Saturday, August 30, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Before I worked at the kitchen store I worked at a french country interior design boutique. I enjoyed it very much, and was able to acquire a few really nice pieces for our home that we had just built. We lived in this house about the same amount of time the boutique was open. Although I don't think french country really works in the house that we are in now, I did save a few pieces that I think blend well. Anyway, this is my version of french country.
this is one of the few pieces that I saved. It's a steel Pierre Deux reproduction sleigh bed. Unfortunately it is sitting in our garage right now probably being ruined. I hope to put it in one of the kid's bedrooms someday if it ever becomes available....but that's another story.
no explanation required :)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Does everyone really think they have the best brownie recipe? Well, if you don't, and you would like the real best brownie recipe, here it is ;)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
This cake is made from a box mix with a few add ins. Shhh, don't tell anybody that I work with:)
I have made it several times, and so far nobody is the wiser.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
From time to time I will probably post pictures of kitchens. It is my favorite room in the house. I don't know why, maybe that's why I work at a kitchen store :) I love all kinds of kitchens, but I am drawn to white for some reason. This kitchen that I want to show you today is from my last house. I have been missing it a little bit lately. It's really the only thing that I miss about this house, well, that and the front yard (I'll post more of the rest of the house another time). There was plenty of cabinet space, and all the bottom cabinets had drawers that pulled out. The only drawback was that there was a lot of tile and grout to keep clean.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly rub flesh of butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on a lightly greased cookie sheet and roast for about 35 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle and peel skin and cut squash into 1 inch cubes. Heat soup pot. Add oil and butter. When melted add next 4 ingredients and cook until onions are translucent. Do not overcook or brown. Add stock, bring to a boil. Add squash and the 4 herbs, return to a boil and lower heat and simmer 30 minutes. Puree until smooth (can use a blender if needed working in batches, return to pot) Add maple syrup and bring back to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add half and half and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust thickness of soup if necessary by diluting with more stock or water or thickening with more half and half. Yields 8 servings.
this is delicious with crusty french bread on a cool fall day, one can always dream....
Perfect Roast Chicken
1 5-6 pound roasting chicken
freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 spanish onion, thickly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Scatter the onion slices around the chicken.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.
Remove all the fat from the bottom of the pan, reserving 2 Tbsp. in a small cup. Add the chicken stock to the pan and cook on high heat for about 5 minutes, until reduced, scraping the bottom of the pan. Combine the 2 Tbsp. of chicken fat with the flour and add to the pan. Boil for a few minutes to cook the flour. Strain the gravy into a small saucepan and season it to taste. Keep it warm over a very low flame while you carve the chicken.
Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve immediately with the warm gravy.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
My friend is hosting her daughter's bridal shower at my house on Saturday. I am so excited that she asked me to make the desserts, and requested my favorite... mini lemon cheesecakes, and something chocolate. I have made the cheesecakes on many occasions, and they always seem to go over pretty well. As an added bonus, a couple of bites and they're gone, easy, delicious, and not too many calories. Since I needed to come up with something chocolate for the chocolate lovers, I thought a rich chocolate mousse would be appropriate. I wanted them to be in similar size as the cheesecake, so I thought I would experiment with my pans, adapted a couple of recipes, and this is what I came up with. They were delicious! The bride liked them, so I will be making these along with mini lemon cheesecakes on Friday.
Mini Chocolate Mousse Cakes
2 cups chocolate wafer cookies crumbs
4 Tbs. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 24 cup mini cheesecake pans (two pans) with non-stick spray. Stir cookie crumbs, sugar, and salt. Add melted butter and blend until moist sandy texture forms. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.
1 1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate (chips may be used)
1/2 cup prepared espresso coffee
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
8 egg whites
pinch of salt
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of about 1 1/2 inches of nearly simmering water, whisking until smooth. Add espresso coffee, then stir in Grand Marnier. Cool to room temperature. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Whip cream until thickened, then gradually beat in sugar, beating until stiff. Beat egg whites with salt until stiff. Gently fold egg whites into cream. Stir about one third of cream and egg mixture thoroughly into chocolate mixture. Add remaining cream and egg mixture over the lightened chocolate base and fold together very gently. Divide the mousse evenly into prepared cups. refrigerate until set.