French Syle Supper: Steak Tartare

IMG_1086Rather a long while back, I posted an entry about a French Style Supper that I made inspired by Becoming Madame and Market Day Canelé – but, me being me, I never posted the recipes. Shame on me! So, here is the first recipe of three. A little disclaimer: this is not a recipe for the squeamish – it’s got raw things in it. 🙂 Steak Tartare

Cocktail of the Week: Sandy Sour

297149_618586111758_1854603337_nI was shuffling through my collection of cocktail recipes, when I found this one. As we are approaching the first anniversary of Sandy’s devastation here in New Jersey, it seemed appropriate. Our family was very lucky – we live in a relatively sheltered house, we had just had a generator installed, and we have a fireplace. No trees fell on our house (though many fell around it, and one very large tree took out the power lines to the house); the water ran around us. Our house remained standing (though, to me, sleeping on the second floor, it sure didn’t sound like it would). So, after the storm passed, and we could not leave the house, we were comfortable. Many, many were not nearly so lucky. I’d like to dedicate this drink to them. When you mix it, remember those who lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods in Super Storm Sandy. See Recipe

Grown Up Milkshakes

A chocolate milkshake. One of the joys of childhood. What better way to update it as you mature than to add rum? It’s a dessert and a digestif all blended into one. Yum. In fact, it was so tasty that I didn’t even wait to take a picture of it. All gone! And what could be easier? Start with your favorite chocolate ice cream (ok, ok, it doesn’t have to be chocolate), add as much or as little milk as you like (it all depends on how thin you like your shake – I’m a thick shake girl). Throw it all in a blender with 1-2oz of rum and, voila! A grown-up milkshake! Enjoy.

Cocktail Of The Week: Piña Coladas

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When the summer begins to heat up, there’s nothing like a good tropical drink to get you in the summer mood. If only that drink came with a white sandy beach… well, I guess you can’t have everything. You’ll just have to make do with an awesome piña colada – and perhaps a pool if you’re lucky enough to have one. Otherwise, post a picture of the beach on your wall, and look at it while you sip your drink. Breath deep. Exhale. Can you smell the ocean? Almost? Recipe

Chocolate “Hostess” Cupcakes

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Another fun thing to do when you’re home alone is to bake – and then bring things into work so that you don’t eat it all yourself, and so your coworkers like you. 🙂 I’m particularly partial to cupcakes myself – chocolate please! Usually I just make my favorite chocolate cake from Gourmet, Dec ’87. After all, that’s the year and month I was born – it must be made for me, right? But, this time I decided to switch things up a bit. I’ve never made a chiffon cake before ’cause I’ve always heard they were more finicky. Maybe they are, but I had good luck with this recipe, and now, in my opinion, chiffon is the way to go for cupcakes. Light, fluffy, moist. But they have a firm enough texture that they don’t fall apart when you take a bite. Perfection. I even ate one without any frosting and it was good! But then, to top it all off – to guild the lily as the saying goes – I decided to fill them with pastry cream and smother the top in chocolate-coffee ganache. What?!

Cocktail of the Week: Updated Bellini

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On a Saturday morning, home alone for the first time in months, what are you going to do? Make brunch of course. Brioche French Toast, sausage, maple syrup, whipped cream. Let’s go overboard here. Because…why not? And what is more necessary to a good brunch than a glass of something sparkling? “Pull out the bubbly!” But it’s also summer time – the time of year when fresh fruit cravings are at their height. But, horrors, there’s none in the house! What to do? Ah, yes! That frozen fruit picked way long ago, that has just been chillin’ waiting to be put to good use. Peaches! Peaches and bubbly! What could be better? Frozen peaches puréed in the food processor with a touch of lime juice, and voilá: peach ‘sorbet’. Put a scoop in the bottom of a champagne glass. Fill (carefully) with bubbly. Stir gently and enjoy. Perfect summer brunch cocktail.

The Revelation of French Buttercream

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You know how American buttercream frosting is always really sweet (4 cups of sugar?!) and no matter how long you heat and stir it, it never seems to get smooth? You know how those nice bakeries always have really smooth, buttery buttercream? Well, as usual, the French have the culinary answer. Read More

Roll Your Own: Sushi

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Not too long ago, we decided to try a little experiment. We all love sushi – I mean love it. We can’t get enough. Especially with that totally un-authentic spicy mayo. But good sushi is SO expensive, and who KNOWS what they’re putting into that spicy, creamy deliciousness?! So, why not try making it ourselves? There’s a fish market in Stockton that carries INCREDIBLY fresh fish, and although his prices are high, it still comes out to way less than three people eating out at a sushi place.

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Sunday Lunch: Salad Lyonnaise

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Salad Lyonnaise is, possibly, the perfect brunch dish. Salty bacon bits. Vinegary dressing. Ooey, gooey egg. In other words: salty, crunchy, egg-y perfection. What’s not to love? Add some crisp potatoes and you’re on the road to nirvana. Get ready to be converted to Sunday Lunch done right. You’ll never go back. Promise. See Recipe

French Style Supper

Inspired by Becoming Madame.

Every few weeks, we go to a farmer’s market in Chestnut Hill, a neighborhood in Philly, and we get these amazing French-style tarts (sweet and savory) from Market Day Canelé. The flavors vary from week to week depending on what is fresh and in season. This past weekend we were not going to get there because we had prior plans.

I had recently discovered the blog Becoming Madame, and I had read her three posts on “Eating like the French“. So I thought, inspired by these posts, why not make my own French-style tarts? Especially since I already had beef for steak tartare thawing in the fridge and needed a second course to accompany it. Done. I would make a quiche/tart. And while I was at it, I might as well use those apples sitting in the fridge. Apple tart it is! The resulting menu was: Steak tartare, bacon and onion quiche, and apple, cardamom cream tart. I had small serving of yogurt between the main course and dessert, my parents opted for a small glass of kefir – same concept. We accompanied all this with a bottle of Gruet Blanc de Noirs, because who doesn’t like a little dry bubbly? The result was quite satisfying – and my first attempt at steak tartare was a success, if I do say so myself. Thanks for the idea, Becoming Madame!