Strawberry Bruchetta


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Ahh  Summer, so much vegetables and fruits to eat!! Everything looks delicious, it is really difficult not to purchase all that looks appetizing and that smells so delicious…

I am lucky to live in a location where we have tons of farmers and tons of local produces. Though it is a tad difficult to go to the produce market during the school year, I have enjoyed going these past few weeks. Everything smells so good in that store, that it is very tempting to buy everything that is at your fingertips;-)

Last time I went there, a couple of days ago, I bought a few peaches, a cantaloupe, a few red tomatoes and a gallon of strawberries. Yes, a gallon… That is a lot  I know, but I intended to use them in my morning shakes, eat them for a snack during the day, and give some away. I wanted to give some away to my mother-in-law, but when I went to here house, I saw that she, too, had purchased a gallon of strawberries … so I had to take mine back home and figure out what to do with them before they got spoiled.

Really, what can you do with strawberries?? especially a gallon of strawberries??? Of course you can make fruit salads, jams, tarts, cream, ice-creams and many, many more desserts!

I wanted to use them otherwise than as a dessert so I decided to make a Strawberry Bruchetta. It is actually quite easy to make, fast, inexpensive and it is beautiful to the eyes and your tastebuds;-) You would think that it is too sweet, but the tang of the goat cheese, and the fact that the strawberries are seasoned with vinegar, salt, and pepper, it makes them taste almost unsweetened. It was a delight for me;-) I dare you to try;-)

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Ingredients to make 30-40 individual pieces:

  • 1 French baguette sliced thinly,
  • 1 log of goat cheese at room temperature ( about 6 oz.)
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries ( use local ones if you can, they taste so much better),
  • 1 tbsp of basil olive oil, I used the Demarle Basil olive oil.
  • 1 tbsp of traditional balsamic vinegar,
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped.
  1. Slice the baguette thinly, and place it on top of the silpain atop a medium perforated sheet. If you do not have either, place the bread onto a cookie sheet. 
  2. Cook the slices for 5-7 minutes or until they are crisp on both sides.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the strawberry topping. Chop the strawberries and place them into a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, a dash of salt and of pepper, the chopped basil and mix well.IMG_1828
  5. When the sliced baguette are crispy, remove them from the oven and let them cool down.
  6. Spread the cheese over the baguette.IMG_1827
  7. And spoon a bit of the strawberry mixture atop the cheese. Eat right away;-))) Miam.IMG_1832

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Strawberry Bruchetta

  • Servings: 8-10 people
  • Difficulty: Super easy
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Ingredients to make 30-40 individual pieces:

  • 1 French baguette sliced thinly,
  • 1 log of goat cheese at room temperature ( about 6 oz. )
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries ( use local ones if you can, they taste so much better),
  • 1 tbsp of basil love oil, I used the Demarle Basil olive oil.
  • 1 tbsp of traditional balsamic vinegar,
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped.
  1. Slice the baguette thinly, and place it on top of the silpain atop a medium perforated sheet. If you do not have either, place the bread onto a cookie sheet.  
  2. Cook the slices for 5-7 minutes, or until they are crisp on both sides.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the strawberry topping. Chop the strawberries and place them into a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, a dash of salt and of pepper, the chopped basil and mix well.
  5. When the sliced baguette are crispy, remove them from the oven and let them cool down.
  6. Spread the cheese over the baguette.
  7. And spoon a bit of the strawberry mixture atop the cheese.
  8. Eat right away;-))) Miam.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Strawberry and Blueberry Smoothie


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As everyone was  getting busy at getting breakfast on the table, bread in the oven, eggs cooked on the stove, I saw my daughter looking much uninspired by what we were preparing for breakfast. Since I had many fruits left in my fridges, I decided to fix her a smoothie. Easy, Simple yet Delicious;-)

Ingredients for 2 large smoothies:

  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 cup of pomegranate juice
  • 2 tbsp of honey, agave, or sugar ( optional)
  1. Dice the strawberries and place them into a mixer.
  2. Add the blueberries, 1 cup of pomegranate and 2 tbsp of sugar ( optional) and pulse.photo 1
  3. Pour in individual glasses and enjoy;-)photo 4

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Strawberry Cups


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I love summer because the fruits and vegetables are so yummy, and eating healthy is simple nature, not a task. Right now, here in the South, it is strawberry season. strawberries are sold everywhere, at the corner of intersections, at Farmer Markets, in stores and of course in Strawberry farms. Strawberries are so good and flavorful at this time of the year.  They are so sweet that eating them  by themselves is wonderful.

