Salmon, Chives and Cream Cheese Canapé


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What to do for appetizers when you have a few people over and don’t want to serve the boring dip, salsa and chips?? you make those really fancy appetizers. They are pretty, taste wonderful and will impress any crowd.

Ingredients for 12 canapes:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry,
  • 1 pack of smoked salmon,
  • cream cheese at room temperature,
  • fresh dill or chives chopped,
  • coarse black pepper.
  1. Place the puff pastry onto the silpat.
  2. With the rolling pin, roll it thinner ( not too much, just a bit).
  3. Cut the rectangle into 12 squares ( or smaller if you want to make bit sizes).
  4. With a butter knife, spread the cream cheese in the middle of each square.
  5. Place 2 slices of salmon a top the cream cheese.IMG_0008
  6. Sprinkle some dill or chives. Fold the two sides over the salmon. It will look like a diamond.
  7. Sprinkle some coarse pepper. Continue this process until you have used all the puff pastry. Place the canapé on a silpat that you would have previously placed atop a medium perforated sheet.IMG_0009
  8. Cook in warm oven at 400 for 15 minutes. Miam, Miam…IMG_0013

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Smoked Salmon, Chives and Cream Cheese Canape

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 12 canapes:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry,
  • 1 pack of smoked salmon,
  • cream cheese at room temperature,
  • fresh dill or chives chopped,
  • coarse black pepper.
  1. Place the puff pastry onto the silpat.With the rolling pin, roll it thinner ( not too much, just a bit).
  2. Cut the rectangle into 12 squares ( or smaller if you want to make bit sizes).
  3. With a butter knife, spread the cream cheese in the middle of each square.
  4. Place 2 slices of salmon a top the cream cheese.
  5. Sprinkle some dill or chives.
  6. Fold the two sides over the salmon. It will long like a diamond.
  7. Sprinkle some coarse pepper. Continue this process until you have used all the puff pastry.
  8. Place the canapé on a silpat that you would have previously placed atop a medium perforated sheet.
  9. Cook in warm oven at 400 for 15 minutes. Miam, Miam..

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Bacon, Parmesan and Beef Meatballs


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Summer is here, and with it my summer vacation. One of the many perks of being a teacher is to have a very long summer vacation. And I am really enjoying it. No longer 5:00 am wake up calls, and no longer rush, rush, rush in the morning;-). It is gym in the mornings, lunches with friends, shopping here and there, and sunbathing;-))).

You would think that with all this free time on my hand, I would be bored and would have plenty of time cooking but between the gym, the kids and other things the day is passing by too quickly!!! And with the beautiful weather outside, I don’t really feel staying enclosed in my kitchen cooking dinner…

But dinner needs to be made….So why don’t I share with you another of my quick and delicious recipes; Bacon, Parmesan and Beef Meatballs;-))) You will just love it!!!

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Ingredients for the meatballs to serve 6-8 people ( about 5-6 meatballs per person):

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 3/4 cup of parmesan shredded
  • 3/4 cup of bacon bits
  • 3/4 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp of fresh oregano chopped
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cans of 24 oz. of tomato sauce ( I used from Barilla )

Mashed Potatoes:

  • 6 medium-sized potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of italian cheese
  • 2 cups of milk, or cream
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  1. Place all the ingredients listed for the meatballs except the tomato sauce in a large bowl.
  2. Either  with your  hands, or a kitchen mixer mix everything.IMG_1763
  3. With a small cake scoop, make meatballs.IMG_1764
  4. Place the meatballs into a pan of your choice. I used the deep flexipan from Demarle. I like those pans because they are non-stick and clean so well.IMG_1765
  5. Cook the meatballs for 10-15 minutes at 400.IMG_1807 2
  6. Then transfer the meatballs into a large casserole pan of your choice. I used  the grande round from Demarle  that I placed onto a medium perforated sheet for support, and pour 2 cans of tomato sauces of any flavors.IMG_1768
  7. Place the meatballs back into the oven and cook them for another 10-15 minutes.IMG_1771
  8. Meanwhile prepare the sides of your choice. I decided to fix garlic and italian cheese mashed potatoes.
  9. Peel the potatoes, and dice them. You can either place the potatoes into a large pot, cover them with water, add 1 tsp of sea salt,  and cook them until they are soft.  For an easier solution, you can place the diced potatoes into a large round mold.IMG_1769
  10. Add the pressed garlic, then place the octogonal silpat atop the round mold, and microwave the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  11. When the potatoes are soft, drain the water, mash them. Then add the cheese, the milk or the cream and whip them.IMG_1772
  12. Spoon the potatoes on each plate and place the meatballs atop the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle some cheese, and enjoy!!! Miam…IMG_1774

