Random header image... Refresh for more!

Search Results for "mise en place"

Dang it!

As usual, there are overripe bananas sitting on my counter. That indicates two problems, first that people ask for bananas and then don’t use them, Marissa and Dave, I’m talking to you! And secondly, now I must make banana-something, again!  OK, that’s not truly a problem, just a reality.

The real problem is that I didn’t follow my own advice while preparing to make this coffee cake. I neglected to set up my mise en place (the French phrase meaning “everything in place”) beforehand. So even though this is called blueberry-banana coffee cake… there are no blueberries in mine. We had them on the side. Dang, it! Be sure to get out your blueberries, and everything else needed before you begin.

[Read more →]

October 1, 2010   No Comments

“fond” of chowder

clam-scallop chowder

Connor is home this weekend from NAU and requested Clam Chowder for dinner tonight. OK, the high today is supposed to be 87 degrees, but if my boy wants chowder, chowder it will be!

Traditionally, bacon is used to start the chowder, but I have a boatload of pancetta in my freezer, so I will begin with that. Once the pancetta has rendered its fat and is crisp, most of the fat is discarded, and only 1 tablespoon will be used to sear the scallops. The scallops are removed and what remains in the pan is called the “fond”. In French, fond means “base”. Fond refers to the browned and caramelized bits of meat or vegetables stuck to the bottom of a pan after sautéing. Traditional cookware is best for developing a decent fond. Non-stick coatings tend to inhibit its development. After the meat is browned, it is removed from the pan and excess fat is discarded. Generally, aromatics such as onion, garlic, or shallots are sautéed, then a liquid such as stock, alcohol, fruit juice, or even water (or as world-famous Chef Jacques Pépin calls it ” l’eau du sink “) is used to deglaze the pan and loosen the fond from the pan to become “one” with the dish. The fond is the base for a great sauce, or in this case, a great chowder. Since I mentioned Jacques Pépin, I’m adding one of my favorite pictures of the two of us at the end of this post, as a bonus.

Sherry being added to fond to deglaze the pan

Sherry being added to the fond, deglazing the pan

[Read more →]

October 24, 2009   2 Comments

Tip Index

THE TIPS ARE IN BOLD TEXT IN EACH POST

Ahi Tuna, seared +

[Read more →]

September 18, 2009   No Comments

more projects

Thank you, Cheryl and Sloane, for your comments on the last post sharing what you’re doing to keep busy. Please send me a text with photos, I’d love to see and share your projects! In the meantime, I’ll continue telling you all about mine.

I was going to share how I not only cleaned out the refrigerator/freezer in the garage but also the two indoor refrigerators. And then I looked back a found that I have not shared with you that in early January, I purchased a new commercial refrigerator for Harmony Boards. Once I’d made the purchase, I needed to have it delivered. The store wanted $250 for delivery! Um, no!

So I came home, cleaned out and measured the space, and called Cody Howard to see if he had time to pick it up for me. Of course, he said yes. (This was 10 days before his accident in Canada) Cody hooked up his work trailer and retrieved it. Connor came over to help us get it in the house. It was a tight fit all the way around; it barely fit down the hall and through the doorway into the office, and the top cleared the ceiling fan by less than an inch.

We prevailed and I could not be happier to have it.

It holds custom boards for grazing tables. And it holds up to 10 Harmony Board boxes ready for delivery on busy days. The kitchen refrigerator could only hold two of these boxes.

Which explains why I have so many huge ice chests in the garage and blue-ice packs in the garage freezer. I still need those for summer and large deliveries. But at least I don’t need to use them any longer on a daily basis to hold boards as I am creating them in the morning for afternoon deliveries.

The next project – polishing silver. Hate it but it has to be done.

I bought this egg cup set at Piccadilly Market at St James’s Church in London in 2007 when I took Marissa to Europe for the first time. I used the tarnished egg cups on their own to hold flowers for my Easter table. (the red arrow pointing to where one of the cups sits, shows how tarnished the set is)

I decided to polish the entire set before I put it away. One thing always leads to another and I ended up polishing all day long.

After all the effort, I treated myself to a fancy breakfast the next day. We all need to treat ourselves and use the nice stuff during this time. Really all the time!

Even though the entire exterior of my house was painted two years ago, it is already peeling in areas. I spoke to my friend, Jennifer, who lives in Illinois and owns Luxe Cabinet Finishes and she told me that the house wasn’t primed properly. Not by the most recent painter I had used, but by the one or ones before that. Great, that means it’s up to me to fix it. First, I peeled and then sanded off all the peeling paint.

Then I painted on the primer. This is the backside of the house, facing east.

[Read more →]

April 22, 2020   2 Comments

My fabulous veteran contractor, Cody Howard

Happy Veteran’s Day to all the wonderful veterans who have served. I thank you for your service. I especially thank a veteran who is close to my heart, Cody Howard. Cody is the oldest son of my dear friend and colleague, Kim Howard. Former Marine Sergeant Cody Howard served from 2002 – 2006. His service took him to Fallujah, of all the frightening places in the world! Thank you, Cody, and thank you to the entire Howard family who sacrificed during those sleepless and anguish-filled years.

