"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Tartine Appetizer #Weekly Menu Plan

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Chocolate Raspberry Appetizer: Simple Living and Eating


Need a quick appetizer or an after school snack.. grab 
some miniature toast or toast up some bread. Cover it with butter, jam, and squeeze some chocolate syrup or nutella on it and you have a delicious treat that everyone will eat… adults and kids enjoy these tartines. 

Happy New Year!


Chocolate Raspberry Appetizer: Simple Living and Eating

Chocolate Raspberry Tartine: 

by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com

Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's Nutella Tartine in "Around My French Table"

preparation time: 30 minutes                         Makes: 18 appetizers


Ingredients: 

2 boxes of Trader Joe's 5.26 ounce Brioche Toast or Melba Toast
1 12 ounce jar of raspberry jam
2 tablespoons of melted butter
Chocolate Ganache or chocolate syrup, nutella
Fleur de Sel or other quality coarse sea salt


Directions:

1) Melt butter and brush it on the toast.

2) Spread jam on toast.

3) Fill a squirt bottle with the chocolate of your choice and heat it in the microwave, 10 second intervals until it gets soft enough to squirt.

4) Drizzle chocolate over toast.

5) Sprinkle a little salt on each appetizer. 



Weekly Menu Plan:


Sunday: Dressy Pasta Risotto with Peas and Green Salad

Meatless Monday: Cajun Pumpkin Stew (veggie Sausage version)

Tuesday: Salmon stuffed with Spinach & Feta with Roasted Potatoes

Wednesday: New Year's Day Brunch:

Homemade Bagels with White Fish Salad, Red Onion, Capers, Tomato, 
Homemade Buttermilk Scones with Jam & Butter
Sausage, Cheese and Egg Casserole
Assorted Cookies & Chocolates
with lots of Champagne

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Corn Tortilla Enchiladas with Green Salad & Guacamole 

Saturday: Broccoli in a Garlic Sauce over Spaghetti




This post is shared on the following food and craft parties:


Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ 21st Century Housewife
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Tuesday's Table @ Love in the Kitchen
Tasty Tuesday #Anyonita Nibbles
Share your Stuff Tuesday @ Table for Seven

Wednesday Food:

From Dream to Reality @ DYI Dreamer
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Look What I Made @ Creations by Kara

Thursday Food:

Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity

Friday Food:

Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 
Get Him Feed @ Anyonita Nibbles
Freedom Fridays @ Love Bakes Good Cakes
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce #French Fridays with Dorie #Foodie Friday

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Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce: simple living and eating


I don't usually combine my French Fridays with Dorie post with my Foodie Friday one, but tis the season to be busy, so Doristas meet Foodistas… and Merry Christmas to both camps.

It was a hectic week with the Sabrage fundraiser, Christmas Eve's "Feast of the Seven Fish" and Christmas Day family get together… I'm a little cooked out. 

This salmon Gravlax was originally intended for the Sabrage fundraiser for my kid's fencing school, but I just didn't feel that it had cured, so I served it as one of the fish for our Christmas Eve dinner. 

The Sabrage fundraiser was wonderfully fun and yes, I did it. I opened a bottle of champagne with a sword, and I have the video to prove it.




video


Now that you are thoroughly impressed with my sword skills, back to the Gravlax. I never heard of Gravlax before… but everyone with any Scandinavian heritage, including my husband, has eaten this on many holiday occasions.

I have lived in the New York area for over 20 years now, and I have had my share of good salmon, smoked and otherwise… but Gravlax is really different. It is cured, but it is not smoked, so the salmon gets the flavors of what it is cured in, it is a little salty without being tough. It still has the soft texture of sushi… really amazing, especially with a mustard dill sauce.

I highly recommend you give it a try for New Years. You have enough time to cure it, and it goes really well with Champagne. 



gravlax: simple living and eating
Spices, salt, and sugar to cover the raw fresh salmon. 

gravlax: simple living and eating
Cover and weight the salmon with bricks wrapped in foil.

