Tag Archives: layers

birthday bonanza!

What better way to end a week than with a birthday celebration! This wasn’t just any birthday, but rather one for our little, well I guess not so little nine-year old pup…
No birthday would be complete without a vanilla cake baked from scratch and filled with a glorious vanilla custard between the layers… Topping off this towering delight, a light buttercream frosting [this was for the adults though, plain for the pups]!
After a little singing, blowing out candles, photo-ops including birthday hats and the opening of presents, it was then time to cut into the cake. The birthday boy and his brother both got to enjoy some cake, while we did as well, but also had cleanup duties…

at a low simmer…

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this meal really ‘stacked’ up…

After a serious craving for Italian food, I decided to do a deconstructed version of eggplant parmigiana for dinner…
Freestanding layers of crispy, breaded eggplant, slivers of melted fresh mozzarella, homemade sauce and sweet fresh basil leaves made this dish memorable [not to mention super flavorful]…

at a low simmer…



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French pastry Sunday baking…

Today was an amazing Sunday! A fun-filled day of baking with my niece who is an outstanding executive pastry chef. Get the two of us together in a kitchen and only delicious eats could be made!
We started off by preparing dough for freshly made croissants. After rolling out, folding and resting the butter-filled dough a few times, it was eventually time that we fill with an almond paste filling and bake off these gorgeous pastries. Flakey layers of buttery seduction with a sweet nutty interior made me think of breakfast in the European countryside with a captivating cup of freshly pressed coffee and the breeze blowing past…
In addition, French macarons were whipped up with a homemade pistachio filling. These light and chewy, pillowy sandwiches practically melted in our mouths, and one, two, three… well who really counted! All I can say is these were absolutely delightful.
The day could not have been better spent, or more enjoyable. I’m looking forward to our next baking adventure together and what incredible edibles we will create!

at a low simmer…
























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soups on!

As a cool, brisk day set in this Sunday afternoon the thought of a filling and hearty soup appeared a logical dinner choice!
Since I had lentils, carrots, celery, onion and garlic… lentil soup seemed a good idea. A simple soup that offers layers of textures and flavors and takes minutes to prepare [cooking time not included]!
A quick chop and sauté of all the veggies, a hit of crushed red pepper, a quick pick and rinse of the lentils, some chicken stock [or water and bouillon if you don’t have stock], salt if needed and that’s it! For an added extra, I tossed in some cubes of turkey ham. Everything is brought to a boil and reduced to a simmer and cooked until perfection has been achieved…
These hearty bowls of soup warmed us up on this chilly evening!

at a low simmer…








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napoleon, not just for dessert anymore!

When you think of a napoleon what comes to mind… dessert usually right? Well tonight I made a twist on a classic dessert and turned it into a savory dinner, an eggplant napoleon!
Easy to assemble, but packed with bursts of flavor. A few layers of fried eggplant were smeared with thin amounts of a goat cheese spread and topped with roasted red peppers. The eggplant offered a crunchy and salty bite, while the goat cheese spread provided a wonderful tanginess and the red pepper a slight sweetness! Bite after bite, I wanted more and more of this beautifully assembled napoleon… even though frying eggplant can be tedious, this will definitely make a wonderful addition as an appetizer to a party menu, as well as a filling and sexy dish for two…

at a low simmer…





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The waiting game…

So even though the kitchen is closed tonight, there is no way that some kind of magic couldn’t happen! I decided to prepare one of my all time favorite desserts… tiramisu. Super simple, super creamy and SUPER delicious. The only downside [not really a downside] is this a definite plan ahead dessert! You can’t make it after work and expect it to set the way it does overnight. This dessert recipe should come with a label stating… RESTRAINT required!
The ingredients: eggs [I only use extra large], sugar, mascarpone, a good strong pot of espresso mixed with some boozy stuff [I play around and bounce back and forth with different liquors], lady fingers [not the wimpy little ones you get in the bakery section, but the hearty kind] and this time I incorporated mini chocolate chips [got this idea from a recipe on saw on food network].
So I started by whisking the eggs and sugar till combined, then onto a double boiler to gently cook the egg mixture till light and fluffy! Once cooked through, the egg mixture is whipped till very creamy and thick using a standing mixer, mascarpone and chocolate chips get added and whisked in till just blended. Into the refrigerator to chill for an hour or so, then the fun begins! I take the lady fingers and start to dunk them into the espresso mixture [I recommend letting it cool so you don’t burn yourself] and start to layer them into a baking dish. Once all layered, a healthy addition of the egg mixture [cream] is spread across the top, then another layer of dunked lady fingers, another layer of the ‘cream’ and the one last layer of lady fingers and final layer of ‘cream’! Lightly covered with plastic wrap and into the fridge to take a nap and get all snug.
Now the waiting begins and the anticipation for dessert culminates… Ok ok maybe, just maybe I licked the bowl of the ‘cream’ clean… [of course that was just to make sure everything was going in the right tasty direction].
Stay tuned for pics tomorrow night after the tiramisu gets its shaving of dark chocolate and gets plated!

at a low simmer…





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