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A Word of Thanks

I would like thank everyone who, over the last four years, have read “The Ardent Cook”. This will be my last blog for “The Ardent Cook”.

Last year, I started my second blog, “Pastries Like a Pro” focusing on my career as a baker and pastry chef. This blog relates much of what I learned . . . → Read More: A Word of Thanks

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Chocolate Fresh Strawberry Pie

Chocolate Fresh Strawberry Pie

If you love chocolate covered strawberries (and who doesn’t) this Chocolate Fresh Strawberry Pie is for you. Gorgeous looking and delicious, it is a snap to make.

Any pie shell will do – homemade, frozen or roll out from the grocery store. Any way, you can get a 9” baked pie shell if fine. I . . . → Read More: Chocolate Fresh Strawberry Pie

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Oreo Tacos

Finished photos

This delightful, whimsical dessert, Oreo Tacos comes to us season six Top Chef winner, Michael Voltagio of Ink Restaurant in L.A. While I loved the “tacos”, I added more excitement to the strawberry salsa. This is really easy and such fun.

 

Oreo Tacos 36 oreo cookies (single stuffed) 1 cup all purpose flour (140 . . . → Read More: Oreo Tacos

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White Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Finished Photo

My husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes and that called for a change in our diets. Out went white bread, pasta and processed foods. As a baker, I have always used white flour – bread, all purpose or cake flour. So now what to do.

Whole wheat flour was the answer. But the whole wheat . . . → Read More: White Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

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Individual Turtle Brownie Gooey Butter Cakes

Turtle Brownie Gooey Butter Cakes

This year is the 250th anniversary of St. Louis. Known as the gateway to the west long before the arch went up, St. Louis has served as one of the most important cities as America went from the east to the west.

While we boast several “food firsts”, Gooey Butter Cake is . . . → Read More: Individual Turtle Brownie Gooey Butter Cakes

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Bacon Macaroni and Cheese (possibly the best version)

Who doesn’t love the ultimate comfort food, macaroni and cheese. How about Bacon Macaroni and Cheese? What is more than ultimate? It is actually really easy to make and the additions to it are endless. The bacon is in the topping so the bacon doesn’t get soggy in the sauce. The smoky flavor of . . . → Read More: Bacon Macaroni and Cheese (possibly the best version)

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Heavenly French Toast with Blueberry Compote

Heavenly French Toast

When I was recently in Chicago, my family took me to Heaven on Seven for a holiday get together with some friends. I’d heard about this restaurant for years – especially from my son Dirk – who loves it. In fact, I was given their cookbook as a gift. As we approached an office building, . . . → Read More: Heavenly French Toast with Blueberry Compote

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Apricot Glazed Goat Cheese Appetizer

I found this in a magazine while I waited for my hair to be cut. Unfortunately, I don’t remember which one, but I am grateful to them. I made a few changes, but it is so good. I find pure goat cheese astringent, so I cut it with cream cheese which still gives me that . . . → Read More: Apricot Glazed Goat Cheese Appetizer

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Spicy Asian Pasta

It’s really hard to say anything about this Spicy Asian Pasta because my mouth is always so full when I make it. The depth of flavor is fantastic and the ease of preparation is amazing. This is perfect with a simple grilled salmon fillet or chicken breast. Just don’t overcook the vegetables.

1/2 pound fettuccine . . . → Read More: Spicy Asian Pasta

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Skillet Turtle Brownies

Finished 2 (1 of 1)

These Skillet Turtle Brownies are a fun way to make a decadent brownie. I have to admit I did something I usually don’t do. I was waiting for my hair to be cut and was thumbing through a magazine when I found these. Yes, I tore out the recipe. I know, I know, I . . . → Read More: Skillet Turtle Brownies

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Seared Scallops with Peach Chutney

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Peaches are one of the rewards for getting through a dreary winter. I love everything about peaches- the looks, the taste, smell and color. Peaches work in both sweet and savory dishes and this Peach Chutney proves my point.

For the easiest way to peel peaches and not lose any of the peach please see . . . → Read More: Seared Scallops with Peach Chutney

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Strawberry Bread

Finished (1 of 1)

There isn’t much I can say about a strawberry quick bread that requires a couple of bowls and a whisk. Oh, don’t forget the 9×5 loaf pan.

This is part of a post from my other blog, http://pastrieslikeapro.com/2013/07/four-in-one-quick-breads-from-the-bowl-and-a-whisk-series/, which features a pumpkin, double apple and banana walnut quick bread in addition to the strawberry bread.

. . . → Read More: Strawberry Bread

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Red Beans and Rice Salad

Finished Photo 1 (1 of 1)

Originally, Red Beans and Rice was a traditional Monday meal in Louisiana Creole Cuisine. A slow cooking dish of beans, rice and often, but not always ham or sausage found its way to the dinner table after a day of scrubbing clothes on a washboard.

