Breakfast Recipes

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Madeleine Cookie Recipe (+Giveaway) Recipe

Whenever I have time, I prepare breakfast in bed for my husband. And since madeleine cookies are his favorite, I prepared the batter the day before and stored it in the refrigerator to surprise him today. It took me less than 15 minutes to bake them the next morning and I was able to serve hot, straight from the oven vanilla-flavored madeleines to Lulu. If you're planning to serve breakfast, keep these French cookies in mind; they're absolutely delicious and not that difficult to make. Just read my secret to the characteristic bump for an authentic version of madeleine cookies and these cookies are guaranteed to turn out well.

Vanilla is a great flavoring in general, and I think it adds another dimension to madeleines. I can't imagine a home baker's pantry not having a bottle of vanilla extract around the holidays. I used Nielsen Massey vanilla extract in this recipe. In case you’re not familiar, Nielsen Massey vanillas are full flavored and there are distinct differences between the varieties. It may be vanilla, but it's definitely not plain! The folks at Nielsen Massey were kind enough to provide one (two-ounce) bottle of each Tahitian, Mexican & Madagascar vanilla extract and "A Century of Flavor" cookbook as today’s giveaway. Be sure to enter for a chance to win (click on the link).

Make sure you're a fan of PhamFatale Facebook fan page and Nielsen-Massey Vanillas or follow @Phamfatalecom and tweet about this giveaway. To make it easy, you can just copy and paste this tweet if you’d like: "Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extracts #Giveaway from @Phamfatalecom: http://bit.ly/uiJfq9". Good luck everyone!


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Goat Cheese and Fig Crostini Recipe Recipe

We were lucky enough to be able to pick a lot of figs in our garden this year. We had so many, I made several kinds of fig preserves. One of my favorite ways to use fig preserves is to pair it with goat cheese and it just so happened that I received delicious goat cheese from Cypress Grove Chevre today. I spread the two ingredients on crostini for a nice contrast of texture and flavor. I grilled day-old baguette and smeared a layer of goat cheese. The warmth from the bread let the goat cheese ooze and become creamier. The last layer was the fig preserves. I have to admit this easy appetizer is my favorite snack. I love them and could eat a ton!

I have a little story that might sound silly to you but Cypress Grove Chevre goat cheese is very dear to my heart. I remember when I first got married, my husband Lulu surprised me and took me on the 17-mile drive in Carmel, which I had never seen before. I remember he prepared the most romantic picnic on the beach and fed me wonderful Cypress Grove chevre. I had never heard of the company before that picnic but the cute packaging and beautiful scenery has since made it unforgettable to me. The cheese is rich and creamy and absolutely captures what I love about French chevre. It is one of the few American-made cheeses I’ve had that rival its French counterparts.

Cypress Grove Chevre will be a part of our December giveaways, so be sure to check back for your chance to win. Doesn't that sound awesome?

Goat Cheese Appetizer Recipe with Picture


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Pumpkin French Toast (Pain Perdu Recipe) Recipe

It’s that time of the year again! Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. The time for fall flavors has definitely arrived. Pumpkin is one of the most versatile ingredients of the season, and today I used it to put a twist on French toast. I prepared a simple custard batter flavored with pumpkin purée and saffron and soaked day-old stale bread. I paired it with a saffron-sweetened heavy whipping cream. The dish is fragrant and flavorful without being overly sweet. It’s definitely a departure from your average pain perdu (literally "stolen bread").

This would be a wonderful treat for Sunday brunch, or for the day after Thanksgiving. I’m making it today for Lulu as a reward for volunteering to take the girls trick-or-treating last night. The girls’ feet started hurting, so he cut the outing short and took them to the supermarket to buy bags of chocolates and candies. That still counts though, right?


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Tofu Scramble Recipe with Green Beans Recipe

Tofu is probably the ingredient I cook the most. Since there are five vegetarians in my home, I've learned to deep-fry, stir-fry, sauté, boil and grill tofu. My husband Lulu isn't a strict vegetarian; he eats eggs only if they're blended in desserts and the egg taste isn't detectable. He wouldn't eat eggs in the form of an omelet or scrambled eggs. I came up with this vegan egg substitute by boiling tofu as a first step, then scrambling the tofu, then finally sautéing it with turmeric to replicate the color of real eggs.

I cooked the mock scrambled eggs with French green beans and served it with steamed jasmine rice. This meal is complete while remaining healthy and still very tasty. Bon appétit!


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Apple Cake with Crumb Topping Recipe

Apple Cake with Crumb Topping

09.23.11 by Jackie

This apple cake recipe has become a standard in our house. It's probably one of the first desserts I remember baking as a kid in France. Over the years, the recipe hasn't changed one bit, with the exception of the addition of crumb topping for texture contrast.

The apples in our garden are smallish and a bit tart, which makes them better for cooking than eating. I was able to gather a basketful of the apples and put them to use in this recipe. The flesh was aromatic, crisp and firm, making them perfect for baking. Once cooked, they tasted nutty, sweet and tart. The cake is perfect for brunch as well, and as an added bonus, we ate it again the next day and it was still moist and perfect.


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