Downloadable Monthly Calendar, US Edition and International Edition – January 2015

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To display calendar on your computer screen, > download the calendar of your choice to your desktop, > right-click on the image, > choose the option that says, “Set as Desktop Background”, (exact wording will depend on the browser you use).
If the image does not fit your desktop background neatly, you may have to go to your preference panel: Control Panel > Display > Desktop) and choose “Fit to screen” as the display mode of your background image. Mac users will have to use different commands to the same effect.
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January   2015 :

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ChefsOpinion January Calendar. International Edition

ChefsOpinion January Calendar. International Edition

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I Wish It Was Summer………
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ChefsOpinion January Calendar. US  Edition

ChefsOpinion January Calendar. US Edition

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Chili-Kissed Chicken Cutlets With Couscous

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Chili-kissed  you ask ?
Well, who wouldn’t like to be kissed by something hot and spicy once in a while (or maybe often). Certainly these chicken cutlets, which are transformed from ordinary to divine by the addition of fresh chili and plenty of garlic-confit paste. Tasty couscous with lots of bell peppers and sriracha add more flavor and a good quality olive oil, drizzled over the finished dish, rounds out this light and flavorful dinner, which I enjoyed after an extensive walk around the lake with madam, marveling at all the beautiful Christmas and Holiday decorations.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Chile-Kissed Chicken Cutlet With Couscous

Chili-Kissed Chicken Cutlets With Couscous

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Chile-Kissed Chicken Cutlet With Couscous

Chili-Kissed Chicken Cutlets With Couscous

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Breakfast Of Champions # 45 – Pan Perdu (Arme Ritter) (French Toast)

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If  there is one dish made of stale bread that is served just about anywhere in the world it is Pan Perdu, also known as:
Germany (arme ritter), England (poor knights of windsor), USA and Kanada (french toast), France (pain perdu), Russia (grenki), Spain (torrijas), Finnland (köyhät ritarit), Hungary (bundás kenyér), Turkey (ekmek balığı) Holland (wentelteefje), Austria(pavesen), Portugal (rabanadas). This is but a small part of a large number of countries which serve pan perdu in one form or another.
The most basic form of preparation is stale bread or cake soaked in a mixture of milk, egg and sugar, then sauteed. From there on, many variations exist, with a few or many other ingredients added -white wine, honey, brandy, cinnamon, fruits, cream cheese, maple syrup and countless other variations, even savory ones. My own version this morning was pretty basic, I did however use chocolate pound cake instead of bread and dusted the sauteed pan perdu with castor sugar and cinnamon. You can imagine the improvement.  The hot, very sweet pineapple also added to the enjoyment of this oh so simple leftover dish. Truly a champion of a breakfast, worthy to be served to a champion :-)

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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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Breakfast Of Champions # 45 - Pan Perdu (Arme Ritter)

Breakfast Of Champions # 45 – Pan Perdu (Arme Ritter)

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Breakfast Of Champions # 45 - Pan Perdu (Arme Ritter)

Breakfast Of Champions # 45 – Pan Perdu (Arme Ritter)

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Surf & Turf

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For  most folks with ordinary disposable income, it used to be that “Surf & Turf ” was a “special occasion dish”, something you ordered on your anniversary or birthday at that special place you went to once or maybe twice a year. As for myself, ditto, – plus I would not normally think of cooking meat and seafood at home for one dish, it is usually  Either – Or .
It just so happened tonight that I had a craving for shrimp and steak. Since I live alone with Bella, it felt okay to just serve everything at once, instead of eating it divided into three courses, as would be more traditional and “proper”.
So, instead of the menu being:

“Sautéed Shrimp In Garlic Butter”
“Hearts of Romaine Lettuce In Raspberry Vinaigrette”
“Aged Rib Eye Steak With Spicy Herb Butter And Toasted Sour Dough Bread”

It was rather simply :

“Surf & Turf”

What a feast, all prepared quickly, served quickly and devoured even more quickly :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for Garlic/Herb Butter Recipe
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Surf & Turf

Surf & Turf

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Surf & Turf

Surf & Turf

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Tomato Soup With Spicy Sausage & Pasta

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Comfort  food – the moniker say’s it all – it gives you comfort and leaves you in a better state than you were before you consumed it.
And the best thing about it is that not only does it make you feel good and satisfied, it usually is also uncomplicated and easy on the wallet.
I have included spicy Italian sausage “meatballs” here since I had leftovers from yesterdays dinner. Frozen tomato soup is a staple in my freezer, since I usually make a large batch and freeze whatever I don’t eat right away. ( Empty” Crystal Light” containers are perfect and free for this). So all that was needed for this beauty of a soup was to cook the pasta, heat the soup and saute the sliced  sausages in garlic oil.
Voilà – instant great comfort and happiness :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for Tomato Soup Recipe
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Tomato Soup With Spicy Sausage & Pasta

Tomato Soup With Spicy Sausage & Pasta

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Tomato Soup With Spicy Sausage & Pasta

Tomato Soup With Spicy Sausage & Pasta

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Tomato Soup With Spicy Sausage & Pasta

Tomato Soup With Spicy Sausage & Pasta

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Preparation :
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Curried Beef & Pasta

