A Fair Lady’s Plum Sorbet

How do I enlighten all of you of the majesty that is sorbet?

Sorbet is similar to froyo only it’s made with crème fraîche which is a classy type of sour cream. Crème fraîche is like Eliza Doolittle transformed into a fair lady and sorbet is the dessert she would consume.

Don’t let all this fancy talk scare you away, though, because this dessert from Cooking Light is actually incredibly easy to make. I do declare that ice cream is more difficult.

What you’ll need

  • 4 1/2 cups chopped ripe plums (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of crème fraîche

Before we begin on how to make this delectable dessert, I have a note for you about purchasing crème fraîche. It’s one of those items that can be a 50/50 chance of whether or not it’s carried in major chain grocery stores. You know who does have it though? Trader Joe’s. I suggest you buy it there, but I would not suggest buying plums there.

Now that we’ve got that covered, the first step is to combine the plums and sugar in a bowl. Let the plums saturate themselves in the sweet nectar of sugar for about an hour.

Once saturated, place the mixture in a blender of your choice and process until smooth.

Cooking Light suggests you then press the mixture into a sieve, most likely to weed out the seeds. I bypassed this. I liked the slight crunchy texture, but feel free to go through this process.

The next step is to add the crème fraîche into the mix by whisking it in.

Here’s another detour that I took, but will mention. If you have an ice cream maker of some sort, you would place the mixture into the freezer can and follow that maker’s instructions.

I do not own an ice cream maker, so I just mixed up the mixture as well as I could and skipped to the final step which is placing the sorbet in a freezer safe container and freezing for an hour.

The ice cream maker would most likely make the sorbet smoother and creamier, but it’ll turn out fine without it. At least mine did.

Whatever the texture you ended up with, the taste should be the same which will be this tangy tart flavor that will make you murmur ms with every bite.


Plum Sorbet 


Croûte de Fromage for the Distinguished Individual

This recipe is from French Farmhouse and it’s basically fancy grilled cheese.

The author of this cookbook describes this dish like a dating app profile,

Hearty yet sophisticated, it fits with the craggy mountains where hikers crowd the slopes in summer and winter brings cross-country and downhill skiers.

Don’t you get the feeling this dish is an outdoor adventure loving seeker who also enjoys long walks on the beach? I mean, I’d go out with it.

What you’ll need.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of light fruity wine or Riesling
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 3 long slices of Sourdough Bread cut in half crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of mild vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of grated Gruyere or Comte cheese
  • 1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley leaves

The first step is to whisk the eggs, wine, a fair amount of salt, and a touch of pepper together. Once whisked, transfer this mixture to a shallow bowl for dipping purposes.

Place the bread slices in this dish until it is thoroughly soaked. Flip sides if necessary for even soaking.

Next, heat butter and oil over medium heat until the butter is melted. Place the soaked bread into this pan and add a generous amount of the grated cheese on top.

Cook the slices for a little over three minutes or until the cheese is half way melted. Then make these slices into full on sandwiches and flip sides until cheese is fully melted.

Once this is complete, remove from the skillet, cut crosswise and sprinkle with parsley.


The final result is quite good, not that I’m surprised. Grilled cheese has always been a simple, yet effective comfort food. When you combine that simplicity with the best of cheeses it can only get better.

Soaking the bread in the Riesling also gives it a tangy taste which is toned down nicely with the parsley.

If you feel like stepping up your grilled cheese game or starting your own food truck, than this is a sandwich you should try.

Warm Oysters or How My Theory that I Prefer Hot Food was Validated

Warm Oysters with Balsamic Vinegar or as the French say, Les Huitres Tiedes au Vinaigre Balsamique is my final oyster recipe in French Farmhouse Cookbook.

Susan, the author, took a tour on the Breton shore and wined and dined with many an oyster farmer. One in particular suggested Susan try this method which has warmed me up to oysters and I think will be enjoyed by others as well.

There’s something about warm butter and seafood that is extremely comforting for me. The addition of balsamic adds to the warmth in taste without overshadowing the oysters.

I’m actually excited about eating oysters more and look forward to trying out different methods. I admittedly probably won’t make my own anymore. Making your own tends to require some forethought and a special shucking knife that I do not own.

This is a recipe that relies on your own good judgement as far as portions go. I have a feeling some of you might panic when you read that, but rest assured that even I didn’t screw it up.

The cookbook does have the following measurements for those who can’t handle that. I only got 6 oysters and eyed the rest myself.

  • 2 dozen small to medium oysters, scrubbed in the shell
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup best-quality balsamic vinegar

The first step is to pre-heat your oven. Yes you read that right. These oyster pups are gonna get baked.


