Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Be The Change...

As this year comes to a close, so does this blog...

Thank you for four wonderful years of cooking and blogging. I have enjoyed creating and sharing every recipe and post with you.

I feel like it's time for me to move on to new personal projects and focus more time and energy on my family and my community.

May 2015 be healthy and filled with love and inner peace.

Live in the Moment.
Remember to give thanks and spread kindness around you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Endive Leaves Stuffed with Crabmeat Ravigote

This classic New Orleans dish is a quick and elegant appetizer for the holidays!

Ravigote is French for “perked up”, what it means here is that it is nicely seasoned and a bit spicy. You are warned!

Serves 8 
  • ½ cup mayo = 100 g de mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Creole mustard = 2 cuillères à soupe de moutarde créole ou de moutarde à l'ancienne
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or white vinegar) = 1 cuillère à soupe de jus de citron ou de vinaigre blanc
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco) = ¼ à ½ cuillère à café de Tabasco
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped = 1 oignon vert, finement ciselé
  • 2 tablespoons small capers, drained = 2 cuillères à soupe de câpres, égouttés
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots = 1 cuillère à soupe d'échalotte, émincée
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley + extra for presentation = 1 cuillère à soupe de persil frais, ciselé
  • Pinch white pepper = une pincée de poivre blanc
  • Pinch dried dill = une pincée d'aneth séchée
  • 1 lb lump crabmeat = 450 g de crabe en morceaux
  • 4 Belgian endives, leaves separated = 4 endives, feuilles séparées

Combine all ingredients (except crabmeat and endive leaves) in a bowl and whisk to blend. Gently fold in the crabmeat, being careful not to break up the lumps. Adjust seasoning to taste. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

When ready to serve, spoon about two tablespoons of crab mixture onto each endive leaf. Sprinkle with additional chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Chicken with Apple Cider Sauce and Bacon Bits

One last autumn recipe before December hits!

I really like how the sweetness of the cider offsets the smoky saltiness of the bacon. Use any kind of bacon you like, even turkey bacon will do!

Serve it with mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed green beans. Yum!

Serves 4
  • 4 chicken breasts = 4 escalopes de poulet
  • Salt & pepper = sel et poivre
  • 2 slices of bacon = 2 tranches de bacon
  • Half small onion, minced = un demi petit oignon, émincé
  • ½ to ¾ cup apple cider = environ 150 ml jus de pomme
  • ¼ cup +1 tablespoon chicken broth = 60 ml + 1 cuillère à soupe de bouillon de poulet
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch = 1 cuillère à soupe de maïzena

Place chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to ½-inch thickness using a rolling pin. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Cook bacon slices in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and crumble in a small bowl. Add chicken to the same skillet and cook about 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken, set aside and keep warm.

Add minced onion to pan, cook a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add cider and ¼ cup broth, bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in bacon and return chicken to the pan. Let it all simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove chicken and plate to serve.

Mix cornstarch with one tablespoon of broth and add to the skillet. Let the sauce thicken for a couple of minutes. Pour cider-bacon sauce over the chicken and serve right away. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Autumn Quinoa Salad

I made this quinoa salad for a teachers luncheon at my son's school and it was such a hit that I got an email requesting my “secret” recipe! Haha, no secret here, I am always happy to share good food and recipes. I just wanted to bring something fresh, healthy, gluten and nut-free and vegan, so anyone could enjoy it! I quickly put the salad together with what I had on hand. You could substitute any nuts you like for the pepitas and add ¼ cup of crumbled goat or blue cheese.

Serves 6-8

For the salad:
  • 1 ½ cups tri-color quinoa = 250 g de quinoa
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced = 1 courge musquée, épluchée et coupée en petits dés
  • 4 oz. baby spinach or baby kale = 110 g de jeunes pousses d'épinards ou de kale
  • ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds or nuts = 30 g de pépitas (graines de courges rôties)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries = 30 g de cranberries séchées
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 minced garlic clove = 1 gousse d'ail, émincée
  • 1 tablespoon apple butter (or applesauce) = 1 cuillère à soupe de compote de pommes
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard = 1 cuillère à soupe de moutarde forte
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup =1 cuillère à soupe de sirop d'érable
  • ½ teaspoon salt = ½ cuillère à café de sel
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar = 3 ou 4 cuillères à soupe de vinaigre de cidre
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons olive oil = 6 à 8 cuillère à soupe d'huile d'olive

Place quinoa in 3 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, spread the diced butternut squash on a cookie sheet, spray with a little olive oil and sea salt and roast in 375-400° oven for about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa and roasted butternut squash, add about baby spinach, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries.

