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Monthly Archive for September, 2006

Sugar High Friday #23

Hello to my fellow food bloggers and thanks to Alanna at A Veggie Venture for hosting this edition of Sugar High Friday.
In keeping w/ the theme, my entry has a surprise inside… it may be hard to see in the picture, but the surprise’s flavor definitely comes through when you bite into this dessert!
La Galette des Rois (also known as King’s Cake)Traditionally, this cake is served on January 6th to celebrate the Epiphany. It is baked w/ a bean or some other favor inside and whoever finds this surprise is crowned king or queen for the day! My galette was baked without a bean inside for no reason other than I just didn’t feel like it… no queens or kings will be running around here today, just people on a sugar high!!





** recipe courtesy of my French friend, Herve’


1/4 cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 cup almond paste
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons flour
1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
glaze (1 part water, 2 parts sugar)


1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2) Butter a large baking sheet (not dark metal).
3) In a food processor, puree’ the almond paste, almonds, sugar, butter, and pinch of salt until smooth.
4) Add 1 egg, vanilla and almond extract and puree’ until incorporated.

5) Add flour and pulse to mix in.
6) On a lightly floured surface, roll out one sheet of the puff pastry into an 11 1/2 inch square.
7) Invert an 11 inch pie plate onto the square and cut out a round shape by tracing the outline of the plate w/ the tip of a paring knife.
8) Brush the flour from both sides of the round and place it on the buttered baking sheet, then put in refrigerator to chill.
9) Repeat the process w/ the second square of puff pastry, but leave it on the floured work surface.
10) Beat the remaining egg and brush some of it on top of the second round. Score decoratively all over the top using the tip of a paring knife and make several small slits all the way through the pastry to create steam vents.
11) Remove the first round from the refrigerator and brush some of the egg in a 1 inch border around the edge. Mound the almond cream in the center, spreading slightly.
12) Place the scored round on top and press edges together.
13) Bake the galette in the lower third of the oven for 13 to 15 minutes, until puffed and golden. Remove from oven and brush w/ egg a second time.
14) Return galette to rack in the upper third of oven and bake for an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until the edge is a deep golden brown.
15) While galette is still on the oven rack, brush it w/ the glaze mixture, then transfer to a cooling rack.


Enjoy your weekend….


The Mushroom Hunter

My brother, Fred, who lives in southern France sent me some photos of his recent mushroom foraging during which he found over 30 kilos of cepes!! He wouldn’t tell me the exact location where he found these beauties, just that it was in a forest in the Perigord region. Apparently mushroom hunters are as secretive about their prize spots as truffle hunters and fishing fanatics! He did however send a stock photo of the forest where he found them and a photo of a typical village in that region of France.
Fred, I don’t think you have to worry about anyone finding your spot… not even a super sleuth could w/ so little info! Well, let’s take a look at his bounty!






Thanks Fred… enjoy your beautiful ‘shrooms!!


Five Things to Eat Before You Go to the Big Kitchen in the Sky

I was tagged by Alanna of A Veggie Venture to participate in this fun assignment that has been making the rounds of food blogs worldwide. The meme was started by Melissa of The Traveler’s Lunchbox. I wonder how many times it has circled the globe by now!! Narrowing my choices to just 5 items was a real challenge, as it seems to have been for most all who have done this before me. Well, after some pondering I came up w/ my list. So without further ado I present my list to you…

1) Marron Glace’  -  I love the way candied chestnuts melt in my mouth and fill it w/ such a wonderfully unique flavor!! It would be doubly good to eat some of these delicacies in Paris at Christmastime!

2) RacletteWhen I traveled to Switzerland in January 2004 to bring my mom’s ashes to her homeland, I spent an evening at the home of one of my cousins. They prepared a wonderful feast consisting of raclette and all the fixin’s. They had this amazing machine that fits an entire half round of that lovely cheese and melts the surface, then the melted goodness is scraped onto your plate… simply awesome!!

3) A Paper Towel and an Apple Core – A funny thing happened  as I was hiking in a redwood forest near Santa Cruz, California on New Years Day 2003… I got lost!! Well it wasn’t very funny at the time, but I get a good laugh every time I tell this story to someone. I ran out of food and was starving, so I dug into my pocket and pulled out the remnants of the apple I had w/ my lunch earlier that day. The apple core was wrapped in a paper towel and it sure looked good at that very moment, so… I ate both of them! Well, believe it or not, this can be a veritable delicacy when you’re lost in a redwood forest w/ nothing else to eat!!

4) A Cup of Hot Chocolate w/ a Big Hunk of Fresh Bread

This was what I was fantasizing about during the cold night that I spent shivering in the redwood forest!

5) My Mom’s Homemade Pizza – My mom’s pizza was, and still is, the best I’ve ever had!! The pizza parties she would have were such a great way to gather some good friends together for an evening of deliciousness!! This has since become a tradition in my home too! Thanks mom…

My turn to tag some people. I tag:
Duane – My co-blogger at Zinfully Delicious
Michelle – My food stylist friend
The Culinary Chase
Barbara at winosandfoodies