Bûche de Nöel

Let’s Eat CAKE!

Bûche de Nöel

Bûche de Nöel

 Christmas Yule Log Cake — a traditional French Cake for the Holiday Season.

You will see it in many shapes, colors, and flavors. The recipe is quite basic: cake, filling, and frosting… and is fairly simple to make. I’ve seen many variations but only tasted a few.

I still like my recipe the best! Besides coming from a dear friend in Provence, France (so it is quite authentic) I think it has the best flavor and texture. The frosting is a rich French Butter Cream (Lots of butter!). Since we have a family member who doesn’t eat chocolate (yes – there are a few  non-chocoholics around!!), we make a vanilla version for both the cake and butter cream filling adding a touch of coffee flavor to the frosting to give it a little darker color.

Assembling is easy: once the rolled cake is filled and re-rolled, a simple diagonal slice off one (or both) ends provides a ‘branch’ (or two). With the diagonal cut tucked against the main ‘log’ and a second piece perched on top, the Bûche de Nöel takes shape looking like a branch of a tree. A simple squigle through the frosting with a fork and … voila! you have the look of bark. Further adoration of greenery (either pine twigs, rosemary sprigs or even plastic representations,) and other Christmas-y ornamentation (mini balls, figurines, or try edible sugared cranberries) followed by a light dusting of powdered sugar and you have the proper Yule Log – a Bûche de Nöel.

Bûche de Nöel

Ingredients

    CAKE
  • 6 eggs - separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 c flour (sift 2x)
  • BUTTER CREAM for Frosting and Filling
    chocolate:
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 tsp rum or vanilla extract

Instructions

    Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Prepare a jelly roll pan with buttered waxed or parchment paper
  3. In mixer, beat egg yolks & sugar until foamy and light colored
  4. With mixer on low, add flour and baking powder (sprinkling)
  5. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until firm.
  6. Gently fold beaten egg white with flower & egg mixture
  7. Pour into prepared pan and gently spread evenly over pan
  8. Bake 10 minutes
  9. Lay a towel on the counter and dust lightly w/sugar. As soon as the cake is ready invert on the towel.
  10. Roll up the cake loosely rolling the towel with it
  11. Cool 10 min
  12. Meanwhile prepare butter cream
  13. Butter Cream Filling & Frosting
  14. Cream butter and sugar until smooth
  15. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each
  16. Add melted choc and rum or vanilla extract
  17. Assemble Log
  18. Unroll cake & spread with about half the butter cream
  19. Re-roll cake very carefully (without towel this time!)
  20. Cut ends of the cake on a diagonal slice and set the small piece on top of the cake or on the side for desired effect.
  21. Spread the rest of the frosting over the cake
  22. Decorate by simulating bark or wood designed with the tip of a fork
  23. Add 'greenery', ornaments, berries, figurines as desired
  24. Dust lightly over all with powdered sugar
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2014/12/25/buche-de-noel/

 

 

Authentic French Provincial Recipe and photo by Great Food Fun Places

 

 

 

Holiday High Tea

High Tea is fun any time  – and any where.  During the Holidays? Perfect timing! But in the western town of Cheyenne, Wyoming, of all places?  Quite a surprise!!

Holiday High Tea

The location is a fascinating historical site — the Nagle-Warren Mansion — in the Wyoming capital of Cheyenne.

Holiday High Tea

Holiday High Tea

One of the few homes still standing in Cheyenne from the 1880’s, the mansion is located on the edge of Cheyenne’s historic downtown sections on Cattle Baron’s Row. It is currently a bed and breakfast (B&B) with 12 guest rooms decorated in Victorian West style.

Originally the residence of Erasmus Nagle in 1888, the mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and became it’s current position as a B&B in 1997.

 

Holiday High Tea

 Gorgeous on the inside, the mansion is especially elegant with the added Holiday decorations

 

Holiday High TeaHigh tea was as elegant as you can get. The food was very gourmet, and all you-can-eat!  I’ve Never had that at a High Tea!Holiday High Tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday High Tea

Holiday High TeaHere are is a sampling of the generous 18 items on the menu:

Cream Currant Scones with Lemon Curd Spread

Raspberry Almond Tea Bread with Amaretto Butter
Smoked Trout and Roasted Red Pepper Open-Faced Tea Sandwich
and
– Sugar Plums!
 A Holiday High Tea in the western town of Cheyenne, Wyoming – the home of the Cheyenne Frontier Days – is a delightfully grand affair. The Nagle-Warren Mansion B&B is a perfect venue for taking a step back into history and experiencing an elegant English High Tea!

 

 

 

Chihuly in Denver

Glass Sculptures grace the Denver Botanical Gardens.

A lovely display of exquisite glass sculptures by world renowned artist Dale Chihuly are dramatic and yet peaceful in Denver exhibition.

