Tom Ford’s Pecan Pie for Thanks Giving

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 I found this simple pecan pie recipe by the designer Tom Ford and thought that I’d give it a try this Thanksgiving… Usually, the simple recipes always end up becoming my family favorites! So let’s hope that my kids would be pleased with this one 😉

Ingredients
1 cup of white Karo syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs flour
1 cup pecans

Method
Beat the eggs and sugar together, add flour, then syrup, vanilla, and pecans. Pour into a 9in prepared pie shell. Bake in an oven at 150°C for one hour.

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate xxx

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Burrata and Tomato Zoodles Recipe

Summer has almost started in Oman and nothing says summer dinners to me like Burrata … and pasta! But since pasta is a bit heavy on the calories side we have replaced it with zoodles (my new obsession)…  I found this recipe via this blog and have made different versions of it but feel that if you are trying zoodles for the first time this recipe would be a good start. It takes about 20 minutes and is one of my favorite comfort food, minus the carbs. Before you start make sure you buy a good spiralizer. Trust me you won’t be able to live without it 😉

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2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
4 medium tomatoes
1-pint cherry tomatoes
1 large zucchini or 2 small zucchini, spiralized
1 large handful fresh basil
1 ball burrata
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil to taste, if desired

Heat up the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring often, until lightly golden. Add the medium tomatoes, cover, turn on medium high and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully, using the back of a wooden spoon, crush the tomatoes into a sauce. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until the sauce is bubbling and has reduced slightly.

Add the zoodles, tossing, until cooked through and tender, 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and garnish with torn basil and burrata. Season with salt and pepper and finish with extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Enjoy!

The recipe and pictures via Iamfoodblog

Tory Burch’s Weekend Brunch

Croque Madame has always been one of my favorite comfort food. I have tried many recipes but this one from Tory Burch is my favorite and has become a staple in my kitchen the past few weeks. The only thing I do differently is that I use smoked turkey instead of the ham!

 

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I haven’t mastered this one yet…. but its so good…You must try them both.

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Happy Weekend everyone!

Christian Marclay’s Fondue

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Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay who has won many prizes (which includes The Golden Lion for the best artist at the Illuminations exhibition at the 54th Venice Biennale) has a great fondue recipe ..  My close friends and family love fondue so I thought of trying this one out with them and find out if his fondue is as good as his work!!!

Ingredients
(Serves four)
1 garlic clove peeled and crushed, to rub the fondue pot
1 tbs cornstarch
300ml white dry wine, such as Fendant from the Valais region
400g Gruyère, grated
400g Vacherin Fribourgeois, cut into pieces
black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
a small glass of kirsch
loaf of bread (700g) cut in cubes

Method
Crush and rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic clove, then discard. Dissolve the cornstarch in the white wine, and mix until boiling on the stove. Slowly add the cheeses and melt slowly on a low flame while continuously stirring with a wooden spatula. Season with pepper and nutmeg and add the kirsch. As soon as the mix becomes creamy, put it on the table heater just before it boils. Maintain the fondue at the same temperature on the heater. Stir in the pieces of bread and eat. Diners should keep stirring the pot regularly to maintain the unctuous texture.

Note: Don’t forget to rub your caquelon with garlic.

Ralph Lauren’s The Polo Bar brownie

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There’s no doubt that Ralph Lauren is an arbiter of classic American style, and now the same can be said about classic American cuisine, too. Since opening The Polo Bar in New York City at the end of 2014, Lauren has been responsible for one of the hottest tables in NY. Many of the restaurant’s comforting yet elevated dishes have been vetted by the designer himself. The restaurant’s eponymous brownie is quite popular. Made with decadent Valrhona chocolate and topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, it embodies the wholesome yet indulgent ethos that the iconic designer stands for… I wanted to share this recipe because my kids love brownies and we make them for school sales all the time…. I haven’t tried this one yet but I can’t wait to do so soon… let me know if anyone of you out there tries this one out 😉

Ingredients (serves 12)
680g Valrhona Caraibe 66 percent chocolate
340g butter
1,020g brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
10 eggs
90g Valrhona cocoa powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
255g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
350g walnut halves, cut into 4 pieces
200g Valrhona 70 per cent chocolate, chopped

Method
In a bain-marie, melt the Caraibe chocolate and butter. Keep it over hot water until ready to use. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the melted chocolate mixture with brown sugar – the mixture will look separated. Mixing on medium speed, add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, slowly, to emulsify. It will still look separated. As you add the last egg, the mixture will all of a sudden turn into a beautiful, smooth and shiny mix. Mix for a further 90 seconds. This last bit of mixing adds some volume to the eggs, which assists in developing the beautiful crackly crust that is the hallmark of an awesome brownie. Add the cocoa powder, salt, flour and baking powder, mixing by hand until almost combined. Stir in the walnuts and chopped chocolate just to combine. Bake at 160°C for 45 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely. When cold, cut them into 7cm x 7cm squares. To serve, warm the brownie in the oven for 4 minutes, then dust lightly with icing sugar. Place in the center of a small plate. Add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, decorate with chocolate curls and serve with warm chocolate sauce.

