Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 148: Madeleines









































Ingredients

2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. Brush a madeleine pan with vegetable oil.
3. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
4. With an electric mixer, beat eggs on high for approximately 5 minutes.
5. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar until combined.
6. Fold flour then melted butter and mix well.
7. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake for approximately 10 minutes until edges are lightly golden.
8. Once baked, let cool on a rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar.


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Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 147: Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Sauce




Ingredients
4 Beef tenderloin steaks, about 1 1/2" thick
3 T fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp herbs de provence
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry currants
4 cups beef stock, unsalted
3 T butter, unsalted
1/4 cup port wine
2 T red currant jelly
1 T pepper

Directions
Steak
1) Season meat with thyme, herbs, garlic and pepper.
2)  In a fry pan heat about 3 T of olive oil until very hot.
3) Sear both sides of the steaks for about 2 minutes each side.
4) Place steaks on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400F for about 9 minutes (medium-rare).

Sauce
1) Heat beef stock, port, shallots, thyme, herbs de provence and half of the dry currants on high until liquid has been reduced to 1/2 cup and starts to thicken.
2) Strain and return to heat and add remainder of currants.
3) Add butter and stir until sauce is thick and glossy.


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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 146: Violet Martini






































Ingredients
1 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz cranberry juice
1/2 oz violet syrup

Directions
1) Fill a martini shaker 1/2 full of crushed ice.
2) Add all ingredients and shake vigorously.
3) Pour into a glass and serve.
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 145: Chicken Breasts with Apricot Brandy Sauce








































Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup brandy
3 T apricot jam
1 shallot , finely chopped
4-6 T butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper


Directions
1)   Season chicken breasts with thyme, salt and pepper.
2)   In a large fry pan, sear each side of the chicken on high heat until golden brown.
3)   Remove chicken from fry pan and place on a parchment lined baking dish and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes at   400F.
4)   While the chicken is in the oven,  add shallots to the fry pan and sautee in pan drippings until soft (about 2 minutes).
5)   Add chicken stock, brandy, jam and thyme to pan and bring to boil.  Cook until reduced to about ½ cup. Remove from heat.
6)   Add butter one piece at a time and stir until sauce has thickened and is glossy.
7)   Taste for seasoning and serve on top of chicken breasts.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 144: Turkey Sandwich with Sundried tomato Pesto







































Ingredients
4 nice bakery buns
8 slices deli turkey
4 butter lettuce leaves
2 T prepared sundried tomato pesto
2 T caesar dressing
salt and pepper

Directions
1) Cut buns in half and spread pesto on one half and caesar dressing on the other half.
2) Assemble turkey, cheese and lettuce on top of the pesto dressed bun and top with the caesar dressed bun and serve.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 143: Citrus Cocktail






































Ingredients
1 oz lemon juice
2 oz orange juice
2 tsp sugar
2 oz gin

Directions
1) In a martini shaker mix all ingredients with crushed ice and shake vigourously.
2) Pour into a glass and serve.


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 142: Chocolate Amaretto Creme Brulee







































Ingredients

8 egg yolks
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk                                                                
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 T amaretto liqueur 
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons superfine sugar, for caramel top

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C)
2. In a large saucepan or kettle boil 1 to 2 quarts of water.    This water will be used for the ramekins to sit in while baking in the oven.
3. In a large bowl whisk egg yolks, amaretto and sugar until light and fluffy.                                                           
4. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan add cream and milk.   Heat for approximately 5 minutes or until the mixture steams and is just about to boil.  On low heat add chocolate and cook until melted. Whisk until smooth.  Remove from heat.
5. Slowly whisk cream into egg yolk mixture.   Mix until combined.
6. Remove any foam that forms on the mixture.                                                                                   
7. Using a ladle, divide the mixture evenly between 4 ramkins. 
8. Arrange ramekins in a roasting pan.   Pour water in the roasting pan to come at least halfway up the sides of the ramkins.
9. Bake until the custard  sets and is slightly jiggly in the center– approximately 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of your ramkin.    Take care not to under or over cook.
10. Remove roasting pan from oven.    Remove ramkins from roasting pan and let cool at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes.    Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.   
11. Just before serving, sprinkle each ramkin with superfine sugar (about a teaspoon).    Using a torch, carmelize the sugar top of each ramkin making sure to  move the torch constantly to prevent the sugar from burning.
12. Garnish and serve immediately.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 141: Mini Meatballs with Marinara Sauce


Ingredients
1 lb lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 T fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
3 T olive oil
3 cups marinara sauce (recipe here)

