Raspberry Chipotle Beef Meatballs



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This past Sunday, I hosted a Super Bowl Appetizer cooking class for some of my friends and acquaintances to show off some easy recipes that were delicious, but that could be prepared in advance. Because it is fun to host a Super bowl party or to go to one. What is less fun is to try to get ready, while getting the food ready on time and warm for the guests. I hope that you will try this recipe. It is easy to fix, delicious and actually quite healthy because I am only using lean ground beef. It can also be prepared in advance, even frozen and warmed up right before your guests arrive or right before you are ready to go.

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Ingredients for 6-8 people:

  • 1 pack of lean ground beef ( 1 1/2 lbs),
  • 3/4 cup of bread crumbs,
  • 1/2 tbs of garlic salt,
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper,
  • 1 egg,

Sauce:

  • 2 times 1/4 Maple Chipotle SauceIMG_4579
  • 2 times 1/4 seedless raspberry jam
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, or mixer and mix all until you have a well blended mixture.IMG_4475
  2. With a small ice-cream or cookie cutter, scoop small balls and place them into the deep flexipan that you would have already placed on a perforated  sheet. Of course, if you do not have, you can just use a regular cookie sheet that you will line with parchment paper.IMG_4476
  3. Cook them for about 15 minutes.IMG_4482
  4. While they are cooking, mix the raspberry and the maple chipotle sauce.IMG_4481
  5. When the meatballs are done, pour half of the sauce over them and mix well to coat the meatballs.IMG_4483IMG_4484 Put them back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes.IMG_4491
  6. When they come out, pour the other sauce and coat them again before eating them. Enjoy!!!IMG_4492 2

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Raspberry Chipotle Beef Meatballs

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 6-8 people:

  • 1 pack of lean ground beef (  1 1/2 lbs),
  • 3/4 cup of bread crumbs,
  • 1/2 tbs of garlic salt,
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper,
  • 1 egg,

Sauce:

  • 2 times 1/4 Maple Chipotle Sauce
  • 2 times 1/4 seedless raspberry jam
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, or mixer and mix all until you have a well blended mixture.
  2. With a small ice-cream or cookie cutter, scoop small balls and place them into the deep flexipan that you would have already placed on a cookie sheet.
  3. Cook them for about 15 minutes. While they are cooking, mix the raspberry and the maple chipotle sauce.
  4. When the meatballs are done, pour half of the sauce over them and mix well to coat the meatballs.
  5. Put them back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
  6. When they come out, pour the other sauce and coat them again before eating them. Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Stuffed Zucchini with Roasted Bell Pepper, and Purple Onion


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I love, love vegetables. I love to eat them, but I often find myself at loss on how to prepare them. Of course, you can grill, roast, steam, saute all your vegetables, and you can vary the spices that you use, but I am not very creative when cooking vegetables and like many of you I end up making the same vegetables over and over again.

I cannot remember where I saw a recipe of stuffed zucchinis, but I thought why not stuffed them with vegetables instead of meat to make it a truly vegetable dish. So  here it is :

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Ingredients for 4 :

  • 4 medium sized zucchinis about 4-5 inches long
  • 1 small purple onion
  • 1 whole roasted bell pepper ( a big jar can be found in grocery store or at Costco)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan,  swiss cheese or even feta ( optional)
  • 1 tsp of demarle rosemary and thyme spice
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

