29 November 2008

Salade de courges et patates douces rôties

In English here.Attention : Cette photo est une atteinte à la dignité des dindes.

Le président des Etats-Unis a beaucoup de responsabilités, les réunions d'état, les missions diplomatiques, le pouvoir nucléaire, etc., mais chaque Thanksgiving, il a aussi un rôle très important à jouer : il doit pardonner une dinde. Personne ne sait quelle faute ces dindes ont commises dans une vie antérieure pour mériter qu'on les tue en masse tous les quatrième jeudi de novembre, mais chaque année, il y en a une, au moins, qui est sauvée. Cette année c'était Pumpkin (ci-dessus avec toujours-président Bush, qui a l'air beaucoup plus à l'aise pour pardonner aux dindes que dans les réunions d'état). Pumpkin a été officiellement pardonnée par le président avant d'aller passer le reste de ses jours à Disney dans un parc pour animaux (oui, c'est vrai, je ne pourrais pas inventer une histoire pareille !).

Je dédie cette recette de Thanksgiving végétarienne à Pumpkin, même si je dois dire que chez moi, nous avons rôti une dinde absolument délicieuse et l'avons mangée avec enthousiasme à côté de tous les bons plats de légumes.

Ingrédients :
2 courges pomarines

2 patates douces
60ml huile d'olive
pincée de sauge
gros sel

une grosse poignée d'haricots verts
150g pousses d'épinards
50g noix de pignons grillées

Sauce :
60ml huile d'olive
1 c.s. vinaigre balsamique
1 c.s. vinaigre de Xeres
une gousse d'ail écrasée
1 c.s. jus de citron vert
1 c.c. moutarde

Préchauffer le four à 190C. Peler et couper en lamelles ou rondelles les courges et patates douces. Mettre du papier aluminum sur un plat à four et disposer les courges et patates douces dessus. Arroser d'huile d'olive, saler, poivrer, saupoudrer de sauge et mettre au four pendant 25-35 minutes.

Entre temps, faire bouillir de l'eau et cuire les haricots verts environ 3 minutes, jusqu'à ce qu'ils soient tendres, mais encore un peu croquants.

Dans un grand saladier, mettre les pousses d'épinard (bien lavées), les haricots verts, les lamelles de courge et patates douces rôties, et les noix de pignon. Mélanger tous les ingrédients pour la sauce et verser par dessus. Personnellement, j'aime bien servir la salade quand les haricots verts et les légumes rôtis sont encore un peu tièdes car cela fait un mélange de températures très agréable.

Sage-Roast Squash and Sweet Potato Salad

En français ici.

This Thanksgiving was my first in the new apartment, and so the first with an oven big enough to actually roast a turkey in. Not only did we do the oven justice by roasting a fresh beautiful bird in it, but we got good use out of the space in the kitchen: at one point we had no less than 4 cooks at one time, all put on the finishing touches on something different!!

Everyone contributed to the plentiful, homemade meal, and I was certainly thankful for such a wonderful dinner in good company. We surrounded the turkey with all sorts of veggie sides, including the best Brussels sprouts I've ever had (thanks Nick!), potimarron-potato gratin and wild mushroom bread pudding, both made by Camille, mashed potatoes, made by D., and the turkey, which we all consulted about and roasted together, quite an operation.

My side-dish contribution was this sage-roasted squash and sweet potato salad. I got the idea here and then played around with it a bit to fit in with the ingredients I had, and the proportions I wanted. I wasn't very meticulous about measuring, so you'll have to see what works for you.

2 medium-sized pomarine (or jack be little) squash
2 sweet potatoes
1/4 cup light olive oil
sea salt

1 1/2 cups green beans
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Xeres vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp mustard

Preheat the oven to 375F. Peel the squash and sweet potato and cut into small chunks. Arrange on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and sprinkle generously with sage. Cook in the oven until tender, about 25-35 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the green beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes, until bright green and tender but still a bit crunchy. Drain and set aside.

In a large salad bowl, combine the baby spinach, green beans, roasted squash and sweet potatoes, and pine nuts. Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and pour on top. I like to serve this salad while the green beans and roast veggies are still a bit warm because it makes for a nice temperature combination.

