Homemade Bounty


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In the evening, after dinner, my husband likes to fix himself a cup of coffee, and sit on his sofa to watch a movie. He also likes to eat “a betthupfer” ( evening treat)  while watching his movie. It can be an ice-cream, a dessert that I made, a chocolate bar, or even a bag of those miniature candy bars ( Milkie way, Twix, Almond joy).

As I was scrolling through the internet in search of ideas for my cooking classes, I came across the Almond Joy, or Bounty recipe. It looked so easy that, of course, i could not pass it. So Here it is:

For About 30 small bounty:

  • 1 can of condensed Milk
  • 300 gr. of coconut flakes
  • Chocolate Chips
  1. In a large bowl mix the coconut flakes and the condensed milk, and mix well.photo 1
  2. With a small spoon, pick a tablespoon of that mixture and mold it into a small oval that you will place on the silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet. Continue until all has been used.photo 1
  3. Place them into the freezer to freeze for a minimum of an hour.
  4. When the coconut is hard, place the chocolate into a microwable bowl and cook it for 90 seconds. Stir with a fork. If needed, cook for another 30 seconds or until the chocolate is liquid.
  5. Place a coconut oval onto a fork and dip it into the melted chocolate. Place the chocolate covered coconut onto the silpat again. Place the tray back into the freezer so that the chocolate will cure.

Or

  1. With a pastry brush, “paint” the inside of the mold of your choice. I used two trays: the oval tray and the pop tray. Place the tray into the fridge, or freezer to cure the chocolate.photo
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Mix together the coconut flakes and the condensed milk and fill the cavities of the tray. photo 2
  3. Place the tray back into the freezer. Let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour or until the coconut is frozen.
  4. With the pastry brush, brush the top of the coconut, and voila!!!photo 3
  5. Cheap Home-made Bounty. Yummm!!! You try!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Oven Roasted Asparagus with Sesame Seeds


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Asparagus are one of those vegetables that can be seasoned so many ways to accomodate your entree. Since I was serving an Asian flavored dinner, I thought to flavor my aspargus with toasted sesame seed oil, and sesame seeds. Yum, and fast!

Ingredients for 4:

  • 12-16 asparagus
  • 1 tsp  of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 picnh of pepper
  • 1 tsp of sesame seeds
  1. Trim the aspargus by breaking the ends.
  2. Then place then into a bowl. Drizzle the oil over the asparagus, and with your fingers, turn the asparagus inside the bowl so as to coat them well.
  3. Place the asparagus onto a small silpat that you would have placed onto a small perforated sheet.photo 1
  4. Cook them into the oven for 3 minutes if very tiny, 5 minutes if normal size, and 7-8 minutes if larger than your thumb. Serve with your entree. Yummy!!! Crunchy! Un vrai delice.photo 4

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chili-Lime Meatballs


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I love, love Asian food, but my husband is not a fan so when I cooked this recipe adapted from an old recipe book from The Pampered Chef and he liked it, I was really really happy because it is so hard to cook for this man;-)

I hope that you will love it too. It is easy to make, fast to cook and delicious.

Ingredients for about 5-6 people:

  • 1 pack of lean ground beef ( about 1.33lb)
  • 4 slices of bread or 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • 4 tsp of Thai curry paste
  • 4 green onions diced very thinly

Chili-Lime Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of honey 
  • 2 tbsp of toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 inch of grated ginger
  • 4 garlic gloves pressed
  •  the zest of 1 lime
  • 4 tbsp of lime juice ( you may need 2 limes to get 4tbsp)
  • 4 tsp of Thai Red Curry 
  • 2 tsp of corn flour
  1. In a large bowl, place either the 1/2 cup of bread crumbs or the 4 slices of bread and pour the milk that you would have previously warmed up.
  2. With a fork, puree the bread.
  3. Add all the other ingredients to the bread and mix well. You can either use your hand, or a kitchen mixer.photo 1
  4. With a small scoop, scoop the meatballs and place them onto a deep flexipan that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet.
  5. Cook then for 15 minutes at the temperature of 400.photo 1
  6. Meanwhile prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, mix all the ingredients and bring the mixture to boil.
  7. When the mixture has come to boil, turn the heat down and cook for a few more minutes or until the sauce thickens
  8. Place the meatballs into a large bowl, pour the sauce over them and mix well.photo 2
  9. Serve with steamed rice, and roasted asparagus seasoned with toasted sesame seed.photo 4Yum, and fast!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Spicy Shrimps


photo 1This past Thursday, I hosted a Beer Dinner Cooking Class for several members of a beer dinner club. The event was not closed and therefore many other people were able to join in the fun. We had fun, and since many attendees told me that they wished to do that again, I will say that everyone had a good time as well. I hope  you will be able to join in the fun next time.