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Bacon, Oregano and Parmesan Beef Meatballs

  • Servings: 6-8 people
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for the meatballs to serve 6-8 people:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 3/4 cup of parmesan
  • 3/4 cup of bacon bits
  • 3/4 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp of fresh oregano chopped
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cans of 24 oz. of tomato sauce ( I used  Barilla )

Mashed Potatoes:

  • 6 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of italian cheese
  • 2 cups of milk, or cream
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  1. Place all the ingredients listed for the meatballs except the tomato sauce in a large bowl.
  2. Either with your hands, or a kitchen mixer mix everything.
  3. With a small cake scoop, make meatballs.
  4. Place the meatballs into a pan of your choice. I used the deep flexipan from Demarle. I like those pans because they are non-stick and clean so well.
  5. Cook the meatballs for 10-15 minutes at 400.
  6. Then transfer the meatballs in the grande round from Demarle that I placed onto a medium perforated sheet for support, and pour 2 cans of tomato sauces of any flavors.
  7. Place the meatballs back into the oven and cook them for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile prepare the sides of your choice. I decided to fix garlic and italian cheese mashed potatoes.
  9. Peel the potatoes, and dice them. You can either place the potatoes into a large pot, cover them with water, add 1 tsp of sea salt, and cook them until they are soft. For an easier solution, you can place the diced potatoes into a large round mold.
  10. Add the pressed garlic, then place the octogonal silpat atop the round mold, and microwave the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  11. When the potatoes are soft, drain the water, mash them. Then add the cheese, the milk or the cream and whip them.
  12. Spoon the potatoes on each plate and place the meatballs atop the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle some cheese, and enjoy!!! Miam…

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

French Salad with Lemon Flavored Oven Roasted Salmon


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What do you eat when you are not very hungry, you do not really want to cook, but you are trying to be really good??? Most people would say cereals, some people would say popcorn and some would say salad. It is not very often that I don’t want to cook, but with the beautiful days coming, I have been more keen on reading my book in the sun, than spending time in my kitchen. Still one has to eat, and since we don’t generally eat out, or order out, someone ( me) has to cook. Last night was meat salad and pan roasted potatoes for my husband, and salad and salmon for me- good, easy and satisfying;-)

Ingredients for 1-2 person:

  • 1 petite filet of salmon ( fresh or frozen that you would have thawn out)
  • 1 small head of boston lettuce
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of strong mustard ( grey poupon or even stronger)
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • lemon
  1. Place the salmon on a pan. Here we will be using either the deep flexipan or the medium silpat that we would have placed on the medium perforared sheet.
  2. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the salmon. Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes ( depending on how you like it).
  3. Meanwhile rinse the salad, and prepare the salad dressing. In a small bowl, mix all together the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper and stir well so that it will thicken ( yes this is the true French dressing ( not that yucky orange looking dressing that we sell here;-(
  4. Add the salad to the dressing and toss well.
  5. Then add the salmon that you would have cut in smaller pieces.
  6. Toss again and serve. Yum!! A real delight, fresh, light and tasty;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

French Salad with Lemon Flavored Oven Roasted Salmon

  • Servings: 1-2 people
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 1-2 person:

  • 1 petite filet of salmon ( fresh or frozen that you would have thawn out)
  • 1 small head of boston lettuce
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of strong mustard ( grey poupon or even stronger)
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • lemon
  1. Place the salmon on a pan. Here we will be using either the deep flexipan or the medium silpat that we would have placed on the medium perforated sheet.
  2. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the salmon. Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes ( depending on how you like it).
  3. Meanwhile rinse the salad, and prepare the salad dressing. In a small bowl, mix all together the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper and stir well so that it will thicken ( yes this is the true French dressing ( not that yucky orange looking dressing that we sell here;-(
  4. Add the salad to the dressing and toss well. Then add the salmon that you would have cut in smaller pieces.
  5. Toss again and serve. Yum!! A real delight, fresh, light and tasty;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Rosti Potatoes


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If you have attended one of my cooking classes, you will have heard of my husband because I speak of him often.. Why? because he is the reason I have to fix two dinners each night, and why I love my demarle cookware so much because it allows me to cook everything so quickly and the clean-up is so fast!!!