After 3 days in the fridge with the weights on it, this is what the cured salmon looks like.

gravlax: simple living and eating
When you wash off the spices and salt this is what the salmon looks like.
Now that I save my sword skills for champagne bottles, my husband sliced the gravlax while our dog prayed for him to drop a piece.

gravlax: simple living and eating
Sliced Gravlax with homemade rye bread and dill mustard sauce.




Remember to visit and follow my co-host Adelina at Home Maid Simple to find out what blogger she is featuring this week!!!


Foodie Friday Features:


From: Ma Niche

Herbed Manchego Cheese Souffle with Onion Pear Jam
Herbed Manchego Cheese Souffle with Onion Pear Jam
Manchego cheese is so delicious and so unexpected in a soufflé. Topped with Onion Pear Jam this dish will be a hit in our house.


From: Egginon

Tofu & Mushroom Soup w/ Spaghetti Squash & Fried Egg
Tofu & Mushroom Soup w/ Spaghetti Squash & Fried Egg

This was another surprise dish. I wouldn't have thought of putting spaghetti squash in an Asian soup… but this sounds amazing.


From: Simple Fresh Dinners

Nanaimo Bars
Nanaimo Bars

In a season of many sweet treats these bars really stood out to me. I had never heard of them before. Maybe because they come from British Columbia.
But hey: coconuts, walnuts, chocolate… what's not to like.




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Click on at least 3 other recipes.

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This post is shared on the following parties:


Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ 21st Century Housewife
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Tuesday's Table @ Love in the Kitchen
Tasty Tuesday #Anyonita Nibbles
Share your Stuff Tuesday @ Table for Seven

Wednesday Food:

From Dream to Reality @ DYI Dreamer
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Look What I Made @ Creations by Kara

Thursday Food:

Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch


Friday Food:

Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 
Get Him Feed @ Anyonita Nibbles
Freedom Fridays @ Love Bakes Good Cakes



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Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Appetizers: Cranberry Salmon Tartine, Chicken Consomme & Pumpkin Souffle #CartonSmart #TetraPak #Pacific Foods

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This post brought to you by Carton Smart. All opinions are 100% mine.


Tis the season for quick get togethers with friends and family. If you keep in your pantry some Pacific Foods items in eco-friendly Tetra Pak you will always be able to throw an appetizer together.

 photo 1898ca76-3272-4baf-a8df-07abf60e15e3_zps1bf425e9.jpg

  • Tetra Pak is easier on you and the environment:
  • These packages are made from renewable paper and are recyclable.  
  • They are lighter to carry comparied to cans. 
  • Tetra Pak container takes up less space in your pantry.
  • And they are safer too than cans. I like to have my kids help out in the kitchen but the sharp edges on cans make me nervous. You don't have to worry about sharp edges with Tetra Pak cartons, as a matter of fact my 12 year old should me how to open and close the containers!

 photo 795e421d-1ec8-414e-b1b8-dde8f5f23ded_zps62983f0a.jpg  photo d1d52bb8-c150-4f19-9a7c-b8c9ab3c8df3_zpsac6b75dd.jpg[ photo 62adf36b-e1dc-4d93-98c1-aa80d97a468d_zps600d562e.jpg

Here are some of the seasonal appetizers I have made with Pacific Food's products. I made these one chilly afternoon when I found out that some friends were stopping by… but now I plan on making these appetizers for Christmas Day.


Cranberry Salmon Tartine

by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com
preparation time: 20 minutes, makes about 40 appetizers
Ingredients:
1 5.25 ounce box of Melba Snack Whole Grain 
1 Four ounce package of Smoked Salmon
1 eight ounce container of cream cheese
1 15.6 ounce Tekra Pak container of Pacific Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 piping bag
Directions:
1) Spread cream cheese on each piece of Melba toast.
2) Place a tiny piece of salmon on top of the cream cheesed toast.
3) Pipe a drop of cranberry jelly on each piece of salmon.





Consomme is a very flavorful French soup. Because it is just seasoned broth it doesn't fill you up… perfect as an appetizer on a cold day. 
It can really be made with any wilting vegetables in your refrigerator. You know, like when you have one carrot and on piece of celery left… not quite enough to make a regular chicken soup… Don't throw those odds and end vegetables away…make consommé. Same advice for your fresh herbs that are getting old… substitute any herb for the chives in this soup. 