Don’t get excited, it’s not the kind of baked

Susan suggests that the best way to get the oysters baked is to arranged them on a baking sheet with the cup side down. Spreading salt on the sheet will help stabilize them if you have trouble keeping them balanced.

Once you place the oysters in the oven, you will bake for about 5 minutes. Remove them from the oven and then pry them open as carefully as possible. Once you’ve pried them open, you can remove the outer shell.

The proper consumption method is as follows, drizzle a touch of butter. (When I say touch, I truly mean a miniscule amount. It won’t take much.) The final step is to add 2 to 3 drops of vinegar. You are now prepared for slurping! Enjoy!


The butter can’t compete with the oyster’s sexiness





Supernova French Salads

The next few recipes from At Home with the French Classics are variations of Endive salads. So I’ve decided to just group them all together, but I will not be preparing them all at once. I’m in no mood for an endive buffet, sorry guys.

Pink Grapefruit and Endive Salad

The first variation listed is an Endive and Pink Grapefruit Salad aka Salade d’Endives et de Pamplemousse Rose.

Pamplemousse is a word I find extremely enjoyable right now. I feel like going around all day saying pamplemousse to people. Maybe in the process I’ll make a French friend. Un ami français, if you will. 

These salads are easy to make by the way. The best part about them is that they can become your own personal art project. I’m a Picasso type artist myself, but basically you arrange endive salads in a circle creating  a flower like effect.

For the grapefruit one, you put chunks of grapefruit in the middle.


It’s abstract, deal with it.

I’m clearly an artisanal food genius here folks. This is some pure food Cubism that Picasso would be impressed by.

Enough about me, though, let us move on to the logistics.

What you’ll need for this recipe is 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 2 pinches of salt, 2 pinches of pepper, 1/2 cup of light vegetable oil, 3 Belgian endives, and one large pink grapefruit.

The first step in making this salad is to mix the vinaigrette. This consists of the vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil. Add the oil to the mix last to guarantee a balanced mix.

The next step is to peel off the leaves of your endives until you almost get to the core of the vegetable. In other words, you want fairly large leaves to place the grapefruit inside.

Speaking of the grapefruit, this cookbook has useful instructions on how to peel and cut it. That tip is to first cut off the ends and then do the apple trick only with a twist. What I mean by the apple trick is the old fashioned technique of peeling an apple where you take a knife and slowly peel in a diagonal formation. You will do the same with the grapefruit, but add a sawing motion as well. This is important, because grapefruit skin is stockier than apple skin. You’ve got to saw that baby off like Buffalo Bill would.


Grapefruit doesn’t require lotion Bill!

I actually don’t know if Buffalo Bill sawed skin off, I shouldn’t make such claims. I just thought it would be funny. Sorry Bill!

Once you have the grapefruit peeled, you cut in half and then section it off based on it’s natural divisions. Meaning, tear apart at the seams already naturally placed by the fruit.

You will now be ready to serve. To do so, reference the picture above, (the grapefruit, not Bill) and then sprinkle it with your vinaigrette. That’s all there is to it.

My cookbook says that somehow these two bitter fruits are able to cancel out their bitterness by hanging out together. Almost like if you multiply two negative numbers, you get a positive.

Despite these mathematics, I still thought it was a little bitter. I’m kind of a bitter person at times, though, so maybe my bitterness cancelled out the mathematical taste rule. I’d consult a mathematician to be sure.

Watercress and Endive Salad

The second Endive salad variation includes watercress. The French call it Salade d’Endives et de Cresson.

The watercress version of this endive salad is best enjoyed in the winter. Not because it warms your heart or anything, but because that’s when most vegetables are in mercury retrograde. Watercress and endives are immune to the toils of mercury.

What you’ll need

  • 3 Belgian Endives, separated into leaves
  • 1 bunch of watercress, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of light vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

The process of making this variation is almost the same as the grapefruit. You will prepare the vinaigrette the same way, except for the addition of Dijon.

This time around I used grapeseed oil instead of vegetable. Grapeseed oil is a healthy alternative and it seemed to enhance the taste. If the healthy alternative is good, you might as well use it.

The placement of the salad is also similar to the grapefruit variation. You peel the first few endive leaves to use to create a star shape. In this variation, instead of the watercress being place on top of the leaves, you just place it in the middle with the leaves jetting out.

You can also slice and dice your endive and mix it with the watercress. I did both. Taste wise, I prefer slicing and dicing. It’s easier to eat and you can use the whole endive. Aesthetically, the star method is cute and it is fun. You can’t discredit that.

