Almond Chocolate Cake with Nougatine Recipe

I served this indulgent chocolate dessert for tea time this week. What I like most about it was that it's gluten free, made with almond meal and the texture was so moist. I topped the individual cakes with toffee salted caramel chocolate frosting and a garnish of crushed almond brittle.

This week has gone by ridiculously fast! I'm planning on baking a lot this weekend for our weekly family brunch and will share the recipes this upcoming week. Relax and spend as much time as you can with your loved ones. Life is short. Hug them, tell them you love them and give extra attention to the ones who love you most!


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Goat Cheese Arugula Recipe Recipe

Goat Cheese Arugula Recipe

02.27.14 by Jackie

There is something utterly delightful about this goat cheese arugula salad. The combination in the first place is  exquisite but I wanted to kick it up a notch by breading the medallions of goat cheese with crumbs of freshly baked brioche. I also added a carpaccio of mango and radish to add color to the salad.

The technique for obtaining perfectly sliced mango is nothing simpler than using thread. In my childhood, we would often use this method to slice meat pate for a clean cut, especially during the holidays. I often find myself using tools that don't necessarily belong in the kitchen, but are perfect for the job at hand.


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Bell Pepper Stuffed Chicken Rolls Recipe

This is my second most favorite chicken recipe (after my poulet rôti, "roasted chicken"). The whole idea is to use dark meat from the chicken thigh, stuff it, pan-sear the meat and finish cooking in the oven. It's as simple as that. First, I used boneless chicken (de-boning the thigh and using the bones for excellent chicken broth) and made sure the skin was still on. Then I proceeded with the tender meat. I used a preserved lemon marinade and let it rest overnight. For the filling, I combined roasted red bell peppers, Manzanilla olives, shallots and cornichons (French gherkins). 

To me, cooking is an expression of love. The dish doesn't have to be complicated. Learn your basics and you'll be able to dazzle your friends and family with creative, over-the-top dishes by making a few variants of your favorite recipes. 


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Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Burger Recipe Recipe

Yesterday, we hosted another dinner party. I opted for a fancy-looking vegetarian course by serving red-quinoa stuffed Portobello burgers and topped them with a slice of grilling cheese. The quinoa provided protein (it has, according to Wikipedia, a protein content per 100 calories higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet), the Portobello mushroom great texture and the Mediterranean grilling cheese subtle saltiness with a rich buttery taste. 

I love using grilling cheese. Since I didn't add any rich ingredients in the Portobello burger filling, I figured a thin slice of cheese wouldn't hurt. This particular cheese can withstand a tremendous amount of heat without melting and develops a delicious golden crust when grilled, so next time you're searching for a crisp topping for your dishes, this might be the one!


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Cookie Butter Blondie Bars Recipe

Cookie Butter Blondie Bars

02.24.14 by Jackie

This is my upscale version of a PB&J sandwich. Instead of using good ol' peanut butter, I used speculoos spread (fancy word for gingerbread cookie butter) and I skipped the bread and prepared blondies mixed with honey-roasted peanuts. As for the jelly part, I used a combination of crushed fresh blackberries and fig spread I prepared last Fall from the figs in our garden. 

Every weekend, I try to get the girls involved in the kitchen by preparing a large brunch together. It's a great way for our family to catch up with each other's busy lives. In my opinion, food is a great tool for bonding and sharing memories.

As expected, these cookie butter bars were a (fig and blackberry-flavored) smashing success (no pun intended) for both kids and grownups!

 


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