Friday, May 9, 2014

I've Moved

I've changed my name and moved! Please come visit me at my new site Clementines and Cocktails. I'm still working out the technology and probably will be for the rest of my life but I would love you to come see my new blog. Thank you for following Lola!

Friday, April 18, 2014

FFwD - Baby Bok Choy, Sugar Snaps, and Garlic en Papillote

This French Friday recipe was simple enough but still I ended up making numerous trips to grocery stores trying to find baby bok choy! Finally on my second trip to Whole Foods I found it. I never found the baby white onions called for in the recipe and had to settle on middle aged ones.

The recipe is very straight forward and easy. Wrap vegetables in aluminum foil or parchment packs after seasoning and bake. Instead of orange zest I used lemon and omitted the suggested mint. For the olive oil I used chipotle infused oil and we loved the zing. We had pan fried cod with Ina Garten's Tartar Sauce. All was delicious and a glass of Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel (our GO TO wine) made it complete!

Visit the French Friday's with Dorie webiste to see everyone's thoughts on this delicious veg recipe!

Friday, April 11, 2014

FFwD - Quiche Maraîchère

Quiche Maraîchère
This week's French Friday with Dorie recipe is for Quiche Maraîchère, a quiche made with lots of fresh vegetables and very little egg custard. It is delicious and easy to make and very versatile. The recipe calls for leeks but since no leeks were available at the supermarket nearby I used 1/2 an onion and a clove of garlic instead. Also, since I was planning to serve mine as an hors d'oeuvres, I added a generous pinch of red pepper flakes. Delicious!!! You should try it. You really should.

Loved our Manhattans!
And the cocktail! We made old fashioned Manhattans. I had forgotten how much I love them. Nothing fancy here. I had no rye whiskey which is the traditional choice for a Manhattan so I used Jim Beam Bourbon. Cinzano Italian Vermouth, also known as sweet vermouth, a couple of dashes of Angostura Bitters shaken with ice then poured into a martini glass with a maraschino cherry. A few drops of water help mellow out the flavor if desired.  We loved it and it was perfect with the spicy quiche.

I made last week's Visitandine, several times actually, but never got to the blogging part. The cake was good, versatile, easy to make but I didn't love it. Its a very thin cake. I even baked one of them in a 6" springform pan and it worked fine!

Visit all the French Friday websites to see everyone's take on this unusual quiche. It was one of my favorite recipes to date!

Friday, March 28, 2014

FFwD - Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India
This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe is seasoned with garam masala. I don't care for garam masala. Whole Foods sells it in the bulk spice section so I didn't have to buy much. I knew I wouldn't want to cook with it often. In fact, I was prepared to dislike this soup entirely. So, happy surprise! I actually liked it. I don't love it but I like it.

Its easy to make and Dorie suggests starting with 3/4 teaspoon of garam masala. I kept it there and added quite a generous amount of red pepper flakes. Barley isn't something I normally (ever) cook with and the kind I bought needed an hour to cook. Still it was a simple soup that feels good on an already sore throat (allergy season in Oklahoma). I think chicken or beef would be good  in this and I'm looking for a recipe for beef and barley soup to use up my barley. If you have a good recipe would you leave me a link? Thank you!
Snowshoe Bread
To go with the soup I baked nan from a beautiful book called Home Baking by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. This is a beautiful book of home baked goodies from around the world. Everything I've made from it has been delicious!

I'm behind in my blogging! Luckily my cooking is almost up to date but I've been a bad, bad blogger. I hope to be getting back in the groove. These things are hard to predict though!
Love my little RV!

I have one RV trip under my belt! My son and his wife went with me and I was able to manage everything except loosening one cap to empty the septic system. Once I find a new cap I will be ready to try it on my own. Except for backing. I know, I know! Its kind of a biggie but I'll get it figured out.