I promised an update on the new bathroom that Cody put in. The glass shower doors won’t be installed until later today or tomorrow, but since I want to honor Cody today, well, today is reveal day.

It’s amazing how whenever I go to take photos, the cats show up and want to be the stars!

I love it all, but one of my favorite features and a complete surprise is the shower floor drain. Isn’t it beautiful how the drain disappears into the tile? Thank you, Cody, for adding that extra-special unexpected touch!

The porcelain wood-like tile floor, shower wall tile, and shower floor tile are from Floor & Decor. My son, Connor, helped me pick it out.

Cody’s wife, Chanté, turned me on to the fabulous mirror with a shelf from Target.

Chanté also suggested I look at Wayfair for pendant lights. I need to get myself to Home Depot and get Edison bulbs without the yellow tint though.

Speaking of Home Depot. That is where I found the vanity and the shower and sink fixtures.

[Read more →]

November 11, 2019   2 Comments

… I’m back…

Hello! Is anyone still out there? Have you completely given up on me? I’m hoping not.

I’d like to say that since filing for divorce in January 2017, I’ve found it difficult to get back into blogging consistently. But if I’m completely honest with myself, the struggle started before that. I began to get less and less consistent when I was preparing for my daughter’s wedding in early 2015. Four years later and I’m finally ready to get back on the horse, for real this time!

I know all too well that I’ve said that before. In November 2015, I even titled a post, “I’m baaaack” – that was a couple of weeks after Marissa and Jeff’s wedding. Then, in February 2017, I wrote a post titled “back in the saddle.” But this time it is different. I am settled into my new single life. Settled in my home, where I feel more comfortable than I’ve felt in years. Settled in a new exciting business – Harmony Boards. And feeling settled with the personal growth and changes I’m making in myself.

Les Petites Gourmettes will always be a cooking/recipe blog but I’m ready to get a bit more personal with it too. My kids might think, “More personal? DO NOT Get MORE Personal!” They feel as though I overshare already, at least when it comes to them. But I don’t plan on talking about them so much. I’ll be talking more about me and how I truly feel about things. Don’t worry, it won’t be getting heavy, in fact, I hope for it to be more real and more heartfelt. I was holding back before because I was not always in a good place. I’m in a good place now. And I’m ready to open up to that.

[Read more →]

March 8, 2019   26 Comments

missed it

Guess what? While I was in Canada throughout the middle of August, I forgot all about my own blogiversary. I know! That’s crazy talk. It’s like forgetting to celebrate my own birthday, and I love my birthday! But forget it,  I did. August 16th was my 9th Blogiversary. I’ll have to make up for it next year when this blog has been around for a decade.

Speaking of my Canada trip, I want to wrap up a few things I’ve yet to tell you about. And then I want to share with you something I totally kicked butt at yesterday. The images above are of a couple of the fabulous vintage items in the Howard’s Canadian kitchen. Love the breadbox (more on what is in there later) and adore the cookie jar.

Although I did most of the cooking for Kim, Debby, and myself, Kim did make a yummy spatchcock chicken. I don’t recall what cookbook the recipe came from but it was delicious. The green goddess marinade is blended in the food processor. The recipe didn’t call for the chicken to be spatchcocked (which simply means poultry that is split open or butterflied) but that is what Kim did with the whole organic chicken she purchased.

Here it is going into the oven to roast.

It was delicious!

My favorite thing Kim made though was her Curry Lentil Soup. I need to get that recipe and post it here because… YUM!

The other items Kim purchased were the best peaches, corn, and tomatoes I’ve had in my life! I am not exaggerating!

I had to control myself from eating every last one of these perfect Ontario pêches. This was the second pack we bought, so maybe I did eat an entire package myself.

And the pink Ottawa tomatoes, it was as if I hadn’t eaten a real tomato before. But that’s not all. Things got really real when Paul arrived.

[Read more →]

September 7, 2018   6 Comments

soup, an anniversary and Paris

It is well known that I love soup. French Onion Soup is at the top of my list. I have been craving it since my dear friends, Scott and Amy Kilpatrick, went to Paris to celebrate their 25th Anniversary back in June.

While planning their trip, they asked me for recommendations on where to eat and things to do. I sent them This Link to one of my blog posts from nearly 8 years ago.

At the top of my must-eat list is the French Onion Soup at Royal Madeleine. They went and I was soon receiving texts that the restaurant does not serve the soup in the summer.

Dang, it! I had no idea. I cropped off more of Scott’s text since it was too derogatory and obscene towards “French Frogs” for me to repeat here. I do love him, he’s a funny and adorably sarcastic guy! And Amy is just the sweetest, I adore her and you already know her too. She is The Amy of Amy’s Famous Taco Soup.

