De Ma Cuisine



November 2015



Twice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Cheese, Dairy-Free, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Nuts, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


It’s chilly today. And it’s delightful. I’m still wearing flip flops, but I’ve got thick socks on too (don’t judge). I’ve been seeing on social media that some places are already getting snow. I complain about how hot it is here at this time of year, but I wonder, if we were to move somewhere with four real seasons, would I complain then too? Probably.


One of the great things about the mild winters that we have is the produce is bountiful all year long. I’m trying to look on the bright side, to be positive, to think up rather than down. Not easy for a pessimist to do. But, this, this is definitely a plus.

Beets are in season right now. So are pomegranates. Both have stained my hands red. I’m ok with that. I used some of the red coloring from the beets to try to dye some homemade tortillas. They may just end up looking pink. I’m ok with that too.


The idea for this dish was to so something quick and easy with beets. Steaming them takes less time than roasting, so that’s what I opted for. I had some potatoes to steam for another dish, so I reused the water. If you don’t have anything else to cook, you could add a little more water, throw in your vegetable scraps, and make some veggie stock.


Honey, goat cheese, garlic, and ginger compliment the beets’ earthy flavor. Because it gets broiled, the raw flavors mellow a bit. But, you could always use roasted garlic and powdered ginger if you want to tone it down even more.


Variations on this dish: Chop up the steamed beets and toss with the cheese mixture and broil. You could serve this as a dip, or just alongside your main dish. Tofu or vegan cheese can be substituted for the goat or feta cheese and yogurt. I used to be a non-goat cheese eater. This is the second recipe that I’ve made where I enjoyed it though, so I guess I’m coming around.


This made a nice light lunch, but it would also be great alongside some quinoa or pilaf for a heartier lunch, or for dinner. Maybe as a nice change from Thanksgiving leftovers later in the week?

Happy Eating!

Twice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 1 whole beet

Twice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese


  • 2 beets, peeled and halved
  • 1 t fresh parsley, chopped (or 1/4 t dried, crumbled)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (raw or roasted)
  • 1/4 t fresh ginger, minced (or pinch ground)
  • pinch cayenne
  • to taste salt
  • 1 t honey
  • 2 oz. goat cheese or feta or tofu
  • 1-2 T/serving plain yogurt or silken tofu, for topping
  • walnuts, chopped, for topping
  • pomegranate seeds, for topping
  • could also top with chopped cucumber


  1. Place beets in a steamer basket in a pot with about 1 1/2" boiling water in the bottom. Cover and steam for about 20-30 minutes, or until beets are tender (easily pierced with a sharp knife).
  2. Toss parsley through cheese. Set aside.
  3. Let beets cool slightly. Slice a tiny bit off the bottom of each beet so it sits flat. Scoop center out of beets (leaving a sturdy edge) and mash into cheese filling. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Fill beets with filling and broil for about 2-5 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn (in a toaster oven, it may take longer, like closer to 10 minutes).
  4. Top with yogurt or silken tofu, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds.



November 2015



Potato Pancakes

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Condiments, Dinner, Eggs, Gluten Free, Herbs, Holiday, Kid-Friendly, Leftovers, Lunch, Main Dishes, One Dish Dinners, Potatoes, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian


It’s finally arrived. The day of my favorite meal: Thanksgiving. I don’t know if it’s favorite because it only happens once a year though. If I could only have one meal for the rest of my life, I don’t know that it would be this one… Then again, maybe it would.

It’s just the perfect mix of flavors, textures, and since it’s most often eaten surrounded by loved ones, it’s such a winner.

My perfect Thanksgiving plate includes: Turkey, dressing, green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls, and gravy to pour over almost everything. It’s a feast for sure. There’s always more than we need. Part of the fun of a meal like this is getting creative with the leftovers.

Today, I’m tacking the mashed potatoes. I usually just make a big pot of soup and call it good. But, here’s a way to use those potatoes, and maybe a few other dishes from dinner, in a non-soupy way.


I combined the potatoes with some sautéed veggies (the possibilities are pretty limitless here: sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, mushrooms, peas, corn, bell peppers, garlic, greens, chile peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, summer squash…), spices, cheese, flour, baking powder, and an egg (to hold it all together).


Then I dropped them onto a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil. Easy. Almost done.


They didn’t need long to cook, just a few minutes per side.


