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I’ve moved!

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jam

Hello Friends and Neighbors!  Can you hear me?  Is anyone still out there? 

I know.  I know.  I’ve been AWOL for some time now.  I really don’t have a good excuse.  Just, you know, got busy with work, went to Disney, the holidays, went to Disney again, work, went to Boston, planted my garden and a ton of pots and plants, and just plain ran out of time. 

BUT I have to confess that I have been cheating on you a little bit.  However, I still feel the need to chronicle my culinary adventures. . . SO I started an instagram account.  You can find me by searching for my user:  allaboutmycharmedlife  If I was fancy I would post the link for you 🙂  I also post under #eatwell and #savor 

 

 

Hope to see you soon 🙂

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Roasted Pineapple Tart

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Or Tarte Ananas Roti, if you prefer.

Let me tell you a tale about a pineapple and a vanilla bean.  Before you can get to the Roasted Pineapple Tart, you have to get past the Roasted Pineapple.  It’s all a very time-consuming process.  Actually, to tell the truth, before the pineapple, you need the Sweet Almond Pastry.  I made that yesterday and let it sit in the fridge.  For the pineapple you basically steep the vanilla bean and then caramelize the sugar.  Then it all roasts together for an hour and 45 minutes.   Oh, and there’s rum.

As the vanilla was steeping Jake came into the kitchen and said, what is that intoxicating aroma?  Well, maybe he said smell, but definitely intoxicating.

Once you get past the dough and the pineapple next you have to conquer the coconut cream.  Said cream calls for ground coconut, or as they put it in Laduree Sucre, coconut flour.   Now, I’ve been around, and I’ve heard some things, so I am under the impression that coconut flour in France is a little different from what we have here.  So going along with the idea of ground coconut, I probably should have just ground some coconut.  Instead, I used powdered coconut, which is really for making milk.  Before it went into the oven, it looked exactly as I thought it should, and it tasted even better.  Yes, of course I licked the spatula.  I was even nice enough to share it with Jake.  That doesn’t always happen, you know.

I just wanted to show off my perfectly whipped cream.

I think that’s where it all went south.  Although the texture still looked great after folding in the whipped cream.

So after you top it with half the pineapple and then bake it for 45 minutes — I hope you’re not in a hurry — this is what happens.

I know, it’s not pretty.  It puffed up so much that some of the pineapple fell to its demise on the oven floor.  Fortunately, it settled down a little after cooling, and I managed to camouflage it a bit.

Those are vanilla beans all over the place.  I swear, I didn’t pick the pieces off the oven floor.

In the end, it was a little soft, and not very photogenic, but it was tasty for sure.  I’m suspect it will firm up in the fridge.   Whatever happens it will not go to waste.  All in all, it was totally worth the effort.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

After Dinner Mint Whoopie Pies

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aka St. Patty’s day dessert.  Well, I have finally learned how to not eat half of the pies while I make them:  drink wine while baking.  I may have gone a little overboard on the green food coloring, but it is St. Patrick’s day.

The only problem with the wine scenario is that when it comes time for putting the filling into the piping bag and topping the pies, it might get a little messy, especially when said green food coloring is involved.

I always say that presentation is half the battle, but it doesn’t affect the taste.

I used a different book this time.  It’s called Whoopie Pies, but for the life of me I can’t find the name of an author.  I guess that’s what I get for skulking around the bargain section at Barnes and Nobles.

The filling is simply butter and cream cheese with confectioner’s sugar.  It’s a little on the soft side, but I suspect it will harden in the fridge.

This is how my husband decided to celebrate today.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

 

 

Salmon Loaf

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There’s just no way to make that sound good.  Especially since this one was for the dog.  This is full of good things for my pumpkin:  oats, buttermilk, parsley, and of course the salmon.  Compliments of Dr. Khalsa’s Natural Dog

The book doesn’t specify, but for me this made two loaves. 

Another satisfied customer.

Eat Well and Savor.

Mini Cheesecakes

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I really wish I had some fancy name for these.  This is an old family favorite.  My aunt used to make them around the holidays.  I used to love going to my aunt’s house.  My mom was a great cook, but it’s always nice to mix things up.   These are so simple and I haven’t made them in years. 

Here’s the recipe as it appears in my book:

12 vanilla wafers

2 8-oz cream cheese

2 eggs

1/2 c sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, cheese and vanilla.  Add eggs.  Bake 25 minutes at 325. 

It’s amazing to me how brief the recipes from our family are, you know, considering that no one ever shuts up.  At first I was surprised that this only makes 12, but uses two blocks of cream cheese.  I thought for sure I had that wrong, but it turned out perfectly.  I actually used the reduced fat cream cheese and I’m so glad I did, because I am eating two of these at a time.  I only had enough cherries for half the batch, so I’m dying to dig out the toffy goat butter and caramel I got in Paris to use on the rest.

When it comes to dessert you can never have enough pictures.

Eat Well and Savor.

Sparkling Limoncello

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Nothing beats a drink at the end of a very long day.  In fact, I wish I was part of the generation that did all their drinking in the office during the day. 

Since, after last week, I have a surplus of Limoncello, this was perfect. 

Another gem from my little box of champagne recipes with all the cute little cards.

I actually used Moscato instead.  Hey, I had some in the fridge.

Easy.

And I just love the artwork.

Eat Well and Savor.

Beef Casserole

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I should say Bandit’s Beef Casserole to be exact.  This one is for Phoebe from The Natural Pet Food Cookbook.  That’s right.  I know you’re jealous.  Beef and cheese and a few vegetable thrown in.   What more could  a hungry little girl ask for?   This was a little heavy on the protein, so I added a side of leftover pasta.  I didn’t hear any complaints. 

As you may know, since it seems I like to talk about it whenever I get the chance,  I grew up on a farm in Ohio.  In our case that meant, among other traditional farm animals, we had several dogs.  At one point each one of the five kids had their own, in addition to my mom and one to spare.  Anyway,  I don’t remember having any issues with them.  But as a teenager in Maine my mom had an endless line of spoiled, annoying mutts.  Every single one of them begged at the dinner table.  I hated it.  There’s nothing worse than having a dog stare at you and breathe on your knee while you’re eating. 

In order to avoid this with Phoebe, she is allowed anywhere in the house except for the dining room chairs.  On top of that, she eats her dinner when we eat ours.  Even though she usually finishes first, she parks it on the couch until we’re done.  End result:  no begging at the table. 

However, lately I have noticed her hanging out in the kitchen when I cook in the evening.  She seems to know the days I cook for her.  Other days she’ll come out only when she hears her dish.  The point of all this is that in this picture, in addition to her usual camera avoidance, she is staring up at the counter waiting for the crazy lady with her dish to take a picture of her dinner.

And now that you see this yumminess can you really blame her?