Everything But Books
Fun and more fun, but none of it relating to books (because I have another page for that)

September 20, 2012

Sweet and Savory, French and Tasty!

The French people sure know how to eat wonderful foods, and with only 5 days till the Becoming Clementine release, we thought it was time for some French flair in our recipes. From cheese to chocolate here are 2 french inspired recipes to keep you wishing you were sitting right in Paris.

Baked Camembert with Garlic Bread

1 whole Camembert, in its box

1 clove of garlic, sliced

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

1tsp olive oil

 

Garlic Bread

1 small ciabatta loaf cut in half

1 tsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Remove any plastic packaging from the cheese and then return to box, leaving the life off.

3. Pierce the top of the cheese in several places and insert pieces of garlic and thyme into the slits.

4. Drizzle with olive oil and leaving cheese in the box. place into oven for 10mins or until center of cheese is melted.

5. FOR GARLIC BREAD: Drizzle cut side of bread with olive oil and place onto hot pan until toasted. Once toasted rub toasted side with garlic clove.

6. Serve camembert with garlic bread for dipping.

 

French Chocolate Bark

8oz semi sweet chocolate

8oz bittersweet chocolate

1 cup dried apricots

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup roasted cashews (also good with pistachios)

 

Instructions

1. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over water. Can melt in the microwave but be sure to stir frequently to avoid burning.

2. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a tray. Pour the melted chocolate onto the paper and using a rubber spatula, create a rough rectangle about 9×10 inches.

3. Sprinkle remaining ingredients all over.

4. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours. Cut into small rectangular bite sized pieces.

 

If you have any wonderful french recipes be sure to send them over to us!

 

September 13, 2012

Cheese straws for every occasion (because who doesn’t love cheese?)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — jennifer @ 8:57 am

My dad was always cooking.  He could whip up shrimp bisque or Marchand di Vin for sixty people easily, and was always trying to teach me the right wine to go with beef Wellington.  This was lost on me because, as a teenager, all I wanted to eat were normal things like hamburgers and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese out of the box.  My father made his macaroni and cheese from scratch.  It took hours.  He even made the noodles by hand.

Dad died in 2002.  He was only sixty.  But I have his recipe book:  a fat brown binder with the recipes carefully typed out on over-sized index cards.  Here’s one of my favorites:

Dad’s Cheese Straws (yields about 20)

These crisp and mildly spicy twists of puff pastry have been our most popular “nosh” for years.  Arrange a basketful on the bar/table and watch them disappear.

Ingredients:

1 pound Puff Pastry

3/4 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  Roll out puff pastry dough into a rectangle 20 by 24 inches.  Sprinkle half of the Parmesan evenly over the dough and gently press cheese into the dough with rolling pin.

2.  Fold the dough in half crosswise, roll it out again to 20 by 24 inches, & sprinkle on remaining cheese.

3.  Using a sharp thin knife, cut the dough into 1/3-inch strips.  Take each strip by its ends and twist until evenly corkscrewed.  Lay the twists of dough on an ungreased baking sheet, arranged so they are just touching each other; this will prevent shrinking.

4. Set the baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven & bake until the straws are crisp, puffed and brown, 15-20 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven, cool for 5 min., then cut apart with a sharp knife.  Finish cooking the straws on a rack, then store them in an airtight container or plastic bag until serving time.  They will stay fresh for about 1 week.