Gigi Travels

Cooking & Travel Adventures

Ligurian Focaccia

Homemade focaccia because I’m feeling nostalgic for the region of Liguria, Italy. Used this recipe and it worked out great! Be sure you have a ton of good quality olive oil on hand.

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Lemon Madeleines

Winter is all about citrus season so I made great use of some lemons from a friends tree by making Lemon madeleines. (happiness) I used Martha Stewart’s recipe and they turned out perfect. Making madeleines are not as difficult as you might think. You just need to get your hands on some madeleine molds that can found at speciality stores like Sur La Table. I think they taste best with with a nice cup of tea or an espresso macchiato.

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Lemon Marscapone Tartlets

Lemon Curd Marscapone
1 container marscapone, softened
1 jar prepared lemon curd
Mix one container of marscapone (room temperature), juice of one lemon and 3/4 jar of prepared lemon curd. Blend with whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Shortbread Crust
1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

To make the shortbread, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon), cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (This step will take about 10 minutes if using a handheld mixer or a spoon.) Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and paddle again with a rubber spatula to make sure the egg yolk is thoroughly incorporated.

In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. On low speed (or with the wooden spoon), slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix for about 15 seconds, or until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl again to make sure all of flour mixture is thoroughly incorporated.

Scrape the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and wrap the dough in the plastic wrap, pressing down to form a disk 6 to 7 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes, or until it has firmed up but is still somewhat pliable. (At this point, the dough can be stored in refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If the dough is frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before using.)

Lightly flour the dough disk and 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Split dough in half and place between the sheets of parchment, and roll it out into two rectangles about 1/4 inch thick. Carefully peel off the top sheet of parchment. (Place the whole thing in the fridge for a few minutes if the dough sticks to the parchment.) Transfer the bottom sheet of parchment with the dough to the 4 tartlet pans at least 2-inch sides. Press the dough to fit the bottom of the pans, and allow the parchment to come up the sides of the pan. Don’t worry if the dough is not perfectly smooth. It needs to be about the same thickness all around, but it does not have to be smooth. Dock the entire bottom of the tartlet dough with a fork.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place tartlets in the center rack of oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the shortbread is light brown—about the same color as maple wood. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Spoon lemon marscapone mixture into tart shells and smooth out using a small offset spatula. Add remaining 1/4 lemon curd over top of filling and glaze evenly.

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Parmesan Rosemary Madeleines

Baking because what better to do on a Fall rainy day? 🙂 Came across this easy recipe and couldn’t be happier with the results. Light, airy, savory and delicious goodness! Here’s the recipe.

IMG_8781

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Persimmon Cookies

It’s persimmon season and I was lucky enough to get a bunch of them from a friend’s persimmon tree! Since I had more than I could eat, and some were overripe and ready, I decided to look for an easy and yummy cookie recipe. I headed straight to one of my very favorite food blogs: whiteonricecouple and this is the delicious recipe I used. So good.

These cookies have a soft and moist texture, almost cake like, but light and airy. Adding to the persimmon pulp, I threw in whatever dried fruits and nuts I had in the pantry. In this case they were dried cherries, prunes, apricots and almonds, and they worked just great. The recipe calls for raisins but you can seriously use anything. Happy Fall baking! 🙂

 

 

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Roasted sweet potato, apple, bacon, onion and cheese galette

Nothing speaks Fall like sweet potatoes, bacon, apples and sweet onions. The smells coming from these roasted onions, apples and sweet potatoes are insanely good. Combine apple smoked bacon, smoked mozzarella, cheddar cheese, and egg custard to the mix, and you got one yummy rustic galette. #hungry

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Papparadelle with Chanterelles, Kale and Cream

Directions:

  1. Start with freshly made pasta prepared in a food processor. I followed this recipe.
  2. Add the freshly made pasta to salted boiling water. Stir once to separate pasta. Cook until al dente or about 5-6 minutes.
  3. While the pasta cooks, carefully clean 2 cups of chanterelles, removing any dirt. Cut into bite sized pieces. Some can be left whole based on their size.
  4. Finely shred 1 cup of kale, stems removed.
  5. Mince 2-3 garlic cloves.
  6. In a sauce pan, sauté the minced garlic for a minute or so with 1 tablespoon of butter.
  7. Add the shredded kale, chanterelles, and the remaining butter to the pan.
  8. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and stir.
  10. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  11. Drain and add the cooked pasta to the pan plus 1 cup of pasta water, and stir to coat. Remove from heat.

Serve pasta with freshly shaved or grated pecorino romano cheese.

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Snickerdoodle Mini Bundt Cakes

There is nothing better than the smell of cinnamon and sugar permeating in the kitchen. I’m a huge fan of the snickerdoodle and the bundt cake and thought why not combine the two? The results were yum. Recipe below. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup organic sugar

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup coconut sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1 cup 2% greek yogurt

Confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of plain organic sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon and mix well.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Spray generously 12 small bundt cake tins, or one 9 inch bundt pan with cooking spray. Make sure to cover entirely including the center tube. Gently dust the entire inside of the pans with the cinnamon sugar mixture, about 1/3 cup. Set aside.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  5. Beat the softened butter in a mixer with the paddle attachment for about a minute.
  6. Add the plain sugar and mix for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  7. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and add the coconut sugar.
  8. Mix for about 2 minutes until the mixture is combined and uniform in color.
  9. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  10. Stir in the vanilla.
  11. Add the flour mixture alternately with the greek yogurt; beat well.
  12. Spread half the batter in each prepared tin.
  13. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon sugar mixture.
  14. Spread the rest of the batter into each pan and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the top.
  15. Bake in a preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  16. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tins.
  17. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.
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Poached Egg, Tomato, Avocado, and Arugula Salad

It’s so great when you’re totally starving and you actually have the perfect ingredients handy to create a hearty, yummy salad.  Summer is abundant with avocados, baby greens and tomatoes, so it wasn’t difficult pulling these items together. Instead of using fresh tomatoes, I added some that I pickled earlier this week. Here’s the recipe I used for the tomatoes.  I used rice wine vinegar instead of the cider vinegar because I prefer its mild and less pungent flavor.  Happy Summer all! 🙂

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Roma

Rome, the capital of Italy, also known as the Eternal City, is a place of amazing history, architecture, food, vibrance, and passion. These photos were taken during my last visit in October 2012.

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