Butternut Squash and Red Curry Soup. Absolute fall fav!

Butternut Squash and Red Curry Soup

butternut squash soup - tartine & maple

 

I can’t get tired of that soup! This has to be my favorite in the fall! It’s sweet, spice, creamy, comforting, warming… and it has the color of fall! I have made it over and over and finally penned down my favorite version, for you. You can play with the variations, but try this first, it won’t disappoint!

2 ways of doing it: the longer version is to roast all the veggies first before doing the soup. Yes, it is like an extra hour of cooking, and another dish to clean, but I really like to do that if I have time, because roasting intensify the sweetness of the veggies and fruit. All the natural sugar of the ingredients get caramelized first… hum! Shorter version is excellent as well if you can’t wait that long, just throw everything together in the saucepan and make your soup!

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs) peeled and cubed

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 apple (gala) peeled and chopped

4 garlic cloves peeled

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

fresh ginger, about 1 inch, peeled and chopped

1 can coconut milk

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp thai red curry paste

salt, pepper to taste

chicken or vegetable broth or water

Instructions:

Method 1: Place squash, carrots, apple, garlic and onion in baking dish with oil and roast for an hour at 200f. When cooked, throw everything in large saucepan with remaining ingredients. Add enough broth or water to cover. Simmer for 15 min. Blend with immersion blender and add more water to desire consistency.

Method 2: Place all ingredients in large saucepan. Add enough broth or water to cover. Simmer until squash and carrots are soft. Blend with immersion blender and add more water to desire consistency.

Make about 8 cups. Freeze leftover. Serve with creme fraiche or coconut cream and crispy croutons or bacon!

XOXO

Tartine

Recipe review: gluten free sugar cookies

I am so exited to share this recipe with all of you that
can’t or won’t eat gluten! yes you can have it! A delicious sugar
cookies, that can be enjoyed by not only you, but everyone around!
They will never know they are gluten free! This is the recipe, and
I haven’t changed a thing beside opting for butter instead of
Crisco, and they turn beautifully! Here is the recipe found on Food.com.

I thought about sharing this quickly, as you might want to have
this recipe on hand for the holidays coming up, if you’re like
us… we always prepare sugar cookies for Halloween and Christmas,
that we decorate and share with friends and neighbors.

This year, my friend, who has recently been diagnosed with celiac disease,
myself and our kids, did an Halloween workshop where we decorated
cookies and made some homemade decorations! It was a lot of fun,
and we were very happy that this recipe turned so well, so we could
all enjoy it! Of course, we let the kids, who can happily eat
anything, go wild with their decoration…

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If you want to decorate your cookies, and keep them gluten free,use a simple icing made of icing sugar (which is just sugar and

cornstarch) and water. Food coloring should not contain gluten (I
use Wilton’s), so you can color your icing. And know that I haven’t search for all
the candies, but Jelly Belly do not contain gluten. Those can be used for
fun decors! Of course, they are delicious on their own too…

Hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Here is a few shots of
our crazy decoration. For ideas, you can visit my Halloween board
on Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/tartinemaple/halloween/

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Happy Halloween!!! XOXO Tartine

Rainbow Cake for birthday party!!!

Rainbow Cake

Rainbow Cake - Tartine & Maple

Hello foodies!!!

I know it’s been a while! Time flew by those past few months, but I really want to write again! I plan to write a post about what has been going on in the kitchen and why I’ve been silent for all this time… But that’s for another day.

Today I wanted to share the making of the Rainbow Cake, that I’ve done for my daughter’s 4th birthday, because it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!! I am usually the type to run away from unnaturally colored food, but for a kid’s birthday, totally worth it! And the colors didn’t take anything away from the taste, it was really good!

But I am not going to take any credit on the recipe, I have follow to the T one of Martha Stewart recipe’s (yes, her again, I know, she just nails the party cakes though!!!), whom shouldn’t take so much credit either, because this recipe was in the 1st placed from “Whisk Kid” blogger Kaitlin Flannery. So if you want to give some credit to the blogger, visit this page for the recipe!!! How cool for her, she got to go the Martha Show to demonstrate how to make her rainbow cake! We watched the video with my kids before getting to it, they loved it right away!

Rainbow Cake - Tartine & Maple

Anyhow, no retyping of a recipe that’s not mine, but just to note, the recipe calls for 2 batches of Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and I have done only one batch, and did it with 2 tsp of vanilla extract instead of lemon. I though just one big batch of it was enough, I didn’t have those thick layers of frosting between each layer of cake, but that was just right to my taste, and apparently to everyone else’s taste!

