Chocolate Chip + M&Ms Christmas Cookies
I know the holiday season and Xmas time are long gone but I just love these cookies so much that I wanted to share them with you anyway.  Here in France, we don’t have bags of M&Ms candy with specific colors. From recipes I’ve seen online it seems like it’s a more common thing in the US for example. So what I did I that I bought a regular bag of candy and kept only the red and green ones for this recipe.  I put 2/3 of those M&Ms in a grinder and incorporated them in the dough. I used the remaining 1/3 to top the cookies once formed and on the baking tray. The heat of the oven makes them crack open just a little and you can see the chocolate goodness that is inside!
The recipe for the cookie dough is the same that I used in my Can’t-Stop-Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe:
Ingredients: 1 egg 325g of sugar 400g of all-purpose flour 250g of chocolate chips, any kind 200g of butter, at room temperature 1 tsp of baking powder.
Method: First, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Then, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the dry mixture and mix until just blended. Set for 1 hour.
Then,preheat oven to 150°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Form balls out of cookie dough. Place them on the tray and press down with your hand to flatten them. Top with M&Ms candy. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack.
I made these especially for the holidays but all the fun is in topping the cookies with colored candies chosen to match a specific holiday. And cookies are very easy to make so you can get kids involved and it’s double the fun! ;-) It’s a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones, as food always is!
X

Chocolate Chip + M&Ms Christmas Cookies

I know the holiday season and Xmas time are long gone but I just love these cookies so much that I wanted to share them with you anyway.
Here in France, we don’t have bags of M&Ms candy with specific colors. From recipes I’ve seen online it seems like it’s a more common thing in the US for example. So what I did I that I bought a regular bag of candy and kept only the red and green ones for this recipe.
I put 2/3 of those M&Ms in a grinder and incorporated them in the dough. I used the remaining 1/3 to top the cookies once formed and on the baking tray. The heat of the oven makes them crack open just a little and you can see the chocolate goodness that is inside!

The recipe for the cookie dough is the same that I used in my Can’t-Stop-Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe:

Ingredients:
1 egg
325g of sugar
400g of all-purpose flour
250g of chocolate chips, any kind
200g of butter, at room temperature
1 tsp of baking powder.

Method: First, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Then, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the dry mixture and mix until just blended. Set for 1 hour.

Then,preheat oven to 150°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Form balls out of cookie dough. Place them on the tray and press down with your hand to flatten them. Top with M&Ms candy. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack.

I made these especially for the holidays but all the fun is in topping the cookies with colored candies chosen to match a specific holiday. And cookies are very easy to make so you can get kids involved and it’s double the fun! ;-) It’s a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones, as food always is!

X

Lemon Mousse, Meringue and Madeleine Dessert
This dessert recipe is a variation to the Strawberry Decadent Dessert that I posted a few months ago and BELIEVE ME it’s just as good!
And what’s fun with this kind of dessert is you can use your imagination and find new combinations by replacing one or two of the ingredients choosing between the lemon mousse, the meringues or the madeleines.
Enjoy yourself!
Recipe
4-5 servings
Ingredients:
250g of mascarpone
2 eggs
100g of sugar
Lemon zest
 Directions:
·  Mix together egg yolks, sugar and mascarpone. Set aside.
·  Whip up egg whites until stiff. Gradually pour whites in other bowl and stir delicately until well blended. Do not overwork the mix so as not to lose the texture of the whipped whites.
·  Put in the fridge for at least 1 hour. 
·   In individual cups, layer crumbled madeleines, crumbled meringues and lemon mousse. Finish with a few madeleine crumbles as a topping and a whole meringue if you use small ones. 
· Enjoy!

Lemon Mousse, Meringue and Madeleine Dessert

This dessert recipe is a variation to the Strawberry Decadent Dessert that I posted a few months ago and BELIEVE ME it’s just as good!

