20120529

It's National Coq Au Vin Day!


May 29th is
NATIONAL COQ AU VIN DAY
 
Coq au vin (pronounced Coke-O-Van) is basically a braised chicken recipe with burgundy wine, lardon (salted pork or bacon), mushrooms and garlic.  It is French for "cock (rooster) with wine" and is a classic French dish with multiple variations depending on what part of the French countryside the recipe comes from.

Considered a peasant dish originally, because the traditional recipe often made use of any old barnyard fowl, the wine the poultry was marinated and cooked in was used to help break down the toughness of the aged bird.

It is said that there were versions of Coq Au Vin from as far back and ancient Gaul and that Julius Caesar was said to have brought the recipe for "Gallo al vino" back from the Gallic Wars! In modern history this dish is most often associated with the iconic Julia Child.

I do this most often these days in a crock pot but I do use Julia Child's recipe - it just seems somewhat blasphemous not to!

JULIA CHILD'S COQ AU VIN RECIPE


Before dinner a nice Pomegranate Martini and, another classic comfort food, Hot Cheese Puffs would be a nice starter for this meal!

Happy National Coq Au Vin Day - now you can eat like an Emperor!



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20120522

CROCK POT CHERRY COLA POT ROAST RECIPE


CHERRY COLA POT ROAST RECIPE

No - Not Cherry Cola - Cherries AND Cola, and it's fabulous! The cherries and the cola along with the seasonings made the very best beef broth I've ever had!  Obviously, this has a sweetness to it from both the cherries and the cola so I did add a pinch of cinnamon along with more traditional beef roast seasonings to pop that up a bit.

I actually made this twice in one week so I could get more of the broth and use it for a soup (which I'm calling Cuba Libre Soup and will post soon.)



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20120521

Happy National Strawberries and Cream Day!



It's National Strawberries and Cream Day and what better way to celebrate than with Mini Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pizzas?  These are easy and great little bites that would go perfectly with this Strawberries and Cream Martini!
 
You can download the Free, full sized 5x3 recipes cards here.
 
Buon Appetit!
 


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20120518

APPLE GALETTE RECIPE


 
GOOD GOLLY, IT'S A GALETTE!
THE EASY APPLE PIE
 
I'm not the world's greatest baker.  I don't have tons of time and I am one of those "pinch of this, dash of that" type cooks which is not the way to approach baking, a culinary art that relies heavily on exact measurements.  I do, however, like to eat baked goods - a lot - and I don't like store bought goodies so I am constantly looking for new ways to do home baked easy.
 
The advent of those rolled pastry sheets that you can buy were a blessing for me.  They're not perfect but they work great in a pinch and they are pretty good for making a very easy and fairly quick galette!

For this apple galette I simply peeled, cored and sliced 4 apples (I used Galas sliced about 1/8" thick, but you can use your favorite baking apple), arranged them in an even later on top of the pastry sheet leaving a good 2 inches uncovered to fold over the top of the apples, sprinkled them with sugar, folded the edge of the pastry over the apples, then baked at 400 for about 30 minutes.
 
You'll notice my apples aren't artfully arranged in a circular pattern and that my folds aren't perfectly pinched - I told you I like easy, didn't I?  I already peeled 3 apples and I was making this for myself, it tasted just as good with the apples all haphazard and a funky folded crust!

These pie crust sheets are a little thinner than a crust I would roll out so I took 5 minutes off my normal baking time for a home made crust.

Tip:  If you like you can glaze the top with apricot preserves for a glossy look and some additional flavor.
 
 



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20120516

Happy National Coffee Day


 HAPPY NATIONAL COFFEE DAY!

Coffee is showing up in a lot of other places besides cups and glasses these days. Ground coffee is being rubbed into meats, coffee, espresso and beans are getting the sweet treatment in desserts and coffee cocktails are all the rage.

I guess we just love finding different ways to caffeinate ourselves! So, just to help everyone out:

Some Fun Coffee Food Recipes from Folgers
Creative Coffee Food Recipes from Epicurious
Recipes with Coffee from The Food Network

and from my sister site, TheMartiniDiva.Com:



 

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20120509

SOUTH OF THE BORDER BAKED RIGATONI RECIPE

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SOUTH OF THE BORDER BAKED RIGATONI

I love baked rigatoni and one day I wanted to make it but I only had a can of diced tomatoes with Mexican spices and chilis in it so I figured what the heck and went with the whole South of the Border Theme.  It turned out great and now I do it all the time only with regular diced tomatoes.

You'll see I've used Italian Sausage along with the ground sirloin. That's because I always do this mix of meats for my regular Italian version and I also do it with my special Taco Salad and I love it. There's something about that fennel in the Italian Sausage that works even with the Mexican spices!

You can go with Spicy Italian Sausage and hotter green chilies if you like to bring the heat and feel free to mix up the cheeses, I've often added Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, whatever!



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