09 . 03Easy Chocolate Dessert Recipe

Chocolate Wafer Cake 4 510x368 Easy Chocolate Dessert Recipe

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Looking for an easy chocolate dessert recipe? This Mint Wafer Ice Cream Cake is the perfect quick desert recipe for those of us who love to make a spectacular dessert in under 10 minutes. Honestly. the secret is using cookies that transform overnight to taste like yummy thin layers of delicious chocolate cake.

I ordered a dozen boxes of tNabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafer cookies and keep them in my pantry. In the blink of an eye, I can make the flavored whipped cream and throw into the freezer  the night before serving. Who can resist this as a romantic dinner recipe or an easy dinner idea for company?

This recipe was inspired by  my favorite Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Mint Frosting recipe on this blog, but not nearly as much work.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cold heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavoring (add more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon green food coloring

1 (9-ounce) package Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers  (order from Amazon if not in your grocery store)

PREPARATION

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, peppermint flavoring, and green food coloring.

Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks.

Cover plate or platter with two pieces of wax paper, each laid half way across the plate, so they can easily be removed before serving.

To assemble, cover a chocolate wafer with whipped cream mixture, and repeat with another covered wafer. Lay sideways on a plate to assemble a long and skinny “log” of alternating wafers and whipped cream until you have 1o covered wafers in a row. The number of wafers can be adjusted depending on the length of your serving plate/platter.

Now, assemble second row of covered cookies and line up so you have is two side by side rows.

Cover three sides with remaining whipped cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and place in freezer overnight.

Remove from freezer and take away wax paper for presentation.

Cut in slices and serve. I like to add a sprig of fresh mint on each plate for garnish. You can also garnish with chocolate shavings.

NOTE

Don’t you just love easy chocolate dessert recipes? Chocolate seems to be everyone’s favorite desert.

This easy recipe is my variation of the traditional ice box cake. You can also prepare in a springform pan in layers alternating chocolate wafers and whipped cream mixture. Freeze and release spring form pan and serve in wedges.

- The Gourmet Review

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08 . 27Grilled Tuna Sandwich with Arugula | Easy Lunch Recipes

Giada tuna sandwich 490x368 Grilled Tuna Sandwich with Arugula | Easy Lunch Recipes

Courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Easy lunch recipes are sometimes the best recipes. This  simple to prepare Grilled Tuna Sandwich with Arugula, or what my favorite celebrity chef, Giada de Laurentiis, calls her Open Faced Tuna Sandwich with Arugula and Sweet Pickle Mayonnaise is a deliciously great recipe.  I love healthy recipes with a more modern twist for lunch, and this one is inspired by the traditional tuna sandwich.

Tuna steaks substitute for canned tuna and grilled ciabatta bread substitutes for ordinary sandwich bread. Forget boring. Add some fresh arugula,  and you have officially elevated an ordinary sandwich into a celebrity recipe sure to be a crowd pleaser.

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

4 (4 to 6-ounce) albacore tuna steak

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil, for drizzling, plus 1/4 cup

4 teaspoons Herbs de Provence *

4 slices sharp white Cheddar

1 (1-pound) loaf ciabatta bread, halved horizontally

2 cups arugula, thinly sliced

Mayonnaise

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup finely diced sweet pickles (about 2 pickles)

PREPARATION

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Season the tuna with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the herbs de Provence.

Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.

Place a slice of cheese on each piece of fish during the last minute of grilling.

Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom half of the bread with 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Cut into 4 pieces, each about 4-inches long and 3-inches wide.

Grill, cut side down, for 30 seconds to 1 minute until toasted and golden.

Spread the grilled bread with the sweet pickle mayonnaise.

Place a tuna steak on top.

Top with the arugula and drizzle with olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Mayonnaise

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and sweet pickles until smooth.

Cook’s Note: Make the leftover top half of the ciabatta into croutons by cutting into 1-inch pieces, drizzling with olive oil and baking for 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated 375 degree F oven. Alternatively, tear the bread into small pieces, allow to dry, and blend in a food processor to make bread crumbs.

