French Fridays with Dorie – Pommes Confites

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I opted to go with the fancy French term for the title of this post since every time I said “Long & Slow Apples” around my husband and friends there were snickers and sexual innuendos aplenty. Really guys? I was excited to try this recipe for a multitude of reasons but the biggest one was that I finally decided to face my fear and use a mandoline. We sell tons of them at the store but I have heard so many horror stories that I have been too afraid to use one, let alone buy one. We have one in the store kitchen and for some reason today I just felt up to the task.

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We also have an apple corer there which is another gadget I don’t yet own. I opted to leave the apples whole and slice them that way because it somehow seemed safer to try to cut the whole apple on the mandoline. Don’t ask me how my brain works, it’s a mystery.

Pink Ladies are my apple of choice these days so I was hoping they would be good in this (and I was right). Pink Ladies ARE the coolest ladies after all.

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Stockard Channing is so totally boss as Rizzo – I really don’t see how anyone else could ever be as cool as her. But back to the apples and all that. I decided to use one of my other favorite gadgets – the Microplane – for the orange zest because I don’t see the point of finely chopping zest when I can make it light and fluffy and beautiful with a rasp much faster.

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I got these ready to go and popped them in the oven while my co-worker and I went down to Madison to set up for the big bridal show this weekend. Wish me all kinds of luck because two days of bridal show is about one too many. When we got back they were ready to go and made a delicious dessert after a living room picnic dinner with our neighbors.

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After reading a few posts this morning I was nervous about the whole plastic wrap issue but then I discovered that my copy of AMFT doesn’t even say to use plastic wrap. It says “Top each ramekin with a circle of parchment and then wrap in foil; use a small knife to pierce both the parchment and foil in about 4 places. Put the ramekins on the baking sheet and weight each ramekin down.” No plastic wrap mentioned at all. The Bonne Idee for Twenty-Hour Apples says to wrap them in plastic but that’s a totally different animal. Could I have a later printing of the book where they changed the recipe? Interesting. I loved this simple dessert and I definitely love that I still have all my fingertips after my first experience with a mandoline! I found the recipe online here with the same no-plastic wrap instructions for those who want to brave mandolines & snorts & innuendo from friends to give this one a try.

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French Fridays with Dorie – Chicken, Apples, & Cream ala Normande

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This is my first FFWD post using my new computer and I am beyond stoked about it. There is something about having a nice, new, unspoiled computer to play with that just makes me so happy. It doesn’t run superslow because the hard-drive isn’t clogged with 5 years worth of crap. It’s not missing a piece of the plastic casing on the side from being manhandled from the table to the couch to the bed and back to the table. Nothing has been spilled on it yet and the keyboard is delightfully backlit. In other words, it’s pretty blissful. But to create this bliss we had to go to Best Buy last Sunday which was like hell on earth. I’m sorry if any of you or your loved ones work at a Best Buy but I gotta tell you guys that it’s one of the most inefficient places ever. EVER! Also they denied us a Best Buy card which I found hilarious since I get things in the mail every day telling me I’m pre-approved for a bajillion dollars from Capital One and Discover and American Express, etc, etc. I feel like they only wouldn’t give me one because I wanted it – know what I mean? Stupid. But just for applying we got $20 off the computer so whatevs.

I’m relieved to be talking about food again after my last semi-taboo post, so let’s start talking about food already! This week’s recipe sounded pretty good to me, but Tristan was skeptical. And when I say skeptical I mean that I gave him a choice two nights ago – we could have this chicken dish or Roasted Potatoes, Sausage, & Peppers  and he skipped the chicken dish with no hesitation. I said “Fine, but that just means we’re having it tomorrow night” and he did not look pleased.

