Around My French Table Dinner Party

What’s the best way to determine if your dinner party was a success? Emtpy bottles of wine, empty plates, happy guest and no leftovers? In that case last nights dinner party at my mom’s was a huge success.

My mom and her friends have a dinner party every couple of months, every time someone else hosts and cooks. This time it was my moms turn and because she knows how much I enjoy cooking and baking, she asked me to plan and cook the menu for her dinner party.

When I made Michel Rostangs Double Chocolate Mousse Cake from Dorie Greenspans book Around my French Table a while ago, we immediately knew we had found our dessert and we decided to plan the rest of our menu from the same book. Last minute we decided to add a Scroppino (or Sgroppino) after the main course and dessert to cleanse the palate for dessert.

At the end of this post you will find the recipe for the Scroppino.
As for the other recipes: if you love the look of the dishes, go and buy Around My French Table! I’m sure you will enjoy it!

Fresh Tuna, Mozzarella and Basil Pizza (pages 166 – 167)
Making this dish was taking a risk, as one of the guests doesn’t like fish. However since tuna doesn’t taste that fishy we decided it would be worth the risk and it turned out to be a good decision: everyone loved it!

 

Hachis Parmentier (pages 257 – 259)
Instead of making one huge dish, we made 5 individual portions that went into the oven for 20 minutes: the cheese was goldenbrown, this was perfection! Everyone around the table was focused on eating it, the dining room went quiet!

 

Spiced Butter-Glazed Carrots (page 335)
Oh my gosh, now this will be my go-to recipe to prepare carrots! I live how the ginger adds some sweetness to the carrots and how the characteristic flavour of the cardamom is just right.

 

Scroppino (recipe below)
A little bit tangy, a bit sweet and a bit boozy. What’s not to like?

 

Michel Rostang´s Double Chocolate Mousse Cake (pages 446-447)
This was served with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of strawberry sorbet ice cream on a white chocolate disk and some strawberry coulis.

 

Appetizer, starter and main course were served with a French wine, brought by a friend: Cabernet-Sauvignon (2008) from Domaine de Mont-Auriol. The label says: ‘Domaine de Mont Auriol is a family property for centuries, it takes it name from one of its highest hills that overlooks the beautiful vineyards situated just a few kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its proximity to the sea, Domaine de Mont-Auriol is blessed with fertile soil that is favoured by cool and breezy summer evenings which contribute to produce elegant fruit forward wines that will accompany your most pleasurable moments and every day fare.’

Dessert was served with a Chilean wine, bought by me: Tarapacá Terroir Late Harvest (2008) from Viña Tarapacá. The label says: ‘The Isla Maipo region is located 40 km from the Pacific Ocean, and its main geographic influences are the Naipo River, which created its alluvial clay loam soils, and the proximity of the Pacific Ocean, which provudes cool afternoon breezes. Selected lots of Late Harvest Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc are harvested late in May, this concentrates the sugars and flavors to give us the intense and luscious ripe apricot flavors of the Tarapacá Late Harvest wine.’

Both wines were bought at Wijnkoperij Bartels, where I always buy my wines. The owners are so knowledgeable: they give the best advice on which wine you can best serve with what dish!

 

Scroppino
4 to 6 servings

200 grams lemon sorbet ice cream
2 dl wodka
2 dl prosecco (or other sparkling white wine)

Mix the lemon sorbet ice cream with the wodka and prosecco: this can be done by hand, mixer or blender.
Divide over 4 to 6 (cold) glazes.

 

I’m going to Food Blogger Connect 2011 in London!

For a while now I’ve been looking at all the wonderful food blogger conventions going on in the States and being envious of all the people attending those conventions. In December 2009 I found out that there had been a conference in London in November and in 2010 I couldn’t attend because it was in the exact same weekend that a close friend was getting married.

But now the time has come: I’m going to London form August 12th untill August 14th to attend Food Blogger Connect 2011! I’m so excited that I get to meet other food bloggers and visit the wonderful city of London at the same time! 

Food Blogger Connect was founded in 2009 and is Europe’s first and only conference and forum for food bloggers and food writers bringing together award-winning, star-profile, guest speakers and attracting bloggers from all over Europe and beyond (Canada, Singapore, Brazil, India).

Check out the Conference Program here!

Welcome to The Baking Bluefinger!

I have been blogging for a while over at Culinary Delights, but felt it was time for me to move to another host. So here I am!!

Why did I name this blog The Baking Bluefinger? Well…….
I wanted the name to refer to both my passion (baking), but also to a little legend that tells about how the citizens of my hometown Zwolle got their nickname:

Citizens of Zwolle are colloquially known as Blauwvingers (Bluefingers).
This dates back to a local legend that the local authorities were one day strapped for cash and
saw no option but to sell church bells to neighbouring city Kampen.
To make sure Kampen did not make too much profit from the deal, the local authorities asked
a high price for the church bells. Kampen agreed to the deal, on the condition that
they could choose their own way of paying for the church bells. Zwolle consented,
and Kampen paid in copper coins of vier-duiten (the equivalent of 2-and-a-half cents).
Because of their distrust, Zwolle wanted to be sure Kampen had truly paid the entire price.
The local authorities therefore counted the money until their fingers had turned blue from the copper.

counting the copper coins

Stay tuned for a post on Blauwvinger cookies!!!!

CEiMB – Mocha Cake with Mocha Cream






Banana Nutella Maple Syrup Bread for World Nutella Day (one day late)

Twitter Avatar February – James Beard Refrigerator Spice Cookies


Last year a couple of my blog friends were having fun on Twitter with their avatars: they would pick a bread and everyone would post that bread as their avatar for that month. This year the theme is chefs and I decided to join in on the fun. Nancy came up with the great idea of each of us picking a different chef for each month. Everyone chooses one recipe by that chef, takes a photo of the dish and uses that photo as our avatar for that month.




February’s avatar chef is James Beard, chosen by Nancy. The recipe I chose is Refrigerator Spice Cookies, its in ‘American Cookery’ (1972) by James Beard, but it can also be found here.

These cookies reminded me a lot of Speculaas, I divided the dough into three and baked 2 portions. The third portion can be found in my freezer, waiting for a surprise visitor 😉 I taste-tested one cookie, it reminded me a lot of Speculaas. Most cookies found their way to work where they were devoured by my colleagues, the rest are at my parents house waiting to be eaten by my dad.


 

Next month’s chef is Emeril Lagasse, chosen by Margaret

Refrigerator Spice Cookies
(American Cookery by James Beard)
Yield: 5 dozen cookies

Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups sifted AP flour
1 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 375o F. 

Cream the butter, then cream in the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Combine with the butter mixture until well blended.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 parts and form rolls that are approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll them up in wax paper or aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator or freezer until firm, about an hour.

With a sharp knife, slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Place on cookie sheets and cook until lightly browned at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.