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I used the Culinary Hub Kitchen downtown to host the event, and divided the kitchen into 6 stations. The attendees were divided into the various stations. Everyone was responsible for one course of the meal to be shared at the end.

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Our “Chefs en Herbes” made the following dishes:

  • Bacon and Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Apricot and Gorgonzola tartlets
  • Spicy Shrimps in Wontons Cups
  • Caesar Salad on Croutons Tartlets
  • Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with a Beer and Balsamic Reduction
  • Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Boursin Potato Cupcake
  • And for the finale, we had The Chocolate Marceau with Sliced Strawberries.

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Today i would like to share with you the recipe of “Spicy Shrimps”. The recipe was adapted from The Beeroness.com blog.

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Ingredients to make about 60 bite-size appetizers:

  • 4 tsp of paprika
  • 10 garlic cloves either grated or minced
  • 2 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 tsp of red chili flake
  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of beer ( we used a blond, or light one)
  • 8 tsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 lbs of raw shrimps, peeled, deveined
  • Olive oil. 
  • a pack of 60 wontons
  • Oil in a vaporizator
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Peel, and remove the tails of the shrimps. Place the shrimps into a colander and rinse them over running water.
  3. With a paper towel, pat the shrimps dry and place them into a bowl. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt, a dash of pepper and stir well to coat the shrimps.
  4. Place the shrimps onto a large flexipan that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet and cook them for 8 minutes at 400.
  5. Meanwhile, place 2 mini muffin pans onto two medium perforated sheets, and place a wonton in each muffin opening. Push the wontons in carefully so that the bottom will be flat, but be careful not to tear the wonton.
  6. Spray olive oil over the wontons. Cook the wontons for 6-8 minutes or until they have become a golden brown.
  7. When they are done, set them aside.
  8. Prepare the sauce for the shrimps.
  9. Melt the butter into a medium-sized saucepan.
  10. When the butter is starting to sizzle add the garlic. Stir and cook for a minute or 2.
  11. Add the other spices, then the tomato sauce and the beer. Mix well. Bring the mixture to boil, and when it has come to boil, turn it down and continue cooking until it reduces to half.
  12. While the sauce is cooking, chop the shrimps very small, and add them to the sauce.
  13. Spoon the spicy shrimps in the wontons cups and eat at once! Yum!!!photo 2

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Strawberry Parfait: Easy and Yummy Dish for Mother’s Day


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No, no, I am still alive. Just busy with various projects here and there. And yes, i am still cooking, I can’t seem to find the time to edit all my posts;-(

How have you been???

Well, today at the eve of Mother’s Day I was not so busy so I thought i would post one of my favorite breakfast. It is easy, yummy and quite healthy for you. It is very very easy to make and your children could fix those for Mother’s Day tomorrow as a dessert or part of brunch. Today i used strawberries but you could have used any type of fruit.

photo 4 Ingredients for 4 Parfaits:

  • 1 box of strawberry ( about 8 oz)
  • plus 4 beautiful strawberries for decoration
  • 1/4 cup of granola ( I used
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of white sugar
  • 2 tbsp of good flavored vanilla extract ( i used Madagascar)
  • 2 tbsp of heavy cream
  1. Rinse the strawberries, and cut them in eighths. Place them in a bowl and set them aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the other ingredients ( Greek yogurt, sugar, cream, vanilla extract).
  3. Mix the yogurt mixture into the diced strawberries.
  4. Divide the strawberry parfait equally into four cute clear containers. You could even use stem water glasses. 
  5. Sprinkle some granola on top of the parfait and place the fresh strawberry that you would have cut in a fan as decoration.
  6. Enjoy!!!

Et voila!!! Simple, easy, yummy!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

 

 

Capuccino Cupcakes


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Any excuse to play in my kitchen is a great excuse. A few days ago, someone asked me how to bake perfectly round cups using sugar cookies or regular cookies. I had used them many times to make fun treats, but had never really tried to use them and bake them empty so I thought to give it another try. Well, as a result I was left with an array of empty shells to work with. Being a fan of chocolate, and coffee I decided to make those cute yummy treats. I hope that you will enjoy them. Plus, they are a fun treat to make with children. Easy, Mess free and Yummy!!!

