Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Peas at their best

Fresh Cooked Peas

Blended with a dash of Creme Fraiche

Ingredients

3 T. unsalted butter
5 cups or around 2 lbs. of fresh peas or frozen~do not thaw before cooking
1 cup chopped sweet onion
3 cups of vegetable broth or more~depending how thick you want it
11/2 t. salt
1/2 t.pepper
Creme Fraiche for topping and maybe a few croutons

Directions
In a large saucepan, heat the butter and add the onion. Cook the onion until clear in color and tender. Add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes or until the peas are tender. Add the salt and pepper.
Cool for five minutes. Puree the mixture in small increments until all the mixture is used. Top with Creme Fraiche and maybe some croutons, if desired. Season to taste. Serve hot. Serves 6






Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pear Clafouti~Summertime dessert.


Pear Clafouti

Seems this time of year I am forever looking for an easy, simple and delicious dessert and this one ranks right up there on the top of my list. Any type of fruit could be used. Most of the time this recipe is made with cherries, in season, which is the traditional French way. However, since I had two fresh pears waiting to be used, I could not think of a better way of putting them to use.

Use 1 tablespoon of soft butter to grease a 9 or 10 x 11/2 inch round pan. I used a decorative dish  which worked very well.
Sprinkle the bottom and sides of the dish with sugar and set aside.

Preheat your  oven to 375.

Beat 3 large eggs, room temperature and add 1/3 cup of sugar and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Now on a lower speed, add 6 T. of flour, 11/2 cups of heavy cream (whipping cream) 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes.

Peel your two pears or you can add another if you like. Two will do the job nicely! Slice the pears and in a single layer, place in the bottom of the baking dish. I just fanned mine out a little for design. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is a golden brown. Make sure the custard is set before removing from oven. You may need to place a piece of tin foil on top of the mixture to complete the baking time and preventing it from getting too brown. Bake 35-40 minutes. Serve warm for best results!
This is so easy and delicious! Sprinkle with powdered sugar for effect!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Making Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

The biggest hurdle was just getting the fresh cows milk~ this included a one hour drive.... but very well worth it!

Carefully stirring and adding the rennet at the proper time~blew the first batch! At 10$ a gallon, that hurts! Must read and follow directions very carefully! I could absolutely kick myself for reading too fast!

Added some fresh basil and parsley from my herb patch.


Final touch was adding some delicious balsamic vinegar and olive oil from some of the friends we visit while on my Tuscan tour.....all I needed for dinner tonight! So worth the drive and effort! There are tons of recipes on line~this recipe is from a class I took last week in Tampa. They are all so similar......

Friday, April 04, 2014

Pecan Meringue Torte

A family recipe from the Mumford side of the family.We certainly have had some great cooks- actually from both sides!  My daughter and her husband are joining in the ranks as well!  This is one of my favorites!

You can add any type of fresh fruit that you prefer. I used strawberries as they are still in season here in Florida. Raspberries are fabulous in this recipe!




The recipe is so easy~                                                        


1 cup of sugar, 4 egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of almond extract, 1 cup of finely chopped pecans, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 cup of fresh fruit and powdered sugar for dusting after it is filled and assembled.

Beat the egg whites until foamy and add the sugar slowly. Add the vinegar and the almond extract. Continue beating until egg whites are very stiff.
 Butter and flour 2 8 inch cake pans. ( I also lined wax paper on the bottom of my pans for easy removal.)

Fold in the pecans gently into the whipped eggs. Divide the egg mixture into 2 pans and smooth the filling out in the pans. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. Let the meringues cool completely before removing from pans.

Whip the cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Fold in fruit and spread over the cooled meringue base. After adding whipped cream mixture, top with the remaining meringue. Press down firmly. Sprinkle with powered sugar. Cut in wedges and serve with some extra fruit on the side.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Bringing back the past

This is a photo I took seven years ago in the very early stages of my food blogging. This photo has always been one of my favorites, so simple and yet taking on the true form of the cabbage and its many uses along with hearty recipes. I took the picture outside on my patio, placing the cabbage on my grill cover. Imagine that! Instant back drop!

Today, however, I was inside my kitchen photographing as well as reading over a few recipes and came across a cabbage and mushroom stir-fry combination. It looked very easy and I liked the caloric count, practically nothing! No need to run to the grocery as I had the mushrooms and cabbage in the veggie bin. Mushrooms were ready to be used....and already sliced! I measured out two cups of mushrooms.

In this photo, I have coarsely chopped two cups of cabbage~not much effort here....

I used my large skillet and added three tablespoons of olive oil and a half teaspoon of chopped fresh garlic.The stir-fry process lasted about seven minutes. I like my veggies a bit crunchy, so it all depends on how tender you like yours as to how long you will need to cook the cabbage and mushrooms. Serve immediately while steaming hot!

There it is~it couldn't be easier ! Sometimes, less is more~very few ingredients for a delicious side, if you happen to like cabbage. Salt and pepper to taste. For a little zing, I sprinkled on some ground red pepper.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Loire Valley's Goat Cheese

I have been busy preparing a little cheese information for our next tour in France and thought I would introduce this truncated pyramid shape to my guests.
 Last week I was in Marky's, located in Miami and found one of my favorite goat cheese items for sale! This is produced by Fromagerie Jacquin, located in the Loire region. The family has been producing goat cheese for over sixty five years.  Two generations continue to keep this delicate tasting cheese in production with shipping connections all over the world. Fresh milk is collected thirty miles around the dairy from fifty local farms whose average herd is around one hundred and fifty goats. Remarkable passion and tradition, along with the highest level of quality control, keep the supplies coming to customers today, even in Florida!
 

The story begins, and there are several, about Napoleon Bonaparte having a dinner party one evening in the countryside with his interior minister, a man named Talleyrand. Napoleon comments on the tall pointed pyramid shape and mentioned to his friend it reminded him of his military campaign in Egypt  and this is what we see today. A more exciting version tells the story that Napoleon took out his sword and chopped off the tops of the cheese right there at dinner in a fit of rage. The sight of these little shapes brought back memories of his humiliation in battle. He was extremely angered at anything remotely connected with Egypt. Afterwards, cheese makers in France were required to create the shape as Napoleon demanded, no pointed tops! I tend to go with the latter~I think he was a sore loser.

Regardless about the origin of this story and how the cheese got the shape, these short pyramids have become a classic symbol, meaning chevre  and a delicious form of goat cheese.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A gift of apples means sauce!


Recently, my daughter and her husband had a quick get-away into the mountains of Georgia. For doggie sitting their new pup, Miss Lexie, I received  more apples than I knew what to do with~well, actually, I knew exactly what I would do when I saw my gift! I can not think of a better gift for a foodie......food stuff!

You guessed it, applesauce!

If you ever wanted your home to smell like fall, just bake an apple pie or cook the apples down into a  sauce filled with spices and sweetness. That works every time. When the family gathers here for Thanksgiving, there is always an apple pie baking in the oven just to set the mood~it does work, every time.......

Recipe
I used 5 pounds of apples, peeled and cored. I only had to add 1/4 of a cup of sugar because they really were quite sweet. I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar for color and taste, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1/2  teaspoon of apple pie spices. That was it!
 I  cooked the apples down for about 25 minutes, medium heat, stirring well and them used my potato masher rather than the processor to get the texture I like best. I enjoy applesauce chunky and soft!

There must be a hundred ways to make applesauce, but this one worked for me. Having everything on hand made it that much easier. Thanks kids.....you warmed my heart and made my day!