Friday, June 21, 2013

Quick Kitchen Tip

I absolutely love ice coffee in the summer but I never think to make it.  I've found a new favorite coffee, La Colombe Torrefaction, and now I have a system to guarantee ice coffee on demand.  About thirty minutes before I go to bed, I brew a pot of coffee.  As soon as it brews, I turn off the coffee pot, put the carafe on the counter and let it cool for about 15 minutes.  I pour the pot into a glass pitcher, cover the top and let it sit in the fridge over night.  In the morning and throughout the day, I have ice coffee ready to go.  It pairs perfectly with a madeleine or a lemon meringue tart and it's great when you have friends over on a hot day!   

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Double Chocolat Chip Cookies with Fleur de Sel

These chocolat chip cookies are my absolute favorite!  The Fleur de Sel makes the chocolate sweeter and the chocolate taste more intense.  Yum!  They are so good that every time I make them, I save a few for the kids and my husband Jake, and I give the rest away.  My self control with these cookies completely disappears!  I guarantee that these will be one of the best chocolate chip cookies you'll make and you'll shock people when you tell them they are gluten free!  Enjoy!

I use a tablespoon to drop the cookies onto the baking sheet.  This way they are uniform and I really like the size that a tablespoon makes.

In addition to putting Fleur de Sel into the batter, I also sprinkle a little pinch on top.

A dozen cookies ready to go into the oven.  I always use parchment paper or silpat for easy clean up! 

La Recette:
2 sticks unsalted butter - room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs - room temperature
2 1/4 cups gluten free baking mix - I make my own but until mine is for sale, I recommend Bisquick :)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp Fleur de Sel plus more for sprinkling on top
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk chocolate chips - I love Ghirardelli
1 cup dark chocolate chips

-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
-With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy - about a minute.  
-Slowly add in the sugar and beat until smooth and incorporated, about 2 additional minutes.  
-Add the eggs in one at time.  Then the vanilla.  Beat until everything is incorporated, scrape down the sides and the bottom with a spatula half way through,  mixture should be smooth.  
-In the meantime, combine the gluten free baking mix, baking soda, Fleur de Sel, and cinnamon.  Mix a few times to combine.
-Next toss in the chocolate chips.  Make sure the flour mixture is coating the chips.  This will help to hold their place in the dough.
-With the mixer running, gradually pour in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  
-Turn the dough a few times with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure everything is mixed throughly on the bottom.
-Using a tablespoon drop 12 dough balls onto your lined standard size cookie sheet.  Take a very small pinch of Fleur de Sel and sprinkle on top of the dough balls (see photo above).
-Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let them cool completely on of baking sheet. Transfer to serving dish or storage container.

*Makes about 48 cookies
*Fleur de Sel is a hand harvested sea salt.  It is a little pricey but it is wonderful.  It will last you forever and it's a great finishing salt.  Williams Sonoma and other specialty food stores will carry this. 
*I am working on a vegan version.  Stay tuned for updates.  
*I recommend keeping an eye on these cookies in the oven.  I always check on them halfway through and towards the end.  I find a little extra TLC makes a big difference.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Quick Kitchen Tip

There are two things I do that always help my productivity in the kitchen.  The first is having my "mise en place" set up - organizing and arranging all of the ingredients that I am going to use for the meal I'm about to prepare.  Whether I do it the night before or when the kids are at school/napping, I am always able to get dinner on the table faster and easier.  
The second thing is wearing cute shoes to the grocery store.  It might just be an excuse to buy more shoes ;) but I'll keep telling myself that I am much more effective with the right foot wear!  Happy food shopping!

*Besides my family and friends, I have three loves:  food (obvious one), french (sort of obvious), and fashion.  Every now and then you'll see a little of each sprinkled throughout the blog!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's Pesto Time

Without question, one of my favorite things about summer is growing basil and making pesto.  It's the perfect summertime meal.  Toss in some tomatoes, a gluten free baguette, and a glass of white wine - c'est parfait!  It's quick, simple to make, and a great dinner for my whole family.  Enjoy!

Le Recette:
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 lb. of your favorite pasta (I used fusilli but any variety will work)
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
 *Makes about 1.5 cups

-Combine the basil, walnuts, pine nuts, garlic salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Slowly add in the extra virgin olive oil with the food processor running.  Next add in the cheese and pulse until just combined.   
-In the meantime, cook the pasta until al dente and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.  
-Combine 1 cup of the pesto and pasta and slowly add in the pasta water until pasta and pesto is smooth.
*Serves 4
*The leftover pesto can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for one week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Just drizzle a little olive oil on the top so it doesn't dry out. 
*One of my favorite gluten free baguettes is made by Schä tasty!

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