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Some Sweets from my Sweetie for Valentines

Like many of you, we have been trying new recipes over the last year, and a few have really stuck with us, and are a regular part of the Chez Nez dessert menu—whether they be pumpkin muffins, cinnamon buns (a Sunday morning requirement), and especially for Valentine’s Day are these melt-in-your-mouth warm out-of-the-oven Peanut Butter Blossoms.

I can’t take credit for making any of these, my sweet valentine Colleen is the baker in the house, and the boys and I fight over the last one of anything she makes!

Normally Colleen uses kisses, but the heart-shaped chocolates were the call for today! Milk or dark chocolate, they melt a little when pressed into the warm cookies. Yum!
From Scratch Cinnamon Buns, with chopped Pecans rolled in.
There is nothing like the smell of warm pumpkin muffins coming out of the oven!

TGIF-Lychee Sangria

Another friday, another cocktail recipe. This is an exotic tropical version of a Sangria. Enjoy.

Lychee Sangria

1/2 oz. Tanduay Gold rum
4 oz.     Gekkeikan Haiku
3/4 oz. Lychee Syrup
1 oz.     Pineapple Juice
1 oz.     Pomegranate Juice
lemon-lime soda

Pour ingredients into mixing glass.
Spindle-mix, then pour over ice.
Top with a splash of lemon-lime soda.
Garnish with fresh fruit (lychee, strawberries, pineapple, citrus).

For more great Tanduay Rum recipes and info go here.

TGIF-The French Pearl

I’ve had the opportunity to shoot a lot of cocktail recipes for clients in the studio and many are now sitting idle on hard drives collecting virtual dust, so I decided its a shame not to share, and want to start a Friday tradition of posting a recipe a week. Let me know what you think and hopefully I can inspire some of you to try one of these tasty libations?

“The French Pearl”

2 parts Plymouth Gin
¼ part Pernod Absinthe
¾ part fresh lime juice
¾ part simple syrup
1 mint sprig

Muddle mint with lime juice in a mixing glass. Add additional ingredients, and shake over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass using a fine mesh strainer.

French Pearl

Salade Lyonnaise: Red-Wine Poached Egg & Salad

What do you do with that half bottle of red wine that has been on the kitchen counter for over a week? Poach an egg of course.
Check out the recipe here.

Poached Egg

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

Winter is a great time to stay home and bake. My wife Colleen is the quick bread queen and makes a really yummy cinnamon swirl bread that fills the house with wonderful smells of warm cinnamon. We’ve been wanting to shoot more recipes that we have tried, and have incorporated into our regular menu. And if you are on a budget, most of the ingredients are already in your pantry and fridge. You can make your own loaves at home that everyone in the family will enjoy for breakfast or an after-school snack.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread


1/3 cup sugar (for swirling)

2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar (for batter)

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350-F



1-Prep Loafpan

Step 1- Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan by lightly greasing and powdering with flour.

2-Mix Sugar-Cinn

Step 2- Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon. (set aside)

3-Dry Mixture

Step 3- Prepare dry mixture in a large bowl.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup of sugar.

4-Wet Mixture

Step 4- Prepare wet mixture in a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and oil.

5-Mix Batter

Step 5- Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until just combined.

6-Pour Half Batter

Step 6- Pour 1/2 the batter into the loaf pan.

7-Layer Cinn-Sugar

Step 7- Sprinkle 1/2 cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat the surface of the batter evenly.

8-Pour Remaining Batter

Step 8- Pour the remaining batter in the pan.
Use a spatula or knife to smooth into corners and edges.

9-Top with Sugar-Cinn

Step 9- Top evenly with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.

10-Vert Swirls

Step 10- Make vertical swirls with a knife.

11-Horiz Swirls

Step 11- Make a couple horizontal swirls the length of the pan.

12-Bake for 45-50

Ready to go into the oven! Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350-F.
Check with a toothpick (should remove clean).

13-Let Cool

Let sit for about 10 min in the pan then remove to a wire rack until cool.