Saturday, December 11, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts

sweet and spicy cocktail nuts

I have been neglecting my French Fridays lately.  Well, that is not exactly true.  I have still been preparing the recipes from Around My French Table, I just haven't been writing about them.  I started a new job, you see, and my time in the kitchen has been unfortunately limited.  I do plan to post a belated review of the semolina cake that I threw together on one of my days off, and next week I will wax rhapsodic about the beef daube that I made today, but tonight I am going to talk about the sweet and spicy cocktail nuts that I made last week.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Cake Slice: Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Once again it is time for cake!  This month's selection for the Cake Slice Bakers was a cinnamon pudding cake, and while I can not say that I was extremely excited about making it, I did think that the cinnamon flavor would be fitting for fall. There seems to be a slight problem, however, because even though I made this cake days ago, I am here posting at the last minute.  This is partly due to starting a new job, but the bigger issue is that I was just not inspired by this cake.  I baked it and we have been eating it over the past few days, but I can't really imagine making it again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans

Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans

Since I first saw the list of October recipes for French Fridays with Dorie, I have been eagerly anticipating the day when I would make these pumpkin and Gorgonzola flans.  I love pumpkin (especially in savory dishes) and over the past few months I have developed a blue cheese obsession, so this seemed like an ideal dish.  Unfortunately, these flans seem to have suffered from my own overblown expectations because I just did not love them.  The Gorgonzola and walnuts were delicious, but the pumpkin custard was overly eggy and, for me, it lacked flavor.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Potato Gratin

potato gratin

When it came time to vote for the November dishes for French Fridays with Dorie, there was one recipe on the list that I absolutely did not want to make: the potato gratin.  It was not because I dislike potatoes (I adore them), or because the picture in Around my French Table is not appetizing (in fact, it is positively mouthwatering).  No, I wanted to avoid this recipe because it looked too good, and I could not stop imagining myself shoveling spoonfuls of cream-bathed potato slices into my mouth.

Friday, November 5, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Roast Chicken for les Paresseux

Roast Chicken for les Parreseux

This month for French Fridays with Dorie, we are doing something a little different.  We voted for our four November recipes (I have almost stopped pouting about the fact that only half my choices made the cut), but we can prepare them in any order that we choose.  This week I chose the Roast Chicken for les Paresseux.  After last weekend's candy and cupcake filled Halloween festivities, I wanted something a little more earnest, so a roast chicken fit the bill perfectly.  I made a slight miscalculation, however, because I was not anticipating the deliciousness of a white wine and chicken dripping-laced pan sauce, or the irresistibility of sopping it up with chunks of crusty bread.

Friday, October 29, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Marie-Helene's Apple Cake

Marie-Helene's Apple Cake

This week's post for French Fridays with Dorie is going to be short and sweet.  Short because I am rushing around trying to finish preparations (and a massive amount of cooking) for our Halloween party, and sweet because it is cake!  I considered skipping this week's recipe, Marie-Helene's Apple Cake, but the recipe seemed so easy (and, hello, cake), that I decided to give it a go yesterday.

Friday, October 22, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Hachis Parmentier

Hachis Parmentier

When I first saw the list of October recipes for French Fridays with Dorie, this Hachis Parmentier was the dish I was most excited to make.  The photo in Dorie Greenspan's book is just mouthwatering.  Hachis Parmentier is basically a French shepherd's pie, and, as I discovered when I made this for dinner, it is wonderfully warm and comforting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Cake Slice: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

I was looking through my blog last night, and I realized that I haven't posted a dessert since last September.  Also, my last three dishes have been noodle-centric.  I need to switch it up here, people! Well, I am happy to report that I have joined the Cake Slice Bakers, so I will be posting at least one dessert recipe every month.  The Cake Slice is a group of bloggers that bake the same cake each month and post about it on the same day. I wanted to join this group because I love baking and talking about recipes, and because it gives me an excuse to make cake (the whole "buying a new cookbook thing" didn't hurt, either).  Yum, cake!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ah, spaghetti and meatballs.  Just the name makes me feel all warm and cozy.  It is my quintessential comfort food.  Hand me a fork and a big bowl of al dente pasta, topped with a garlic and basil flecked pasta sauce, juicy meatballs, and a flurry of freshly grated parmesan, and I will love you forever.  I will love you even more if you also pour me a glass of wine, but that part is optional (most days).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spaghetti Risotto with Porcini and Thyme

Spaghetti Risotto with Porcini and Thyme

If you were to ask my family what food I don't like, the universal answer would be "mushrooms."  It is true, I have been an active member of the anti-mushroom camp for, well, ever.  But, because I am a rather strange individual, I see that distaste as a personal challenge and I have set out to try and change my own mind.  This mushroom mission is motivated by a (not-so-attractive) haughtiness about my own open-mindedness toward food.  I figure that if I am going to talk a big game about my lack of food phobias, I better be able to back it up with some fungus consumption.

