Tag Archives: luxurious

love in every bite…

With Valentine’s Day being on a Saturday this year, it was perfect to do something a bit different from years past… This meant making the entire experience a dual effort!
The day started by preparing our chocolatey dessert. Chocolate bowls were made, a chocolate sponge cake baked off, black cherries steeped in a sugary sauce and a creamy whipped topping all ready to be consumed later in the evening by the fireplace!
Our dinner was simple yet delicious; filet of beef wellingtons! It began by seasoning and searing the filets. Then red onions were sautéed in some luxurious European butter and cognac. This was then puréed into a slightly chunky ‘paste’. Each filet was then given a spread of dijon mustard, a nice dollop of the red onion paste, placed onto puff pastry and then covered over with a top layer of pastry. A brush of egg wash, tiny slit in the top and it was off to the oven for twenty-five minutes… When the wellingtons finally emerged, they were golden, puffy and full of lush flavors!
The day, as well as cooking/baking went off without a hitch… a day of romance, wonderful eats, champagne, snow and a fireplace! What more could we have wished for?

-R

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keep calm and c[u]rry on…

With a serious want for a wonderful Indian dish, but a lack of desire to go out for dinner on a Monday night… I decided to browse through some cookbooks and with what I had in the house, whip up a quick pork curry dish served with a coconut rice.
Green curry paste, sliced scallions and olive oil were the building blocks to what would soon be a delicious meal. After a quick sauté of the above, thinly sliced pork was tossed in and stirred around. Once the pork was no longer pink, in went some coconut milk, some shredded coconut, and water.
As soon as the whole lot was boiling, it all went down a notch, soybeans and sugar snap peas were added and it was time for a slow simmer to let everyone get to know each other.
After roughly twenty minutes, it was time to plate and surrender to this luxurious and flavor-laden dinner!

at a low simmer…
-R

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the cure for a deep freeze!

With a bleak and blustery day upon us, there was no question as to what to have for dinner. After raiding both the pantry and crisper a menagerie of elements were strewn across my island.
After a quick dice of two onions, a fine mincing of some garlic cloves and a rough chop of a carrot they were banished to my cast iron pot to begin to sweat down. While my veg was cooking away, some leftover ham was sliced up to join everyone in the pot, along with some luxurious organic split peas.
Once everything was thoroughly combined, some homemade chicken stock, water and salt was swirled in and the entire ‘soon to be’ soup was set to simmer away until thick and creamy!
As soon as the soup was ready, it was ladled lovingly into bowls, drizzled with some chili oil and topped with crispy noodles rather than croutons.
This meaty, slightly spicy and satisfying meal hit the spot and warmed us right up!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Freshly baked beauty…

With a stormy day forecasted today and a very sick other half, I felt the need to stay put…
After playing chauffeur to the doctor, once home I decided to make a loaf of bread, from my favorite ‘bread man’ Paul Hollywood, that I haven’t made in quite some time. This loaf is absolutely gorgeous when baked, but just so simple to prepare…
A combination of bread flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and water was kneaded in my mixer until pulled together and completely incorporated. Once smoothed and slightly elastic, the dough was set to rise in a lightly oiled bowl. The first rise took roughly three hours… After that rise, the dough was ‘knocked back’ and formed into a cylindrical shape. The dough was placed on a sheet tray and covered for a second rise. For this rise, I allowed the dough to nap for another three hours to develop an even stronger flavor.
Upon completion of its second rise, a spritz of water, dusting of flour and four deep slashes prepared this beautiful ‘bloomer’ for its bake. The scent of fresh bread baking wafted throughout the house and made the urge for a warm slice inevitable! As soon as baking finished off, a crusty golden and luxurious loaf emerged, and so did a slice to make certain it was as delightful as I expected…
Tonight this enticing bloomer will get a nice toast and slather of Nutella for some naughty goodness!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Pie for a birthday dinner!

For a special day, a special dinner is required… so for this birthday dinner, a luxurious lobster pot pie was necessary!
Gorgeous chunks of succulent lobster meat were added to a creamy concoction of chicken stock, cognac, onion, fennel, corn, peas and parsley.
Nestled into a rustic, homemade and flaky crust, this beautiful delight was baked off for an hour until the crust was browned and the filling bubbly!
Once ready, a beautifully large helping of this gorgeous pie was served up with steam and all…

at a low simmer…
-R

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who you calling honey!!