 

*Herb de Provence is a delicious and aromatic blend of 6 herbs and spices that’s great for seasoning. It includes lavender flowers, oregano, fennel seeds, thyme, rosemary and summer savory. For me, because it’s easily available at any store,  I keep it in my pantry, rather than preparing from scratch.

NOTES

I must admit I love Giada’s cooking. Nothing beats healthy recipes that have the bonus of being easy recipes to prepare. I’m much too busy to spend hours and hours in the kitchen most days.  This tuna sandwich recipe comes from Giada’s cookbooks, Giada De Laurentiis.

This reminds me of another easy recipe for Giada’s Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops featured earlier on this blog. Hmm. That might just be perfect for dinner tonight!

 

- The Gourmet Review

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08 . 20Prosciutto and Melon | Easy Appetizer Recipe

Pam Prosciutto and Melon Prosciutto and Melon | Easy Appetizer Recipe

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Prosciutto and Melon is an easy appetizer recipe and a sure fire family or party pleaser. Quite simply, it’s not only an easy recipe, but a healthy recipe as well.

I’m always looking for a quick dinner recipe that can be beautifully presented. This fits the bill.

Best of all, you  can prepare this yummy recipe earlier in the day. How easy is that?

INGREDIENTS:

Cantaloupe (make sure it is ripe and can be any melon)

Sliced prosciutto   (Have your deli person slice some good Parma prosciutto.Remove the fat. Don’t worry if the slices aren’t perfect. This recipe is better if you stack the pieces of the prosciutto.)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Baby arugula  (enough to sprinkle on top for garnish) or micro arugula greens

1 lemon

 1 large piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano

PREPARATION

Peel the melon. Slice in half and scoop out the seeds.

Take a cookie cutter or anything with an edge that can cut through the melon and select a shape. Keep the cookie cutter on the melon.

Put the pieces of prosciutto on top of the melon (while still in the stack), to easily keep the integrity of the shape.

Top with pinch of  micro arugula greens for color. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice and a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top.

Remove whatever you are using to keep the appetizer shape and your tower should be complete.

Take a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano (no substitutes please). Use a fork or knife to pull small, uneven chunks and place on your appetizer plate next to the Prosciutto and Melon towers.

The taste combination of the prosciutto, melon, lemon juice and olive is the perfect counterpoint with the Parmigiano!

 

NOTE

I have a kit that is called “Stacks: The Art of Vertical Food” that I’ve had in my kitchen cabinet for years. The kit includes round, square and triangle stainless steel molds. It comes with a tamping tool with rod that pushes down any food in the stack to hold the shape.

You can improvise with any molds from your kitchen, but make sure they are tall enough to assemble the tower. My neighbor uses empty cans of mandarin oranges for her stacks. You can find any size tin can of food and do the same.

Why not treat your guests to Wolfgang Puck’s Pappardelle with Garlic and Tomato Recipe as a main course for a perfect dinner combination?

- The Gourmet Review

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08 . 13White Corn Soup With Dungeness Crab Recipe

Nells Medium 2 413x368 White Corn Soup With Dungeness Crab Recipe

This White Corn Soup With Dungeness Crab soup recipe tastes exactly as it sounds – absolutely delicious.

Always looking for a great recipe? This easy soup can be a perfect appetizer recipe or an easy dinner recipe if you need an elegant first course for a meal.

Classically trained Owner/Executive Chef  Philip Mihalski, from Seattle’s Nell’s restaurant, balances a fabulous combination of summer fresh white corn and the Pacific Northwest’s famous Dungeness crab.

Nell’s is an intimate dining experience loved by Seattle locals. Located across from Green Lake, Nell’s offers European-inspired New American cuisine. You’ll find only  the finest Northwest seasonal ingredients on the menu, which changes daily.