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Sunday  lunch is supposed to be the highlight of the week, when traditionally the whole family gathers around the dining table for the culinary highlight of the week. So sad to see traditions like that slowly but surely disappear :-(
However, Bella and I keep the tradition alive as best as we can, gathering on my chaise-lounge and enjoying a great lunch while watching a good movie (the movie substituting the lively conversation which is supposed to take place among the family during Sundays lunch).
We do converse though – she begs, upon which I sternly say “don’t beg, which she follows with a moan or bark, followed by me giving her a morsel. Then I have a few bites until she begs again, which is usually as soon as she swallows her bit. And so on, until the meal is finished :-)
So, here we go, without further ado – today’s lunch :
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Curried Beef & Pasta

Curried Beef & Pasta

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Curried Beef & Pasta

Curried Beef & Pasta

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Curried Beef & Pasta

Curried Beef & Pasta

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Click here for  Garam Masala  Instructions
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Sauteed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

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Cod  used to be the cheapest fish you can buy – but look at it now : 4 pieces for $ 38.00 at the fishmonger ! :-(
But once in a while I have to splurge a bit and this cod just fit the bill :-)
Tomorrow we’ll have dry bread again……
Not really, but I really wish basic food items would be priced a bit more affordable. Shops get fancier all the time, advertising cost’s millions and all these costs have to be covered by the food we consume.
But then again, we are blessed to have this abundance available to us, unlike many (most?) folks in the world who consider them self lucky just to fill their belly every (some) day with whatever scraps they can find.
So with that in mind, on to last nights feast -

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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good (For some of us at least, blessed as we are)

P.S.
if you wonder what happened to the other 3 pieces of fish – Bella had one and I had three :-)
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Sauteed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

Sautéed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

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Sauteed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

Sautéed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

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Sauteed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

Sautéed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Soupe A L’Oignon Au Crème (Creamy French Onion Soup)

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If  you think that french onion soup is one of the best soups in the world you are undoubtedly right. But did you ever eat its lesser known cousin, creamy french onion soup? Once you do, you’ll probably be hard pressed to decide which version is the better one, the more famous gratinated clear version or this creamy one, which I have enhanced here with toasted bread, toasted almonds and fried garlic chips. I am of course a huge fan of both versions, but for me, the creamy version is the clear winner.
Way back, during my youth in the old countries, these two variations  alternated on the menus of many restaurants of all types and they also were a cold weather staple in many homes, where often lager beer was added for even more richness :-).
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for another variation of “Onion Soup”
Click here for “Classic French Onion Soup”
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Soupe A L'Oignon Au Crème (Creamy French Onion Soup)

Soupe A L’Oignon Au Crème (Creamy French Onion Soup)

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Soupe A L'Oignon Au Crème (Creamy French Onion Soup)

Soupe A L’Oignon Au Crème (Creamy French Onion Soup)

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Soupe A L'Oignon Au Crème (Creamy French Onion Soup)

Soupe A L’Oignon Au Crème (Creamy French Onion Soup)

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Preparation :

To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Shrimp-Loaded Twice Baked Potato & Cucumber/Tomato Salad In Chili/Lime Vinaigrette

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Versatile  is an understatement when describing this dish.
Tasty, great, satisfying,  lecker  , delicious and wonderful on the other hand are highly accurate.
Because of the large amount of shrimps added to the potatoes, there is fair amount of stuffing left over. You can shape this into patties (2 ounces for hors d’oeuvres, 4 oz for appetizers, 6 oz for main course) and freeze them between oiled plastic film (airtight) for at least one month, then just saute them in butter until heated through and golden.  Or, you could forgo the whole stuffed potato thing and transform all of it into patties :-).
Either way, I am sure whether you are a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned veteran, you will love and appreciate this simple yet sophisticated dish.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Shrimp-Loaded Twice Baked Potato & CucumberTomato Salad In Lime Vinaigrette

Shrimp-Loaded Twice Baked Potato & Cucumber/Tomato Salad In Chili/Lime Vinaigrette

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 Baked Potato Patty & Cucumber/Tomato Salad In Lime Vinaigrette With Aji Amarillo Sauce

Baked Potato/Shrimp Patty & Cucumber/Tomato Salad In Chili/Lime Vinaigrette With Aji Amarillo Sauce

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Shrimp-Loaded Twice Baked Potato & CucumberTomato Salad In Lime Vinaigrette

Shrimp-Loaded Twice Baked Potato & Cucumber/Tomato Salad In Chili/Lime Vinaigrette

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Preparation :
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To enlarge pictures, click on pictures
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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No Cook Octopus Salad

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Please  forgive me for the slight misnomer of this dish, “No-Cook Octopus Salad”.
Of course, the potatoes have been pre-cooked and so has the octopus.
But since I had leftover potatoes  from yesterday and the  octopus came out of a can (Vigo Brand, which is one of my favorite canned seafood brands), all I had to do today for this quick and tasty dinner is to mix the cubed potatoes and drained octopus with sliced romaine, diced onions and a garlic/lime vinaigrette (lime juice, olive oil, garlic paste,cayenne pepper and kosher salt).
Voilà, minimum time and effort for maximum taste and satisfaction :-)
With the salad I had a freshly baked warm french bread and a glass of iced peach tea.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Octopus Salad

No Cook Octopus Salad

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Octopus Salad

No Cook Octopus Salad

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Preparation :
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To enlarge pictures, click on pictures
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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