Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Little More French Cooking...

I'm really, really trying hard to stick with this seasonal eating idea. Martha Stewart's book Healthy Quick Cook is arranged by season. So I flipped through the Winter section and picked Pot de Feu or Pot of Fire, which is browned meat cooked in chicken broth with seasonal vegetables.

Everything looked so pretty simmering away in my new red enamel cast iron pot... a Christmas present from my parents. I love it! It is extremely heavy and can go from the stove top into the oven. Retains heat like a champ.
The Pot de Feu smelled so good cooking. I used parsnips, carrots, celery, and leeks for the vegetables. I don't think that I have ever cooked with leeks before. They are so good! I have a recipe for a leek and onion tart. I think that one may be cooked up soon. The final result was really good. I served it in a bowl with mashed potatoes.

... and of course, Miss E didn't want to eat it. She does not like cooked carrots, she informed us. Odd, that used to be her favorite vegetable. I'm sensing some Kindergarten-style-vegetable-non-eating advice from some of her classmates. We made a bargain, and actually got the kid to eat some veggies... in return, we made CUPCAKES! I used the More From Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. I have actually been to the bakery in New York, and yes, the cupcakes are good, and yes, there is a line out the door even at 11pm at night. However, something went very wrong with all the "help" from the children and me not letting the butter soften enough, or the full moon, or the really cold weather. This is how my batter turned out...

Which was very thick, almost the consistency of mousse or buttercream frosting. So I spackled it into the cupcake papers and hoped for the best. I know I have made this recipe before, but didn't recall this type of batter being produced. They baked up beautifully and tasted like a dream. The texture inside was fine and soft.

Of course it always helps to have spatula assistance from a blue-eyed, one shoulder wearin', handsome little man...

We added a "healthy" dollop of buttercream on top (of course made with butter.. no shortening in this house). I ate one and my cupcake craving is satisfied. We still have 20 left.

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