 

 

SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS

6 cups white corn cut from the cob

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons butter

3 1/2 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon chopped shallots

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

8 ounces Dungeness crab meat (shelled) optional

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

Salt and pepper to taste

 

PREPARATION

In stockpot over medium heat, melt butter and add onion.

Cook for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent.

Add stock and 1/2 cup cream and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add corn, salt and pepper. Bring back to a boil and cook 3 minutes.

Let cool slightly and puree in a blender.

Strain through a medium meshed strainer, working soup with a spatula to push through strainer. You want to remove the course pieces of corn, but be left with a creamy soup.

Check seasons for salt and pepper.

If soup is too thick, additional stock can be added.

When ready to serve, reheat soup.

In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup cream with shallots, salt and pepper.

When this has boiled, reduce heat to low, add crab and lemon juice. Stir just until crab is warm and add dill.

Ladle soup into eight bowls and place a spoonful of crab in the center of each and serve.

Enjoy!

 

 

- The Gourmet Review

 

 

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08 . 06Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

London Lobby Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane  is an absolute oasis in the heart of London’s Mayfair District. While the location is superb, the real treat is the hotel itself. Think luxury travel at it’s best.

London Doormen Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

From the moment guests cross the threshold, it feels like home.There simply isn’t anything  the hotel’s extraordinary staff won’t do to  make every stay a unique one.

FPO LON 239 800x528 Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

Courtesy Four Seasons London at Park Lane

The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane went through a recent renovation and is an exquisite jewell.  Beautifully backlit glass is featured in the most unexpected of places.

London Amaratta Bartender 493x368 Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

Gorgeous flower arrangements abound. Red and black interiors are punctuated with splashes of Asian accents.  Guests are enchanted  by the ultimate  blending of traditional British and modern day chic decor.

FPO LON 610 800x529 Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

Courtesy Four Seasons London at Park Lane

According to internationally reknown decorator, Pierre-Yves Rochon, who oversaw the recent renovation, the goal was  “clubby contemporary.”  “The guest rooms were inspired by staterooms on luxury passenger ships.“  There’s a modern take on traditional .   .   .   with a splash of Art Deco.”

It’s quite simply the impeccable attention to detail. That says it all, as even the hallways grab your attention and make you pause.

Pure luxury is what you want in a 5 star hotel if you love luxury travel. Pure luxury is what you get at this The Four Seasons jewell, plus a whole lot more.

London Bedroom face on bed 800x532 Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

Courtesy Four Seasons London at Park Lane

The rooms are spacious and elegant, providing the quiet serenity that guests need in one of the world’s busiest cities.

London Bathroom Best 553x700 Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

Courtesy Four Seasons London at Park Lane

Modern and surprisingly large bathrooms, complete with two sinks and television built into the mirror, are a surprise. Where else in London do you find such spacious rooms and bathrooms?  Nothing old or stuffy at The Park Lane.

FPO LON 166 800x533 Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

Courtesy Four Seasons London at Park Lane

We were traveling with our 13 year old granddaughter.    In advance of our arrival, the concierge arranged a horseback ride through Hyde Park. Imagine a young equestrian arriving at stables with cobblestone streets hundreds of years old!

While Four Seasons is known for being kid friendly, our experience was personalized beyond expectation. Stay tuned for more about our culinary adventures in an upcoming post.

FPO LON 434 465x700 Four Seasons Hotel London At Park Lane

Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

Of course, no visit to London is complete without afternoon tea, and we enjoyed this wonderful English tradition in the Amaranto lounge. Cozy and intimate, with piano music in the background and a lit fireplace, this was the ultimate way to end a sightseeing filled day in London.

Unfortunately, our trip came to an end too soon. We will be back and on our list will be a ride in the hotel’s  Rolls Royce or Bentley to dinner or the theater. Take my word for it, this is as close to royal treatment as it gets!

 

 

NOTE

P.S. Four Seasons, whether an urban or resort  setting is internationally known throughout the world. The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane  has earned its seemingly endless list of well deserved awards, whether its from Robb Report, or placement on every “World’s Best Hotel List” every year. There’s a reason. Now, it’s up to you to savor this experience for yourself.  

