This is the dessert I made for the last class of my 3-week cooking series at Les Gourmettes Cooking School. The semester ended last night – it is officially summer for me. No more classes until September.
Since I made this during class, I don’t have any step-by-step photos for you, but the recipe is straight forward.
This is the perfect dessert for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, or honestly for any day of the week this summer. Enjoy!
May 16, 2013 5 Comments
My Mother’s Day menu was featured in yesterday’s Food & Drink section of the Arizona Republic.
Here are photos and links to the recipes.
May 9, 2013 1 Comment
One of the things you’ll usually find in my refrigerator is caramelized onions, sometimes called onion jam.
The process of cooking the onions is slow, but crucial to achieve that soft, tender, sweet caramelized taste. On the plus side, they can be made days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or even frozen.
Considered the crown jewel of dates, Medjool are prized for their large size, extraordinary sweetness and chewy texture. They were once reserved for Moroccan royalty and their guests.
Put the sweet onions together with the sweet dates, wrap them in bacon, and you have perfection! Serve these to your family and guests and thank me later.
May 7, 2013 2 Comments
The lucky students received the added bonus of Barbara Fenzl’s delicious Squash Blossom Quesadillas at the start of the class.
Once again, I was on the happy receiving end of a basket full of goodies! I brought them home and made Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms, intending to share the recipe here.
Then I discovered that I’ve already posted the recipe, nearly to the day, two years ago. CLICK HERE to see.
Of course, with that many squash blossoms, I also had to make Barb’s fabulous and super easy quesadillas!
May 6, 2013 2 Comments
These shrimp are not only perfect for Cinco de Mayo but equally so for a quick weeknight meal or a big party.
We’re looking forward to going to the James’ annual Cinco de Mayo party tonight! See you soon, Lisa! Eieieiei Ariba!
Guajillo [gwah-HEE-yoh] chiles are dried peppers with a bright tangy taste and kick of heat. Find them in the grocery store alongside the other Hispanic ingredients.
May 5, 2013 2 Comments
I wanted to let you know that there is a new heading in the Complete Recipe Index under the “Holidays” tab – Cinco de Mayo. It was called to my attention yesterday that it was missing. It is there now, with more than 35 dishes listed, the following recipe included.
I found this creative dessert on Pinterest. Over the years, I’ve made fruit pizza for many parties and cooking classes. You know – the recipe where you make a sugar cookie crust, top that with a frosting and then arrange cut fruit and berries on top.
This is a fun take on that. Instead of sugar cookie crust, we have sugar cookie “tortilla” chips. The frosting is colored to look like guacamole. And the fruit is chopped to imitate salsa.
Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!
You’ll notice that the recipe calls for pure lemon oil or lemon bakery emulsion instead of lemon extract. (I didn’t have lemon bakery emulsion, but wanted you to see a bottle of it, hence the almond in its place.)
What is the difference between the three?
An extract is flavoring dissolved in alcohol, while an emulsion is flavoring suspended in water with an emulsifier. Pure essential oils are more pure and clear-tasting and stronger in flavor when placed in a batter than an extract.
Bakery emulsions keep the incorporated flavors more stable while your mixture goes through temperature changes, and they combine more easily with other emulsions (such as butter, sugar, and egg) than extracts do. When extracts hit the heat and the alcohol evaporates, so does a bit of the flavor.
Not that extracts are bad. Extracts are perfect for everyday baking where the flavor is playing a supporting role rather than a starring one. Such as vanilla in a batch of chocolate chip cookies. The oils and emulsions are what you want to use when you want that specific flavor to really shine through and to give intense flavors to things like candies, frosting, and fillings.
That’s it for the flavorings lesson today… on the the recipe…
May 3, 2013 1 Comment
Are you hosting or attending a Cinco de Mayo party this weekend?
If so, I have the perfect thing for you to serve or bring.
Serve these flag inspired crudités with your favorite dip or salsa.
May 2, 2013 2 Comments
On Monday, Chef Beau MacMillan from Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain was the guest instructor at Les Gourmettes. The class and the menu were outstanding. This dessert was the crowning glory. Beau made a dense, not too sweet, polenta-pistachio cake, topped with olive oil cured strawberries and drizzled with a winning zinfandel-dried cherry syrup. Out of this world!
Since he brought pre-made individual cakes, I was the happy recipient of the cake batter he demonstrated for the class. My boys will be so happy with their dessert this coming weekend!
May 1, 2013 1 Comment
On the last day of Les Gourmettes classes last week, Barb sent me home with a big box of spinach and a package of feta. Both would have gone bad in her refrigerator – since she would be eating out all weekend.
The following pasta recipe is what I created with it.
Waste not, want not.
It’s magical to watch a huge pile of fresh spinach wilt down …
and down … to a little handful of cooked spinach …
… in only a couple minutes.
April 29, 2013 No Comments
I’m not sure if the official temperature yesterday was 100 degrees in The Valley The Sun, but my car thermostat said it was.
No matter, if it wasn’t – it will be either today or tomorrow – and It Is Too Soon to be hitting triple digits! I’m not ready for the heat.
For that reason and more, today I shall give you a recipe for a cool and refreshing chicken and bean salad that you don’t have to heat up your kitchen for. An added bonus … it is Easy-Breezy!
I call for canned white beans for the recipe, If you are the observant type, you may notice that is not what I used. The only reason is because I had more beans left from the batch I cooked up for this THIS recipe.
April 28, 2013 2 Comments