And what’s fun with this kind of dessert is you can use your imagination and find new combinations by replacing one or two of the ingredients choosing between the lemon mousse, the meringues or the madeleines.

Enjoy yourself!

Recipe

4-5 servings

Ingredients:

250g of mascarpone

2 eggs

100g of sugar

Lemon zest

 Directions:

·  Mix together egg yolks, sugar and mascarpone. Set aside.

·  Whip up egg whites until stiff. Gradually pour whites in other bowl and stir delicately until well blended. Do not overwork the mix so as not to lose the texture of the whipped whites.

·  Put in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

·   In individual cups, layer crumbled madeleines, crumbled meringues and lemon mousse. Finish with a few madeleine crumbles as a topping and a whole meringue if you use small ones.

· Enjoy!

Avo and Bacon Whole Wheat Pasta

Hello everyone!

I’m sorry I went MIA for a while and didn’t post anything. I have been busy with the holiday season and preparation for Christmas Eve, which is one of my favorite holidays. I am thinking of dedicating a post to my family’s Christmas dinner later on. I know it’s not the holiday season anymore but I had so much fun planning it that I’d like to share that moment with you anyway.

Sooo, as I was saying, I haven’t posted anything in a while but that doesn’t mean I havent been cooking. This break has given me time to pick the most blog-worthy recipes that I have made and will share with you.

Today, I wanted to (re-)start off with a very fresh and mouth-watering pasta recipe because, let’s face it, we all love pasta! This recipe is a nice combination of a healthy kind of pasta (whole wheat), the healthy fats that you find in avos, the freshness of basil and lemon juice and the guilty pleasure of some crispy bacon pieces. 

Come on, all you got to do is start eating and relish in the deliciousness of this dish!

Ingredients:

150g of pasta

1 avo

2 slices of bacon

½ cup of basil leaves

Juice from ½ lemon

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

·         Cook pasta following instructions on package

·         While pasta is cooking, grill bacon in a pan. Once cooked, cut up bacon. Dice avocado and basil leaves.

·         Drain pasta and put in a bowl or plate.

·         Add avo, bacon and basil. Squeeze lemon juice over the dish. Mix together.

·         Enjoy!

P.S.: You can grate some parmesan cheese on top of your dish if you’d like.

Can’t-Stop-Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the greatest plagues/pleasures in my life is that I LOVE chocolate, in any form! I sometimes just get these chocolate cravings and find myself day-dreaming about new ideas for recipes using chocolate or wandering on Pinterest looking at pretty, yummy food pics.
Often I am satisfied with merely dreaming about delicious treats but I sometimes get this baking itch and I need to actually make one of those recipes. Lately, I settled on cookies which are just down-right delicious! Nobody can resist the temptation of a cookie!
This recipe will meet every expectation you have about a chocolate chip cookie. It is simply amazing. A big part of it is that you make the chocolate chips yourself instead of buying ready-to-use chocolate chips in a supermarket. You just need to buy chocolate in bars and cut it up to make chunks of different sizes. And here comes the fun part! There are so many different kinds of chocolate bars nowadays that you can buy any one you like and create new flavors every time you bake a batch of cookies.
Bear in mind that if you buy white chocolate or a highly sweetened kind of chocolate you should put less sugar in your cookie dough so that the cookies are not overly sweet in the end.
The chocolate chips proportion is kind of random here. You can adapt it to how much chocolate you actually have at home or how much chocolate you want to have in your cookies. If you decide to add nuts to your recipe for example, you should also diminish the proportion of chocolate.

Recipe
Yields 30 

Ingredients:
1 egg
325g of sugar
400g of all-purpose flour
250g of chocolate chips, any kind
200g of butter, at room temperature
1 tsp of baking powder.

