There is no rule out there that says French cooking must be elegant or complex. It can be simple and rustic as well. Which is a good thing for this week’s I Heart Cooking ClubFrench Dish. This recipe from Jacques is one of his mother’s. And it is quite simple.

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Pepin says his mother added cheese but he doesn’t always. I made mine without cheese but Gruyère would have been really good here.

1 1/2 pounds potatoes {I used basic russet potatoes}
2 cups milk
2–3 garlic cloves, crushed, and finely chopped (1 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick Do NOT rinse the slices.

Place the potato slices, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring gently to separate the slices and prevent the mixture from scorching. It will thicken as it reaches a boil.

Pour the potato mixture into a 6-cup gratin dish, and pour the cream on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Let the potatoes rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
(Original Recipe)

While simple to make they were creamy and comforting. Definitely added to our rotation of potato dishes. Sometimes with cheese, sometimes not.

{BTW – reheat them in the oven and they are just as good as freshly made. DON”T nuke them!!}

Maintenant! Cliquez sur Plus d’IHCC et de vérifier plus d’une cuisine française de M. Pepin. Now! {Now! Click on over to IHCC and check out more of Pepin’s French Cuisine.}

My pick this week. Asian sounded good. And y’all know I do love the flavors of Asian (and Indian, and Mediterranean and Italian cuisine). This chicken is cooked in a foil pouch with sweet peppers, green onions and carrot for a mere 12 minutes so it is a very quick meal

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and also very tender. Steamed in a sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar and rice vinegar then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds it is full of flavor as well.

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You can find the recipe on page 144 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders. I also found it on Caroline’s site.

I hope the other Eaters liked my pick. Check them out on he Eating with Ellie website.

I love cooking with Mediterranean ingredients.  Olive Oil.  Olives, Tomatoes. Lemon.  They all add a certain richness and a ton of flavor to just about any dish.  And that includes this Chicken dish from Donna Hay

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It is simply baked chicken but baked with olives, lemon zest, parsley, and plenty of garlic (cause I added a little extra).

Instead of using a whole chicken I had one HUGE chicken breast which I sliced In half and baked. I put a little extra garlic under the chicken. It was very good.

This week’s pick is from Peggy. Definitely a repeat.

TO see what the others thought just zip on over to the Wednesday with Donna Hay Website.

And if you would like to join us – WHAT WE ARE DOING! We’d love to have you join in. What we are cooking every week is listed on the site.

It’s that time again! Time to share some new dishes from a blogger I have been reading for a while but haven’t had a chance to cook from. Why now? Because it is is reveal time for the

    Secret Recipe Club!

And this month I knew it was going to be fun because I had CHELSY over at MANGIA!! ITALIAN FOOD!!! But – FORTUNATELY – healthy Italian! Which was perfect considering I am trying to eat healthier these days. I was a little worried at first because so many of the blogs have great food but lots of ingredients I am not eating these days – sugar, beef, cheese, pasta – so finding lots of good, healthy recipes on Chelsy’s blog was a definite plus for me.

Let me tell you about Chelsy: Personal Trainer, gluten free recipe developer, foodie, Italian.
One statement caught me eye when she was listing facts about herself

    “I will choose grocery shopping over mall shopping any day!”

‘Nuff said!!

I started through her awesome recipes and finally had to quit Pinning. I though Pinterest might kick me off for putting TOO many pictures/recipes up in one day. And then, of course I had to go through and find just a few and then narrow that down to my usual three. NOT. AN. EASY. JOB! But then, with all the great bloggers in the SRC, it never is!

Here is what I ended up with:

Healthy Snacking –

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with Granola. And granola with a twist – made with QUINOA! I have only recently discovered quinoa so whenever I find a new recipe I HAVE to try it.
Granola with sliced almonds, coconut, maple syrup, cinnamon. All the good things. You can find her recipe for QUINOA GRANOLA on her blog. The only change I made in her recipe was to use dried cranberries instead of the goji berries she had listed. Only because I couldn’t find any.

Healthy Supper

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    Bada-Bing! Shrimp and Sauce

What a great name!! It is more than just shrimp in tomato sauce. It’s BADA-BING! And it WAS!

    1/4 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    Dressing:
    1/4 c. white wine vinegar
    3 TBS. water
    1 0.7 oz packet Italian Salad Dressing Mix
    1/4 c. olive oil
    1/4 c. water
    Sauce:
    1 med.- lrg. yellow onion, chopped and diced
    10 cloves of garlic, diced
    1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped
    Palmful of Italian Seasoning
    Palmful of Oregano, dried
    3 8 oz. cans of No Salt Added Tomato Sauce (Like to add my own salt)
    1 14.5 oz. can of No Salt Added dice tomatoes
    1/4 c. Sweet white wine
    black pepper
    salt

Place the shrimp in a small bowl.
Prepare the dressing: put 1/4 c. white wine vinegar and 3 TBS. water into a salad shaker. Add dressing packet and shake the bottle until mixed. Add 1/4 c. olive oil and 1/4 c. water to the bottle and shake vigorously.
Pour the dressing over the shrimp and let marinate while preparing the sauce.
For the sauce.
Chop the onion, garlic, and basil.
Heat a large saucepan with olive oil over low-medium heat. Add onions and garlic and stir continuously with a spatula until lightly browned. Add the shrimp to the saucepan and cook until they are slightly pink.
Remove the shrimp from the saucepan after 3-4 minutes and place in a clean bowl. Add tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, spices, basil, and wine to the saucepan. Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the shrimp.
To serve, garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan.
I served mine over high fiber pasta. It would be amazing with some garlic linguini.

