Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Friday, January 23, 2015

Beggars Linguine

This week on French Fridays with Dorie the group is making Spice Crusted Tuna (page 304).  Since tuna is not our preferred fish we opted to make something else.  My husband picked Beggars Linguine (page 370).  
These ingredients don't scream pasta;  pistachios, almonds, dates, raisins, orange rind and butter, lots of butter but it worked!
This pasta was delicious and liked by all.  It was sweet, buttery and very good.  We would definitely make this again.  Next time I would decrease the butter, it was a bit over the top and didn't need to be quite so much.  But that is the only change I would make.

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

To see more spiced crusted tuna go here.
To see more beggars linguine go here.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Navarin Printanier

This week on French Fridays with Dorie the group is making curried mussels (page 314).  Since I do not like mussels I opted to do a make-up instead.  My sous chef picked Navarin Printanier (page 281) because we had lamb in our freezer.
Even though this was a Spring dish, I was able to find all the ingredients.  It contains lamb, carrots, onion, turnip, potato and peas.  I used frozen since peas are not in season.  Stew is a perfect winter dish no matter what is in it.  After reading some of your comments on this dish it seems I had similar problems with over cooking the vegetables.  I would cut the turnip bigger next time and maybe reduce the overall cook time.  My liquid was almost all evaporated by the time I took it out of the oven, luckily we like thick stew.  It was delicious and I would make it again.

For those of you on Google+ my son left a comment on last week's soup that I made.  He has made his feeling known and they are not good.  Kids...

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. 
To see more Navarin Printanier go here.
To see more Curried Mussels go here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Granola Energy Bars

This week on Tuesdays with Dorie we are making Granola Energy Bars (page 328) from Baking Chez Moi.  This is a healthy start to the new year.
Has this ever happened to you?  You find little pieces missing from your baked goods.
I enjoyed this recipe mostly because I had all the ingredients.  Filled with natural goodness these bars contain oats, dried fruit, coconut, nuts and seeds.  I used raisins, cranberries, apricots, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, all were great.  The binding ingredient was supposed to be brown rice syrup but a substitution of corn syrup was given so I used that instead. I used my 9- inch square Pyrex pan and cut them into 12 strips, 20 seemed to small for a granola bar.  I liked these and would make them again.

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.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

This week on French Fridays with Dorie the rest of the Doristas are making Arman's Caviar in Aspic (page 29).  This recipe was not going to fly in my house so I decided to do a make-up.  I handed my husband the cookbook and said pick something.


He picked vegetable barley soup with the taste of little India (page 89).  I love soup, vegetables and Indian food so I thought it was a great pick.  The base of this soup is onion, carrots, parsnips, garlic, fresh ginger and pearl barley.  It is spiced  with Garam masala and Turmeric.  I used chicken broth for the liquid.  It could not have been easier to make and tasted great.  I made a note that this soup would be good when you have a cold with the ginger, garlic and chicken broth. I made a full recipe so we are looking forward to more soup and plan to make it again.

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  
To see more of Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India go here.
To see more of Arman's Caviar in Aspic go here.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Simplest Breton Fish Soup


We made a healthy start to the New Year with Simplest Breton Fish Soup (page 96) for French Fridays with Dorie.  Almost everything about this soup was new to me.  I haven't made a fish soup before and never eaten mussels.  I made a half recipe which made a lot of soup.  I was worried about using fish broth as I thought it would be too fishy so I used vegetable broth which worked well for us. I bought tilapia since I like that fish which tasted good but broke up a bit with mixing.  I have never had mussels before and I didn't like the looks of them, digging them out or the taste.  My husband enjoyed them and thought we cooked them perfect.  I followed the Bonne Idee and added carrots to the soup for added vegetables.  My husband also thought that the soup tasted better the next day.  I am glad that I tried something new but will probably not be making this one again.  Happy New Year!

These recipes are part of an international cooking group working our way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what others did in the group go here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Buche de Noel

We dove deep into holiday cakes on Tuesdays with Dorie with the Buche de Noel.  This is a multi-layer cake that definitely needs a day to do. 
The eggs and sugar were cooked over a water until 110-120 degrees then whipped with a mixer until doubled in size.  This was a new technique for me and was very appreciative of the link Zosia posted about making this batter.
I was amazed that the batter filled the sheet pan.
After the cake baked, you were to dust a kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
Then you turned out the warm cake on the sugared towel.  I had powdered sugar all over my kitchen counter.  As my husband said, "you should have seen that coming".
The cake then cools in the towel until room temperature.
I had watched Dorie's video making this cake prior to baking which helped calm my nerves when my cake cracked upon unrolling.  Dorie said do not worry if it cracks you have filling and icing to cover it up and she was right.
After the frosting and nuts went on top no one was the wiser of my cracked cake.  What I learned along the way:  I did not have the proper kitchen towel to prevent sticking, I would use a fresh piece of parchment paper when rolling as my used one stuck to the towel and frosting does fix most mistakes.  I also took the easy route and used some sugar pecans I had on hand, it did save me one step.  I also heeded my fellow Doristas and made half a batch of frosting and that was plenty.  A full recipe would  have been too much for our family.

I am glad that I tackled this recipe.  Loved the frosting and cake but the filling was a bit heavy.  I would make this again if someone asked me, it is definitely a special occasion cake.

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.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Parsley Coulis

My foodie friend and neighbor Tracy who runs the food blog tiny cook Big Appetite bought me some sunchokes at the farmers market.  Having never found the elusive sunchokes for French Fridays with Dorie I was pleasantly surprised. Tracy decided to make roasted sunchokes and I decided to make soup (page 76).  As you can see the California variety are very small.   
I scrubbed the sunchokes well but decided not to peel them.  Dorie said this was optional so I took the easy route.
This soup also contains onion, celery, leeks and garlic.
I love pureed soups and this was no exception.  Given the cool reception of Jerusalem artichokes by the group I had low expectations for this soup but happily it exceeded all my expectations.  I added heavy cream and the parsley coulis.  I had all the same troubles the group had in making such a small portion of coulis come out in a blender.  My husband and I could not taste the sunchokes particularly, it just tasted like a root vegetable soup but I would make it again.

To see Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Parsley Coulis here.
To see Orange and Olive Salad here.

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