Exciting Big News!

by Karen on April 1, 2013

Exciting Big News!  
Meet Erin Tripp, celebrity chef and new feature writer here on the Warning Sugary Goodness Blog.
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Welcome to the newest addition to Karen’s ‘sweet’ page – that would be me, chef and owner of Kiwi Creations – where I am going to add my culinary excursions here from time-to-time – and call it Culinary Pulse’ – cause I love having my finger on many events throughout the year… also tell you my side of the kitchen, less sweet, more savory, and the view from some amazing kitchens along the way!  But actually, I’m not completely new to this page, you might have seen me from time-to-time with Karen, taste-testing our way through the Food Trucks and treats offered at the O.C. Fair.  Yes, I am her sister-in-law Erin – KT and ET at your culinary service!
Watch Part one – How Erin got started in the food business and what it takes to be a Celebrity Chef

So firstly, let me officially introduce myself… my name is Erin (Fletcher) Tripp, Karen’s sister-in-law, married to her brother for 30 years now and living in their family home here in Costa Mesa – in So.Cal.   came here from New Zealand in my early 20’s on my way to travel and explore the world, and it was while I was traveling around the USA, that I made a connection with my now hubby, KT’s middle brother, and the rest is history, as they say!  We lived in the Midwest for a few summers, Indianapolis to be exact – heart of auto-racing, and from Indy we would be traveling from race track-to-race track throughout the Midwest And for me, coming from way ‘down-under’, was some of the best times, out trekking around the highways and byways of America.  Stopping at Ma-n-Pa style diners, trucks stops and many a drive-thru along the way, learning the art of dining on the road was so new to this Kiwi that ate the majority of her meals at home.  Actually funny enough, the food wasn’t my biggest pull here, just being away from NZ, exploring this vast country was indeed a ‘trip’ for me!

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Eventually after being all over the Midwest, West Coast and ‘Down-under’ racing, along the way we got married, settled in Costa Mesa, had our daughter.  I then returned to College in my 40’s with the love of Culinary Arts and hearing of a great program at our local junior college – Orange Coast College, I tip-toed my way back into school, but like quick sand – the love of education at this age was in my favour and I absorbed it at a great rate, sucking up all that there was to learn like a dry sponge, scoring well in my classes, putting myself on the Honor roll, and even receiving scholarship $$$!  I loved this program, this school, the staff, to the point, I think I have taken every available class there was to offer – even Ice Carving!  (and that is another story, for another time).  So I ended up graduating in Spring 2005, with my parents in from NZ and what better place to take them and myself after, but to the South, to New Orleans and Mississippi, where we experienced the wonderful hospitality and culinary delights there,even arriving in Gulfport/Biloxi area the day after Hurricane Arlene!  And after graduating, my world hasn’t looked back, and has only got better and better within this business of FOOD – love it or hate it… it surrounds our lives from the time we wake up till the time we got to bed… we all have to eat.

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Now Karen is the ‘sweet tooth’ of the family, but don’t get me wrong, I love a piece of Pavlova like the next person does, but baking isn’t my first love, cooking is.  I like cooking because it is forgiving – a little bit more of this, a splash of that – I am just not too good with accurate measurements – which is the golden rule of baking!  Take our baking final, we were all given the same recipe – pound cake – same equipment, same scales, same ingredients for all the students, and even though most turned out similar, there was mine – a lot higher than the majority – and when she saw it, she said: ‘it probably has a air bubble in there’, then she cut it, and there was no air bubble, so she asked me: ‘so what did you do different?’ – I did just what my mother used to do… instead of dropping the eggs in one at a time, I whisked them together till they were light and fluffy, and folded them in… made for a light mixture – and that impressed the teacher!  See you can teach an old dog new tricks – hey, I love learning new tricks, and let me tell you, there are plenty of things to learn in this field, along with the never ending tastes and trends that come along.  Like the Natural Foods show I attended recently here in Anaheim last week.  Last year trends were – Coconut water and Kale… this year was – Chia seeds – yes seriously, Cha-cha-cha-chia – as in the Chia Pets – only now we are eating them instead of slapping them on our ceramic figurines – always around during the holidays for gifts.  I think I had the Lamb a zillion years ago.  But hey, I am kind of getting off the subject line… baking vs cooking – I think you can do one better than the other, and there are some that can do both… I really don’t like baking, even though I do a fairly good job of, but I stick with the savouries – yum!  Give me a big scoop of Shepherd’s Pie or pile of Fish-n-Chips – anytime!  Some old home favourites – and yes, I write with a ‘u’ in there, because I grew up doing that ‘down-under’ – colour, flavour, neighbour… it’s hard to drop it, only Spellcheck reminds me that is not correct (here)! 