This is the ingredients list for one big batch of vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

9 egg whites
1 ¾ c (350 g) sugar
4 sticks (452 g) butter, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract

Now, here is the work in pictures for you:

First, prepare your parchment paper, to place at the bottom of your pans. As you can see, even a soon to be 4 year old can do it 😉

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Then, you’ll do the cake batter. Once it’s done, separate it in 6 bowls. It helps that the bowls are all same size, so you can eyeball the same quantity in each of them. Then add the color! I use an Icing Colors Set from Wilton. You don’t want to do that with regular liquid food colorant, it won’t be vibrant enough. Gel colorant are best for great color! I added maybe 1/8 of a tsp of color in each.  Kids had so much fun mixing the batter and seeing it turning into vibrant colors! It’s like art and baking at the same time!

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Then you bake. I had only 2 cake mold of the same size, so I had to bake them in 3 separate batch 😦 . If I do that again, i will buy 6 disposable mold, to cut on the baking time! See how the colors are so vibrant?! And the buttered parchment paper at the bottom, totally worth it! Cake just fell from the mold without a fight!

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Then the buttercream part! I had done Swiss Meringue Buttercream before, so I was not too worried about it, but there is nothing to be afraid of.. Actually, Kaitlin has a great post on her Whisk Kid blog about how to make it, and she even has tips and what to do if things turn weird. Check it out before you start, if it’s your first time at it! As you can see, birthday girl couldn’t wait to try it! This stuff is good!!! And then you spread a bit between each layers of cake. I refrigerated the buttercream for about 30 min after I finished making it, so it is a bit more stable, and doesn’t run from between layers.

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Then did a crumb coat, and refrigerated for 1 hour before finishing the outside frosting. This allow the crumb coat to set and your outside layer of buttercream will remain white and crumb-free! Optional: added rainbow sprinkles all over…

Anyhow, this cake was a hit! You should hear the Ho and Ha when I pull that first slice!!! The recipe is really good, the cake is really tasty and not overly sweet. it is well worth the effort, trust me! Beside birthday party, this could be a great cake for a Pride party, St. Patrick day or any rainbow lover’s occasion!

To top it up, I also made a tray of my famous Rainbow Jello!!! This time I poured it in a rectangular mold and cut it out with cookie cutters. Big time saver to not pour the layers in tiny cups like last time… Just make sure your cookie cutters are high enough to cut through all the layers!

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It was a delicious and colorful party! And even though I have been staying away from sugar lately, I’ll definitely do an exception for kid’s birthday. I always have so many ideas of stuff to bake for them!

What are you baking for your kids’ birthdays?

XOXO

Tartine

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Rainbow Jello

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Boeuf Bourguignon and the 50th post!

Boeuf Bourguignon

Photo 2013-04-21 10 52 54 AM

“I cook with wine, sometimes, I even add it to the food I cook” – Julia Child

Hello all!!!

Yeah! I’m still here, and this is my 50th post!!! So much has happen since I started writing this blog, I’ve got a bit lost myself a few time…

When I started this blog, I was really into all kinds of food, but mostly the sweets… then I took a break because of lack of time, made a come back, and took a break because of a change of diet… You might have notice that since the beginning of this year, it has been trending healthier around here… Well, yes, for the benefit of my health (and I reassure you, no big drama health wise, just some re-adjustment to do) I started to see a Naturopathic doctor. That’s the way I’ve been wanted to go for a while, taking care of myself, and my family the simplest and most natural way possible. As my doctor recommended, at least for while, to try to stay away from dairy, grains and sugar, it quickly became evident that a Paleo diet was the way to go. Remember a few posts ago, I was kind of making fun of the Paleo directives in Sugar Free, Butter Free Peanut Butter Muffins. Am I Paleo yet?. Well since, I have research it, and it started to make really a lot of sense, at least for me, to go that route. But of course, I love food, so I will not follow it 100%, unless, really, my health depends on it, and also I have limitation when it comes to make a family dinner that everyone will eat and the cost of eating grass fed meat, and organics, is just not in our budget. But I have learned to make better choices with what I can find around me and it’s working pretty good!

Anyhow, if you are interested in reading more about Paleo, I really recommend scrolling through this web-site, it explains all the guideline and the why of which food is good or bad: http://paleodietlifestyle.com/paleo-101/. Also, it is important to know that it is not a diet to loose weight, but rather to go healthy, which this post explains well: http://stuffyoushould.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/you-should-stop-dieting/. What I like about this way of eating is that it en-lights you on facts that fat and meats are not bad for you if you choose them wisely, but the most important thing is to stay away from processed food, which I can totally deal with!!!

So, Boeuf Bourguignon, is it Paleo? Hey why not, it’s all natural ingredients, and most Paleo dieters will drink wine if they have to choose an alcohol, as it’s not made from grains…

Never made BB? Of course you could go with the Julia Child version, but it is a bit complicated and long for a 1st timer; http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe/julia-childs-beef-bourguignon-8222804. Mine is the same ingredients pretty much, but just easier, which is very much like this recipe found on Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Boeuf-Bourguignon-104754.

