Sunday, February 18, 2018


Link to recipe

 1hr 45mins



  1. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan although you could use a 13 x 9 pan using a smaller pan will result in a thicker casserole.
  2. Peel the eggplants then slice 1/4-inch thick (or a little thicker won't hurt).
  3. Brush cookie sheet with olive oil.
  4. Coat each side of sliced eggplant with olive oil then season slices with salt and freshly ground pepper (I use seasoned salt for this and use as much pepper as desired).
  5. Place the eggplant slices on cookie sheet; broil under the broiler until brown; turn and broil the other side, brushing with oil if needed; repeat with all eggplant slices.
  6. In the bottom of the prepared baking dish arrange half of the eggplant slices.
  7. In a large skillet, combine beef and onions; cook stirring until the beef is no longer pink and the onions are soft; drain fat.
  8. Add in the garlic, tomato sauce, oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper to taste; pour mixture over eggplant slices.
  9. Arrange the remaining eggplant slices over the beef mixture.
  10. PREPARE THE CHEESE SAUCE: Melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in flour, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste; gradually stir in half and half or milk, cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
  11. In a small bowl, beat egg; stir in some of the hot sauce, then add egg to sauce mixture, mix well; add in Parmesan cheese, and stir again.
  12. Pour the cheese sauce over mixture in baking dish.
  13. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.
  14. Cut into squares.
  15. Note: If doubling this recipe to serve 8 it is best to make two separate casseroles instead of one larger one.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Cheese Tart or Tarte au Fromage Blanc

I wanted to serve a dessert from Alsace as we studies wines from that region. I found this recipe online from Brigille's Kitchen.

Note: regarding wine pairing: Because this dessert is not overly sweet or fruity, it pairs best with more neutral whites such as Pinot Blanc, or even a sparkling Crémant if you wish to finish your meal on a fresher note. The Cremant was perfect!

6 servings

For the dough:

  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 T. fine sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • pinch of salt
For the filling:
  • 1# fromage blanc or 16 oz ricotta cheese drained. I used store ricotta.
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche. I used heavy cream
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup fine sugar
  • 3/1/2 Maizena or corn starch.  I used corn starch
  • 1 lemon
  • pinch of salt
Preparation Steps:
  1. Prepare the pastry dough in a large bowl, blend with your fingers the flour, sugar, butter, vegetable oil and salt until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Gradually add the cold water, mixing until a crumbly dough begins to form. Do not overwork the dough. Add more water as needed or more flour if it is too wet and sticky. Form a ball and dust with flour. Wrap in wax paper for 1 hour in refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9 inch deep sided pie  plate. On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry dough into a circle and place in the pi plate. Prick the bottom of the pastry shell all over with a fork and chill for 10 minutes before baking.
  3. Wash and dry the lemon and then grate the rind in a bowl. Add and mic together the drained cheese, the cream, 3 egg yolks, corn starch, and sugar.
  4. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt to stiff peak stage and fold gently into the cheese mixture with a spatula.
  5. Pout the filling into the pastry shell and smooth the surface with a spatula. Make for 40 minutes or until the filling is puffed and golden. Let the tart cool before serving.

Food Friday: How To Use Spice Blends, Marinades, And Rubs To Get The Most Out Of Your Cooking
This was delicious!

I ordered the book, Cooking with Spices: 100

Mattar Pilau

Jan made this to accompany Tandoor-Style Shrimp. The recipe is from Dianne. It was a delicious pairing.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Italian Lemon Pound Cake

Italian Lemon Pound Cake
Please Say Something to keep getting my recipes, thank you <3
Full Recipe :

Sunday, December 31, 2017


Nicole's wine group studied Burgundy on December 19th. It was so much fun to attend with Claire and to have her meet the group. These were the wines we tasted.  More about that later.

Puzzling and wine study are starting a little early, December 29, 2017.  I think this is a great way to end 2017. I plan to share some Christmas eve leftovers:

  • Crab cakes
  • Bacon wrapped blue cheese stuffed dates.
  • Spinach artichoke dip
The Burgundy wines.

Les Clos Grand Crus Domaine Besson 2014 13% abv.

