Instant Chocolate Mousse

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I stumbled upon this recipe when I was in Florida this past Christmas.  The day I was leaving there was issues with the plane flying back to New York and long story short I didn’t get home until 10pm instead of 12 noon.  While I was waiting for my delayed flight, I was watching TV and found myself watching The Cooking Channel because I can only watch so much court shows on daytime TV.

The show that was on is called Against the Clock with Nigella Lawson. The show is basically the British version of 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray but with a more pleasing accent from the host and better recipes.  The episode theme was making a 3 course meal for an unexpected dinner party. She started with the dessert; instant chocolate mousse using marshmallows instead of eggs. I have been eyeing this recipe on Nigella’s site for a few weeks now and this past weekend I decided to make this mousse since I was keeping a low-key weekend (also NYC got its first snowfall of the winter and I didn’t feel like going out).

Here is Nigella’s excerpt from the page with the recipe:

Normally you need to make chocolate mousse a good few hours, or better still a day, before you want to eat it so the egg yolk sets and the whisked whites permeate everything with air bubbles. Forget that: here we have no yolks, no whites, no whisking, no waiting. Lack of raw egg, incidentally, also means that you might be happier giving the mousse to small children, though I certainly feel they should not be the only beneficiaries.

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Ratatouille

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Ratatouille is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. The full name of the dish is ratatouille niçoise. This French dish is perfect to make when its cold outside.  It is a healthy, low-fat stew and completely vegetarian.  I have made this a few times before but I couldn’t find the recipe I wrote down.  I went off memory when I made it last week.  I am sure the method I used isn’t exactly the French way to cook, but the flavors were there.  This dish is also good as it ages; it tastes better the next day warmed up than it does when its first made because all the flavors marinade together.  If you are dieting, this is a great meal to have as the yield is enough to last a full week and its a stew of all vegetables.

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Eggplant Arancini

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Served with marinara sauce.

Last weekend I was invited to an Italian themed pot-luck dinner party.  It was agreed that instead of making large dishes that everyone would make appetizers.  I was trying to think of something to make and my friend Katie sent me the link to this recipe from Tasting Table. As I read the recipe it seemed easy enough just a lot of prep work so I decided to prepare most of it at home and then fry them once I got to the party.  These ended up being a massive hit and they were eaten up really quickly.

Here is the excerpt from Tasting Table:

Eggplant is a persnickety vegetable: It can easily turn bitter or get lost under heavy cheese sauces. But at New York’s bustling new Spasso restaurant, chef Craig Wallen gives the creamy vegetable its deserved attention in a dish that’s a mash-up of two Italian classics: eggplant parm and Sicilian arancini. By substituting eggplant for the fried rice ball’s traditional risotto filling–and flavoring it with basil, garlic and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese–the earthy vegetable shines at its brightest. Light and crisp, these unconventional arancini can be served alone or, better yet, with warm marinara sauce as an homage to their eggplant parm predecessors.

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Avgolemono Chicken Soup with Rice

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I got this recipe from a Food and Wine Magazine email that I receive every other day with great recipes that are healthy and easy to make. This soup is really easy to make because half the ingredients the recipe calls for are already cooked for you. To save time I bought the rotisserie chicken from the store already cooked and I used the boil-in-a-bag rice since it only takes about 8 minutes to cook.

Here is the excerpt from F&W’s site:

Avgolemono is a classic sauce of chicken broth, egg yolks and lemon juice; the addition of a bit more chicken broth, rice and shredded chicken turns it into a satisfying soup.

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Chicken with Creamy White Wine Sauce

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When I was in Florida for Thanksgiving, I was watching the Food Network because there wasn’t anything else to watch.  Barefoot Contessa was on and she was making this recipe.  She said that it is a French inspired sauce to pour over chicken or fish and that it was very easy to make.  As I was watching, I wrote down the ingredients and the methods she used.  I tried to find the recipe on Food Network’s site but I couldn’t find it so this post is basically going off of memory and what I have written down on a scrap piece of paper.

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Chocolate-Caramel Saltine Candy

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This treat is the perfect snack to serve or to bring to a party because it will receive a lot of complements and there definitely won’t be any left over.  I made this last week and brought it in to share with my co-workers.  Some people have had this before and the ones that haven’t are always amazed that saltines crackers are the main ingredients.  I don’t have a name for this and when I asked around to the people who know what this is they didn’t have a name either.  The word “bark” came up but that refers more to flat pieces of white chocolate with peppermint flakes.

The best thing about this snack is that its cheap and easy to make.  Usually you have most of the ingredients on hand in your kitchen and if you decide to make this you will have to stop at the store to get the chocolate.  This also doesn’t take much time to put together; the longest part is letting the finish product cool in the fridge for an hour.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

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I had a holiday party a few weekends ago at my apartment and I wanted to make something that I haven’t made before.  I have heard about Buffalo Chicken dip before so I decided I was going to make it for the party.  I love anything Buffalo flavored; chips, almonds, wings, etc.  After searching the web for recipes I decided to take a piece of each recipe and create my own.

A lot of the recipes I saw online called for canned chicken.  I have never heard of canned chicken and the thought of it makes me sick.  I used fresh chicken breasts and just boiled them and once they were cool I shredded them with my hands.  Another common ingredient I saw was ranch dressing; another thing I am not a fan off along with mayo.  I always enjoy blue cheese with Buffalo wings so I decided to add that to the dip instead.  I had some scallions left over from another dip I made for the party so I added that to the dip to.

I mixed all the ingredients together and then cooked it in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Right before the party started I transferred the mixture to the mini-Crock Pot I have which kept it warm all night. If you don’t have a small Crock Pot, leave the dip in the baking dish.

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