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Posts from the ‘Features’ Category

Too Busy To Blog, Say What?…. A Published Recipe And Mary’s Box Of Goodies

Things have been crazy busy on my end and I have totally neglected the blog. I have ideas and things I want to do but simply have not had time to cook or bake except for charity auctions and you’ve seen all of that before, redundant posts are not something I like posting.  I am planning another collaboration with Teagan which is always fun, I hope you all like those, I certainly do.  Another giveaway is also in the works, and will be coming soon you may be able to guess what it is.

The food I have been making is pretty boring and not really blog worthy, there is nothing different or unique about it. I got back on track after Holiday food splurges with my change of diet and on the plus side have lost some weight which was important for me. I do a low carb low sugar meal plan with lots of vegetables and some protein. Work has been busy, that’s a good thing since I’m an Independant contractor and my livlihood is dependant on how much business I bring in.

 

So in the interest of keeping my blog alive I decided to reach into the recesses of my collection of recipes and post something from the past. If I were asked what my favorite recipe is it would be hard to pinpoint but this one is right up there at the top. I posted this recipe on Food52 years ago and last year found out that they are including it in their new cook book Ice Cream and Friends. I received my copy about a week ago and I have to say it’s a gorgeous book with amazing recipes from the Food52 Community and the founders Amanda and Merrill. The recipe they included is Brooklyn Blackout Semifreddo Cake. I dreamed this one up for a contest, the theme was frozen desserts. This was my homage to the famous cake conceived at Ebingers Bakery right here in Brooklyn NY, sadly Ebingers went bankrupt in 1972 and the building is now condo’s but the cake lives on at bakeries and recipes can be found all over the internet.  A Brooklyn Blackout Cake is chocolate x100 deeply rich chocolate cake, chocolate pudding filling used also to frost it and cake crumbs pressed onto the sides.

Last week I also received a Spring box from Mary Frances, you all know Mary right. Her blog Love The Secret Ingredient has some amazing recipes and she also has a thriving business Mary’s Secret Ingredient, a seasonal box of goodies is mailed to you and part of the proceeds are used to feed hungry children, Mary has heart along with some great recipes and a creative business sense. I will use some of the products to create a recipe soon but here is a peek at the box.

Mary’s Secret Ingredient Spring Box

I will leave you with a photo of the goodies that were auctioned on Instagram, all the proceeds went to help a sweet little pug that needed life saving surgery, any of you that are pet parents know how expensive it is to take your dog or cat to the vet, no one should have to decide on whether or not their pet lives or dies because of money and we as a pet community on Instagram raise funds to help out those in need. I am currently finishing the baking and the box will get mailed this week. Full disclosure Easter Bunny Percy will not be included with the box of goodies. I think he makes a very handsome bunny!!

Bear With Me

Percy has taken up reading

Percy has taken up reading

I just wanted to drop you all a quick note to let you know I am still here just TERRIBLY busy. I have not cooked at all except to make myself and Percy something to eat. As some of you know I am a Real Estate Agent and I have to renew my license every two years and in order to renew I have to take continuing ed courses, 22.5 hours and a Fair Housing course. I am taking the courses now and that takes up a lot of my time. There is also so much going on in our community which I am involved in. So, sorry for the absence from blogging hope to be get back into the swing of things next week after I finish my courses.

Suzanne and Percy

 

 

A #Not Recipe With Zoodles And The Real Deal At Food52 Pasta Night

Zoodles

Zoodles

This a #not recipe. I’m having fun posting on Food52’s new app and decided to share this, it’s really more of an idea than a recipe I guess you could say.

It started with zoodles, you know zucchini noodles, some oven roasted tomatoes, burrata and shaved parmigiana. Simple right?

Heat some olive oil in a skillet, add some garlic sliced thinly and cook until garlic is softened but not brown. Add the zoodles, season with salt and pepper and may be a little crushed red pepper and toss them around in the olive oil and garlic until the zoodles are warmed, I let them cook about 5 minutes. Remove and place in your bowl or on your plate.