I'm submitting this recipe to the Vegetarian Thanksgiving - Recipe Carnival, over at Fun & Food Café. Head over here to take a look at fun vegetarian holiday recipes that have already been submitted.

I also wanted to say a big thank you to Ivy at Kopiaste, for awarding me the 360 Foodie Award. I'm honored. "This is an award to all our fellow foodie bloggers who take the effort and give every dish they prepare a 360 degree eye view."

There don't appear to be particular rules for this award, and I've been a bit too busy to think about who to pass it along to, so I'm going to have to defer on that for now, although many of the blogs I read do take special care to go in depth in their dishes and I appreciate that! Take a look over at the section "Good Cooking" for some examples.

26 November 2008

Meringues Noix-Clémentine

In English here.

Quand je suis arrivée en France, je n'avais pas de vrai four, que deux petits plaques électriques et une cuisine de la taille d'un timbre-poste. Quand des amis ont demandé ce que je voulais pour mon anniversaire, D. a répondu "un batteur électrique". Ils n'ont pas voulu le croire pensant qu'une jeune femme ne voudrait jamais quelque chose d'aussi domestique. A quoi ça servirait ? Eh bien, la réponse est très simple : à des meringues. D. adore les merinques et j'en faisais de temps en temps, sauf que sans batteur électrique (ah, quand on tombe amoureux, on fait des trucs de fou), mon bras mettait des jours à récuperer (sans four c'était une autre histoire et si je n'ai pas posté de recette avant, c'est bien parce que sans four, c'est difficile de trouver la bonne technique) !

Non seulement toutes les conditions sont réunies maintenant que j'ai déménagé et que j'ai ma nouvelle cuisine, mais dimanche dernier j'ai fait un dessert, Pots de crème à l'orange, qui utilisait 6 jaunes d'oeufs et pas les blancs. Qu'est ce qu'on fait avec les blancs d'oeufs qui restent ? Voilà une réponse et une autre recette très festive qui serait très jolie pendant les fêtes de fin d'année.

J'ai apporté ces meringues à Arras ce week-end pour remercier l'ami qui m'a fait découvrir cette très jolie ville sous la première neige de la saison.

Meringues Noix-Clémentine

3 blancs d'oeufs
une pincée de sel
150g sucre fin (si vous n'avez pas de sucre fin, passer du sucre en poudre normal au mixeur 30 seconds avant de l'utiliser)
1 c.c. sucre vanillé

1 c.c. zeste de clémentine
25g noix, coupées et grillées

Sortir les blancs d'oeuf du frigo quelques heures avant de commencer. Monter les blancs en neige au fouet électrique ou au batteur avec la pincée de sel. Ajouter le sucre petit à petit en continuant de fouetter jusqu'à ce que le mélange devienne ferme, brillant et lisse. Avec une cuillière, mettre les meringues sur une plaque au four que vous aurez préablement couverte avec du papier aluminum. Cuire au four à 105C pendant 1h30-1h45. Ensuite, arrêter le four et mettre une cuillière en bois de façon à ce que la porte du four soit entrouverte, pour laisser échapper la chaleur petit à petit. Laisser les meringues dans le four 4 à 6 heures ou pour la nuit.

Si vous les laissez sécher moins longtemps, les meringues vont avoir un milieu un peu moelleux. Si vous les laissez longtemps, elle vont être plus légères. C'est selon votre goût !

KKVJ - Couleurs d'automne

Avant de passer inévitablement à l'hiver (quoi ? c'est déjà trop tard ? mais non !), je vous laisse cette photo qui pour moi répresente les couleurs d'automne, surtout fin d'automne, et que je soumets au jeu Couleurs d'automne chez Papilles et Pupilles.

24 November 2008

Walnut-Clementine Meringues

En français ici.
Ok, I'm one day late for Sunday baking, but this weekend I had the good fortune to visit the beautiful town of Arras in the north of France where (stereo)typically the people are friendly and the weather is dismal. Although we've been trying to drag it out with all these gorgeous autumn photos and recipes circulating in the blogosphere, after this weekend, I think I can safely say "winter is here"! Time to start thinking about Christmas then, right? What? It's not even Thanksgiving yet? Ok, but almost and I'll get to that next week, don't worry.

