February 25, 2012

FFwD: Cheese-Topped Onion Soup

I've made French Onion soup before, but have always rushed the process with browning my onions.  This time, I started out patiently with what I thought was plenty of time to actually caramelise my onions and make a pot of soup.

Well, apparently I bought the non-browning onions for this recipe.  I cooked them on the lowest setting on my stove for 1 hour - no colour.  OK, the recipe said 1 hour or more, so I nudged the heat up a little and another 35 minutes passed - no colour.  So, now the husband is home and the in laws are on their way over and I have a pot of ghostly onions.  Patience lost at this point, I decided to crank up the heat and carry on!

As far as the cheesy top, I did it separately and served on top of the soup. Hopefully, reading other posts I can find the magic trick to brown onions successfully.

Happy French Friday!

I started crying at the 2lb. mark

My colourless soup, thank goodness for cheese toast!

February 21, 2012

TWD: Chocolate Truffle Tartlet

I intended to make this for Valentine's Day, but we already had a pan of brownies and plate full of peanut butter & chocolate cookies on the counter.  So, instead I made them at work and they were enjoyed by all.  This is one I'll make again soon!

The dough was easy to make but did sort of have a patchwork quilt appearance once I got it rolled out to fit my tart pan.  I didn't have individual ones, but they look so cute miniature that I may have to invest in some :o)

The filling was delicious and I even cheated by using Callebaut chocolate chips.  I didn't have any amaretti cookies or biscotti, so ended up using crushed up meringues.  They almost looked like marshmallows in the tart but didn't really had any crunch like the cookies would have... next time.

Delicious dessert, almost like a gooey brownie with a crisp cookie base.  My filling was quite thin, so I think the individual tart pans are definitely in my future.

This weeks recipe can be viewed on one of the hosts blogs A Whisk and a Spoon.

Happy Baking!

Served with whipped cream, but ice cream would be better ;)

February 17, 2012

FFwD: Mussels with chorizo with or without pasta

I'll be honest, I don't like mussels.  I've tried them and it's the texture of them that I don't care for.  My husband on the other hand loves them... Valentine's day made in heaven!  I thought I'll do mussels for him and I'll have the sauce with crab over pasta, perfect.

Once I got my little bag of goodies home, I remembered an episode of Barefoot Contessa where she talked about soaking mussels with flour and water to disgorge any sand.  Ina's never steered me wrong, so I soaked the mussels in 2 quarts of water with 1/3 cup of flour for 30 minutes and then cleaned them all up.

The chorizo and tomato sauce that went with these came together quickly and was delicious.  My husband loved it and had the mussels just with French bread (no grit or sand).  I did a separate pan of sauce for my crab and it was equally as yummy with pasta.  Happy hearts all around <3

All cleaned up and ready for the pot!
Looks good!
Crab version.

February 10, 2012

FFwD: Nutella Tartine

We aren't French, but Nutella is a staple in our house that is used on a daily basis.  My kids don't have PB&J in their lunch boxes, they have PB&N!  So, today they had turkey for lunch knowing what was coming after school.  

I bought some nice little brioche rolls for this sweet little treat.  I don't particularly like marmalade, so I made mine with some apricot jam that I had in the fridge.  Topped with toasted hazelnuts and enjoyed with a cup of tea!

Didn't plan this to look like a heart... have a
Happy Valentine's Day!

February 7, 2012

TWD: White Loaves

I'm so excited to start baking through the Baking with Julia cookbook from the beginning!  A few weeks ago I had my first experience with yeast making brioche rolls with the French Friday's with Dorie group.  This weeks white loaves recipe was pretty quick compared to those.

The smell of the bread baking was just as amazing though, yum! I probably cut into it before it was cool enough, but I just couldn't wait! If you go to the trouble of making homemade bread, you just must have it with real butter. It was delicious with just butter and even better with a little raspberry jam :) Made great toast the following morning too.

This week's recipe was chosen by Laurie (Slush) and Jules (Someone's in the Kitchen), the recipe is posted on Jules blog or you can find it in the cookbook, Baking with Julia.

Happy Baking!

February 3, 2012

FFwD: Gorgonzola and Apple Quiche

Every now and then you have one of those days when you should just step out of the kitchen.  Tonight was one of those nights!

All was going to plan until I smelt the smell of burning butter... I didn't have a tart pan so I used my spring form pan.  But, I didn't wrap the bottom with foil or put it on a baking sheet... don't know why it didn't dawn on me that all those lovely chunks of butter I could see in my dough were going to melt and seep through to the bottom of my oven, thank you nose!

Got the tart all assembled and into the oven, thought things were going good now.  Relaxing with my wonderful glass of CA Chardonnay (sorry folks, but French wine is just not the same and I miss my Napa wines) reading through the recipe... ARGGG, I forgot to put the egg & cream mixture on top!  Are you kidding me???  I wish I could say I'd drank 1/2 the bottle of wine, but at this point I hadn't made it through my first glass.  The tart had only been in the oven for 3 minutes (doesn't take me long to relax) so quick put the eggs in.  

What's missing from this photo?

Eggs!  Major component of a quiche!

Now, thinking ahead, I knew this might not be a favorite with my 9 & 6 year old, so thank goodness for back up chicken nuggets (sometimes you do what you gotta do).  And thank goodness I did, because after 15 minutes I went to put those nuggets in to find that half the egg had run through the tart and onto the baking sheet! 

It had a little puff in the center

Add caption

In the end, it was very tasty.  The husband & I enjoyed it with our salad and I'm looking forward to my lunch tomorrow!

Happy French Friday!

*Now watching Bon Voyage Charlie Brown (they're in France, how appropriate) with last glass of said Chardonnay ;o)

While the good husband was in England
for work this week, he found Far Niente at Costco!
Happiness ;o)