Visting the Musuem of Science- Innovation in the Art of Food & Our Global Kitchen

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We recently went to the Museum of Science, here in Boston, to visit the temporary exhibit called Innovation of Art and Food. This exhibit, on exhibit through May 26, was about elBulli, legendary Spanish restaurant, and Chef Ferran Adrià, it’s head chef for 25 years. This showcased the history of elBulli as well as Adrià’s creative thought process in developing his signature cooking style and dishes.

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Dr. Hans Schilling and his wife Marketa opened elBulli in 1964. It was recgonized for its haute cuisine in 1976 when it won its first Michelin star while under French chef Jean-Louis Neichel.  In 1990 the restaurant gained its second Michelin Star, and in 1997 its third star, the highest Michelin Star rating.

elBulli served some 8,000 diners a year, but received more than two million requests for reservations. While it was extremely popular, ultimately the resturant did not suceed due to the high cost of operating it and that it was only opened for 6 months out of the year.  The resturant closed in July of 2011.

After some training as a cook in the army, Ferran Adrià joined the kitchen staff of elBulli in 1984 as a line cook at the age of 22. Just eighteen months later he became the head chef. As the head chef, Adrià began to create his own techniques and styles of cooking to define elBulli. His leadership has lead in the kitchen allowed him to mentor many talented chefs who have set out to have their own successful careers as well. He was able to nuture this team as he created one of the most legendary resturants ever. Restaurant Magazine ranked elBulli to be Number One on its Top 50 list of the world’s best restaurants for a record five times—in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

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elBulli got its name from the owner’s French Bulldogs.

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The characteristics of the classical cuisine served from 1983-1986, when Adrià and Chef Christian Lutaud ran the kitchen’s together. After this period the elBulli team began to completely generate their own dishes and recipes.

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The menu from 1983.

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It was fun to watch kids sit down at the table and pretend eat the meal that was served in front of them from a projector on the ceiling.

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In the mid 1990′s Adrià developed a signature cooking style that was broken down in 23 points.

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The team at elBulli photographed all the dishes they created through their development kitchens. Everything was extensively cataloged in large volumes.

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My favorite photo of the day.

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Various plates from elBulli are featured to show how the shape, material, color, texture of the plate the food was served on mattered in its presentation and feelings when it was consumed.

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These photos only show a tiny fraction of the large exhibit that Stearns Hall. Adrià’s involvement in the development of products, advertisements, books, and exploratory kitchens are extensively featured in photos, statues, and even comics.

After the Innovation in the Art of Food exhibit we headed over to the Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture exhibit. This was the exhibit that left the greatest impact on me and I felt was more kid friendly.

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This exhibit showcases how food greatly impacts our lives and how over time we have impacted the foods that we eat. We are all connected to different foods and that plays a part in our relationship with it and each other.

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Large scale graphic banners provided a lot of information about food around the world. Including how the foods that we eat are really remarkable in the number of species and varieties there are, all while showing how that food is abundant in some areas and yet scarce in some other areas.

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Oh no! Could we be running out of bananas?!?!

Since the beginning of farming we have altered foods to produce the biggest, most favorable fruits and vegetables. Sometimes these alterations have been beneficial for the food, but there are other times when this narrowing of the ‘gene pool’ has created problems when a natural predator, such as an insect or fungus, has started to effect the large-scale production of the foods that we base our diets on.

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While you might typically cook with heat on your stove at home, there are some foods that are cooked without heat. Ceviche is fish cooked with acid, like lemon juice. And cured meats are cooked with salt and microbes as the meat is stored in cool places

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Famous cookbooks, pots and pans, vegetables, grocery store staples from around the world are featured around the exhibit. You can learn was a family in China eats for breakfast, or what the favorite drink for a family in South Africa is, or how much the average 4 person family in Cambodia spends on food.

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After we left the Our Global Kitchen exhibit we wandered around a bit visiting other exhibits. It’s always so much fun to stroll around checking out what is being featured, as well as the permanent exhibits.

