Tiny Cook’s Foodie Holiday Gift Guide, 2015

 

 

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1 – Local Farmers Markets Goodies
This is my favorite gift on my list! Buying local is so important because you support local farmers, cooks, and artisans. Continue reading

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Pumpkin Stuffed w/ Everything Good

Run, don’t walk, to the market to get yourself a pumpkin or other squash to make this recipe!  I’ve made it a few times for friends and everyone loves it and is surprised at how much they love it.  What’s not to love with bacon, cream, and cheese?  I’m making this for Thanksgiving and you might want to consider doing that too.

Here is a link to the recipe, and here are my recipe notes: make sure to salt the inside of the pumpkin pretty liberally with kosher salt, before you stuff the pumpkin.  Also, make sure you add enough cream so that it is really moist and the bread is floating in the cream a bit.   Cheese: please buy Emmentaler (which you can get for a great price at Trader Joes) or Gryuere and cube it– do not buy pre-shredded Swiss cheese, which will taste bad.  Also, fresh thyme is a must – do not use the crappy, dry stuff.  I prefer to serve it scooped rather than sliced – just dig a spoon in and make sure to get some pumpkin and some of the stuffing – a match made in heaven.

This recipe is from the cookbook, Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan.  This is not your boring French cookbook, including not only recipes, but also many great anecdotes.  This book is an absolutely wonderful and substantial collection of simple, yet delicious recipes and I highly recommend it for anyone that loves to cook.  Go ahead and get it from the library and give it a look-see, and then after you decide you have to have it, head to Amazon.com for the best price.  Bon appetit!

Canneles

Rum, vanilla – what’s not to love about this cute little pastry?  I have mentioned before that I do not have a sweet tooth, however, one of my exceptions is canneles.  A cannele is a French pastry whose origins can be traced to leftover crepe batter that was cooked in little copper tins, creating a chewy, caramelized exterior, with a creamy, moist interior.  I have tried about 4 or 5 different recipes I found online, and I wasn’t happy with any of them.  Finally I found a great recipe from the wonderful chef, Jacques Pepin, from his cookbook Chez Jacques.

This, by the way, is one of my favorite cookbooks in my collection – wonderful recipes, great stories, and beautiful pictures and paintings, all by Jacques.  Here is the recipe that is in his book.  Recipe notes: I use 1 ½ tsp vanilla and only 2 T of rum,  I add a pinch of gray salt, I brush melted butter inside the molds, and only fill up to within ¼ inch of the top.  The batter is very inexpensive to make, however the silicone molds can get a little pricey.  I have one mini (I just prefer mini things) cannele mold (holds 18), and I’m getting another one this weekend – the reason being is that they take awhile to cook in the oven, so making batches of them with one mold isn’t very realistic.  If you live in LA, you can buy the large and mini cannele molds at Surfas Restaurant Supply – you can also buy large canneles in their café.  If you live in LA and love to cook and have never been to Surfas, please go there immediately (great kitchen stuff, amazing café, and really good cooking classes)!  Also, Hotcakes Bakes on Centinela makes good canneles, if you’re looking to give them a try, which I hope that you do.