May 28, 2015

A French-Inspired Meal, A Better-than-Bachlorette-Inspired Weekend

On Friday night we went to Paris. The occasion? Bachelorette does not describe it, although we were celebrating a bride-to-be. There was no gaudy outfitting and masquerading around town. We simply ate our way through her favorite places without leaving the most peaceful party house in the woods there is.

We started with fancy cheese and a French red.

(The next night our resident charcuterie artist worked her magic in Italy, but it was so pretty I had to put it here amidst France.)

This was our menu for the weekend. From Paris we went to the bride's breakfast room for waffles and cheddar cheese (yep, you heard me right) and then to our beloved city for chicken salad and the best fresh whole wheat bread and hummus, plus Caramel Brownies. And then off to Italy for a Guiseppe's-inspired Vegetable Penne with Feta Sauce that the bride declared better (and lighter) than its inspiration. We wrapped things up in Cajun country with a frittata and these frozen chocolate croissants Trader Joe's sells that rise overnight and taste bakery fresh and therefore had me talking about their wonder nonstop all morning. No menfolk meant we carbed and veggied and desserted things up like crazy.

Anyway, back to Paris. We simplified a Salad Nicoise, which some research revealed involves placing veggies in different sections of a platter and drizzling dressing on top. We skipped the anchovies, and the tuna, and wintry veggies that would have to be boiled (potatoes and beets). And that was all we needed because our protein and carbs came from...

Housemade crepes filled with a chicken-asparagus-cream sauce mixture and topped with more of the same, only prettier. I mastered sweet crepes a while back, so I wasn't too scared to try this savory variety with my trusty nonstick pan. Ahhhmazingly delicious it was.

And now for the crown jewel that proved the bride has the best kind of friends because they all scraped and even licked their ramekins. Pots de Creme, y'all. It's a little high maintenance with the individual portions that must be bathed and baked for forever and individually covered and THEN chilled in the fridge (or the freezer to speed things up). But the decadence of chilled chocolate custard  that emerged had us all only talking about its amazingness during the duration of this course. It's kind of like a chocolate creme brulee without the torched top. Cut the richness with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and not one but three strawberries slices (thanks to Helen the hand model), and you will never eat dessert out again.

May 5, 2015

Out-of-this-World Waffles

These gridded pastries are so light and fluffy delicious that I often travel with a waffle iron so I can share them. 
My brother consumes more cereal than anyone I know, so when I visit, I find it necessary to deviate from the breakfast norm, heat up the iron to fill with a flour-milk-oil combo and watch these babes rise to life.

The older I get, the more I firmly I believe that each bite of waffle really necessitates a juicy bite of berry alongside it. This also gives me an excuse to bring fruit that needs washing and slicing (vs. apples and bananas) into the apartment.

I don't make these waffles because they are good for your health. I make them because they are good for your soul.

In addition to trips to apartment of said brother, this year Out-of-this-World made their Downton party debut alongside a bar of bananas, berries, whipped cream and chocolate syrup, and ever since I have been craving waffle dessert decadence.