Lemon-Fennel Chicken In A Pot

Dorie tells us this is her “favorite kind of recipe: it comes together quickly, cooks unattended, and arrives at the table ready for its close up.” Sounds like it could be a favorite for me too! 😂

This is a straight forward recipe…

Ingredients arranged on the bottom: fennel, shallots, garlic heads, and lemons are mixed with olive oil, honey, thyme, bay leaves and chicken broth.

Chicken is stuffed with some lemons and more thyme…massaged with some olive oil and drizzled with lemon.

Cover this up in your dutch oven and bake for 90 min and voila…dinner is served.

This was really easy and smelled delicious while cooking! Personally, we didn’t think the chicken on its own had much flavor, but we really liked the additions of the roasted garlic, fennel, and juice!! All of them together were delicious. I think if I would make this again I would double the vegetables and liquid because that is what made the dish. What I do like about this is the fact we easily get two dinners out of this….plus all the rest of the chicken I shredded and will be frozen and used so many ways.

I like this method of cooking chicken a lot and would be so easy after picking up a whole chicken…which I rarely do because I don’t know what to do with it…now I know!

This one is a keeper!

Flognarde With Plums Or Berries Or Pears

This one was new to us, but tasted like something we had eaten before….we were thinking maybe like those skillet baked pancakes.

We are told this is a custardy French dessert of fruit…usually plums, prunes, pears, or berries and the batter most closely resembles one you would use to make crepes.

I used blueberries in my flognarde…and would again if I was to make this another time. This was very easy…really just some mixing up of ingredients and then a good long hour baking. Honestly, that was probably the hardest part because of the sweltering heatwave we have been going through. Not really baking weather 🥵 but we must press on haha!

It seemed like everyone enjoyed this one. Not sure it was a favorite, but if I had leftover blueberries to use up…I would make it again!

Butter-Poached Corn with Egg Noodles

This was a richer side dish than our usual roasted vegetables with dinner.

Corn is poached in butter and then both mixed with egg noodles. That is topped with sour cream and chives…a sprinkling of salt and pepper and it is done.

This was an easy dish to pull together, nothing difficult or time consuming.

I feel like we didn’t know what to expect from this dish…it seemed interesting and different than anything we had tried…but also weird…but what do we know? 🤷‍♀️😂

Well…it was interesting…and different…and weird, but also good.

We couldn’t make up our minds if we liked it or not, but we kept going back for another bite. It was strangely addictive…comfort food at its finest I guess haha.

I don’t think this is something we would be craving, but it could be an interesting side dish to let others try!

Scones Pudding

I have to admit, I was a little worried about this one. This recipe uses the leftover buttermilk scones from a previous recipe we made…and those were pretty bland. I might have over compensated for the lack of flavor by being a little heavy handed with the cinnamon haha. The recipe says, dust then with a very little bit of spice…as you can see from the picture I went my own way with that one. 😂

Our recipe is a take on a pretty classic bread pudding. We use day old scones, sliced and layered jigsaw puzzle like and then brushed with lemon curd. I went ahead and made my own curd as it isn’t too difficult and really delicious. The layer is repeated and then the custard mixture is poured over it all.

Sliced apples are added along the top and then lightly sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar…or in my case more heavily!

This cooks, and puffs up in about 45 minutes…mine took a bit longer. As you pull it from the oven, it gets another coating of the lemon curd and then needs to rest for about a half hour.

I would not say we are bread pudding people, mostly because we don’t really have the opportunity to eat it. I was curious to taste this and see how the scones did in this recipe.

First of all, I will have to say, I was not too heavy handed with my cinnamon and sugar…it really did add flavor and it paired so well with the apples!

Secondly, I was surprised, quite honestly, how much everyone loved this…it was devoured. Maybe I undersold this because of the bland scones and not really knowing what to expect, but it seems as if we are bread pudding people after all because it was enjoyed by all!

Tomato Tart

This is a good recipe for using those summer tomatoes…especially if you grow your own! I had to buy mine…settled on a box of heirlooms at Trader Joe’s…green, red, orange, yellow, and a burgundy which really look beautiful and colorful in this tart.

The base of this tart is a savory galette dough that is partially baked and easy to work with. After that cools, a mixture of grainy mustard, Dijon mustard, and honey is spread evenly on the bottom. This is followed by some torn basil and grated Gruyère. Next the tomatoes are arranged, also with some basil tucked between. Season with some pepper and top with some olive oil and thyme. This is cooked for about a half an hour.

Once cooked and bubbling, the thyme is removed and the final cheese and basil are sprinkled on top.

I feel like this comes out looking very gourmet and worthy of a gathering…it tastes great too! Because we have made a couple of tomato and mustard tarts before, were ready for this to taste great! The first one took us by surprise…who knew that combo tasted so good haha.

Now we know and expect it! This one is a keeper.

…update…took Steph’s suggestion and we had the leftovers the next day for lunch with a scrambled egg on top…delicious!!

Buttermilk Scones

This month we have Buttermilk Scones to make. I was excited to use a tip from Shirley…I bought powdered buttermilk…game changer! How many times have I bought buttermilk only to use very little of it?! I ordered some online and it seriously couldn’t be easier to use. Such a great tip!!

These were super easy to mix, cut, and bake. I added a little sanding sugar on top but other than that, baked them as called for in the original recipe. There were some variations available, but I wanted to see what they tasted like before I changed the flavor…and also because I could use the leftover ones to get a jump start on next months recipe which uses these! 😍

I was expecting these to taste sweeter but I guess I shouldn’t have because there is very little sugar in them. 🤷‍♀️. We thought they could have used more sugar or flavor…they were quite bland, not really a keeper on their own. But that is ok…I will use them for the next recipe of bread pudding that uses them and we will see how that goes!