This is the view at the Arras train station when I left. The train came on time (miraculously, despite a 2-day strike and the snow) but the high-speed train was not so high speed on icy rails! Understandably with this kind of weather, one has to find ways to stay warm. Let me recommend tasting local beers as a good way to do that:

What does all this have to do with today's recipe? Well as you might have figured out if you've been following closely, after the Pots de Crème à l'Orange last week, I had 6 egg whites just sitting around waiting to be turned into something festive and yummy to bring along on my adventure to thank my host. Did somebody say meringues? These seasonal meringues are as pretty as they are delicious. They look impressive and they're not all that hard to make even if they cook for a while.

3 egg whites
a heaping 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup superfine sugar (if you don't have superfine sugar, which I didn't, put 3/4 cup regular sugar in your mixer or food processor for about 30 seconds)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp clementine zest
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

egg whites with sugar and stiff peaks

Bring the egg whites to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200F/105C. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until the egg whites form soft peaks when you lift up the beater. (Technically you can make these without an electric beater, I've done it with a fork, but my arm is not willing to relive the experience!)

Add the sugar little by little while beating and beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks and feel smooth between your fingers (not too gritty).

Spoon the egg whites onto a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil. Sprinkle the clementine zest and walnuts on top and put in the oven, on a rack in the center. Cook 1 1/2-1 3/4 hours at 200F/105C. Then turn off the oven, stick a wooden spoon in to prop open the door slightly and let cool 4-6 hours or overnight. The less time you leave them to dry out, the more chewy the center will be, the more time you leave them, the more light and airy they'll be all the way through. It depends how you like them.

22 November 2008

Energy Food Roundup - Go Mom Go!!

Today's the day! Over the course of the day, my mom (along with 10,000 other people) is biking 109 miles to raise money for blood cancers. Personally, she's raised almost $10,000! A little over a week ago I launched my first ever blogging event in honor of her ride, asking for suggestions for energy food. I received 4 official entries and many more suggestions. Thank you to everyone who offered their recipes and advice. I passed it all along to my mom who was very touched by the support.

C'est aujourd'hui que ma mère (avec 10 000 autres personnes) fait sa grande course à vélo (175 km !) pour recueillir de l'argent pour la recherche de traitements pour les cancers du sang. Elle a déjà recueilli presque $10 000 ! Je suis très impressionnée. Il y a un peu plus d'une semaine, j'ai lancé mon premier challenge de blog : Energy Food Challenge pour la soutenir. J'ai eu 4 entrées officielles, et beaucoup de suggestions. Merci à tout le monde pour vos encouragement.

Avant de passer aux entrées, (présentées dans la langue de l'auteur) je voulais d'abord remercier D.K. pour son billet sur le sujet, et tous ceux qui ont laissé des commentaires, surtout Droufn avec ses conseils et sa recette de boisson hydratante :
Dans un litre d’eau mélanger une cuillère de miel, un demi-citron et une pincée de sel.

Olivier SC a aussi fait un lien pour le challenge dans son billet du 11 novembre avec une gentille mention pour ma maman.

Although, her blog is not food-related, D.K. posted about this challenge, here, and encouraged her readers to participate. There were many helpful responses, especially from Droufn who entered a recipe for a hydrating drink: In one liter of water, mix a spoonful of honey, half a lemon and a pinch of salt.

Olivier SC (another non-food blogger) put a link to the challenge in his post on November 11th with some kind encouragement for my mom.

Banana-Chocolate Flapjacks

The first entry comes from Sam over at Antics of a Cycling Cook (as you
can tell from the title of his blog, he knows what he's talking about when it comes to cycling!). He posted these delicious-looking, energy-packed Banana-Chocolate Flapjacks and related his experience cycling across Spain on the Camino de Santiago!

