Mini Almond Cakes with Black Raspberry Jam

If you love almonds these cute little cakes are for you. I used beurre noisette or brown butter for an added extra deep, rich, buttery, nutty flavor.

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You just need a handfull of ingredients, nothing fancy… The harder one to find would be the almond flour, which nowadays is widely available.

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I decided to fill mine with black raspberry jam to make them a little summery, but this is totally optional, they are terrific plain also. This is what you’ll need to make about two dozen of them, depending on the size of your molds. You can use a financier mold or a mini muffin one like I did.

1 cup of fine almond flour

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

a pinch of salt

6 egg whites

3/4 cup cooled beurre noisette (toast butter until golden brown and fragrant)

Preheat the oven to 425°F

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: the almonds, sugar, flour, and salt. Mix to blend. Add the egg whites and mix until thoroughly blended. Add the 3/4 cup butter and mix until well incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them almost to the rim. Place them in the center of the oven. Bake until they just being to rise, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400°F. Bake until they are a light brown, about another 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the oven heat and let them rest in the oven until firm, about another 3 minutes. You are not going to be able to resist the smell, your kitchen is going to smell insanely good…

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Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the mini cakes cool in the molds for 10 minutes. Unmold.

They may be stored in an airtight container for several days.

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Enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

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Blanched asparagus with hemp seed dressing

i love asparagus, any kind, any way, I never met an asparagus I didn’t like! Hehehe, same goes for donuts!! 😉

This recipe is so simple and quick… And you can make it with roasted asparagus, blanched, steamed… Or with any other vegetable like zucchini, broccoli rabe…

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I simply blanched them in boiling water for 2-4 minutes depending on thickness and then shocked them in ice water so they remain bright green and keep their bite. Nice and bright 🙂

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Here is the fun part, the hemp seed dressing, super easy and good for you. Here is what you’ll need:

1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper
small handful fresh cilantro

Place all ingredients except cilantro in a high-powered blender and blend on low working to high until smooth. Scrape the sides and blend again. Add the cilantro and blend for a few seconds until nice and incorporated.

Drizzle over asparagus and enjoy!

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I enjoy mine with fresh crusty baguette. Nom!

Whole Wheat Super Seed & Ancient Grain Scones

I love scones but I kind of feel bad when I make them with regular white flour, so I decided to make some that are a lot healthier, with 100% whole wheat flour and a bunch of good for you seeds and grains. This are the ones that I use, I got both kinds at Trader Joe’s.

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With this recipe you will be able to make 6 regular size scones, if you’d like to make 12, simply double the ingredients. Also you can totally skip the sugar if you’d like them sugar free… It won’t affect the consistency of the dough.

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This are the ingredients you’ll need:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons of seed  mix (the sky is the limit, add whichever ones you prefer)

6 tablespoons chilled butter cut into small cubes

1/4 cup buttermilk (substitutes: regular milk, almond milk, etc…) plus 2 tablespoons to brush the tops.

hemp seeds for sprinkling on top of the scones

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In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients but the seeds and grains. Add the butter and incorporate it with your fingers until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the grains and seed mix of your choice and then the buttermilk. With your hands incorporate until dough forms. Do not over mix.

Then on a floured surface form a log and cut the scones shapes. Brush the tops with the extra buttermilk and sprinkle the hemp seeds on top of each scone.

Bake at 400 F for about 15-18 minutes or until golden ground.

Cool in a cooling rack. (if you can wait)

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Enjoy!

Potatoes ‘a la importancia’ or Potatoes of importance.

This is a great simple delicious dish from Spain, from Castille, and the vibrant saffron sauce surely makes it a looker!!! It’s a little pain in the neck to fry the potatoes, but if you pick a big frying pan like I did, you’ll be done pretty quick.

This dish is vegetarian, and a total comfort food that can be a side dish to fish or meat, (like us tonight), in our case tender, juicy, sous vide cooked fillet mignon. So while those babies get cooked with no effort on my part, I’m messing with the potatoes.

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Here is what you’ll need (serves 4)

1 1/2 lbs. of potatoes, you pick (I use russet and they turn out beautiful every time)

3 eggs

1 small vidalia onion

3 cloves of garlic (pressed)

1/2 cup good white wine (the kind that you would drink)

Flour

Extra virgin olive oil / Plus sunflower seed oil (any vegetable oil will do) for frying

Saffron

3 cups of vegetable broth or water

Salt

Parsley

First you have to cut the potatoes about 1/3 of an inch thick and season them. Then in a shallow bowl beat the eggs. Put flour in another shallow bowl and coat the potatoes first with flour then with the eggs.

Then briefly, (don’t go crazy) fry them until light golden brown and let them rest on a plate lined with paper towels while you make the saffron sauce.

Sautee the onions and garlic in about 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil until soft and a little bit golden, season them. Add a tablespoon of flour and cook it for about a minute or two so the sauce doesn’t taste floury. Add the white wine and stir it so no lumps form, cook for a few seconds until smooth and them add the broth or water along with the saffron. Add salt to taste.

When is all well incorporated, add the potatoes carefully and cook gently, over low heat for 15-20 minutes stirring them occasionally until the potatoes are cooked through. Sprinkle the parsley and serve immediately.

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Enjoy!