Month: February 2014

Florentine Onion and Pea Soup – what to do with leftover bread

Florentine Onion and Pea soupI’ve been doing a bit of bread baking recently and always end up with 2 loaves.  One of the loaves is usually eaten quickly while the second languishes a bit and gets stale.  It’s not surprising.  Fresh bread is fantastic, two day old bread is meh.  What do you do with the re-meh-ning bread?  Probably the oldest method of not letting  your stale bread go to waste is to use it in soup.  I found a good recipe for leftover bread in Carol Field’s Italian Baker; Florentine onion and pea soup.  Of course, I made a few changes. (more…)

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How to Deal With a Canceled Vacation: Make Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate trufflesWe weren’t supposed to be in town for Valentine’s Day.  We were supposed to be far away from snowy cold Chicago on a Caribbean island.  However, Old Man Winter had other plans and ended up blasting the east coast thereby canceling our trip (for now).  I had to scramble for Valentine’s Day and whip up something nice without going too crazy.  Yes, I know I’ve recommended making apple tarts for a change of pace but having the beachblanket pulled out from under you requires chocolate, so I ended up making some pretty good chocolate truffles: hazelnut, sea salt (one of Cheryl’s favorite combinations), and cocoa coated.  (more…)

Saffron Stewed White Beans: Updating a Classic

white beans stewed with saffronLast Sunday I was flipping through my newest cookbook, Classico e Moderno, looking for some inspiration.  We were having roast lamb for dinner and I was searching for something new to serve alongside it.  I found a classic dish for stewed beans which supposedly is a common Tuscan side for roasts and braises and it looked to be a nice change of pace from what we’ve been having.  However, I didn’t have all of the ingredients and I wasn’t about to run out to the store on a Sunday for a few items.  No problem.  Like any cook worth his weight in butter, I improvised and turned the dish into saffron stewed beans.  I guess you could say I turned a classico into a moderno! (more…)

Tarte Tatin: A Perfect Treat for Valentine’s Day

Tart TatinWay back in the beginning when I started this blog I wrote about how the apple is a more fitting fruit for Valentine’s Day and I’m still of that mindset.  If you’re going to cook a special dinner at home for your Valentine, a tarte tatin is an impressive dessert, as well as firmly outside the heart-shaped box of standard Valentine’s Day chocolate desserts.  (more…)