Friday, December 30, 2011

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

Cauliflower gratin and Tricia's creme brulee.  What more could you ask for over the holidays ?  Perhaps Dorie's delicious duck that Nana prepared for Christmas dinner......not to mention a specialty cheesecake from the local "Nuns of New Skete".  An adventure for sure ~

Per Tricia:

While many Doristas have browsed the French Fridays Cookbook
and made dishes in addition to the "selectees", I have barely
been able to make the ones selected each week and have not
strayed. Except for the cauliflower recipe, which I spied when we did
 the potato gratin and promptly made.  Over and over again. 

 It is a family favorite and perfect for the holidays anywhere,
 but especially in Vermont where it has been snowing just enough
 to add the perfect atmosphere
 (in lieu of providing enough to ski......). 

We enjoyed our "Feast of 7 Fishes" for Christmas Eve dinner, 
 but Nana decided to make the lovely duck recipe from FFWD
 for Christmas dinner.  It was delicious !

I also played catch up and made the creme brulee after picking up my
ordered creme brulee dishes at the JK Adams Kitchen Store. 
 I snapped a few photos of the outside after the fact as I forgot to take
 a camera inside when I picked up the dishes.  The store is a real
treat and if anyone ever makes it to south west Vermont, I
would definitely suggest a visit. 

 The first time we visited the area we drove past this industrial building
on the side of the road that surprisingly had a sign indicating there was
 a "kitchen store" in there somewhere. I got immediately excited- even
though I did not recognize that label, I could "tell it was interesting".

They have lovely goods, amazing gourmet food supplies and an
observation booth where you can look out over the manufacturing
floor in the back of the headquarters.  I since found their products as
I travel all over and have come to have a ridiculous amount of  pride
(which I am not technically not supposed to have) when doing so. 

Last note on the creme brulee -the taste was amazing and the
 boys got to do the torch.  I was hesitant and they were over the moon
 to see such a gadget.  I will be hiding it when we return to PA...... 

And now, the cheesecake. 

The nuns of New Skete are located in Cambridge, NY.
The monks have a monastery nearby.

It is about 45 from where we were in Vermont and somehow I have
 not gotten over there before.  But this time was different.

It was an adventure and did not disappoint. 
The cakes have been written up in the Rachel Ray
 magazine and other places. They also offer fruitcakes but holidays
 or not, we were not going there. The nearby monks of New Skete
 are the ones famous for their work with dogs and German Shepherds
in particular. It is funny because I bought their hardcover book years
ago in my local Costco, "How To Be Your Dogs Best Friend",
and it felt surreal to be standing at the actual monastery.

 The nuns ship the cheesecake but the real adventure
is showing up (if you can) as they have an honor system
after hours. We were lucky enough to visit when it was open
 so we could buy other goodies as well.

 The "deluxe" cheesecake is plain and it was delicious, though  I have
not met a cheesecake that I did  not like. It is a sweeter version with
a very thin crust which more closely resembles a sugar cookie than a
graham cracker.  Hope everyone enjoyed their own holiday goodies. 

 Happy New Year from Nana and I !!


  1. Fabulous post, my mouth was watering the whole way through! From the cauliflower gratin, the duck, the creme brûlée to the cheesecake! I would love to visit and see the monastery and the kitchen shop;-) looks like you've both done Dorie proud this year and I'm looking forward to following you next year. Happy New Year!

  2. I think the Nun's have been on TV, the food channel or PBS. How interesting to be able to actually go there! All the food looks great! Happy New Year Tricia and Nana!

  3. What an adventure! I confess I want to to back to Vermont not for the skiing, but for King Arthur Flour and places like the ones you've visited. Your holiday dishes look wonderful. I really need to resolve to cook out of Dorie's French cookbook more often in 2012!

    Those of us who just completed Dorie's Baking book last week will be starting up with Baking with Julia in February - please join us if you aren't too busy in the kitchen already!

    And have you been to Taste in Phoenixville? Olive oils and vinegars on tap, Di Bruno cheeses...oh yes, and wine!

  4. What a great holiday line up! It sounds like the perfect holiday :-) (especially if a kitchen store is involved)

    I live about an hour due West of Cambridge, but somehow have never made it out there (when we head to VT, we are usually taking Rte 29 straight out to the border).