The Glowing Green Smoothie

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I have been obsessed with my NutriBullet … it honestly isn’t like the other blenders and if you haven’t tried it yet then you really are missing out! What truly sets NutriBullet apart from the rest is its incredible extraction abilities with its exclusive Bullet cyclonic action, specialized blades and powerful motor, it converts any vegetable, fruit, nuts, and seeds into an exceptional liquid smoothie…

I have tried many green smoothie recipes and was so happy to come across Kimberly Snyder‘s Glowing Green Smoothie. Drink one GG smoothie a day – packed with fruits and vegetables – and feel the effects that real, unprocessed, nutrition-extracted whole food can have on your health and well-being… I have been feeling more energized and been feeling that my immunity is much better than before… there is no miracle here! You have to drink it every day to see the benefits!!

Thought I’d share the GG smoothie recipe here but do try out different ones till you find one or two that you can stick to!
Ingredients
1-2 cups very cold, filtered water
¾ pound organic romaine lettuce, rough chopped, about 1 head
½ head large bunch or small bunch organic spinach
3-4 organic celery stalks halved
1 organic apple, cored, seeded, quartered
1 organic pear, cored, seeded, quartered
1 organic banana, peeled
½ fresh organic lemon, peeled, seeded
bunch organic cilantro with stems (optional)
bunch organic parsley with stems (optional)

Instructions
Place water, romaine, spinach, celery, and optional ingredients, if using, into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
Starting the blender on a low speed, blend until smooth.
Gradually moving to higher speeds Add apple, pear, banana and lemon to the blender and blend until smooth.

Note:

Kimberly encourages to mix and match your greens and fruit. Vary this recipe with kale, chard, arugula, and the like. Just avoid melons, as they don’t combine well with other produce.

This recipe is freezable!

Book of the Week: Dinner with Jackson Pollock (Assouline)

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Jackson Pollock the artist needs no introduction—but perhaps lesser known is Jackson Pollock the gardener, baker, and entertaining dinner-party host. From starters and entrees to side dishes, breads, and desserts, Dinner with Jackson Pollock features more than 50 recipes collected from handwritten pages scrawled by Jackson; his wife, artist Lee Krasner; his mother, Stella; or traded among their many friends in the town of Springs on Long Island, interspersed with Jackson’s masterworks, still lifes of Pollock’s home, and beautiful photographs of each delectable recipe, plus delightful tales from Jackson and Lee’s family and local friends, for a truly unique and insightful portrait of a great artist.

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Here is one of the recipes from the book

Pea Salad with Russian Dressing

This recipe comes from Pollock’s own mother, Stella, which she kept in a red faux-leather book together with other handwritten recipes and newspaper and magazine clippings. Serves 2 to 4.
Ingredients

For the Salad:
2 cups fresh baby spring peas, shelled
1⁄2 cup American cheese, cut into small chunks
3 tsp onion, finely chopped
3 tsp sweet pickles, finely chopped
8 pecans
2 cups shredded cabbage, if desired

For the Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
4 tbsp chili sauce
1 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp red onion, very finely chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 dill pickles, chopped
Salt and pepper

Directions:
This salad may be combined all together in a large bowl before serving, or the elements layered individually onto the plates before adding small dollops of dressing. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

Halloween is finally over and my kids managed to collect way too much candy as usual!  So I thought that I would turn some of that leftover candy into something a little more special!

I found this recipe on the net and am planning to try it out next week but thought that I’d share it with you just in case one of you out there would like to try it out too!

Doesn’t it look Yummy?

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup assorted Halloween candy, roughly chopped
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the sides. Coat the paper with cooking spray.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the melted butter with the sugar and light brown sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the flour and salt just until incorporated. Stir in 1/2 cup of the assorted Halloween candy.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top, then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Halloween candy over the top of the batter.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the pan cool completely then remove the blondies using the parchment paper overhang, cut into 16 squares and serve.

Note: This is the exact recipe that I got from the site, however, I think that I am going to only put 1/2 or 3/4 cup of sugar instead of the 1/2 cup of white sugar plus 1 cup of brown! I would also add 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and only 1/4 teaspoon salt instead of the 1 1/2 tsp!… Finally, I think with my oven I might have to put it a bit longer… maybe an hour? let’s see!!

Source: Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

Barefoot Contessa’s Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons

Its the perfect weather for soups… I tried this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa today it was really delicious

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I must admit that I did a few changes to the recipe!!….! I left it to boil for a bit longer… I added 1 Tbsp of olive oil instead of 3!!! …and I also added my mixed Italian dried herbs that I love so much.

Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons (Serves 4 to 6)

3 tablespoons good olive oil 
3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions) 
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves) 
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade 
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano 
Large pinch of saffron threads 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
½ cup orzo 
½ cup heavy cream 
Grilled Cheese Croutons (recipe follows) 

In a large pot or Dutch oven such as Le Creuset, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently. 

Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered top. 

GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS 
Serves 4 to 6 

4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated 

Heat a panini grill. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyere on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyere, buttered sides up. 

Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute, and cut into 1-inch cubes. 

Recipe via Barefoot Contessa