So after an evening of rising away, this morning was the bake-off of my gorgeous lavender honey and toasted almond sourdough!
This is not a bread that you suddenly think… ‘I think I’ll whip up a loaf of sourdough bread’, since this is a plan-ahead idea! Actually at least a week since you have to prep up a starter for the sourdough. I have a starter that I made months ago slumbering away in the fridge, however that is made using wholemeal flour, while for this loaf, I made a new starter of white bread flour.
Once my newest starter was fragrant and active, it was time to get baking! The recipe I used was that of Paul Hollywood and like most of his recipes, this one did not disappoint!!
It started with strong bread flour mixed with my starter and salt, along with some tepid water to bring everything all together. Once combined, a good kneading was necessary to activate this bad boy and give it that rise it so desperately needs. After its first rise [five hours], the dough is formed out into a square, spread with lavender honey [see my earlier post on this] and scattered with toasted sliced almonds. The square dough is rolled into a cylindrical form and rolled into a ‘crust’ of more toasted sliced almonds… After the loaves are covered with the almonds, they are off to rest for an additional nine hours [this was the overnight part] to rise again!
Once morning arrived, it was off to bake in a 375 degree oven for thirty-five minutes until golden and when tapped… hollow!
A slight cool down, a beautiful tear and it was time to devour with a luxurious cup of lady grey tea…

**if you are interested in the recipe, you can find it in the Paul Hollywood cookbook, ‘How to Bake’. I highly recommend the book**

at a low simmer…
-R

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a morning of glory [muffins]…

With the last few months pretty high on the emotions chart, it was a bit difficult to focus on much… Things are finally starting to ease back into normalcy and I thought was better to do than whip up a hearty batch of morning glory muffins for breakfast!
I had these luxurious little delights out in East Hampton and have been completely addicted since.
Chock-full-of delicious ingredients, these little domes of beauty are simple to prepare and the flavor element is incredible! For the recipe, two cups of flour, one cup of brown sugar, two teaspoons of baking soda and cinnamon, a half teaspoon of ground ginger and kosher salt are sifted and combined into a large bowl; in a separate bowl, three eggs, good vanilla, two-thirds of a cup of canola oil and one-fourth cup of orange juice are whisked together. Once the wet and dry ingredients are prepped, I cored one green apple and peeled four carrots. Both the apple and carrots were grated, and along with some coconut flakes, soaked golden raisins and wheat germ stirred into the dry mixture. As soon as everything was incorporated, I gently added in the wet mixture and mixed everything until fully combined and moistened.
The batter was scooped into a muffin tin and set to bake for twenty-five minutes at 375degrees. After cooling slightly it was time to rip open these spicy scented lovelies and enjoy with a silky cup of lady grey tea…
Couldn’t think of a better way to start off a weekday morning!

at a low simmer…
-R

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my twist on a classic…

With a soaking rain wreaking havoc on the day, I decided that it was the perfect excuse to bake up an amazing cheesecake!
I had been experiencing a severe craving for the creamy and luxurious dessert, and thought it would help lift my spirits to whip one up.
This cheesecake was different from your typical variety, as I used both cream cheese, along with goat cheese for an added tang and fuller depth of flavor.
The basic elements still went into the baking process, however I added gorgeous vanilla bean seeds in for a beautiful speckle and flavor, as well as a special homemade vanilla sugar.
The silky mixture was poured gently into a homemade graham cracker crust that I molded into my springform pan… It was then into the oven for roughly an hour until perfect.
Once cooked, it was time to set up and then take a doze in the fridge to really come together… As soon as the cheesecake was ready to be sliced, there was no stopping the diminishing that became evident!
The crisp and buttery crust hugged the velvety smooth mixture and just added to the sinful act that was occurring… I’m fine with committing that sin, and there will be no confession from me!

at a low simmer…
-R

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A warming Sunday supper!

So on this rainy and cold Sunday, I felt the desire to whip up something hearty and as expected… delicious!
Bangers and mash, something near and dear to my heart [as is my shepherd’s pie] seemed to be the perfect dish to make. So it was off to the market, were I picked up some girthy [would make anyone blush and take a second look] bangers! The name alone says it all…
Once home a quick prick [no pun intended] and it was time to brown these gorgeous, plump delights. As soon as they were browned, the bangers were set aside, while I sautéed some onions for a luxurious gravy to cascade over the finished dish. To the onions, a few tablespoons of flour and some chicken stock to slightly thicken the whole idea.
The bangers were added back to the onion gravy and simmered until fully cooked! While the bangers were getting to know their saucy counterpart, I was also in the process of making some of my kick-ass mashed p’s…
After a quick QC of the mash and gravy for seasoning, it was time to plate and basically inhale! Each mouthful made you want to shove another banger, dripping with that onion gravy and creamy mash, into your mouth… however we all need to practice some restraint at times! Ok maybe restraint didn’t happen during this meal…

at a low simmer…
-R

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a raving roast!!

With the warmer weather quickly approaching, I decided it best to get my oven related cooking out of the way since soon enough I will be doing less of it…
So to satisfy this method, I thought a succulent roast beef served on top of creamy, garlicky yukon gold mash! This luxurious dish began with a heavy salt of the roast and a quick roll in some flour. A light spanking of my meat to remove the excess flour and it was into a searing hot cast iron pot with some olive oil to brown!
Once browned, my hunk of meat was set aside while I tossed in sliced onions and baby portobello mushrooms to sweat down and gather all of that salty, meaty flavor…
The meat was returned to the pot and was given a heavy drink of pinot noir, along with a quart of chicken stock, a bundle of thyme and two bay leaves… As soon as everything came to a boil, the lid was popped on and the pot shot into a 325 degree oven for a long nap [three hours to be precise]… The end result… a buttery, fork tender roast in a seductive sauce!
Who knows perhaps this will be made again during the summer months; it’s just that good!

at a low simmer…
-R

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