Gâteau Banane-Chocolat-Cannelle

La deuxième recette, un gâteau banane-chocolat-cannelle, vient de Kiki du blog de Posuto. Son blog n'est pas non plus un blog de cuisine donc elle m'a envoyé la recette à poster ici: Prendre un yaourt nature, 3 oeufs, 4 cuillères à soupe de sucre en poudre, 10 cuillères à soupe de farine, 1 cuillère à soupe de maïzena, 1 sachet de levure, 1 demi-cuillère à café de cannelle en poudre, 2 bananes, quelques pépites de chocolat. Mélanger le tout le mieux possible. Beurrer un moule à cake. Mettre au four environ 40 mn (planter la lame d'un couteau pour savoir si c'est cuit, la lame doit ressortir sèche).

Cranberry-Pecan Granola

Camille over at Croquecamille has entered Cran
berry Pecan Granola, an recipe high in energy and fiber, and low in fat. She based it on a similar granola recipe she made last summer and adapted, quite deliciously from the looks of it, for the season. The recipe might be dangerous though because Camille says once you get hooked on homemade granola you never go back to pre-packaged!

Power Pancakes with Peanut Butter & Bananas

Trisha at The Zest is no fan of fluff; she's for hearty and nutritious and she's entered these delicious-looking Power Pancakes with Peanut Butter & Bananas. Since the 109-mile event is taking place not too far away from Trisha, she says she feels particularly responsible for making sure my mom gets the right nutrients and I have no doubt that these pancakes will do the trick.


If anyone is willing and interested, my mom can still accept donations for another couple weeks. Go here to find out more.
Si vous pouvez et si cela vous intéresse bien sûr, ma mère accepte encore les contributions pendant quelques semaines. Allez ici pour en savoir plus.

21 November 2008

Time to be Thankful

Just a quick post to remind you that today is the roundup for World Food Day - Time to be Thankful. Click on the photo to see all the wonderful Thanksgiving dishes from all over the world!

16 November 2008

Pots de Crème à l'Orange

Some periods of the year are nothing but holidays or birthdays one after the other and sometimes you have to make your own occasions. This week, with D. and a friend of ours who's been feeling a bit down, we decided it was high time to make a special occasion for no reason, cook a good dinner and drink to our own health and good times.

I had been keeping this recipe that my youngest sister (aka future master baker) sent me for a special occasion, and I decided it was high time to pull it out, especially since Christmas is right around the corner (or at least that's what shop decorations would have you believe) and some of you might already be menu-planning. I find it's good to have tested your recipe beforehand because it takes some of the stress out of the actual holiday. So I'm doing my homework, see!

Without further ado, I give you littlest sister and her notes on this recipe:

So... basically, I'm in love with this recipe. It's like chocolate mousse, but using yolks instead of whites makes it smoother and richer. The orange adds a certain lightness and the Grand Marnier makes the flavor complex and layered. It's really good. And much easier than you'd think. I was so worried I'd do it wrong, and it turned out perfectly on my first try.

The recipe says to just break the chocolate into pieces, but I actually chopped it pretty finely. It speeds things up.

Dad says he used to have pots de crème in posh restaurants in New Orleans [where he grew up], so... people will probably be really impressed if you make this for them. ;)

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half-and-half
12 oz. (340g) semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces

6 egg yolks

3 Tbsp. orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1/4 tsp. freshly-grated orange peel

fresh whipped cream

orange slices

In the double boiler, heat the cream, half-and-half and chocolate until the chocolate melts. Stir with a whisk until all of the ingredients are well-blended and remove from the heat.
In a blender [or not] whirl the egg yolks, liqueur and orange peel. With the machine running, slowly pour in the hot chocolate mixture. Return the mixture to the double boiler and continue to cook until it thickens to a lightly set pudding. Divide among dessert cups and chill for 2 hours. Serve garnished with whipped cream and orange slices.

So were they impressed? Oh yes they were! Thanks sis! The recipe calls for orange peel and orange slices. I used clementines because they're very available at this time of year. Unable to find half-and-half in France, I just put an extra 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup reduced-fat milk. I also used a hand-held electric beater, which I do not recommend, unless your kitchen needs redecorating with chocolate polka-dots. Bon appétit!