Friday, October 15, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

This week, I really did have a French Friday with Dorie.  I had planned on making this Vietnamese chicken noodle soup yesterday, but there was a certain ill-timed nap before my dance class (which I signed up for in a moment of temporary insanity in which I forgot that I am terrible dancer), and I never got to it.  As it turns out, I probably could have thrown this together last night.  This soup, which has a surprisingly deep, complex flavor, came together very quickly and easily.

Friday, October 8, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Gerard's Mustard Tart

Gerard's Mustard Tart

When I first saw that we would be making a "mustard tart" for this week's installment of French Fridays with Dorie, I wasn't sure what to think.  A tart, with a predominant mustard flavor?  My brief moment of doubt was put to rest when I scanned the ingredient list.  Two kinds of mustard, dijon and whole grain, and copious amounts of creme fraiche are nestled into a tart shell (and oh, how I do love food that uses pie crust as a vehicle) with leeks and carrots.  How could that be anything but delicious?

Friday, October 1, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Gougeres

So, I disappeared again.  I had all these grand plans for more frequent posting, but you know what they say about that whole "best laid plans" thing.  At least this time I have a decent excuse: we moved to Boston!  That's right, I am a city girl now.  I am still cooking (constantly), only now it is in a tiny apartment kitchen on a correspondingly small apartment stove.  A miniature stove, however, is a small price to pay for high ceilings and hardwood floors (and I can't forget the Whole Foods within walking distance).

Now that we are (kinda, sorta) settled in our new place, I really am going to be posting more often.  To give myself a bit more motivation, I have decided to participate in French Fridays with Dorie.  We are going to be cooking along with Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook, Around my French Table.  I am really excited about this because I haven't cooked much French food, and I am always looking to expand my culinary horizons.  Also, it gives me an excuse to buy a new cookbook; something that makes my boyfriend and our overstuffed bookcases groan and also something I (kinda, sorta) promised myself that I wouldn't do.  But come on, this is Dorie, and my copy of Baking: From my Home to Yours was looking rather lonely.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Garlic Shrimp with White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes

Garlic Shrimp with White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes

I had planned on taking today to write up a long overdue entry about a delicious sandwich that we ate weeks months ago, but I am too excited about last night's dinner to think about any other dish.  So tomorrow I will talk about sandwiches, but today I am going to discuss garlicky shrimp and sweet caramelized tomatoes, all tossed together with creamy cannellini beans and tons of basil (my how I wish we had some leftovers).

Monday, May 3, 2010

Caprese Panzanella

Caprese Panzanella
I remember the first time that I heard of a panzanella salad.  It was in my 30-Minute Meals 2 cookbook, and the recipe called for soaking stale bread in water, then wringing it out.  My response can be summed up as "yuck."  At that point I was still new to cooking, and even though I was becoming more and more open-minded about food, I couldn't get past the idea of panzanella being synonymous with soggy bread.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Parmesan French Toast with Poached Eggs and Greens

I have mentioned before that I have a "To Cook" list.  What I did not tell you is that, in addition to a flurry of handwritten lists that can be found in every room of my apartment, I have a computer file of recipes organized into many, many categories and subcategories.  You would think that this would be enough to keep me busy, but I can not seem to stop myself from adding more and more recipes to this list, and at a rate much faster than I actually churn out dishes.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta

Last fall I had just starting posting on a regular basis when I got distracted by traveling (who wants to buy me one of those newfangled portable computers?  Anyone?), the holidays, and whining about wanting a new apartment/career/home state, etc., and my poor blog, still in its infancy really, was lost in the shuffle. Now that spring is here, I have been itching to get back in my blogging saddle and talk about some of the new dishes that I have been inspired to make, including this unexpectedly delicious curried couscous.