If you have guests however, presenting  sliced or diced strawberries in a cup can be a bit boring so I suggest that you present them in an eatable cup instead. For this recipe, here, for example, I used the recipe of the Tuiles I presented a few posts ago and I molded them inside the large cupcake.

The ingredients are changing slightly as we want them to be flavored with vanilla instead of almond:

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Ingredients for about 12 cups:

  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 100 gr. or about 1/3 cup and 1 tbsp of white sugar
  • 35 gr. or about 2 1/2 tbsp of butter melted but cold
  • 35 gr. or about 2 1/2 tbsp. of flour
  • 1/2 tsp of of vanilla extract
  1. Turn the oven to 330.
  2. Place the butter in a microwavable bowl and cook for 30 seconds or until the butter is completely melted. Let it cool.
  3. In a bowl, beat the egg whites and the sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved, and the egg whites get a bit foamy.
  4. Add the butter, the flour and the vanilla extract and stir well.
  5. Place a large silpat on a large perforated sheet.
  6. Drop 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the silpat and with the back of the tablespoon spread the mixture out to make a circle of about 4-5  inches.
  7. Repeat to make about 4 circles per silpat. Do not make more than 4 per batch or the tuiles will cool off and you will not have time to shape them all if you make them too many
  8. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the circles are becoming brown.
  9. Remove the perforated sheet from the oven. Wait a few seconds to let the cookie cool a bit or they will tear as you lift them. Do not wait more than a few seconds or they will cool too much and you will not be able to shape them.
  10. With the tip of a kitchen knife ( not sharp, You do not want to perfore the silpat), lift the side of the circle and pull it up carefully.
  11. Place the circle inside the large cupcake mold and with your fingers press the cookie inside the cup to lay the cookie flat and be careful not to tear it. Let it cool completely before lifting them from cupcake trayphoto 1
  12. Repeat steps 5-10 until you have used the whole batter.
  13. Keep the cups in an airtight container to keep them dry and crunchy.photo 2

You can use those cups with any fruits, but today I chose to fill them with fresh strawberries.

Ingredients for the Strawberry Salad for 4:

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries diced thinly
  • 1 tbsp of fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • zest of one Meyer lemon
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  1. Clean the strawberries under running water
  2. dice them thinly, but cutting them in fourth and then in slices.
  3. place them in a bowl
  4. add the Meyer Lemon Juice, the zest and the sugar
  5. stir well.
  6. Decorate the plate by drizzling some strawberry syrup, spoon a bit of the strawberry salad in 4 cups. Sprinkle more lemon zest for decoration and serve right away.

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Sunshine on a plate;-) Yum!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Strawberry, Basil and Tofu Smoothie


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What you guys eating for breakfast? I wish I had time to fix eggs in the morning, but I am not a morning person, and I rather sleep a little later than preparing a balanced breakfast. So if I don’t think to fix quiches the night before, i am left with eating cereal bars, peanut butter on wheat or a smoothie.

This past few days I was trying to figure out what to add to my shake/ smoothie to include more protein. I don’t like peanut butter in my smoothie, and I can’t really eat yogurt because it upset my stomach. That’s when I thought of tofu. I will say that I really like the texture of my smoothie. It was not too liquid or thick, and tasted great. I hope you will give it a try.

Ingredients for 1 smoothie of about 2 cups:

  • 1/2 of a container or about 8 oz. of the soft tofu shown herephoto 5
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil
  • 1-2 tbsp. of honey, aguave, or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk if necessary to liquify the smoothie.
  1. Place all the ingredients into a chopper and puree until it is smooth.
  2. Add almond milk if necessary to make the smoothie to your liking.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fun Summer Fruit Carpaccio


Among your friends or family, do you have any people who do not like chocolate, or cream, or simply desserts? I have a few of them. It does not matter to me if my guests want or not want dessert at the end of a meal but the issue becomes delicate when you are hosting a seat down dinner and you know that a person in the audience does not like dessert. What do you do? You can’t exactly serve the rest of the table with dessert and ignore the other ones. What you can do is either propose a choice of dessert ( highly improbable)  or just offer a dessert that consists mainly of fruits. It is difficult to think of anything fun and exciting to serve… You could serve a fruit salad, a fruit soup or even a fruit carpaccio. They are easy to make,  and they look great.

For 4 people: 1 whole mango, 16 strawberries, 20 raspberries, 1/2 cup of blueberries, maple syrup to drizzle.

Cut and chop all the fruits individually. Then use some fun plates ( squares work the best), and make lines of chopped fruits as shown below.