If your burrata is not room temperature put in the microwave for about 20 seconds. In the same pan heat your tomatoes if they have been refrigerated or if you made the tomatoes and they are still warm just spoon on top of the zoodles. Take some of the lovely burrata and place on top of the tomatoes,  spoon some of the tomato juices that are mixed with olive oil on top of the burrata. Shave some parmigiana or romano on top and enjoy.

Make sure each layer is seasoned with salt and pepper.

This dish is low carb, delicious and nutritious and also really quick and easy to put together.

Pasta Night

Pasta Night

Last night I went to the Food52 HQ in Chelsea to enjoy an evening of great food and company. First of all the offices that house Food52 are incredible, light filled, lofty and beautiful. The space is designed so well, it works beautifully and gives the feeling of home rather than office. I could not get any photo’s of the completed pasta dishes for ambiance the light was very dim and it just didn’t work with my iphone. The tables were set up communal style, the dishes and flatware were exactly what you will find in the food52 shop, beautiful. Their kitchen is a dream, so beautiful and practical at the same time.

Filming for snap chat

Filming for snap chat

Menu, drool worthy food

Menu, drool worthy food

Gorgeous kitchen

Gorgeous kitchen

Food and drink

Food and drink

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My fizzy aperol cocktail

I love everything but for me the star of the show was dessert, so simple but the combination was amazing. Olive oil gelato, crumbled biscotti, beautiful sliced oranges all of this drizzled with good olive oil and chiffonade of basil. Profoundly delicious. I begged for the gelato recipe and Amanda said it is a community recipe that will be in the new Ice Cream cookbook. Really it’s the best olive oil gelato I have ever had.

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Guest Post-Curried Eggplant Steaks With Chickpeas From Simply Vegetarian777

A picture is worth a thousand words…. it really is and all you have to do is look at the pictures for these incredible recipes and words become insignificant. My very dear friend and fellow blogger Sonal from Simply Vegetarian777 graciously agreed to do a guest post and I was thrilled that she said yes. I admire her so much, her skill in cooking, writing and photographing and her kindness. I have mentioned before how she has sent me spices. I follow her on FacebookPinterest  Twitter @simplyveg777 and on Instagram ( simplyvegetarian777). I am constantly amazed at her talent. I also have to note that she does a series of posts with Diabetes friendly meals every Thursday, I have sent some to my Mom and it inspired her to change her diet. Sonal you are amazing thank you so much and take it away my dear….

Curried Eggplant Steaks with Chickpeas

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It’s a great honor for me to do a guest post for Suzanne. She is such a great support system to me and to many others who are connected to her via blog. Her approach and enthusiasm towards food is unmatchable.

I think I first met her through fiesta Friday, over an year ago, and since then I have been spoiled by her through her ever encouraging comments and constant presence. Thank you Suzanne for being there. I really appreciate it :).

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I was very confused as to what to bring for a guest post for her blog. I wanted to create a dish which was Indian origin but at the same time, something which has an international appeal and an easy to implement recipe.

Curried Eggplant Steaks with Chickpeas

Curried Eggplants

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Kitchen Equipments Required

A non stick or hard anodized pan, chopping board, knife, flat spatula, small bowl

Ingredients

Eggplant – 1 large
Oil – 1 tbsp
Turmeric – 2 fat pinches
Red chili powder – 2 fat pinches
Cumin powder – 2 fat pinches
Dry mint – 2 fat pinches (optional)
Salt – 2 fat pinches

Method

1. Mix turmeric, red chili powder and salt together in a small bowl.
2. Wash and cut the eggplant in 4-5 thick and long slices.
3. Sprinkle and rub the spice mixture on both sides of the eggplant slices.
4. Heat oil in the pan. Place the slices in the hot oil. Reduce the flame to medium. Cook from both the sides for approximately 2&1/2 to 3 minutes each till tender and slightly crispy.
5. The Curried Eggplant Steaks are ready.

