Tag Archives: melted

Reaching for the ‘clouds’ for the New Year!

Well hello to everyone… yes I realize it has been quite a while since my last posting, but there were many obstacles that prevented me from having the time to focus. Hopefully this will be a new blogging beginning for the New Year!
With 2015 finally upon us and an annual Holiday get-together with our friends approaching tonight, I felt this would be the best time to kickstart everything into motion.
Starting with ‘what can I bring’ to our amazing hostess, the words ‘how about dessert’ was music to my ears! After thinking about something out of the norm, I settled on a triple layered hazelnut mocha pavlova, with a hazelnut liquor cream filling…
It all started yesterday by roasting hazelnuts [the amount is your choice, but I went with six ounces] in the oven and also melting milk and dark chocolates [another six ounces] over simmering water. Both were set aside to cool…
While the nuts and melted chocolates cooled, six egg whites were whipped with a pinch of kosher salt until soft peaks formed, from there the sugar began to slowly get added until the whites became glossy and stiff. Once stiff peaks were evident, vanilla and almond extracts were added and the mixer then turned off. The chopped hazelnuts and a cup of chocolate chips were gently folded into the shiny pillowy mixture, as well as the cooled, melted chocolate to create a lovely marbled wonder.
Poured onto three parchment drawn discs and spread out, it was then into the 225*F oven for two and a half hours. Once cooked, the door was opened and the pavlova’s left to cool completely.
For the whipped filling, I beat cream and some hazelnut liquor until firm. This boozy filling was spread on each layer and stacked. The pavlova tier was popped into the refrigerator to ‘set-up’ overnight and then this edible beauty was dressed with some shaved dark chocolate on top before packing up and heading to the party!
The end result… crisp exterior with a slightly chewy center and a creamy delight to hold everything together… a total favorite!
What will I bake next???

-R

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4480-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4484-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4485.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4488.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4491-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4492-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4493-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4479-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4473-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4476.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4499.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4502.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4503.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4505.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4507.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4511.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4513.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4516.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4518.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/db9/31002970/files/2015/01/img_4517.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

tasty balls’ on a bun…

So early this morning I woke to the craving of a meatball ‘parm’ sandwich… I, not shunning a good old fashioned pizzeria, decided that I would make a beautiful pot of sauce [enough to have leftovers for other occasions] and homemade meatballs!
A trip to the market yielded everything I needed to pull this home-run together…
While the sauce simmered away, I got cranking on my balls’… and I must admit I offer up some of the best tastin’ balls around!
To bring this whole story together and serve it up, I toasted some buttery brioche buns, sliced some fresh mozz [melted this of course] and capped these bad boys and began chomping!
Needless to say, one sandwich per person was no way enough…

at a low simmer…
-R

20130717-210435.jpg

20130717-210444.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

what are you bananas!!

With a few bananas remaining from the cake I made this past weekend, I decided rather than tossing then out they’d do better mashed up into a wonderful banana bread! This wasn’t just any banana bread, but rather a boozy banana bread…
I soaked sweet little golden raisins in some delicious bourbon. Once plumped up and juicy, they went into my batter that was full of the mashed bananas, chopped pecans, vanilla, two eggs, one cup of flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, a half teaspoon of baking soda and salt, one stick of melted butter and sugar.
Once everything was combined, it was into a loaf pan and then off for a nap for fifty minutes on 325. After a quick test for complete doneness, I had to taste! There was very little willpower, but tasting this freshly baked beauty was a necessity. Served up with some vanilla-infused mascarpone made this luxurious delight even more spectacular!
The boozy raisins offered a wonderful addition to the sweetness of the bananas. This definitely will be on my breakfast menu tomorrow!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130307-204347.jpg

20130307-204404.jpg

20130307-204420.jpg

20130307-204435.jpg

20130307-204447.jpg

20130307-204510.jpg

20130307-204521.jpg

20130307-204550.jpg

20130307-204602.jpg

20130307-204616.jpg

20130307-204635.jpg

20130307-204650.jpg

20130307-204702.jpg

20130307-204718.jpg

20130307-204751.jpg

20130307-204813.jpg

20130307-204827.jpg

20130307-204841.jpg

20130307-204900.jpg

20130307-204910.jpg

20130307-204919.jpg

20130307-204930.jpg

20130307-204942.jpg

20130307-204951.jpg

20130307-205011.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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…
-R

20130205-211523.jpg

20130205-211542.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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…
-R

20130120-205626.jpg

20130120-205633.jpg

20130120-205642.jpg

20130120-205651.jpg

20130120-205658.jpg

20130120-205705.jpg

20130120-205714.jpg

20130120-205725.jpg

20130120-205733.jpg

20130120-205747.jpg

20130120-205757.jpg

20130120-205844.jpg

20130120-205853.jpg

20130120-205859.jpg

20130120-205911.jpg

20130120-205931.jpg

20130120-205939.jpg

20130120-205948.jpg

20130120-205957.jpg

20130120-210011.jpg

20130120-210027.jpg

20130120-210107.jpg

20130120-210114.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

‘winna’… ‘winna’… was this chicken ‘dinna’

