Saturday, December 13, 2014

lamb & dried apricot tagine

Delicious and that is all!
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This time of year, I am lucky to see daylight and days off are very few.  I had every intention to make lamb tangine on Friday night after work.  I bought all the ingredients, sadly, I did not read the directions.  I did not prep any of the ingredients, so at 7:30 pm when I got home, I was looking at 2 plus hours before seeing dinner.  No.  Too tired and hungry.  We out for pho.
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Ok, this morning I read through the recipe and tonight we enjoyed a delicious lamb & dried apricot tagine with couscous and Las Rocas, Spanish blend, wine...yum!  The recipe for the tagine can be found in Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.  To see other versions of this delicious treat, click here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

the Rugelach that won over France

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosWell, it's time for holiday baking...I love it!  This past weekend I finally got around to narrowing down my cookie selection, sables and Rugelach are always on my list.  I have used Dorie Greenspan's sable recipe for years, but not her Rugelach recipe.  In Baking Chez Moi, the Rugelach recipe seemed way too fussy, but I think Rugelach is a little fussy.  A lot of steps, a lot of ingredients, a lot of time, but worth it.
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I actually made the dough for this recipe on Sunday and knew I wouldn't be making these little gems until Tuesday Night.
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I wasn't really sure of the filling either.  I usually use jam, nuts and cinnamon.  I grabbed the jam from the fridge, then realized, it wasn't needed in the recipe.  Whoops!
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The dough was easy to make, and easy to work with.  I didn't think the dough would really hold up to the rolling, filling and baking, but it did!
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Delicious!  To see the other versions of this delicate little sweet, click here.
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Friday, December 5, 2014

tartine de viande des grisons

Simplicity...something we need more of in life.  Tartine de Viande des grisons...simple and delicious! All you need is grilled bread, dried beef (I used prosciutto), olive oil and walnuts.
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I spent all last weekend baking walnut bread, so I cheated with this recipe a bit.  Instead of using a country bread, which my walnut bread dough was, I used my walnut bread.  The recipe called for walnuts on top, so essentially, same ingredients, different assembly.
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Thank you again to Dorie Greenspan for reminding us, life is too short, cherish and enjoy the simple things!  To see the recipe I loosely followed, get a copy of Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table, and to see how the Doristas at French Fridays with Dorie, FFWD, made their versions, click here.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

the journey from starter to finished walnut bread

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosSo, I don't know when my fear of yeast started, but it still freaks me out.  I skimmed over the recipe for walnut bread, but must have missed the part where it said "fully kneaded starter left-over dough" as an ingredient. Ok, I don't have starter sitting in my fridge all the time, or ever.  So I started with the "starter".  I also must have missed the part that said "Day 1" and "Day 2"...WHAT?!  So now my fear of yeast had turned to "Seriously, I don't care what it costs, I'm going to buy bread from now on!"

Day 1: bloom the yeast, mix the dough, proof...more flour, rise, knead.
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Next take a tiny bit of the starter dough and make more dough, mix in flour, rise, knead.
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Ok, with all the time I had to wait for the dough, I was able to do a little shopping, stop by work, come home and lounge around a bit, walk the dog, and think about getting our Christmas decorations out.

Day 2:  This was my big mistake, in the instructions, Day 2 was a Sunday, unfortunately, my Day 2 was a Monday, aka, a work day.  I got up early, mixed water and more yeast to the dough and let it rise for 4 hours.  I even went to the gym and walked my dog.  With a few steps left, I refrigerated the dough, the instructions said, "for 1 hour, but no more than 8". Ok, I'll finish this after work.  Ugh.
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Long story short, I waited until Midnight for my bread to be done.
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Too late to try it, too tired to care.
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Worth it?
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Yes!  Besides, I have so much starter left, I will be making bread every week, for months!  The detailed instructions for the starter and walnut bread can be found in Dorie Greenspan's Baking with Julia.  To see how other did with this recipe, click here.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Part-Time Vegetarian: The Cottage Cooking Club

At the end of October, I decided to try to eat vegetarian as much as possible. I had downloaded River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall a few months ago with the intention of joining The Cottage Cooking Club.  Well, the group started back in May and I finally had a very good reason to start!

I signed up to make couscous with herbs and walnuts, twice baked potatoes and patatas brava.  I was suppose to make stuffed cabbage too, sadly, I didn't make that yet.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos The couscous with herbs and walnuts was good, similar tastes as tabouli, but not the same.  I was able to make this after work, no problem.  I will make this again for sure!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I had my couscous with grilled eggplant...Yum! The twice baked potatoes were very easy,  I actually made these over the weekend and we reheated them during the week for a quick dinner side dish.

Lastly, I made the patatas brava...delicious!  Also another easy make after work recipe.  I had my patatas brava with a salad and my son and husband had theirs with a nice filet.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I used a mix of baby potatoes. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
 To see the other recipes that were made this month, click here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

FFWD: Beatrix's Red Kuri Soup

A great start for Thanksgiving dinner. I have to admit, with all the cooking I had for Thanksgiving dinner, I made Beatrix's Red Kuri Soup in my slow-cooker. Super easy and delicious. I also appreciated the Bonne Idee to add blue cheese...Yum! To check out other versions click here.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

storzapretis, the French gnocchi

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So, I am sharing this recipe as I am eating it, because I waited until the very last minute to make it. Another great recipe from Dorie Greenspan's, Around My French Table.  First off, I was going to make these lovely little dumplings last night after work, but when I read the recipe yesterday morning, I realized, this wasn't something that I could prep before work then finish when I get home. Well, that's partially true. Storzapretis (aka Spinach and Mint Gnocchi) can be made ahead, as long as the ricotta has been properly drained and the spinach pre-steamed and drained.
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Not many ingredients in this, ricotta, spinach, a handful of mint, flour, egg, cheese, I used half Parmesan and half Comte.
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Shaping these is not done like Italian gnocchi, but rather with the 2 spoon method to form a quenelle. Time consuming, but good therapy for me.
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I put my storzapretis in the freezer for an hour.  I wanted to make sure they didn't fall apart when I put them in the boiling water.
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I made sure the water was boiling hot, but before I put the storzapretis in, I turned the water to a very low simmer.  I had iced water ready to cool the storzapretis, then drained on a paper towel.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosPhotobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Cheater Moment: I didn't have time to make my own sauce, so I bought a very good organic sauce and covered each storzapretis with sauce and cheese, then in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos So, this can be made ahead and enjoyed as a weeknight dinner, if you make a whole bunch and freeze.  To see how he Doristas did with this recipe, click here.

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