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Serve these with the Quick and Easy Chickpeas Curry.

Chickpeas Curry

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Kitchen Equipments Required
A sauce pan with lid, stirring spoon, chopping board, knife, blender.

Ingredients

Chickpeas, boiled – 1&1/2 cups. I used 1 can.
Onion – 2 tbsp, chopped
Tomato – 2 medium
Ginger – 1 small piece
Garlic – 1 big pod
Oil – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/8 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Water – 1 cup

Method

1. Add tomato, onion, ginger and garlic to the blender. Purée it fine.
2. Heat oil in the pan. Add the purée and all the spices to the pan. Reduce the flame to the medium low.
3. Cover with lid and let the purée cook till all the water is evaporated and it thickens.
4. Add the boiled chickpeas to the sauce along with 1 cup of water. Mix them well. Cover with lid again and cook till it thickens again.
5. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serving Suggestion

1. Curried Eggplant Steaks can be served as is and taste great as snack.
2. The chickpeas curry can be served with rice or naan.
3. The eggplant steaks and chickpeas curry can be served as a complete meal along with some warm basmati rice.

I hope you had a good time reading the recipe. I had a great time creating it for all of you :).

Cheers,
Sonal

Guest Post And 4 Year Blogging Anniversary

Four years ago today I hit the publish button and posted my first blog post. It was scary and exciting and honestly I had no idea what would come of it.  I am so thrilled to still be blogging and very happy to have met all of you amazing and wonderful people and I want to thank you for reading my posts, offering your kindness and support and inspiring me. This post on the anniversary of hitting that publish button is a slight departure from my usual food posts, oh. there is still food involved but I  wanted to do something a little different, a bit daring and fun.

I am honored that Teagan Riordan Geneviene has agreed to do a guest post today.  I also want to thank my friend at Hocuspocus13 for agreeing to help me with this post, she created a recipe for a very special tea  (I made it and its delicious, I read about the flowers/herbs and they are incredibly good for you as well)  I think it’s the perfect addition to our meal in the tea room. Thank you, and now I am handing it over to Teagan….

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Hello everyone.  I’m happy to meet you!

From my first visit to A Pug in the Kitchen, it has ranked at the top of my list of favorite blogs.  Interesting commentary, photos, easy to follow instructions, and delicious food — I was hooked.  So when Suzanne asked me to do a guest post there was no way I was saying no.  Even better, it became more of a collaboration than a guest spot.atonement-video-cover-copy

After my regular, real world job, I’m an author of fantasy fiction.  My blog is called Teagan’s Books.  My current novel in progress is actually book-2 in an urban fantasy series that began with “Atonement, Tennessee.”  The title is the name of my fictional town where supernaturals secretly live among the residents of this seemingly quaint town.  (Book-2 will be called Atonement in Bloom.) I told Suzanne about a few different settings in the series that would involve food.  She picked a locale that was new for book-2, Adelle’s Attic Tearoom.

What I’m sharing with you is more of a snippet than a story.  It’s a scene with two minor characters in the novel.  I think it’s fun to get to know the characters who only play a small role.  I hope you enjoy it.

Adelle’s Teapot — Features from Atonement TN

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

1924 Good housekeeping 2 girls tea

The inventory notes Annie recorded were part of an ancient list, passed down through the Metatron clan.  For the most part, the older theitem, the more power it held.  The kind of power varied widely.

The Mirror of Truth and Justice Most Poetic could show one’s true self.  The mirror could be playful, cryptic, devilishly mischievous, or brutally honest.  It almost seemed to have a mind of its own.  In age and in power, that mirror ranked about mid-way on the inventory list.  Annie shuddered to think of the havoc she had known the mirror to wreak.