I topped each one with a dollop of yogurt with fresh herbs mixed in. The perfect little treat for a lazy, relaxing holiday lunch.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Potato Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 33 minutes

Total Time: 48 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 4-5 pancakes per person

Potato Pancakes


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1-2 C veggies (could be carrots, peas, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, winter squash, corn, garlic, greens, bell peppers, chile peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, summer squash), chopped, if needed
  • to taste salt
  • 1/4 C plain yogurt or silken tofu
  • 1 T fresh herbs (dill, parsley, basil, chives)
  • to taste salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • squeeze of lemon or splash of white vinegar
  • 1/4 C All Purpose flour (or gluten free)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2-3 C mashed potatoes (could also add green bean casserole or dressing/stuffing)
  • to taste salt
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 C cheese, grated or cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 T olive oil, for frying


  1. Heat skillet. Add 1 T olive oil. Sauté veggies with salt over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until all veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Combine yogurt or silken tofu through lemon or vinegar. Taste for salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder.
  4. Combine sautéed veggies with mashed potatoes through cheese. Stir gently. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Stir in flour mixture, then stir in egg.
  5. Wipe out veggie skillet. Heat and add 1 T olive oil. When oil is hot, drop and flatten (slightly) 2T pancake batter. Cook over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes per side, working in batches until all batter has been used, adding more oil as needed. Place finished pancakes on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack in the oven (set at the lowest temperature to keep them hot).
  6. Serve pancakes topped with a dollop of herbed yogurt.



November 2015



Rachel Reviews – iDevices Kitchen Thermometer Mini

Written by , Posted in Reviews


I was told, when asked by iDevices to showcase a Kitchen Thermometer mini, that it is “the perfect kitchen companion as it allows you to set the desired temperature and focus on other things”. So true. But, I was so fascinated by being able to watch the temperature of the chicken that I roasted, as it rose steadily, that I kinda just stood there staring at my phone. Maybe after I’ve used it a few times the novelty will wear off.


I use a thermometer in the kitchen all the time. I use it to check the internal temperature of bread, of re-heating leftovers, and roasting meat. I rely on it for yogurt making and other precision cooking. It is an essential kitchen tool. If I had to go down to a bare essentials kitchen, I’d be ok as long as I had a cast iron skillet, a sharp knife, The Flavor Bible, and a kitchen thermometer.  

 I’m always a little bit wary when it comes to raw meat in the kitchen. But, the iDevices thermometer takes all of the guesswork out of the cooking process. No more “cook until the juices run clear”. Just set to a safe temperature (using the preset options or set your own) and you’re good to go. The probe indicator changes color as it gets closer to the desired temp. So even if you’re not watching the app, with a quick glance you can see if your food is close to being done. It’s magnetized, so it can be out of the way, but close enough to see. When the food comes to between 5-20 degrees away from being done (you can set it to your preference) there’s an alert. This gives you plenty of time to finish up the rest of the meal so everything will be ready at the same time. There’s another alert when the food is to the desired temperature. You could set it to the bell alert and use that to call the family to dinner. 

I’m happy with this thermometer and can’t wait to use it again. I plan to try it on bread as it bakes and will definitely have it on hand while we cook thanksgiving dinner. 



November 2015



Rustic Persimmon Tart

Written by , Posted in Baking, Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


I’m a sucker for pie crust. But, confession, I’m not actually crazy about pie itself. I just love a good crust. When I make Chicken or Veggie Pot Pie, it’s my favorite part. I make it in big batches and keep it in the freezer for days when I’m in the mood to bake.


Today, it was time for a tart. I’ve been waiting and waiting for my hachiya persimmons to ripen. Finally, they’re ready. If you’ve ever wondered if you could use a hachiya persimmon before it’s ripe, wonder no more. Just don’t do it. It will make your mouth pucker and get that gross dry feeling that you might not understand if you’ve never experienced it. Trust me, you’re better off heeding my warning. Wait. Until. They’re. Ripe.

You can hasten the ripening process by placing them next to, or in a paper bag with, apples and bananas, which give off ethylene gas. You can also put them in the freezer. Or, just leave them on the counter for a few weeks like I did. You’ll know they’re ready when they feel like a water balloon and you think your fingers are going to break through the skin without even squeezing.

Ready. Ready. Ready.


While this recipe makes enough filling for two tarts, I saved half for another recipe. But, maybe you want to make two because this would be the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving dinner (you’re welcome), or for breakfast the next day (double welcome).


It would be a great idea to switch out the ingredients depending on what you have on hand. No persimmons? No problem. Try apple sauce and apple slices. No lemons (or maybe they’re too tart for your taste)? Use oranges. Want to go vegan? Skip the egg wash or try coconut milk. Oh, and use a butter-free crust. Gluten-free? There are lots of GF options these days, so find one at your local market, or visit the Gluten-Free Girl’s site to find out how to make your own.


I like the rustic look of this tart, otherwise known as a galette. You get to see the pretty filling with the edges folded up all around. Plus, after it cools (yes, let it cool completely before eating), it’s easy to slice up and eat it out of hand. No plates required. That’s winning to me (because the dishes! always with doing the dishes!).


I topped the tart with a dollop of maple syrup sweetened whipped cream and some pomegranate seeds. The seeds add a juicy burst of flavor that’s the perfect compliment to the flaky crust, and deep, sweet filling.


Happy Eating! 

