Tomatoes a la Provencale


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Hello readers, and everyone else. How are you?? I know, I know it has been a while. It is crazy how time passes and how I find it difficult to write my recipes and share them with you. Contrary to my lack of posts, I have been cooking. But my family and I have had so much family visiting recently that it is difficult to find time to allocate to my blog.

Any way here I am. Before you will have no more tomatoes in your backyard, I wanted to share this yummy and very very easy recipe of Tomates Provencales.

There are a million recipes out there, but really the best part of this recipe, is that you can pretty much use all that you have in your  cabinets to flavor those tomatoes.

Indeed, the recipe calls for Bread crumbs, but you can substitute it with crackers, or bagel chips that you would have crushed. One day, I even used some white cheddar cheez-it because I did not have any more bread crumbs.

  • Ingredients for 4-6 people:
    1-2 tomatoes per person, so about 8,
  • 1/4 cup of italian bread crumbs,
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan,
  • 1 tbsp of garlic salt.
  • 1 tsp of rosemary thyme seasoning from demarle
  1. Place all the dry ingredients into a small bowl and mix well.IMG_2667
  2. Cut the roma tomatoes in half.IMG_2666
  3. Place them into a flexipan or a large round.
  4. Sprinkle the bread mixture over the top of the tomatoes.IMG_2668
  5. Drizlle some olive oil to wet the bread crumbs
  6. Bake the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes.IMG_2671

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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!!!

Cauliflower Bites


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Winter vegetables are very limited. There is not much more besides  roots, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Of course, I could be eating all that my stores offer ( which is everything), but as a French person, I believe it is best to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season.

I am not fan of cabbage, and my family do not like carrots.  As the result, I often cook brocoli and cauliflower in the winter time. It is not a problem because I like them both.

You  can do so many things with both vegetables! You can roast, puree, steam, saute them,make soups.. So many things in fact that that if you were to open my fridge at any point in the winter, you would find both;-).

Well, when I looked in the fridge today, I realized that I had two bags of cauliflower. Since I had already made a soup and a casserole a few days ago, I did not want to serve them again as such. I had been meaning to make that cauliflower pizza that has been going around on faceboook, but time has been so scarce lately that I have not had time to make it and I was not really in the mood for pizza…

Anyway, I was adamant about making something with my cauliflower this evening. I had seen the recipe from DamDelicious , that I decided that I was going to give it a try this evening. Except I was going to make it somewhat  healthier;-)) and somewhat less messy and faster.

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Here we go:

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

  • 3/4 bag of cauliflower from Costco, or 1 1/2 lbs of cauliflower heads
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan
  • 1/2 cup of italian bread crumbs
  • a spicy seasoning of your choice, I used Zesty Mediterranean from Demarle

Dill Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tsp of dill seasoning from Demarle
  • 2 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp of sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl, place the eggs and mix them well.IMG_1296
    In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, the parmesan and the zesty Mediterranean Spice from Demarle. Set aside.IMG_1297
  2. Either cut the cauliflower head into small florets or buy the florets, That is what I did.
  3. Dip the florets into the egg,IMG_1298
  4. Then into the parmesan and place them onto the silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet. IMG_1299
  5. Roast at 425 for 10 minutes. You can eat as such, they are quite yummy, or you can make a dipping sauce.IMG_1301IMG_1304IMG_1306
  6. Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce together, and enjoy with our reservation. Miami, miam;-)IMG_1307

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking !!!

Cauliflower Bites

  • Servings: 6-8 people
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print
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Ingredients for 6-8 people:

  • 3/4 bag of cauliflower from Costco, or 1 1/2 lbs of cauliflower heads
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan
  • 1/2 cup of italian bread crumbs
  • a spicy seasoning of your choice, I used Zesty Mediterranean from Demarle

Dill Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tsp of dill seasoning from Demarle
  • 2 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp of sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl, place the eggs and mix them well. In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, the parmesan and the zesty Mediterranean Spice from Demarle. Set aside.
  2. Either cut the cauliflower head into small florets or buy the florets, That is what I did.
  3. Dip the florets into the egg, then into the parmesan and place them onto the silpat.
  4. Roast at 425 for 10 minutes. You can eat as such, they are quite yummy, or you can make a dipping sauce.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy with our reservation. Miami, miam;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking !!!

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

Cute Small Caesar Salad Cups


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I love desserts, yummy scrumptious desserts. You probably figured out that from a few of my blog entries. But I also like to eat healthy because I feel better if I do, and i can still fit in my clothes that are 10 years old ( provided I still wear them, right???).

So when I offer cooking classes, I like to do the same. I like to offer recipes that are easy to make, pretty, yummy and healthy ( though sometimes they are not, and that is okay too. )

For one of the latest cooking class, i decided to make those caesar salad cups because they were different, and they presented vegetables in a fun way.

The idea of using bread as a pie shell came from one of the book from Martha Stewart. She is so creative!!!

