Bite-size Beignets with Gruyère, Fennel & Piment d'espelette

When having a simple lunch or dinner of soup or salad I like to offer a little "something" on the side to make the meal more interesting.
Homemade bread, crackers or sometimes these delicious morsels that go together fairly quickly. They also are terrific as an appetizer.
Savory, not sweet these are a fabulous warm, crispy nibble with a tender center ~ delicious with cold drinks, soups, or salads.
Hint: Make Plenty! They are always popular and disappear instantly.

These beignets are based on the French dough, pâte á choux. It’s the same dough used for profiteroles and éclairs. A very simple method which produces impressive results.

Beignets may be rolled out and cut then fried, however in this recipe the beignet dough is shaped with a spoon or a scoop, then dropped into hot oil to cook. You can also pipe them onto a baking sheet, brush with an egg wash and bake them.

Rather than the traditional sweet version, this time I added shredded Gruyère cheese, minced fennel bulb which I had sweated in a bit of butter, and toasted fennel seeds to the dough.
Next they are fried in hot vegetable oil for a few minutes, removed to drain then sprinkled with the highly fragrant and spicy Piment d'espelette. Cayenne, or another ground red pepper could be substituted as well.

I like to form the little balls with a very small food scoop (about 1-inch in diameter). This way the puffs cook quickly and perfectly, the exterior is crispy, crunchy, and the interior is moist and just cooked through.
They are best best eaten immediately after cooking, which is a good thing because it is an effort in futility to resist these crisp little morsels, as they drain on paper towels.

However, if necessary, you can keep them for a short time by placing them on a pan, in a warm (200* F) oven for up to about a half an hour.

I made them to go along with a warm, delicious, healthy and hearty tomato soup. I'll share that recipe very soon.
If you would like a printable copy for these beignets, it is available on the Once Upon a Plate recipe blog.
The recipe? Click HERE.

Cheers and thank you for stopping by to visit today!


Dark Chocolate and Apple Packets

Oh, warm melting chocolate, slightly crisp apple in a crunchy envelope.
A quick, sweet little dessert or snack, these are just so easy!

Crispy, warm, melting chocolate with a slice of apple.

Here are the ingredients, plus a little water, 2 tablespoons melted butter, assemble then bake for a few minutes.

Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar to serve.

I added some toasted, sliced almonds to some.
So good with a cup of tea, coffee, or maybe an after dinner drink.
Another fabulous idea from Donna Hay.

When you want a super-quick snack or dessert you might want to keep this one in mind.

If you would like a printable copy of the directions, please visit my recipe
blog by clicking: Once Upon a Plate ~ The Recipes.

Thank you for coming by to visit today!
I would love it if you would leave a comment, I appreciate your thoughts.

Please click the logo above to go to Designs by Gollum to see all who are participating this week.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend everyone!!


Tablescape ~ Blue and White Luncheon Table

Welcome to Tablescape Thursday ~ I'm so glad you stopped by!

I borrowed this idea for this weeks table from a lovely historical Bed and Breakfast Inn here in Oregon.

The china is one of our everyday sets, Liberty Blue printed on Staffordshire Ironstone made in England, which I've shared on my blog before.

Now, usually I probably wouldn't have combined the red linens, golden flatware and charger with my everyday Blues ~

But I really liked the way it looked at the B & B, so I (shamelessly) copied their example!

I like to mix and match my everyday blue and white with other brands,
like this Burleigh ware in the "Calico" pattern, Staffordshire, England.

And water served up in this antique American pressed glass pitcher.
A pitcher of water or lemonade on the table seems to express the feeling of hospitality.
But, Ooops, you may have noticed that I forgot to add the water glasses to the table setting this time.
As my friend Linda would say, this was one of those "mature moments".
True! I love that. *grin*

If this were the peak of rose season, I probably would have chosen reds and white, or maybe golden yellows ~ but we're clipping the last few blooms of the season, so I couldn't be picky. These poor blooms took a little tired from the beating they took from the rains the previous evening but I love to have something fresh on the table for the centerpiece when possible.

I would like to thank you for coming by today, please come back again often.
I would love if you would leave me a message so I know you have visited.
Have a lovely weekend, friends ~
And Happy TT!

Please click the logo to visit Susan's blog, Between Naps on the Porch to take a look at her fabulous tablescape and see all participants entries.


(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday ~ Outdoor Wednesday

My family roots and history are deeply entrenched in California, particularly San Francisco, and the SF Bay Area.

During a trip home recently I did the tourist thing ~ here are a few images of the western edge of San Francisco.

Most of these were taken from the promontory overlooking the Cliff House and Seal Rocks with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, now
Sutro Heights Park, formerly the site of Adolph Sutro's home and gardens.

The Cliff House Project

Seal Rock

Looking south down The Great Highway.

The condos on the left in the photos were built on the site of the old Playland at the Beach, a favorite spot for us when were kids. :)

The beautiful Pacific:

North entrance to Golden Gate Park~
(The condos again, formerly Playland at the Beach)

In 1902, the parks commission authorized construction of two windmills to pump subterranean water to supply the park. The first one, on the north side of the park facing the Pacific Ocean, was completed in 1903 and became known first as the North Windmill and later as the Dutch Windmill; it is now paired with the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden. The second, Murphy's Windmill, on the south side of the park, began operation in 1908. They operated for several decades, but fell into disrepair after the park switched to electric water pumps. The Dutch Windmill was restored in 1981, but, as of 2009, Murphy's Windmill's restoration is still in progress. ~
As quoted from Wikipedia/Golden Gate Park
Below ~
Adorable city kids, hard at play. :)
Some things are timeless.

Thank you for stopping by to visit.

You can see more participants at:


Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.


For more information:

Adolph Sutro ~ 24th Mayor of San Francisco

The Sutro District and Links to more.

The San Francisco Cliff House

Playland at the Beach

A Sampling of my food . . .


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