As described by Last Bottle where I purchased this for $16/bottle.
NOTHING could sustain our high spirits more than this Chardonnay today, oh yes!! Just keep that glass filled! From a family producer for over a century, Camille Besson makes classic, pure and super-fresh Chablis with a touch of ripeness to balance out the acidity and minerality that we know, love, and crave. Every day. Every hour. At this price?? C'mon - we're filling up for NEXT summer!! What's it going to taste like? When you pull the cork, the first whiff is like that delish English lemon marmalade we love -- then comes lime, bergamot, grapefruit, minerality and even some sweet apple. Crisp and long and brilliant!

The winemaker
Grandson of a cooper, son of winemaker, Alain Besson took over in 1981 the family estate made up of the two previous generations. After having enlarged it, it has 21 ha which it exploits with its children Camille and Adrien. The first, oenologist, elaborates the wines, and the second takes care of the vines.
The opinion of Hachette Wine Guide
A little cask and eighteen months of vat to get this great vintage pleasant, especially in the mouth. On the nose, it seems that this wine is looking between yellow fruits, white flowers and some toasted and iodized notes. The palate is more structured, with matter, acidity and a well-blended oak.
Les Clos is the largest and most widely known of the seven climats of the Chablis Grand Cru white wine appellation. It covers a single, southwest-facing slope above the town of Chablis itself, and is planted exclusively to the Chardonnay grape variety. Chablis Les Clos wines are generally more powerful and intense than the other Grand Crus, and are often associated with ripe stonefruit, orange peel and honey. With a tendency to be more closed in their youth than those from the other climats, they are famous for their long-term aging potential, showing a balance between power and finesse..

Mischief and Mayhem Grand Vins de Bourgogne Bourgogne  2014 12.5% abv $32.99

about Mischief and Mayhem.
 Mischief and Mayhem. A winery, micro-négociant and domaine, created from scratch, and now with 14 vintages under its belt. This is a gradual process, a labour of love - indeed a lifetime's work.

We practice sustainable and organic viticulture, keep yields low in the vineyards, hand pick all grapes, and be as precise, delicate, and non-interventionalist as possible in the winery.

We use very little new oak for élevage, and most recently have begun experimenting more with stainless steel and ceramic vessels, so as to better preserve the true characteristics of the fruit that we work with.
These components all combine together and contribute to the creation of wines that are truly natural, pure and individual expressions of both grape variety and vineyard site. It sounds simple - in certain vintages it is, and in certain vintages it absolutely isn't, but these are the key things that guide us. has noted that the house style is “definitely modern.” The couple say that one of their goals is to demystify fine Burgundy wines by describing the provenance of the grapes for each bottle on the back label, along with information about the vintage and production details.

Winemaker Notes

Bright pale straw with hints of green and a water white rim. Intense nose of great purity, with plenty of lime, lemon and pear fruit, along with hints of apricot, flint, barley sugar and white currant. Lean, refreshing, and mineral with good intensity, ripeness, and acidic profile. Lemon notes and plenty of green apple fruit, along with hints of greengage, elderflower, mineral and delicate vanilla. The finish is lively, vibrant, long and pure.

Santenay Clos Rousseau  1er Cru 2014 Jacques Girardin 13% abv $44.99

about Santenay Clos Rousseau.
Clos Rousseau (also known as Petit Clos Rousseau) is one of the Cote d'Or's southernmost Premier Cru vineyards. It falls within the Santenay appellation on the border of the Cote Chalonnaise, and is planted mostly to Pinot Noir. Clos Rousseau wines are generally quite weighty, showing earthy, rustic characters of dried herbs and red fruit.

About 15 months in oak barrels 

Tasting advice
This climate always produces powerful wines with a good length in the mouth.
Aged 15-18 months in 20% new and 80% used oak. Fresh and elegant nose with dark fruit aromas. Deep garnet color. Very ripe dark fruit aromas: black currants, red plums. Layered texture and ripe tannins, round on the palate, followed by a long, satisfying finish. This Santenay is definitely a food wine, with its accessible style and firm yet rich structure. Aging potential 8 to 10 years. Superb value in a Premier Cru Burgundy

2014 Santenay 1er Cru “Clos Rousseau” Aged 15-18 months in 20% new and 80% used oak. Fresh and elegant nose with dark fruit aromas. Deep garnet color. Very ripe dark fruit aromas: black currants, red plums. Layered texture and ripe tannins, round on the palate, followed by a long, satisfying finish. This Santenay is definitely a food wine, with its accessible style and firm yet rich structure. Aging potential 8 to 10 years. Superb value in a Premier Cru Burgundy.