Oh, and while you're enjoying your chocolate, remember to submit your entries for the Energy Food Challenge this week!

14 November 2008

Honey Roast Chicken with Leeks

En français ici.
Winter's coming! How can I tell? Well, aside from the severe gray descending on the city, the proliferation of root vegetables in my CSA is a good sign: potatoes, carrots, and, for the first time this week, leeks! I couldn't be happier because I love leeks. So far on my blog you can find:

Salmon with Winter Leeks (where I espouse the many virtues of leeks)
Simple Potato Leek Soup (one of the easiest, cheapest and yummiest winter soups I know)

Being a big fan of roast chicken, but a little bored with the classic version, I decided to make a leek-y, winter version. I especially love leeks when they get a little burnt and caramelized and I thought cooking them with honey would bring out the flavor nicely, which it did!


1 whole chicken, ready to roast
3 leeks
4 shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp honey
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400F/210C.

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, honey, salt and pepper and using a basting brush or your fingers coat the chicken with this mixture.

Roughly chop the leeks and shallots and spread them around the chicken in a roasting pan. Drizzle the rest of the honey/oil mixture over the vegetables and roast for a about 1 hour, until the thigh releases clear juices when cut with a knife. Baste the chicken once or twice during the cooking process.

In other news, Sam over at Antics of a Cycling Cook has tagged me. Thanks Sam! Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

I decided to make this more pertinent to my blog by sharing six random things about me and food! Here we go:

- I LOVE spicy food. All kinds of spicy. The spicier the better! (Guess I better not invite Sam over for curry!)

- When I was little, I was watching my mom cook and my sweater caught on fire. It was a sweater that my mom had knitted for me, which subsequently became a sweater-vest, but it did not tarnish my love of fire in the kitchen, I mean, gas stoves...

- In true foodie fashion I gave my cat (who unfortunately couldn't come with me to Paris and now lives with my parents) a food name: Ginger Marmalade. Plus if he ever decides to moonlight as a go-go dancer, I figure he has a stage name already ;-)

- I don't like mushrooms. It's the texture. I like the way they flavor dishes but the slimy texture of mushroom in my mouth...yuck.

- I don't like beets either. It the color. They can't possibly be natural and that florescent! My theory about beets: they're space vegetables, beamed down from another planet as some sort of research project.

- My best food experience so far: the tasting menu at l'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris. Amazing. Even things I didn't think I liked were so divine I could hardly believe it.

I'm not going to tag anyone specifically, but if any of you are inspired and have time to do it (the foodie version or regular), go for it!

And remember to post your entries for the Energy Food Challenge before Nov. 22nd!

Poulet rôti au miel et poireaux

In English here.
Malgré quelques couleurs d'automne qui restent encore, l'hiver vient rapidement. Est-ce le gris pénétrant qui est descendu sur Paris qui me fait le remarquer ? Ou est-ce plutôt les légumes d'hiver qui commencent à envahir mon panier bio ? Faut dire que ce n'est pas une in
vasion désagréable, surtout quand il s'agit des poireaux. J'ai déjà avoué ma passion pour les poireaux quand j'ai posté une recette pour du saumon aux poireaux, et je l'ai confirmé dans ma recette : soupe aux poireaux et pommes de terre (une soupe très simple, pas chère et bien consistante pour l'hiver).

Cette semaine, j'ai décidé d'utiliser mes poireaux pour changer un peu de la recette classique du poulet rôti. Entre le poulet au miel et les poireaux caramelisés, je dois dire que c'était une réussite !

Ingrédients :

1 poulet entier prêt à rôtir
3 poireaux
4 échalottes
6 c.s. d'huile d'olive
3 c.s. de miel
gros sel

Préchauffer le four à 210C. Dans un petit bol, mélanger l'huile d'olive, le miel, un peu de gros sel et de poivre. Enduiser le poulet avec cette sauce.

Couper les poireaux et échalottes grossièrement et les disposer autour du poulet dans un plat. Verser le reste de la sauce sur les légumes. Mettre le plat dans le four et cuire environ une heure, en arrosant de jus et remuant les légumes une ou deux fois pendant la cuisson. Servir le poulet chaud avec les légumes.