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Autumn’s first time being in Cambridge!

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I could watch this kinetic sculpture for hours.

Be sure to check out the Innovation in the Art of Food, that is on exhibit through May 26, and the Our Global Kitchen exhibit as well.

Both were wonderful in their own ways. The elBulli exhibit is a bit more geared to an older audience but the Our Global Kitchen is enjoyable for every age to enjoy. Seeing both would make for a wonderful day for the whole family at the Museum of Science.

Museum of Science

1 Science Park

Boston, MA 02114

617.723.2500

 

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4.17-21: Long Weekend Recap

{Thursday Night}

get mom at airport | dinner- sauteed chicken breast over salad | hang out | bed

{Friday}

 work at home 1/2 day | get Autumn from daycare | donation for Mother’s Milkbank Northeast | Container Store | lots of traffic | foodler take out order- Chinese | make barm from seed culture | hang out | bed

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{Saturday}

make Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwiches | take Kemper to the dog park while mom watched Autumn | 5 guys burgers | naps | date night!!! dinner at Osaka | JP Licks ice cream | Brookline Booksmith shopping | bed

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{Sunday- Easter}

 grocery shopping | Taco Bell breakfast | Price did lots yard work | plots of pictures of Autumn | nap with Autumn |laundry |  dinner- steak and grilled veggies | mom gave Autumn a bath | TV | bed

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{Monday}

up early | Price went to work | Autumn slept like crazy! (10.00p ish-9.00a) watch Marathon coverage | house stuffs | lunch at Border Cafe | Home Ddepot for flowers | plant flowers in pots | dinner- pasta with pesto | Bones | shower | blogging | bed

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Swirly Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Swirly Cheesecake Bars

My family is a walking, talking/immobile, babbling petri dish. We are a bunch of sicks. I have a stuffy, runny nose, Autumn has a juicy cough, and Price, poor Price, has the worst of it with a mix of everything from a sore throat to cough to a possible case of pink eye.

Oh and the dog won’t stop throwing up. But not because he is sick, because he is dumb and eats Autumn’s socks that he steals off her feet or steals out of the laundry bag. In fact, on Saturday morning he threw up a sock of hers, but before I could clean it up he ATE IT AGAIN. So infurating. And then he threw it up yesterday (Monday!) afternoon. Thankfully, I got it before he did again.

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Ya, still reading? Good…

Besides all the germy stuff going on, my mom came up from Florida for a long weekend visit. She was last up in January so to her Autumn was huge and ready for college. They cuddled up and snuggled up while Price and I got to go out on a date on Saturday night. A SOLO DATE! We’ve been doing really well going out with the 3 of us but having this chance to go out alone was so good. SOOOO GOOD. 10x.

We went out for dinner for hibachi in our old stomping grounds in Brookline. After an amazing stuff-yourself-silly-dinner we strolled around a bit getting a scoop of ice cream to share and then doing some shopping at Brookline Booksmith. By then my buzz from my 1 lychee martini had worn off and we headed home (Price drove anyway, chill…). On our way home we stopped by the Yawkey Train Station project Price had worked on at his old job. Always fun to see completed work getting used by the public. And then we were home snuggling Autumn before bed.

Hey mom, sorry in advanced for your upcoming cold…

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Anywho… Swirly Cheesecake Bars.

Cheesecake. Chocolate. A yummy crumbly pecan crust.

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I fell in love with this crust. I think I need to use it with everything. I guess I just love pecans. And butter. It’s thick and crumbly and such a good base to these creamy cheesecake bars.

You can prepare the baking pan by greasing it but I’d also suggest placing two long pieces of overhanging parchment paper in the pan. This makes it really easy to remove the whole thing later to cut out the squares vs cutting them and then trying to remove them from the pan.

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These bars are so good. Not super sweet which is really nice. It uses bittersweet chocolate so they still are a bit tart from the cream cheese and the chocolate, which I tend to like with some cheeescakes. If you don’t like it being too tart then just swap out the bittersweet chocolate for some semisweet chocolate and you’ll love these bars.