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  1. If you have not purchased roasted bell peppers, you will need to roast the fresh ones yourself. It is quite easy. Since it  just takes times, you may as well prepare a few more to keep in your fridge for more recipes.  Slice the bell peppers in half. Place then onto the silpat skin up, and roast them for 30 minutes at 450. When they are roasted, let them cool first by placing a silpat over them to keep them from drying up. When they are somewhat cooler, place them into a plastic bag and let them cool completely. The reason why you will want to place them into a bag, is to allow them to “perspire” and it will be easier for you to peel the skin off. 
  2. After 30 minutes to an hour, when they are completely cool. Carefully peel of the skin. It should come off fairly easy. Et voila. 
  3. Slice and dice one whole bell pepper and place it into a large bowl.
  4. Rinse the zucchinis thoroughly under running water. Then with a sharp knife, slice the zucchini in half in its length. With a melon grater, or a little spoon, grate the inside of the zucchinis. Place the “meat” of the zucchinis onto a chopping block, and chop the zucchini “meat” finely. Empty it into a bowl where you would have already placed the diced bell pepper. Set aside. IMG_2879
  5. Chop the onion very finely. IMG_2877
  6. In a large saute pan, warm up a tbsp of olive oil and when the oil is warm, saute the onion until it becomes a dark amber color.IMG_2878
  7. Empty the onion in the bowl where you would have placed the zucchini’s “meat”.
  8. Add the salt, pepper, 1 tsp of rosemary and thyme and 1/2 cup of cheese ( optional). Mix well. IMG_2880
  9. Fill the zucchinis with the mixture and place them into a deep flexipan that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet. IMG_2951
  10. Cook for 20-30 minutes ( it will depend how big they are. the larger, the longer they will need). Enjoy!!!IMG_2884

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Stuffed Zucchinis with Bell Pepper and Purple Onion

  • Servings: 4-6 people
  • Difficulty: Super easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 4 :

  • 4 medium-sized zucchinis about 4-5 inches long
  • 1 small purple onion
  • 1 whole roasted bell pepper ( a big jar can be found in grocery store or at Costco)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan, swiss cheese or even feta ( optional)
  • 1 tsp of demarle rosemary and thyme spice
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  1. If you have not purchased roasted bell peppers, you will need to roast the fresh ones yourself. It is quite easy. Since it just takes times, you may as well prepare a few more to keep in your fridge for more recipes. Slice the bell peppers in half. Place then onto the silpat skin up, and roast them for 30 minutes at 450. When they are roasted, let them cool first by placing a silpat over them to keep them from drying up. When they are somewhat cooler, place them into a plastic bag and let them cool completely. The reason why you will want to place them into a bag, is to allow them to “perspire” and it will be easier for you to peel the skin off.
  2. After 30 minutes to an hour, when they are completely cool. Carefully peel of the skin. It should come off fairly easy. Et voila.
  3. Slice and dice one whole bell pepper and place it into a large bowl.
  4. Rinse the zucchinis thoroughly under running water. Then with a sharp knife, slice the zucchini in half in its length. With a melon grater, or a little spoon, grate the inside of the zucchini. Place the “meat” of the zucchinis onto a chopping block, and chop the zucchini “meat” finely. Empty it into a bowl where you would have already placed the diced bell pepper. Set aside.
  5. Chop the onion very finely.
  6. In a large saute pan, warm up a tbsp of olive oil and when the oil is warm, saute the onion until it becomes a dark amber color. Empty the onion in the bowl where you would have placed the zucchini’s “meat”.
  7. Add the salt, pepper, 1 tsp of rosemary and thyme and 1/2 cup of cheese ( optional). Mix well.
  8. Fill the zucchinis with the mixture and place them into a deep flexipan that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet.
  9. Cook for 20-30 minutes ( it will depend how big they are. the larger, the longer they will need). Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Roasted Mushrooms and Asparagus


 

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One of the thing that I hear often from my customers and cooking classes participants is that they do not know what to cook. Ladies, cooking does not need to be a challenge! It does not have to be difficult. On the contrary. If you can buy fresh vegetables in seasons, then you will be able to vary your meals and eat healthy. Most seasonal vegetables and fruits are so flavorful as they come, that little needs to be done to make them taste great. Today I wanted to offer you this easy side. It is delicious, quick to make and so so healthy. Plus, look at the colors, don’t you want to just get a fork and dig in????

Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  • 1 asparagus bundle
  • 1-2 packs of mushrooms of 8 0z. each
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of fresh thyme chopped ( if you do not have 1/2 tsp of dry thyme)
  • salt and pepper to taste ( a dash of each)

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  1. Place the vegetables in a large colander, and rinse the vegetables thoroughly under running water.
  2. Break the end of the asparagus by holding the asparagus at 3/4 and at the end, and bend until it breaks. ( by doing so you will be sure that your asparagus are not chewy, but tender).
  3. Then chop them in 1/2 inch. Set them aside in a large bowl.IMG_1839
  4. Cut the tails of the mushrooms and cut them in half or even quarters if they are too large.IMG_1838
  5. Add them to the asparagus.
  6. Drizzle the 1 tsp of olive oil and mix well to coat the vegetable well.
  7. Lay the vegetables on top of the silpat. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and the chopped thyme.IMG_1843 2
  8. Cook the vegetables for 5-7 minutes at 400.IMG_1844

9. Enjoy!!!IMG_1847

( And give it a try! Even those who came to my cooking class and who did not like mushroom or asparagus enjoyed it very much and even went for second;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Roasted Mushroom and Asparagus

  • Servings: 4-6 people
  • Difficulty: Super easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  • 1 asparagus bundle
  • 1-2 packs of mushrooms of  8 oz. each
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of fresh thyme chopped ( if you do not have 1/2 tsp of dry thyme)
  • salt and pepper to taste ( a dash of each)

 

  1. Place the vegetables in a large colander, and rinse the vegetables thoroughly under running water.
  2. Break the end of the asparagus by holding the asparagus at 3/4 and at the end and bend until it breaks. ( by doing so you will be sure that your asparagus are not chewy, but tender).
  3. Then chop them in 1/2 inch. Set them aside in a large bowl.
  4. Cut the tails of the mushrooms and cut them in half or even quarters if they are too large. Add them to the asparagus.
  5. Drizzle the 1 tsp of olive oil and mix well to coat the vegetable well.
  6. Lay the vegetables on top of the silpat. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and the chopped thyme.
  7. Cook the vegetables for 5-7 minutes or to your liking.

Bon Appétit and Happy Coooking!!!

Croque Madame


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If you are a friend of mine of Facebook, you knew that I went home for Christmas. It is very rare that I will make the trip home for the holidays because we spend Christmas Eve here with family and then leave for France on Christmas day which always makes for a very short trip. Moreover, the airfare can be very expensive at this time of the year so we tend to not do that too often. This year, however, we chose to take the trip for several reasons:

1. we had sky miles that help us pay for our airfares.

2. having lost my grandmother this summer, I needed to spend time with my “surrogate” mother, my aunt and showed her how much she meant to us.

3. It had been more than a year since I had gone home.

So we went home. My daughter brought her boyfriend along so obviously we toured Paris as if we had never done so. 

It was all so beautiful!!!!IMG_0494

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Since we were staying at my aunt’s, we didn’t get to dine out often because my aunt wanted to spoil us with yummy French homemade meals and because we were just as happy staying home in company of our loved ones.

The only time we ate out was to stop for a coffee at a cafe, dessert and tea at a Tea salon, or for lunch.

One day as we were walking around the Galeries Lafayette, everyone was getting hungry so we decided to stop for a bite at the famous Cafe de La paix.

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If you have never been, it is worth the stop. It is on the pricey side, but the food and the service is so upscale that  you will not be disappointed with going there.

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The menu is so selective, that we could have ordered Caviar, foie gras, Oysters on the shelf, but we were so hungry and cold that everyone of us ordered the same thing: Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame.

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I have long been familiar with Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur, but the one I had at that restaurant was so outstanding that the minute I got home, I made some the recreate those flavor I had eaten.