Régalez-vous bien et surtout, n'oubliez pas de poster vos recettes pour le Energy Food Challenge avant le 22 novembre !

11 November 2008

Challenge et Soupe Céleri-rave/Roquefort

In English here.
Depuis le printemps, ma mère, qui n'est pas habituellement très sportive, s'entraîne dans la campagne de Pennsylvanie, en saluant de temps en temps les Amish, pour faire une course de 109 miles (175 km) le 22 novembre en Arizona, dont le but est de recueillir de l'argent pour la recherche de traitements pour les cancers du sang (son siteweb pour la course). Je suis très fière d'elle, donc quand elle m'a demandé d'utiliser mon blog pour l'aider, j'ai dit "oui" tout de suite.

Qu'est ce que les bloggeurs culinaires peuvent faire pour l'aider ? Elle va avoir besoin de manger des plats qui donnent beaucoup d'énergie avant de faire sa course et elle voudrait connaître vos idées ! Donc, je lance un challenge : Energy Food Challenge. D'ici le 22 novembre, postez votre idée de plat, goûter, boisson, etc., qui donnent des forces sur votre blog avec le logo (ci-dessus), et je ferai un billet avec toutes vos recettes le 22 pour l'encourager ! Si vous n'avez pas le temps de poster quelque chose, laissez quand même vos suggestions dans les commentaires de ce post et je les lui ferai passer.

Sinon, depuis deux jours, j'apparais dans la revue du blog d'Olivier SC : Bloguer ou ne pas bloguer (oui, il fait référence à Shakespeare, ça s'annonce bien déjà) qui se plaint que lire mon blog n'est pas bien pour sa ligne. Donc aujourd'hui tout le monde est au régime : rien que de la soupe !! (Comment ça fromage et crème ce n'est pas bien pour les régimes ? Vous n'avez qu'à manger sans regarder les ingrédients !) Cette recette est inspirée de Camille à qui j'ai demandé de l'aide pour savoir quoi faire avec la céleri-rave que j'ai eu dans mon panier bio, et qui a été de très bon conseil. Même D. qui n'aime ni les céleris, ni la soupe en a repris.

1 gros céleri-rave
2 grandes pommes de terre
1 oignon
3 c.s. huile d'olive
1 pomme
150ml cidre brut
900ml bouillon de légumes
150ml crème légère (vous pouvez aussi substituer un mélange de lait et de beurre)
100-150g roquefort

lardons (facultatif) pour garnir

Peler et couper la céleri-rave, les pommes de terre et l'oignon. Les faire cuire dans l'huile chaude pendant environ 10 minutes.

Ajouter le cidre et le bouillon. Amener à ébullition, couvrir et laisser mijoter 20-25 minutes jusqu'à ce que la céleri-rave et les pommes de terre soient tendres.

Ajouter la pomme (pelée et coupée en petits morceaux) et cuire encore 5 minutes. Mélanger dans un mixeur pour obtenir une soupe homogène. Remettre dans la casserole ; incorporer la crème et le roquefort et chauffer à feu doux en remuant jusqu'à ce que tout soit bien mélangé. Servir chaud avec des lardons en garniture.

Energy Food Challenge and Celeriac/Roquefort Soup

En français ici.
This is my mom training in Amish country (near where she lives), preparing to bike ride 109 miles in Tucson November 22nd to raise money for research in blood cancers. Nearly a million Americans are battling blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma, and 53,000 people each year die of these diseases. Leukemia alone causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults. I'm very proud of my mom, who is not generally a very sports-oriented person, so when she asked me to consider asking the blogging community to support her, I said yes right away.

What do food bloggers have to do with blood cancer research (aside from general human solidarity, of course)? Well my mom is going to need some good energy food to get through the ride and she would love to have your suggestions. So I'm launching an Energy Food Challenge! Post your energy food recipes (main dishes, snacks, drinks, etc.) on your blogs before the 22nd, and I'll do a round-up right here to give my mom a proper send off. Go ahead and use this logo and send me a link with your entry. Even if you don't have time for that, feel free to leave your ideas in the commentary section and I'll pass them along.

