Monthly Archives: February 2015

Country Ham and Shrimp on Toast



1/2 cup butter
12 oz. chopped, cooked, country ham (can use a ham steak)
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 leek bulb, finely chopped
1/2 cup brandy
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 pounds fresh, small shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
8 slices bread, trimmed, cut into points, toasted


Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add the country ham. Saute quickly. Add garlic and leek.

Saute until the leek begins to wilt, remove from heat. Stir in the brandy and return to heat. Stir in whipping cream, cayenne and sage.

Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add the shrimp. Simmer for 2 minutes or until the shrimp turns light pink. Stir in the parsley.

Serve on toast points.

Zucchini Pasta


1 pound pasta, cooked (we used fettuccine), save about 3 cups of the pasta water to mix with final dish
6 thinly sliced zucchini, roast on 450° for 15 minutes (drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper first)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Zest of 1/2 lemon (more if you like)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter


While zucchini is roasting, saute onions and garlic in the tablespoon of olive oil. Add to cooked pasta along with the Parmesan cheese, olives, and lemon zest. In a small saucepan, melt the two tablespoons of butter. Take off heat and add the bread crumbs and combine. Add to pasta. Once the zucchini is roasted combine with the pasta. Stir all ingredients and serve. Add salt and more Parmesan to taste.

Roasted Chicken


1 whole chicken, washed, remove the insides
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence or French Roasting Rub
1 tablespoon garlic salt


Place chicken in a shallow roasting dish. Rub chicken with olive oil. Squeeze lemon juice over chicken then place the squeezed lemon inside chicken cavity. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning, herbes de Provence and garlic salt over the chicken. Bake uncovered at 350° for 20 minutes per pound.

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce and Rice Consommé

This week we tried two new recipes; one for chicken and the other for rice. The rice recipe is actually one that has been around for a while and we don’t know how we ever lived without it. Both recipes are super easy, delicious and together make a great weeknight family meal.


4 whole, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 whole garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white wine
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 heaping tablespoon grainy mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste


Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have eight thinner pieces of chicken. Salt and pepper both sides.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken and keep on a platter.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and saute for one minute while stirring.

Add the wine and cook until reduced in half.

Add the mustards, cream and chicken broth. Stir and cook for 5 minutes while stirring.

Serve chicken with sauce on top.

Rice Consommé

1 cup raw rice
1 can beef consommé
1 can water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 package onion soup mix
1 small jar sliced mushrooms

Combine all ingredients in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover and bake in a preheated oven on 350 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

French Silk Market 3 comments

February 14, 2015 – The 10th annual Silk Market was recently held in Lyon, France. Vendors were selling everything from pocket squares to bolts of gorgeous silk fabrics. We spent a morning there talkisilkng to designers and manufacturers and swooning over the large variety of beautiful silk fabrics and goods. We purchased yards and yards of fabulous ribbon from Julien Faure and can’t wait for next year’s market.


A little background about Lyonnais Silk: Lyon was the capital of the European silk market for centuries. By the mid-1800s there were 60,000 looms in operation and the silk trade employed an estimated 90,000 people. The luxurious silks found throughout the Palace of Versailles were created in Lyon. Though only a few silk manufactures exist in Lyon today, the silk industry left an indelible mark on the city which proudly preserves this part of its rich history.