Archives for March 2016

#mymarcels by Alicia Sitley

Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to have a guest blog post this week from one of our delightful customers, Alicia Sitley.  Join Alicia and start hash-tagging your favorite finds from Marcel’s with #mymarcels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  We can’t wait to see and share your stories.  Thanks Alicia!

As I go through my daily routines, I realize that each trip to Marcel’s has helped me to collect beautiful “home souvenirs” that quickly become part of our family’s tradition. Like keepsakes from a beautiful journey, everything I buy at Marcel’s now inspires a story.

#mymarcels1Beginning with coffee, the #mymarcels Nespresso machine saved us from severe “espresso depression” by continuing our daily cappuccino and espresso indulgences after a trip to Italy. (We even bought a second Nespresso for our college freshman, which means #mymarcels extends as far south as Champaign-Urbana.)

#mymarcels also includes our cheery cherry Le Creuset French Press; black Epicurean cutting boards so sleek they triggered a friend to confess cutting-board envy; and the gorgeous Chilewich placemats that gracefully catch our spills and withstand my daughter’s aggressive wipe downs.

And please, let us pay special tribute to the Camerons Stovetop Smoker, an “emotional purchase” after a three-minute description of its flair for mouth-watering, smoked yumminess. This smoking won’t kill you because everything it produces is so good you’d die for it first. Cheese, veggies, fish, meat, everything’s better when we smoke it!

When I visit Marcel’s, I admit I look around and long to adopt nearly everything displayed as #mymarcels, but that would just be gluttonous. Time and life’s events will inspire my next purchases, because Marcel’s rewards our journeys. What souvenirs have you taken home from Marcel’s? Look around your kitchen, then tell everyone at #mymarcels. 

Homemade Naan

Homemade Naan
Yields 16
  1. 3 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 t. baking soda
  4. 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  5. 1 T. sugar
  6. 3/4 t. active dry yeast
  7. 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  8. 3/4 cup warm milk
  9. 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  10. melted butter
  1. Combine yeast, sugar and warm water and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes or until foamy. In the meantime, combine dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Make a well in the center.
  2. Stir milk and yogurt together and combine with the yeast mixture. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine and then knead by hand a few times until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  4. When dough is ready, punch down and turn out onto a well floured service. Divide in half and then divide each piece into eight pieces. Press or roll out into a 6" circle - approximately 1/8 " thick. If adding seeds, spices etc. press on the top now.
  5. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Melt a little butter in pan and place dough in skillet. Cook for one minute, flip and cook one minute on other side.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Super Easy No-Fail Fudge

Super Easy No-Fail Fudge
  1. 4 cups sugar
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 1 t. vanilla
  4. 1 cup butter (no substitutes!)
  5. 25 large marshmallows
  6. 1 large package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  7. 1 large package milk chocolate chips
  8. 1 cup nuts
  1. Boil sugar, milk, vanilla, and butter 2 minutes to dissolve sugar, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly add marshmallows; stir to dissolve. (A whisk works well for this.) Add one package chocolate chips and stir to dissolve, working quickly. Add the other package of chocolate chips and stir to dissolve, working quickly. Add the nuts and stir.
  2. Immediately pour into buttered 9x13 pan.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Deviled Eggs Three Ways

Deviled eggs from Jill, Kelly and Dana!

Jill’s Deviled Eggs
  1. 8 hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
  2. ¼ cup mayonnaise, or more as desired
  3. 1/8 t. cayenne, plus more for sprinkling
  4. 1 T. horseradish
  5. 1 ½ t. dry mustard
  6. 1 t. poultry seasoning
  7. ½ t. celery salt
  8. a few dashes worcestershire
  9. salt and pepper
  1. Cut eggs in half and remove yolks into a bowl. Mash yolks and add remaining ingredients. Taste and season as desired. Fill each egg white with a generous spoonful of the egg yolk mixture. Sprinkle with cayenne.
Marcel's Culinary Experience
Kelly Sears' Deviled Egg Base
  1. 1 cup mayonnaise
  2. ¼ cup Dijon
  3. 1 t. salt
  4. 2 good grinds pepper
  5. ¼ cup buttermilk
  6. ½ t. smoked paprika, if desired
  7. mashed egg yolks
  1. Mix together mayonnaise, Dijon, salt and pepper in a jar. To this add buttermilk. Shake or stir until completely combined. To this add smoked paprika, if desired.
  2. Mix this base with mashed egg yolks to form the basis of your deviled egg filling.
  1. Add-ins: crumpled bacon and chile with adobo, smoked salmon and dill, shallots, chives, etc.
Marcel's Culinary Experience
Dana's Deviled Eggs
  1. 8 hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
  2. Deviled Egg Base (see Kelly's recipe above)
  3. La Boite B Marlene seasoning
  4. celery salt
  5. salt and pepper
  6. capers
  1. Cut eggs in half and remove yolks into a bowl. Mash yolks and add enough deviled egg base to form a creamy yolk mixture. Add seasonings to desired taste..
  2. Fill each egg white with a generous spoonful of the egg yolk mixture. Top with capers
  3. Hard Boiled Eggs: Place eggs in sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Plunge in cold water until eggs are cold. For best results, do not use eggs that have just been purchased.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Parachute Bing Bread