Vibrant colors, whimsical shapes — some flamboyant, some subtle — entertain, amuse, and impress visitors. The exhibition just closed, but the effect lingers in the minds, memories and photos of those fortunate enough to experience it.

It is fun to see some different sculptures in the Denver Botanical Gardens that were not in Desert Botanical Gardens exhibit in Phoenix. It is equally fun seeing familiar shapes from the Phoenix gardens in the Denver setting.

ENJOY!

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

 

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in DenverChihuly in DenverChihuly in Denver

Chihuly in DenverChihuly in DenverChihuly in Denver
Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver
Chihuly in Denver

 

 

Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in DenverChihuly in Denver

Chihuly in DenverChihuly in DenverChihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

 

Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver

 

 

 

 

 

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Credits: Darian J, Devon J, Bradley P, Tyler P

Easy & Fun Egg Muffins

Easy…& Fun…to Make   Easy…& Fun…to Eat

Healthy TOO!

 

EGG MUFFIINS

A Great Breakfast-by-the-Hand Recipe

Easy & Fun Egg Muffins

Delicious and healthy egg muffins are a great alternative to the usual breakfast-by-the-hand options that we often grab as we head out the door (think muffins, bagels, donuts, and other carb and sugar filled choices here) .  Great to throw in your bag to take to school or work or even headed out for fun excursion, Egg Muffins are a healthy and hearty snack for anytime and can be made in advance – ready to go!

The variations are endless.  Any combination of omelet, scramble or quiche fillings, meat, cheese and vegetables. I’m thinking Chili Rellenos s bake (green chilis & cheese), Spinach Ricotta Pie, (with a tasty salami added), Quiche Lorraine (Swiss Cheese & Bacon); Or the iconic Denver Omelet (ham, bell peppers, & cheese)

Easy Fun Egg Muffins

Ingredients

  • Green onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Cheese
  • Green chillies
  • Fresh cilantro
  • You can add chicken or other lean meats, spinach, ricotta cheese, bell peppers, and lots more as per your taste.
  • Eggs 6 beaten with 2 tbsp milk, black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 400ºF
  2. Grease your muffin tin
  3. Add vegetables of your choice along with cheese (if you choose), pour beaten egg mixture on it.
  4. Place muffin pan on the center rack of a preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are light brown, puffy, and the eggs are set.
  5. Let muffins cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan or cups. Loosen gently with knife if they seem to be sticking. Eat immediately or let cool completely and store in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer. The Egg Muffins can be reheated in the microwave.
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2014/12/13/easy-fun-egg-muffins/

Adapted from SignatureWeddings

‘Christmas Tree’ Salad

Christmas is Coming!

 

Welcome to December — Christmas is just around the corner!  Here is a colorful Christmas Tree salad to add to your festivities

 

Christmas Tree Salad

'Christmas Tree' Salad

A healthy delicious salad filled with colorful ingredients becomes a healthy, delicious and colorful Holiday salad topped with a toasted Star!

From Healthy. Happy. Life.

I had no intentions of making this raw chard ribbon salad a “Christmas Tree” Salad. It was just going to be a holiday salad. Until I piled it into my bowl and watched as it formed a peaked tower that resembled a decked out holiday tree. 

Complete with shiny red pomegranate “lights” – glossy grape bulbs – twinkly satsuma ornaments – and then I needed a star on top…

 ..sprouted grain toast star it was!

 So my holiday salad turned into an edible tree..

 

Read the full post and get the recipe here:  Happy. Healthy. Life. from lunchboxbunch.com

 

Turkey Treat?

Turkey Treat?

For the non-Turkey lovers and others who might want an alternative, this is an interesting option!

Turkey Treat?

Then again, could it just be considered Edible Food Art?

 

Rice Crispy Treats, artfully formed into a turkey roasted turkey shape and stuffed with M&Ms providing a sweet alternative to the real deal or at least a turkey-themed dessert.

Tag this to use next Thanksgiving or for those who like turkey for Christmas dinner- use it this year!

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you Great Food and Fun Times

With Great Friends in Fun Places

 

Pumpkin Spice Cake- Let’s Eat CAKE!

 Let’s Eat CAKE!

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Let's Eat CAKE! - Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

Just in time for Thanksgiving, this delicious Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting is quick and easy to make.

The aroma of this Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake while baking filled the house with that lovely scent of the season – cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The pumpkin gives it a nice moist consistency and blends nicely with pineapple, coconut, and currants. The batter seemed a bit stiff, similar to a muffin mixture, but the cooled cake layers were so tender, they started to break when handled (wrapping it for the refrigerator overnight).Let's Eat CAKE! - Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

The Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting is lovely with a dollop of pumpkin giving it a light off-white color and delicate – almost imperceptible – pumpkin flavor. I especially like this frosting recipe for being less sweet than most cream cheese frostings. It has only 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar for the 1 cup each of butter and cream cheese and doesn’t overpower or dominate the rich cake. Let's Eat CAKE! - Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

Too rich for large slices, the moist density allows for smaller slivers of slices to be served.

