French Recipes

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Pumpkin Pain d'Epices Parfait Recipe Recipe

I made a pain d'epices last week and it most of it went very quickly. Pain d'epices translates to "spiced bread"; it's similar to gingerbread with the exception that no ginger is used. Also it's made with rye flour, honey and spices such as star anise, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. I'll post the recipe for this moist bread next week. Tonight, I used the spiced bread remnants and made beautiful layered pumpkin cream parfaits for the holidays.

To complete the French dessert, I made it literally look "parfait" with a spun sugar decoration!


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Pineapple Chicken Recipe Recipe

Pineapple Chicken Recipe

12.06.12 by Jackie

This recipe is an attempt to get rid of the horrible pineapple I purchased. I should have known better since it isn't pineapple season now. What can I say, I couldn't resist a good deal. As was to be expected, the fruit wasn't sweet at all. Instead of tossing it away, I blended it into a purée and used it as a meat tenderizer. Not only was the chicken I cooked moist, but the pineapple gave the chicken a delicious flavor. I also marinated the chicken in buttermilk overnight. A few button mushrooms added at the end completed the dish.

Acid-based marinades are my first choice to tenderize and flavor meat. Sometimes experimenting can lead to wonderful dishes. Again, that is only under the condition that you know your basics. Just adapt a standard chicken recipe and substitute in less common ingredients to form new creations. This is why I find cooking so much fun!


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Quinoa Spaghetti with Asparagus (Gluten Free Pasta) Recipe

Since I gave birth to Aria 13 months ago, I've been determined to shed the weight I had gained during pregnancy. It took 9 months to gain the weight, so I knew it was going to take quite some time, perhaps even longer to lose it all. Part of my strategy has been to eat vegetarian 2 to 3 times a week. As you can imagine, this has made my husband Lulu (who is a vegetarian) very, very happy. “Halfway there,” he says.

One of my favorite dishes to make on veggie days is gluten-free quinoa pasta. The pasta is awesome. It has a different texture, but I really enjoy it. For this dish, I sauteed tomato-flavored quinoa spaghetti in garlicky baby asparagus spears and added sunflower seeds as the main source of protein. I’ll be eating this dish even after I reach my target weight, but I’ll be sure to throw in some meatballs or chicken breast (and of course, I’ll share the recipe). Sorry, Lulu!

Asparagus Pasta Recipe with Picture


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Persimmon Tart Recipe Recipe

Persimmon Tart Recipe

11.30.12 by Jackie

We started the week with one persimmon dessert (persimmon pie with Brazil nut crumb topping), so it seems fitting to end it with another. This tart makes use of the firm variety of persimmons called Fuyu. They have a slightly softer texture than an apple, but still with a pleasant snap.

The preparation requires almost no effort! Scalloped-edge rounds of puff pastry are spread with a thin layer of French crème de marrons (chestnuts, sugar and vanilla beans) to mark the holiday season. The finishing touch is arranging sliced persimmons into a pretty flower shape dotted with little mounds of butter and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar and pistachio.


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Horseradish Roast Beef Recipe Recipe

Horseradish Roast Beef Recipe

11.28.12 by Jackie

I bought a large bottom sirloin roast a few weeks ago and as I was cleaning up the freezer, I decided to cook it for dinner and maybe replicate the same recipe for Christmas.

If you’re not sure what you’d like to serve as the main course for your holiday meal, I'd like to suggest that a homemade roast beef is a great (and delicious) option. This recipe is my favorite way to prepare a large bottom sirloin roast. The marinade is a combination of coarse-grained mustard, horseradish, miso and rosemary. I've heard many times that the cooking time depends on the weight of the piece of roast, ranging from 16 minutes per pound for a rare, pink color, all the way up to 30 minutes per pound if you like it well done. My method is much easier; simply insert a probe to capture the temperature in the center of the meat and wait until the internal temperature reaches 145°F for just the right amount of pink. Probe thermometers are awesome!

To keep the meat from burning at the bottom, I also placed a bed of vegetables such as celery stalk, turnips and carrots and filled the bottom with a little beef broth. Enjoy!


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