An Adventure in food, DIY, and More

Monthly Archives: March 2012

As much as I try to keep my daily food intake directed to healthy foods only, occasionally I just have to give in to my number one favorite dessert; eclairs. I was watching The Chew today and was reminded about these little guys. So, I did some digging and found their recipe for chocolate and hazelnut eclairs. They are relatively low calorie, IF you can get away with only eating one. I recommend eclairs after an Italian cuisine entree, or a generally light entree, as eclairs are light and fluffy and keep with the trend. They can be served with fat free NSA (no sugar added) frozen yogurt or gelato, or they fly solo wonderfully as well. Give this recipe a shot if you have some extra time. It’s rated easy to make, doesn’t cost much, and is SO good. The only thing I suggest you keep in mind with this delicious dessert recipe is that it is time consuming, and takes about 4 hours to complete the entire recipe. Set aside an afternoon or evening to make these and enjoy! One final note is that they do freeze well stored in a ziploc storage container. Thaw at room temperature for an hour before serving or thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.

Calories per Serving: 248
Cost per Serving: $0.42
Total Cost: $10.08

-1 cup Unsalted Butter
-2 cups Water
-Pinch Salt
-2 cups Unbleached Flour
-7 Eggs

For the Hazelnut Creme:
– 2 cups Whole Milk
-5 Large Egg Yolks
– 1/2 cup Sugar
-1/4 cup Cornstarch
-2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract or Hazelnut Liqueur

To Dip in Chocolate:
-1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature) cut into tablespoon sized pieces
-8 oz Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 400F, and line sheet pans with parchment. Lightly coat with cooking spray.

2. In a medium pot, bring water, butter, and salt and a boil. Add all flour at once, turning heat down to medium-low and begin to beat until mixture pulls away from sides and forms a ball.

3. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium speed until cooled slightly. Turn speed up to high and add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Do not add the next egg until current egg is fully incorporated.

4. When dough comes together, around 10 minutes, transfer to piping bag. Pipe onto the parchment lined sheet pan, leaving space between each.

5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until outside is golden brown and the inside of the eclairs sound hollow. Cool completely before filling.

6. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Place over a low heat whisking gently just until the mixture bubbles, about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in vanilla extract or flavored liqueur. Press plastic wrap directly on the top of the cream and place in fridge to cool completely, approximately 2 hours.

7. To fill the eclairs, transfer the pastry creme to a piping bag, with a medium tip. Use the tip to break a small hole in the eclair, and fill.

8. To dip in chocolate, heat chocolate in a double boiler. Add the room temperature butter, a piece at a time, melting into the butter. Dip eclairs with mixture and allow to dry on a parchment lined sheet pan.

This recipe contributed by Carla Hall from The Chew

For a fun and beautiful presentation, if you are talented with icing or just want to give it a try, you can pipe little flowers on one end of the eclairs in colored frosting. These make a great birthday treat or for holidays like Valentines Day.

Give it a try and review here or on The Chew @ Carla Hall’s Chocolate & Hazelnut Eclairs

I found an amazing recipe that features two of my most favorite things: artichokes and feta cheese. In most cases, I’d do backflips just for feta. Add in artichokes too and you might get some flying backflips! Found this recipe in the March edition of Good Housekeeping, and I just adore it. They outline that feta cheese is lower in fat than many other cheeses and the array of vegetables in this dish help deliver plenty of “health boosting antioxidants.”

Artichoke Frittata
Total time 30 minutes and makes 4 main dish servings.

Each 1 cup serving; 325 calories, 18g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 14g total fat (5g saturated), 3g fiber, 205mg cholesterol, and 515mg sodium.

1lb small red potatoes, cut into quarters
1 tbsp. Plus 1 tsp. Olive oil
2 green onions, sliced
1 orange pepper (8oz), chopped
1 Pt. Grape tomatoes
1 can (13-14oz) artichoke hearts, rinsed and chopped
4 lg. Eggs plus 4 lg. Egg whites
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preparation Instructions:
1. Arrange oven rack 6 inches from broiler heat source. Preheat broiler.

2. To medium microwave safe bowl, add potatoes and 1/4 cup water, cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high 8 minutes or until tender. Drain. On jelly-roll pan, toss potatoes with 1 tsp oil and 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper. Broil 6 minutes or until browned.

3. Meanwhile, in non-stick 10inch skillet, heat 1 tbsp. Oil on medium heat 1 minute. Add green onions and orange pepper, cook 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and artichoke hearts, cook 2 to 5 minutes or until tomatoes start to burst, stirring occasionally.

4. While vegetables cook, in a medium bowl, beat eggs and egg whites with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper and half of the feta. Pour over vegetables and tilt skillet to distribute evenly. Top with remaining feta. Cover, cook 5 to 6 minutes or until set. Serve with potatoes.

All in all, I think this is a wonderful dish. Served with a nice and flavorful wine like a twist of Cabernet Sauvignon blanc and I’m sure it would be wonderful. I’m not the best at pairing wines with food, but maybe someone could give the recipe and a bottle of wine a try and let me know their thoughts and reviews? The picture of the dish below comes straight from Good Housekeeping, I take no credit for it. I forgot to take a picture when I made it. Enjoy!

Till next time, my friends. ❤


Well, here it is, a new beginning. This blog is solely for me to share my adventures in life, mainly cooking and outdoor adventures. Some things you won’t find here are whining, drama, life problems, and such. The only problems you might see are problems related to failed or incomplete recipes. My goal is to have a fun environment in which people can review and use recipes that I’ve tried and recommended, and vice versa. Hoping that this may turn into a larger group that can share ideas, recipes, and thoughts. Cheers to a new beginning.