This evening my husband wanted to eat Meat Salad and Rosti Potatoes. He fixed the meat salad himself and was going to grate the potatoes to fix his rosti potatoes, when I offered to make them for him. If you have never made Rosti Potatoes, you should try them. There are quite yummy. They are very crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They are usually made in a frying pan, but made in the deep flexipan, or in a metal cookie sheet, will be a much easier and healthier option.

Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 1 package of frozen hash brown  of about ( 30 oz. ) to be found in the frozen aisle section
  • 1 package of 6 cheese Italian cheese ( 8 oz. )
  • 1 stick of butter melted completely ( in the microwave for 4 minutes)
  • 2 tbsp of roasted garlic and chives spice from Demarle
  • 1 medium size onion or two small ones diced thinly.
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt or more to taste
  1. Turn the oven to 425.
  2. To thaw out the frozen hasbrown, place them in the fridge the day prior to cooking the dish, or place the content of the package into the large round mold, cover the mold with the octogonal silpat and microwave it for 6 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Cut the butter and place it into a small bowl. Cover the bowl with something so that it will not splash out.I am using my octogonal silpat😉
  4. Pour the potatoes in a very large bowl, add the diced onion, salt, pepper, cheese, melted butter, the demarle spices and mix well.IMG_1195
  5. Place the grande flexipan onto the large perforated sheet and empty the content of the bowl onto the flexipan. If you do not have this cookware, use a very large cookie sheet and spray it with olive oil. With a spatula, pat the potatoes down.IMG_1196
  6. Place the pan into the oven on the top tier and cook the potatoes for 30minutes. They will be nicely crispy IMG_1197and brown on both sides:-)IMG_1203
  7. Eat as a side to whatever you are fixing. At our house, it was Meat Salad ( only German can understand….), but I know you guys can come up with other sides;-) Yummy, simple, and cheap.

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Rosti Potatoes

  • Servings: 8 people
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 1 package of frozen hash brown of about ( 30 oz. ) to be found in the frozen aisle section
  • 1 package of 6 cheese Italian cheese ( 8 oz. )
  • 1 stick of butter melted completely ( in the microwave for 4 minutes)
  • 2 tbsp of roasted garlic and chives spice from Demarle
  • 1 medium size onion or two small ones diced thinly.
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt or more to taste
  1. Turn the oven to 425.
  2. To thaw out the frozen hasbrown, place them in the fridge the day prior to cooking the dish, or place the content of the package into the large round mold, cover the mold with the octogonal split and microwave it for 6 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Cut the butter and place it into a small bowl. Cover the bowl with something so that it will not splash out.
  4. I am using my octogonal silpat;-)
  5. Pour the potatoes in a very large bowl, add the diced onion, salt, pepper, cheese, melted butter, the demarle spices and mix well.
  6. Place the grande flexipan onto the large perforated sheet and empty the content of the bowl onto the flexipan. With a spatula, pat the potatoes down.
  7. Place the pan into the oven on the top tier and cook the potatoes for 30minutes. Eat as a side to whatever you are fixing. Yummy, simple, and cheap!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

If you like what you read or see, please share;-) Merci beaucoup!!!

Creme Brûlée


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I am a very picky eater. I have been spoiled by my upbringing ( it is difficult to beat my mom, aunt and grandmother’s cooking), and as a result, I am not easily content with my meal. While some of my friend may be happy with a warm meal, I am more satisfied with one that will open my senses and will pleasure my sight. The same goes with dessert. In fact, I can even say that it gets worse. As I worry of my size, and my health, I don’t always indulge. It has to look appealing and it has to sound amazing before I will venture to take a bite. My most favorite dessert are, I am sorry ( or not;0) to say French. I like the delicateness of French desserts and the airiness. I am fan of mousse, and cream dessert more than cakes. Among my most favorite desserts you will find Creme Caramel and Creme Brûlée.