Parachute Bing Bread
  1. 1 T. sugar
  2. 1 cup warm water (100°F)
  3. 1 1/8 t. active dry yeast
  4. 1 t. kosher salt
  5. 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
  6. 1 T. toasted sesame oil, divided
  7. 8 slices thick cut bacon
  8. 1 medium russet potato, diced
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1 cup shredded white cheddar
  11. 3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  12. oil for pan frying
  13. 1/2 T. soy sauce
  14. 1/2 t. sugar
  15. 1 T. sesame seeds, divided
  1. Stir together the warm water and sugar in a bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the salt and flour. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball with only a few dry spots. Move to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and proof until doubled in size, about 50-70 minutes.
  3. While the dough is rising, cook the bacon and potatoes. Cut the bacon into 1/4 inch pieces and cook over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Peel and dice the potato. Place in cold water in a small pot and bring to a boil, cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain well and cook in a touch of the bacon fat over medium heat until cooked through and crispy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  5. Once the dough has doubled, gently punch down and transfer to a generously floured surface. Knead, adding flour a tablespoon at a time if needed. Dough should be soft, pliable and slightly sticky. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and cover the pieces with plastic wrap.
  6. Take one dough piece, and on a floured surface, roll out until 1/4″ thick. Brush off excess flour and brush with toasted sesame oil and generously sprinkle with potato, bacon, cheese and scallions.
  7. Roll up, as you would a cinnamon or jelly roll and pinch to seal. Coil the roll into a spiral and gently flatten. Place on parchment paper, lightly dust with flour if needed and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  8. Whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl.
  9. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add a generous amount of oil and place 4 spirals into the skillet. Brush with soy glaze. Cover and cook until the underside is golden brown, 5-10 minutes, checking often. Uncover and flip, brushing with soy glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  10. Transfer the cast iron pan to the oven and bake until bottoms are brown and bread is cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Cover with foil if starting to brown to quickly.
Adapted from Parachute Restaurant via Bon Appetit / I Am A Food Blog
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Lemon-Chicken & Pepe Soup

Lemon-Chicken & Pepe Soup
Serves 8
  1. 1 T. olive oil
  2. 4 scallions (white and green parts separated), chopped
  3. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 small zucchini, diced
  6. 1/2 t. kosher salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  8. 9 cups chicken stock, plus additional if needed
  9. 3/4 cup acini de pepe pasta (or Israeli couscous)
  10. 1-1/2 t. lemon zest
  11. 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (from a rotisserie chicken)
  12. 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  13. 1-1/2 T. chopped fresh dill
  14. 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
  15. 1-1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  16. 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  17. red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)
  1. In a large saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallion whites and celery; cook 1 minute or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic, zucchini, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add stock, pasta and lemon zest; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in chicken, beans, dill, and parsley; cook over medium-low for two minutes, or until chicken and beans are heated through.
  4. Just before serving, stir in lettuce, lemon juice and scallion greens. If soup becomes too thick, stir in additional stock as needed. Serve garnished with red pepper flakes, if desired.
Adapted from Food 52
Adapted from Food 52
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Gouda

Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Gouda
  1. 1 ½ c. quinoa
  2. sea salt
  3. 5 T. olive oil
  4. 1 large red onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  5. 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  6. 4 oz. arugula, thinly sliced
  7. 4 oz. gouda, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  8. 3 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced
  9. 1 large crisp apple cut into ½ ” dice
  10. 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  11. 1 cup finely diced fennel
  12. ¾ cup dried cranberries
  13. 3 T. sherry vinegar
  14. freshly ground black pepper
  1. Rinse the quinoa. Drain and place in 3 quart pot with 2 ½ cups water and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer covered until the quinoa is tender, about 15 min. Drain the quinoa, return to the pan, cover and let rest for 5 min. Fluff with fork. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring frequently, until tender and brown around edges, 6-8 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and toss with the onions until the vinegar cooks away, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, onions, arugula, cheese, celery, apple, walnuts, fennel and cranberries.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 3 Tablespoons olive oil with the sherry vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  5. Add the dressing to the salad and gently mix.
Marcel's Culinary Experience

Homespun by Anne Farnum

PoundcakeMy mom is a baker and has always been a baker…homemade only.  Scratch-made, homemade, homespun…call it what you would like but a box mix has never graced the shelves of my mother’s pantry or cabinets.
I know that time and memories can play tricks on you but I recall coming home every day from school and there being a fresh baked good waiting for me and my six siblings to enjoy.  The only prerequisite that my mom had was that we had to eat a bowl of cereal or a piece of fruit first.  I am now 47 years old, have four children of my own and my mom continues to bake almost daily.  In fact, my children walked to my parent’s house after school today and a pan of brownies were in the oven.  
When there is a family occasion, my mom is our go-to baker.  Whether it be a holiday, birthday, Big Game party or just a regular family dinner, it is her baked goods that are always the dessert and it’s usually not just one dessert.  There is an “appetizer” dessert and a main dessert.
My children always put in their birthday cake requests to my mom, (their Mimi), prior to the birthday celebration. My son Luke loves Miss Bebe’s Spice Cake, my daughters Lucy and Tess ask for the checkerboard Oreo Ice Cream Cake and my 10 year-old son, Hugh, always puts in his request for Delicious Poundcake. Poundcake isn’t the typical birthday cake a 10 year-old boy would request but without fail, it’s ALWAYS the one — and it is delicious! 
So, thank you Mom, for always baking for me over the years and for continuing the tradition for the next generation’s enjoyment.