French Recipes

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New Beginnings Recipe

New Beginnings

05.25.12 by Jackie

2012 has definitely been a life-changing year for me. Yesterday, I underwent the Naturalization Oath Ceremony at the Heritage Theater in Campbell, California, and along with 403 other people from 63 different countries, I became a citizen of the United States of America. As I recited the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as an American citizen, I felt very emotional. It's been a long journey. Vice Mayor of the city of Campbell, Evan Low, greeted us and made a wonderful speech. He's such a passionate and energetic citizen. He's a fourth-generation American and he talked about the wonderful opportunities this country has given his family, including the ability to contribute and engage in the community and to do his part to shape the country.

I was particularly moved by his comments on the diversity of cultures and backgrounds that we share with each other, especially here in California. It meant all the more for me, given that my baby daughter was in attendance, as I am of French-Vietnamese descent and my husband is Indian-American.

If you had asked me before, I would always have said that 2000 was the best year of my life. I was a young engineering student who found an internship in Silicon Valley for the summer and I met the love of my life. But I have to admit that this year is rising up the charts. I've watched my little girl grow up into a very entertaining six month old, I've become a U.S. citizen, and I have one more exciting announcement: I've been given the opportunity to publish my first cookbook at the end of the year! It's been a dream of mine to write a book, and it was kind of surreal when I was approached about it earlier this year.

I just finished the manuscript so I'm beyond excited to be able to share the news with you! I'm truly living my American Dream. I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to every single one of you, my readers, for sending your lovely messages of encouragement and for being such faithful followers of my daily cooking adventures. I've been sharing my everyday life with you for the past three years, and it's given me the opportunity to cross paths with many wonderful people along the way. It's been an amazing journey. So merci!

Now back to my favorite subject, which is food! Being a freshly minted American, it just felt right to make an apple pie, though of course, with my own twist. The tart crust is made with cream cheese. The pie is covered with diced apples and pecan crumbs and to make the dessert more visually appealing, I topped it with sliced apples and brushed them with apricot preserves at the end.

And finally, since Memorial Day weekend is upon us, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank our soldiers who have fought and continue to fight for our freedoms. God Bless America!


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Arugula Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette Recipe

I'm often asked what makes a salad delicious and my immmediate response is the dressing. You can make it very simply with vinegar and olive oil, but this time around I used the elements from the salad itself to increase the flavor.

The salad dressing is a combination of arugula, mâche, pine nuts and green olives. Sprinkle a little crumbled feta cheese and the salad is complete.


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Tabouleh Stuffed Mushrooms (Mushroom Appetizer Recipe) Recipe

In this recipe, mushrooms are used as little receptacles for serving tabouleh. They make very refreshing appetizers, which pair perfectly with the beautiful weather we've had in the Bay Area. 

I pickled the mushrooms days in advance so the mushrooms aren't raw but still hold their shape and don't darken. The appetizers are assembled at the last minute and they make an ideal dish for a buffet-style party. We're hosting our  annual pool party soon, so I've been experimenting with fun, summer-y appetizers for the occasion and this mushroom dish is definitely going to make the list! 


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Radish Pesto Recipe Recipe

Radish Pesto Recipe

05.15.12 by Jackie

Here's a simple pesto made with radish greens. Radish greens have a strong, peppery flavor, which adds an interesting dimension to traditional pesto. If it's too strong for you, you could mix it with more traditional greens, such as basil or spinach.

We grow our own radishes, and it's really wonderful to be able to use all the fruits of our labor. Radishes are one of the easiest and fastest maturing crops that can be planted in the garden. The "French Breakfast" variety used in this recipe only require about 22 days to mature. Here in California, that works out to at least four or five harvests per season. So expect to see more radish recipes as long as it's sunny out!

The longer you leave the radishes in the ground, the spicier they get and the hairier the leaves will become. The leaves are still edible, but, the texture may become unpleasant, which is why I decided to put these greens to use in a pesto. In France, there are several soups made with radish greens. Cooking the greens, in general, will mellow them out a bit.

Radish Pesto Recipe with Picture

 


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Avocado Tomato Salad (Light Salad Recipe) Recipe

This salad is made with avocado, mâche, walnuts, deep-fried tofu, juicy tomatoes and hearts of palm. The dressing is very minimal; a drizzle of white balsamic vinegar, avocado oil and salt and pepper completes the salad.

What better way is there to start a meal than with a healthy and tasty salad?


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