So tonight was a simple dinner decision… chicken with mushrooms, garlic and shallots.
I floured and dipped in egg some thinly pounded chicken breasts. The chicken was pan fried in some melted butter and just enough olive oil to give a light, golden crust. To the chicken, went a splash of white wine to just keep everything delicious!
While the chicken was cooking, I sautéed the mushrooms, garlic and shallots in olive oil until tender. To the mushroom mixture, I added some Marsala wine and reduced everything.
To finalize the cooking, I nestled the chicken into the mushrooms and placed the pan into the oven covered…
Once completely cooked through, it was time to plate and enjoy! Succulent and full of amazing flavors, this was not your ordinary boring chicken dish…

at a low simmer…
-R

20130117-205152.jpg

20130117-205200.jpg

20130117-205207.jpg

20130117-205214.jpg

20130117-205226.jpg

20130117-205325.jpg

20130117-205345.jpg

20130117-205352.jpg

20130117-205404.jpg

20130117-205438.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

south of the border…

So tonight was a nod to a summer favorite… guacamole! It’s been what feels like a while since I’ve made a fresh, creamy batch. Since we couldn’t [well I guess we could have] just eat a bowl of freshly made guacamole, I thought why not make a whole meal around it!
So marinated skirt steak fajitas and arroz con crema seemed to be the perfect idea… To top the fajitas, sautéed onions and peppers and fresh squeezed lime juice.
For the arroz con crema… I prepared some rice. Once the rice was done, in went two cups of heavy cream, chopped roasted poblano peppers [just tossed on the grill until charred, covered with plastic wrap and then peeled], pozole, cilantro, monterey jack and cojita cheeses. Everything was stirred until combined, melted and creamy!
To build up these skirt steak fajitas… a spoonful of the arroz con crema was spread on a tortilla, along with the sautéed onions and peppers, the grilled skirt steak, a dollop of the guacamole and a squeeze of the lime juice.
Each bite was full of so many different flavors… creamy, citrusy, sweet, savory! Guacamole thank you for an exciting meal…

at a low simmer…
-R

20130108-214051.jpg

20130108-214058.jpg

20130108-214104.jpg

20130108-214110.jpg

20130108-214115.jpg

20130108-214120.jpg

20130108-214202.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

we’re all entitled to some decadence…

To start the week off right, it was best to do it on a sweet note!
A whiskey chocolate tart topped off with luxurious, homemade whiskey whipped cream…
The tart was made using a cookbook I received as a Christmas present. I adapted it from one large tart into mini-personal sized ones.
The crust was made using shortbread cookies, sugar, salt and some melted butter. The cookies, sugar and salt are pulsed in a food processor, and then the melted butter stirred in until everything was incorporated. Pressed into the mini tart pans, the crust was cooked till just before browned…
While the crust cooled down, some milk and heavy cream were heated. Once hot, but not boiling, off the heat chopped milk and dark chocolates were whisked into the milky mixture until smooth.
In a separate bowl went some flour, an extra-large egg [plus an additional yolk] and some whiskey! Everything was beat together and then added into the chocolate mixture and whisked until combined.
The silky, chocolatey mixture was eased into the cooled shortbread crusts and popped into the oven and baked until slightly set, but wiggly in the center.
To finish this story, a hefty dollop of the homemade whipped cream and it was time to begin eating! Rich and decadent, full of chocolatey goodness… this was truly a spectacular dessert!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130107-210554.jpg

20130107-210602.jpg

20130107-210607.jpg

20130107-210615.jpg

20130107-210623.jpg

20130107-210629.jpg

20130107-210636.jpg

20130107-210644.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

meat and potatoes…

So what better way to warm up on a chilly night than with a hearty bowl of beef stew piled high atop creamy and oh so delicious yukon gold mashed potatoes!
I started by browning the meat [tossed with flour and seasoned with salt]… once browned the meat was set aside and some new olive oil went down into the pot! Then in went six carrots and celery, along with four leeks that I chopped up. Some more salt and a bunch of stirring helped soften the veggies and also scrape off the yummy goodness that formed on the bottom of the pot! After the veggies were smelling amazing, in went some chopped garlic [go crazy] and a can of tomato paste… some additional stirring ensued until the paste almost melted away and just offered a beautiful richness in the pot!
Next came one of my favorites… two bottles of Guinness [stirred and reduced]. Once reduced, the meat went back into the pot and was covered with a quart of chicken stock, four bay leaves and a bundle of thyme!
Brought to a boil and reduced to a simmer, this lovely concoction cooked away for a little over an hour…
The last thing to do?? Plate over some velvety yukon gold mashed potatoes and enjoy like ravaged beasts!

at a low simmer…
-R

20121216-212317.jpg

20121216-212327.jpg

20121216-212335.jpg

20121216-212343.jpg

20121216-212350.jpg

20121216-212402.jpg

20121216-212414.jpg

20121216-212426.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

S[mash]ing good!!

So tonight, in order to be certain not an ounce of Thanksgiving deliciousness went to waste, I literally tossed everything that I had left together and whipped up my idea of an open-faced twice baked Thanksgiving potato!
The last of the leftover succulent turkey breast and remaining mash got a stir with some rendered bacon, scallions and a hefty helping of shredded cheddar…
This light and airy concoction was cooked off till the top was browned, the edges crisp and golden and the cheese melted and gooey…
Fluffy, cheesy and full of goodness… all that was missing was… well nothing actually!
It’s not the typical meal I would throw together, but it was better to make use of what I had, rather than throwing it out…

at a low simmer…
-R

20121126-211737.jpg

20121126-211742.jpg

20121126-211747.jpg

20121126-211754.jpg

20121126-211759.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,