  5. Sounds like you had a lovely holiday. Vermont is such a magical place, especially when there is snow on the ground. So happy to hear that you enjoyed the gratin and got to buy some new kitchen gadgets. Sounds like an amazing store, I'll definitely have to check it out next time I'm in the area.

    And what is the deal with men (young and old) and that torch? When we make creme brulee my husband will not let anyone else near the torch, it is his favorite kitchen toy. I think if more recipes called for open flames in the kitchen, he would be a happy man.

    Happy New Year Tricia & Nana!

  6. What a great post! It looks like you've been having so much fun, thanks or sharing! Happy New Year!!!

  7. I'm going to have to make a foodie trip to Vermont to go to King Arthur Flour and this place! All of the food looks great! Happy New Year!

  8. Happy New Year ladies - your blog is one of those I can't wait to read every Friday! Thanks for sharing your adventures in the kitchen with us this year!

  9. Happy new year to you both!!! I loved the rich and yummy! But since I had to eat most of it myself (picky family!), I probably will only make it for company~

  10. What a fun trip and delicious ffwD meal! Great post! Happy new year!

  11. Sounds like a lot of great food adventures on your trip to Vermont. Yum! I made Dorie's duck for Christmas dinner too. It was perfect. Your cauliflower gratin and creme brulees look delicious! Happy New Year to you and Nana!

  12. I think I will refer to you when I make my vacation plans. I think we enjoy the same kind - foodie! I read your San Francisco trip and it sounded like the best time. Now your VT trip sounds great too! So glad you had a nice time and it makes me feel like I'm not the only one who tries to center all my activities around food!

  13. I did enjoy reading about your travels and your finds. Your creme brulee looked delicious as does your creamy cauliflower gratin! Happy New Year to you, Nana and your families!

  14. Wonderful post and I can see how much you and Nana enjoyed your holidays :) all the good food and that die for :)) Your gratin looks delicious ! Happy New Year to you and Nana and I look forward to cooking along with you in the coming new year :)

  15. What a terrific roundup of Dorie recipes! I hope that both of you and your family and friends have a very Happy New Year. See you both next year!

  16. I enjoyed reading your post so much. You always find the most interesting places to visit and the cheesecake made by the nuns looks so delicious. I am so glad you got to make the creme brulee, Tricia, - it looks wonderful. All your Christmas dishes look delightful. Mmm...I want to make Dorie's duck again! And, what is it with men and gadgets?! :)

    I wish both of you and your families a wonderful New Year!

  17. There's so much fun stuff going on in this post! That kitchen store sounds dangerous. I'd walk out with a car full of gadgets. Glad that all of your Dorie dishes were a success. Happy New Year to both of you!

  18. I couldn't get past the Feast of Seven Fishes! To this land-locked Minnesotan, that's always seemed the ultimate in luxury.

  19. What a fun post. I've been meaning to take a trip to Vermont - I'm going to have to go to the kitchen store when we make it up there! Your Feast of Seven Fishes sounds great, as does all of your holiday food. Happy New Year!

  20. I was familiar with the Monks and their dog books, but this is the first I've heard of the Nuns. Sounds like it was well-worth the trip.

    I've got to get some creme brulee dishes - I've been coveting all the lovely ones I've seen in everyone's posts.

    I hadn't made the gratin before, but now that I have, it definitely won't be the last time. This is a great recipe.

    Hope you and Nana have a wonderful 2012. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  21. Ooh.. the duck and the gratin WOULD be just perfect together. I'm behind, again, as usual, but I have been looking for a good reason to make that duck again and this is it. Uh uh. Thanks!

    Happy New Year to you both! See you in 2012!

  22. What a spectacular holiday treat! I would love to see photos of your Feast of the 7 Fishes if you took any. It just sounds like you had one of the best holidays - great creme brulee, happy family involvement and cheesecake!

    Happy New Year! Looking forward to cooking and reading with you and Nana in 2012!

  23. Happy New Year, Tricia and Nana, All I can say is "WOW". To do the fishes on Christmas Eve and prepare the feast you did on Christmas is quite exceptional. Would loved to have been sitting at your table. Loved your holiday Posts. Happy New Year and I look forward to a good 2012 of cooking with you both.

  24. YUM! Everything in this post looks amazing! :)

  25. Happy new year to. Everything looks great. Maybe this year you catch up with us, I'm looking forward to it.