How To Recipes

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Cardamom Spritz Cookies dipped in Mint Chocolate Recipe

I've made spritz sablé cookies before. The most recent variation was one made of orange and dark chocolate. The girls felt like baking today and they really wanted to make a fresh batch of the sablé cookies. I was all for it but I wanted to teach them to be creative and come up with a new flavor combination.

There was a tall pitcher of my mint and cardamom-flavored Arnold Palmer on the counter. Sunny, the eldest, looked over at it, then back at me, and said "why not mint and cardamom-flavor spritz sablé?". - I thought it was a brilliant idea. If you browse through the recipes on the website, you'll notice that I use cardamom in almost everything, from savory dishes, to drinks, to desserts. I knew it would make a perfect flavoring for the cookies.

I didn't want to add mint extract directly to the cookie dough because I thought it would be to overpowering. Instead, I used Guittard pink-colored mint chocolate chips to make a ganache, which I dipped the cookies in, once they baked and cooled. These particular spritz cookies are thicker and chewier than the orange and dark chocolate version. They both taste great so it's really a matter of personal preference. Try both and see which one you like!


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Mattar Paneer (Peas and Fried Indian Cheese Curry) Recipe

Mattar Paneer is a dish made with peas and Indian cheese.  It isn't as quite popular as palak paneer, a similar recipe made with spinach instead of peas.

In our home, mattar paneer is made fairly often because it's the girls' favorite Indian dish.  If you have kids and can't get them to eat their peas, this recipe may do the trick. The key is to make a creamy masala sauce. To make the dish even healthier, I add diced, steamed potatoes that are approximately the same shape as the paneer.


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Parsley-Walnut Pesto Penne Pasta with Asparagus Recipe

I had some leftover curly parsley from my stuffed tomatoes, and some walnuts leftover from my kiwi tarts, and I needed to figure out what to do with them. Pesto seemed like the perfect way to utilize the ingredients I had on hand. The parsley provided the green color and "herby" flavor typically delivered by the more commonly used basil.  I used the walnuts in place of pine nuts, and blended them with the parsley along with some olive oil. I added some walnut oil as well to accentuate the flavor of the whole walnuts and tossed the mixture with sautéed leeks and asparagus and mini penne pasta.

Finding ways to use not only your leftovers, but your leftover ingredients, will save you time and money. You just need to have a few flexible, go-to recipes in your culinary arsenal, and you'll be prepared to face whatever your refrigerator and pantry throw at you. Pesto is definitely one of those recipes.


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Kiwi Tart with Pastry Cream (Tarte au Kiwi et a la Creme Patissiere) Recipe

A local bakery makes these wonderful kiwi tarts that everyone in the family loves. I just bought some really nice golden kiwis from the local market and I thought I'd try my hand at making a kiwi tart, but with my own twist.

I used a walnut dough with the standard crème pâtissière. Instead of coating the bottom of the pastry with chocolate, I drizzled it over the top. The chocolate and kiwi go well together and they mesh very well with the velvety cream and the texture of the walnut tart shell.


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Salad Nicoise  Recipe

Salad Nicoise

09.02.09 by Jackie

If you're ever fortunate enough to go to Paris, you are bound to walk by many sidewalk cafés, brasseries, bistros and the like. As ubiquitous are the chalkboards that guard the entrances to these eateries, calling out the specials of the day. On almost all of them, you will find salade niçoise.

This is not the tuna salad that one traditionally finds in America, slathered in mayonnaise and sweet pickles. Salade niçoise hails from the Côte d'Azur; region of France, and is named after the city of Nice. It is a combination of tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, eggs and canned tuna packed in oil. It is typically topped with anchovies and Dijon vinaigrette.   Like many French dishes, the name may evoke visions of elegance and glamour, but in reality the dish is the result of the vegetables and proteins available in that region of France. Put another way, it's really just a fancy way of describing a tossed salad from Nice.

I personally love this dish, because it is easy to make and perfectly captures the flavors of  the Mediterranean. It won't replace the traditional American-style tuna salad, but instead provide you with a healthier alternative.


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