Category Archives: Recipe

The Black Beast

La Bete NoirOr “La Bete Noire”.

Either language they both mean the same thing. And it’s a wonderfully super rich, super chocolatey flourless cake with a layer of ganache on top. I can’t even begin to describe how rich and yummy this cake is. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream dessert! It’s heaven for chocoholics. It’s chocolate overload, and that’s a great thing! (Is there such a thing?)
I made this for my church Life Group meeting this past Tuesday. In fact a couple of women thought I bought it. One of them didn’t believe I made it until she saw the pan. My other friend asked if Sara Lee and I made it. I’m going to take it as a compliment. Now I’m not going to say who these two women are but their names rhyme with Fam and Fecky.

This recipe is from Bon Appetite’s September issue. The cake was on the cover and I’ve been wanting to make it for awhile now. I’m glad I finally made. It’s an easy recipe and a dessert that everyone will love. You will need a springform pan though.


Peachy Grilled chicken saladFor you peach lovers out there here’s a great recipe. I made it last week and I’m making it again tonight. I loved it, and I don’t even like peaches! I got this recipe from Bon Appétit.

Peachy Grilled Chicken Salad
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel* or fine sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
4 small skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 green onions, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon honey-Dijon mustard
2 peaches, peeled, pitted, diced
1 small avocado, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced radicchio 4 cups mixed baby greens (about 2 1/2 ounces)*A type of sea salt; available at some supermarkets and specialty foods stores.
Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil, lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in 11×7-inch glass dish. Add chicken and turn to coat. Marinate 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, onions, shallot, vinegar, thyme, and mustard in large bowl to blend. Mix peaches, avocado, and radicchio into dressing; toss to coat.

Grill chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface; cut crosswise into thin slices. Mix baby greens into dressing in bowl. Divide salad among 4 plates. Arrange chicken alongside and serve.

Makes 4 Servings.
Bon Appétit
August 2006

Great Recipe

A few weeks ago Rob asked (okay he pleaded) for some good home cooking. I think at the time I was really tired and hadn’t cooked in awhile. So I searched and search and found a few great recipe. This one’s become his recent favorite.

I made a few changes. I made the tahini sauce in a mini food processor. And I just pan fry the chicken because it’s easier. In central Florida it’s not always easy to find tahini. But I found mine at Super Target and I know Whole Foods has it too. I found the recipe on Epicurious.

If you make it, let me know how you liked it.
Roast Chicken with Asparagus and Tahini Sauce

2 lb asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (3 to 4 lb total)
1/3 cup well-stirred tahini (Middle Eastern sesame paste)
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced

Put oven racks in middle and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.Toss asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan. Roast on bottom rack, shaking pan once or twice, until just tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet (not nonstick) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, turning over once, until golden, about 6 minutes total. Transfer skillet to middle of oven and roast until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

While chicken roasts, purée tahini, water, lemon juice, sugar, garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. (Add more water if sauce is too thick.)p>

Serve chicken and asparagus drizzled with some of sauce and with remaining sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings. Gourmet. Quick Kitchen April 2005

Dutch Celebration

Queen BeatrixIn honor of the birthday of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (that’s her on the left), the Dutch Association of Central Florida had a celebration in Winter Park! I thought, since Rob’s over there right now, I’m going to check out this celebration. Since I didn’t get to go to the Netherlands with him maybe I’d get a little taste of it here in Florida.

So I went this afternoon and it was a little celebration. But still tons of people wearing orange, which is the custom, and tons of orange balloons. (I almost felt like I was at Clemson tailgating.) I had a cream puff, which was good but not sure if it is a traditional Dutch dessert. I bought a big bouquet of beautiful tulips! (So hard to find here.) I saw people dressed in traditional Dutch clothing. Lot’s of people speaking Dutch. And I stood in line for about 30 minute for Poffertjes. I got to know the lady in front of me pretty well.

Would I stand in line that long again? Oh yeah! The Poffertjes were really good. Next time I’ll know to buy more than 1 serving. They are kind of like little mini pancakes, but much better. But you can check out the link for yourself. The recipe is on there.

Check out Rob’s post on his first day in the Netherlands.

Butternut Squash-Apple Soup

This is the soup recipe that I absolutely love and have blogged about several times. It’s a Williams-Sonoma recipe but they don’t have it online. The recipe was on a bottle of Butternut Squash Puree that I bought at the Williams-Sonoma store. It’s not available anymore but it’s easy to make squash puree yourself. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make it dairy free. If you have allergies to dairy, you can use non-dairy Earth Balance buttery spread instead of butter and it still comes out great!

Butternut Squash Puree
Cut the butternet squash in half lengthwise and place face down on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of the squash. The squash is ready when you can insert a knife into the squash easily. For this recipe you’ll need a big squash.

To puree the squash, spoon the inside out and put into a blender or food processor and puree. Add water depending on how thick you want it.

Butternut Squash-Apple Soup
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
2/3 cup (80g) finely diced peeled apple, sush as granny smith
1/2 cup (90g) minced shallot
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (60ml) dry white wine
4 cups Butternet squash puree
2 to 3 cups (500 to 750ml) chicken stock, warmed
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshley ground pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apple and shallot and saute until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ginger and cinnamon and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the butternt squash puree, 2 cups (500ml) of the stock and the sage, and seaon with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.

Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean large saucepan. Add more stock if needed to reach the desired consistency. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 6.

To enhance the flavor and texture of this soup, top each serving with one of the following garnishes: diced bacon sauteed with minced sage; diced apples sauteed with cinnamon and ginger; or crushed hazelnuts folded into lightly whipped cream.

Gluten Free Casein Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Spread
Originally uploaded by orangejack

I made the best Thanksgiving meal this year! Okay, I’m bragging, but let me just tell you – it was really good! I had to make sure Rob could eat it because of his food allergies to gluten (wheat, oats, barley, rye, malt) eggs, dairy and a few other things. So there’s no way he’d be able to eat our traditonal southern Thanksgiving meal. So I made some alterations to great recipes and everything was really good. I even made the cranberry sauce myself, which I’ve never done before.

Our Thanksgiving Menu:

Instead of real butter I used Earth Balance and it worked really well.

I was going to make a few other things too but didn’t get around to it. So I’m going to do it tomorrow and have it with leftovers.

The Best Sandwhich EVER!

I had the best sandwhich ever this afternoon for lunch. It was a Grilled Chicken Panini with pear and mango chutney, cranberries, and Havarti cheese! Yummmm! I can’t wait to get home and make it again. I love gourmet fancy food.

I’m in Arizona visiting my friend Hilary and we were in Bisbee which is an old copper mining town. If you’re ever there, the name of the cafe we ate lunch at was called Big Sky Cafe. I highly recommend it.