Chicken Consomme Soup

by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com
preparation: 20 minutes    cook time: 45 minutes   serves: 4-6 people
Ingredients:
6 cups of Pacific Organic Simply Stock Chicken
1 carrot
1 onion
1 celery stalk
2 egg whites from large eggs
8 ounces of chicken
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of chives 
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
1) Bring stock to a boil in a large sauce pan.
2) While the stock is coming to a boil. Put all of the ingredients except the chicken and the egg whites into a food processor and grind them up fine.
3) Remove vegetables and seasoning from the food processor with a spatula. Set aside. 
4) Grind the chicken.
5) When the chicken is ground add the egg whites to it and give it a quick pulse to incorporate the two ingredients together.
6) Add the vegetables to the chicken egg mixture and give the processor a few quick pulse to mix all the ingredients up.
7) Pour the mixture into the boiling stock. Put the burner down to low and let the soup simmer for at 45 minutes. Turn the heat off at this time. You can let the mixture sit for a few hours.
8) Skim the chicken/vegetable mixtures from the top of the soup. Pour the soup through a fine mess strainer. If you really want to get all the particles out place a piece of cheese cloth in the strainer.





Individual pumpkin souffles are a great seasonal treat and they are so easy to make. I just followed the pumpkin pie recipe on the back of the Pacific Organic Pumpkin Puree container. Just keep an eye on the soufflés because they do cook faster than a whole pumpkin pie. Mine were ready in about 40 minutes. 



I hope that these pantry appetizer ideas will be helpful to have on hand over the holidays. We go create so much trash this time of year it nice to use items packaged in containers that are a little gentler to earth. It is just one small way to make a difference, but they all add up. Share your carton smart ideas on Twitter @CartonSmart and follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest. 

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Roast Beef Appetizer: St. Germain Tartine #French Fridays with Dorie

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Roast Beef Appetizer: St. Germain Tartine: Simple Living and Eating


I have already made this appetizer twice. It is so simple to make and so delicious to eat. And leftover… I think it tastes best cold out of the refrigerator. 

This appetizer is inspired from Dorie Greenspan's: Tartine Saint-Germain which is basically the same thing without spice and on big pieces of bread as a sandwich. So, think large if you would like this for lunch. 

Enjoy this for Christmas Dinner or for your New Year's Party.

Happy Holidays,
Diane


Roast Beef Appetizer: St. Germain Tartine: Simple Living and Eating

Roast Beef Appetizer: St. Germain Tartine
by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com

Preparation: 20 minutes                              Serves: 40 appetizers


Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's: Tartine Saint-Germain from "Around my French Table."


Ingredients:

1 pound thinly sliced roast beef
1 package of cocktail size Pumpernickel bread (Rubsehlager)
1 12.5 ounce jar of cornichons 1/2 the larger pickles
1 bottle of Horseradish Sauce (Boar's Head)
salt and pepper


Directions:

1) Spread the bread squares out on a cookie sheet and toast them under your broiler about 2 minutes on each side.

2) Spread horseradish sauce on each square.

3) Put about a half a piece of roast beef on top of the sauce. You'll have to gage how much you can put on each piece by how thinly it is sliced.

4) Sprinkle each piece of roast beef with salt and pepper.

5) Top the roast beef with a cornichon.


Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 



Click here to see how the other Dorista's did.




