Lemon-Glazed Madeleines

I'm an armchair traveler at heart, and I especially love reading cookbooks that express the heart and soul of other peoples, places and cultures. One of my recent 'seat-side travels' has been to France, where I dropped in on Paris, via this spot-on book by David Lebovitz ~ The Sweet Life in Paris. It's not only full of good recipes, but it's also full of funny stories regarding his trials and tribulations of being an American expat, living abroad in a place that is home to that, je ne sais quoi, way of looking at life.  OK, who's kidding who... it's the (in)famous French attitude that he does battle with on a daily basis. Some times you win, some times you lose...but it's always a treat.

I've so enjoyed picking and choosing some of his recipes to create in my own stateside kitchen, and I've also enjoyed eating them all and sharing some of my creations (some just never made it past me and my mouth). My favorite so far has been his recipe for ~ Lemon-Glazed Madeleines. I was so inspired to make these little French treats toute suite, I just had to order my own madeleine tin online, late on a Friday night, after reading his story/recipe. I must say, they were a HUGE hit, and I highly recommend this recipe for these lovely, little seashell shaped, lemon-kissed gems if you're ever looking for a little bit of the sweet life from Paris...in your own kitchen...without the cost of airfare...or the (in)famous French 'tude. Bon Appétit! 

Homemade Irish Goodies...

St. Patrick's Day food prep is well underway at my house.  The Corned Beef is bubbling away on my stove, the veggies are awaiting their turn and the desserts and breads are all finished. Now it's time to get the rest of the house in order before dinnertime. So, here's what's been cooking in my kitchen today... 

Homemade treats for our St. Paddy's Day Feast ~~  Trifle made with a cream sherry cake base; Baileys Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bar; and my recipe for Vicki's Irish Soda Bread

I posted my recipe for ~ Vicki's Irish Soda Bread ~ back in 2012.  Take a peek at the recipe... 

May the Luck of the Irish be with You!!

Happy St. Paddy's Day ~ 2015

Jicama Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing ~ Meatless Monday

I've been including jicama in my meals a lot more and have been trying out new ways to serve it. Giving this slightly sweet, delicately crunchy, thoroughly delightful root veggie the Asian treatment is one of my favorite ways of enjoying it. Jicama has such an accommodating flavor and texture, it makes a really versatile additional your veggie lineup. It can be made into the star of a dish, or it can be turned into a background player. Enjoy it at room temp on a veggie tray, as part of a cold salad or in a warm dish, it's all good. I do love a veggie that can play so many different roles with such ease.

To make this  ~ Jicama Salad ~ combine: matchstick slices of peeled jicama, shredded carrots, thin sliced onions rings, diced celery, half-moon slices of radishes and freshly chopped cilantro & parsley. I top it with a quick homemade ~ Spicy Peanut Dressing ~ that includes: peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, Braggs (similar to soy sauce,) a few drops of Sriracha sauce, a couple shakes of Asian spice mix, fresh lime juice and a bit of warm water to help it all combine into a thick-ish pourable dressing. I give it all a healthy toss... and I'm good to go. A quick and easy salad for my lunch or dinner. I've got just one word for it ~ Yum!!

Grilled Lamb Steak with Mitsitam Cafe Chimichurri Sauce

Earlier this year, my son was studying American Indians in school. As I was searching the web for info on the tribe he was making a diorama of, somehow I came across a mention of this cookbook ~ The Mitsitam Cafe CookbookI was intrigued, so I went to the library to get a copy. This cookbook not only has recipes and beautiful food photos, it's also full of Native American history, cool vintage photos, and info on ingredients that have been a part of the diet of various tribes for centuries. It's a fun read and I've been inspired to make quite a few of their recipes ~ that makes this book a real winner in my opinion. I'll go so far as to say it's my new favorite cookbook! I highly recommend either checking out a copy from your library (or getting a copy of your own), it's that good. If I ever get back to Washington, DC, I definitely plan on stopping by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and heading over to the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe for a meal!

For my dinner tonight I made the recipe for Chimichurri Sauce and ate it with a grilled lamb steak that I cooked on my George Foreman Grill. The sauce is a beautiful shade of emerald green, full of fresh parsley, cilantro and other tasty goodies. It's so packed with flavor! It only took about 15 minutes to throw this entire low fat dinner together ~ 5 minutes for the sauce, 5 minutes to grill the lamb and a couple of minutes to reheat the leftover pinto beans (another recipe I made from the cookbook) and leftover brown rice. What a great meal to end my weekend ~ more real-time cooking in my kitchen tonight. :)

Spicy Steamed Kale, Mushroom & Steak

Sometimes I want a one pot meal, so I'll throw all the ingredients into the steamer and let 'er rip. Since I use precooked fajita strips, it only takes a few minutes. A drizzle of hot sauce and I'm ready to eat. Quick clean up, too. Gotta love that. :)

Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat Recipe

I've always loved Panda Express Chow Mein, but haven't had it in awhile. When I saw this recipe for a 'copycat' version online, I decided to give it a try. So glad that I did!! I used dried udon noodles since I couldn't find the ones called for in the recipe and it worked out just fine. We all LOVED it!! My guys have asked for it again and again. So if you have a hankerin' for some really quick and tasty Chinese restaurant 'copycat' food, give this one a try, it's super yummy and our family approved. :) 

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