Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It Can't Be Long Now?

Coming back from NYC last weekend, I was detained for a short period, 8 hours, in Washington-a minor snowfall creating long delays and many short tempers........this weather will end soon, right? "Springtime' is just around the bend as we enter the month of March...right?

Well, just in case we have a few more flurries of winter floating over to visit March, I am sending my blog friends a taste of what is to come! It won't be long now..................hang in there!

Monday, February 26, 2007

New York City-More Desserts

Here is one more dessert to feast upon and to add to my list of favorites........ The New York Cheesecake. Always a rich and creamy cake, it may take months to consume if you don't share.............

This cake is one I can count on when having company and I certainly like the idea of being able to prepare it ahead of time............. it usually tastes better the next day. When cooking your cheesecake, avoid opening the oven door for the first thirty minutes , you want it to rise properly. Also, if cooling the cake in the oven, keep the door opened just a bit to prevent cracks from developing in the cake.
1 1/4 cups of flour
1/3 cup of sugar
A dash of salt
1 stick of unsalted butter,room temperature
1 egg and 1 egg white
Process dry ingredients for 10 to 15 seconds. Add the butter and process until dough developes course crumbs. Add the egg and process until dough forms a ball . Press into lightly greased springform pan. Divide the dough into thirds. Pat one third of dough over the bottom of the pan . Prick with fork and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until crust is light brown. Cool the crust and then apply the remaining dough to the sides. Brush sides and bottom of crust with beaten egg wash. Refrigerate the crust while making the filling.
5 eight ounce packages of cream cheese
1 1/3 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of flour
5 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of heavy cream-whipping cream will work
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon of lemon zest
With all the ingredients at room temperature, beat the cream cheese until smooth and gradually add the flour and sugar. Sprinkle in the lemon zest and add vanilla. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time. Add the two egg yolks. Pour in the cream and mix well.
Pour the batter into the chilled crust and bake in an oven for 15 minutes at 500 degrees. Now reduce the oven temp to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven, prop door open and let the cake cool in oven for thirty minutes. Transfer to a rack and completely cool before unmolding. Cover and place in refrigerator until serving time. Best when chilled for 24 hours before serving.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Weakness Revealed

I suppose all of us have one weakness that we are aware of...... and we really do not like to discuss it -not hard for anyone to see what mine is, desserts. I have such a difficult time passing any window that is displaying an assortment of tasty and elegant looking desserts. What artful displays lure me to press my nose against the window, drool a bit and then reach for the camera..........I have to take pictures of everything! What for? I must admit I do it because I'm hoping to capture the talent and creativeness of these fabulous bakers in a shot and not in my mouth............Look at it as a way to not gain weight while on vacation. That does not happen all the time......a few pounds from these wonderful delights travel home with me occassionally!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fermier Cheese

What could be more satisfying and tastier than a light meal made with a few slices of cheese stuffed into a fresh baguette and served with a side of fresh fruit.. ....for me, this is the ultimate quick and nourishing lunch when I am on the run in France.
My last visit lead me to a local village artisanal where a very kind and patient shopkeeper sliced a wonderful piece of Comte for me. This cheese is considered the most rich and popular cheese in France. Produced in the mountains of Jura, the milk from the cows is transported to the local fruitiers which are managed by a group of villages and processed immediately for production. AOC regulations are very strict with Comte cheese and those that fail to pass an acceptable score are sold as Gruyere.

And...... a thick slice of Brie makes a wonderful lunch in the park! Oh yes, don't forget a class of champagne, apples and walnuts to accompany your lunch!

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Bazaar Soup

Years ago, when my son was in grade school, every December the moms organized a Holiday Bazaar. Since it was always a heavy duty day of shopping, someone suggested that a lunch be served so shoppers could have more time to spend their money -good marketing plan here! Each parent was ask to make up a batch of this soup and send it along in a well rinsed 1/2 gallon milk carton or quart jar. Also, we were to include one cup of grated Parmesan cheese sealed in a plastic bag. When we pulled up in front of the school and unloaded the kids with the soup in hand, you would have thought the students were carrying a brand new baby-instantly the car doors flew open and the soup was snatched up by a group of moms cradling the soups and rushing them into the school kitchen. Some of the more attractive quart jars were sold and taken home for dinner. The rest were placed into huge pots and kept warm for the lunch crowd. Most of the parents were very diligent in following the recipe..........we all new what we were eating! So now, I share this recipe with you on this very chilly day here in Florida, hoping to warm your souls as well as your hearts!

Saute 3-5- minutes in a small amount of oil; 1 medium onion, chopped
3 unpeeled, sliced carrots-but I peeled mine!
3 medium sized unpeeled, cut-up potaotes

Add & saute for ten minutes or more; 1 pound sliced mushrooms
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced
2 medium sliced zucchini
3 tomatoes, cut in wedges

Add and cook until the vegetables are tender. 3-4- Tbls.butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 cans of Cambell's Beef Consomme'
2 soup cans of tomato juice-just use the beef can to measure

This is all there is to it-simple and very delicious-not many calories! Don't forget the cheese!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Day in Santa Fe-Market and Dinner

A different kind of flea market, but nevertheless, a market where one could spend an entire afternoon, without leaving the USA. Something by the name of "Jackalope."....hummm. I've seen pictures on postcards of these animals and they are pretty darn frightful. Someone had a wild imagination when putting the photos together to create such a pet! Anyway, here are a few of my finds of the day. There is an amazing array of items from all over the world on display in several buildings and also outside. Oh yes, the day ended at the Santa Fe Hilton, the Pinon Grill.......for dinner! Put this on your list of places to visit sometime!