Directions:
-In a bowl, mix together the butter and sugar by hand, until blended. Add the egg and stir again until well blended.
-In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips.
-Add dry mix to the wet one and blend together by hand. Do not overwork the dough. Put in the fridge to set for 1 hour.
-Preheat oven to 150°C.
-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form small balls with the dough and flatten a little before placing on baking sheet.
-Place tray in oven for exactly 15 minutes.
-Take cookies out and allow to cool down at room temperature until they harden.

(Store in a sealed container. Best within 3 days.)

Enjoy!

Avocado and Spinach Grilled Cheese Sandwich

YUM YUM YUM! oh my! this grilled cheese recipe is so gorgeously delicious that just thinking about it makes my mouth water! The spinach and avo combo is one of my favorite and here the softness and rich taste of the avocado is highlighted by the flavor of warm spinach and the gooeyness of the melted cheese. Every bite of this sandwich is an absolute delight. It made my day!

Hope you try it and love it too!

Recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients:

-2 slices of whole wheat bread

-1/2 avocado

-a handful of baby spinach

-cream cheese

-1 tbs of goat cheese

-salt, to taste

Directions:

-Spread cream cheese on both slices.

-Slice avocado and place on one slice. Cover with leaves of baby spinach. Add goat cheese, grossly chopped. Salt. Cover with second slice of bread.

-Oil a pan and heat one side of sandwich. Drizzle more olive oil on other side. Flip sandwich and heat on other side. Flip again until grilled to your liking.

-Slice sandwich in half and serve on a plate with a side salad.

Bon Appétit!

Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Porkloin

with Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples

What a perfect Fall recipe! All the ingredients in this recipe complete each other so well: the tenderness and meaty flavor of slow-cooked pork, the softness of the butternut and the sweetness of the apples. Everything just melts in your mouth.

And this delicious Fall aroma will make you feel eager for dinner time :-)

Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Porkloin

1 butternut squash

4-5 apples, grossely sliced (+ thin slices)

2 large onions, sliced

cinnamon

honey

salt and pepper

Directions:

-Slice slits into porkloin, about 3/4 through the meat. Sprinkle cinnamon over thin apple slices. Fill slits with apple slices. 

-Place prokloin in slow cooker. Layer onions at the bottom. Drizzle honey over porkloin. Add some water. Place lid over pot and pour water over lid. Slow-cook for 3-4 hours, replacing water when evaporated.

-Peel, chop and toss butternut squash in olive oil and herbs. Lay on an oven tray covered with parchment paper. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

-Peel apples, take seed out and grossly slice apples. Cook in a pan with a bit of butter.

-Remove porkloin from slow cooker. Keep sauce to pour over meat. Cut out slices and serve immediately with onions, butternut and apples.

Bon Appétit!

Puff Pastry Appetizer Duo - Goat Cheese & Tomato / Spinach & Feta

This appetizer recipe is so easy it’s an absolute no-brainer. And the flavors complement each other perfectly. It’s just chop-chop-chop, oven and serve! It can’t get easier than this. And they’re real crowd-pleasers, my guests loved them!

No excuse not to try it ;-)

Recipe
Yields 18

Ingredients:
Ready-to-use puff pastry
1 tomato
100g of goat cheese
Fresh thyme
100g of frozen spinach
50g of feta
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut puff pastry in desired shapes.
-Cut tomato slices and roughly chop goat cheese. Drain and squeeze spinach an chop feta cheese.
-Place pastry on tray and brush with olive oil. Top half with tomato slices and goat cheese and other half with spinach and feta. Season to taste. Decorate with fresh thyme.
-Oven-bake for about 10 minutes or until pastry is nicely puffed and golden. Let cool down for 2 minutes and serve.

Bon Appétit!

