Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Busy December in my kitchen...

It has been a very busy month in (and out!) of my kitchen!
Here's a little sample:
Dark Chocolate Truffles
for Cooking Club Holiday Party
Brie-Spinach-Cranberry Puff Pastry Pinwheels
for Cooking Club Holiday Party
Labels for Holiday Cookies

Cranberry-White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
drizzled with Dark Chocolate

Holiday Treats for Co-Workers and Neighbors
Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake):
Orange- flavored Genoise, Brushed with Cointreau Syrup,
Filled with Orange Marmalade,and Topped with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chickpea Noodle Soup

Snow Day! No school! Yay! We can take it easy in the morning and eat homemade pancakes for breakfast. Then head outside to have a snowball fight and make a snowman. When we get cold and hungry, we rush back in for some warm soup. In the afternoon, there's more outside play (sledding anyone?), and more yummy comfort food like Nutella crepes and hot cocoa while watching a Christmas movie. Truly a perfect day in my book!

This soup is a nice “veganized” version of the classic chicken noodle soup. It's so good, I don't even miss the chicken. I hope you'll give it a try, it's a winter favorite in my house!

Serves 6
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 cuillère à soupe d'huile d'olive
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped = 1 petit oignon, coupé en petits morceaux
  • 4 oz. cremini mushrooms, chopped = 110 g de champignons cremini, coupé en morceaux
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced = 1 gousse d'ail, émincé
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled & chopped = 4 carottes, épluchées et coupées en rondelles ou demi-lune
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced = 2 branches de céléri, coupé en morceaux
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme = 1 cuillère à café de thym
  • 4 oz (uncooked) egg noodles = 110 g de pates
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed = 1 boite de 425 g pois chiches, drainés et rincés
  • 4 cups vegetable broth = 950 ml de bouillon de légumes
  • 2 to 4 cups water = 425 à 950 ml d'eau
  • salt & pepper = sel et poivre
Heat olive oil in cast-iron Dutch Oven. Saute chopped onions and mushrooms in olive oil for a few minutes. Add garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, and pepper and saute for another 5 minutes.

Add vegetable broth and 2 cups water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Add noodles and chickpeas, add more water if you wish, and simmer until noodles are cooked. Season to taste. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Turkey-Pumpkin Lasagna

This is a great way to use any leftover turkey you may have but it also works with chicken, ground turkey, or simply keep it vegetarian by substituting sautéed mushrooms for the meat.

Serve with mixed greens and a crisp white wine and you have a great dinner!

Serves 4-6

For the béchamel:
  • 3 tablespoons butter = 45 g de beurre
  • 4 tablespoons flour = 4 cuillères à soupe de farine
  • 2 cups (whole) milk = ½ litre de lait (entier)
  • pinch nutmeg, freshly grated = pincée de noix de muscade
  • salt & pepper = sel et poivre
For the lasagna:
  • 8 pieces no-boil lasagna = 8 feuilles de lasagne
  • 1 cup ricotta = 250 g de ricotta
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten = 1 oeuf, légérement battu
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree = 120 g de purée de citrouille ou potiron
  • 1 cup shredded gruyère cheese = 100 g de gruyère râpé
  • ½ turkey breast, cooked and cut-up in tiny cubes = ½ blanc de dinde, cuit et coupé en petits dés

Start by making the béchamel: melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, add flour and cook until golden, stirring a few times. Pour in half the milk gradually, stirring vigorously with a whisk until smooth, then stir in the remaining milk. Keep whisking for a minute or so. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until sauce has thickened.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine ricotta, egg, pumpkin and ½ cup cheese in a bowl.

To assemble: spread about 1/3 cup of béchamel at the bottom of a square baking dish. Place 2 pieces of lasagna side by side. Top evenly with ½ cup of ricotta mixture and sprinkle with about 1/3 of the turkey bites and 2 tablespoons shredded gruyère. Spread another 1/3 cup béchamel and continue layering: lasagna, ricotta, turkey, gruyère and béchamel, twice. Top with remaining 2 lasagna pieces, pour remaining béchamel and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese on top.
Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes. Remove foil and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!