Dodge the oil, embrace the blog

Oh, to try and be humorous or to risk inevitably sticking out like a sore loser blog post in front of all the cool kids.

Let’s do this.

I look at my blogpost & I as a relationship.

It’s you and it’s me baby; it’s my thoughts on your page. I’m sorry I leave you infrequently but I’m making a resolution to be better.  I have a notorious track record for being a little behind in the game…

I make my New Year’s resolutions in the summer  [apparently]. I do my spring cleaning in the summer heat- torturous, really. I grew up on encyclopedias as a research tool  while everyone else’s parents were out buying their family households the newest installment of Windows. I did not learn how to ride a bike until I was fifteen nor did I realize how much I would miss you blog, until now.

Currently, avoiding oil splashes from some squash blossoms that we’re frying so have to get moving to safer ground. Check back in later for the recipe & pictures!

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Take a minute to boast

Since I have been gone for what seems like an entire anniversary ago… I wanted to let the blog community out there know I have made my first wedding cake! I feel that when that time comes for a baker to venture off and make that particular friend a wedding cake there is a sense of independence and internal achievement and recognition you feel. The reason I am choosing to discuss is based upon a quote I recently read from Bob Dylan, “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”

The wedding cake was asked to be a vanilla cake with cannoli cream filling, bare to light vanilla buttercream frosting on the exterior, and fresh flowers to garnish any way I desired as long as I left room for their Despicable Me cake toppers. I drove in such horrendous traffic to deliver those cakes. Let me tell you, I will drive the safest when I am transporting cakes, but my poor friends and family? You will see me roll through that stop sign probably a little faster than you would like.

So here is the cake! She’s the first one; I hope for there to be more but I had an interesting challenge with you and I admire my accomplishments thus far.

Wedding Cake

What Anniversary?

Do you know how terrible of a human being I feel when I finally return to my wordpress blog and the first notification I receive is a “Happy Anniversary!” message from wordpress itself. I apologize wordpress that i’ve been neglecting you all this time and come back on the day of our anniversary. This blog post goes out to you…

My mother’s friends own an old country Inn located in West Dover, Vermont. I have spent many a-holidays there, eating up all the scrumptious food they cooked, and being enrobed by their love and hospitality. They have been there many years now and are interested in selling the place. The Inn will be sold by an essay contest with a registration fee of $100. Isn’t that insane? All anyone has to do in order to participate is construct an essay describing why you would like to own and operate your own inn! So check it out it out, the name of your future Vermont property could be the Deerfield Valley Inn.

Anyways, I am not here just to brag about this inn for sale, I am also going to provide a Rhubarb Loaf Recipe in which one of the owners provided me.

Vermont Rhubarb Cake

Vermont Rhubarb Loaf:

2 C fresh rhubarb, chooped

1/2 C sugar

1/4 C AP flour

1/2 C butter (1 stick)

1.5 C sugar

1 egg, beaten

2.5 C AP flour

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1 C milk

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 C sugar

1 t cinnamon

1/2 C coconut

Sprinkle 1/2 C sugar and 1/4 C of flour in together with the rhubarb and set aside.

Cream butter and 1.5 C sugar.

Stir in egg followed by the sifted dry ingredients.

Add into the butter mixture.

Add in milk and vanilla followed by rhubarb.

Pour into floured and greased pans.

Top with cinnamon sugar and coconut.

Bake at 375 for 45 mins.

Cool in pans and serve!

New Adventures!

I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America exactly 3 weeks ago. As soon as I walked into the ceremony it finally hit me- this was it, my two year education at the world’s premier college was over. Here’s the thing though, I did not feel that I was done learning. I suddenly felt lost, overwhelmed, and nervous; my life at the Culinary Institute of America was all that I knew and now it was all over. Fortunately, I have better news to talk about and this is how I got to that placid state.

If you can relate to my situation, ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow. If it’s not going to help you then move on.

I have recently accepted a job as a sous chef at a camp I used to attend in the past, Canoe Island French Camp. Canoe Island is located in the beautiful San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state. I’m excited to spend my summer working in that kitchen and being in a managerial position. 

New opportunities wait around every corner, you just have to pay attention to detail to see it.

Bakery Review: Harney & Sons Fine Tea Bar


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I ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY LOVED this tea bar! Harney and Sons not only has a factory in Millerton, NY but they also opened up a tea bar. The tea bar is divided into 3 rooms- one room for tasting tea, the next to shop, and the third is the restaurant portion. The employees are extremely cordial and friendly. I visited the tea bar with two of my friends, Monica and Abby.

