Tag Archives: Dorie Greenspan

Cookies And Kindness

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Paris wins September.

Hello out there! Are we really half-way through September? That’s just crazy talk. It’s still in the high 90’s here in Austin, despite the fact that I have banished all my white and light-colored cottons in celebration of fall. Good news is that the forecast teases that a week from tomorrow we may plunge into the mid 80’s, so we will plough through one more week, gnashing our teeth each time we are confronted with a pumpkin-spiced anything or instagrams of people wearing sweaters.

You know what else is crazy talk? Soooo  many of the words being spewed at us from the television during this nutso presidential race. Much of it makes my heart hurt and my stomach clench. Don’t worry- not going to use this as a platform for my political views, but I will say that I was pretty sad to see Michelle Obama’s optimistic convention proclamation that “we will take the high road” take a steep dive to the low road in a deplorable basket. Let’s all try to get through the next two and a half months without name-calling, shall we?

I did read about a campaign that made me very happy this week. Dorie Greenspan is a force of nature in the baking world, having published twelve fabulous cookbooks. Her newest, Dorie’s Cookies, is due out next month. I had the pleasure of meeting Dorie in New York City several years ago, and she is just as precious in person as she is in print (and she seems to be in print everywhere I look). Somehow Dorie manages to maintain an active on-line presence, and that is where I came across her campaign for Cookies and Kindness. In a nutshell, Dorie is sharing  cookie recipes from her new book in hopes of encouraging us to bake and then share on-line and in the real world. This month’s recipe was for Two Bite One Chip cookies. They are tiny balls of cookie hiding a chip of your choice. I couldn’t pick just one, and tucked chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips inside my cookies (but only one in each- they are tiny!).

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How many cookies can you fit in a margarita glass?

I plan to pop these babies in the mail tomorrow and send them to a family that could use a sweet surprise. There is my own bit of optimism for you- it will be an exercise in restraint to avoid eating all of these up before I make it to the post office.

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Go forth into the week with kindness, cookies, and optimism, mes amis. We could all use a good dose of each, I think.

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Filed under baking, Uncategorized

A Soup Day in Paris

Today is Wednesday, which those of you who have been paying attention know is my market day.  I just needed a few things, and the sky was sooo blue, I thought I would walk to President Wilson Market rather than take the metro two stops, as I usually do.  Then I looked at my iPhone.

Whaaaa??  Really??

Whaaaa?? Really??

I quickly changed my mind and got on that metro after all.

My list was short because I planned to make Dorie Greenspan’s Red Kuri Soup for dinner, which has only four ingredients, one of which is water.  If you are like me, you are now wondering the heck red kuri is.  In France we call it potimarron (well, some of us do- I just point and smile), and it is a gorgeous  squash that is in season here until the end of fall (which I would say is about now, given the morning’s temperature).  I wanted to try this squash whose French name  sounds like pumpkin+chestnut.

Although I love winter squash, I frequently shy away from them because they can be so hard to peel and chop.  I am not known for my knife skills, and have a permanently bent pinkie to prove it.  So I was thrilled to learn that this particular squash doesn’t need to be peeled!  The skin cooks with the insides and is completely edible. Hooray for potimarron!

Are you ready to see what it looks like?  Voila.

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Is that about the most beautiful hue you have ever seen?  J’adore.

Although I didn’t have to peel this beauty, I did have to chop it into pieces, and that proved to be a daunting task.  Thank goodness for the internet, who told me to stick it in the microwave for 5 minutes or so until my chef’s knife could penetrate it without danger of self-mutilation.  It seems obvious now, but I don’t know that I would have thought of that on my own.   So after several spins in the microwave, I was able to slice this baby open.

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I scooped out the seeds and strings and then easily chopped it into chunks.

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Here they are, floating happily in milk and water with some chopped leeks.  They stayed there for a half hour or so, until they were soft and ready for the blender.  Then they turned into this.

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I added a big dose of flour de sel and will garnish with toasted hazelnuts and creme fraiche.  I am hoping the other two will like it, but even if they don’t, they will have to admit that it’s beautiful.  And then they can eat bread.

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This recipe is from Dorie’s Around My French Table, but I also saw it on the internet when I was looking up “red kuri squash” and here is the link.

Thanks for stopping by Mais Oui Paris, where it’s all Paris, all the time.  Unless it’s not.  You just never know until you get here!

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Filed under cooking, food markets

Do you know what this is?

Raise your hand if you know what this is.  Yes, I knew a few of you true foodies would know.   Surely I am not the only one who had never met the versatile celery root?  I have seen celeri-rave on many a French menu, usually in a puree, but had never identified it at the market, much less dared to purchase one.  However, when Dorie Greenspan recommended it as the perfect accompaniment to her Orange Pork Loin in Around My French Table , who was I to resist?

I boiled the cubed celery root with one potato and onion in salted milk and water, and then drained and mashed it.  It had the consistency and appearance of mashed potatoes, but with an earthier depth of flavor.  I loved it.  Of course, the big hunk of salted French butter I mashed in didn’t hurt it any.  Yum.

Do we have celery root at our grocery stores at home?  If so, take one home and get to know it.  It might just be the beginning of something beautiful from something very ugly.

P.S.  Have I mentioned I love Dorie’s cookbook?  And it’s not ugly.  It’s very, very beautiful.

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