Friday, April 27, 2007

Can we have dessert tonight?

When the 'old man' asked for dessert to be served after dinner one afternoon, I decided to prepare a recipe I've been drooling over from the May issue of Delicious Magazine.

The recipe was a Ricotta and Orange Tart. What really interested me was the use of an Orange flavored pastry. Yum! I've blogged about flavored pastry before. I even teach hands-on classes on Pastry dough. I just love my dough, as you know!

Although you really can't see, there is orange zest and some orange juice in this lovely dough.

The dough handled very nicely under the rolling pin. And to my delight, not much shrinkage

This doesn't look like the photo in the magazine......but it did make the 'old man' smile!

Such a light and lovely result. Not heavy after the meal. I will make this one again!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Spring Day-Spring Roll

Actually it was my son who first worked with rice paper. He took an after school activity class on cooking. The middle-school Science Teacher was hosting at the time. She was teaching the kids Moo Shu Duck. I was impressed and the 'bearded baby' was excited to tell me all about the recipe while we drove home. (this was years ago!)

I've been thinking about items for a healthy lunch. Lunch is where I fall down on the job. There are things in the fridge for lunch, but this is a meal I might skip or just graze the fridge for lunch.
I bought some rice paper, shrimps and prepared to find a recipe. As luck would have it, I turned to Diva Cooking. I knew these gals would come up with something delicious with a modern twist. Check this book out, lots of fun!

Daikon, carrots and rocket, plus the proverbial shrimp filled the wrapper. The sauce was great, a 'take' on a Satay sauce.......this could have been thinned down a little, (speak for yourself, you say??). The thick sauce was too much for the delicate flavors of the Spring Roll, but has potential for other dishes! Next time I'll find a little soy based dipping sauce.

I'm sure the Rice Paper will last forever and be great for summer lunches.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Yes Son, that is Tofu

If you close your eyes you might think that you are on vacation in paradise! The weather has been that divine lately in Paris. The garden is in bloom and my geraniums are in and survived that cold snap. The herbs are full & ready to be chopped. Can you tell that my dad was a local weather man on TV? Weather was important in our house, it pretty much buttered our bread!

Ok, back to food!! I recently attended the first session of a 4-session cooking class/lecture. This was given by a gal who I have known in the expat community for many, many years. To be honest, she and I are poles apart in our cooking ways. But, again, to be honest, she is doing something right!

I went to her class out of curiosity, and tempted by the prospect of healthy cooking. I wanted to take 'bits' from the class, you know, a little of this and a little of that! I wanted to inflict some 'extreme health' into my cream and butter filled diet! There is a balance, isn't there!

Once I told my family that I was going to this class, they asked if we were giving up meat now!! Lets face it, they were scared! My son from his dorm room in the U.S. had many questions!

Yes, that is Tofu to the left.......Kombu (kelp) and dried shrimp. When Mary started her Miso Soup I didn't think I could eat it. Seaweed and dried up shrimp.....rubbery white cubes??? I do like Miso though!

She made 'her' version which included some Chinese Cabbage. I must say, it was delicious! I felt inspired to make some changes after I left the class. I ran off to the local 'BIO' store for some provisions. Then off to MIDO the Japanese/Korean store, where I now take a written list instead of asking where things are. My accent speaking french to two Japanese girls just doesn't cut it. They take my list and cruise the tiny store.....I write the check and hit the Autoroute homebound!

So.....armed with whole-brown rice, whole wheat pasta and good intentions we are going to eat differently......babysteps---not Boot Camp!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Paella - On the Weber

Who can complain about the weather this past week, and it just seems to be getting better and better! Past Easter memories are rainy & very cool ......colored eggs get left for the dog to find because it was just too cold to hunt! Our old dog, T-Bone, just loved to find and eat those eggs left behind.

Tradionally, we do a lamb of some kind, but now that the nest is empty I thought I should plan something different. Way back when, when I first started my blog, it started off with a New Year Eve Paella prepared by my two favorite men!

Paella is a dish to be planned and prepared with the people you love. The twist was, this was cooked out on the grill....inspired by I've been dying to try this method.

We dug out and dusted off the old pan, shopped for the shrimp, mussels, chorizo etc. We were good to go. The forecast was perfect.

The cooking of the Paella went off without a hitch! Our little neighborhood was just filled with the lovely aroma. The 'old man' said that this was a must for the 'bearded baby' when he comes home from college! I'm already planning the menus for the summer!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Rich, Buttery Brioche!

Fresh yeast in the fridge? Then let me dig out a recipe! I haven't made Brioche dough in a while! Sweet, buttery and perfect for the Easter season.
My Tete's aren't perfect.....but they were delicious and tender! The other half of the dough turned into a giant Cinnamon pull-apart roll. It didn't sit on the warming rack long before it was pulled apart and eaten!

The exciting news is that I signed up for a class at Le Notre this week. Guess what I'll be learning! Yep, Brioche. Can't wait......check the blog for a post.

PS......Can I play proud mom? The 'bearded baby' just sent photos of the Easter dinner he made for the kids in the hall, who didn't go home for the holiday weekend! Home-made Vegetarian Lasagna....WOW! Check his results!