ceries aux lavande et thym (cherries poached with lavender and thyme)

July 10th, 2012

Chef Morgan ceries aux lavande et thym (cherries poached with lavender and thyme)    

ceries aux lavande et thym
(cherries poached with lavender and thyme)

serves 6-8

what you need:

24-30  firm, ripe red cherries, stems removed (pits reserved)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons of lavender flowers (tied in cheesecloth)
4 tablespoons superfine sugar
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 piece of lemon peel

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a one year anniversary and life is just peachy: summer peach mousse with crushed almonds and rose biscuits

June 25th, 2012

 

Chef morgan red shoes and Eiffel tower

a one year anniversary and life is just peachy:
summer peach mousse with crushed almonds and rose biscuits

Paris is historical, inspirational, and romantic. For many people, it is bon goût (good taste) in all meanings of the word – gastronomically, artistically, architecturally, in fashion – to name a few. For me, my red chef shoes bring me here time and time again and the magic never dulls. One year ago I finally found an  apartment in this city which I fell in love with so many years ago. It is this anniversary which inspired this week’s simple pleasure: summer peach mousse with crushed almonds and rose biscuits.

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summer peach mousse with crushed almonds and rose biscuits

June 25th, 2012


summer peach mousse with crushed almonds and rose biscuits

summer peach mousse with crushed almonds and rose biscuits

serves 4-6

what you need:

mousse
1 ½ pound fresh diced (yeelow or white) peaches, peeled and pits removed
3 ounces granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 gelatin sheets
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
squeeze of fresh lemon juice

garnish

crushed roasted almonds (as needed)
crumbled rose biscuits  (as needed)

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Mother’s Day recipe 2012: crunchy chocolate and espresso almond cookies

May 14th, 2012
mug on law book

studying for bar exam by Chef Morgan

 

Mother’s Day recipe 2012: 

baking cookies, having the courage to follow your heart,
and being true to the woman that you are:

crunchy chocolate and espresso almond cookies

Recently someone asked my oldest daughter: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I remember being asked the same thing when I was her age. Watching her respond inspired this year’s Mother’s Day personal recipe for my daughters (below) and this week’s simple pleasure: crunchy chocolate and espresso almond cookies.  Read the rest of this entry »

gâteau au yaourt (yogurt cake)

April 21st, 2012

A sweet cake for kids without too much sugar

vive le grignotage ! 
(long live snacking) 

tea time, goûter and “un peu sucré ou pas du tout”:
gâteau au yaourt (yogurt cake)

One day a friend and I were having tea. He works in the culinary television industry and like most Parisians, he is passionate about food and so our conversation revolved around food, of course. As he poured the tea, he shared with me a saying his grandmother had when she served tea. She would say, “une sucré ou pas du tout” (meaning, take one sugar or take nothing at all). Thinking of childrens’ fondness for sugar (and for snacking), his grandmother’s comment stuck with me and it inspired this week’s simple pleasure: gâteau au yaourt. Read the rest of this entry »

hungry no more: The Hunger Games menu

April 1st, 2012

 hungry no more: The Hunger Games Menu 

Peeta’s nut and raisin bread with Prim goat cheese

Rue dandelion salad with tracker jacker dressing

Katniss’s rabbit (or chicken) chasseur

 Roasted blackberries on a vanilla pod bow with vanilla seed ice cream
and fresh violets for Gale

Impossible for me to resist. I love food. I love books. The title is The Hunger Games. Coincidentally the book (part of a trilogy by Suzanne Collins) is a fad among tweens and teens and it was race with my eldest daughter to see who could finish the book first. She won. We both loved the book and the food references throughout sent my creativity into orbit. However, the power of this book goes beyond the ability to encourage a child’s love of literature, it can also encourage them to eat good food (unbeknownst to them), and as I quickly turned the pages, this week’s simple pleasure, a Hunger Games menu, was born.  

Happy Hunger Games and may the odds be ever in your favor.” 

Hunger Games Loaf of Bread with and arrow stuck in it

“Gale holds up a loaf of bread with an arrow stuck in it, and I laugh. It’s real bakery bread, not the flat dense loaves we make from our grain rations.” (page 7)

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hungry in love…Valentine’s Day Menu 2012

February 11th, 2012

Chocolate Tart Crust

hungry in love: a Valentine’s Day menu to make your heart skip a beat

 I often say that I know I am in love if the thought or sight of that person inspires moments of complete abandon of time and self. I use the example that if I were greeted at the airport by that person, even if the separation was brief, I would instinctively, and without hesitation, run to him, forgetting my surroundings, and the moment would only be interrupted by TSA asking me if the bags scattered twenty feet behind me, are mine. I tell my children that if you do not instinctively feel that way about the person with whom you have chosen to spend your time, then you did not choose correctly because anything less is existing; not living. I have done both. There is something to be said for following your instincts.

 

Harriet Van Horne wisely said that “cooking is like love [and that] [i]t should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” I agree and Saint Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to reinforce that notion. Inspired by thoughts of culinary seduction, the desire to spoil those we care for in a thoughtful, sincere way yet keeping in mind the practical demands of a mid-week busy schedule, this week’s simple pleasure is a Valentine’s Day menu that has a little something for everyone.  Read the rest of this entry »

chèvre and grapefruit panna cotta

February 4th, 2012

 

chèvre and grapefruit panna cotta

 Super Bowl parties and a touchdown dessert:
chèvre and grapefruit panna cotta

In my experience, both as a guest and as a caterer, there are two truths about Super Bowl parties. The first is that the food served primarily consists of hand to mouth heavy foods that involve meat, sauces, and dips (chili is allegedly the favorite). The second is that throughout the game, the guests tend to break off into groups and the division is generally gender based. The gorgeous weather and the markets filled with citrus inspired me to bring a little lightness to your Super Bowl plates with something all party guests will enjoy, no matter the room they end up in, and so chèvre and grapefruit panna cotta, is this week’s simple pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »

Pas de Deux: douillons aux pommes (apples in nightdresses)

December 16th, 2011

 

 

douillons aux pommes, apples in night dresses, dessert apples

Pas de Deux: douillons aux pommes (apples in nightdresses)

Like many people this time of year, one of the traditions in my family is to attend a performance of The Nutcracker.  In sum, it is a story of a young girl, Clara, who is given a nutcracker as a Christmas gift. The nutcracker turns into a Prince who takes Clara to the Kingdom of  Sweets where the Sugarplum Fairy and various treats (Spanish Chocolate, Peppermint Candy, etc.) perform for Clara (still in her nightdress) and the Prince. At the end, the Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier perform the Grand Pas de Deux (“steps of two”). As I watched the Pas de Deux, I thought of … food. The combination of a kingdom filled with dancing culinary specialities, Clara’s nightdress, and the “deux” (the collaboration of two) reminded me of the French classic dessert douillons aux pommes (apples in nightdresses). Inspired by the ballet, douiillons aux pommes is this week’s simple pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »

snickerdoodle cookies (à la Niçoise)

October 6th, 2011

Cinnamon Sticks and Snickerdoodle Cookies

snickerdoodle cookies (à la Niçoise)
This simple cookie, with its warming cinnamon and brown sugar,
is perfect for the turn in the weather. Enjoy.

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