Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cornmeal and Berry Cakes

This month on Tuesdays with Dorie we have selected two summer fruit desserts. This week I decided to make the Cornmeal and Berry Cakes from Baking Chez Moi. 

The recipe calls for raspberries but I substituted blueberries and I think any berry would work well in these cakes. This recipe came together quickly and easily from ingredients I had on hand. Everybody loved them. I opted not to make the lemon drizzle glaze as my life is sweet enough being in a baking group.

Tuesdays with Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Dorie's cookbooks. We do not publish the recipes instead we encourage you to buy the book. To see what others made this week head over to Tuesdays with Dorie.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Rice Pudding, Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup

In June, Tuesdays with Dorie baking group made this rice pudding. I finally had a chance to make this recipe. I voted for this as I have a pudding and rice lover in my house.
Making pudding from scratch is a labor of love as it involves stirring for almost 40 minutes but the wait is well worth it. This pudding was delicious with Arborio rice, whole milk, sugar and vanilla bean. I substituted blueberries for the strawberries which tasted just fine. Don't skip the spiced hibiscus syrup as it really elevates the dish.

Tuesdays with Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Dorie's cookbooks. We do not publish the recipes instead we encourage you to buy the book. To see what others made this week head over to Tuesdays with Dorie.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rose Fraisier

"Fraise means strawberry and Le Fraisier is the French cake that celebrates the fruit". I ended up making a strawberry cake as I did not have the rose syrup and rose extract needed for this recipe.

This was a show stopping cake and my guests were impressed. I am glad that I was able to review the comments concerning this cake as it made my job that much easier. I spread this recipe out over two days. I baked the cake and made the filling the day before serving. I also heeded advice from fellow bakers and let the filling set with the gelatin for a while in the refrigerator before assembling the cake. I also tried to use parchment paper around the cake to keep the filling set. I refrigerated the cake a few hours and then glazed the cake with the jelly right before service. The only issue I had was cutting this cake. I was only able to get one piece that actually stayed as a cake slice. All the others fell apart as soon as I tried to serve it but my guests did not care as it tasted great.

Update: We only ate half the cake and I refrigerated the other half. The next day when I sliced the cake the pieces came out perfect. I think this needs a long refrigeration time after it is assembled. And it still tasted good and was not soggy.
This recipe is available from Dorie's website and Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Dorie's cookbooks. We do not publish the recipes instead we encourage you to buy the book. To see what others made this week head on over to Tuesdays with Dorie.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Yogurt Parfaits with Blackberries and Vanilla

Fresh and fruity is the theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. I chose these yogurt parfaits as blackberries are in season. 
To macerate the berries you add seeds of half of a vanilla bean to 1/4 cup of sugar and blend with your fingers. Add two cups of blackberries and one cinnamon stick and let sit for 35 minutes to one hour. Divide the berries between 4 glasses and top the berry mixture with 2/3 cup of plain yogurt. I did not have 10 ounce jars as the recipe calls for so I had leftover macerated berries as it would not all fit. We enjoyed these on a hot summer day.
The recipe is available on page 199 of Good Food, Good Life.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pan Bagnat

This is the recipe that my husband chose for Father's Day lunch. Given that it was a hot summer day, a cold sandwich seemed to fit the bill.

"Pronounced phan-bahn-yah, the ingredients in the Nicoise-style sandwich are a good match for soft, crusty ciabatta bread". We had a fresh tuna steak so we grilled that for the base of this sandwich instead of canned tuna. The spread is made from mayonnaise, sour cream, fresh basil, lemon zest and juice. The other lovely fillings to this sandwich are: kalamata olives, capers, arugula, radicchio, hard boiled eggs, Persian cucumbers and red onion.

The recipe states this 14 ounce loaf of ciabatta bread would serve 4 but we thought that was too much so we made 6 servings from this loaf. It was delicious with many layers of flavor and texture. The fresh tuna was a nice touch. It was given thumbs up by our guests.

What I would change about the recipe is the amount of lemon juice in the spread. It calls for the juice of one lemon which can vary highly. I used the whole lemon then tasted the spread and it was very lemony and thin. I would recommend adding lemon juice one tablespoon at a time. It also calls for the juice of a whole lemon in the tuna but I left it out afraid that it would be too much lemon flavor. Of  course the sandwich as a whole was not overwhelmingly lemon so my fears were not realized. I was also afraid to add to much spread but due to the thin consistency it was quickly absorbed into the bread. I used maybe half of the spread but I guess I could have been more generous as my guests said it would be good with mayonnaise.

This recipe is available on Curtis Stone's website and in Good Food, Good Life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Risotto with Shrimp, Arugula, and Lemon Cream

This week's cooking assignment for IHCC is surf and/or turf, I chose to surf it with this shrimp risotto from Curtis Stone's Good Food, Good Life cookbook. I chose this recipe because it has some of my favorite ingredients; shrimp and arugula.
This is more than a 30 minute recipe but well worth the effort. We have not made risotto before so a new technique and a new recipe. My husband and I loved it and would make it again. We decided not to make the lemon cream that goes on top as the dish seemed rich enough without. Highly recommend this recipe.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Quick-Braised Spring Vegetables

This week on I Heart Cooking Clubs we are cooking local and seasonal. My dish is not farmer's market fresh but it is seasonal. Armed with my list, I headed to my local Trader Joe's as I figured it was my best bet to find all the ingredients for this vegetable dish.

I tried to take a picture before my husband got to the cheese. It looks like a snow capped mountain, sigh.
This recipe is available from Curtis Stone's website. The vegetables include scallions, garlic, asparagus, sugar snap peas and English peas. I couldn't find any escarole but had I done my research before I left home I would have known that endive is a form of escarole which Trader Joe's did have. For the escarole and spinach I substituted a bag of  baby kale, baby chard and baby spinach. To round out the rest of this recipe are basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.

This was served as part of my Memorial Day feast with friends. It was all gone and given thumbs up by my guests. Would definitely make this again, delicious.

This recipe is also available from Good Food, Good Life page 127.