Let's Eat CAKE! - Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This lovely Pumpkin Spice Cake was served at our pre-Thanksgiving family dinner and was the hit of the dessert options!

 

Get the Epicurious.com recipe here

Beignets & Coffee

Beignets & Coffee at World Famous Cafe du Monde

Are THE BEST in New Orleans

 

Beignets & Coffee Having Beignets & Coffee at Cafe Du Monde is a MUST when in New Orleans! Beignets & Coffee

 A traditional coffee shop in the French Market of New Orleans, the Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand is World Famous for its Beignets and Cafe’ au Lait…. and in my opinion, they offer the BEST in New Orleans! The Cafe, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week — closing only on Christmas Day and  “on the day an occasional Hurricane passes too close to New Orleans” —Beignets & Coffee also offers the  opportunity to people watch and is a wonderful spot for the entertainment of the iconic street musicians.

Beignets & Coffee

 Beignets are square French-style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar. The square pieces of dough are fried then dusted with powdered sugar. Coming from the Southwest, they remind me of Mexican Sopapilla’s served with honey or cinnamon/sugar.

As a youngster, I enjoyed ‘Fry Babies’ as a treat on the days my mother made bread.  Saving aside small pieces of dough, she patted and stretched them into circles, then deep-fried them. But ‘Fry Babies’ were more like the Indian Fry Bread of the Southwest than Mexican Sopapillas or the French Beignets. Sapapillas are more of a ‘quick’ bread using a leavening agent like baking powder rather than yeast. Beignets have a unique flavor of their own and the dough itself is a ‘choux pastry’, containing only butter, water, flour, and eggs. Instead of a raising agent, it employs high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry.   

Beignets & CoffeeJust as Sopapillas with honey are sticky eating, the Beignets –buried under a mountain of snowy white powdered sugar– are fun to eat, with the  super fine powder poofing off into the air and getting everywhere!

Beignets and COFFEE

Beignets & Coffee The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand has been serving dark roasted coffee with chicory since 1862.  The rich dark coffee is served ‘black ‘ or ‘au Lait’  (mixed half and half with warm milk).

 Nothing goes better with Beignets than cafe’ au lait! And of course, they both taste BEST when eaten IN New Orleans AT Cafe’ du Monde!

Images: Gail H; Vicki L; Great Food Fun Places

de’Medici Cucina Italiana

de’Medici Cucina Italiana

“Fine Italian Dining”

in San Diego’s Downtown Gaslamp District

Out on the town for an evening of dinner and a concert, we chose a restaurant in the Gaslamp district of San Diego.  de’Medici Cucina Italiana is only a couple blocks from the Balboa Theater, the Lyceum Theater and a parking garage near Horton Plaza in the Gaslamp District. Great location and SO easy to get to!!

de' Medici Cucina ItalianaThe owner, Salvatore Vitale – “just call me Sal!” – posed for a photo.  Very friendly and very solicitous, Sal went around to the tables several times checking on his patrons, all the time keeping an absolute eagle eye on the servers and the kitchen.

de' Medici Cucina Italiana

de’Medici offers alfresco dining and on this  beautiful balmy evening their alfresco area was packed!    The interior has a lovely ambiance and we want to eat in there next time, but this evening was too beautiful to be eating inside and we joined the others dining in the open air – alfresco!

 

First, we were served a kind of garlic bread that had a kind of pesto spread on it (really delicious). Sorry, I didn’t think to find out more about it, nor did I think to take a picture!

de' Medici Cucina Italiana

Our Caesar salad (Fabulous!) was made table-side by our delightful waiter, Antonio.

de' Medici Cucina Italiana

In between the salad and the entree we were served lime sorbet — to cleanse our palate!

Even though it’s fine “Italian” dining – and we do want to go back and eat our way through the Pasta list! – we both ended up getting the filet mignon and lobster tail combo.  Wow! The filet mignon had a port wine-reduction sauce and cut like butter. The lobster tail was done to absolute perfection.

And for dessert? Tempting choices of  Tiramisu, Cannoli, Profiterolls, Gelato Berries, Cream Brulee, Floating Island….the list goes on…  Sadly, we weren’t able to sample (or even get a look at) any of these delectable desserts as we had to leave for the concert. Another return engagement is required to eat our way through the desserts along with the Pasta List

de' Medici Cucina Italianade’Medici Cucina Italiana has an “Excellent” rating from Zagat. I never thought I’d ever have the chance to eat in a Zagat “Excellent” rated restaurant – that’s heady stuff!    And yet, we found de’ Medici to be very reasonably priced for such a fancy restaurant.

“From the Spaghetti al Pomodoro Fresco to the award winning Sole Portofino, de’Medici signature dishes are a feast to be remembered.”

Visit the website of de’Medici Cucina italiana 

 Thanks, Alice P, for this fun post!