Because i’m a bit lazy lately about writing, I copied this last recipe for the post, and changed the ingredients to what I have used and a few instructions. But the technique is all the same, and OMG the results!!!

It is a super classic homey comfy stew that everyone loves! Best served on fresh pasta, or with a side of mash potaoes. For Paleo, you could do a celery root mash, or a side of roasted veggies, like those amazing Brussels Spouts I made last time! recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-brussels-sprouts-recipe2/index.html, I just added a bit of mash garlic to it 😉

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  • 1/4 pound thick-sliced bacon
  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (omit for Paleo or gluten free, or sprinkle a bit of arrowroot starch)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more OO for dairy free version)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (4-inch) piece of celery
  • 4 fresh parsley stems (no leaves)
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves (not California)
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine (preferably Burgundy or Côtes du Rhône)
  • 1 pound small (1 1/2-inch) boiling onions or pearl onions (optional)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, quartered if large

Cook bacon in large heavy pot that can contain the whole stew, then scoop the bacon out onto a paper towel, leaving the fat in the pan.

Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Divide flour and beef between 2 (1-quart) sealable plastic bags, seal, then shake to coat meat.

Add 1‚ tablespoons oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter into the pot with bacon fat, over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown beef well on all sides in 2 or 3 batches, without crowding, adding remaining ‚ tablespoon oil as needed. Transfer to a bowl.

Pour off any excess oil from pot, then add wine to pot. Deglaze by boiling over high heat 1 minute, stirring and scraping up brown bits, then pour over beef.

Tie celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and cloves together with kitchen string to make a bouquet garni (tuck cloves into celery so they don’t fall out).

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in the same pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chopped onions, garlic, and carrots, then stirring, until onions are pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add remaining wine, stock, meat with juices, and bouquet garni and simmer gently, partially covered, until meat is tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. This can be done in a slow cooker, of dutch oven. Check the meat once in while to make sure it’s tender.

Optional: While meat simmers, blanch boiling onions in boiling salted water 1 minute and drain in a colander. Rinse under cold running water, then peel. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute
 boiling onions, stirring occasionally, until browned in patches. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups water (1 1/2 cups if using pearl onions), then simmer, partially covered, until onions are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 5 to 10 minutes.

Heat remaining tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute
 mushrooms, stirring, until golden brown and any liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir onions and mushrooms into stew and cook 10 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and skim any fat from surface of stew. Season with salt and pepper.

If the sauce is too thin, strained everything out, and place the sauce back on medium high heat and let it reduce to desired consistency (you can add more flour or starch for thickening). Not too much! you want to make sure you have enough sauce remaining!

Cooks’ note:·Boeuf bourguignon may be made 1 day ahead. Cool, uncovered, then chill, covered (it tastes even better made ahead because it gives the flavors time to develop). If making ahead, it’s easier to remove fat from surface after chilling.

Bon appetit!!!!

XOXO – Tartine

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Best Ever Banana Bread to celebrate its day!

Best Ever Banana Bread

best ever banana bread - tartine& maple

Who doesn’t love a good banana bread? Yes indeed, this classic of american cuisine has it’s own celebrated day, today!!! I tried to research some fact about were and when it comes from, but that wasn’t really interesting… I just give you a short paragraph from Wiki:

Banana bread first became a standard feature of American cookbooks with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930s, appeared in Pillsbury‘s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook,[2] and later gained more acceptance with the release of the original Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950.[3]

Look at the goodness inside!

Look at the goodness inside!

This is the perfect way to use up those brown bananas, and as a matter of fact, I did have 4 of those darken fruits on my counter, not even planning on making banana bread this week-end! Some other great ideas of  what to do with ripped bananas is a super easy food processor ice cream! Yes indeed, you can find how to in this post:

Peanut Butter & Jam Popsicles: a treat that’s good for you… and the kids

Anyway, back to the banana bread. You have seen on this blog, different variations of banana bread, in muffin forms, with healthy alternative, and let me tell you those are really good!!! the posts are:

Sugar Free, Butter Free Peanut Butter Muffins. Am I Paleo yet?

Banana Bread Muffins: low fat, low sugar, no guilt!!!

But, to celebrate the special day, I decided to go with a more authentic recipe this time, that doesn’t care about healthiness and nutrition, just goodness!!! Also, I think my husband is getting tired of my try out at “healthy” baking… Although they are really good, he always has some comments about the stevia aftertaste, or just plainly: “it’s good, but it’s just not the same…” Yeah, I am one of those to never do the same, I always, I mean, always, have to change something in a recipe… Look, again, Id did some changes! My choice of using coconut oil, is because I prefer using oil rather than butter in banana cakes, I think it makes them fluffier  and coconut oil adds a subtle nutty taste to the cake. Same with the brown sugar, it’s just a taste thing, rather that using plain white sugar, brown sugar adds a little more carameley taste to it! Whole wheat flour I think goes great with the heartiness of the cake. I don’t use whole wheat usually in cakes, but I think it goes particularly well with banana and carrot cakes in general.