Ingredients for 20 mini cups ( for about 6-5 people):

  • 1 1/4 romaine salad
  • 1/4 cup of caesar salad dressing. I used Creamy Caesar Salad dressing from Hidden Valley, but you can make your own. Recipe here.
  • 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese ( plus a bit more for sprinkling for decoration)
  • 1 loaf of sandwich bread of about 20 oz. ( or exactly 20 slices.
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Cut each slice into a round of 3 inch. Place each round of bread in each indentation of the medium tartlet or the medium tartlet silform that you would have placed on a medium perforated sheet.
  3. Cook the tartlet for 6-8 minutes or until they are golden.photo 1
  4. Meanwhile, chop the salad very thinly.photo 3
  5. Add the dressing and the parmesan and mix well.
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  6. When the cups of bread are cooked, and completely cold, fill them up with the salad mixture.
  7. Sprinkle a bit of parmesan for decoration and enjoy!photo 5

Cute, yummy and guilt free since it is salad;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Basil, Thyme and Parmesan Oven Roasted Potatoes


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Do you love summer? I do, I do!!! I love the heat as long as I can go swimming and I love wearing those cute light summer dresses. For those of you who may not know me, I am really a girly girl. I wear a dress every time I can.

Summer is the best time to wear dresses because you don’t have to deal with panty hoses, and jackets to match. Plus summer dresses come in some many fun colors that it would be difficult to wear some of them in other season. Think about it- Would you wear a canary yellow, or a bright pink in winter or spring? I am certain that people would be looking at me as if I came from another planet if I did.

In the summer, and you may have noticed my lack of posts, I don’t like to stay in my kitchen too long because it gets hot with the stove on and I rather be outside enjoying the outdoor. Sometimes I even go for a jog at 9 in the evening because it finally gets cool. No need to say that for dinner it is not fancy, it is a lot of fish and chicken on the grill.  I also to make salads, and easy things.

This past Sunday, for our family dinner I decided to fix steak  with grilled asparagus and corn. Because there was not any room left on the grill for potatoes I decided to roast them in the oven. Quick, easy and yummy!!

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Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  • 8 small potatoes,
  • 1/3 cup of parmesan,
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil,
  • 2 tbsp of dry basil
  • 1 tbsp of dry thyme
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper.
  1. Peel the potatoes and slice them in quarters.
  2. Place the potatoes in the large round mold, cover it the octogonal silpat and cook them for 5 minutes.
  3. Empty the potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle the olive oil, and sprinkle the salt, pepper, thyme, basil, and parmesan. Toss the potatoes so that they are well coated with the olive oil and everything else.
  4. Empty the potatoes on the large perforated sheet covered with a large silpat and spread out the potatoes.
  5. Cook them in the oven for 15 minutes at 450.
  6. Sprinkle some sea salt and eat up! Yum!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Sun-Dried Tomato, Arugula, Ham and Parmesan Crustless Quiches


photoAfter spending a week having copious breakfast, I tried to resume to my school breakfast this Monday ( smoothies or cereal bars),  but was not satisfied and was famined by the time 10am came. So last night  I decided to make some crustless quiches.
At first I thought of making one of my favorite, Asparagus and Boursin crustless quiches but since I had other ingredients on hand, i decided to play a bit.

My quiche may not look that appetizing,  but it was very good and very satisfying. I think next time I will however place arugula at the bottom of the quiche and not at the top for esthetic reason.

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Ingredients for 6 individual quiches:

  • 6 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes ( the soft ones, or the one preserved in olive oil)
  • 6 tbsp of shredded parmesan
  • 8 oz. of fat-free ham ( sliced thinly and cut in small squares)
  • 3 oz. of fresh arugula chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • dash of pepper
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place the large round tray on a medium perforated sheet.
  3. Divide the ham among each round.
  4. Continue with the parmesan and finally the sun-dried tomatoes.photo
  5. Divide the arugula equally in each round.photo
  6. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and the milk. Season lightly with some pepper.
  7. Pour the egg mixture in each round equally.
  8. Bake in a warm oven for 25 minutes.
  9. Eat warm or cold.

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Parsley and Onion Risotto


Growing up my mom would either make white rice or what I used to call ” sticky rice”. She would make that “sticky rice” in many flavors. She would make it with curry, onion, parmesan, tomato… I really was not fond of that type of rice then. All i wanted was boiled white rice with a ton of butter and fresh Emmenthal… Yummm!!!

Today i love that “sticky rice”. In fact, I would rather “sticky rice” than that plain white rice au naturel.  Well, it took me many years to figure out that what she cooked all along was risotto. Isn’t it funny???

Today I will present you the recipe of parsley and onion risotto. It is yummy, easy to fix, and can accompany many meats or fish. I served it with herb coated pork tenderloin.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 8 z. of risotto rice
  • 1 purple onion sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • 4 tbsp of fresh parsley
  • 5-6 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp of butter or mascarpone ( optional)
  • grated parmesan ( optional)

In a medium-sized pot, warm up the olive oil so it is hot. When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute them. Lower the temperature to medium/ low and continue cooking the onions until they are a light brown yellow and are soft. Then add the rice, the chopped parsley  and stir to coat with the olive oil. Pour 2 cup of hot broth over the rice and stir. Bring the mixture to boil, and when it has come to boil, lower the temperature and cook at a low temperature. Stir often. When the broth is all gone, add more and stir. Cook until the rice is al dente. When the rice is to your liking, add 2 tbsp. of butter, or 2 tbsp of mascapone, 1/2 cup of parmesan. Et voila!!! You eat it by itself or with a meat.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!