"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~ Charles W. Eliot
"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!" ~ Julia Child
"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." ~ Louisa May Alcott

Friday, February 24, 2012

Scrambled eggs on brioche

I love breakfast food at any time of the day. We you know you are going to be eating late, it is a great thing as it is not as filling as having a normal dinner. This recipe is something I throw together to make sure we get some vegetables while still eating light.

Scrambled eggs on brioche for two
4 pieces of thickly sliced and toasted brioche
4 eggs
2 teaspoon half and half
handful of bacon chunks
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 spring onion, chopped
red chili, chopped finely
handful of cooked peas

Whisk your eggs with the half and half. Place a pad of butter in your pan and heat. Not add the bacon, onion, red chili and mushrooms. When these are cooked add cooked peas and a pinch of thyme. Now pour in your eggs and continue to stir while the eggs scramble. Pile on top of two slices of toasted brioche.

Bon appetit or eet smakelijk!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chili Con Corpes

Chili Con Corpses (The Supper Club Mysteries)

I was able to get this book as a special free offer on my Kindle. It is a new (to me) cozy mystery series. I did not realize that this was the third in the series when I started it as I like reading cozies in order. It did work well on its own and I found myself falling into line with getting to know each of the members of Supper Club as well as others living in Quincy's Gap.

Food is important to the Supper Club and they decide to take a Mexican cooking class joined by a few friends. But when one ends up dead while chaperoning  a school trip, the Supper Club decides to look into the death themselves. Will they be able to make the murderer confess before another friend ends up dead?

Friendships are as important a theme in this mystery series as food. The recipes created in the Mexican cooking course are contained in the book.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Corn and cauliflower bake/pasta ragout - Part two

With the leftover half of the corn and cauliflower bake you can create a delicious vegetable ragout for pasta. It just means adding a few things to the cold leftovers and a new meal is on the table in no time...

Vegetable ragout for pasta
Half of corn and cauliflower bake (see previous blog post)
1 leek
2 spring onions
1 red chili pepper
6 or 7 mushrooms
1 carrot
1/2 cup creme fraiche
pinch of dill
salt and pepper
Parmasan cheese

Rinse the leek well and slice. Slice the spring onions putting the green tops aside. Fry the leek and spring onion in a little olive oil. I added a finely chopped red chili pepper but this is optional. 

Slice the mushrooms and add to the leeks and onions. Boil sliced carrot to just tender and add to the mix along with a pinch of dill. Add your leftover corn and cauliflower bake and mix well. If some of the cauliflower is too large, just cut through as it cooks. 

Mix in the creme fraiche and green of the spring onions. Add milk as needed. Salt and pepper the vegetable mixture to your own taste.

The vegetable mixture should be wet enough at this point as shown in the photo. Cook your choice of pasta as directed on the package and drain. I use about 1 cup of pasta for two. Add this to the mix and stir in some grated Parmasan cheese. Serve immediately. 

Bon appetit or eet smakelijk!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Corn and cauliflower bake - part one

I tried this casserole idea and ended up being able to create a new recipe out of the leftovers. It is easy to make but make sure you make enough the first time around with the casserole to keep half for the second dish. Here is the basic casserole recipe and I will give you the second dish that can be created from it in my next post.

Corn and cauliflower bake
1 can of corn (about 1 to 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 head of cauliflower cut up into flowerlets (about 2 to 3 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 tsp. mustard
2 tbsp. dill (I use top quality freeze dried dill and it tastes great but you can use fresh)
3 tbsp. Parmasan cheese
good pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of breadcrumbs
paprika powder

Cook the cauliflower until just tender and drain. In a large pan, whisk the flour and oil to a paste and add the milk. Cook gently for a moment and then add the creme fraiche, mustard, dill, nutmeg and Parmasan. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the corn and cauliflower and mix well. Place in an oiled baking dish and sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs and paprika. Bake in a 375F/180C oven for about 30 minutes until the casserole is bubbling and turned golden brown on top.

This makes a great side dish for any meal but I used the casserole for a topping on a baked potato. A tasty meatless meal when you want a light dinner.

My next post is for a pasta dish made with a base of the corn and cauliflower bake leftovers. 

Bon appetit or eet smakelijk!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy birthday Mr. Dickens!

Today is Charles Dickens 200th birthday. A day to perhaps remember some of your favorite characters which he created all those years ago but are all still very much alive 200 years later...


It is hard to choose favorites I find, as there are so many wonderful and memorable ones to choose from. So I went back to a black and white film version of David Copperfield from 1935. The cast of this film made each character of the book come to life. They seemed to BE those very characters personified...

 Aunt Betsey and Mr. Dick

  Mr. Macomber

  Mr. and Miss Murdstone

Aunt Betsey's house in Dover was a magical place for David to finally end up and create an unforgettable backdrop and story.

Here are a very memorable quotes from the book.....

"My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely, that is great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest."

"Let sleeping dogs lie - who wants to rouse 'em?"

"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, there pages must show."

"A loving heart was better and stronger than wisdom."

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen and six, results happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

"A man must take the fat with the lean."

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Coddled eggs in ramekins

If you do not have egg coddlers, you can still make a coddled egg by using a ramekin dish instead. It is also nice for hearty eaters as you have room to do two eggs if you prefer.

Coddled eggs in ramekins
for 2 people
Butter two ramekin dishes. Chop a spring onion and place the whites of the onion in the bottom of the dishes. Now sprinkle grated cheese over the onion. Carefully break an egg (or two) into each dish. Add the greens of the spring onion, some more grated cheese, a teaspoon of cream or half and half, and sprinkle with paprika powder.

Bake in a 350F/170C oven for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

I do not add salt and pepper on top of the egg but you could. I prefer to let people add the salt and pepper to their own taste while eating the coddled egg. 

Bon appetit or eet smakelijk!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wee Peter Pug

Wee Peter Pug: A Children's Picture Book and Story (Illustrated) (Children's Picture Books)

I was looking for ebooks by the author Ernest Aris when I came upon this book Wee Peter Pug on TheProjectGutenberg. It was a sweet little story about a pug that gets into trouble when he steals his owners slipper. This book is written with a strong moral story for children from the era of the 20s/30s. This book would be considered politically incorrect now but I found the sweet innocence of it enjoyable. I saw the language of the book for the time in which it was written. The illustrations from the book are delightful and reminiscent of Beatrix Potter.


Happy reading!