Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AVID 6 Event at Hiro Ballroom Review

I went with my coworkers yesterday to the AVID demo for the new version 6 software at Hiro Ballroom. I was especially excited to see the 3D Demo and eat some hors d'oeuvres. 

The new version of Media Composer has a lot of really cool features like 64 bit, different frame rates in one timeline, you can use any I/O device to output or capture, tabs, 3D etc. You can check out all the new features here:

{Some of the vendors for I/O (Input/Output) Devices}

{The main event}

{Then it was finally time for what I had been waiting for the 3D demo}
{My Coworker Robert and me, Aisha Chowista - getting our 3D on}

{Arancini - Fried Risotto Balls with Tomato Sauce}

{Arancini interior- Cheesy and delicious perfect for the winter time}

{Salmon and Cream Cheese on Foccacia}

{Steak Carpaccio with Truffle Oil on Foccacia}

The hors d'oeuvres were decent. I really liked the Arancini. It was nicely fried, cheesy and warm. When I bit in, the center oozed out creamy risotto. The marinara sauce on top gave it great balance and acidity. It was the perfect appetizer to eat on a cold, rainy day. 

Below is a link to Giada Di Laurentis's recipe for Arancini ("little Orange" in Italian).  
If you want to try it, I say 'tis the season. Challah!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Few Of My Fav Things - Hawaiian Host Aloha Gems - Milk Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts Review

My Aunt Carol and her husband live in Maui, Hawaii. When my Aunt comes back to the "Mainland", as we like to say, she always brings us little treasures from the island. I love it too because it reminds me of the summers I spent in Maui; surfing the waves, eating the most incredible food, and evading beat downs from Tetahs... more to come on that in a later post. 

Unfortunately, I did not get to see my Aunt before she went back to Maui. But when I went home for Thanksgiving there was a lovely box of these beautiful babies on the kitchen counter. My mom was trying to guard them from me and actually snatched the box out from under my camera lens as I was trying to snap a picture. Yes. They're that good. Obviously, I prevailed in the end because you see the pictures here but I had to do so major schmoozing and promise that I would not eat them all. 

There are two macadamia nuts in each chocolate. They are a good size macadamia nuts, about the size of a chickpea, and covered in a sweet, milk chocolate. The milk chocolate has a very smooth texture, not grainy at all. I must warn you though. These gems are addictive. You can't eat just one. 

Personally, I think these make a great holiday gift because they're delicious and kind of festive in a unique way. Or if you wanted you could save them for Valentine's Day and surprise that lucky someone with a box of chocolates and trip to Hawaii!! Just saying. 

If you want to try them for yourself. Here is the link where you can purchase them.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chowista's Stuffed Turkey Sandwich Recipe - Case of The Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving is over and more holiday feasting is around the corner. But what can you do with all those left overs? I have been asking myself the same question. 

A few years ago, I won the annual employee Thanksgiving competition at The Food Network with my remix on the turkey sandwich. I stayed up all night, made an entire turkey, Kalua style*, and brought my A game because we take this test of culinary ingenuity and skill very seriously. I designed place cards in Photoshop; I mean I went all out. The end result was a holiday masterpiece. A flaky brioche roll, juicy, smokey, Kalua turkey (my Hawaiian Uncle's secret recipe), tart and Sweet Cranberry Orange Cilantro relish and spicy Harissa Aioli. After that, I thought I should just retire because how can you improve on perfection..? Okay actually, my retirement was a result of all the smack talking I did after my victory. I created a large target on my back and because it was so impressively delicious, it was also a tough act to follow.  So I haven't entered since. However, if we have a Christmas competition this year I will submit a dish. 

But this Thanksgiving, in the comfort of my home, I was inspired and decided to assemble a megamix of Thanksgiving tastiness, which I like to call Chowista's Stuffed Turkey Sandwich. Enjoy!

First I started out with an onion potato roll toasted. Then I added leftover Sage Turkey (white meat). Next I spread some Cranberry Relish to balance the savoriness of the herbs and to add an element of tart and sweet.  

Now for the cheese.

 I became hyper aware of my need to add cheese to my food when my friend from England asked me one day while I was preparing eggs, "Why do Americans put cheese on everything. I retorted curtly and insulted: "We don't put cheese on everything, that's ridiculous!" Right after I finished the sentence, without thinking, I asked " Do you want cheese on your eggs?" He smiled and it was then I realized I did put cheese on most things and my friends did too. 

So naturally it makes sense that creamy Mac and Cheese would be a welcomed addition. I mean it's not Thanksgiving in my house without Mac and Cheese so why should it be excluded from this ode to Thanksgiving Sandwich. 

Add the heated Mac and Cheese and coleslaw. The Mac and Cheese gives it that melt in your mouth texture and the coleslaw provides a nice crunchy bite. 

Lastly this baby was screaming for a little condiment love. But not just a squirt of this or a glob of that. I wanted to inject some depth of flavor in a non-traditional way. So I added potato salad. It adds a mustardy finish making the sandwich complete and ready to eat. 

Okay I know what you're thinking. Umm sounds gross. But give it a chance. I mean dipping french fries in a Wendy's Chocolate Frostie sounds gross but it's Oh so goood. To quote Rihanna: This sandwich might be bad but it's perfectly good at it. It is not your typical Turkey Sandwich but it might very well become your favorite. Pair it with a side salad and you've got a magnificent lunch or dinner. 

If you want to try Kalua Turkey for yourself but don't want to go through the process of making it you can order it online. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Thanksgiving treat that everyone can enjoy!

I am at Kroger in Atlanta, GA as I am walking in there is the most clever idea. Individual cupcakes that make the shape of a turkey! I love it! The coolest part is that from the top it looks like one big cake. A Thanksgiving treat that everyone can enjoy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Live Special at The Food Network

I'm at work at the Food Network. Today we are doing a live show special for Thanksgiving. You can call or Skype in with your questions so call in so I can see your beautiful faces!!! I'm having a lot of fun working the live show so far. We haven't done live shows here for awhile and it's really exciting and a little hectic. There is a rush of energy pulsing throughout the whole studio. I hope that we do more! Check out the photos below.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Aunt's Libyan Tatjeen Recipe

One the first day I arrived in Tripoli, Libya, my Aunt made this wonderful Tatjeen for us to enjoy. Tatjeen, pronounced (tat - jean) is very similar to lasagna except with potatoes instead of noodles. It has a unique blend of spices that also adds a nice dimension to the overall flavor of the dish.

This is a great recipe for family dinner or for entertaining a crowd. It is a nice twist on a typical lasagna and is so easy to make. I especially love to eat this in the winter time because it is such a hearty dish. It's the ultimate Libyan comfort food. You will be very happy with the results. 

My Aunt's Libyan Tatjeen Recipe

Peel and cut potatoes into thick slices, boil until cooked, crush, and spread in a "tajeen" (a baking tray).
 Fry thinly-chopped two onions until brown.
 Add the mince and cook for a few minutes, then add the crushed garlic and spice up with chili, turmeric, salt and curry powder, and stir and simmer until cooked. 
Remove and spread on a large plate and leave to cool. 
When all the ingredients are cold, add to the potatoes and mix in the beaten eggs and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
 Finally, take out from the oven, sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 15 more minutes until the dish is covered with a light golden crust. Serve hot with crispy bread.
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