French Fridays with Dorie – Orange Almond Tuiles

IMG_4565So I’ve been thinking of these cookies as “tulles” (like the fabric) which I 100% know is wrong since my first inclination when trying to pronounce something in French is always severely incorrect. I think one of the other Doristas said it really sounds almost exactly like “twee” but I can’t quite remember. My French guesses are akin to my navigation skills – just always really, really, really shockingly wrong. Never, ever ask me which way to turn in a snap-decision situation because I will never be right. Or ask me, but then do the opposite of what I say. That’s proven to be effective in the past. But you guys, these cookies….they created quite a stir in the FFWD arena. Seems like about a quarter of us got them to work and the rest were stuck with major or minor screw-ups. For the most part mine turned out okay – one batch I think I baked a minute too long and another could have used another minute – but I benefitted from reading about everyone else’s bad experiences before tackling this one.

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Dorie says not to use parchment but I went with the other rebels and played it safe which worked out just fine for me. The cookies released with no issue and I didn’t have to wash my sheet pans. Winning! I also went a little rogue because I didn’t blanch my almonds. I was going to, but then I was feeling lazy and deluded myself into believing that almonds with the skin on are healthier for you. They say that about most fruits and veggies right? The skin is where all the vitamins and minerals are? If I’m wrong about this, please keep it to yourself. I want to keep thinking that.

The smaller ones are definitely the prettier ones but they all tasted amazing and one of the big benefits of this recipe is that it only used 5 ingredients. Something that looks kind of difficult and time-consuming is always made even more impressive when it’s actually quite simple in my humble opinion.

IMG_4567If you want to impress everyone at your cookie exchange with these little jobbies, you’ll find the recipe here. They’re light and sweet and perfect with a cup of tea or stuck in a scoop of ice cream as a crunchy little garnish. I may or may not have eaten like 6 or 7 during the making and photographing portion of the day – I’ll never tell!

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French Fridays with Dorie – Coupetade

IMG_4236As promised, this is what Bouchon Bakery Brioche became after a few days – a beautiful, custardy, sugary pan of awesome that I enjoyed for several days as both dessert and breakfast. It’s your basic bread pudding but amped up a degree by turning the bread into French toast before drowning it in custard. Adding more butter, egg, and general milkfat than is normally called for? Sounds like a great idea to me!

The rest of the group made this yummy dish back in May but I’m a little behind in my FFWD participation. Looking at the links I see that some of them employed better planning than I vis a vis getting a pretty portion to photograph. Mine was more of a scoop and plop situation which, while still delicious, is not super photo-op worthy. If you’re curious about how to stuff as much buttery bread, milk, sugar, and eggs into your face all at one time as is humanly possible, pick up a copy of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. And hey, it’s the holidays so get one for a friend too – I promise, you won’t regret it.

(Thanks to Trevor over at Sis Boom Blog I found a link to the recipe in case you’re feeling a bit reticent about the whole book purchase idea. For the record, you shouldn’t hesitate for a minute but I’ll still like you if you do)

French Fridays with Dorie – Creamy Mushroom & Egg Burrito

IMG_0265So not only is this almost a week late, I made it into a burrito. How’s that for tardiness and thinking outside the box? I came home from work today and just felt like catching up. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bread or any way to get to the store and though I’ve waxed poetic about how much I love baking bread, neither Candy the mixer nor I were up for it tonight. So what could I use for a replacement?? The only bread-like substance in the house was a bag of tortillas in the fridge and voila! this weird little burrito was born.

IMG_0259Up until just a few months ago, this picture would never have been taken in my kitchen. I have never been a huge mushroom person. I could take them in small doses and cut up very tiny but big ol’ hunks of baby bellas like these? Nah uh. Not gonna happen. But then, someone made me this Creamy Basil Chicken with Mushrooms and I discovered that when covered in butter and cream, these suckers can be pretty damn good. Granted, if you cover almost anything in butter and cream the flavor will improve, no? So anywho, I was all on board for this mushroom dish especially because I have never poached an egg before and I was really excited to try it. I think I even did it right! Dorie’s instructions seemed a lot simpler than this:

Who doesn’t love Chris Messina by the way? Is everyone watching The Mindy Project? It’s probably my favorite new show of the year. I love it and I love him. Paging Dr. Danny Castellano, heart palpitations up in here!  And if you’re looking to just dip your toe in the pool Danny Castellano is My Gynecologist is probably the funniest episode so far in my humble opinion. But anyway, back to  food – so the mushrooms got sauteed in some butter and olive oil with a shallot & a little salt & pepper and then doused in a smidge of cream. I’m finally able to use herbs from my little herb garden (thanks Mother Nature!) so I threw in chives and mint to give this a little pop of flavor. I used a heated tortilla for the base and built myself a fancy little French burrito. And was it tasty you ask? Oui, oui!

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