Tomato Tarte Tatin

Tomato Tarte Tatin

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Tomato Tarte Tatin is Simply Elegant
 
What is a Tarte Tatin?
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.  Before 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, a savory version made with vegetables can be just as delicious.  A few months ago I shared on this site my recipe f…

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Mornay Sauce

Mornay Sauce

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What is a Mornay Sauce?
A Mornay sauce is essentially a bechamel sauce with a combination of cheese melted in.  Some know the bechamel sauce by its less elegant name of white sauce.  Bechamel sauce definitely sounds better, even if it’s basically only milk, flour and butter with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg.  That’s it!

Traditionalists add an egg yolk to give it more creamy consistency (and reduce the amount of flour used). Yet I don’t think it’s necessary.  I also often use olive oil instead of butter to improve its health benefits and make it …

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Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

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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…

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Handmade Wonton Wrappers

Handmade Wonton Wrappers

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Why Make Your Own Handmade Wonton Wrappers?
Wonton wrappers are known by several names:  dim sum wrappers, dim sum skins, and dumpling skins, among the most common  Yet in the end this single basic Handmade Wonton Wrapper recipe will help you prepare yummy dim sum dumplings to eat steamed, grilled or fried.

There are other types of dough for other types of dim sum.  To make make buns you will need a dough with a leavening agent, such as yeast or baking powder.  For dumplings to boil in wonton soup, you will need a sturdier dough usually made with eggs added.  Last there i…

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Preparing Pumpkin Puree

Preparing Pumpkin Puree

How to Prepare Pumpkin Puree
Since pumpkin in cans is almost impossible to find outside of the United States, I usually prepare pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin.

If you need to follow this step, remember to leave the cooked pumpkin in a strainer over a bowl for about 30 minutes to eliminate the excess water. But do not throw this liquid out as it is absolutely delicious to drink as is or to add it to smoothies, oatmeal, soup or any other dish.  This liquid is my autumn gold, as it is so refreshing.
Roasting vs. Boiling when Preparing Pumpkin Puree
Roasting Pumpkin
Most cookbooks recommend roa…

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Speculoos Pie Crust

Speculoos Pie Crust

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What are Speculoos Cookies?
Origin of the Name
If you are wondering what the heck are Speculoos, they are a traditional Belgian and Dutch spice cookie eaten all year round yet primarily made for Saint Nicholas day (6 December in Belgium and 5 December in the Netherlands) and the winter holidays.

In some Anglo-Saxon countries, these traditional cookies are known as Biscoff.   Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, they refer to these cookies as Speculaas.   In Germany, where these cookies also have deep roots, they are known as Spekulatius.  Many countries in Europe and the Ame…

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Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole

Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole

Why is this Sweet Potato Casserole Chunky and Juicy?
Most sweet potato casseroles at Thanksgiving are overly sweet with marshmallows and candied pecans and blended into smooth puree.  My Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole leaves the sweet potato, carrots and fruit in chunks, allowing each ingredient’s true flavor to shine.  Very little sugar is added to this casserole, making it more healthy for you to eat.  A naturally light version of this traditional dish should be welcome at your Thanksgiving dinner table to help your guests enjoy their food without feeling guilty or overly stuffed.

The …

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Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Sometimes Simple Stuffing Recipes are Welcome on Thanksgiving
If you are like me on Thanksgiving Day, you somehow suddenly become a master multi-tasker.  Preparing several dishes at a time, making sure the oven is constantly filled with dishes being cooked in a pre-determined order, and decorating the table and dining room for the main event:  Thanksgiving dinner.  In all this chaotic order it’s welcoming to have some dishes that remain simple, without any extra fuss.

My Simple Stuffing recipe is exactly what is needed.  It has the all the main ingredients (bread, celery, sage, vegetable b…

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Speculoos Pumpkin Pie To Die For

Speculoos Pumpkin Pie To Die For

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What Makes This Speculoos Pumpkin Pie Worth Waiting an Entire Year?
For more than 30 years I’ve been making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  I have always considered pumpkin pie to be one of my specialties.    Truth be told, I’ve basically followed the same recipe for the filling all these years, initially inspired by the Joy of Cooking (6th edition).