Drizzle the fruit with good quality maple syrup. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

White Chocolate Mousse with Assorted Summer Fruit and Chocolate Star


How was your Memorial Week-end? fun??? I sure hope so… I had fun myself. We did not go out of town because we had family duty in town, but I will say that i was happy to just hang out and enjoy the tranquility of my backyard. I usually cook out on Memorial Monday, but since I am to depart soon for France for a wedding, I had much to do with packing and all the business that needs to be taken care of before. And instead of a large cook-out with friends, we decided to have a limited cook-out. On the menu, hot-dogs, assorted chips, baked beans and broccoli salad. Yum:-) What did you guys have???

Well for dessert, we did not have ice-cream, or cookies, or pie… we had White Chocolate Mousse with Assorted Summer Fruit. Much easier, and much lighter than any of the one mentioned above to make. As I was browsing through my cookbook to find a fun dessert with fruits, I came across a recipe in the Ghiradelli Chocolate Cookbook, entitled White Chocolate Mousse that inspired my mousse today. It is very similar from the original recipe except that I used cream and orange blossom extract instead of water and Grand Marnier mentioned in the recipe.

First you want to make the chocolate stars.

Ingredients: 3 oz of bittersweet chocolate chips, 3 oz of heavy cream.

Warm up the heavy cream in the microwave for 1 minute, and pour it on the chocolate. Stir quickly so that the chocolate will “melt” and you will have a “paste” free of lumps. With a spoon, fill up the openings of the star mold. Place the tray into the freezer to chill the stars.

Ingredients for 6 large / 12 small mousse: 8 oz of white chocolate chips ( guiradhelli), 1/4 cup of heavy cream for melting the chocolate, 1 tbsp of orange blossom extract, 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream, 2 large egg whites, assorted summer fruits of your choice.

Place the 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a small bowl and heat it up in the microwave for 1 minute. When it is hot, empty it on the white chocolate and stir rapidly. Add 1 tbsp of orange blossom extract and stir well. Set aside to let the mixture cool.

In a mixer, place the 1 1/4 cup of heavy cream and beat it up to make whipped cream. When the cream is making hard peaks, stop beating the cream and place it in a bowl. Set aside.

Clean up the mixer and add the 2 egg whites, whip them at high-speed so that they will make “meringue”, and will make soft peaks.

Fold the whipped cream into the cool chocolate mixture, then fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate/ whipped cream mixture. Divide the mousse into 6 large glasses or 12 small glasses. Place them in the fridge to chill. Let them chill for at least an hour. Before serving, place a few assorted fruits on top of each mousse. Remove the stars from the star mold, make a small cut in each of them. And place the stars on the rim of each glass.

Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fillo Cups with Mascarpone Mousse and Mango Fruit Salad


Ahhh Spring… Finally. I am so ready for all the wonderful fruits that it brings such as strawberries and berries and melon…As far as desserts, I am more of a chocolate fan, but I love fruits too! My favorite desserts with fruits are those where the fruits are served as they are, uncooked and au naturel. I love fruit tarts, vacherin ( icecream and meringue cake on top of which fruits are added), pavlovas. The problem with some of those desserts is the time that it takes to make them. When I have time, I love to make them but since I am often limited with times, I have to find desserts that are fast, look great and that taste yummy.

There is so much you can do with mousse and fresh fruits but I was thinking of something for my cooking class that would be very easy and that would not involve too much time. Fillo dough is that magical medium that allows you to do all that. It is so light that it takes no time to cook. It is so easy to mold into what you want your desserts to look like that using something else. Finally it is so light and airy that it almost becomes transparent and let the fruits shine since it is not empowering the dessert.

Ingredients for 12 people or 12 cups:

  • 1 cup of heavy cream,
  • 1/2 container of mascarpone cheese at room temperature,
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup for the mousse, and more for drizzling
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberry,
  • 2 mangos peeled and diced thinly.

Use only one package of the fillo dough and place the rest back into your freezer. 

1. Take the fillo dough out to thaw it out.

2. With some scissors, cut squares of about 2 1/2 inches.

3. Take 3-4 sheets and layer them inside each cupcake hole.

4. With a pastry brush, brush some melted butter or olive oil on the sides of each of those cups, or use a oil spray and spray the cups.

5. And bake those cups at 375 for 5-8 minutes or until they become golden brown.

6. Meanwhile place the heavy cream in a large bowl and with a whisk, beat the cream until it starts forming soft peaks.

7. Add the mascarpone and beat well.

8. Add 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup and beat well again.

9. Spoon the cream mixture into each cup.

10. In a large bowl, mix the diced strawberries and the diced mangos. Spoon the fruit salad over the cream and drizzle more maple syrup over the cups and fruit. Devour!!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!