February 2017

French tart

Tart Classic French Of The Pastry Kind

    When I’m hosting a dinner party, I love to have a dessert on display for my guests to see the minute they enter the room.  It sets the mood for what’s to come.  A perfect example would be a coconut cake with coconut spilling off its top and sides, but my all-time favorite showpiece dessert is a classic French tart.       First of all, when I’m talking about a classic French tart, I could be talking about the Shirley MacLaine character in the romantic comedy Irma La Douce.  I…

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Pommes Duchesse

Potatoes (Pommes Duchesse)

      I was online looking for an interesting potato recipe that was more than just “taters,” when I came across a picture of an entrée with a side that resembled spiraling Russian minarets. The caption named the featured side dish as “pommes duchesse.”      The recipe looked busy and complicated, but I found it was only mashed potatoes piped onto parchment paper. It was then brushed with an egg wash (for color and crunch), and browned in an oven. It appeared intriguing, so I thought I would try it.      What makes this…

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Crème Brûlée (A Fitting End To A Great Meal)

    Crème Brûlée . The mere mention of this custard of all custards immediately makes my mouth water. It’s delicious and delectable, and I love serving it to our guests. Crème Brûlée‘s Classic History    It’s a dessert that’s been around for centuries. The earliest known reference to Crème Brûlée is found in a 1691 cookbook, Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois, by Francois Massialot, a French chef who was chef de cuisine to Phillippe I. Duke of Orleans (who was brother to Louis XIV). According to White House records, Thomas Jefferson had served Crème Brulee to his guests…

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Sugar whore

Icky Sticky Toffee Sponge

     Paul Fussell wrote a book titled Class: A Guide Through The American Status System.  In it he discusses three broad classes in the United States: upper class, middle class, and prole. He humorously dissects and compares the attributes, properties, and proclivities of each.  Class Determinants      According to Fussell one of his class determinants is the wearing of clothes. He believes that if a person wears something that can be read, they’re not a member of the upper class. If it’s a known name or a label, they are…

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grilled cheese sandwich

Grilled Cheese Sandwich (An Homage)

     The stock market goes up and down; fashion trends are in and out; friends come and go, and the weather is always a bit iffy, but I can always count on a grilled cheese sandwich. Their crispy, crunchy, buttery, salty, cheesy, gooey goodness is always sheer ecstasy, and I get weak in the knees just thinking about them.      When an overwhelming desire for comfort food hits me, I’ll use whatever bread and cheese I have in the house, fire up the griddle, and go to work. At the same time…

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