She kept many of the items hidden in plain sight in her antique shop.  It had been easy enough to steer Ralda Lawton away from a special quilt.  Ralda, the new owner of the Sunhold estate, did not need that star design quilt, but someone else would.  However, the brass Bed of Dreams was meant for her.  The bed wasn’t strong in power, but it was effective.

ad 5 Oclock TeaAnnie looked down at the ancient list.  Something glowed through several layers of paper.  She knew the glow came from the script identifying a very old item.  The glowing writing meant an item awakened.  Her hands shook as she leafed through the pages to the very beginning of the catalogued inventory.

The teapot.  Annie took a shuddering breath.  It was simple and unassuming looking, but the teapot was the oldest item listed in Annie’s inventory notes.  It was also arguably the most powerful.  Because of its unique properties the teapot had always been kept separate from the other items.  Adelle, Annie’s sister was the teapot’s custodian.  It was safely tucked away in the attic of the Victorian house that was Adelle’s tearoom and home.

A brew had not been made from that teapot in living memory.  But what else could awaken the pot but the alchemy of water, heat, and the right combination of herbs, flowers, and leaves?

“No Adelle,” Annie muttered as she put away the ancient ledger.1937 Look Shirley Temple Santa tea

Annie ran out of her shop, the door banging shut behind her.  Her platinum hair shone in the moonlight.  She skidded around the corner and ran down the town square.  Annie stumbled to a stop.  She gazed at the night sky in open mouthed astonishment.

Above Adelle’s tearoom the sky shimmered in a golden aura.  When Annie looked farther up into the sky, she saw an even more astonishing sight.  The entire town of Atonement rested unaware beneath five columns of light pillars.  The columns of light pulsed through the clouds.

“Adelle,” Annie gasped.  “What have you done?”

With a hand to her chest, Annie continued toward her sister’s home.  She fell going up the front porch stairs.  As she righted herself, Annie saw that the front door stood open.  Then she realized that every door and window in the Victorian house was wide open.

“My God, Annie!  Are you all right?” Adelle exclaimed as she helped her sister to her feet and guided her inside.

Annie allowed her sister to guide her, gasping for breath and shaking with fright, to the kitchen table.  There Adelle poured a cup of tea.  Annie turned horrified eyes from the teacup to her sister.

1940s Home Notes Girl tea party“Oh don’t be silly,” Adelle chastised.  “It’s not from that teapot.”

Annie took a sip of the tea her sister pressed upon her.  She took a bite of cake or scone or some baked treat that would ordinarily have been delicious.  However it might as well have been cardboard in her mouth.  Without even realizing what she was doing Annie crumbled the rest between her fingers never looking at it.  She stared blindly out the kitchen window into the darkness, too stunned to process the thousand thoughts in her mind.

“Why in heaven’s name would you let the teapot awaken?” Annie finally asked.

“It couldn’t be helped.  I needed to talk to our grandfather,” Adelle replied.

“That wouldn’t be difficult for you,” Annie said.  “Why would you use the teapot for that?”

Her sister’s mouth curved to that self-satisfied, cat-with-a-bowl-of-cream smile that Annie knew all too well.

“Which grandfather,” Annie asked, closing her eyes and bracing herself for the answer she already knew was coming.

Adelle pursed her lips then made a reluctant, sardonic grimace.  “The one quite a few times removed.  Maybe a few hundred times.”1905 Sunday Mag Tea Woman steam kiss

Annie groaned and dropped her head to the kitchen table, her pale hair falling to cover her face.  Forehead against the polished wood, she rocked her head side to side.  Finally she looked up at her raven haired sister.

“Tell me this is not happening,” Annie pleaded hoarsely.

“It really couldn’t be helped, Annie.  I had to consult Enoch,” Adelle said apologetically.

“What could possibly be that important?” Annie demanded.

The sardonic twist left Adelle’s mouth.  She looked into her sister’s eyes, coldly serious.

“Cailleach Bheur,” Adelle said.  “Beira the Crone.”

***

As you can see, my odd little imaginary town has its quirks.  I hope you enjoyed this little visit to Atonement, Tennessee.

