Then: At 5:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, I was rattled from my sleep with an idea. The sit-up-straight-out-of-bed kind of idea. Instead of setting up shop at one French cooking school, what if I hopped around the European continent and sampled from a variety of courses in different cities and countries? That's how Culinary Hopscotch was born. Follow me on an epicurean tour of cooking schools in countries around Europe and beyond. I'll be traveling and cooking for about three months, so if you're curious about where I'm headed, just ask. Otherwise, I'll be updating my whereabouts in the Twitter section on the right. The culinary crusade starts on January 29, 2010, and I'll be doing it all in a carry-on.

Now: We live in Portland, a culinary capital in its own right. I man the stove chez nous and plan our meals weekly on a colorful pad from Anthropologie. Things have changed a bit from the old school days of Culinary Hopscotch, but it makes sense (to me) to keep it alive. Look for posts on restaurants we visit, culinary happenings in the news, what's on the menu in our kitchen, and more!

Been There, Cooked That

Friday, July 29, 2011

Culinary Blitzkrieg

I have been on a cooking rampage this week. I don't know what it is, but if I'm away from my kitchen for too long, I get separation anxiety. I find myself with overwhelming ADD concerning all the things I want to make, mainly because there are so many ideas swirling around in my head. I've already committed to hosting an Indian dinner party next week for friends, but I'm feeling anxious that I haven't put together our meal plan for the rest of the week. I do know that our floor will be perfumed with curry for days after next Thursday evening, so there's an element of solitude in that. Sorry for currying, floor-mates. 

So far this week (and it's not over), I have made: cajun pork burgers, chile lime avocados, chicken divan, herbed mash, Alsatian pizzas with caramelized onions and bacon, celery/apple/fennel slaw, ice cream sundaes with ganache and pretzel nougatine, a garlic cheese braid, and right now, I'm curing salmon that will sit atop a fried wonton with avocado mash to hold it all together. Told you: it's an all-out kitchen assault, and I can't be stopped.

I'm blaming Portland. This city is chalk full of markets (traditional and farmers), restaurants with inventive menus, and creative foodies. This walkabout lifestyle, where no ingredient requires any driving, is inspiring me to get off my ass and use every utensil in my kitchen. Henri probably thinks I'm crazy, but he loves going along as my sous chef on our ingredient-hunting missions. And because I'm a sucker for his big, droopy eyes, he usually gets a treat or a sampling from the menu. In fact, I think he's had a home-cooked dinner two or three times this week. Lucky dog...

Happy Friday! Enjoy a sampling of photos from this week's culinary blitzkrieg: 

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