Happy Holidays and Best Dishes!

December 11, 2012

Rose 4I am so sorry this is so late getting to all of you!  I had a little accident right as the holiday season started and it just set me back a few days.  I broke my nose right before an event and then had to have surgery last Friday to fix it before it healed improperly. The timing could not have been worse!  But that's when things like this happen, right????  Anyway, I'm fine now, almost completely mended, except for some swelling, and ready to be back into things 100%. So better late than never for my gifts from the kitchen!  With lots of holiday events and get-togethers still on the horizon, I hope you have a chance to make some of these wonderful edible treats.  On top of these new recipes, have a look at last year's gift edition by checking out my blog archive.  All the recipes are pretty easy and quick to make so click here, then start creating your own gifts for family and friends.  Below is a basket I put together as a donation for The Legal Aid Foundation's Annual Dinner last month.  I always include the recipes...got to share the love!

LAFW Gift BasketEven though this month is about holiday gifts, these recipes are great to make and give all year round. Most keep really well in the freezer or fridge, so make some big batches and keep them on hand.  Don't forget to follow us on Facebook.  Click here and become a fan to get daily updates from our kitchen.  

Happy Holidays everyone and Best Dishes to all for 2013!  


Fennel Mustard

fennel mustardThere's a little joke in my kitchen about fennel.  I love it and everyone who works with me knows fennel will show up on almost every menu, one way or another.  This is just another example of how I sneak it in wherever I can. Based on a Thomas Keller recipe, this fennel mustard is really tasty, smooth and delicious.  Not too strong and a lovely accompaniment to a turkey or ham sandwich, as well as my daughter's favorite avocado and veggie sandwich.  Or use it to top a cheesey tart or quiche.  Spread it anywhere your want a little zing.  Gorgeous to give and fun to prepare.  Make a couple batches for friends and keep some for yourself!

This is what you need: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 cups chopped fennel, 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder, 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard, 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence, and some salt to taste.  If you want to add a little kick to your mustard, add some prepared horseradish when you stir in the whole grain mustard at the end.

Here's what you do: In a skillet, heat olive oil. Add chopped fennel, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 20 minutes. Add vinegar and cook, uncovered, until the fennel is tender, 15 minutes.

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a blender. Add water and dry mustard powder and puree. Scrape the puree into a bowl and let cool. Stir in whole grain mustard, Herbs de Provence and season with salt.  Then transfer to jars, cover and refrigerate. 
Makes about 2 cups.

Coconut Curry Cashews

coconut curry cashewsThis tasty, exotic treat has an amazing combination of sweet coconut and salty cashews with a rich buttery curry coating.  You bake it on sheet pans and it finishes off as a fancy toffee that will delight the most adventurous palates.  If you don't want to use cashews, try it with peanuts or almonds.  It will definitely impress you friends and family!

This is what you need: 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon honey, kosher salt, 2 cups cashews-roasted, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes.

This is what you do: Preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in curry powder and cook until toasted, about 1 minute. Stir in sugar, water, honey and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (mixture will resemble wet sand.) Add cashews and toss to coat using a rubber spatula.

Transfer cashew mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread a single layer using rubber spatula. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and sprinkle with coconut. Bake until cashews and coconut are golden, 6-7 minutes more.

Transfer sheet to a wire rack. Stir nut mixture one more time to evenly distribute and let stand until cool and hardened, about 30 minutes.

Yield: 8 - 1/4 cup servings, Per Serving: 318 Calories; 20g Fat (54.1% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 47mg Sodium. 

Maple Almond Granola

My children love this granola, especially my daughter Sarah.  It's crispy and light as well as delicious and nutritious! Much better than anything you can find in a box :)  It's also very pretty wrapped in a cellophane bag and topped with a festive bow.  If you want to reduce the fat and calorie count even further, reduce the amount of almonds and brown sugar. I like to use dried cranberries and blueberries, but really, any dried fruit will do.  This wonderful granola is great with milk or yogurt, but equally good eaten right out of your hand.  Everyone loves it so it's perfect for all your holiday gift giving!  

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups slivered almonds
cup brown sugar

teaspoons ground cinnamon
cup canola oil
1/2 cup hot water
cup maple sugar, preferably Grade B
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
teaspoon table salt
1 1/4 cup dried blueberries, or              

cranberries or combination of both
  Source: Bon Appetit, December 2010


Arrange 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 300°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

Toss oats, brown sugar, almonds, and cinnamon in large bowl. Whisk oil, maple syrup, hot water, both extracts, and salt in medium bowl. Drizzle over dry ingredients; toss to coat. Divide mixture between sheets, spreading in even layer.

Bake granola 20 minutes. Stir granola; reverse sheets and bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Transfer granola on sheets to racks. Sprinkle dried fruit over and cool completely, stirring occasionally. Store airtight at room temperature.  The maple-almond granola will stay crunchiest if sealed in an airtight container as soon as it has cooled completely.

Makes 16 half cup servings. Per Serving: 367 Calories; 18g Fat (43.0% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 80mg Sodium.  

WANT TO USE THESE TIPS AND RECIPES IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you do not alter the information in any way and include a credit that reads "by Rose LeBoeuf, www.lafoodworks.com, Interactive Cooking Classes, Parties, and Corporate Team Building Events for Groups Looking for a Fun and Unique Dinning Experience." 

 LA Food Works Events 

 Ideal for Team Building, Holiday Parties, Client Entertaining, Birthday Parties, Showers and Private Gatherings. 
Let LA Food Works make your party one which your guests will not soon forget!
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get your hands a little messy,
indulge in some great food
and have lots of fun playing in the kitchen!
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