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This Sunday as I was getting ready to make Pistachio Macarons for my sister-in-law, I was left with a dozen of yolks. What do you do with yolks… well mostly cream;-) Though the answers can be endless, as many French desserts require yolks only ( creme anglaise, creme patisserie, Cream puffs, Bavarois, Charlotte, Custard…) I decided to go with Creme Brûlée as they are my daughter’s boyfriend favorite and he was coming for dinner….

Do you know that Creme Brûlée is one of the easiest dessert there is?!?! The key is to have the right ingredients:-” and the right recipe and everything is easy from there.

Ingredients for 8-10 individual portions of creme brûlée:

  • 3 cream of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 9 yolks
  • 3/4 cups of sugar + more sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla paste ( or vanilla extract)
  1. Mix the cream with the vanilla paste, pour the mixture into a large pot and bring it to boil.
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  2. After it has come to boil, let it cool down a bit.
  3. Turn the oven to 325.
  4. While, the cream is cooling, place the egg yolks in a large bowl, add the 3/4 cup of sugar and beat well until the mixture whitens.IMG_1174
  5. Slowly, pour the milk over the mixture and mix well.IMG_1176
  6. Place the containers inside the deep flexiflat that you would have placed over the medium perforated sheet.
  7. Pour the cream in each container. Pour water around the individual containers. Place the pans in the oven in the medium rack of your oven and cook the cream for 30-35 minutes.IMG_1178
  8. When the cream has baked for 30-35 minutes, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before placing them in the fridge to cool ( they will need to cool for at least 1 hour).IMG_1182
  9. Keep the cream in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.
  10. When it is time to serve them, sprinkle some sugar over each cream,IMG_1184
  11. and with a torch burn the sugar to cake the caramel crust.IMG_1185
  12. Serve and enjoy this scrumptious dessert…IMG_1191

 

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Creme Brûlée

  • Servings: 8-10 people
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 8-10 individual portions of creme brûlée:

  • 3 cream of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 9 yolks
  • 3/4 cups of sugar + more sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla paste ( or vanilla extract)
  1. Mix the cream with the vanilla paste, pour the mixture into a large pot and bring it to boil.
  2. After it has come to boil, let it cool down a bit.
  3. Turn the oven to 325.
  4. While, the cream is cooling, place the egg yolks in a large bowl, add the 3/4 cup of sugar and beat well until the mixture whitens. Slowly, pour the milk over the mixture and mix well.
  5. Place the containers inside the deep flexiflat that you would have placed over the medium perforated sheet.
  6. Pour the cream in each container. Pour water around the individual containers. Place the pans in the oven in the medium rack of your oven and cook the cream for 30-35 minutes.
  7. When the cream has baked for 30-35 minutes, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before placing them in the fridge to cool ( they will need to cool for at least 1 hour). Keep the cream in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.
  8. When it is time to serve them, sprinkle some sugar over each cream, and with a torch burn the sugar to cake the caramel crust. Serve and enjoy a piece of scrumptiousness…….

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fruit Pizza


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Looking for a fun dish to bring to a party, or for a quick treat to give your children?? This is it: Fruit pizza. Thank you Donna Waltz for giving me the idea. I would have never thought of it. But you are right, it is easy, fun to make, cheap and yummy!!!

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Ingredients for a pizza for 8 people:

  •  1 and 1/2 pack of sugar cookie dough
  • 2 cups of fruit of your choice  ( I used 3 kiwis, 6 large strawberries and a few chunks of pineapple). 
  • 1 container of mascarpone cheese ( italian cream cheese to be found in the Euopean section of the dairy product) or you can substitute with cream cheese. 
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  1. Cut the sugar cookie dough in 1/3 or 1/4 of an inch. Place each slice inside the pan of your choice ( I chose the grande mold. If you choose the deep flexipan, you will need 2 cans of sugar cookies. )IMG_1107
  2. Turn the oven at 350 and cook the cookie pizza for 15 minutes. It will be very soft at first, but let it cool completely and it will firm up.IMG_1108
  3. While the cookie is cooling, prepare the topping. In a large mixer bowl, beat the mascarpone with the sugar, vanilla extract and whipped cream until you have a whipped cream.IMG_1097
  4. Spread the cream over the cookie.IMG_1099
  5. Decorate the pizza with fruit of your choice.IMG_1103
  6. Eat up;-)