 

- The Gourmet Review

 

 

 

 

 

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07 . 23Cornish Game Hen Recipe | Four Seasons Hualalai | Easy Recipes

Hualalai Cornish Small Cornish Game Hen Recipe | Four Seasons Hualalai | Easy Recipes

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Leave it to Four Seasons Hualalai in Hawaii to create this delicious Cornish Game Hen Recipe. What could be better for a quick dinner recipe than a jazzy entree with an Asian twist?  Market fresh peas and pea tendrils are the perfect answer for great presentation. The best part? This easy recipe  can be prepared the night before.

Many thanks to Chef Ricardo at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai’s new Asian themed U’LU Restaurant on the Big Island of Hawaii for sharing this delicious recipe.

While we can’t duplicate the sandy beach and sunset on the Pacific Ocean that guests enjoy, we can dream about our return to Hawaii over a candlelight dinner savoring this Asian Cornish Game Hen romantic dinner recipe.

SERVES: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 cornish game hen
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup sake
2 ounces sugar
1 ounce sesame oil
2 ounces dark soy

PREPARATION

Place all ingredients, except the game hen, in a small sauce pot.

Bring to a boil and turn off the heat.

Place the sauce pan in the refrigerator to cool.

Once liquid is cold,  combine half of the soy mixture  with the
game hen.

Marinate for a minimum of 6 hours. 24 hours is best, so easiest to make up the night before.

Reserve the rest of soy mixture for later use. After marinating, roast in a 345 degree oven for 40 minutes or until bird reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees.

Once cooked, cut  game hen in 1/2 and serve with pea tendrils.

Drizzle leftover soy sake mixture over hen.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

- The Gourmet Review

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07 . 16Favorite Tequila Cocktail Recipe | Jalapeño Kick

123 Chadser Favorite Tequila Cocktail Recipe | Jalapeño  Kick

Courtesy 1 2 3 Tequila

My new favorite tequila cocktail recipe uses all the delicious ingredients pictured above. Healthy and fresh translate into the ultimate tequila chaser after a shot of Uno Dos Tres Tequila. (Dos is used in this recipe.)

When David Ravandi, founder of  1 2 3 Tequila (Uno Dos Tres) certified organic tequila,  prepared this cocktail over the weekend, friends agreed  they could become seriously addicted to this fresh and healthy combination of great tequila and refreshing chaser -the perfect blend of sweet and kick.

SERVES: 8

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle Dos Tequila ( or substitute  Blanco  or Tres Anjeo from Uno Dos Tres Tequila)

64 ounce fresh pineapple juice (we used one carton of pineapple juice from Trader Joe’s, but you can also make your own)

1 bunch cilantro leaves

1 bunch fresh mint leaves

A few slices of  jalapeño  to taste

PREPARATION

Blend all ingredients except the tequila  and add jalapeno to taste. Strain.

First, serve a shot of Dos Tequila. Follow it up quickly with a shot of chaser. Now that’s sheer perfection!

 

NOTE

Check out Four Seasons Resort Hualalai ’s beach front event when their top chefs created  sweet and savory pairings with Uno Dos Tres Tequila. Mouthwatering and beautifully prepared food with an ocean backdrop made this a perfect culinary event. The tequila infused chocolate truffle was the highlight of the evening!

 

 

 

- The Gourmet Review

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07 . 09Curried Zucchini & Cauliflower Soup Recipe | African Safari Cooking

Bataleur zucchini osup Curried Zucchini & Cauliflower Soup Recipe | African Safari Cooking

Courtesy The Gourmet Revieww

This Curried Zucchini and Cauliflower Soup is the second delicious soup I’m featuring from Bateleur Tented Camp in Kenya. How does a chef come up with fantastic recipes based on fresh ingredients for guests returning from safari? The Masai Mara is not an urban city with access to lots of produce.

