Quick Puff Pastry Dough

Quick Puff Pastry Dough

How do you make a Quick Puff Pastry Dough?
What do you do when you want to make puff pastry dough (pâte feuilletée) but don’t want to go through all the effort?  Puff pastry dough is ideal for appetizers, quiches, light desserts and even just on its own with a little flavored sugar drizzled on top.

To make a genuine puff pastry dough, butter needs to be kneaded into rectangular slabs of dough folded over themselves several times.  It’s not terribly difficult but does take a certain amount of patience and repetition.    Many new bakers are intimidated by the effort needed and instead choose…

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Tomato Tarte Tatin

Tomato Tarte Tatin

Tomato Tarte Tatin is Simply Elegant
You have probably heard of Apple Tarte Tatin (tarte tatin aux pommes), the French version of hot apple pie.  Slices of apple caramelized in a pan on the stove or in the oven before placing puff pastry dough on top and baking it further.  At time of serving the pan is turned over so the pastry is on the bottom and the hot caramelized fruit on top.

Although tarte tatin is often made with fruit, it can be just as delicious when made with vegetables in a savory version.  A few months ago I shared on this site my recipe for Belgian Endive Pie, another delici…

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Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

What makes Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings a Fall Favorite?
A couple years ago when I started my Vegan Before 6:00 diet I was looking for new fun ways to prepare vegan main dishes.  Around that time I was practicing how to make homemade dim sum.  I kept trying new dim sum recipes so I’d get the techniques down.

As many of you know, I love pumpkin during the fall, especially in savory dishes.  So creating a new fall favorite with pumpkin put a smile on my face.  When a friend came over for lunch I prepared these Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings and instantly fell in love!

The filling is quick and simple …

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Belgian Endive Pie

Belgian Endive Pie

How can I use Belgian endive in a new way?
Belgian endive, known as chicory in the United Kingdom, chicons in the French-speaking part of Belgium and witlof  in the Dutch-speaking part of Beligum, is generally prepared only a couple different ways.   OK, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much.  Raw and mixed in a salad, braised in olive oil with a little garlic as a side dish, or chicons gratin  (endives braised wrapped in ham and covered with a Mornay sauce).  Belgian endives mix great with pork (any kind of bacon or ham), Roquefort or blue cheese, walnuts and root vegetables (especi…

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Couscous Salad with Vegetables

Couscous Salad with Vegetables

What makes a Couscous Salad with Vegetables such an ideal side dish?
Tonight I grilled a pan sheet of chicken wings. It’s an easy weeknight dinner. I just cut off some of the skin from the chicken wings to reduce the amount of fat. I then line up the pan with the chicken wings and sprinkle on some dried thyme, salt and pepper. Sometimes I may add some other herbs, such as basil and oregano, and spread on a few garlic cloves diced finely. I love it when there’s lots of garlic on it.

I wanted a quick side dish made of a starch and vegetables to round out the meal. I decided to make a couscou…

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A Greek Salad for the Gods

A Greek Salad for the Gods

What makes a Greek Salad Greek?
Greek salads are served and enjoyed all over the world as people try to capture the magic of Greece. In Greece, this salad is known simply as horiatiki, a peasant’s salad or a country salad.

Although there does not seem to be a definitive way to make a Greek salad, most can agree that the essential ingredients salad are tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, red onion, Kalamata olives, and olive oil. This is how the Greeks would make their horiatiki.

Common ingredients added to a Greek salad include: green wax peppers, pickled peppers (peperoncini), anchovies …

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A Caprese Salad with Parma Ham

A Caprese Salad with Parma Ham

Sometimes the simple dishes are the best!
Tonight I really did not feel like preparing anything complicated. It’s warm outside and I’ve been moving around all day long sorting through things in my home as I’m doing a major summer cleaning. So I prepared a dish with mozzarella, tomatoes, Prosciutto di Parma ham, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a little salt and pepper. This dish always looks nicer when you lay a slice of mozzarella on a slice of tomato and continue in this fashion until you fill your dish (or have enough for your group). Then drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar o…

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Baba Ganoush Made Quick and Easy: Vegan

Baba Ganoush Made Quick and Easy: Vegan

With so many variations of baba ganoush, what makes my recipe different?
There are almost as many ways to write baba ganoush as there are to make it. This famous dish is also known as Moutabal and Eggplant (or Aubergine) Caviar. This recipe for baba ganoush has to be among the easiest way to make it, while preserving the smoked flavor of the eggplant and all the other qualities we love in our baba ganoush.

Baba ganoush comes from the Levantine region yet is renown and loved all over the world. People from this region can get into a heated argument over what ingredients are required to make…

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Yogurt Spread with Radishes and Green Onions

Yogurt Spread with Radishes and Green Onions

Is spring in the air?
It was at least on my lunch table.
A couple days ago I was home for lunch on my own and wanted to make something special yet easy. I had a few eggplants, carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, green onions, and much more.

I was really in the mood to make a typical Belgian spread made principally with fromage blanc, green onions and radishes.  You add a little salt and pepper to these ingredients and you basically have your spread.  I also wanted to make baba ganoush with the eggplants. So what did I do?

I made both! Here I share the recipe for the Yogurt Spread with Rad…

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Sardine Dip: Quick and Easy Appetizer

Sardine Dip: Quick and Easy Appetizer

Try serving Sardine Dip to your guests as a new appetizer
This Sardine Dip is extremely easy to make.  My kids and I often make this dip when we are in a hurry.  It makes a lovely and yummy impromptu light lunch or supper, served with some bread and a side salad or soup.

We also prepare this Sardine Dip as an appetizer when we entertain guests.  Most people seem to enjoy this dip, even those who don’t like sardines.  If you serve this Sardine Dip as an appetizer, accompany it with some bread or crackers, or a bowl of cut raw vegetables.

Having a couple cans of sardines and some cream ch…

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