Hugs,

Teagan

 

Dazzle Tea

Dazzle Tea

DAZZLE TEA- Recipe by Hocuspocus13
2 parts red clover blossoms
2 parts rose hips
1 part chamomile flowers
1 part peppermint leaves

tea by these leaves
herbs and water it weaves
a brew so warm
it would awake a storm
teapot time to be reborn

tea time

tea time in Atonement at Adelle’s Attic Tea Room

 

A Guest Post, Mannele- Alsace Christmas Cookies

 

I have mentioned before (on more than one occasion) that I am a Air bnb host. One of the great things about doing this is the people I meet. One of my guests who lives in France happens to be a food blogger and EXTREMELY talented animator.  Ariana and her partner/friend Lucie have the beautiful blog Cosmic Tomatoes between these two very talented ladies we are presented with delicious recipes and brilliant animated art work. I was so happy to meet and get to know her while she stayed with me, she said that their collaboration is a happy marriage of art and food, Ariana is the artist and Lucie the recipe developer. The yeasted Holiday cookie is a Christmas tradition in the Alsace region of France, Mannele/Mannala is probably much like the cut out sugar cookies here in the US or the ever popular gingerbread people.  I hope you enjoy this guest post from our friends and neighbors in France. I follow Ariana’s blog she is also on Pinterest, FacebookInstagram and I am loving the Advent calendar they are working on. Show Ariana some love and give both Ariana and Lucie a warm welcome. Take it away Ariana….

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In Alsace starting from December 6th this brioche-man is offered to children by men disguised as Saint Nicholas. This is in fact a simplified representation of Saint Nicolas that can be found in all Alsatian bakeries during the holidays …

ingredients

. 1 kg flour
. 20 g salt
. 150g sugar
. 40 g yeast
. 2 eggs
. 45 cl milk
. 250 g butter

. 2 egg yolk
. chocolate chips or raisins

1/ Mix flour, salt, sugar, yeast, milk and eggs.

2/ Beat for 5 minutes at low speed, then the second speed for 6-8 minutes until you get an elastic dough.

3/ Add the butter and start kneading until it is incorporated.

4 / Let the dough rest for 1 hour in ambient air, covered with a plastic film.

5/ Separate pieces of 70g from the dough and shape little men (or any other creature you wish to). Let them rest for another hour.

6 / Cover the Manneles with eggs yolks and decorate them with chocolate chips or raisins.

7 / Bake at 180 ° C for about 15 minutes.

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Thanksgiving Preparation

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom for food52

I don’t know where the time went, next week is Thanksgiving. It dawned on me today so I started prepping. I make the same thing every single year, no change there would be a coup if I did. Part of me didn’t want Thanksgiving to get here even though it’s my favorite holiday, it’s my first without Izzy and Nando and I feel sad.  That said I have started prepping, write the shopping list, order the turkey, make what I can in advance, bread cubes are drying in oven as I type this. Took a whole chicken out of the freezer to make stock. There is a lot of work and planning that goes into one meal and I do what I can in advance. Is that what you do? I usually have 8-10 here for Thanksgiving. How many do you have over?

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What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you cook/host the meal or go to friends or relatives. Have you started preparing? Would love to know what everyone does, I know that some of you from other countries do not celebrate Thanksgiving. What is on the menu at your house? Traditional or non traditional or a mixture of both. Here is my menu with links to the recipes.

Butter and herb roasted turkey

Dressing

mashed potatoes- yukon gold, sour cream. butter salt and pepper

brussels sprouts- oven roasted

corn – steamed and served with some butter

homemade potato dinner rolls

cranberry sauce- use the recipe on the ocean spray package but sub fresh squeezed orange juice for the water and add some orange zest.

pumpkin and pecan pie – I usually just use the pumpkin pie recipe on the can of LIbby’s pumpkin, may do something different this year from my good friend Johnny at Kitschen Flavors.

I have a pretty strict time line making as much as I can in advance.