Executive Chef Joseph Nkoyo and Chef Michael Chui have managed to succeed in this unusual setting on the Masai Mara. It’s hard to compete with photographing lions, elephants, giraffes ands cheetahs. It’s a challenge growing fresh vegetables and herbs in a camp garden that looks mighty attractive to elephants and monkeys. When I had a special tour of the garden, the fence had been knocked down the night before by an elephant!

Enjoy this wonderful soup in your home.

SERVES: 10

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups diced onion

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup diced garlic

4 cups diced zucchini

4 cups diced cauliflower

3 teaspoons mild curry powder

8.5 cups (2 liters) good chicken stock

1 cup thick plain yogurt

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: fried leek strands, crispy onion or fried fresh herbs such as basil or parsley

PREPARATION

Saute onions in olive oil until almost brown.

Add garlic until soft.

Acc zucchini and cauliflower.

Add spices and chicken stock.

Simmer for 20 minutes on low.

Blend and add the yogurt just before serving (do not boil yogurt).

Garnish with fried leek strands, crispy onions or fried fresh herbs such as basil or parsley.

 

NOTE

Breathtaking views over the famed Masai Mara, one of the most diverse Big Five viewing areas in the world, this delicious soup was served during our stay at Bateleur Tented Camp. Going on an African safari should be on everyone’s bucket list.

 

- The Gourmet Review

 

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07 . 02Easy Leek Potato Soup Recipe | Africa Safari Cuisine

Bateleur Leek Soup Easy Leek Potato Soup Recipe | Africa Safari Cuisine

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

This easy Leek Potato Soup recipe comes straight from Bateleur Tented Camp in Kenya. We were served this wonderful soup while overlooking the Masai Mari. Nothing like the roar of lions as background music while eating.

Executive Chef Joseph Nkoyo oversees a remarkable kitchen for this amazing safari camp.  A large vegetable garden provides the fresh herbs and vegetables for meals – that is, as long as the elephants and monkeys don’t make trouble!

This particular soup was served as the first course for dinner one evening, as we arrived back from afternoon safari. The candle lit table was covered with a white linen tablecloth and sprinkled with rose petals. A wood burning portable fireplace was next to the table in case we got cold. Talk about romantic. Chef Joseph mingled with the guests and made everyone feel at home.

This recipe was created by Chef Michael Chui, who is an award winning soup chef. Seriously, he has competed and won honors  throughout Kenya. Lucky for us, he was happy to share his recipe.

If you can’t get to African, try this simple, delicious recipe in your home.

 

INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons cooking oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 medium leeks, chopped

2 medium potatoes, chopped

2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock

3 tablespoons chopped garlic

3/4 cups fresh cream (200 ml, which is actually 7/8 cup)

PREPARATION

Heat cooking oil in large pan.

Add onion and cook until soft.

Add leeks and potatoes.

Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add stock.

Bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Blend or process mixture in batches until smooth.

Return to pan. Stir in cream.

Seasons with salt and pepper.

 

NOTE

Breathtaking views over the famed Masai Mara, one of the most diverse Big Five viewing areas in the world, this delicious soup was served for lunch during our stay at Bateleur Tented Camp. Imagine eating lunch while viewing  giraffes wandering across the Mara.

 

 

- The Gourmet Review

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06 . 25Dry Roasted Edamame With Black Sesame Seeds Recipe | Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay Edaname Dry Roasted Edamame With Black Sesame Seeds Recipe | Bobby Flay

Courtesy Bobby Flay

 Bobby Flay spotlights healthy, easy to prepare snacks on his new series “Bobby Flay Fit”. Who doesn’t love  Bobby Flay, but normally we see him in front of a grill. 

This Dry Roasted Edamame With Black Sesame Seeds  showcases Katie Lee’s recipe and,  shares this easy, high-protein snack using fewer than 5 ingredients.

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or regular sesame seeds

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In a bowl, toss the edamame with the oil and season with salt.

Transfer the edamame to a baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Return to the oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.


- The Gourmet Review

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