Last night’s dinner
We went to Petit Bill’s last night and had a terrific meal. I had tuna carpaccio and bison with a coffee sauce (fab) and my husband had carpaccio, steak and flourless chocolate cake. He loved his starter and dessert but was iffy on the steak and frites (spoiled).

We were with six fabulous friends to celebrate two birthdays (the old ball and chain and our friend Paul). Their meals were mixed (lobster poutine was terrific) but the starters and desserts were all incredible. Also had a nice bit of Malbec mmmm…

We had our first foray into having a babysitter (weird-I almost forgot about the all-important snacks but ran out at the last minute for chips and orange juice).

The kids also got to finish the appetizers that I had out for us before we left. As we were out at my god son’s birthday (had a great time at his “How to train your dragon” party-my first 3D movie experience) for most of the day everything needed to be quick.

The savoury cookies went down a treat with; pate, chorizo sliced and put in the oven until they sizzled, cheddar, goat’s gouda and quickie focaccia.

Michelle took a photo so I will see if I can get that from her for a later post.

The quickie focaccia was an afterthought but turned-out really well. If you have an hour notice that people are coming you can make this up easily with what is in the house.

In a medium bowl combine; 1 cup warm water, 2 tsp. yeast, 2 tsp. sugar. Let bubble and add 1 cup water, 2 tsp. basil, 3 T. olive oil, dash of salt, garlic and rosemary to taste (as a cheat why not just use Epicure’s focaccia spice). Start to add flour 1/2 cup at a time (you’ll likely need 4 cups in total) until you create a dough that is soft but not sticky. Turn out onto your your work surface and knead with a bit more flour for 2-3 minutes. Place on a cookie sheet with a silicone sheet (or some parchment paper)on it and cover with a tea towel until puffy (about half an hour).

Poke your fingers into the dough to create little craters and douse with olive oil and chunky sea salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the bottom is browned.

Today is Sunday and I love a big breakfast. I was watching “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” yesterday before everyone arrived and saw this made. Had to give it a try as I have strawberries that need to be used and WAY too many eggs.

Strawberry Souffle Pancakes

3 eggs separated
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup flour
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon grand marnier
1/2 cup strawberries + 1 tbl. sugar

Preheat broiler. Beat two of the egg yolks with the half-and-half (reserve the third yolk for another purpose). Add the flour slowly, stirring just enough to combine. Stir in the sugar, salt, melted butter and Grand Marnier. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold them into the batter and gently stir in most of the berries, reserving a few to place on the pancake just before it goes under the broiler. Heat a lightly greased 8-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, or a heavy cast-iron skillet, over moderately high heat or until oil bubbles.

Pour the batter into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until bottom of the pancake is browned and bubbles appear around the edges, for 5 to 8 minutes. Arrange the remaining berries gently on top of the batter. Place the pan 4 to 5 inches below the broiler and cook until the top of the pancake is brown and the center is just set but still soft. Gently slide the pancake onto a warmed serving place, dust with powdered sugar and whisk it to the table. Serve with more sliced strawberries and raspberries.

A few changes that I’m going to make; half and half will be soy milk, I’m going to double the recipe and use a really big skillet (this will result in needing a bit more baking time) and I’ll add all the egg yolks (don’t like throwing them out) and a bit more flour.