However, from time to time I’ve tried different crusts.  This year I tried a new Speculoos Pie Crust and found it to be easy and delicious.  Follow the link above to discover the recipe for this amaz…

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Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic

Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic

What makes this Pumpkin  Soup so Sublime?
Every autumn I make pumpkin soup so many different ways.  I prefer pumpkin soup with spices that give a little heat, such as cumin, cayenne, and turmeric.  When I make a spicier version of pumpkin soup, I usually add an apple to soften and round out the flavors.   Sometimes coconut milk serves the same purpose.

In Belgium, however, people generally prefer a creamy milder version of pumpkin soup.  They usually add a little cream, milk or butter in the last minutes to add richness.  This recipe for Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic features more flavo…

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Autumn Oatmeal Porridge

Autumn Oatmeal Porridge

How do you make Autumn Oatmeal Porridge?
Most mornings I make hot oatmeal porridge for breakfast.  I love how everyday you can make your oatmeal porridge differently through the fruit, nuts and spices that you add to it.  For some suggestions on how to make a tasty and healthy bowl of hot grains for breakfast read this post from last April.

A bowl of hot grains is an ideal way to start your day.  You’ll get a good dosage of fiber and anti-oxidants which will help reduce your cholesterol levels, enhance your immune response to infection, and stabilize blood sugar levels helping to lower you…

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Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta:  an Autumn Seasonal Favorite!
As the years pass, time seems to go by faster and faster.  Thankfully, a few dishes each season help mark the time and leave us with fond memories.  The past ten years, Pumpkin Sage Pasta (pasta with a pumpkin-sage sauce) has been one of my family’s favorite dishes each autumn.   It’s tasty, healthy and easy to make.  In short, a perfect combination.

I usually prepare this yummy dish with nests of De Cecco Pappardelle egg pasta.  One box of 500 g (18 oz approximately) feeds 3 adults with robust appetites.  However, the same portion can feed…

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Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto

How do you make the Yummiest Pumpkin Risotto?
In the middle of pumpkin season I’m always on the lookout for new ways to include pumpkin in recipes.   A couple days ago I was having a friend over for a mid-week dinner and wanted to make something special without too much fuss.  I had been thinking of preparing Asian-inspired vegan pumpkin dumplings yet in the end opted for developing a new recipe for Pumpkin Risotto.

Risotto is a dish best made immediately before serving, which makes it a little complicated when entertaining guests.  I prefer not being busy in the kitchen when the guests ar…

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Pumpkin Tomato Lentil Soup

Pumpkin Tomato Lentil Soup

What are some ways to use pumpkin?
During the autumn months I tend to buy and use a lot of pumpkin.  Although a wide range of squash is available at the grocers and the farmers markets in Belgium, muscat pumpkins are my favorite.  Muscat pumpkins are different from the pumpkins generally sold in the US.  I now prefer their texture and taste over the US variety.  They also seem to have more flesh, making them a wonderful source for many recipes.

Once I start using a pumpkin, I try to find other ways to use the rest of the pumpkin during the week.  Chopped raw pumpkin added to my morning oat…

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Belgian Foodie® Winter Salad

Belgian Foodie® Winter Salad

What are Winter Salads?
Winter salads bring color, vitamins and fresh tastes to brighten up your plate and keep your palate alive.  In many ways I prefer winter salads to salads at other times of the year because the ingredients are often more crispy and full of flavor.

 
How can you create a Winter Salad?
Blend colors and tastes
The key to making an exceptional winter salad is to blend colors and tastes.  Don’t be afraid to use bitter vegetables, such as Belgian endives, radicchio and escarole, all from the chicory family. You may offset the bitter tastes by adding sweet ingredien…

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