So there it is, I picked one of the most rated recipe of banana bread from the internet, int his case, from the Food Network web site: Flour’s Famous Banana Bread. If you look at the rating and number of reviews, you want to make this, like right now!!! Seems pretty fool proof! With the few modification from above, and voila!!!

I also love to cut my banana bread in thin slices, toast it and eat it for breakfast with peanut butter and maple syrup… Like we did this morning!!! Oh my, amazing!!! Tonight  we have company, and I am planning on serving it with homemade coconut ice cream, that should be pretty outstanding too… I let you know soon! And this time, hubby was definitely in banana cake haven! He barely waited for the cake to cool and almost ruined it by trying to cut  it while warm! I have to admit, it was delicious right out the over, but easier to slice once completely cool!

best ever banana bread - tartine& maple

What is your favorite recipe? How do you eat it?

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Ham and Cheese Soufflé, with foolproof tips!

Ham and Cheese Soufflé

Ham & Cheese Souffle - Tartine & Maple

Cheese souffle has been an all time favorite of ours when we were kids. My grand mother and my mum used to make it on a regular basis. Yep, even on school nights! It’s really not that hard, like most people think. I think a lot of homey cooks are worried about the flop effect, the nightmare on the table, when the beautiful puff is just deflating in front of your hungry guests… I understand..

That’s why I have including a bunch of tips below the recipe, and you’ll tell me, if , after following all that, it didn’t work, but honestly, I believe in you, it will be amazing 😉

Also, if you can, make sure to choose a good quality cheese, rich in flavor, a raw milk hard cheese like Comté or Gruyère are the best. if you don’t have those, use some fresh Parmesan. But please don’t use any of that factory shredded mozza or swiss package cheese, too bland!!!

And when you make souffle, you are allowed to be rude to your guests; do whatever it takes to have them sitting at the table before it comes out of the oven, even with all the tips in the world, the souffle will eventually deflate! Serve it before it happens!

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Mardi Gras King’s Cake – Sweet memories of the Big Easy

Mardi Gras King’s Cake

Mardi Gras King's Cake - Tartine & Maple

Happy Mardi-Gras (Fat Tuesday) everyone!!!

I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I did live in New Orleans, AKA “The Big Easy”, for about 18 months, and that’s where I met my husband! It was also right around the time of 9/11 and followed by a SuperBowl! Needless to say, we went to some real ups and downs during that time. Thankfully we had left before Katrina, but I remember sobbing uncontrollably when watching the news during that time…

Mardi Gras is such a huge deal for New Orleans, and after Katrina, for many years, everyone would say that it just wasn’t the same. But nowadays, for what I can gather  the party is fully back on and the decadence is back in the street full force! When I say decadence, I mean it! It was borderline intimidating sometime to be out there!!! But so much fun! A life experience for sure!

But do you know why Mardi-Gras is celebrated? A little bit of history for you:

Mardi-Gras (literally “Fat Tuesday”) is originally a catholic event which marks the end of the “week of the seven fat days” which were known as “jours charnels” (meaning carnival) in the old days. Before Ash Wednesday, the start of the fasting period of Lent, people celebrated in many diverse ways as it was their last chance until Easter to eat meat.

The word “carnival” derives from the Latin “carnelevare” meaning “to take out the meat”. Indeed, meat was banished from the table during the whole period of Lent, as was sugar, ingredients containing fat, eggs and dairy products. If in Europe, the religious observance of Lent is followed by a rather small group of people, the celebrations around Mardi-Gras are still an opportunity  taken by many to enjoy outdoor feasts, masquerade processions, masked balls, parades, pageants, jugglers, magicians and stilt walkers. This is what French people call “le Carnaval”.

Alongside crêpes, two other closely related treats are prepared on Mardi-Gras: waffles andbeignets.

Mardi Gras kings cake - Tartine & Maple

The story about the Mardi Gras King’s Cake is actually the same as of Epiphany French King Cake, but celebrated on different dates! If you want the full story, you can visit this page. But just like it, we hide something in the cake, here it is usually a little plastic baby, and the one who finds it, has to bake or buy the next King Cake. The tradition runs from the beginning of the year all the way until Mardi Gras Day.

The cake is a brioche type of dough, rolled with a sweet mixture of sugar cinnamon and nuts. It is baked and covered in icing and colored sugar, the colors you find EVERYWHERE in New Orleans at this time of the year: Purple (representing Justice), Green (representing Faith) and Gold (representing Power).

Mardi Gras kings cake - Tartine & Maple

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