Archive for the ‘MTAOFC’ Category

MTAOFC Reine de Saba

Happy Birthday Jamie, Wes, and Auntie Betty!


Unfortunately I took crappy pictures of the Reine de Saba (not of my family) so you can’t see how chocolate-y delicious it looks. My mom asked me to bake a birthday cake for Sunday’s family dinner and I wanted to try one of Julia’s cakes. It was fairly easy to bake. It was the first time I used pulverized almonds and now I have extra pulverized almonds that I’m trying very hard not to stuff down my mouth (you pulverize almonds with sugar…). The recipe cracks me up though. Julia’s pretty funny with her instructions. You whip the egg whites and gently fold them into the chocolate mixture. You actually fold the whipped egg whites a little at a time alternating with some of the dry ingredients, but while you gently fold in the egg whites you have to rapidly alternate with the dry ingredients. Rapidly but gently. HAH!
Too bad I didn’t have any rum because this cake also called for some rum to be added to the mix. I used instant espresso instead.
Well, it’s almost 8pm and I’m exhausted. I had to get these posts in tonight before I pass out because I’m trying really hard to keep up. Although I was late with the Honey-Wheat cookies… oops.
Good Night All! (Am I really going to bed before 8pm??? Yeesh)

The best picture of the bunch...


Where's my niece Chelsea with her camera??


MTAOFC: Poulet Roti and Gratin Dauphinois

Otherwise known as Roast Chicken!

Otherwise known as Roast Chicken!


In an unexpected turn of events, I find myself one of the many unemployed today. Today is day 2 of unemployment and I have to say even though it sounds great to not have to go to work in the morning, I feel very weird and a little depressed about it. Hopefully the interview I went on 2 Fridays ago will end up with me being employed, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed. Until I rejoin the employed, to keep myself occupied, I made a to-do list which includes clearing all of the clutter out of my home. Today will be spent in my bedroom, specifically the closet. Another way to keep myself occupied is to cook new recipes from Julia’s MTAOFC and to perhaps attempt to bake some of Dorie’s many recipes I missed prior to joining TWD.

Sunday I made roast chicken for the very first time. I’ve roasted many a turkey for Thanksgiving but never roasted a chicken. Julia’s recipe is simple enough and the most interesting part of the recipe was turning the chicken from side to side and ending up breast side up during the roasting period. I wish I had taken a picture of the chicken pre-carved because it looked really nice for my first attempt. But I was also cooking up potatoes gratin and sauteed spinach for sides and I should have taken a picture of the kitchen. The Beau is used to my making it quite a mess when I’m cooking/baking more than 1 thing at a time. O, well. I guess I can add that on my list of things to do while unemployed… HAH! I had a difficult time determining when the chicken was done roasting. I went over the time limit stated in the recipe and trying to see if the breast had swelled and the skin puffed was hard since I had pierced the skin while turning the chicken from side to side. But in the end the roast chicken came out fantastic – the breast was soo juicy! I’m afraid the leftover won’t retain the juiciness but should make for a great chicken sandwich.

The gratin dauphinois was fun to make since I got to use my OXO mandoline to make 1/8″ slices of the potatoes. I grated the swiss cheese too early because when it came time to assemble the gratin, the cheese had kind of clumped together so I wasn’t able to nicely sprinkle them evenly all over. Did it matter? Not so much since it all melted in the end anyways. It came out a little al dente which was fine with me, I tend to like crunchiness vs softness in my veggies. The Beau loved it too since he had 2 helpings. I’d like to try this again and maybe mix it up with some different seasonings.

I love a crusty topping!

I love a crusty topping!

Well, it’s 9:17am and I guess I should take a shower and go home to tackle my bedroom. Or not…

MTAOFC: Cold Water-cress Soup

Cold Water-cress Soup with a chive garnish...

Cold Water-cress Soup with a chive garnish...

My girlfriend Sandy gave me Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking for my birthday last month. Soo excited, although wishing the book had illustrated pictures alongside the recipes.

So for my first recipe, I tried a cold soup which sounded perfect for these super hot days we’ve been having lately. I’ve never had Vichyssoise so I thought I’d try that until I saw the variation of Cold Water-cress Soup (and I don’t know why ‘water-cress’ is hyphenated like that) which is simply Vichyssoise with water cress added in the last 5 minutes of simmering prior to the puree. The Beau and I loved this soup! I can hardly wait to try other recipes in the book!

Here are a few pictures:

Simmering the leeks and potatoes in low sodium chicken broth...

Simmering the leeks and potatoes in low sodium chicken broth...

Watercress simmering in the last 5 minutes...

Watercress simmering in the last 5 minutes...

Straining the puree took forever!

Straining the puree took forever!

Cold Water-cress Soup

For 6 to 8 people

3 c peeled, sliced potatoes
3 c sliced white of leek
1 1/2 quart of white stock, chicken stock, or canned chicken broth
1/2 to 1 c whipping cream
salt and white pepper
2 – 3 T minced chives
Chilled soup cups

Either simmer the vegetables, stock or broth, and salt to taste together, partially covered, in a 3-4 quart saucepan for 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are tender; or cook under 15 pounds pressure for 5 minutes; release pressure, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Puree the soup either in the electric blender or through a food mill and then through a fine sieve.

Stir in the cream. Season to taste, over salting very slightly as salt loses savor in a cold dish. Chill.

Serve in chilled soup cups and decorate with minced chives.

Bon Appetit!