Done in advance:

Make chicken stock (need for dressing)

Make cornbread and air dry (2 days before I make the dressing)

Dry bread cubes for dressing (doing that today)

Cranberry sauce made ahead and refrigerated (making it this weekend)

Make compound butter for turkey (Monday)

Make pie dough and refrigerate (Tuesday)

Day before:

Prep the turkey putting the compound butter under the skin, and refrigerate.

Make dressing cover refrigerate.

Make the bread dough, form into rolls, cover and refrigerate until a few hours before baking them.

Make the pies plus an extra for a friend, the apple and pear tart

Thanksgiving Day:

We eat late around 5:30 or 6PM. I’ve heard that most eat early like lunch time. This is actually the easiest day, I have already done a lot of the work. Set the table, get the wine ready, refrigerate the white, let the red breathe/decant.

Turkey goes in at around noon – I get at 18-20 lb turkey and it’s done in 3 ish hours because of the fast cooking method I use in my graniteware pan.

Peel potatoes and cut and let sit in cold salted water until ready to boil. (Usually around 4PM)

Make the corn and brussels sprouts.

Bake the dressing

Bake the rolls right before dinner is served so they are hot.

Whew, it’s a lot of work but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Love Thanksgiving!!

Izzy And Nando

Izzy And Nando

 

Halloween/Samhain And A Triple Layer Apple Cake

Decorating for Halloween

Decorating my mantle for Halloween

I love Halloween/ Samhain, it’s huge in my neighborhood. Children walk en masse trick or treating, there are theatrical productions, music like the Dead Zombie Band playing on the street. Everyone dresses in costume here and has a wonderful time. We have a doggie costume contest called The Great Pupkin at Fort Greene Park (I miss dressing the pugs), people decorate their homes. I kid you not when I say Halloween is huge in Clinton Hill see this article in the Daily News.

My stoop

My stoop

All month horror films (mostly not very good ones) are shown on TV, some of you who know me are aware that I am a fan of horror films, always have been and I look forward to seeing some of my favorites on Halloween.  Two I love!

Mia Farrow-Rosemary's Baby

Mia Farrow-Rosemary’s Baby-Polanski is genius

Bela Lugosi Dracula

Bela Lugosi Dracula

To celebrate the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter or the dark months, the literal and original meaning of Samhain, I made an apple cake. I know, there is a plethora of apple recipes out there right now along with pumpkin but thats ok, right, it’s apple and pumpkin season. This cake has been in my repertoire for years, it is the simplest and best apple layer cake recipe I have found. It is from Martha Stewart. The cake is shown with a brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream (yum) but I am making a cream cheese frosting. I have made this cake many times and vary the way I use the apples. Sometimes I follow directions grating 2 and dicing 2, sometimes I make applesauce from all 4 apples or at times I will grate all 4. For this cake I made applesauce which is my favorite way of prepping the apples for this cake. It is nicely spiced, moist and has a wonderful texture, I love it with either the Brown Sugar Buttercream or Cream Cheese Frosting any way you make it it is a wonderful way to celebrate apple season.

Apple cake

Apple cake

Three Layer Apple Cake

Martha Stewarts Everyday Food with John Baricelli

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp salt

2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

4 apples peeled and coursely grated (or you can grate 2 and dice 2) If you make applesauce the yeild is about 1 1/2 cups from 4 apples)

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s. Butter 3 8 inch round cake pans place parchment round in each butter again and dust with flour.

In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger and salt. In large bowl whisk butter, sugar and eggs until well combined, fold in the grated apples. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined Divide batter among the prepared pans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 20 minutes before inverting onto cooling rack. Cool complettely before frosting.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature

8 oz unsalted butter softened to room temperature

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3-4 tbs half and half or whole milk

3-4 cup confectioners sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy and completely incorporated, add 2 cups of the confectioners sugar the vanilla and 2 tbs of the milk or half and half and beat. Add another cup of confectioners sugar and more milk continue to beat adding sugar and milk as needed until it reaches spreading consistency.