Rustic Persimmon Tart

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8-10

Rustic Persimmon Tart


  • 1 t lemon or orange zest
  • 2 C persimmon pulp (super ripe) (about 2 hachiya persimmons)
  • 1 T orange juice
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 4 fuyu persimmons (could also use apples, pears, figs, cherries, berries, grapes, or stone fruit), peeled and sliced
  • 2 lemon or small orange, peeled and chopped
  • egg white, (optional), for brushing
  • cinnamon
  • whipped cream (optional), for topping
  • pomegranate seeds, for topping


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  2. Combine lemon/orange zest through salt. Taste for sweetness.
  3. Roll out pie crusts in a circle on a lightly floured surface. Place on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet (use one with edges in case the filling runs). Spread about 3 T at a time of the hachiya mixture in the center of each crust. Top with some fuyu slices and lemon/orange chunks. Repeat until all of the hachiya mixture and slices are gone. Gently fold the edges of the crust up and around the filling, leaving the center open. Brush crust with egg and sprinkle everything with cinnamon. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is golden and flaky and filling is hot and bubbly.
  4. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  5. Serve topped with whipped cream and pomegranate seeds.



November 2015



Egg Salad

Written by , Posted in Beans, Bread, Dairy-Free, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Legumes, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Pork, Quick and Easy, Sandwiches, Vegetables, Vegetarian


Eggs are a staple in our home. I feel a little lost when we’ve run out and I forget to order more. We eat them fried in olive oil, so the edges are crispy. I whisk them into a soft mayo. I crack them into simmering soup to poach. I use them to make shiny pie crusts and pain au chocolat. They are versatile, delicious, and go with so many things.

I often forget about egg salad. It’s quick and easy, but sometimes the thought of bringing some water to a boil to cook eggs seems like too much. Although it’s not really that much more difficult than opening the jars of peanut butter and jam to be slathered on some toasted homemade bread (because then I have to wash the peanut butter knife)… Great. Now I’m hungry for peanut butter…


Hardboiled eggs pretty much just require a bit of time, a gentle hand, and some water that’s come to a rolling boil. The time is mostly hands off. It’s best to carefully lower the eggs into the water so the shells don’t crack (but even then, sometimes they do – I add a splash of white vinegar to the water to help the whites not go to far if this happens). And, the water has to come to a boil even if you watch it… I mean, it’s science, the temperature will eventually climb. (For detailed instructions on how to boil an egg have a look at the Deviled Eggs post.)


For an egg salad base, I like to use equal parts yogurt and mayo (you could substitute silken tofu for either if desired), and a little bit of salt. It’s pretty simple, really yummy, and could be eaten as is. But, for fun, there are tons of things you could mix in. Today I used mushrooms, garlic, basil, cannellini beans, cayenne, and dijon mustard. It was delicious. I’d do it again. But, here are some other mix in options that I’d like to try:

  • capers+shallots+dill+eggplant+dijon
  • kale+basil+red onion+parsley+cayenne
  • tarragon+parsley+dill+spinach
  • mushrooms+dried tomatoes+chiles+garlic+chives+parsley
  • cannellini beans+roasted bell peppers+chives+garlic+ bacon+cucumber+dijon
  • celery+chives+parsley


Whatever the mix ins, they’re added to the base. It’s mixed up and tasted for salt (and because I’m starving and can’t wait to eat).


Depending on the type of bread and how hungry you are, you might opt for the messier open-faced sandwich. I did and hand to dunk my hand in my water glass so I wouldn’t get food all over the keyboard. Worth it.

I had two open-faced sandwiches, both on some homemade sourdough bread, one toasted, one not. I liked them both, but toasted definitely won. I chose simple toppings: lettuce and chopped cherry tomatoes. You might also add some chopped nuts for added crunch. I didn’t. (Because I forgot.)


The mushrooms add a meatiness, the beans add even more protein and texture, the tomatoes add a sweet hint of the last days of summer. If I’d been able to find bacon when I was grocery shopping, I’d have added some too. But, I didn’t, so, alas, that will have to wait for another day.

Happy Eating!

Egg Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2-3

Egg Salad


  • 4-6 hardboiled eggs
  • 2 T mayonnaise (or silken tofu)
  • 2 T plain yogurt (or silken tofu)
  • to taste salt
  • original mix ins: 1 t olive oil
  • 7 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh basil (or combo of basil and chives), chopped
  • 1/4 C cannellini (or any white) beans
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • other mix in options: capers+shallots+dill+eggplant+dijon
  • kale+basil+red onion+parsley+cayenne
  • tarragon+parsley+dill+spinach
  • mushrooms+dried tomatoes+chiles+garlic+chives+parsley
  • cannellini beans+roasted bell peppers+chives+garlic+bacon+cucumber+dijon
  • celery+chives+parsley
  • for serving: bread
  • lettuce


  1. Combine egg salad base (eggs, mayo/silken tofu, yogurt/silken tofu, and salt). Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Choose desired mix ins and prepare or cook as needed. For original mix in recipe: Heat a skillet over medium-low. Add 1 t olive oil. When it's hot, add mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes then season with salt. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Mix egg salad base with mushrooms, garlic (can add in last minute of mushroom cooking time if you prefer for it not to be raw), basil, beans, cayenne, and dijon. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  4. Serve on your favorite bread (toasted, if desired), topped with cherry tomatoes and lettuce.