Healthy (Kinda Sorta) Side –

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I think Sweet Potatoes are my favorite veggie. You can fry them, sautee them, bake them, roast them. They are sweet. AND they are so good for you. Chelsy’s are roasted after mixing them with curry, vanilla, shallots, and browned butter (This is the kinda sorta part). They were sweet and full of flavor. I did add a little extra curry powder to mine because I really like the flavor. And the vanilla adds just a hint of sweet. I could eat these every day!!

I enjoyed my visit with Chelsy. I have been reading her blog for a while now and cooking some of her food but I have never blogged them. And probably never told her how much I enjoy my visits. So there you are, Chelsy.

Check with the other members of Secret Recipe Club below and see what they found to cook this month.

One of the fun things I remember about Spring Break, or summer vacation is the beach. Sand! Surf! Building a fire pit in the sand and toasting marshmallows. And using those marshmallows to make S’MORES!! Ooey! Gooey! Chocolate! Graham! Sticky Fingers! Laughing! Great memories!

Where am I going with this? This month’s Bundt Cake for Bundt Bakers.

The theme is HIDDEN SURPRISE. And after running into a recipe for a Graham Cracker cake I knew I had found my surprise.

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This cake made from graham crackers was just asking to be filled with CHOCOLATE AND MARSHMALLOWS,

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I tried two different methods to fill the cake. I made a trench in the batter and filled it with either chocolate chips or marshmallow fluff. The side I used the fluff on I put the chocolate chips in on top. The side with chocolate chips I put mini marshmallows on top. The fluff worked best. The minis just melted into the cake.

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Then I covered all of it with the rest of the batter and baked.

When it cooled I drizzled it with chocolate ganache and a warm marshmallow sauce.

    2 2/3 cups finely crushed graham crackers
    2/3 cup flaked coconut
    2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
    2/3 cup sugar Stevia in the Raw
    2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    3 tablespoons butter, softened
    1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    5 eggs, separated
    1 1/3 cups sour cream
    Chocolate chips
    Marshmallow Fluff.

Heat oven to 325″. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt Pan.
In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, pecans and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolks; mix well.
Add sour cream and graham cracker crumb mixture alternately to sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition.
In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into cake mixture. {I have to tell you – at this point we almost didn’t have a cake because the batter was SO GOOD!!!}
Spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into the pan. Let sit a couple of minutes then make a small trench in the middle of the batter all the way around. Fill the trench with chocolate chips. Then cover the chips with mini marshmallows. {I didn’t put any measurements for these because it is really up to you to decide how much you want. I used about 2 ounces of chips and 1/2 – 2/3 CUPS OF FLUFF. I wish I had used more of both.}
Cover the chips and marshmallow with the remaining batter.
Bake at 325 for 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
Drizzle with your favorite chocolate ganache and a marshmallow sauce. {I used ONE adapted from the Wicked Noodle.}

    2 Tbl butter
    1 cup marshmallow fluff

Melt marshmallow fluff and butter in a saucepan whiisking until smooth. Using a fork drizzle mixture over cake.

I put the ganache on first and THEN the marshmallow sauce, but you could do it the opposite way.

The cake was nice and dense. The filling was ALMOST ooey! gooey! {and would have been in a warm cake!}

Cake was adapted from Bundt Classics mostly but other recipes on the web as well.

BundtBakers


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.
Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. The theme for April is “Hidden Surprise” – Bundt cakes with fillings or stuffing. There was no constraint on filling and flavor choices.The only
requirement was that the cake be filled/stuffed inside. Anshie from SpiceRoots was our host for this month.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Links:-

I will be the first to admit Donna Hay comes up with some interesting flavor combinations. Pasta and lemons? Ehhhhh…. But, folks, wrap that spaghetti around your fork ’cause this is GOOD stuff!!

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You bite into the pasta and a hint of lemon enters your senses. Then you bite into a caper and it bites back with a little salt, a little tart. The rocket adds a little bitter and the Parmesan adds a little sour. {And if I had used the chilies it would have added a little heat.}

I was not expecting to like this AT. ALL. I was so wrong.

Slip on over the Wednesdays with Donna Hay and see how the others liked this pasta – Sarah’s choice this week. The recipe is on page 130 of Donna’s modern classics: Book 1 and I found it on Michelle’s blog, too if you want to try it.

Any time you would like to join us just leave a comment on the WWDH site. Love to have you.

Limencello! I have seen that name several times as ingredients for recipes. I know it is an Italian lemon liqueur but really hadn’t thought about it much. When I saw it was used in this week’s Baking Chez Moi cupcakes I knew I would have to find some. And I did, but it was WAY more than I would ever need. After considering the alternative – NOT making the cupcakes – I decided I would see if I could make some. Fortunately there are LOTS of recipes out there. I made just enough to make these cuppys and have a little left over.

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I have to admint it would not be something I would actually DRINK as many in Italy and France do, but it does make a nice little cupcake and frosting.

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I was really afraid we wouldn’t like the cupcakes since we didn’t like the liqueur at all but it just adds a little kick to the whole treat.

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And then the orange marmalade adds to the sweet side.

The recipe is on page 194 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi. I am sure the other cupcakes made this week by the Doristas are quite lovely and very tasty so click on over to view all of them on the Tuesdays with Dorie Website.

The limoncello recipe I used – The Kitchen

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