Why Do I share this recipe only now?? because that way my sweet daughter can follow my recipe and make it herself if she decides to;-)

Ingredients for 4 Croque Madame:

  • 8 slices of honey wheat or white bread
  • butter
  • 8 slices of good quality ham ( not to thin)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2-3 tbsp of flour
  • 5 cups of gruyere grated
  • hot mustard ( French Dijon preferably)
  1. Turn the oven to 400. Slather some butter on each side of bread, and lay the bread flat on a large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet.
  2. Place the bread in the oven to toast for 5-8 minutes or until the bread is a light brown color.
  3. While the bread is toasting, melt 2 tbsp of butter in a medium sized saucepan and when the butter has melted, add 2 tbsp of flour. Stir the flour to make a roux.
  4. Warm up the milk in the microwave for 2 minutes and pour it over the roux. Continue stirring until the milk thickens and make a thick white sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and add 1 cup of grated gruyere. Stir well.
  5. To assemble the croque monsieur, place a toast down. Spread some mustard, sprinkle some grated cheese ( about 1/4 cup), then place the slice of ham, IMG_0930sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese.IMG_0928
  6. Place another toast on top. IMG_0931
  7. Spread about 1/4 cup of white sauce on the top of the bread. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese.IMG_0932
  8. Repeat the same process for the rest of the toasts.
  9. Place the toasts back onto the large silpat and toast them for another 10 minutes at 400,  or until the cheese is melted and golden.IMG_0933
  10. Meanwhile, warm up a small frying pan over medium high heat. Melt 1 tbsp of butter and when the butter is sizzling, crack an egg. and sizzle it.
  11. To serve, place the egg over the cheese toast, and eat the sandwich with a green salad in a mustard vinaigrette.IMG_0935Easy, Yummy and Conforting!!! Perfect for those winter months;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

You like what you just read, please share;-) Merci Beaucoup!!!

Croque Madame

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 4 Croque Madame:

  • 8 slices of honey wheat or white bread
  • butter
  • 8 slices of good quality ham ( not to thin)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2-3 tbsp of flour
  • 5 cups of gruyere grated
  • hot mustard ( French Dijon preferably)
  1. Turn the oven to 400. Slather some butter on each side of bread, and lay the bread flat on a large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet.
  2. Place the bread in the oven to toast for 5-8 minutes or until the bread is a light brown color.
  3. While the bread is toasting, melt 2 tbsp of butter in a medium sized saucepan and when the butter has melted, add  2 tbsp of flour. Stir the flour to make a roux.
  4. Warm up the milk in the microwave for 2 minutes and pour it over the roux. Continue stirring until the milk thickens and make a thick white sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and add 1 cup of grated gruyere. Stir well.
  5. To assemble the croque monsieur, place a toast down. Spread some mustard, sprinkle some grated cheese ( about 1/4 cup), then place the slice of ham, sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese. Place another toast on top. Spread about 1/4 cup of white sauce on the top of the bread. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese.
  6. Repeat the same process for the rest of the toasts.
  7. Place the toasts back onto the large silpat and toast them for another 10 minutes at 400 or until the cheese is melted and golden.
  8. Meanwhile, warm up a small frying pan over medium high heat. Melt 1 tbsp of butter and when the butter is sizzling, crack an egg. and sizzle it.
  9. To serve, place the egg over the cheese toast, and eat the sandwich with a green salad in a mustard vinaigrette. Easy, Yummy and Conforting!!! Perfect for those winter months;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Gluten and Dairy Free Almond Waffles


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My nephew spent the week here with us, so that it would be too far for him to get to the church where my son and him were to do an in-town mission trip. I hardly saw them. They would leave at 7 with my husband and would come back at 8 pm.

This morning though, since they were not going to church they decided to stay home and enjoy the company of themselves playing video games and playing in the pool.

But this morning, as they woke up I realize that there was nothing left in the fridge for breakfast. No milk, No baguette in the freezer, No more cereals, so i decided to make waffles.

And since I too wanted to eat waffles but did not want to eat wheat, I decided to make almond ones.

