May 13, 2016

Vegetable Napoleon Sandwich

by Marjan
For the love of art, food, and healthy eating; this is part two of three posts linking the creative process between art and food.
Last week's recipe for rainbow colored quiche focused on the pertinence of  igniting all five senses. My recipe for vegetable napoleon is intended to showcase art and delicious food while highlighting it's healthy component as well.
With the passing of time, it's interesting to observe the evolvement of food trends, recipes, and cooking techniques.  For examples, let's consider juicing. Remember when our only source of vegetable juice was either a V8, orange, apple and cranberry juice? Now think to yourself of all the variety of brands, fruit or vegetable combinations, and juicing techniques available for consumers at most grocery stores.
I therefore upgraded the basic cucumber sandwich served at tea parties and the classic Persian appetizer of feta cheese, fresh herbs and tomato sandwich into a new recipe for vegetable napoleon.
Vegetables such as thin slices of Persian cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes and herbs are stacked between layers of pumpernickel bread held together with whipped cream cheese and Greek yogurt. Healthy, beautiful, and delicious, this savory napoleon is cut and served very much the same as cake.
Recently I hosted over thirty people for an extravagant tea party. As you can imagine, making little bite size cucumber sandwiches would be tedious and conventional. I wanted to create a exceptional appetizer that was also easy. Therefore, a day in advance, I prepared this delicious napoleon and placed final decorations hours prior to arrival of my guests. Beautiful, creamy, light, healthy, flavorful sandwiches delighted my guests. They actually insisted I post this recipe, as they too where inspired to make this delicious cake and eat it too!

April 29, 2016

Rainbow Colored Quiche And the Five Senses

by Marjan
Beyond taste, I think you would agree, some of your best gastronomical experiences involved all five senses. Within my collection of recipes, I feel this rainbow colored quiche best demonstrates the importance of sight, sound, smell, tactile, and taste when dinning. As promised with my last post, I want to continue the artistry linked with cooking.  This is one of three posts to come which will perfectly display my love for the Culinary Arts and the importance of all five senses.
My rainbow colored quiche recipe is all about tantalizing your senses. At first, the exuberant colors of this robust colorful quiche will call your attention. First sense, sight; checked! As the knife cuts into the caramelized garden of vegetables down to the crisp crust puff pastry lining, your ears will awaken and perk up knowing a crunchy bite is to come. Second sense, hearing; checked! Once the first spoonful nears your mouth, your nose will detect aromas of oregano, parsley, and chives hidden below the garden of vegetables. Third senses, smell; checked! With your first indulgence, your mouth will experience the richness of velvety goat cheese filling embedded with flourishing vegetables and comforting pastry dough. Fourth senses, tactile; checked! Last, but not least, your palate will embrace sweet carrots and zucchini caramelized on a bed of fluffy eggs and goat cheese custard with fresh herbs, comforted and held together with crispy, buttery, baked puff pastry. Most important of all sense, taste; checked, checked!
Using all five senses, there is no need to ask me for the ingredients.  You already know the magic behind this beautiful and delicious quiche. Not to worry, exact directions will follow. This beautiful dish will be the most eye catching, mouth watering display at your next gathering to celebrate life, family, and the love of food!
Mother's day is around the corner, this beautiful dish serves as both a beautiful bouquet and a hearty delicious dish. Present this beautiful quiche as a gift to your mother, confident you will be bringing pleasure to all of her five senses as well.
Happiest wishes to all mothers, from all parts of our beautiful earth!

Coming up, will be my recipe for vegetable napoleon sandwich. Culinary art stacked up into a beautiful healthy bite!

April 22, 2016

Art, Food And Cheese

by Marjan

Have you ever wondered why you like to cook? More than just enjoying food and eating, why do you cook? Do you feel it is an creative process?  Where does the expression of Culinary Art come from? You might think to yourself, "I cook because I have to eat or I have to feed my family". All true, but these days, we have many options to satisfy hunger and feed others. With multitude of restaurants along with freezer and prepared food sections of most grocery stors expanding, why do you seek out recipes, buy cook books, or visit food blogs?

My belief is cooking is a true artistic expression of love: love of food, ingredients, taste, passion, sharing and art. Similar to when an artist looks at an empty canvas and is inspired to capture an expression to feed the soul or as a musician transforms seven notes to fill a blank page of lines into music to stir emotion, a cook does the same.

Food, paintings, pictures, dance, music and other artistic outlets is the product of creativity. That unexplainable desire to create, share, and nourish the heart, mind and spirit.
Even if you are a novice in the kitchen and feel intimidated, consider a cheese plate. Yes, it is not really cooking, however, it is putting together different ingredients harmoniously to create the perfect bite. Consider your serving platter as a blank canvas. Choose your favorite variety of cheese along with any fruits, nuts, crackers and decorate a beautiful serving platter. I promise your will receive instant cheer! To be a little more creative, you can roll goat cheese in a mix of your favorite seeds, nuts, and chopped dried fruit. Last December, I shared with you my recipe for goat cheese rolled in cranberries and a variety of nuts. Rather than making little ornaments, make it easy by just rolling any soft cheese in a mix of chopped nuts and dried fruits. Be creative and have fun! Use endive as a vessel to serve crumbles blue cheese along with pecans into one decadent bite. Easy and elegant!

So the next time your grocery shopping, think of yourself as an artist selecting colors and flavors for your canvas; and as a musician when you bring all the ingredients together to create a symphony. When serving your creation to loved ones, be prepared to hear sweet notes of 'umm' and 'ahhh' with requested encore performance; bask in the love of the great artist that is within you!

With the next three posts to come, I will be sharing with you recipes displaying my love of both food and art. You can anticipate delicious, colorful, elegant dishes which will feed your artistic creative side to cooking. Stay tuned....Rainbow color quiche, vegetable napoleon sandwich, and Oliver's salad.

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