Vegetables and Butttaa…and Lots of It

This week at cooking school we focused on veggies! But these veggies were cooked with lots and lots of butter.

We focused on 5 different vegetable dishes and cooking styles.

  • Ratatouille Nicoise
  • Braised Belgium Endive
  • Green Beans
  • Carrot Vichy
  • Parsnip Puree

What incredible dishes we made this week. There was a lot of time and work put into these dishes….and a LOT of butter. It really does make a difference so moderation is always key.

The Ratatouille is one of my favorite dishes, and I was so excited to see how Chef Patrice makes his. I’ve had it many times before, but could never mimic it just right. I think the key is to brunoise your vegetables and roast the squash, zucchini, and eggplant.

And Braised Belgium Endive? Yes, PLEASE!

Chef Patrice showed us a variety of ways to serve and eat Braised Belgium Endive. Either by itself with a butter, lemon, parsley sauce on top or wrapped up in ham, covered with a Béchamel Sauce and Gruyère Cheese.

We learned the proper way to make green vegetables. And the trick to getting the veggies to keep their awesome green color is an ice bath. This is so important after boiling them.

The Carrot Vichy was absolutely delicious and smelled incredible. I definitely need to make this one on my own. It is a fabulous carrot dish that has sliced carrots, shallots, sugar, cognac, sparkling water, and chopped parsley. The dish comes from Vichy France, which is where Vichy sparkling water comes from, hence the involvement of the sparkling water in this dish.

And last but not least we learned how to make a vegetable puree. More specifically we learned a parsnip puree that is smooth, creamy, and loaded with the earthy, bitter taste of parsnips. So incredible on it’s own or paired with something.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am learning in this class. It is a tremendous amount of information that I know will come in very handy in my every day cooking and hopefully in my future.

What is your favorite vegetable dish?

Read More →

Healthy Appetizers

A healthy appetizer is a small meal served before the main meal and it helps in boosting the appetite for taking the main course of the meal. When having a party it is advisable to serve appetizers before the main meal as this will boost the appetite and also reduce the pre-dinner hunger.

Most of the common healthy appetizers are always delicious and their ingredients contents are ever healthy and mostly made up of fresh bell sprinkles and shrimp, fun-to-eat tomato basil, skewers decorated with chunks of tomato and even mozzarella, boost calcium and vitamin c.

When for example you want to prepare a yummy healthy crispy piece of polenta topped with a tangy sun-dried tomato tapenade, you a sure of having a healthy tasty appetizer that will really boost appetite. This kind of appetizer preparation require ingredients like 1 16-ounce tube ready polenta, ends sheared and cut into slices, olive oil cooking spray, 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, 2 tablespoons rinsed capers, 1 small clove garlic, chopped pinch of freshly ground pepper.


  1. Preheat your broiler, coat a baking sheet cooking spray,
  2. Place your polenta slices on the prepared baking sheet and then coat with the baking sheet, broil in an oven for 10 to 12 minutes till it becomes golden brown, turn and then broil tightly for 3 more minutes to make it tightly brown.
  3. Transfer your polenta slices to a clean cutting board and cut each of them into quarters. Top each wedge of polenta with ¼ teaspoon of tapenade.

With this, you will have a healthy nutritious appetizer rich in potassium and sodium with little carbohydrates and zero cholesterol.

At times one can decide to make something to do with baking in the preparation of appetizers, this may call for one to prepare sausage-stuffed mushrooms with a preparation time of 20 minutes. Here the ingredients include 35 large fresh mushrooms, 1 bulk pork sausage, ¼ cup freeze chopped dry chives,2 tablespoon chopped onions,1 finely chopped clove garlic,1/2 cup original Bisquick mix, ¼ cup Italian style dry bread crumbs and ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese.


  • Preheat your oven, eliminate stems from mushrooms and then chop the stems finely,
  • In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage, chopped mushrooms stems, chives, onions, and garlic until the sausage is no longer pink, then drain reserving drippings. Stir Bisquick mix and bread crumbs into a sausage mixture until the mixture is holding together,
  • Into each mushroom cap, spoon 1 rounded tablespoon sausage mixture,
  • Bake for 16 minutes then serves hot.

This healthy appetizer is nutritious and will make people call for more as it really boosts appetite.…

Read More →