Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Club Med's Famous White Chocolate Bread


Last night my friend, GA, shared the recipe for Club Med's famous ~ White Chocolate Bread ~ on Facebook. It's always been a favorite of mine and I've eaten a lot of it during my time working/vacationing at the various villages of Club Med. My friend, Sarah, challenged me to try making the recipe to see how it would turn out. Well, since I had the one cup of white chocolate chips called for in the recipe, and nothing planned for the evening, I took it as a sign that I should give the recipe a try.  So, last night I was a baking fool... and here are the pictures, recipe and  baking comments to prove it. Enjoy!

Club Med's Famous White Chocolate Bread  





I shared my attempt in real-time with my other Club Med EXGO friends on Facebook. Here are my comments on the bread making, just in case anyone is inspired to try their hand at making a loaf, too. The bread is best eaten while still warm, just out of the oven, but toasted the next day is also good.  My friend, Sarah, suggested making French Toast with the leftovers... oh, what a wonderful breakfast that would make!

Well, the experiment was a success! We have already devoured 1/2 of the loaf.  Here are my thoughts on/tweaks to the recipe.... ~~ only add 3/4 cup of the water (115 degrees) to begin with, then add more water if needed to get the 'play doh' consistency the recipe calls for. The whole 1 1/4 cup water is just too much. My loaf came out a bit 'heavy', not surprised about that. With the extra 1 cup+ of flour I had to add to get the dough texture right, it skewed the yeast/flour ratio. ~~ I put a cast iron skillet in the oven when preheating. I put it on the lower rack & added 1 cup hot water to the skillet after I placed the loaf in the oven to bake. Be careful because the 'steam' kicks up quick. Close the oven door quick to keep the steam inside. It really helps with giving the bread a crusty, 'French bread' exterior. ~~ I baked the loaf about 35 minutes (not the 20 in the recipe) to get it 'golden' enough & so it had a 'hollow' sound when thumped. It tastes best when eaten warm from the oven, or toasted, if eating the next day.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mango-Turmeric Smoothie


Lately, I've been reading more about the spice ~ turmeric, and I keep sneaking it into some of my smoothies. Depending on what I'm blending, the orange color of the turmeric is either front-and-center (like in the Mango-Turmeric Smoothie, sprinkled with fresh cracked pepper, shown above) or camouflaged (like in a green smoothie or one with dark colored fruits/veggies).  Either way I make it, I'm happy with the health benefits of including turmeric in my diet. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quick Moroccan Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas


I was craving something a bit exotic the night I made this dish... but, I was short on time.  So, I threw together this little gem ~ Quick Moroccan Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas ~ and was quite happy with the results!  To make this dish I just used ~ a can of fire roasted tomatoes with juice, 1/2 a can of drained chickpeas, 4 skinless chicken thighs, a small sliced onion and a sprinkling of traditional Moroccan spices ~  powdered ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.  I let it all simmer together until the chicken thighs were cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.  I added some steamed veggies on the side... and dinner was served.  Not too much effort, not too much time, low on carbs... but full of the exotic flavors I was looking for.  On-the-fly cooking inspired by a craving.  Cool.  :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew with Mushrooms & Red Wine


I love a good beef stew recipe. I love a good bottle of red wine. I love a good beef stew recipe that uses a good red wine.  I love a good beef stew recipe that uses a good red wine and includes fresh mushrooms and lots of veggies. Put them all together and I've got a meal we all love.  :)



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