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Ingredients for about 14 waffles:

  • 3 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk ( i used coconut milk since i had nothing else on hand)
  • 4 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 box of fresh strawberry of about 16 oz. 
  1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.
  2. Turn the waffle iron on, and when the light turns off, open the waffle iron, spray a bit of olive oil, or brush a bit coconut oil on the waffle iron.
  3. Pour in about 1/4 cup of the batter and close the lid.
  4. Cook the waffle until the light turns off.
  5. Repeat the same process until you have used all the batter.
  6. While the waffles are cooking, slice the strawberries in cubes, mix in a bit of sugar and set aside until it is time to eat.
  7. When serving the waffles, spoon a bit of the fruit on top of the waffle, drizzle some honey and Breakfast is Ready. Easy and Healthy!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Melted Snowman


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Snow… I wish we had snow here in Spartanburg. It would be fun;-). I am not asking for a lot, just a day or two to see the snow fall, and to be able to make a snowman… it is so magical and it makes such good memories.

Well, today, in spite of snow, I made a snowman in my kitchen. I found the idea of Better Homes and Garden Websites.

Ingredients for 14 Melted Snowmen cookies:

Ingredients for the chocolate cookies:

  • 3/4lb of bittersweet chocolate chips,
  • 1/2 stick of butter,
  • 3 large eggs,
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar,
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract,
  • 1/3 cup of all purpose flour,
  • 1/4 tsp of baking powder,
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans ( optional- I substituted with mixed chocolate chips instead.)
  1. Turn your oven to 350.
  2. In a microwave-proof bowl, place the chocolate and the butter and cook for 2 minutes on high. Let it cool.
  3. In a mixer, place the eggs and the sugar and beat on high until the eggs turn pale yellow, and become fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla to the chocolate mixture and pour into the egg mixture. Stir.
  5. Add the flour, the baking powder, the salt and the nuts ( if you are using any) and mix well. Let it rest for 5 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Scoop the batter into 2 inches rounds onto a large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet. Space them out every inches.
  7. Cook for 6 minutes. The cookies should have cracked, but make sure that the crack is not wet when touching with your fingers for doneness. Let cool on rack. When the cookies are cold, follow the steps below to make the melted snowmen.

If you are running out of time, you may use the Dark Chocolate Chip refrigerated Cookie from Pillsbury. If you do, cook them according to directions. 

If you are using the demarle cookware and a silpat, cook for 15 minutes. 

Ingredients for 14 Melted Snowmen Cookies:

  • 1 recipe of the brownie chocolate chip cookies ( above)
  • 1/2 of a vanilla almond bark.
  • 14 mini reeese cups
  • 14 regular sized reese cups
  • 14 orange sprinkle
  • 28 mini chocolate chips
  1. Bake the cookies according to directions
  2. Melt the vanilla flavored almond bark in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. But stop at half time and stir to prevent the chocolate to scorch.
  3. Cut the end of the regular Reese to make the trim of the hat. Set aside.
  4. Pour the vanilla chocolate coating over each cookie.
  5. Place the “trim” of the hat, and a small Reese to make the hat.
  6. Place two mini chocolate chips to create the eyes.
  7. Place the orange sprinkle to make it look like the nose.

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Colorful Winter Salad


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Summer offers such an array of beautiful colorful vegetables and fruits that it is easy to make your table fun and appetizing. Winter, on the other hand, is limited with its selection. So when I finally find fun vegetables like Belgium endives and radicchio I buy them to add a bit of color to my table and plate.

Belgium endives is a very common vegetable in France. It is served as salad and also as gratin. Whichever you ix it, you will want to add to the recipes something that counterpart the bitterness of the vegetable. And that is why in am using white balsamic vinegar in my recipe today:

Ingredients for 4:

  • 1 head of radicchio
  • 2 medium-sized endives.
  • 2 tbsp of white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of walnut oil
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of gorgonzola cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of walnuts broken in small pieces.
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  2. Chop the salad thinly and add it to the salad. Toss well.
  3. Add the chopped walnuts. and mix again.
  4. Add the cheese and toss, or serve the cheese on the side in case people in your home does not care for blue cheese.
  5. Eat up!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!