IMG_1894 (1).JPG

Watercress Star

I liked this variation better than the grapefruit. I thought it was tasty, light, and fresh. I felt like a tall gazelle while eating it. Thankfully I’m not a gazelle, because then I’d probably get eaten by a lion or something.

Endive and Walnut

Our third installment is more of the chopped salad variety and includes walnuts.

It includes the same ingredients as far as the dressing goes, but if you’re feeling extra nutty the cookbook does recommend substituting the vegetable oil with walnut oil. For those of you on a budget, this is a little expensive in comparison to vegetable oil. If you’re going to shell out the cash for it, I recommend finding other recipes that call for it.

What you’ll need

  • 3 Belgian Endives, leaves separated and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 30 walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of light vegetable oil (optional to substitute two tablespoons of this with walnut oil)

Making this salad is pretty straight forward. There aren’t many steps in making this. You cut the endive, slice the walnuts into halves, add the dressing and then toss all together. Making the dressing consists of the remaining ingredients whisked together.

Extremely simple.

So far, this is my favorite endive salad. It was crisp, light, and crunchy. The cookbook says it’s usually served in winter as a side dish with some hearty meat, but I think it’d be great as a soup/salad combo myself.

I like that this one is chopped too. As pretty as the supernova endive leaves are, they just aren’t as satisfying in terms of texture and taste.

FullSizeRender (3)

Salad d’Endives aux Noix

So that concludes number three of the Supernova French Salads. We only have one more to go! Stay tuned!


Thai Freedom Fries

This next recipe and recent current events reminded me of the days when the leaders of my country were being haters towards the French. Remember that?

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather we be one with France then having a pissing contest with them. I just can’t help but remember how amusing it was to me that people were actually referring to French Fries as Freedom Fries, in addition to other items with the title French in them.

It also just occurred to me, did people call French Bulldogs, Freedom Bulldogs? Was that a thing ever?

Boycotting French Bulldogs would make sense, since they actually are French. Well French and British, but so is most British Royalty and no was calling The Queen, Freedom Queen.

The whole thing was silly and amusing to me, since most French named food items aren’t necessarily French. In fact there is a heated dispute between Belgium and France as to who invented fries.

Oh my god, is that why Belgium has become a hotbed for terrorist plots? Maybe we should call them Freedom Fries. Freedom from grudges and violence that is.

I’m being facetious if you’re having trouble denoting my intentions here. I’m a big fan of coping with crisis and deflecting hostility via humor.

Thai people have their own version of fried freedom and The Everything Thai Cookbook has shown me the way with the following ingredients.

You will need, 2 medium sweet potatoes, 4 green plantains, 1 pound of taro root, 1 cup rice flour, 1 cup of sticky rice flour, pepper, salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of black sesame seeds, and 1 14oz bag of shredded coconut.

Before we begin, let me recommend going to an Asian Food Market to buy most of these ingredients. If you can specifically go to a Thai one, that is even better. I went to a Korean market at first and they did not have taro root, but the Thai market did. If you don’t have that resource, however, it’s not necessary to have taro root. You can substitute with another type of veggie. In other words, the taro is one of the items being fried. It’s not an ingredient per se.

The first step is to peel the potatoes, taro, and the plantains. Cut each of them into fry like shapes of your choice. I went with the traditional long and skinny style.

Once that’s done, you will make your fry batter by combining both flours and a 1/2 cup of water. Continue to add a 1/4 more of water intermittently until the mixture resembles pancake batter.

Next add the remaining ingredients you haven’t used yet.

You are now ready to freedom fry!

I’m still terrible at frying, by the way. I never seem to get the right temperature and the batter tends to slide off. So, if you have a cooking thermometer and are challenged like me, you should use that thing. I should use that thing, but I don’t have one and I’m too cheap and lazy to go out and get one.

I digress.

The cookbook says to fill a frying pan with vegetable oil a third to a half full and to heat it over high heat, but not too high. Whatever that means.

When it’s just Goldilocks right, fry those veggies! Be careful, though, cause you could burn your foot like I did. It was not a pleasant experience, trust me.

Anyway, you’re going to fry those veggies until they are golden brown and the best way to do so is to turn them over once in awhile. Once they have browned, place them on a bed of paper towels to soak up excess oil and then they’ll be ready for consumption.

Despite my frustrations with frying, these turned out well. The coconut is the most assertive taste and it sweetens up the greasy oil taste you normally have with fried foods.

The fried plantains were a little strange for me. It tasted fine, but I wasn’t a fan of combing that kind of mushy texture with fried batter. The taro was a little stiff too, but still tasty. I’ll admit the sweet potato was my favorite, even though it makes me a little sad  to admit it. I feel uncultured.

