Green Beans with Pancetta

It's been a crazy week here in Wisconsin. Madison is only an hour away. I've been busy attending rally's to support union members who are fighting to keep the right to collectively bargain.

I took a break to make the FFWD recipe of the week. It took three tries to find fresh green beans in a grocery store. This may have been a recipe to hold off on until summer, but the beans I found looked good.

The recipe is very straight-forward and quick. The pancetta added a very nice flavor. The butter a very nice addition. I'm kind of a vegetable wimp and tend to like vegetables a little overfilled. I followed the recipe exactly, and found the beans still crispy which would appeal to most. I would have likes them cooked a little more.

We ate the beans with fish and enjoyed them.

I'm really looking forward to next week's short ribs!

Orange Almond Tart- French Friday #2

This week's French Friday recipe is the Orange Almond tart.  It's been a busy week surrounded by chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.   This recipe was a nice change of pace, and still very sweet and romantic.

I've made many almond cream tarts. This almond cream is very soft and rich.  It's also called Frangipane.  Dorie's tart uses an interesting crust very similar to shortbread.  It was very straight-forward, and delicious!  Two methods were suggested for putting the crust into the tart pan.   I used the press-in method.  The dough is very soft and this seemed much easier.

One on my favorite things to do in the pastry world is cutting perfect little orange segments from the orange.  This recipe used 3 oranges.  After trimming all the peel from the orange, I slid the knife just inside the membrane on each side and lifted out the the perfect orange pieces.  I don't know why that's so fun, but it is!

The smell and taste are amazing.   The dessert was the finishing course to a great dinner with freinds.  Of course, a Valentine's weekend dinner needed chocolate of some sort, so we made sipping chocolate and had a box of chocolate caramel bon bons from earlier in the week.

For anyone looking for something delicate, delicious, and not too difficult, this is it! 
From my kitchen to yours, Happy Valentine's Day!