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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baked Apples

This is a yummie Fall Dessert! Enjoy! :)

Brown sugar
Marshmallows (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.Scoop out the core from top of the apple, leaving a well. Do not cut all the way through. Stuff each apple with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon butter. Place in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon. Optional: Stuff Marshmallow on top!

3.Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until sugar begins to caramelize and apples are tender.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mussels with Fries

I love mussels and fries! I don't know why more people don't do this at home because it's really easy and way cheaper than eating out at a restaurant. This is my MIL's recipe, but you can add a whole bunch of stuff if you want. It's just as good when it's simple. We eat these with our hands. It's one of the rare dishes that the French actually eat without a knife and fork. You eat the first one, and the empty shell of your first mussel serves as a grabber.
Serves 4-5
Ingredients:1 gallon fresh mussels
2 small or 1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1. Soak the mussels in some water and clean them well. If there is any greyish or green moss on the shells, scrape it off. This is the longest part.
2. Sautee the onions until just a bit golden in the butter in a large pot.
3. Add the clean mussels WITHOUT WATER , and cover the pot. Cook on medium to high for 10-15 minutes stirring once in a while. The mussels should all be open. If there are a few that are not, its because they are no good. Do not try to eat them. They do not need salting because they are already salt watered.
Serve with fries.
Some people add white wine or beer or cream to the mussels while they are cooking. All versions are excellent!

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mint Cucumber Cocktail

This is more of a Summer Cocktail. But you can still pull it off with 90* Palm Springs Fall weather. :)

2 cucumbers
Small ice cubes
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
4 ounces (1/2 cup) vodka
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cointreau

1.Cut 4 thin spears from 1 cucumber, and reserve for garnish. Peel remaining cucumbers, and quarter them lengthwise. Scrape out seeds with a spoon, and discard. Coarsely chop cucumbers, then puree in a food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

2.Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add mint, sugar, and lime juice, and shake. Add 3/4 cup cucumber juice, the vodka, and Cointreau, and shake. Strain into 4 glasses filled with ice. Garnish each cocktail with a cucumber spear.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Leek Pie

Hello everyone, I'm back! I haven't posted in a while because I seriously haven't been cooking, and when I do, I've been making things I've already posted, or heating up ready made dishes. I make this about once a week, and when there is company, they volunteer me to make this. I have been cooked for a bunch, but my MIL makes food that you need to spend at least 2 hours in the pressure cooker on, which is impossible for the working woman who does not own such a device.....So, when she contemplated the Leeks in the garden and then declared "tonight is Leek Pie," I jumped for joy and grabbed my camera!
Serves 4 as a main course, or 8 as an appetizer
-1 pack of low sodium bacon, cut into little pieces with the big fat cut off
-1 pie crust in dough form
-4 Leeks (those things that look like giant green onions)
-Bechamel sauce
-3 egg yolks
-shredded swiss cheese
1. Clean the leeks by cutting lengthwise and rinsing all the dirt out. Cook them by boiling them for a long time.. like 45 minutes... or stick them in the crock pot the night before so they're tender, then let drain until they are nice and dry, then cut in little bite size pieces with kitchen shears.
2. Cook the bacon in a pan and drain the grease.
3. Put your pie crust in your pie tin, and poke holes in it with your fork.
4. Place a layer of leeks, then bechamel, then bacon
... and then do another layer of each
5. Cover with shredded swiss cheese
6. In a bowl, whisk your 3 egg yolks and brush them onto your pie
7. Cook for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees in the oven

We served some home fries with this, but did not even eat them because it was so filling. Otherwise, serve with some salad as a side to make a complete meal!

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Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel is one of the sauces I use to make my Lasagna, but it is also a very common sauce used for many different French dishes. This time, it is for my Leek Pie, but I will later on bust out another recipe where bechamel is used.
Makes about 2 cups of sauce.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 large Tbsp butter
2 cups milk
Salt/Pepper to taste
1. In a sauce pan, melt the butter on medium heat and wisk in the flour.
2. Take off heat, and pour in the milk, a little bit at a time while wisking.
3. Once all the milk is in, put back on heat and wisk until it thickens a bit. It should not be watery, but it should not be as thick as mashed potatoes. It should be like a thick sauce. Watch it, though, because you don't want it to burn. Once it is at its desired thickness, take it off the heat. Some people add a dash of nutmeg.

I very unfortunately do not have a picture of this... sorry

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