Blue Cheese Mousse & Balsamic Baked Pears

Blue Cheese Mousse, baby pear and walnut salad

Blue Cheese Mousse, baby pear and walnut salad

Long name for a quick process. I am not really a gadget person but I love the basics and bought my nifty little food processor/blitzer in Turkey, which I now use as often as I can. Perfect for blitzing smaller quantities, sauces, pestos and things. We are getting glimpses of spring and I made the blue cheese mousse and balsamic baked pear salad as a starter for a dinner with friends.

Blue Cheese Mousse

Blue Cheese Mousse

Blue Cheese Mousse

100gr blue cheese, 125ml cream, 75 ml creme fraiche , 2 table spoons tangy mayonaise, salad herbs

Blitz all of the ingredients together. The quantities above are just an indication and you can add more to taste. I absolutely love the consistency of the mousse and can see a lot of potential here. It is soft and fluffy but dense enough to use in a piping bag and I am getting the idea that it will hold well if gelatine is used to form something….anything with blue cheese!

Spring salad

Spring salad

Balsamic Glazed Pears 

Pears, olive oil and balsamic cream/reduction

Cut pears in thin slices, skin and all, no need to remove the skin. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic cream and bake in the oven at 180 C until soft

Balsamic glazed baked pear

Balsamic glazed baked pears

I served the mousse and pears with baby leaves, rocket, walnuts and a herb vinaigrette.

My friend Ina introduced me to these gorgeous tinned baby pears. See the pepper pot in the back ground, that is how small they are! Small or not, they became the centre piece and conversation topic of the night.

Baby pears in petit colander

Baby pears in petit colander

This mousse will become a spread or a topping for many a thing in future.

Blue cheese mousse starter

Blue cheese mousse starter

This one goes to Fromage Homage for the September Cheese Please! Challenge as hosted by The Garden Deli for the cheese and fruit combination for this month. Somehow I always end up sending some or other blue cheese for the challenge so let me not deviate this time then!

Cheese Please!Blog Challenge

Cheese Please!Blog Challenge

Random Photo:

Yip, definitely a front rower …..

For sure right in the front!

For sure right in front!

Blue cheese salad dressing and Nespresso Machines

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My daughter is celebrating her birthday in South Korea today and we miss her so. In celebration, complete with birthday flowers, we had a birthday lunch at home in Cape Town and skype talked to her. Such is life. I made a blue cheese salad dressing for the first time and will for sure play with the dressing to accompany all sorts of dishes in future. I did not feel like searching and reading recipes and just started mixing ingredients to taste.

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I mixed olive oil, cream and a tangy mayonaise ( use own quantities to taste)

Add fresh herbs of choice

Half a cup of blue cheese melted for about half a minute in the micro wave-I left mine a bit lumpy as it is nice to have a piece of cheese here and there in the dressing. There was more than half a cup but the other half landed in my mouth.

Mix until smooth(ish).

Add more cheese if you want a thick dressing or add a bit of water/milk if a runny dressing is called for.

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Crunch was what I was after and I layered salad leaves and baby savoy cabage which are the most beautiful and perfectly formed little things.

Next add anything you like with a lot of chrunch like cucumber, pine apple and dried onion flakes( which I am obsessed about) and lastly generous scoops of the blue cheese dressing. I did not add bacon bits this time but will certainly do that next time. We had the salad with chicken and pumkin fritters. Trust me, it is nice!

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Now, for my random photo of the day:

This is specially for chef Mimi who recently blogged “In My Kitchen” (which I thought was a great idea) on her blog www.chefmimi.com about things in her kitchen she cannot live without. She mentioned that her Nespresso machine is one of those things and I said to her that I take my obsession with good coffee to another level by taking my Nespresso with me on travels in its own travel case. Her reply quote unquote:

” Holy s&$$))))))! I need to see that!”. Well, here it is then and it saved me from depression many a time, when I just could not and would not face the tepid blueish hotel coffee that seems to go around.

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It is about the same size as a small vanity case. I will rather leave the vanity case behind……

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Enjoy Mimi! (wanted to say: Eat your heart out! hehehe).

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Ps. I was not paid for this standing ovation to Nespresso.

Pineapple salad (I think)

My sister recently blogged on http://nowathome.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/gluten-free-wraps/
about tapioca flour and coconut milk pancakes which she gushed about (and to which dinner I was not invited I might add. Humfff!).

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Today was one of those days at the office which felt like fighting in the trenches with my bare hands and I needed to just not think when I got home. To me, not having to think means cooking (escape) and I used my sister’s recipe for pancakes/wraps.

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It has an elastic consistency and the whiff of coconut milk in smell and taste and I love it. I will definitely try sweet fillings with it as well but tonight I followed her lead and also made curry mince for the filling( did not want to think at all, see.Thank you Aletta!). I had a bottle of peach chutney in the cupboard, bought at a farm stall and I opened that for the pancake occasion.

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At least I had the wherewithal to make a pineapple condiment/ salad which came out really fine I must say.

Ingredients:

pineapple diced

coriander leaves roughly chopped

chilli flakes

feta cheese!

Mix together and drizzle with dressing of your choice. I used a basil vinaigrette and a bit of olive oil.

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I will do this again and again. The sweet pineapple with the saltiness of the feta and the bite of the chilli flakes really worked and will go with more than just curry mince. (note to self for when I can think again).

One other thing(between the millions I think of when I do think) I want to do from now on is add a pretty pic (pretty to me) of any random thing every time I post because my aura needs beautiful things. The below photo was taken by my husband outside Philadelphia(very tiny town outside of Cape Town and not the US namesake) of the blooming canola fields. It seems I have a bit of a yellow theme going on with this post ( good, at least I don’t need to think about it).

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Okay, aura feels better now.