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So after I graduated in the late Spring of 2005 – I began to get work with a number of local catering companies in and around the O.C. – many of those events were in and around the Newport-Mesa area that we live in and that area being along the beautiful Southern Californian coastline… with some spectacular views from many a kitchen I have worked in.  Yes, I have leaned more on the Personal chef work – no, not private, but personal.  What’s the difference you ask?  Private Chefs work exclusively for one family, sometimes live-in, but they are there for every meal provide to the family.  Personal Chefs get a little more variety and freedom, which I love – dinner parties and preparing meals for 2-3-4 or however many days they may require, and then that client is left with reheating instructions.  I have number of clients in this area now, but let me tell you, this way is not steady work –  Private is the way to go if you need a reliable income and even a place to stay.

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So yes, from time-to-time I will be popping in here to tell you about some of my events this coming year – and maybe even some from the past – could be cooking a dinner for two, or up to 202.  Soon I will be tell you about therecent Grand Opening of the newest Bvlgari store on Rodeo Drive – quite the night wining and dining the stars prior to Oscar – and worked only feet from Elizabeth Taylor’s extensive jewelry collection!  So come on back and check-in from time-to-time for the savoury side of the kitchen… cooking with love – Chef ET  J

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French Vanilla Macarons with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache filling

February 22, 2013
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Most people think French Macarons are hard to make.  Actually once you try it,  you’ll find it is not that bad after all.  It took me awhile to gain the courage to try.  Now I bake them all the time, in different flavors and colors.  But for this particular batch I left them simple.  The […]

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Easy Sugar Egg Cupcakes with Edible Grass

February 17, 2013
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It all started with the edible grass I found at Powell’s  candy store.   Then another sighting at Neiman Marcus of all places.  What was I doing at Needless Markup?  Just looking sorry to say, but I did get a great idea for these Easter cupcakes using the edible grass.   You can find the grass and eggs at […]

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Quickie Valentine’s Day idea-S’Mores in a Bag

February 11, 2013
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These little S’more packages can be made by just assembling the ingredients.  No baking involved.  If you are up for it,  make the chocolates yourself.  Without fail,  I forget a gift for someone every holiday.  So lately I’ve tried to keep an easy gift idea close at hand like this one.  Above you will see […]

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Valentine cookies and a Girls Day Out

January 24, 2013
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  What a magical time I had with my daughter this winter break. Now with her busy college schedule, it seems like we never talk. So when she flew back from New York  for the holidays, I made her promise to save some time for us. To start the day off right we baked sugar […]

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Super easy Chocolate Panna Cotta I made for the Holidays

January 3, 2013
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  This always looks harder than it is, really.  I made these during the holidays and everyone flipped.  I used melted chocolate drizzled over parchment paper for the toppers along with a blackberry.  Use any berry you want for garish.  I use real whipped cream but the can type is fine too.  My daughter was […]

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Chocolate Buche De Noel Cake

December 8, 2012

T_I_M_B_E_R!!!! OK this is just plain silliness.  I baked a Buche de Noel cake and then remembered I had these wonderful mini lumberjacks.  There is no better pairing than cake and lumberjacks. When you get so excited about figurines does it mean its time to jump in the dating pool?  Don’t answer that, I’m in […]

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Recipe for Apple Cider Donuts and a trip to Mystic, CT

November 28, 2012
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Apple Cider Donuts!!! I’ll take’em all….. Hot Apple Cider, Apple Cider Donut, and a mini Apple Pie……………….. Had a great visit with  my college age daughter in upstate New York recently, but got sidetracked in Connecticut.  I try to plan my trips with the change of seasons.  Fall being one of my favorites.  The leaves are […]

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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Molasses

November 10, 2012
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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Molasses   This recipe has got to be one of my favorites. I can’t wait for it every season.   When we made them at the shop they sold out almost every day.  Couldn’t bake them fast enough.   These holiday treats have a kick to them thanks to all the intoxicating spices and fresh grated ginger.  The molasses keeps the cake moist but […]

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Bacon and Egg Breakfast Cupcakes

November 4, 2012
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Cupcakes are the perfect size for a lot of things.  I’ve prepared meatloaf cupcakes in the past and they were a huge hit.  It made sense to try something in the breakfast realm.  Ingenious but easy and full of possibilities.  I added salsa to one of the cups, and avocado with grated cheese to another. […]

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