Butternut Squash, Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells

This recipe had been tempting me for a while and I finally found all the ingredients I needed. Those jumbo pasta shells are not that common and easy to find in France. Consequently, they are quite expensive but it’s so worth it once you’ve tasted this recipe. The butternut flavor is the most obvious one here so if you want to be sure to taste the spinach, I would suggest to increase the proportion. Also, I did not use the entire butternut for this recipe. I turned only half of the butternut dices into mash and save the rest for another meal. I served them on skewers which looked quite nice and original. You could also make it into a soup.
Make sure to taste your mixture and that you like it before you stuff the pasta shells. Mine was not salty enough and we had to use quite a bit of salt later on.
The original recipe that I found on Pinterest suggested to make a sage butter sauce to serve with the stuffed shells. Sage is not that common to find so I would otherwise suggest to replace it with thyme which can be found in quite a few gardens.

Recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients:
20 jumbo pasta shells
1 butternut squash
200g of frozen spinach
200g of ricotta
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 egg
Grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper

Directions:
-Peel, chop and toss butternut in olive oil. Put on an oven tray covered with parchment paper. Cook for 15 minutes.
-Cook pasta as indicated on package. Drain under cold water to stop from cooking and set aside.
-Drain and squeeze spinach. Mash cooked butternut.
-In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, garlic, egg, Parmesan, spinach and mashed butternut. Salt to taste.
-Stuff shells with as much mixture as you want. Place shells in a pan and oven-bake for 15-20 minutes.
-Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over shells and serve with a side salad.

Bon Appétit!

Since I started cooking more often, I decided to create this playlist to listen to when I’m in the kitchen. It has all the songs that put me in a good mood lately, get me going and just make me want to dance or sing along (I tell you, it’s a good thing I’m alone in my kitchen!)
I hope you’ll like it and will listen to it as well whether you’re trying out my recipes or some of your own. In any case, please share what you think.
Now, off to the kitchen!

(Source: bubblymee)

An Old Time Favorite: Macaroni & Cheese
Mac and Cheese is one of those go-to comforting meals that Americans love. It’s quite easy to make and is a nice variation from the way we French usually eat pasta. The cheese sauce is delicious and rather addictive, I guarantee you’ll come back for seconds.
I am really happy that I found this recipe because it uses ingredients that are specific to French cuisine and that are available in grocery stores in France. It can be hard for French people to cook from American or English recipes since we can’t always find the exact ingredients. This is why this one is very practical. If you’re American, well I assume you already know how to make Mac & Cheese ;-)
Here’s the recipe
(Yields 5-6 servings)
Ingredients:
-500g of macaronis
-350g of grated cheddar cheese
-100g of butter
-40cl of unsweetened condensed milk
-1 tbs of Dijon mustard
-2 tbs of flour
-30cl of milk
-2 tsp of salt
-200g of breadcrumbs
Directions:
-Cook macaronis and preheat oven at 350°F. Once cooked, drain macaronis and wash under cold water to stop from cooking.
-In a large pan, heat 50g of butter on a medium heat. When butter starts to bubble, add the flour and stir constantly until the mix darkens a little. Add the condensed milk and stir some more. Add mustard and salt and keep stirring for about 5 minutes until the blend thickens and becomes creamy. Finally, stir in the milk and 3/4 of the cheddar until well blended.
-Add in the cooked macaronis and stir until the sauce is evenly mixed with the pasta. Put it all in a large pan.
-Mix breadcrumbs with remaining butter (previously melted) and sprinkle  over the pasta, together with the remaining cheddar.
-Bake in oven for about 40 minutes or until surface is golden.
Bon Appétit!