Ingredients for 24 mini cupcakes:

  • 1 pre-baked sugar cookie dough ( i don’t have any preference, I used Pillsbury)
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 4 oz. of bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp of sugar ( optional – i don’t because i like dark chocolate but those of you who may like  sweet desserts, i would)
  • 1 tbsp of coffee granule
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream for the whipped cream
  • 2 tbsp of mascarpone or cream cheese at room temperature.
  • a few coffee beans for decoration.
  1. Turn the oven to 400. Place the mini cupcake tray on the medium perforated sheet and place a cookie square in each hole.photo 2
  2. Cook the cookies 10 minutes.photo 3
  3. Remove the pan from the oven, and with a shot glass ( i hope that you have one, or the back of a large spoon), press the dough down to make a well.photo 4
  4. Place the cookies back in the oven and cook for another 3-5 minutes ( it will depend on your oven).photo 5
  5. Let them cool completely and prepare the filling.photo 2
  6. Place the chocolate chips, sugar and coffee in a bowl and set aside.
  7. Place 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a small bowl and cook for 1 minute or until it is hot.
  8. Pour the cream over the chocolate mixture and let it set for 1 minute to let the chips  melt.
  9. Stir until you have a very liquid mixture free of lumps. Place it in the fridge to cool.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the whipped cream. We are adding the mascarpone cheese so that the whipped cream will not fall.
  11. Place the cream and the cheese into a small bowl and whip until you have stiff peaks.
  12. Remove the chocolate mixture from  the fridge, place it in a kitchen mixer and whip it until you have  a fluffy mousse.
  13. Place the chocolate whipped ganache into a ziploc bag, or pastry bag and fill each cup to half.photo 3
  14. Then, fill another ziploc bag with whipped cream and pipe the cream on top of the chocolate.photo 4
  15. Decorate with coffee beans. C’est tout!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Maple Syrup Flavored Brussells Sprouts



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My mom was a great person, and a great cook. What I hated about her, however, is that she believed we needed to eat a little bit of everything on the premises that all food brought various vitamins and nutrients. That is the reason why she served us many vegetables, and other food such as  liver  because it was good for us. For example, liver and spinach were good for iron, oranges for their vitamin B.  etc cetera…

I will tell you that even though she was a fabulous cook, I did not always like her cooking. One of the thing I really disliked as a child in fact was Brussels sprouts. They were bitter, smelled awful , and they were not gentle to my stomach.
It took me many years to cook them when I got married. I cannot remember exactly why I cooked them again. I think my husband liked them (in fact it is one of the very few vegetables he likes and will eat).
My children never liked them, but to follow the tradition, they had to eat them because  eating vegetables is good for you.

However it did not matter how often, or how different I served them. Both my children hated them, making faces with every bite they took.

What happened one day really came as a surprise. Lisa and I were grocery shopping one day, and I picked up a bag of Brussel Sprouts. I surely thought that if she was going to comment on my choice, she was going to scream why I would choose to pick them. But she did not. Instead of a statement of disgust, she actually inquired to see if they were for us, and when I told us that they were not, she gave a sigh, looked pitiful and said: Mom , can you get some for us. Really???? Had I heard right? really ??? I was shocked!!!
All I can say is that you she probably likes them because i am using bacon and maple to flavor them, and I am using my demarle mold to steam them which makes them so much better, and so much tastier!

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Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  • a bag of brussel sprouts ( about 12oz)
  • 2 tbsp of bacon bits from costco
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  1. Place the brussels sprouts in the sink filled with water and a tbsp of white vinegar.
  2. Cut the stem of the Brussel sprout, and peel the first and maybe the second leaf of the sprout. Repeat with each sprout.
  3. Cut each Brussel sprout in half, and place them into the round mold.
  4. Add the bacon bits. Place the octogonal silpat on top of the round mold to cover the round mold and place it in the microwave to cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile turn the oven to 425.image
  5. When the Brussels sprouts are cooked. Pour the maple syrup and the olive oil over the Brussel sprouts and stir.image
  6. Place a large silpat over a large perforated sheet and spread the Brussels sprouts over the silpat.image
  7. Place them into the oven and cook for another 8-10 minutes or until they are getting a golden color.
  8. Enjoy!!! I know my sweet daughter does. I hope that your family and children will enjoy them :-)image

Bon appetit and happy cooking!!!!

Pizza Rolls


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Looking for an easy thing to make for lunch?? You can make those cute pizza rolls for lunch. They are easy, yummy and a breeze to make. If you are making too many which is the case with this recipe, you can freeze them and use them as you need them. Much cheaper and a hundred time much healthier than hot pockets;-)

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This recipe was adapted from Appetizers from Taste of Home.

