October 3rd, 2019
August 22nd, 2019
Nonnettes are tender little muffins originating in Dijon, France. What sets them apart is the warm spice (pain d’epices) which is a blend including cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and coriander. It is easy to make and I will include the recipe at the bottom of this post.
In addition to the spices, the Nonnettes have a filling of orange marmalade, orange zest and Grand Marnier. They are perfect for the Fall weather to come. It is still summer on Lake Lure even in these early days of October.
I made these Nonnettes a few months ago and photographed them. The leftovers were frozen. I forgot to add the drizzle to them before I froze them. The muffins above came from the freezer. I added the glaze and enjoyed them just as much as when they were freshly made.
ORANGE MUFFINS (NONNETTES) WITH GRAND MARNIER (Adapted from The French Life)
3/4 Cup Water
7 Tbls Butter
3/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbls Pain d’épices spices
2 Tbls Grand Marnier
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup All-Purpose-Flour
1 Tbls Baking Powder
Zest of 1 Orange
6 tsps. Orange Marmalade
3 Tbls Orange Juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup Confectioners’ Sugar
Heat water, butter, honey and sugar, just until butter is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices and Grand Marnier. In a large bowl whisk the flours and baking powder. Add the orange zest and stir to combine. Pour in the syrup (it should still be fairly hot). Stir until combined. Flour and butter a 12-hole muffin tin. Divide the batter over the holes. Chill for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a teaspoon, make a little well in the center of the batter and fill with half a tsp of marmalade. Bake the nonnettes for 20 minutes. The nonnettes should be tender and spring back when pressed. Allow to cool completely before unmolding. Place the nonnettes on a rack, making sure there is a sheet of tin foil underneath it. Make a thin glaze by whisking the orange juice into the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the nonnettes and leave to set.
Pain d’épices Spices:
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
4 whole star anise ground
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp coriander
Use 1 tablespoon of this mixture in the muffins and save the rest.
July 24th, 2019
One of my favorite “low-carb conscious” recipe websites is Kalyn’s Kitchen. She has creative recipes for South Beach, Paleo and Keto diets to name a few. David has been on the Keto diet for long enough for it to have become a lifestyle choice. Sometimes he craves more than bacon and eggs for breakfast. These muffins made with mostly almond flour fit the bill. There is a small amount of flour in the mix, but not enough to give him pause. The muffins are spiked with bacon crumbles, green onions and Parmesan cheese. I love them too.
I thank Kalyn for this wonderful recipe. I may serve them when the whole family comes for the Labor Day Weekend. They are quick to assemble and will be an easy breakfast for 14 people all on different schedules. Let the fun begin! Happy Fall.
COTTAGE CHEESE AND BACON AND EGG BREAKFAST MUFFINS (Slightly adapted from Kayln’s Kitchen)
- 2/3 cup cottage cheese (regular or low-fat)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup almond meal
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 T water
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, fat blotted with paper towel, then crumbled
- 3 T thinly sliced green onion (scallions)
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray
- In mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, white whole wheat flour, almond meal , salt, water, and beaten egg. Mix well.
- Gently mix in crumbled bacon and green onion, until well distributed in batter.
- Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with cottage cheese and egg mixture.
- Bake 25 -30 minutes, until muffins are firm and lightly browned.
July 17th, 2019
The genesis of this Bulgogi recipe happened while traveling in the backseat of the car with my Grandson. We were playing a word game with tiles and a hangman. Cameron, at age 8, does very well with spelling words and solving word games. But Mimi (me) is very good too. The challenge was on! After many rounds, Cameron gave me a seven letter word for food. Guessing letter after letter, I never came up with the answer. I had never heard of Bulgogi. Cameron’s Mom, in the driver’s seat, was impressed too. It turns out he knew the word after reading a book about a Korean boy trying to fit in at his new school in America. His Mother had packed his school lunch with this Korean beef dish. But the boy would have preferred the same food his classmates had brought to school. So Cameron remembered this passage, the word, and a desire to try Bulgogi.
Bulgogi is an addictively delicious beef dish. The sauce is a blend of soy sauce, brown sugar, pear, garlic, ginger, crushed pepper flakes and sesame oil. The results are a salty, slightly sweet and nutty dish. Although you could use a tougher cut of beef like, chuck, sirloin or flank steak, the preferred cut is rib eye or strip steak.