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Roasted Vegetable And Manchego Tart For Fiesta Friday #89 And A Sad Anniversary

Roasted vegetable and Manchego tart

Roasted vegetable and Manchego tart

I made breakfast this morning for my Air BNB guests, a breakfast tart, actually 2 of them. One was the Roasted Tomato and Herbed Ricotta Tart and a tart filled with roasted vegetables and topped with a medium soft egg. I thought a nice savory tart filled with roasted vegetables and manchego cheese would be a lovely addition to the party this week. It has been a while since I partied. After Nando passed I was not really in a party mood and am just now getting back to blogging regularly. I hope I am still welcome. This weeks co hosts are no strangers to Fiesta Friday and I am sure to all of you,  Mila and Kaila! Thanks to Angie again for hosting this party I am excited to be back. You can of course join in too, it is always fun and the company and food is spectacular.

On a sad note, today is the one year anniversary of the death of my sweet little Izzy. I still miss her every single day and she is in my thoughts constantly, I love my sweet little cupcake.

Izzy with her cupcake leash

Izzy with her cupcake leash

Roasted Vegetable And Manchego Tart

Makes one 9 inch round or rectangular tart

Vegetables (Note: Use whatever vegetables you like, it’s all good)

1 Italian eggplant cut into bite size pieces (I partially peeled it)

1 large shallot or 2 small peeled and cut into rounds

10 white button mushrooms cleaned and sliced thick

12 cherry tomatoes

6-8 brussels sprouts cleaned and cut in half

1/2 zucchini cleaned and cut into bite size pieces

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Place vegetables on parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and roast until vegetables are tender, the tomatoes should be slightly caramelized.

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Tart:

Your favorite pie crust recipe, I used my go to Julia Child recipe, it never fails.

Roasted vegetables

approximately 1 cup manchego cheese grated

Blind bake your tart shell at 400 degree’s for approximately 20 minutes, should be a light golden brown. Let cool.

Sprinkle half of the grated manchego on the bottom of the tart shell. Spoon in the vegetables and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top.

Place tart on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, vegetables and cheese will be bubbling and the tart will be a lovely golden brown.

Serve with a medium boiled egg, what I mean by that is that it’s between soft and hard. To get this degree of doneness boil the egg for 5 minutes, remove from heat and run under cold water to stop the cooking process, peel and place on a piece of the tart. It’s delicious.

Tart with medium egg

Tart with medium egg

 

 

Classic Nicoise-An American/French Pairing For #Wine PW

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We are in the throes of summer and July is the month that at least for me is the quintessential summer month, it’s also the month that America celebrates it’s Independance on July 4th and the French celebrate Bastille day on July 14th. What better way to mark both holidays than with an American/ French food and wine pairing.  Michelle@Rockin Red Blog invited me to participate,  I was thrilled but a little scared, I’ve done plenty of posts utilizing the expertise of the wine experts but have never actually done this myself. There can be any number of combinations, American food French wine, American food and wine etc…..  I chose a classic French dish that is light and IMHO perfect summer fare, Salade Nicoise, and I thought it would be fun to pair with both an American and French wine.

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Salade Nicoise is a delicious combination of assorted vegetables, olives,  hard boiled eggs and tuna or anchovies, the salad is dressed with a vinaigrette and I will serve with a fresh baguette and wine of course.  Really no recipe is needed but I will give you the breakdown of what my salad consists of:
Salad Nicoise

3 thick tuna steaks

1/2 lb haricot vert with only the stem end removed

4 hard boiled eggs

2 beets roasted

1/2 lb small new potatoes cleaned and roasted

cherry tomatoes

olives- nicoise olives preferably or kalamaata works also

young french radishes

Preparation:

Coat the potatoes in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. At the same time roast the beets, clean well, drizzle with olive oil add a sprig of thyme and wrap in foil. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Clean and trim the haricot vert, place a saucepan filled with water on high heat to boil, add a tbs of salt to the water. When it comes to a rolling boil add the green beans and boil for 8 minutes. Immediately drain and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and the beans will retain their lovely green color. Make the hard boiled eggs. Clean the radishes and tomatoes. Prepare the tuna last, mind you all of this can be done ahead of time and assembled the day you are going to serve the salad.

Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dijon mustard

scant tsp of honey

Place everything in a lidded jar and shake to combine.

Assembly:

Heat fry pan with a little olive oil on Medium high heat (make sure it’s sizzling hot). Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper (be generous with the pepper) Sear the tuna 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on thickness mine were about 1 1/2 inches thick) and immediately remove from the fry pan. Let sit 10 minutes and slice.

Arrange the vegetables and egg artistially on a platter, add the tuna slices and serve the vinaigrette on the side.

The wine:

reisling

reisling

American Wine- Finger Lakes region of New York State

Dr Konstantin Frank – 2013 Dry Reisling,

Rose champagne

Rose champagne

French Wine- NV Montaudon Grande Rosé Champagne – Reims, France

50% Chardonnay, 35% pinot noir, 15% pinot noir (red)

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Why I chose these wines:

I love wine and enjoy with my food but I am not a professional at wine pairings. I thought about what I was serving and what I would like to have with it, both the dry Reisling and Rosé Champagne came to mind. I did a little research and found that my instincts were pretty good. I thought the Reisling, especially this particular one from upstate New York is clean, crisp, and it would be a great match with the tuna.

When considering the Rosé Champagne one usually thinks in terms of desserts or something sweet but Rosé and specifically Rosé Champagne is excellent with many and varied savory dishes from  grilled meats to a Nicoise Salade. The Champagne also has a lively acidity and I felt that would be important when considering what to pair with this dish.

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The Pairing

Both wines were amazing and they were the perfect compliment to the salad. I first tasted the Reisling which is nicely dry, just the slightest hint of sweetness almost undetectable. It is a very distinct wine that was delicious with the meal. It’s very well balanced in both acidity and mineral content.

The Rosé Champagne is I think one of the best I have had. It’s a delicate champagne, a gorgeous deep pink, effervescant, crisp, fruity, slightly sweet and beautifully balanced. It went so well with the salad. I served ice cold.  This Champagne would be fantastic with anything including dessert.

If I had to pick one that was my favorite (and thats a tough one) I would have to say the Rosé Champagne wins my vote. I already ordered 2 more bottles.

It was an honor to be invited to participate in this with so many great bloggers most of whom are experts and really know their stuff when it comes to the intricacies of wine. Please check out their posts by clicking on the links below:

A Day in the Life on the Farm: “An American Feast for #WinePW”
Confessions of a Culinary Diva: “Provence Style Pan Roasted Chicken with Rose”
Cooking Chat: “Gruyere Cheeseburgers with a Bordeaux”
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: “Tapenade-Topped Sablefish + Cave de Saint-Roch-les-Vignes Côtes de Provence Rosé”
Curious Cuisiniere: “Cherry Clafoutis paired with a Cremant Rosé”
Dracaena Wines: “Discovering the Truth About Bastille Day with #WinePW”
ENOFYLZ Wine Blog: “Independence Day at Ridge Vineyards Zins and Blends #winePW”
Food Wine Click: “All American Menu: Farmer & Winery Friends”
Grape Experiences: “Wine and Dine: Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc Cotes du Roussillon and Salade Niçoise”
Pull That Cork: “Domaine de Bila-Haut and Cobb Salad for #winePW”
Rockin Red Blog: “Celebrating America & France with July #WinePW”
Tasting Pour: “Steak with Mushroom Cognac Sauce, Patriotic Potatoes, and Bell Wine Cellars Cab Sauv #winepw”
Vino Travels: The Alchemy of Hunt Country Vineyards Paired with Braised Beef Short Ribs
Please join us this morning at 10 am CST on Twitter for a fun and lively discussion on our American and French food and wine pairings at #WinePW. Also, join us Saturday, August 15 as we explore Portugal, a land of delicious food and outstanding wines!