Weekly Menu Plan:


Sunday (The Art of Sabrage Fundraiser):

Gourgeres (Cheese Puffs)
Roast Beef Appetizers: St. Germain Tartine
Speculoo & Coco Sable Cookies

Meatless Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday (Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fish): 



Wednesday (Christmas Day): 
Meat Lasagna with Green Salad 


Thursday: Chicken Soup

Friday: Dinner in NYC

Saturday: Quiche and Tomato Salad




This post is shared on the following food/craft parties: 


Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ 21st Century Housewife
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Tuesday's Table @ Love in the Kitchen
Tasty Tuesday #Anyonita Nibbles
Share your Stuff Tuesday @ Table for Seven

Wednesday Food:

From Dream to Reality @ DYI Dreamer
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Look What I Made @ Creations by Kara

Thursday Food:

Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:

Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 
Get Him Feed @ Anyonita Nibbles
Freedom Fridays @ Love Bakes Good Cakes






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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Coco Sables & The Art of Sabrage #Foodie Friday

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coco sables: simple living and eating


My daughter and I have been busy, busy, coming up with sweet and savory treats to serve at the Sabrage fundraiser for her fencing school this weekend.


My daughter is to the right in white.

Sabrage is the art of opening a champagne bottle with a sword or sabre that dates back to Napoleonic times in France. It is also a really cool trick to learn for New Year's Eve. I'm sure your friends will only think you are a crazy sabre wheeling person for a moment, before they are impressed by seeing you pop the cork off a bottle with Savoir faire!


http://www.buddhabarhotelprague.com/en/events/sabrage/

If you are interested in learning the art of Sabrage please visit my Monday post: Speckloos and the Art of Sabrage.


My daughter after 6 hours of fencing in her first tournament. 

OK, sabres, champagne… ah yes, dessert…which brings me to Coco Sables. If you are a dark chocolate lover who enjoys a little saltiness, this is the cookie for you. I can't stop eating these… I'm trying to ration one per coffee break over the week. 


coco sables: simple living and eating

Besides the intense chocolate taste of these cookies the simplicity of making them is wonderful. Just make and roll the dough into a log, refrigerate for a few hours, slice and bake. It is also really nice to roll them in granulated sugar as you will see in the 


recipe for Coco Sables

Note: The salt flavor is really light. I was thinking of adding more and maybe rolling the edges in a sugar salt mixture.

Enjoy and En garde!




Remember to visit and follow my co-host Adelina at Home Maid Simple to find out what blogger she is featuring this week!!!


Foodie Friday Features:


From: My Sister's Pantry

Slow Cooker Vegetables Bean & Barley Stew
Slow Cooker Vegetables Bean & Barley Stew
Yes, this is a super healthy stew but there are also really interesting flavors: Chinese cabbage and smoked paprika to name two.



From: Culinary Flavors

Chicken Casserole
Chicken Casserole 
Another simple and healthy meal with interesting flavors… just a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. 



From: Tartan Tastes

Dundee Cake
Dundee Cake
Angela hopes to win Amercians over to fruit cake with this traditional Scottish recipe. She won me over!



Instructions for Foodie Friday linky:

This is a food party please link up only 3 food related posts. Thank you. 

Click on at least 3 other recipes.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE PARTY HOSTS:  BY EMAIL OR RSS... 

or FRIEND ME ON FACEBOOK

SPREAD THE WORD: PIN, FB, TWEET ETC... this party. It is good for you and me.



1) Copy the Foodie Friday Button's html from this website's sidebar.

2) Paste this html to the html page of the recipe you want to link to Foodie Friday. You can also make a word link or post our button on your sidebar.  
 Please link back.
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6) Choose how you want to download the photo.
By posting in this party you are giving this blog permission to reprint (with a link to your post) in recipe roundups and featured posts any recipes/articles you share with us.







Join us on January 14th to share a Chinese recipe. 
We are looking for folks to co-host this monthly party with Adelina and I… please let us know if you are interested. 

Happy Chinese New Year!


January 14th China



Add your email to our list and I will remind you two weeks before the party and on the day of the party, so you won't forget to link up.







This post is shared on the following food/craft parties:

Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ 21st Century Housewife
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Tuesday's Table @ Love in the Kitchen
Tasty Tuesday #Anyonita Nibbles
Share your Stuff Tuesday @ Table for Seven

Wednesday Food:

From Dream to Reality @ DYI Dreamer
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Look What I Made @ Creations by Kara

Thursday Food:

Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:

Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 
Get Him Feed @ Anyonita Nibbles
Freedom Fridays @ Love Bakes Good Cakes


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