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If you’re wondering why there is a bottle of cherry schnapps on display it’s because I forgot that we didn’t have any brandy and this is what I chose to replace it. I thought the cherry flavor would be good with the chicken and apples and by golly, I was right! Also I bought this huge bottle like four years ago for a cherry pie and mama needs to make some space in the ol’ pantry. I chose to use chicken thighs for this one since they are so much cheaper and I was feeling cheap when I when grocery shopping this week. I had to buy all the things for our holiday get-together this weekend and $7 for chicken breasts just felt like too much. $3 for chicken thighs sounded way better.

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Dorie said to use non-stick but I don’t have a non-stick pan big enough so I busted out my saute pan. Honestly I don’t feel like I ever truly need nonstick unless I’m making eggs. This pan pretty much works for everything and I love it. Love it! Since it’s the holiday season I was thinking about doing a little gift guide for foodie people and this would definitely be near the top of the list.

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After everything got thrown in the pan it came together very quickly and I am pleased to announce that Tristan said “You can definitely make this again honey. Thanks for the delicious meal.” And without provocation! Woot woot! Regrettably the cherry schnapps turned things a little Pepto-pinkish but the taste was really nice. I found the recipe online here, so have at it non-FFWD peeps!

In other news, I’m trying to figure out this Flickr thing – any tips from anyone? I tried uploading pics from Flickr to this post but I got frustrated and quit. I think my brain is in melty-from-the-holidays stage due to work so I might have to really get on this after Christmas and inventory are over. I did make a Flickr page and load some photos onto it, I do know that at least. Oh and this card exchange thing we’re doing is so fun! Thanks everyone for all your cards and mine are all mailed out so hopefully you’ve started receiving them. Happy holidays Doristas!

Better Late Than Never French Fridays with Dorie – Squash, Apples, & Grapes

Straight up I was not going to make this recipe at all. Honestly, the only recipe for September that held any appeal for me was the poached apples and if you read that one you know they did not turn out as I planned. Eggplant? Ugh. Green pepper palooza? Blech. And endives…..endives aren’t offensive to me since I’ve never actually eaten one or even seen one in real life but they weren’t exactly calling my name. I had resigned myself to waiting for October to join the FFWD fun, but then I got all these email notifications of everyone’s posts yesterday and I started to change my mind. I mean, it’s pretty clear how I feel about butter (cough..blogname…coughcough) and I’m a real fruit-lover so I decided to give it a go. Plus I read this post and she added goat cheese to hers which sounds amazing! The alternate name for this blog could be Always Add More Cheese. I don’t understand people who don’t add cheese when it’s an option to add it. Plain hamburger? Why god, why? If you’re allergic, I get it. I mean, I pity you, but I get it. But just not wanting the cheese? I really don’t get it.

So I went on a hunt for endive and though I visited two grocery stores and the farmer’s market, it was not to be had. I did however pick up two of these beautiful things at the farmer’s market

and using the Bonne Idee I was able to make something similar to what everyone else was creating this week. I have never worked with red kuri squash before and now that I have, I can definitely say that I will buy it whenever I find it from now on. It’s super-delicious and you don’t have to peel it – score! My rosemary plant didn’t do very well this year so I subbed in some sage and marjoram for the herbs to round things out.

I feel pretty stoked that I’m using the same pan that’s pictured in the cookbook – gotta love that Le Creuset! After cooking for 20 minutes, I flipped everything over to examine the crunchy-delicious carmelization yumminess and kept right on cooking. One of the things I really liked about this dish was how hands-off it was. I got a lot of other stuff done while this was quietly cooking away and I really appreciated it.

As you can see I am pretty overrun with fall produce at the moment and I love it. Summer can take it’s tomatoes and zucchinis and kiss my grits – fall is here and I am loving it! I plopped some goat cheese on top, sprinkled with salt and pepper and had a delicious (and pretty healthy dinner) all on my lonesome since this is really not Tristan’s type of food. Don’t feel too bad though, I made him Magic Chicken and oven fries so he was taken care of!

I’m really glad I gave this a try and special thanks to all the rest of the Doristas for changing my mind and making this dish look too tasty to resist!