Traditionally Bulgogi would be served over rice, but we served it in lettuce cups. Thank you Cameron for the inspiration. I love that my Grandchildren are interested in trying foods from all over the world. As soon as you return from your European trip with your parents, I will make this for you Cameron and your sister Rachel.
BULGOGI ( Adapted from Bon Appétit)
¼ pear, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes), or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound boneless rib-eye or strip steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Sliced scallions (for serving)
Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru (I used 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes), ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag or medium bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add to marinade, seal bag, and squish everything around until the meat is coated. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or chill up to 8 hours.
Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; season lightly with salt and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Toss meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt.
Serve topped with scallions.
July 11th, 2019
I love financiers. They are little cakes shaped like gold bricks and first sold in the financial district of Paris in patisseries to moneymen with their morning espressos. They are distinctive because of the ingredients; browned butter, almond flour, egg whites and plops of fruit. I have made them with raspberries and even did a savory batch with ground walnuts and sage.
Of course you need special rectangular molds to make them authentic. Here is a source for silicone molds. I was given some tin fluted molds by a friend. I love how pretty the financiers look with the scalloped edges. But you can also make financiers in mini-muffin tins if you don’t want to invest in yet another pan.
The summer has become humid with afternoon thunderstorms in our area. The only time that is pleasant on the porch is early morning before the heat and boat traffic take control. It is a good time for a cup of coffee and one of these small treats.
6 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup Almond Flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
5 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400° F and butter the financier molds. Sprinkle the molds with flour, tapping away any excess. Allow the butter to melt on a low heat, wait until it turns a light brown color and begins to release a nutty scent, then remove from the heat. Mix the flour, ground almonds and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg whites and the vanilla extract and combine everything well using a whisk. Add the melted butter and whisk vigorously again. Fill the moulds with the batter and place three berries on each mold. Bake the financiers for 5 minutes before lowering the heat to 350°F and allowing them to bake for another 10 minutes. Transfer the financier moulds to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Makes 18 Financiers.
Summer calls out for sunny colorful food. Red, orange, and green sweet peppers, plus plentiful zucchini are all wonderful stuffed with a meat mixture. Topped with a marinara sauce and baked, this makes a satisfying meal with a crispy cool salad. It is easy and would be so inviting doubled and served to guests on a huge platter. There is something special about Provençal recipes.
I know I have posted this picture before, but it reminds me of our friends in France and the wonderful meal that Carole (second from left) served us in her Loire Valley home. Stuffed vegetables were the main course after our Prosciutto wrapped melon.
Carole stuffed peppers and tomatoes with a flavorful meat mixture.
This is Lulu Peyraud’s kitchen at the Domaine Tempier winery in the Mediterranean coastal village of Bandol, France. While in France on that same trip, we stopped at the winery and learned more about Mrs. Peyraud. She is a great friend of Alice Waters and the late Richard Olney. Alice Waters serves the winery’s Bandol Rosé in her Chez Panisse Restaurant. Lulu has a cookbook of her recipes written by Richard Olney. You can find it here. Lulu’s kitchen is dominated by a huge fireplace, where most of her cooking is done. She has a small gas stove in her pantry. It is obvious where her priorities lay. I can just imagine how well stuffed peppers would taste coming out of that fireplace oven. We encountered both stuffed pepper dishes and versions of ratatouille all over Provence.
This dish is obviously summer and Provence on a plate.
STUFFED VEGETABLES PROVENÇAL
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, grated
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs
- 1 pound ground beef, preferably lean
- 2 zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
- 1 orange bell pepper, halved and seeded
- 1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
- 1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
- 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly drizzle the olive oil into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.Whisk the onion, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the ground beef. Cover and refrigerate the beef mixture.
Using a melon baller or spoon, carefully scrape out the seeds and inner flesh from the zucchini, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Be careful not to pierce through the skin. Fill the zucchini and pepper halves with the turkey mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the stuffed vegetables.
Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and a thermometer inserted into the filling registers 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Transfer the stuffed vegetables to a platter and serve.