Oh well, you like what you like right?


Crème de Maïs, French for Cream of Corn Soup

I was skeptical about this recipe. Despite the fact that I was born and raised in Indiana, I’m not really a corn lover. I know, it’s blasphemous of me. On second thought, maybe I just don’t like raw corn, because I do love popcorn and cornbread. These are deep-rooted issues I must explore. Am I denying my heritage by refusing corn? Do I only care for corn that mixes with other ingredients or learns to puff themselves up out of a kernel? Who knew I could make food into a metaphor about my life?

Anyway, this recipe comes from At Home with the French Classics, but it’s not authentic for those who care about that sort of thing. The author fully admits it’s more of a French-American classic, because he uses milk instead of Béchamel sauce. He seems to feel it doesn’t take away from the taste though. The major differences are more aesthetic.

What you’ll need to make this is, 5 tablespoons of butter, 1 diced onion, 2 diced carrots, 1 diced celery stalk, 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour, 4 cups of water, 4 cups of milk, and about 4 cups of fresh corn.

The first step is to heat your butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the vegetables and gently saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add the flour and stir once in awhile for about 4 minutes.

Once everything is cooked, but not browned, you will add the water, milk, and corn. Bring this to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Again, be sure to stir it once in awhile. Occasional stirring is extremely important in all kinds of cooking, but especially soups it seems.

After your 10 minutes are up, feel free to season with salt and pepper and simmer under medium-low heat for 40 minutes. Check it for foam periodically and skim the foam when you see it until your 40 minutes are up.

The final result should be a light and creamy texture. If it’s not though, there are solutions. If it’s too thick, add water and if it’s too thin, just boil it some more.

I was pleased with my final result, but I didn’t have high expectations as I mentioned earlier. It’s not something I would love to have again, but it wasn’t bad either. If you or someone you love, loves corn though, by all means try this recipe out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

IMG_1317 (1)

The crème de la crème of corn soup


A is for Aphrodisiac Asparagus Soup

Did you know that asparagus is an aphrodisiac? I find this surprising. I mean it is most certainly healthy. It cleanses your urinary tract and kidneys and provides you with energy. Energy is always helpful for vigorous sexy times. What I can’t get over (this falls under the category of  TMI, but I know I’m not the only one) is it makes my urine smell real funky. I don’t know how others feel, but for me that’s not conducive to feeling sexy. When I eat asparagus, I feel just about as sexy as Old Gregg from The Mighty Boosh.

This is how I feel when I eat asparagus.

Apparently the French are big believers in the sexual prowess that is bestowed upon them when eating asparagus. It is tradition to eat asparagus for every meal the day before your wedding night. So naturally, the cookbook At Home with the French Classics has a Cream of Asparagus Soup. Notice, how those Frenchies take it even further with the cream reference? Those dirty little cheese lovers.

To make this soup you will need, 2 tablespoons of butter, 3 pounds of asparagus, salt, pepper, 6 cups of chicken stock, 2 1/2 tablespoons of either arrowroot, potato starch, or cornstarch dissolved in 2 1/2 tablespoons of cold water, and 1/4 cup of heavy cream.

The fist step is to heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted you will add your asparagus, which should be cut into inch lengths without the stems. Saute the asparagus for about five minutes or until they are a bright green. Feel free to season them with salt and pepper as well.

Once the asparagus is cooked, you add the stock and bring it to a boil. While its boiling some foam will rise up. The cookbook calls this impurities that you will need to skim off and remove I’m not sure if that’s a sexual reference or if it’s symbolic of virginal wedding nights. Someone probably knows, but I do not.

You will boil the asparagus in the stock for about 5 minutes. The cookbook also mentions you can keep the asparagus tips for garnish. I do recommend this if you are planning on seduction because the tips of asparagus are pretty phallic. In fact, I say you should just make a giant phallic sculpture of them as a table centerpiece.

Whether you decide to do that or not, the next step is blend the asparagus and stock. I used my excruciating method of transferring the soup back and forth between the blender and two pots. If you’ve got the money, I recommend buying an immersion blender. Whenever I make soups like this I fantasize about those things.

Once everything is blended, you’ll want to simmer your soup and whisk in the starch. I just used cornstarch because I had some from a previous recipe. Once that’s nice and whisked, you add your cream.

The final result is an extremely sexy soup that will make your pee smell funky, but will also get you all ready to funk. If you know what I mean.

Creamy, sexy, goodness

Creamy, sexy, goodness