Asked by the beautiful Jen!
1. What is it about pastry that makes you so excited?
There are oh so many things that I love about it! With my 9-5 job (or in my case 7-2) I generally make a lot of cookies which gets redundant, but when I get to make something else I'm on cloud nine. The possibilities of what can be made/created are endless. When you let your creativity flow and are in an arena that allows you to follow it, it's wonderful! I rarely have the chance to get bored and I love that every day has a new challenge, no two days are usually the same. I also really love when a customer or someone near and dear to me takes a bite and says, "Wow, this is great" or they say, "This is the best ______ I've ever had!" It is rewarding! Food brings people together and it is generally something people are excited about!
2. If you could work at any one restaurant/bakery, where would it be and why?
Restaurant: Salish Lodge I actually interviewed there a year ago for a pastry cook position, but I wasn't available when they needed me. They had actually called me back last fall to offer me the position again, but I'm very happy where I am employed. Chef Laurie seemed really down to earth and it seemed like a good environment to learn and grow as a pastry chef.
Bakery: Dahlia Bakery I also interviewed here and the staff seemed very down to earth and pleasant to be around. The Dahlia Bakery makes so many amazing things and I think I've already nailed the Triple Coconut Cream Pie, I make it ALL the time at home. They have a lot to offer!
3. What professional chef is your inspiration?
Honestly, this will sound a little cheese ball, but my instructor from Renton Technical College, Kim Smith. She has done so much with her career. Every time I make something I try and remember what she taught me and how she would do it. Her patience with her students is pretty amazing, because I know when I was there, we were a wily bunch and we had mouths that never ended!!
4. If you had to describe yourself as a dish (without words), what would it be and why?
I have the crunchy caramelized sugar top that is warm and crisp, but once you break through me, beneath is that small layer of warm custard and below that the cold crispness of the very same custard. I'm layered in so many ways, but have very simple ingredients. Can you guess what it is?
5. What music is the essence of who you are? (It can be a band or a song.)
I'm really into a band right now called Halestorm. I can really relate to a lot of the lyrics, they are rock, but they have the slower melodramatic side as well! And well the lead singer, Lzzy Hale, can wail!! I just really admire women that are successful in rock and are just as good if not better than their male counterparts. You know, Girl Power! RAAAWWR.
Now for the Pumpkin Dog Treats! This is my own little recipe for dog treats, it is the first time I have made them and my dogs, Layla and Triton, gobbled them up! Actually, there was so much dog slobber coming out of Layla's mouth after she got it from me, I thought I was going to need some boots!!
For the recipe I used ingredients that I learned were good for dogs, like pumpkin and carrots and added some things to make them salivate, like beef bouillon granules.
A really big mixing bowl
Dog bone shape cookie cutter's (if you have them, if not a round will work just as good)
Your hands, ready to get dirty again?
5 cup whole wheat flour + more for rolling out the dough
3 Tablespoons +1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 cup shredded carrot
To get started preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Get that giant bowl I was telling you about and measure out all your dry ingredients into the bowl, so the whole wheat flour and beef granules. Make a nice little well in the middle and add all your wet ingredients, eggs, pumpkin and water. Now start mixing it together with your hands. It will be a little wet, but don't worry, you will be getting more flour when you start rolling.
After the dough has come together put a nice layer of whole wheat flour down on the surface where you plan on rolling it out and get to rolling! You are going to want the dough to be 1/2-3/4 of an inch, they will puff slightly in the oven. When you have reached the desired thickness grab the cookie cutters and start to cut! You can rework the dough up to about 2 more times after the initial first cut, but after the 3rd one they start to get really tough.
Bake them on your cookie sheets for about 45 minutes, you want to dry the treats out as much as possible, like the ones you get at the pet store! If that isn't possible you'll only want to keep them around a couple weeks before they get rancid.
But wait! Why do that when you can win some! Comment below with how many dogs you have and their size for a chance to win doggie treats for your pups! I'll take comments until July 15th at 11:59PM I'll draw a name and whoever wins will get some barktastic doggy treats in their mailbox for their pups!!
They sure do meet Layla and Triton's doggy standards! They inhaled them!
They meet Triton's approval! he is about to inhale it!!
If you can't tell, Layla left her mark on this doggy treat!
Lastly, the treats themselves, I made two sizes, one that is about 3 inches and the other is about 6 inches!