In France, one of the meals that's supposed to make you strong, especially when you're growing, is soup. (Did you see that seamless transition there??) I had been pondering what to do with a big ugly celery root I got in my CSA, never having cooked with one before, when Camille heroically came to my rescue by mentioning a celeriac and roquefort soup that she posted about (here). Hoping that the roquefort would be incentive enough to overcome D's dislike of both celery and soup (supposedly), I decided to try it out. It was delicious!! I looked at a couple recipes and added some of my own touches to come up with this:

1 large celery root (celeriac)
2 large potatoes
1 onion
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup dry cider (apple juice or beer would probably work too)
3 cups vegetable stock
1 apple
1 cup light cream or 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup butter
100-150g roquefort or other blue cheese
salt, pepper (as desired)

bacon/lardons (optional) to garnish

Peel and chop the celeriac, potatoes and onion. Sauté in the hot oil about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent.

Add the cider and the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer 20-25 minutes until the celeriac and potatoes are tender.

Add the apple (peeled, cored and chopped) and cook another 5 minutes. Blend the soup, using whatever method you prefer.

Add the cream and crumbled cheese. Heat lightly and stir until smooth. Salt and pepper as desired (I found the soup did not need salt, but I guess it depends on the cheese you use), and serve warm with the garnish of your choice.

09 November 2008

Apple Strudel and My Wonderful Mentors

It's been a couple months now since Kristen at Dine and Dish launched the second round of Adopt-a-blogger, an event that pairs experienced bloggers with newbies (like me). I had the wonderful luck to be adopted by Giz and Psychgrad over at Equal Opportunity Kitchen, a blog that I had already come across and admired as one of the heavyweights in foodie blogging.

Giz and Psychgrad blog as a mother-daughter team, switching off or sometimes writing entries together. Their goal, as they put it, is to create a "living" cookbook, with colour commentary. (Yes "colour" looks strange to American readers, but we'll give them a break because they're blogging from Canada where "color" probably looks strange, or at least American.) They're not kidding when they say "Equal Opportunity". One of the great things about their blog is the diversity of recipes they post about, everything from the basic pasta, cakes and cookies, to the exotic Sri Lankan Red Shrimp Curry, and the daring homemade pizza dough. And speaking of daring, Daring Bakers is one of the many events all over the culinary blogosphere that Psychgrad and Giz bravely participate in.

It's no surprise then that this week, still overrun with apples from my CSA, after two apple-pear pies, and who knows how many batches of apple-walnut muffins, I decided to head over to Equal Opportunity Kitchen for some new inspiration. I went back to September (beginning of apple season), where I had bookmarked Giz's Apple Strudel. I didn't have phyllo dough so I made my basic pie crust, rolled it out and cut it into quarters which I wrapped around the filling. I also substituted sliced almonds for the walnuts, just based on what I had in my pantry. These strudel-inspired mini pies were delicious! I definitely suggest you check out the original recipe especially if, like me, you don't know what to do with all your apples!

Which I'm on the subject of Psychgrad and Giz, they have given me an award:

I would like to pass it on to Camille at Croquecamille, Nina Timm over at My Easy Cooking, and Ivy at Kopiaste (a blog I discovered thanks to World Food Day), all of whose photos of recent recipes have had me sitting in front of my computer muttering "yum yum, yum yum." (Yes, like a crazy person, I know.)

Speaking of Camille, I also received an award from her (I feel so showered with blog-love!):

Which I will pass right along to my mentors, did I mention they're awesome?

As well as to Alex Rushmer over at Just Cook It, whose blog truely is excellent: the man makes his own charcuterie for goodness sake. He is afraid of nothing, plus his descriptions will make you laugh (or possibly never eat pâté again, or both).

Also to Sam over at Antics of a Cycling Cook, whose blog I've been following for quite some time now and love just as much as when I first started reading it.

And to Apples and Butter, a relatively new blog with delicious recipes and wonderful photos, both exotic and every-day fare.