Happy spring everyone!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

FFwD - Only One of Two Tartines

This week's French Friday assignment was Two Tartines From La Croix Rouge. La Croix Rouge was a fashionable cafe in Paris that is evidently closed. I googled it for info and found a page that said closed. Too bad. It sounded like it had everything going for it!
Tartine Saint-Germain
I skipped the Tartine Norvégienne because we don't like smoked salmon. However, the Tartine Saint-Germain is delicious! Since it is such an easy recipe, more a set of instructions, I decided to make my mayonnaise. The only other time I've done this was for Hélène's All-White Salad and people, we loved it! I mean loved it!
The mayonnaise was my favorite part!
Dorie's mayonnaise recipe is on page 490 of Around My French Table. She says use 1/2-1 cup of oil and 1/4 teaspoon of Dijon or more if you like it more 'piquant' and I do! From the previous mayonnaise I learned that salt and pepper are essential to bring out the flavor of the oil and egg so I used both liberally.  Seriously,  you don't need roast beef or smoked salmon or anything else. I could eat it with a spoon!
Delicious with pickles and grapes. Does that sound weird?
We had this for a late lunch with a glass of wine. I admit I love drinking in the day. It makes me feel like I'm on vacation! Okay I just read that statement. Makes it sound like I'm one step away from a 12 step program.

Don't forget to add salt and pepper to the sandwich. They bump the flavor to the next level!

Its one step forward and one step back on the blog relocation and redo! Yep, that means I'm standing in place! And yes, it is frustrating. I WILL be there by Easter and hopefully sooner!

Go to the French Friday website to see what the other French Friday cooks thought.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fat Tuesday Okie Style

King Cake Guyla Style

It is indeed Fat Tuesday! I got on the scale this morning and thought how serendipitous that I should be at my heaviest on a day named Fat Tuesday. You would think I'd walk away from the King Cake. I did not and will not and shall not deprive myself on this day of indulgence. Maybe I should (I won't, I know I won't)  give up sweets for lent.

King Cake Rising
Every year I tell myself I will make a King Cake and every year I forget about it until Fat Tuesday. But this year my friend Kathy over at Bakeaway With Me put up a post yesterday with her beautiful King Cake and I told myself I might not be able to throw together something that spectacular but I can do something! So I give you King Cake Guyla style.

I had bread dough rising for my take on Peter Reinhart's Anadama Bread from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Peter Reinhart is a recognized expert in the field of artisan bread and pizza and between him and Richard Bertinet I am a competent and confident home bread baker.

If you've never baked Anadama I highly recommend it for any level of baker. It is a soft dough that is usually baked in some sort of pan which is always less stressful than free forming. I have a mother in the fridge that I always add to dough but it is not necessary as this is an enriched bread.

This enrichment is what makes it a perfect dough for King Cake! I used half for a loaf and half for my cake. I rolled the dough into a rectangle and used a combo of melted butter, pecans, brown sugar and clementine zest for the filling. Its important to seal the seam well. I didn't and some of the buttery goodness oozed out.
Delicious mid-morning treat!
The glaze is a simple confectioners sugar with clementine juice and topped with more zest and chopped toasted pecans. It is delicious if I do say so myself and Gary agrees! I hope the neighbors that I shared with also enjoy. Since it was all very impromptu I had no baby for my cake and used an almond instead. I hope luck comes to the one that got it. It wasn't me!

In researching King Cakes I learned that people can be quite passionate about their cakes and tradition. I've tried to be as true to the tradition as my pantry would allow and since we are snowed in running all over town wasn't an option. But as a friend said, I would probably need to order a baby and the purple and gold sugars. Maybe even that vibrant green one too. For me, it is the fulfillment of a goal and I feel joyful. Isn't that what its really all about? And if you disagree, I can take it!
Can't wait to make it again!
Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your opinion.

Friday, February 28, 2014

FFwD - Garbure From the Supermarket

Garubure From the Supermarket
This was good! Gary liked it and said its a keeper. Reading through the recipe is daunting but, really, once you cook the beans and chop the vegetables its pretty simple.  I used a ham bone that I had and it provided so much flavor that the sausage wasn't necessary. I plan to try this with a pork shoulder next time and see if the sausage adds more to the flavor.

I could find no duck confit. Since I was in Dallas I was hopeful, but unless I wanted to run all over town it wasn't happening. Central Market (my favorite grocery store) said they would have more in about a week. That wasn't any help to me though!
Tasty and I'm glad it makes lots!
We've had beautiful weather here in Oklahoma City but it ends tomorrow and we have snow and ice and 7 degree temps in our forecast. I know many of you are having much worse weather. I am SO ready for winter to end!!!

I'm making progress on my blog redesign. I hope to be up and running in a couple of weeks.

