Friday, January 28, 2011


Although it's still January, here in Southern California we have had some fabulous weather. Our days have been in the mid-70's, and our nights have been perfectly cool without being cold. It's a reminder that Spring is just around the corner and now would be  a good time to get that new swing set for your children or grandchildren, and have it all set up and ready for the longer, warmer days ahead. CSN is the place to do your shopping. CSN has over 200 websites and they sell everything from swing sets  and trampolines to patio furniture and cookware. Drop on over and take a look, they seriously have something for everyone.

For the French Fridays Round Up, I'll start with the Chicken B'Stilla. This was our least favorite January recipe. As you can see I didn't use traditional phyllo dough in this recipe. I had shredded phyllo so I made this as a casserole and topped it with the shredded phyllo. This was not a big hit with my family. Maybe it was the combination of flavors from the ginger, lemon, coriander and cinnamon, or maybe the sweet (honey and cinnamon/sugar) and savory combination was what we didn't love. It was hard to pinpoint exactly what it was that turned us off, but there are so many other chicken dinners we like, and so many others we want to try that I probably won't give this one a second chance.

Next up is the Paris Mushroom Soup. As a family, mushroom soup is  a favorite and Dori's soup was good, but it still won't replace our  favorite Mushroom Soup, which has a deep woodsy, earthy flavor from dried porcinis. I might try a combination of the two recipes, and see what I can come up with.

Gnocchi. We all love gnocchi, but not only are they calorie laden but they can be time consuming to make and if you don't have the right touch they are heavy and gummy. These gnocchi were quick and easy to make, and light and fluffy (I followed Dori's advice and whipped the last egg white and folded it into the batter). They still had way to many calories for every day consumption, but they were so delicious that I am just waiting for a good excuse to make them again.  

Our one thought was to add some cheese to the sauce instead of just topping the dish with it, in hopes of infusing the cheesy flavor throughout the gnocchi.

Saving dessert for last, we have Michel Rostang's Double Chocolate Mousse Cake.

The cake was full of rich chocolate flavor without being heavy and dense as many flour less cakes can be. Dori had several variation and we chose Dori's favorite, with the baked then chilled mousse layer. Normally when I make a cake like this we fill the center with fresh ripe berries, but none were readily available, so we went with the classic freshly whipped cream.

For the most part the January recipes are one we will be making again, and we are excited for the recipes ahead!