Brian's Photo Blog — Article 698
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All in the Family in the Kitchen
Sunday 29 October 2017   —   Category: Cooking & Food
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If you have been reading very many of my articles, you already know that for the past two years I have put a lot of time and effort into expanding my culinary horizons with creative cooking in the kitchen. But I am not the only gourmet chef wannabe in the family.

Both my Swiss wife Catherine and our teenage daugh­ter Olivia have talents in the kitchen as well. They have their own specialties, and sometimes make dishes which seem beyond my grasp and / or courage. So in our house, the chefs are all in the family in the kitchen.

Besides documenting my own culinary creations with photography, I also try to capture great looking food made by my wife and daughter. After looking through my photo catalog, I found pictures from ten different dishes which they prepared throughout 2017. Come with me on a gastronomic tour.
In January Catherine made a great tarte aux oignons (onion tart), based on the tartes flambées alsaciennes (wood-fired Alsatian tart) recipe in the Swiss Betty Bossi cookbook Savoir Recevoir: sept façons de séduire ses hôtes (Know How to Entertain: seven ways to entice your guests) published in 1983.

I have translated Catherine’s recipe into English, so you can download the recipe PDF and try it yourself.
For Epiphany on January 6, Catherine made a Swiss version of king cake, which is traditionally served on this day in numerous cultures. To make her cou­ronne des rois (crown of the kings) she used this galette des rois recipe. In case you don’t know French, here is a similar recipe in English. Catherine did not in­clude the raisins.

Because this photo was taken looking straight down at the top of the couronne des rois, it is hard to get a sense of proportions. It was baked in a nine inch springform pan, and once it was cooked the bread measured about 3 inches high. This is more of a sweet bread than a cake, perfect for jam, honey or Nutella ... or simply butter.
Here is a double-layer chocolate cake which Olivia made for Mother’s Day, using a recipe she found on the Web.

This was the first time she had made a double-​layer cake from scratch, and it turned out awesome!

It seems like making such a great-​look­ing cake would be difficult, but Oliv­ia said it was quite easy.
Also in May, after watching Lesson 2, Mixing It Up — Methods for Cakes, in the The Great Courses video series The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts by chef Stephen Durfee of the Culinary Institute of America, Catherine put his lesson into action and made an angel food cake.

I had my doubts because it seems like such a tricky cake to make, but it turned out great!
May was a busy month in the kitchen! Here are some cheese balls with pretzel sticks which Catherine made after find­ing a recipe on the Web. She made a couple of changes by omitting the bacon, and using chives instead of green onion. They were served with Carr’s Cracked Pepper Table Water Crackers.

I didn’t get a chance to try a cheese ball, but she didn’t bring any back from the gathering she took them to, so I assume they were pretty good.

In June Catherine made a chausson au fromage (cheese slipper) from an old Swiss recipe booklet. It consists of puff pastry filled with diced ham and mush­rooms, three different types of cheese, grated potato, parsley, cream, eggs and seasoning. With its log shape it seems quite similar to Beef Wellington, but of course, with different ingredients inside.

The dimensions are hard to glean from the photo, but fortunately I had a tape measure along with my camera! It was 10 inches long by 3½ inches wide and 2½ to 3 inches tall. Like Beef Wel­ling­ton, it is sliced into individual servings, as you can see in the second photo.
Also in June, after watching Lesson 18, From Fettuccine to Orecchiette — Fresh and Dry Pastas, in the The Great Courses video series The Everyday Gourmet: Re­dis­cov­er­ing the Lost Art of Cooking by chef Bill Briwa of the Culinary Institute of America, Catherine put his lesson into action and made one of the recipes: An­gel Hair Pasta with Light Sauce, topped with shaved parmesan cheese.
In August, when my cousin Jeff came to view the total solar eclipse Catherine ar­ranged this beautiful plate of marinated veggies. The ones I made myself were turmeric cauliflower, cucumber, red on­ion and beets.

From the store were black, green, Ka­la­ma­ta and Castelvetrano olives, cocktail onions, and baby corn. Catherine pro­vid­ed the grape tomatoes from her garden.
My favorite dish at Novak’s Hugarian Restaurant in historic downtown Albany, Oregon, is their delicious cabbage rolls. Lucky me, Catherine has been making similar cabbage rolls at home for a couple of years now, from a recipe she found on the Web. In a follow-​up article, the author recommends cooking them for 3 hours instead of 2, which we also learned from experience. This meal is always a treat!
A clever, tasty and photogenic appetizer, featuring black olives, mozzarella cheese and grape tomatoes, based on Italian Caprese salad, which my wife created after being inspired by similar ideas on Pinterest.

However, she subcontracted the actual assembly and arrangement to Olivia. It almost looks to beautiful to eat!

In addition to the 11 food photos on this page, you can find an 13 more pictures in the new Catherine and Olivia Cooking 2017 album.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 698
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