Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cheesecake Tart

This week has been a sweet one for me, food wise and in life.  To begin with French Fridays with Dorie we are making a dessert!  Cheesecake tart page 469.
Dorie's sweet tart dough cooks up perfect every time.  A partially baked tart shell is scattered with raisins.  My son was wary of this dessert now even though he likes raisins.
In my food processor went drained cottage cheese, sour cream, egg yolks, sugar, salt, vanilla and a mixture of cornstarch and milk.  Whir together until smooth.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.  I have learned to decrease baking times in Dorie's recipes.
Came out perfect without any burned bits.
I served mine with powdered sugar and my husband had some with jam.  We each liked our respective toppings.  My son said it was ok.  This is not a sweet dessert which was nice considering the week I had.
Last Friday was also my birthday.  I baked berry surprise cake from Dorie's Baking From My Home to Yours.  Don't you bake all your own birthday cakes?
This cake grew on me over time but I need to learn how to make a better genoise cake.  As I have learned in the past, frosting covers a multitude of sins.

Then 6 days later it was our 15th wedding anniversary.  This dessert, although not attractive, was very sweet and good.  This time I let others cook for me.

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. We have 2 recipes left.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Coconut Tapioca

This week on Tuesdays with Dorie we are making Coconut Tapioca from Baking Chez Moi.  I like tapioca pudding and thought this would be a fun dessert to try
Like many members I had trouble finding the large pearl tapioca so I ended up buying the small.
My pudding started to thicken quite quick, even before it came to a boil.  I was worried about the short cooking time so I continued to cook it a bit longer.  I should have stopped as I think I over cooked it.
The pudding ended up a bit gelatinous and not in a good way.  My husband noted the coconut flavor but I thought it was a bit bland.  This pudding would have really benefited from the serving suggestion of Laurent's slow-roasted spiced pineapple but I did not have time to make it. Since I now have a big bag of tapioca I will be making more pudding.  From my fellow bakers it sound like a liquid adjustment should be made for the smaller tapioca.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what others did in this group go here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin

This week on French Fridays with Dorie, the group is making Sardine Escabeche (page 188). When I read this recipe it reminded me of my Dad eating sardines from a can with crackers and the cat begging him for a taste.  I love this memory but not sardines, I decided to do a make up.  I still had one extra pork tenderloin in my freezer so I decided to make Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin (page 273).

We loved this pork tenderloin and we managed not to over cook it.  Love this whole fruit and meat thing we have going on lately.  I also made Betsy's duck fat potato recipe and loved those too. We had a salad before dinner so it was a balanced meal:)
Does your kitchen look like this?  I am beginning to think I have a problem.  These 4 books represented this weeks cooking assignments.
Yes 3 of the 4 are Dorie's.

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pork Roast with Mangoes

I am back from vacation, adjusting to life on land.  I am getting used to cooking again and trying to lose the weight I gained from the food-fest cruise.  Dinner this week included pork roast with mangoes (page 278) from Around My French Table.  The pork is cooked with onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, white wine (I substituted chicken broth), soy sauce, lime juice, honey, chili powder, bay leaf, thyme and mangoes.


I did not notice the recipe called for a pork loin roast, I bought a pork tenderloin.  This would not be the first time I made a mistake buying meat, and it won't be the last.  Even though we over cooked it, it still came out great.  The flavors were wonderful.  I was not able to find lychees and I did not have time to go to an Asian market so we just left them out, seemed to work with  just the mango flavors. I love Dorie's serving suggestions so we made cardamom rice (page 382) to go with it.  When my son asked about dinner he said "we eating cardboard rice?"  Unfortunately he did not like the cardamom rice, he prefers plain white rice but we now have a new name for the rice:)
I did a make up this week with waffles and cream (page 416).  These are dessert waffles but I served them for breakfast anyway.  This recipe did not work well for us.  It is a thin batter and made a crepe type waffle which was a miss for our family.  We prefer the crisp yeast-raised waffles my husband usually makes.  I served them with strawberries and whipped cream which was a hit.  We were pressed for time so my photo is rather plain.  I am hoping my photography and plate presentation will get better as my brain gets back in gear.  I have had a few hiccups this week.

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. 
Vacation highlights.
The Yoda Museum on St. Maarten.

Botanical gardens on St. Kitts.
Rain forest hike on St. Kitts.
Puerto Rico.  I was hoping to connect with Adrianna but she seems to have disappeared from this group.
Cemetery Puerto Rico.
Labadee, Haiti.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Limoncello Cupcakes

I have recently been on vacation so I am familiarizing myself with the inter-workings of a kitchen again.  I found my assignment for the week, Limoncello Cupcakes (page 194) in Baking Chez Moi.


When my son got home from school and wanted to know why the cupcakes were on a fancy dish. He said "Is book club coming over tonight?"  Nope just Tuesdays with Dorie I said.  These were more muffin- like than cake.  The fact that I baked them a tad too long didn't help either.  I loved the frosting and thought it was the best part.  I did put in the optional orange marmalade but it sunk to the bottom. The paper liners stayed wet from the syrup application but the foil ones worked just fine.  My husband ate two for dessert so I think it gets a thumbs up.  I will bake less, stir less and hope for a lighter cake next time.  And maybe make them for my book club.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what others did in this group go here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars

This week on Tuesdays with Dorie we are making Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars (page 324) from Baking Chez Moi.  Dorie's cookbook states "This is what Rice Krispies Treats would have been had they been born in France."  My son still likes the original the best.
Dorie gave the option of making caramelized Rice Krispies (page 428) or plain Rice Krispies for the topping.  I wanted to go for the gusto and make the caramelized topping.  I managed not to burn them so I was off to a good start.
The directions were to bake the base for 22 minutes at 375 degrees.  I only baked my for 20 minutes and I still think they were a little too dark and over baked.  Next time I will bake even less.

I managed to cut my bars without any incident.  Chocolate is one of my all time favorite ingredients and I like any dessert that includes chocolate.  These bars were no exception.  My husband and I thought they were more candy-like than cookie but still good.  My son just wanted plain Rice Krispie Treats:)
Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what others did in this group go here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote

On my designated French Friday cooking day it was 90 degrees and the same was expected the next day.  Soup did not sound appealing.  My husband's concern about Cote d'Azur Cure-all Soup (page 70) was the eggs.  Since I still have 3/4 of the cookbook to do I thought it would be easy to find a substitution.  

I have liked Dorie's other recipes en papillote and they have the added benefit of easy cooking and clean up.  The salmon is laid upon a bed of basil and sprinkled with lemon zest, scallions, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and topped with lemon slices and additional basil.  The foil packets are put into the oven and bake about 10-12 minutes.  I took the extra step of sauteing my tomatoes before baking to intensify their flavor like Dorie suggested.
This was a quick and easy dinner for a hot night.  I look forward to making this one again.
To see what others did with Cote d'Azur Cure-all Soup go here.