Recette en français (pour 6 personnes)
Ingrédients:
-500g de macaronis
-350g de cheddar râpé
-100g de beurre
-40cl de lait concentré non sucré
-1 cuillère à soupe de moutarde de Dijon
-2 cuillères à soupe de farine
-30cl de lait
-2 cuillères à café de sel
-200g de chapelure
Méthode:
-Faire cuire les macaronis en suivant les instructions de la boîte et préchauffer le four à 180°C. Les mettre de côté après les avoir égouttés sous l’eau froide pour arrêter la cuisson.
-Dans une grande poêle, faire chauffer 50g de beurre à feu moyen. Quand le beurre commence à frémir, ajouter la farine et remuer sans arrêt jusqu’à ce que le mélange fonce un peu. Incorporer le lait concentré, toujours en remuant. Rajouter la moutarde et le sel et continuer à remuer pendant environ 5 minutes, le mélange doit épaissir et devenir crémeux. Enfin, ajouter le lait et 3/4 du cheddar râpé. Mélanger jusqu’à ce que le mélange soit homogène.
-Verser les macaronis dans la sauce et remuer jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit bien répartie. Verser le tout dans un plat à gratin.
-Faire fondre le reste du beurre et le mélanger à la chapelure. Parsemer le dessus du gratin avec le mélange et le reste du cheddar. Mettre au four pendant environ 40 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que la surface soit légèrement dorée.

An Old Time Favorite: Macaroni & Cheese

Mac and Cheese is one of those go-to comforting meals that Americans love. It’s quite easy to make and is a nice variation from the way we French usually eat pasta. The cheese sauce is delicious and rather addictive, I guarantee you’ll come back for seconds.

I am really happy that I found this recipe because it uses ingredients that are specific to French cuisine and that are available in grocery stores in France. It can be hard for French people to cook from American or English recipes since we can’t always find the exact ingredients. This is why this one is very practical. If you’re American, well I assume you already know how to make Mac & Cheese ;-)

Here’s the recipe

(Yields 5-6 servings)

Ingredients:

-500g of macaronis

-350g of grated cheddar cheese

-100g of butter

-40cl of unsweetened condensed milk

-1 tbs of Dijon mustard

-2 tbs of flour

-30cl of milk

-2 tsp of salt

-200g of breadcrumbs

Directions:

-Cook macaronis and preheat oven at 350°F. Once cooked, drain macaronis and wash under cold water to stop from cooking.

-In a large pan, heat 50g of butter on a medium heat. When butter starts to bubble, add the flour and stir constantly until the mix darkens a little. Add the condensed milk and stir some more. Add mustard and salt and keep stirring for about 5 minutes until the blend thickens and becomes creamy. Finally, stir in the milk and 3/4 of the cheddar until well blended.

-Add in the cooked macaronis and stir until the sauce is evenly mixed with the pasta. Put it all in a large pan.

-Mix breadcrumbs with remaining butter (previously melted) and sprinkle  over the pasta, together with the remaining cheddar.

-Bake in oven for about 40 minutes or until surface is golden.

Bon Appétit!

Recette en français (pour 6 personnes)

Ingrédients:

-500g de macaronis

-350g de cheddar râpé

-100g de beurre

-40cl de lait concentré non sucré

-1 cuillère à soupe de moutarde de Dijon

-2 cuillères à soupe de farine

-30cl de lait

-2 cuillères à café de sel

-200g de chapelure

Méthode:

-Faire cuire les macaronis en suivant les instructions de la boîte et préchauffer le four à 180°C. Les mettre de côté après les avoir égouttés sous l’eau froide pour arrêter la cuisson.

-Dans une grande poêle, faire chauffer 50g de beurre à feu moyen. Quand le beurre commence à frémir, ajouter la farine et remuer sans arrêt jusqu’à ce que le mélange fonce un peu. Incorporer le lait concentré, toujours en remuant. Rajouter la moutarde et le sel et continuer à remuer pendant environ 5 minutes, le mélange doit épaissir et devenir crémeux. Enfin, ajouter le lait et 3/4 du cheddar râpé. Mélanger jusqu’à ce que le mélange soit homogène.

-Verser les macaronis dans la sauce et remuer jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit bien répartie. Verser le tout dans un plat à gratin.

-Faire fondre le reste du beurre et le mélanger à la chapelure. Parsemer le dessus du gratin avec le mélange et le reste du cheddar. Mettre au four pendant environ 40 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que la surface soit légèrement dorée.