Put all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a mason jar, close lid tightly and shake to blend.

Pour dressing over salad {you may not need all of it, refrigerate any leftover} and toss well.

If making ahead, refrigerate salad until ready to serve. Let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Simply Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween is such a fun holiday. Carving your jack-o-lantern is definitely a must.
But wait!
Do NOT throw away those pumpkin seeds!
You can turn them into crunchy, salty, golden little gems. I like to roast mine very simply with a little EVOO and salt. But you can definitely spice them up or make them sweet. Either way, they are super addictive!

Oh and did I mention that pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are nutritional powerhouses? They provide many nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc. Definitely a snack you can feel good about!

Makes 1 to 2 cups
  • Pumpkin seeds from one medium pumpkin = graines de citrouille
  • Olive oil = huile d'olive
  • Sea salt = sel

Scoop the seeds out and rinse in a colander under running water. Let them dry for several hours or overnight. Transfer to a medium bowl and drizzle about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Stir until all the seeds are well coated. Then sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Give it another stir.

Spread onto a baking sheet (fitted with a baking mat). Roast for about 20 minutes in a 350°F / 180°C oven, stirring halfway through. Make sure not to burn them!

Remove from oven and let them cool down. Transfer to an airtight container.
Snack on them, add them to a homemade trail mix, or sprinkle on top of an autumn salad. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Oven-Baked Apple Butter

 Contrary to its name, apple butter doesn't have any butter in it! Apple spread would be a more appropriate name but apple butter it is! It is smooth and sweet and goes beautifully on top of Greek yogurt (my favorite way to eat it!) and oatmeal, or you can also spread it on buttered toasts or pancakes. Need more ideas, look here for more creative ways to use apple butter.

You can slow cook apple butter on the stove, but I like the hands-free oven method. Just stir once or twice every 30 minutes and let the magic happen: in about 3 to 4 hours, the sauce will reduce and reach a perfectly smooth and thick texture and a beautiful deep amber color. And your kitchen will smell amazing!

Feel free to can the apple butter (following proper safety procedures) as it makes a wonderful homemade holiday gift!
I just hosted my Cooking Club friends for a “Fall Feast” and I chose to pack my apple butter into mini plastic containers as a party favor for my guests. Cute, no?

Makes about 2 ½ cups
  • 4 pounds apples, peeled and chopped = 1.8 kg de pommes, épluchées et coupées en morceaux
  • 2 cups apple cider = 475 ml de jus de pomme
  • 1 cup light brown sugar = 200 g de cassonnade
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt = ½ cuillère à café de sel
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice = 1 cuillère à soupe de jus de citron
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon =1 cuillère à café de cannelle en poudre
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract = 1 cuillère à café d'extrait de vanilla
  • Pinch of ground cloves = une pincée de clou de girofle en poudre

Combine the apples, apple cider, brown sugar and salt in a large Dutch. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 20 minutes, until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves. Use an immersion blender (or puree in batches in a regular blender) until smooth.

Bake, uncovered, in a 250°F / 130°C oven, stirring every 30 minutes, for 3 to 4 hours, until it's thick and dark. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Maple Pumpkin Spiced Latte

This latte is autumn heaven in a cup! Sure, you can go to any coffee shop and get one but:
  1. You'd have to get out of the house
  2. You'd be spending your hard-earned cash – $5 for a latte? No thank you!
  3. Do you even know what's in that latte – real pumpkin? real spices? I don't think so.
I tried different proportions and sweeteners and to me, this one has the best balance of flavors. I especially love the touch of maple syrup but you could use ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.

Makes 1 serving
  • 2/3 cup freshly brewed coffee = 160 ml de café
  • 1/3 cup milk (any kind you like) = 80 ml de lait
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée = 2 cuillères à soupe de purée de citrouille
  • Pinch of cinnamon = une pincée de cannelle
  • Pinch of cloves = une pincée de girofle en poudre
  • Pinch of nutmeg = une pincée de noix de muscade
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup = une cuillère à café de sirop d'érable
Mix all the ingredients, except maple syrup, in a small sauce pan and heat over medium on the stove for a few minutes. Stir maple syrup in and transfer to a mug. Enjoy!