We are cooking our way through Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. Click the French Friday link to see what the other cooks thought.

Gratuitous pictures of my grandchildren to follow:)
My favorite little lunch partner having pizza his favorite meal. Forever ever he says:)
Our adorable little lady:)

Friday, February 21, 2014

FFwD - Butter and Rum Crepes, Fancy and Plain

I love crepes! I have made them several times, usually with some degree of success. Maybe a few stick or tear when I turn them, but all in all I can count on enough pretty ones to feed whoever is around. I've  even made these crepes a few times. I've left out the citrus. I've left out the rum. I've added both. They are delicious no matter how they were made.

And then I bought a crepe pan.
My new crepe pan!

I seasoned as recommended and had beautiful crepes to serve to my son and daughter-in-law. I filled them with vanilla pastry cream and topped them with melted fig preserves. Delicious and beautiful! Why didn't I take a picture?

So I had a casual dinner party. Dorie's Boeuf a la mode and sautéed green beans were on the menu, crepes for dessert.

A delicious pile of crepe crumbs!
I think I need to work on re-seasoning my pan. I think my flame was too high and then too low. I think I need more practice. But everyone loved them and hopes I will begin a quest to perfect the crepes. The sauce is perfect, as is! However, if your honey is Manuka and not as sweet as some honey, either cut back on the citrus or add a bit of sugar.
At least I got two pretty ones!

Out of the entire batch I had two that were presentable! The quest continues!

Go to the French Fridays with Dorie website to see how everyone else fared this week as we cook our way through Dorie Grrenspan's Around My French Table.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

FFwD - Helene's All-White Salad

Helene's All-White Salad
Oh, French Fridayers we lucky Oklahomans can see an END to winter! The rest of you have my sympathy but I am celebrating a break in the cold, ice and snow! Of course, soon I will be cursing the Wind, our next season. In Oklahoma Wind comes after and sometimes during winter.

I liked this white salad but I think I might like it more as a slaw. The celery, mushrooms, Napa cabbage, and Granny Smith apples compliment one another and work best when taken together. Next time I will try shredding or slicing into very small bites. I kept the white theme going with bread and roasted chicken. The salad looks almost colorful in comparison!

This was my first mayonnaise! I loved it and can't wait to try different versions. Mine looks kind of green. That's the California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This was one of the products featured at last year's International Food Bloggers Conference. It has become my go to olive oil. The taste is very fresh and not the least over powering. Try it if you haven't already!

In my world there is lots happening. I have a new laptop, I'm moving and redesigning my blog (trying to resolve my identity crisis! More about that later.) I'll go to Dallas Friday for a while enjoying grand babies, our good friend coming Monday. As Marsha used to say "Life is good."

Go to the French Friday site to see everyone's salad!

Friday, January 31, 2014

FFwD - Paris-Brest

When I think of French pastry I think pâté a choux, fruit tarts, small cakes, croissants. Pâté a choux covers cream puffs, profiteroles, eclairs, gougeres. All delicious and special treats for someone living in Oklahoma.
I made my first pâté a choux several years ago, 10 maybe. My friend, Marsha, and I were planning a trip to London and Paris.  Gary's dad died and we invited his sister and mother to come with us. We went to a small patisserie for coffee and pastry every morning while we were in Paris. My sister in law would have a fruit tart. My mother in law would have a scone. Marsha and I had croissants. Every day. Funny I came home determined to learn how to make pastries.  I don't know why I didn't decide to make croissants.

Paris Brest is a pastry made to commemorate a bicycle race that goes from Paris to Brest. The circular shape is reminiscent of a bicycle wheel. Its  pretty easy to make. The hardest part is piping out the pastry ring. If you google it you will see some people pipe inside a cake ring. One Dorista, Christy, used mini tart pans. A ring of some sort helps the pastry to rise up instead of spreading out.  Next time I will use a ring of some type.

The pastry cream is easy to mix up. And all components can be made in advance and put together at the last moment.  I made it while Gary's mother was here and the three of us almost finished off the entire Paris Brest! Two small pieces were still good the next day but the Creme had caused the pastry to loose some of its crispness. Still delicious though.

Winter is dragging on for all of us it seems! Snow is predicted for Oklahoma on Tuesday! Ugh....
Go to French Friday with Dorie website to see what everyone else thought about it.