Directions
1) In a large bowl mix all ingredients except the olive oil until combined.
2) To form the meat balls, roll 1 tsp of the meat mixture into a ball and set aside.
3) In a fry pan heat oil and add meatballs.  Brown meatballs on all sides and cook until meat is no longer pink inside (about 10 - 15 minutes).
4) Add marinara sauce to meat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 140: Pan Fried Lemon Chicken with Sage







































Ingredients
6 chicken drumsticks
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup butter
3 T olive oil
1 tsp dry sage leaves
1 tsp dry thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1) Heat olive oil in a large frying pan until very hot.
2) Season drumsticks with sage, thyme, salt and pepper.
3) Place drumsticks in the pan and sear all sides until dark golden brown.
4) Squeeze lemon juice over the drumsticks and add butter to pan.
5) Lower heat to low and cover.
6) Let simmer for approximately15 minutes until meat is cooked and no longer pink.
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 139: Butter Lettuce with Sundried Tomato & Balsamic Vinaigrette






































Ingredients
1 head butter lettuce
2 T sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup croutons
1 T slivered almonds
4 baby bell peppers, halved and seeds removed
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe here)

Directions
1) Arrange butter lettuce leaves in the bottom of 4 bowls.
2) Top with sundried tomatoes, almonds and croutons.
3) Place pepper halves on top and pour dressing over salad just before serving.
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 138: Earl Grey Iced Tea







































Ingredients
1/2 cups prepared earl grey tea, cooled
2 cups crushed ice
2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

Directions
1) Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
2) Serve in a glass with a straw and mint as a garnish.


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Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 137: Lemon Thyme Pan Fried Potatoes


Ingredients
4 cups small red potatoes, boiled until just tender
juice from 2 lemons
3 - 4 T butter
3 T fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1) In a frypan heat oil on medium high heat until melted.
2) Add potatoes to pan and stir to coat with butter.
3) Add seasonings and stir while cooking.
4) Once the potatoes get lightly golden, squeeze lemon juice over them and stir.  Cook for about 1 -2 minutes and serve.


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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 136: Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms






































Ingredients
20 crimini mushroom caps, stems removed

1/4 cup plain goats cheese
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1) Arrange mushroom caps on a parchment lined baking sheet.
2) In a small bowl combine cheese, salt and pepper and stir until combined.
3) Stuff mushroom caps with a generous spoonful of cheese mixture.
4) Bake mushrooms at 450F for 8 - 10 minutes.
5) Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.




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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 135: Spicy Steak Bites






































Ingredients
2 strip loin steaks, cut into 1/2" cubes
2 T herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cajun spice

Directions
1) Heat 1 T olive oil in a fry pan until very hot.
2) Add steak bites to the pan and brown all sides.
3) Serve on a platter with a cocktail pick.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 134: Lemon Raspberry Shake






































Ingredients
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup vanilla icecream
1/2 cup milk
4T sugar

Directions
1) In a blender mix all ingredients until smooth.
2) Pour into a glass and serve with a straw and a sprig of mint or lemon balm.



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Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 133: Banana Nut Pancakes




Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs 
1 banana, coarsely mashed
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped


Directions
1) In a bowl mix all dry ingredients together until combined.
2) In a separate bowl beat eggs, milk and butter together.
3) In the bowl with the dry ingredients, create a well in the centre and slowly add the wet mixture to the dry while stirring. Mix until just incorporated being careful not to over stir.
4) Fold banana and nuts gently into the batter until just incorporated.
5) In a skillet, melt enough butter to coat the pan over medium high heat.
6) Fry pancakes on medium high heat and serve immediately. 
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day at Laduree - Paris!

Just wanted to share my Mother's Day treat.  I was lucky to go to one of my favourite places in Paris, Laduree,  and indulge in some sugar art.  Really, these looked too pretty to eat but somehow I managed and they were every bit as delicious as they were beautiful.  Hope you all are having a special Mother's Day!





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Day 132: Roasted Organic Herbed Carrots







































I thought I would include a picture of the carrots before they went into the oven. They looked so pretty, I thought it would be a shame not to photograph them.