Fruit Pizza

  • Servings: 8-10 persons
  • Difficulty: Super
  • Print

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Ingredients for a pizza for 8 people:

  • 1 and 1/2 pack of sugar cookie dough
  • 2 cups of fruit of your choice ( I used 3 kiwis, 6 large strawberries and a few chunks of pineapple).
  • 1 container of mascarpone cheese ( italian cream cheese to be found in the European section of the dairy product) or you can substitute with 8 oz. of cream cheese.
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  1. Cut the sugar cookie dough in 1/3 or 1/4 of an inch. Place each slice inside the pan of your choice tat you will have placed on a medium perforated sheet( I chose the grande mold. If you choose the deep flexipan, you will need 2 cans of sugar cookies. )
  2. Turn the oven at 350 and cook the cookie pizza for 15 minutes. It will be very soft at first, but let it cool completely and it will firm up.
  3. While the cookie is cooling, prepare the topping. In a large mixer bowl,
  4. Once the cookie is cold, beat the mascarpone with the sugar, vanilla extract and whipped cream until you have a whipped cream.
  5. Spread the cream over the cookie, and decorate the pizza with fruit of your choice.
  6. Eat up;-)

 Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 If you like what you read, enter your e-mail on the box on the right of this post, and please share. Merci beaucoup!!!;-)

Lady Fingers or Biscuits Cuilleres


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When you live in Europe or France, and you need an ingredient for a recipe, you can go to any supermarket and just get it because they would have the item that the recipe demands. Unfortunately, most American supermarkets does not carry all the ingredients that i was accustomed to work with, or play with in Europe which can make your cooking experience a bit of a challenge or a scavenger hunt. Over the years that I have been in the USA, I have learned to either bring those coveted items back with me, or find internet sites that either sell them, or explain how I can make them myself.

So this is how, I learned to make pistachio paste, Pralin, Chestnut Puree.

This weekend I wanted to make a Buche de Noel ( Yule Log) and the recipe called for Boudoirs, or Lady Fingers… But I could not find them in any store so I had to make them.

So here is the recipe. It is one of the easiest thing to make, it is fast and you make lots of cookies at once that keep really well in an airtight container.

Ingredients for about 50 individual cookies:

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 63 grams of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract ( I am using the vanilla bean Paste from Nielsen Massey found at the Fresh Market)
  • 32 gr. of flour
  • 32 gr. of corn starch or even potato starch
  • powdered sugar
  1. Separate the eggs and place the egg whites into a mixer. Beat the egg whites into hard peaks.
  2. When you have reached this texture, add the egg yolks and blend them in.
  3. Then sift the corn starch and the flour and add it gently to the egg whites.
  4. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
  5. Fill a pastry bag and draw small sticks of about 1/2 inch by 2 inches on  large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet.
  6. Dust some powdered sugar all over the “cookies”.
  7. Bake the cookies in the oven for 12 minutes  at 338 or until they become a very pale yellow.
  8. Remove them from the oven and let them cool down at room temperature. Keep in an airtight container so that they will stay hard ( can keep for several weeks).

And with those wonderful cookies, I was able to make my Vanilla and Chocolate Buche de Noel. Yum….

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Lady Fingers or Biscuits Cuilleres

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for about 50 individual cookies:

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 63 grams of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract ( i am using the vanilla bean)
  • 32 gr. of flour
  • 32 gr. of corn starch or even potato starch
  • powdered sugar
  1. Separate the eggs and place the egg whites into a mixer. Beat the egg whites into hard peaks.
  2. When you have reached this texture, add the egg yolks and blend them in.
  3. Then sift the corn starch and the flour and add it gently to the egg whites.
  4. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
  5. Fill a pastry bag, and draw small sticks of about 1/2 inch by 2 inches on large perforated sheet that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet.
  6. Dust some powdered sugar all over the “cookies”.
  7. Bake the cookies in the oven for 12 minutes at 338 or until they become a very pale yellow.
  8. Remove them from the oven and let them cool down at room temperature. Keep in a airtight container so that they will stay hard ( can keep for several weeks).

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Please share this post if you like it and post your comments. Merci Beaucoup!!!