A Niçoise salad is traditionally served with olives as well, however, I tend to only enjoy olives in form of oil or occasionally, as a tapenade. A tapenade is a Provençal (south of France) spread made of black olives, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil blended together. I used a basic recipe from Food.com and then sliced up a small French baguette. I rubbed the slices with the cut side of a garlic clove and toasted them up in a 400 degree oven until nice and browned and crisp. Spreading the salty, garlicky tapenade on toasts - this was a meal in and of itself. Two platefuls of tapenade little toasts, and two healthy glasses of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo made for my dinner tonight! Sometimes the simplest foods are all you need for the ultimate satisfaction.
Continuing with the creamy European dessert trend, per my boyfriend's request, I made vanilla mousse over the weekend, using egg yolks and whites, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and a touch of Godiva white chocolate liqueur and Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur). I found a simplistic recipe at Nature's Kitchen, and added to it with touches of booze and by including white chocolate covered blueberries. I have been on a berries and yogurt kick lately (they make the perfect mid-morning work snack!) so the idea of covering blueberries in chocolate seemed heavenly. White chocolate is not easy to work with, and my first batch of melting white chocolate chips in the microwave seized up, but I was able to achieve the desired consistency on my second try. I put the blueberries to set by laying them on a wax paper-covered tray in the fridge. As usual, I served up the mousse in different sized glasses for maximum effect.
Fluffy, sweet, and creamy - this is a lovely dessert for when it is horribly humid, wet, and otherwise boiling hot outside. I also high recommend dipping (or covering completely) all fruits in chocolate to top your desserts with. Minimal effort, for a fantastic looking (and tasty) garnish! Perfect for celebrating, as this is my 100th post, yay! :)