Propeller

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INGREDIENTS
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur, preferably Luxardo
1/2 ounce Yellow Chartreuse
Ice
3 drops crème de violette, preferably Rothman & Winter
1 (1/4-inch-thick) cucumber slice

INSTRUCTIONS

Place a cocktail glass in the freezer to chill.
Combine the vodka, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and Chartreuse in a cocktail shaker and fill the shaker halfway with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosted. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass, top with the crème de violette, and garnish with the cucumber slice

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Sun dried tomato and Asparagus Past

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We are preparing to remodel our kitchen, which means I’m trying to clear out as much food as possible so I don’t have to pack it up. Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a jar of sun dried tomatoes. This dish comes together super quick and is tasty. I didn’t drain the tomatoes since the wonderful infused oil really adds to the sauce.

Ingredients:
3 leeks, white and green part only
4 cloves garlic
1/2 c sun dried tomatoes in oil
2 TBSP fresh thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1 bunch of asparagus
1 lb pasta
1/2 c ricotta
Parmesean cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus, cook 4 minutes, chop into 1/4 inch pieces. Add pasta and cool until al dente.

Combine sun dried tomatoes, leeks, garlic and thyme in a mini food process, process until chopped fine.

In a 12 inch skilled add wine and tomato mixture, cook over low heat until warmed through. Add pasta, ricotta and toss, cover for 1 minute to let sauce absorb, add pasta water of needs to thin the sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4.
7 WW PP per serving

Pear & Duck Salad

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Costco sells a great Duck Confit – just heat and serve! This is a wonderful salad I found on Epicurious. It comes together super quick so it is great for lunch or weeknight meal.

Ingredients:
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 TBSP Sherry vinegar
4 TBSP olive oil
1 shallot
1/2 c pecans, coarsely chopped, toasted
2 confit duck legs
2 firm-ripe pears
8 c mixed greens
2 ozs crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

In a small food processor, chop shallots, add mustard, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Heat duck for 15 – 20 minutes until skin crisps.

Halve and core pears and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add pears, greens, duck, cheese, and nuts to dressing with salt and pepper to taste, then toss gently to combine.

Serves 2.

Lemon Violet Cupcakes

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I bought a bottle of Creme de Violette for cocktails and the sweet violet taste inspired me to create these light lemony floral cupcakes!

Ingredients:
2 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP canola oil
4 TBSP apple sauce, unsweetened
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 egg whites
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP creme de violette
Zest from 1 lemon
1 c buttermilk

Glaze:
1 c powdered sugar
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP creme de violette
Zest from one lemon

Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Combine dry ingredients, whisk to combine. Stir in wet ingredients until well combined. Spoon into cupcake liners, fill 1/2 way. Bake 24 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool.

Whisk together ingredients for glaze. Drizzle over cupcakes.

Makes 24 cupcakes.
3 WW PP per cupcake

L’Orientale Cocktail

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It’s Friday Night, which means cocktail night! I love Domaine de Canton – ginger flavored liquor!! I found this recipe on their website – the slash of chambord & oj are perfect! It is the perfect way to start the weekend!

Ingredients:
1 part Domaine de Canton
1 part Vodka
Splash Chambord
Splash Orange Juice

Combine over ice in cocktail shaker. Shake & serve.

Lemon Ricotta Asparagus Pasta

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So I have a bit of a problem when it comes to asparagus! But bear with me, the season is almost over. Last night I whipped up this dish based on the upcoming expiration date of the ricotta.

Ingredients:
1 lb asparagus
1 lb pasta
8 oz ricotta
1/4 c grated parm
3 cloves garlic minced
Red chilli pepper flakes
1/4 c pasta water
Zest & juice of one lemon

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add asparagus, cook 4 minutes. Remove and chop. Add pasta and cook until aldente.

Combine ricotta, garlic, chili pepper flakes, lemon juice/zest and parm in a bowl.

When pasta is done reserve 1/2 c water. Toss pasta with cheese adding water as needed to thin.

4 servings.

Foie Gras & Apricots

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With the sale of Foie Gras being illegal here in California July 1, its now or never to give cooking this wonderful fatty goodness a try. This recipe is based off a Gary Danko recipe and inspired by the lovely apricots I bought at the farmers market this morning. I bought flash frozen pre sliced Foie Gras and defrosted it before cooking. This dish is perfect!

Ingredients:
2 2 oz Foie Gras (well chilled)
1/2 tbls. Shallot, minced
1 TBSp Brandy
1/2 c muscato
2 tsp Honey
2 tsp Sherry Vinegar
1 c Veal Stock (dark, rich), or demi glacé
8 medium Ripe Apricot (quartered)
Kosher Salt & pepper
Arugula

Sauce:
In a non-reactive saucepan combine shallot, Armagnac, wine, honey, vinegar or Verjus, and stock together. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by 2/3.

To Cook the Fole Gras:
With the finished sauce ready. Place a rolled steel or nonstick saute pan over a medium-high flame, heat for about 1 minute. Salt and pepper foie gras and place in pan and cook about 30 seconds, until it starts to melt a teeny tiny bit – flip it should be nicely browned, cook another 30 seconds transfer to plate on arugula.

Add apricots to the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side.

Top with sauce.
Serves 2.

Crispy Tofu and Asparagus with Hoisin Sauce

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I love tofu! Especially when it’s crispy on the outside! This recipe came from Fine Cooking and I found a couple recipes for hoisin sauce on the Internet – this is my version.

Hoisin Sauce:
4 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP peanut butter
1 TBSP honey
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp sesame oil
20 drops hot sauce
1/8 tsp black pepper

Put all ingredients in a mason jar and shake.

Tofu:
1 14 oz package extra firm tofu
1 egg white
1/2 c panko
1/4 c peanut oil
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Slice tofu in half crosswise, slice into diagonals, lay cut side down on paper towels.

Put egg whites into a shallow bowl. Put panko in a shallow bowl. Dip tofu into egg, then panko, set aside.

Heat peanut oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil begins to shimmer add the tofu and cook about 2 minutes per side until crisp and golden.

Add asparagus cook until crisp tender about 3 minutes.

Serve tofu and asparagus with hoisin sauce.

Serves 4.
9 WW per serving.

Mango Honey Sorbet

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It is starting to feel like summer here in California! Nothing says summer like a cold sorbet!! I found this recipe in Fine Cooking – but forgot to add the mint – next time 😉

Ingredients:
Zest from 2 oranges
1/2 c fresh squeeze orange juice
4 c mango
1/2 c honey
2 tsp mint
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Combine all ingredients with 1/2 c water in a blender and purée until smooth.

Using ice cream maker freeze according to manufactures instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze.

Serves 8
3 WW PP per serving