Anyhow, the last time we were there it was late May and the soup was on the menu. I guess it comes off at the end of May. It made me sad they missed out but I understand. I don’t enjoy soup as much in the heat of summer either, which is why, even though I’ve been craving it for months, I have yet to make it.

Well, I tamed a bit of the craving when I made this French Onion Soup inspired recipe for our Sunday supper. I should have thought to invite Amy and Scott over to make up for their disappointment.

A few notes before we get to the recipe. Do not rush to process caramelizing the onions. It takes time, about an hour, to get them just right. In the photo above, they had been cooking for 45 minutes. I had browned off all the chicken in the meantime. It took another 5 minutes or so after that for them to get even the slightest bit of color.

But then, just like that, they were done about 10 minutes later. It will happen. Don’t get frustrated.

Also, don’t fret about the chicken not being cooked through when you’re browning it. It will cook to perfection in the oven later, I promise.

Lastly, four pounds of onions is a lot of onion! You’re going to need a very large skillet to not only cook them all down in but to also fit all the chicken thighs in one layer. If you don’t have a big skillet, the reicpe can easily be cut in half. And I call for 8 to 10 chicken thighs, because when you buy the family pack from the grocery store, that is what you get, somewhere between 8 and 10 thighs per package.

[Read more →]

August 28, 2018   1 Comment

a book and a salad

I’m still in Quebec at Kim and Paul’s dreamy lake house. I haven’t been posting regularly because, well, I’m on vacation and because I’ve been obsessed with reading a book I found on the shelves here. I finished All The Light We Cannot See yesterday afternoon. My dreams have been filled with it since the day I picked it up and last night was no exception. Many of you have probably already read it since it came out nearly four years ago. I’m usually behind the curve when it comes to books. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new read.

Now that I have my nose out of the book and my head out of the clouds, here is the salad recipe I promised you last week. Oh, and there is a mouse update at the bottom of this post.

[Read more →]

August 20, 2018   3 Comments

Wednesday dinner at Deer Lake

I know I said I’d post the recipe for the salad we ate the night before last, and I promise to get to that soon, but we had such a fun day yesterday, that I’d rather talk about that for now.

It was cloudy and foggy over the lake when I awoke. Then the thunder rolled in and the rain began. The lake house was so cozy and dark, it felt like fall for a moment and I was in heaven. Summer drags on when you live in the desert, so even a few moments of what feels like fall is a complete joy.

Our morning plans to paddle board was put on hold. Kim knows how and Debby and I were eager to learn.

photo credit: Pinterest

Oh, before I go any further, I should mention that I was a bit tentative about being the first person to get up and leave my room. And for good reason, the first night here we saw that we had another resident in the house with us. A mouse. Granted, he was little and even, dare I say, cute. We tried to shoo him out the door with a broom but he wasn’t having any of that. Kim set out a no-kill trap but it didn’t work. We saw him again the next night, Debby set four mousetraps with peanut butter and placed them around the kitchen. So, the first person up was going to have to deal with a dead mouse and I didn’t want that to be me.

But I was getting sore from sitting in bed and typing my post. I had to get up so I could sit at the table to type. I quietly crept out and peeked around the corner … no mouse. All the peanut butter was gone but thankfully, no smashed mouse.

Yay for me. Yay for the mouse. But then again, we still have a mouse in the house, so no bueno!

The rain stopped. Kim and I went running errands and grocery shopping in the little town of Ripon. Two of the things at the top of our list were more mousetraps and Snicker’s bars, which will hopefully work better than the peanut butter. Debby stayed behind to read and hold down the fort.

When we returned, Kim taught us to stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). She may also have given us a short lecture on the details of SUP. Though practically, it wasn’t that easy to paddle. For me, the hardest part was going from the kneeling stage to the standing stage. I had to do Lamaze-style deep breathing and talk myself into being brave and just doing it.

After much hesitation and nearly psyching myself out, I did it. Debby did too. We were quite pleased with ourselves. The Howards have two paddle boards. I came to shore and Kim took that board out. Most of my pride washed away as I watched her pop right up and quickly paddle down the lake in the blink of an eye. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Next, we went out on the pontoon boat and took a tour around the entire lake.

It’s a long lake! You can’t see from one end to the other. It curves and twists and there are cute islands and peninsulas. Kim and Paul not only own the lake but also the 550 (approx.) acres of wooded land that surround it. This is a very special and magical place that has been in the Howard family for generations.

After our cocktail boat tour, I made another recipe inspired by a doctor’s office waiting room magazine find. The perfect end to a perfect day.

OK, not quite the end and not perfectly perfect. Kim and Debby set a total of 10 mousetraps with the Snickers. Without a doubt, I’m sleeping in this time.

[Read more →]



Related Posts with Thumbnails

August 16, 2018   4 Comments