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The top swirl is just for decoration. So be sure to swirl it up really pretty. Please don’t judge my lack of swirl skills. I need to work on them. Hey, maybe add some food coloring to jazz it up. And then send me a pretty picture. K, thanks.

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Swirly Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar or chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. Or place overhanging pieces of parchment in the pan.
  2. Combine the flour, pecans, butter, and brown sugar to make the crust. Press the mixture onto the pan. Bake 15 to 16 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool while preparing batter.
  3.  Break the chocolate into small pieces (or use chocolate chips). Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Remove 1 cup batter and set aside.
  6. Add the melted chocolate to the batter in the large mixing bowl and combine. Spoon the chocolate batter over the cooled crust. Dallop the reserved plain batter over the chocolate batter. Using the blade of a butter knife, swirl the plain batter to create a marbled effect.
  7. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cover and transfer the pan to the refrigerator to chill in the refrigerator approximately 3 hours. Dip a knife in warm water to warm up, waire off and then cut out the 16 squares. Whenever the knife gets dirty clean it off by dipping it into warm water again. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Sourced from Ghirardelli

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Dear Autumn @ 5 months

Autumn at 5 months-1

April 2014

Dear Autumn-

This past month has been amazing. I can’t get over that you are 5 months old now but this past month has been incredible itself.

It seems that your development has been on some warp speed track. You are getting close to being able to sit up on your own. You are getting more interested in food. You now are so interested in things that you really put effort into getting it. Oh man, you reach with all your might! You now find the dog to be hilarious, especially when he licks your face. And the babbling now has some clarity.

You have always been a joy to be around but your amusement and responses to our goofiness to get you to smile has made all that silly effort so worth it. You make my goofy dancing to “Happy” seem like the best thing ever. It’s the best to see you gummy mouth  crack a huge smile. You do laugh now but not often, just lots of endless smiles.

While you are the happiest baby ever you do get really frustrated really easily. When playing around with your blankets you’ll shove it into your mouth and bite down on it with all your might while grunting like mad. I don’t know what is going on in your head at the point but you are mad at something and are quite good at showing it. Should be interesting how you express your feelings as you continue to grow.

Your sleep has been all over the place. Some nights you are amazing letting us sleep through the night right along with you. And well other nights… ugh! You sleep in our bed more often than not some nights. At least we are constantly working on trying to get you to bed quickly and soundly, and your sleep transitions back on track. A for effort, right?

Right now you are sick, maybe just sickish, but you take it like a champ. We feel so bad for your runny nose and goopy eye. We finally got your right eye all cleared up but now your left one is getting goopy again. Feels like a little defeat but at least your left eye is not as bad as how your right eye was.

Sometimes your drooling is out of control. It will drip all over you and us. Maybe you’ll start teething soon, or you’ll just be drool all over us until the end of time. ha! I don’t think the dog minds. I think he licks your face so much so that he can help clean up your face. We tell him ‘no!’ but he still gives you ‘kisses’, at least it’s better than him stealing your socks. He eats so many I am going to have to get some more soon.

We are looking forward to you beginning to explore and eat solids. So far you loved the campari tomato we gave you, but the grape tomato was gross. The strawberry was gross as well but the asparagus was great. I think we will try avocado and mango soon. So much fun to see your fist grip on the food as you bring it to your mouth or suck or chew on it like crazy.

Be sure to keep on saying “dada” over and over again and I’m sure you will have Daddy wrapped around your slobbiery little fingers. You are such a Daddy’s Girl.

This last month was amazing so I’m looking forward to this next month. But really, it will mean you will be 6 months old and I jsut don’t know if I can handle it!!

Love,

Mom

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Happy Easter


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HAPPY EASTER!!!!!

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I tried to get Bunny in the pictures but she was feeling camera shy so just Jack was featured with Autumn. Maybe another time.

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Wants to eat the bunny!!!!

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Autumn enjoyed her first time meeting Jack. But maybe she enjoyed eating her tights just as much… ha!

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