Now, some form of it can be found in many . . . → Read More: Red Beans and Rice Salad

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Cold Poached Salmon, Cucumber Sauce and Roasted Asparagus Potato Salad

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Cold Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce and Asparagus Potato Salad is one of the freshest tasting cold entrees to be had in the summer. It almost makes you feel like a cool breeze is blowing on you.

It’s a simple dish to prepare and can be done ahead if desired. If you poach the salmon . . . → Read More: Cold Poached Salmon, Cucumber Sauce and Roasted Asparagus Potato Salad

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Pastries Like a Pro

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I hope you will join me as I launch my newest blog, www.pastrieslikeapro.com. This blog is completely devoted to pastries and baking both sweet and savory. It’s he culmination of 23 years of owning my bakery and my experience as the pastry chef at Tony’s, St. Louis’ most acclaimed restaurant.

In addition to recipes, I . . . → Read More: Pastries Like a Pro

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Some Exciting News

Finished-cut-whole & slice

I want to share some exciting news with you. You might have noticed there are some changes coming to this blog. Well, I have been really busy getting my second blog, “Pastries Like a Pro” ready to go up shortly. It will focus on my specialty, baking and pastry and I am really excited about . . . → Read More: Some Exciting News

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Stuffed Celery

finished photos

If ever there was a retro appetizer, stuffed celery is it. I have always loved celery, it’s crisp coolness is so refreshing. At one point, it was even thought of as a negative calorie food – like anything is. But it doesn’t have many and it is great for fiber.

So . . . → Read More: Stuffed Celery

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Beef Strogonoff in Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

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One of the jewels in the Russian culinary scene has to be Beef Strogonoff. In this version of Beef Stogonoff in Roasted Portobello Mushrooms boasts the tenderest of beef, mushrooms and caramelized onions in a rich beef sauce touched with sour cream. If you have followed my blog, you know that Beef Strogonoff in any . . . → Read More: Beef Strogonoff in Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

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Who knew? Bomboloni Pizza, Beignets and Asiago Bread

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Every so often there is a recipe I like so much I want to find new things to do with it. So it is with the Savory Doughnut post. Known as bomboloni in Italy, the dough for these treats can be savory or sweet. It is one of the easiest yeast doughs I have ever . . . → Read More: Who knew? Bomboloni Pizza, Beignets and Asiago Bread

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Stuffed Cinnamon French Toast and Berries with Orange Cream Sauce

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What could be a better gift for Mom than Stuffed Cinnamon French Toast and Berries with Orange Cream Sauce served in bed? Add a flower in a vase and coffee or tea, whichever is her favorite, and you have a memorable Mother’s Day. The Berries with Orange Cream Sauce was a post from 3 years . . . → Read More: Stuffed Cinnamon French Toast and Berries with Orange Cream Sauce

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Pasta Salad with Artichokes, Red Peppers and Asiago Vinaigrette

Finished Photo - Pasta alone

With graduations, picnics and holidays in the offing for spring and summer, this Pasta Salad with Artichokes, Red Peppers and Asiago Vinaigrette is the perfect side salad. It was one of the most popular side salads we offered at the retail shop. Making this pasta salad even better is the simplicity of the ingredients and . . . → Read More: Pasta Salad with Artichokes, Red Peppers and Asiago Vinaigrette

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Kalua Pork Sliders

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Several years ago we went to went to the Epcot Wine and Food Expo. I have to admit I came away with quite a few ideas, some of which I have already shared. The Kalua Pork Sliders were one we went back to several times. Although inspired by this recipe, I have simplified it. Pulled . . . → Read More: Kalua Pork Sliders

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Kentucky Bourbon, Chocolate and Pecan Pie

Finished 1

This Kentucky Bourbon, Chocolate and Pecan Pie is otherwise known as Derby Pie and it is served during Kentucky Derby time. It seems that name is trademarked and the company who owns it aggressively goes after anyone who uses it. So Kentucky Bourbon, Chocolate and Pecan Pie it is.

If you have never had this, . . . → Read More: Kentucky Bourbon, Chocolate and Pecan Pie

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Orange Almond Teacake or Madelienes

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Orange Almond Teacake or Madelienes are a quick to make, very special treat that can be baked several ways.

Please go to http://www.flourmewithlove.com/2013/04/orange-almond-teacake-or-madelienes.html to view a guest post I did for Flour Me with Love.

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Praline Caramels

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These praline caramels are one of those happy accidents that comes from just enough knowledge. I had to make New Orleans pralines to smash up and top the Banana Caramel Tarts (go to www.europeantarts.com to see the tart). I found a recipe for New Orleans Praline Pieces on www.epicurious.com that sounded like just what I . . . → Read More: Praline Caramels

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