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Bread and a Workout!

Flour, water, yeast, salt, and voilà! Magic. Add a great workout for your core and arms; I suggest listening to your favorite podcast while kneading the dough. These are the elements of this sourdough loaf, the most basic of bread wonders. At least the first time taste it by itself, still quite warm, fragrant andContinue reading “Bread and a Workout!”

Banana Bread Sofia

In our bed & breakfast kitchen at Yosemite Plaisance I frequently play with a variety of dietary restrictions dictated by our guests’ medical requirements or sometimes personal preferences. Of course it is fun to adapt or create new recipes aimed to please everyone. I had just such an opportunity recently when we served Sofia, oneContinue reading “Banana Bread Sofia”

Mango Caprese? For Sure!

A gorgeous vegetarian main course this variation on the tomato, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil classic is incredibly flavorful. The peppery quality of the basil plays the perfectly ripe mango like a violin! Ripen your tomato and mango until soft and fragrant, indoors in the sun and for several days if needed. On a bedContinue reading “Mango Caprese? For Sure!”

Cauliflower Roast

Roasted veggies are so fragrant and delicious as a simple meal or an attractive side to something more substantial. This fast preparation happens to be vegan. Preheat your oven to 400˚. Chop a whole cauliflower. On a large cookie sheet spread the chopped cauliflower, season it with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, andContinue reading “Cauliflower Roast”

Squash Anyone?

I recently had the good fortune to be given a gorgeous young yellow squash from my cousin’s garden. In fact it was so beautiful that I could not bring myself to cook it! Salad came to mind. A bed of young spinach, chopped squash, green onions, ham and/or cheese if you like, peanuts, vinaigrette andContinue reading “Squash Anyone?”

Scrumptious cookie bar on shortbread base

Follow our recipe for cranberry treats at http://www.yosemiteplaisance.com, select Bon Appetit! and click on the chef’s knife. Simply substitute the topping ingredients with 1/2 cup each of chocolate chips, steel cut oats , pecans and coconut and make sure to use brown sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Follow all other directions and yum!

What’s in a name?

Shortbread speaks to my husband’s Scottish roots and is so easy to make that it is a great recipe for children, even very young: you just fold ingredients, pat ingredients, sprinkle sugar and bake. So why ‘chef ‘Hélène? I regularly spend time cooking with children at Greeley Hill Elementary School/Coulterville High School in northern MariposaContinue reading “What’s in a name?”


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