Ingredients for 15-18 Pizza Rolls :

  • 3 cups of italian cheese ( Mixed Italian Cheese, or any other)
  •  8 oz. or 1/2 italian sausage cooked from Jimmy Dean 
  • 1 whole package of pepperoni diced very thinly from Hormel.
  • 1 red pepper diced very thinly as well.
  • 1 medium onion diced very thinly as well.
  • 12 oz. or about 1 /2 jar of tomato sauce
  • 2 eggs ( optional)
  • 2 packs of large wontons
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.photo 3
  2. photo 4Place the rectangular roulpat over the counter for easy filling and cleaning.
  3. Place the wontons flat onto the roulpat.photo 5
  4. With a pastry brush, brush the outer rim of each wonton with water.
  5. Place 1/4 cup of the mixture in the middle of each wonton, and only 1 tsp for the small wonton.photo 1
  6. Roll the wonton over the mixture, and fold the wonton over to roll into a sausage. Fold the sides in to close the “pizza tube”.photo 1
  7. For smaller wontons, you can do the same, or you can press the sides together to make little purses.photo 2
  8. Place it on the large silpat that you would have placed onto a large perforated sheet.
  9. Repeat the steps until you have used all the mixture.
  10. With the same pastry brush, brush some olive oil over each wonton.
  11. Cook the pizza rolls in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 400. photo 2Serve with more tomato sauce. My son actually likes to eat them with ranch dressing. The combination is quite good, as the sauce counteracts against the spiciness of the pizza. Try it . It is very good!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Rotisserie Chicken Salad


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A few weeks ago the band of my son’s high school hosted a band competition. To raise money, they asked parents to bring in treats for the bake sales, and helped to cater the event with food for both the directors and the judges of the band.

If you knew me, you will find that I am one that likes to give a hand everywhere I can even when time is limited so I did.

I offered to help cater the luncheon for the judges. On the menu, they had a real Southern treats ( or at least that what i think;-)

  • Spiced Pecans
  • Cheddar Wafers
  • Petite Chocolate Cake with Chocolate ganache and
  • Rotisserie Chicken Salad on Croissant
  • And Fresh Fruits.

Because I had so many compliments on the chicken salad, i thought to share to recipes on my blog so that if someone wants it, they can just use this blog entry.

Ingredients for 36 mini chicken sandwiches on Croissants, or 50 triangular tea sandwiches:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken deboned and “peeled”
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp of garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup of celeri stick sliced in half and chop very very thinly
  • 1/4 cup of red onion chopped very very thinly ( optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  1. Remove the skin and peel off the meat from the bones.
  2. Chop the chicken meat very thinly with the sharp knife. I use all the parts, but if you only like the white parts, you certainly can only use that.
  3. Place the chicken into a kitchen mixer and add all the other ingredients.
  4. Using the white paddle used for batter, mix the chicken salad until the chicken is well mixed. photo 2
  5. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve the chicken salad as you wish, on croissant, or in Phillo cups as shown above. I used my mini muffin tray from demarle. Too cute!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Chocolat Chaud (Hot Cocoa)- the Parisian Way


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Theo, my child came inside this afternoon and opened all the cabinets in search of a hot cocoa mix. There was not one. So he asked if I knew where it would be.. of course no where. he looked so disappointed that i decided to make some from scratch. It is really not that hard. In fact there is nothing easier than hot cocoa. All yu need is good quality chocolate and milk.

Yes, unlike the urban belief, hot cocoa is not made with cream or half and half, the thickness comes from the chocolate. In fact if you do not believe me, let the hot cocoa cool a bit and you will see that it will become very thick almost as thick as a chocolate fudge or syrup. Yum!!!!

I topped the top of the hot cocoa with whipped cream, but you would need to.

Ingredients for 4 small cups:

  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 130 gr. of 5 oz of chocolate chips ( bittersweet with 60% cocoa minimum)
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  1. Place the milk into  a cup and warm it up in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate chips. stir and pour it into a small saucepan.
  3. Bring the mixture to boil. When the mixture has boiled, turn off the heat.
  4. Beat the cream into hard peaks. Pour the chocolate into  4 teacups ( this is so rich, that you will not need to have more).
  5. Spoon a dollop of whipped cream over the hot chocolate.
  6. Sprinkle a few chocolate beads over the whipped cream and without much , enjoy this yummy delightful brew.

Even better with macarons;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Coioking!!!