Shrimp-Mousse Squash Blossoms

Squash blossoms are something I would like to try one day…such a fleeting pleasure to be had if you can find them!

Thankfully our recipe suggests that mushrooms, jalapeños, or mini bell peppers can be substituted if the elusive squash blossoms can’t be found. I went with the mushroom and jalapeños. (I think my mushrooms look like donut holes 😂)

I should give a disclaimer to begin with…I am not a fan of fried food, and even less a fan of FRYING the food…so this was a stretch for me. I would have to say though, that these were really good.

There are three steps to this recipe…preparing the shrimp mousse, the tempura batter, and then deep frying.

The shrimp mousse was easy and very tasty! Made up of shrimp, green onion, jalapeño, basil, cayenne, salt and pepper. It is all mixed with an egg white. I am thinking I would like to leave the egg white out next time and have this on crackers or rice…it was really good.

I have never made tempura so this was interesting. Made up of flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and soda, salt, and sparkling water. It is all mixed together to the consistency of a heavy cream. The shrimp mousse is piped or spooned into the vegetables and then coated with the batter. They are plopped into the 350 degree pan of oil to give them a deep fry and I can tell you I didn’t enjoyed that part much, or the clean-up 😳.

I was surprised these didn’t taste heavy and fried…you could really taste the shrimp mixture and the mushroom. They were really good! My husband and I really enjoyed them. I would still say they are a keeper because they were great, but I can probably say these were a one time deal for us. 🤦‍♀️😂

Fortune Cookies

Wasn’t sure I would get this one in today..life has been a little crazy, but I had to join in the celebration with my fellow bakers and friends!

Today is a BIG day…after nearly 6 years of baking twice a month, another cookbook is finished!

Dorie’s Cookies has been a staple on my counter for a long time! I will miss it as it retires to the shelf. I can’t claim to have done every recipe as in the other 2 cookbooks I have completed…I took a little while off from this one while we had two other cookbooks going. I have been back though for the last three years, so I will say I did about 4/6 of the book! 😂

This final recipe was saved to go out with a bang. I was under no illusion these would be easy. I had seen them made as a task once on the Amazing Race one time, and they can be a bit fiddly. Dories best advice was, “working quickly and with confidence that you’ll really only have once you’ve got some experience” flip the cookie, stuff the cookie, fold the cookie, bend the cookie, and finally fold the cookie…mind you, all within a couple of seconds and with a piping hot cookie out of the oven 😳😂. I did just that. I acted like I knew what I was doing..and it worked! I almost felt like I should stop at one 😂😂.

These weren’t that hard and would be quite fun for a party. They just take time because you can really only cook two at a time to have enough time to process them before they cool. Maybe if you had an assembly line with helpers, it would go faster.

Super fun to learn and try for our final recipe! I have thoroughly and completely enjoyed this group of bakers, and now friends, that I have been with for over 11 years now. Thankfully we are still currently baking through two other cookbooks…so the fun continues!! 😍

S’Mores Ice Cream Cake

Dories tells us this cake is big and beautiful and I would like to add…”spectacular” as some of my tasters described it….and also “11/10”, and “Out Of This World”. 😂

This is a show stopper, no doubt about it and when you have an ice cream loving family as I do, this hits the mark on every level!…all seven of them in this case!

There is nothing hard about making this, although it does take time. You need to make it a day ahead of time chilling each layer, and then also chilling the whole thing at least five hours, or overnight.

So here is the scoop…literally 😂

  • The crust is made from crushed graham crackers, melted butter, and chopped peanuts
  • Next layer, softened pint of premium ice cream. Dorie suggests coffee flavored. I went with Ben and Jerry’s Coffee and Toffee Bits
  • Next layer, half of the homemade fudge we made from chocolate, heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup..next time I need to split this in half better haha!
  • Next up…another pint of softened premium ice cream…Dorie suggested vanilla and chocolate for these last two…I went chocolate chip and just split the regular container for each
  • Next…a layer of peanut butter fluff filling…wow was that tasty!…made up chunky peanut butter, marshmallow cream, and a little milk.
  • Last layer of ice cream…I finished up the chocolate chip
  • Top it with the last half of the homemade fudge.

I stopped there because unfortunately we weren’t able to eat this big spectacular cake at a gathering and had to send it out in pieces to share…(and it made it without melting!) There would be one more layer of toasted marshmallows on top helping to give the cake its “s’mores” title. In all honesty…it didn’t need the extra marshmallows at all. We didn’t miss them. I am sure it would add to the look of the cake, but flavor wise, not necessary.

This is a cake that will be made again and again in my family. We absolutely loved it…for the small individual parts, but also in the grand scheme and the way the flavors all played together. Everyone thought this was one of the best things I have made in the group over the years.

Totally a keeper!

Chocolate-Pecan Cookies

These cookies use our “Do-Almost-Anything Chocolate Cookie Dough and with a simple trick, are made party-plate worthy.

The basic cookie dough has chopped pecans added into the dough and then are also topped with a mix of nuts, sugar, and egg whites that creates a no fuss meringue topping.

Instead of rolling and using a cookie cutter, I followed Steph’s lead and cut them into squares…way easier and they taste just the same haha. Nothing difficult about these, although there is some chilling time required.

Everyone enjoyed these…I did hear that most were surprised by the mild chocolate flavor but the overall taste was great. They also said it reminded them of something but no one could put their finger on it haha. I guess they need a few more to figure it out. 😂