My friends and I were absolutely starving by the time we got to the tea bar that we just sat down at one of the tables in the restaurant portion of the shop. Fortunately, when we explained to the woman who came to take our order that it was our first time visiting Harney and Sons she informed us of how the store was set up; furthermore, after she took our order she told us to feel free to go into the tasting room and try some teas and that she would come and get us once our food was ready.

In the tasting room they have 4 “Teas of the Moment” which are all free to taste. Then each person gets to pick one tea from the wall that they would like to try as well- sounds simple right? Well you should see this wall of teas!!! They have everything from black teas to white teas to green teas- I was completely overwhelmed. I ended up sticking to my safe zone and choose a black tea, English Breakfast. It was wonderful doing the tea tasting with friends because we all had the opportunity to try each others.

Their menu is simple yet intriguing. I ordered a proscuitto and brie baguette, but honestly the way they described their peanut butter and jelly sandwich sounded amazing I was so close to ordering that  instead! For dessert my friends and I went all out: We ordered two pots of tea, fruits d’alsace and hot cinnamon spice, then we ordered the scones, carrot cake, and rice pudding. I found the hot cinnamon spice tea to be a little too sweet with all of the desserts; the fruits d’alsace tea was delightful though. 

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The scones were my favorite pick out of all the desserts. They were crumbly and light and served with delicious clotted cream and jam. 

The prices were all worth it. I spent about $25 on my meal but then again the average person doesn’t share three desserts at brunch, so yours could probably be a little less. 

Definitely cannot wait to return to Harney & Sons!

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Bakery Review

I think the most genuine thing a person could do for another is to think of them; it doesn’t matter if the thought of someone else is just a fleeting one it’s the action itself that is the generous gesture. 

Let me start off by saying that the bakery I’m going to review in this post, Cannelle Patisserie, was recommended to me by one of my closest friends, Sandra. It was Sandra’s father that first told me about the bakery- he knew I was going to school for pastry and thought it might interest me to check out a local bakery that he had frequented many times. 

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It was very difficult to find Cannelle Patisserie; I didn’t realize that it was inside a large complex center next to a grocery store and a rite aid. I noticed signs once I got inside that they are opening a second location in Long Island city so I’m sure that will be an easier drive! 

The patisserie does not have the best surroundings but it stands apart from it’s neighbors with its beautiful pinstriped awning and glass doors. Their display case is set up very neatly and filled with classical french pastries. My purchase included a cannelle (I mean how could I not, when the pastry itself is in the shop’s title) and a paris brest.

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I truly enjoyed the paris brest with it’s creamy, light, hazelnut pastry cream. I was not a great admirer of the cannelle; it was dense and spongey and had blisters on the skin. The prices were reasonable and if I was not going out to lunch shortly after my stop at the patisserie I would’ve indulged in another pastry.

I would definitely return to Cannelle Patisserie. They seemed to have many returning customers, especially a large breakfast crowd, which is always a positive observation. 

If any of you have visited Cannelle Patisserie please share your thoughts below!

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Cannelle Patisserie

75-59 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11370
(718) 565-6200

“I had no idea”

It has been almost a year since my last post. When thinking of what I was going to blog about I knew it had to be something tremendous. The title of this post is “I had no idea”. Some of you may recognize this phrase as it was the theme of the National Eating Disorder Awareness week , which just ended this past Sunday. My name is Sarah Neville and I am not only a full time student studying to be a pastry chef but I am also on full time recovery from my eating disorder.

It is not common to look at a group of chefs and ponder if any of them have an eating disorder because it is not something commonly associated with this type of industry… but here’s the thing you have no idea.. (NEDA picked a clever theme right?!) An eating disorder doesn’t mean that you don’t eat and you exercise all day; it means you are *consumed and are continuously being tormented by a little voice that’s constantly saying, “you’re fat.” My ED (eating disorder) could have ruined my life- it almost prevented me from doing what I love because I couldn’t stand to taste what I made: don’t let it ruin yours. There is help out there; furthermore, you’re not facing this disease on your own, there’s a whole community of us willing to help you with your ED.

In honor of National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) awareness week here’s a picture of a slice of apple pie. I am posting it because shortly after this photo was taken I ate the entire thing. I’m not in the least ashamed to say I ate a whole slice of apple pie. More importantly I didn’t have to spend 10 minutes just staring at that wonderfully crumbly apple pie convincing myself not to eat it because I would put on 5 disgusting pounds of fat. 

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