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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trying New Recipes

I've tried several new recipes this week and am happy with all of them.

First, there was a recipe in last month's Cooking Light for Peanut Butter Banana Bread. I had several bananas that needed to be used and this recipe sounded good. It was!

Next, I was looking through one of Patricia Wells' cookbooks and came across a recipe for white beans. It called for a whole bunch of sage, I happened to have fresh sage and a pack of dried navy beans, so I made it. I think this was my favorite from this week's cooking. I soaked the beans for a couple of hours, then simmered them for about 3 hours in chicken broth with 10 cloves of garlic, the sage and two bay leaves. The beans had a very homey taste. I had some pork in the freezer so I cooked that in the oven and we had the beans, pork and homemade cornbread. It was good!

Next, I was in the mood to try "poaching". I bought boneless/skinless chicken breasts and used aromatics I had on hand. I poached the chicken in water, white wine, sliced lemons, thyme, salt, pepper. When it was done, I sliced it and served over noodles with poached asparagus and a baguette. It was very good!

Yesterday, I made lemon tarts. I had a lot of lemons that needed to be used. I had bought ready-made tart shells (I know!) and used a recipe I found on epicurious. It has been really hot here the last couple of days and they were very refreshing.

Next, I'm going to go experiment with making an appetizer using puff pastry and a goat cheese/herb mixture. I'll take this to book club tonight.

Then, I'm done experimenting for the week. We're going to Lake Burton for the weekend and hopefully I'll be able to just "throw something on the grill" and be done with it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paris Markets

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Paris was the street markets. I could have just curled up and stayed there all the time. One day, I'll go there and shop every day and cook a great meal every day from food just purchased at the markets in Paris. I wish I was there right now, planning a meal, shopping for the food, and coming back to my apartment there and preparing an awesome meal. Ahhhhhh...

I have a lot of pictures of food at the markets, but here are highlights. I went to a market street called Rue Mouffetard and another called Marche Montorgueil. Both were awesome with separate vendors for fish, bread, cheese, wine, meat, and on and on. It was heaven.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. I could just cry, it was such heaven. I was drooling. Did I say this made me very happy?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Le Cordon Bleu Paris

Last week, I had the great opportunity to cook for a day at
Le Cordon Bleu Paris! We prepared three chicken recipes, Poulet En Papillote A La Saugle Et Au Citron, Fricassee De Poulet A L'Estragon, and Poulet Facon Sate. All three were delicious.

When I arrived, I checked in and we had breakfast of croissants and coffee. We were then taken upstairs to our cooking room for the day....we cooked in the classroom dedicated to Julia Child!

Our chef, Marc Thivet, spoke in French the whole time but there was an interpretor. We started with the 1st dish, Chicken with sage and lemon en papillote. Then moved on to the Chicken fricassee with tarragon sauce. We started with a whole chicken, cut it into pieces and got busy. The chicken was labeled Loue, the region it came from. Fresh chicken, free-range, never sealed in plastic!

Once we had two dishes completed, we were treated to lunch.....what a spread! Terrines, pates, cheese galore, wine, bread....It was really good and a treat.

The third recipe we made was Satay style chicken. We were given all the food we had made to take home with us. We had also made a lovely potato dish and the chef had made a vinaigrette dressing to go with salad greens, also given to us to take with us. Since "home" was a hotel room, I had some of the food for dinner that night in the hotel cafe and shared with the young man working the desk. He said it tasted like his grandmother's cooking. I took that as a compliment. The rest I shared with the hotel staff working the next day.

If you want any of the recipes, just email me at dinnerathome@bellsouth.net

What a great day!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back From Paris

I just spent ten awesome days in Paris. I had never been before, I went by myself, spent the whole time exploring Paris except for one day-trip to Claude Monet's home and gardens.

Soon I will share highlights and pictures, including cooking at
Le Cordon Bleu Paris, the many miles of walking, eating in bistros, awesome street markets. For now, I must prepare for a client cook day tomorrow, back to reality. Stay tuned!