Ingredients
10 - 12 whole organic carrots (ones that are very slender)
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
1 tsp herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1) On a parchment lined baking sheet, arrange carrots.
2) Sprinkle carrots with olive oil, herbs and spices.
3) Break the butter up into pea sized pieces and dot around the carrots.
4) Bake at 400F for 30 - 40 minutes or until carrots are tender but not too soft.
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 131: Linguine with Marinara Sauce






































Ingredients
1 can (26 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1) In a fry pan heat oil and cook garlic until soft.
2) Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.
3) Garnish with freshly grated parmesan.
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 130: Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes



Ingredients
4 large potatoes, cubed with skin left on
1/4 cup butter
1 head roasted garlic, peeled and mashed (recipe here)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1) Boil potatoes in salted water until very soft.
2) Mash potatoes with butter, garlic, salt and pepper until all ingredients are incorporated. Serve immediately.
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Frankfurt Airport & Gourmet Sandwiches

Just thought I would share a great find from the Frankfurt Airport.  I had an extended layover and took advantage of some shopping and some great food!


Simple Sausage and Cheese.

I got this nice sandwich from a place called Meyer. Here is a shot of the shop inside...


So, if you ever find yourself at the Frankfurt airport look for this place for a treat and some foodie shopping.
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Day 129: Vegetable Stir Fry






































Ingredients
2 cups prepared long grain rice
1 cup broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup baby carrots, cut in half
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 can sliced water chesnuts
1/2 small white onion, sliced
2 T soy sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (low sodium)
pepper to taste


Directions
1) In a fry pan cook mushrooms for 3-4 minutes in olive oil.
2) Add carrots and broccoli and cook for 2 minutes more.
3) Add onions, peppers and water chestnuts and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
4) Add sauce and seasoning to the vegetables and stir to coat.
5) Serve over a bed of rice.
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 128: Rose Martini







































Ingredients
2 oz gin
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp sugar
2 dashes orange bitters

Directions
1) Fill a martini shaker 1/2 full of crushed ice,
2) Add drink ingredients to shaker and mix vigorously.
3) Pour into a glass and serve.
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 127: Orange & Leaf Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette


Ingredients
2 oranges, peeled and divided into segments
3 lettuce leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
3 tsp pecans, chopped coarsely
2 tsp dry currants
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe here)

Directions
1) Arrange oranges and lettuce in individual serving dishes.
2) Sprinkle with nuts and currants.
3) Dress with balsamic vinaigrette.
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 126: Stuffed Apples


Ingredients
4 granny smith apples, cored to produce a well in the top 3/4 of the apple.
4 T brown sugar
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 T dry currants
2 T pecans, coarsely chopped
2 T butter, divided into 4

Directions
1) In a small baking dish, add just enough water to coat the pan.
2)In a small bowl add sugar, cinnamon, currants and pecans and mix until combined.
3) Fill each apple with the sugar mixture.
4) Place apples in the baking dish and bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes.
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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 125: Roasted Garlic

Here is a simple recipe that you can use for appetizers, sandwiches, side dishes, etc...

Ingredients
2 garlic heads
2T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1) Cut the tops of each garlic head so that the cloves are exposed.
2) Place garlic in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3) Roast in a 400F oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until garlic is soft.


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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 124: Simple Pan Fried Steak


Ingredients
2 steaks, striploin or whatever cut you prefer
3 T olive oil
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1) Heat olive oil in fry pan over high heat.
2) Season steaks with thyme, salt and pepper.
3) Place steaks into the fry pan and brown each side for approximately 2-3 minutes.
4) Turn heat to low and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes or until desired doneness.
5) Remove steaks from heat, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 6-7 minutes before serving.
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Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 123: Feta & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms








































Ingredients
10 brown mushroom caps, stems removed
1/3 cup feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2T bacon bits
3T spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

Directions
1) Arrange mushroom caps on a parchment lined baking sheet.
2) In a small bowl combine cheese, spinach, bacon bits, salt and pepper and stir until combined.
3) Stuff mushroom caps with a generous spoonful of cheese mixture.
4) Bake mushrooms at 450F for 8 - 10 minutes.


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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 122: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes




Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs 
1/2 cup apple, finely chopped

Directions
1) In a bowl mix all dry ingredients together until combined.
2) In a separate bowl beat eggs, milk and butter together.
3) In the bowl with the dry ingredients, create a well in the centre and slowly add the wet mixture to the dry while stirring. Mix until just incorporated being careful not to over stir.
4) Fold the apple gently into the batter until just incorporated.
5) In a skillet, melt enough butter to coat the pan over medium high heat.
6) Fry pancakes on medium high heat and serve immediately. 
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 121: Berry Banana Shake






































Ingredients
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 banana, sliced
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup milk
2 T sugar

Directions
1)Add all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
2) Pour into a glass and serve with a slice of banana and a mint leaf to garnish.
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