Seafood Ravioli with Brown Butter Caper Sauce

In Butter, Cheese, Eggs, Lemon, Lobster, Main Course, Pasta, Recipe, Ricotta, Shrimp
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  Macro - Blog 3832

 

How many of you have ever made your own pasta? 

I know it can seem a bit daunting, and with high-quality dried and fresh pastas available everywhere these days, many of us can't be bothered with making it from scratch.  But can I tell you something?  Once you experience the ritual of making your own and then taste how clearly superior it is to ANY store bought brand, you'll be a pasta maker for life.

 

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Seedy Cherry Quinoa Bars

In Cookies - Bars, Dessert, Dried Cherries, Nuts, Quinoa, Snacks
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  Tight - Blog 3819

 

The latest issue of Bon Appétit Magazine had a feature on how to make all sorts of different energy bars from scratch, and of the half-dozen or so that they shared, this one struck me as the one to give a try.  I think it mostly had to do with the binder made from tart cherries, rice syrup and salt (YUM!), but it also could have been that I have 3 different bags of quinoa in my pantry just screaming for redemption.  Whatever the reason, I'm quite happy to have made these.

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Puréed Flageolet Beans with Goat Cheese

In Beans, Cheese, Recipe, Vegetarian
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  Whole plate 2 - Blog 3819

 

I love potatoes!  Whether they be white, sweet, or purple; smashed, whipped, or fried....you name it and if its made with a spud I'm a fan.

That said, I do recognize their nutritional challenges (especially white varieties), and often lament the fact that the creamy dollop of mashed potatoes smiling back at me from the center of my plate, offer little in the way of nutrition, save the dairy fat brought by the cream and butter that make them so luscious.  Over the years I've made efforts to augment the whipped goodness that often anchors my meals by either adding healthier veggies to my spuds to make them more nutritious, or by replacing them altogether with a tasty alternative. 

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Rice Pudding with Boozy Fruit Compote

In Cream, Dessert, Dried Cherries, Eggs, Fruit, Milk, Raisins, Recipe, Rice and Grains, Vanilla
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Full bowl - Blog 3809
 

I've had a lot of time to catch up on food magazine reading over the past few weeks as the Northeast has been pounded with FOUR significant snowstorms that have kept us all locked up and out of harm's way.  As luck would have it I had all of the ingredients for this special treat on-hand during the first of these big snow events, which was a blizzard that dropped 31" of snow on us, and required that we stay put for 3 days until a plow could finally reach us and clear the drive.

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Chorizo Sausage with Broccoli Rabe and Beans

In Beans, Broccoli Rabe, Garlic, Lemon, Pork, Recipe, Sausage
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  Beans, chorizo, rabe in pan - Blog 3806

 

Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you…..

I don’t need to complete the rest of that limerick for you now, do I?

I didn’t think so.

The fact is, that little ditty is burned into the minds of most kids by the time they’re ten years old, and may go a long way toward explaining why so many people have an aversion to eating beans. Let’s face it, the social implications of a poorly timed meal rich with beans can be staggering, especially for folks who don’t eat them as a normal part of their diet. You see, our bodies tend to adjust over time to the gas producing effects of beans, lessening their impact on our digestive tracts the more that we eat them. This is a good thing, because as an inexpensive source of protein that is low in fat and high in fiber and nutrients, we should all be cooking with, and eating more beans.

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Rye Toasting Bread

In Bread, Breakfast / Brunch, Coconut, Dried Cranberries, Milk, Nuts, Recipe
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Sliced bread in pan - Blog 3798

 

Rye Flour....don't ask me why I have so much of it, but along with scarlet runner beans and dried chilies, I turned up a couple bags of the stuff when organizing my pantry a few weeks back.  I'm sure there are lots of cool things to do with rye flour (please chime in if you happen to know what they are), but all I could think to do was to make some bread.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate

In Chocolate, Cream, Drinks, Milk, Recipe, Snacks
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Cocoa with cream - Blog 3808
The finished elixir topped with a dollop of freshly whipped cream

 

As I write this post winds are whipping outside my home at the rate of about 60 MPH, the snow continues to fall (18" and counting), and the wind chill sits at about 4℉.  

Yeah....it's a cocoa day.

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Scarlet Runner Beans with Chili Sauce

In Beans, Cheese, Chili, Cilantro, Garlic, Lime, Onion, Recipe, Vegetarian
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  Chili scarlets tight - Blog 3805

 

A couple times each year, once in January and then again in July, I take a very detailed inventory of my pantry in order to cull foodstuffs that have been part of the family for far too long and are in need of either being used or pitched.  As I REALLY hate tossing perfectly good grub, January and July tend to be months where new and unusual foods are cooked up in these parts.

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Rum Balls

In Butter, Chocolate, Coconut, Nuts, Snacks, Walnut
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  Balls with coffee - Blog 3792

 

I made a bunch of these little darlings early in the holiday season and kept them in my fridge as a little sweet insurance in the event of impromptu visitors.  That's one of the things I love about the holiday season, people just popping by for a cup (or four) of cheer, perhaps dropping by some treats, but usually just pausing for a bit to say hi and "where the hell did that year go?".

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Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

In Banana, Bread, Butter, Cream, Custards / Puddings, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Milk, Recipe, Sauces / Condiments
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Pudding with sauce on ice - Blog 3788
 

Now that most people's New Year's resolutions about eating healthier and shelling out for a gym membership have been summarily dismissed, how about we get back to some fun, sugar and fat fueled cooking.  I made this little number as a dessert over the holidays - just about mid-binge - and it was a solid hit with everyone at the table.  The meal we had just enjoyed was similarly rich (in good holiday form) so I was a little concerned that talk of dessert would be met with moans and pleading from the table that no one could stand to eat another bite.

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Welcome

"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones. Read more...
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