to (3) pounds of locally raised pork shoulder or butt – cut into chunks

1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

2. Brown off your pork in a large rondeau (or any other pot that you can transfer into the oven that allows room for the pork to be immersed in water to cook)

3. Remove your pork and set aside. Add your onion, garlic and rhubarb to your rondeau. Lightly sauté.

4. Add your remaining ingredients, including your pork, and a little water to cover your pork.

5. Cover your rondeau with foil and place in the oven for 4 – 5 hours until very tender.

6. Remove from oven and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes to rest. Then shred your pork and set aside for your tacos. (Tip: You can also sear your shredded pork in a pan with a little olive oil to crisp the outside and create a carnitas like texture…yum!)

7. Reserve your liquid with veggies and puree in a blender or food processor to make a hot salsa for your tacos.

8. Serve with tortillas, fresh salsa, chopped onion, fresh cilantro, scallion flowers and maybe a little pickled watermelon rind.

Enjoy!

Until we find fresh inspiration again,

A + H

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{Wishing all of you Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day today! To our Dads: We love you and thank you for all that you give and for your continued support as we navigate through this crazy thing called life. Today we celebrate you!}

{Playing With Food} – Interactive Sushi Station

Yesterday, Harrison’s catering class was in charge of feeding hungry, curious prospective students as the grand finale of their “come and see” campus tour.  He and his classmates were invited to pick an item to serve during the hour-long hor d’oeuvre reception.  Some were assigned canapes, some were assigned bruschetta… what does my “keep it out of the box” husband choose?  A roll your own interactive sushi station. 

Does he make a lot of sushi on his own? Well, no. Not usually.
Did he nail it?  Um, yes.

Roll Your Own Sushi Station

I'm so bummed I missed this tour. Doesn't it look like fun!?

 
Vegetable Carvings using food coloring

A new twist, he experimented with food coloring to create the "blue onion". I learned this after I asked "where did you get the blue onion?"

 

Vegetable Carvings using food coloring

Nerd fact: Most popular theory states that vegetable carving originated in Thailand.


Roll Your Own Interactive Sushi Stations - Catering

If you know Harrison (and if you were paying attention above), you know that no display is complete without sculpted fruits, veggies and NOW... wasabi!


Sauces from scratch:
Asian aioli and ponzu sauce

Roll your own ingredients: 
Smoked salmon, raw tuna, spicy tuna, tempura shrimp, carrot, asparagus, red pepper, shiitake mushroom, purple bell peppers, cucumber, cream cheese

Roll Your Own Suishi

Rollin', rollin', rollin'... Thanks Keelan for the candid!

 
Roll Your Own Interactive Sushi Stations - Catering

My samples... that are no more.

 
You want some sushi now don’t you?  Don’t you worry your sweet, little faces.  I made a recipe request for us and he promised to share.   Now, we just need to know: What type of sushi would you like us to make for you?