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Red Pepper, Basil and Parmesan Gougère Bites + Ellie Update

Posted Mar 14 2013 12:24pm

Inspired by our Parisian book club meeting this past Sunday, I decided that my potluck contribution would be French. I don’t have much experience with cooking French food (I was going to insert a joke about French fries, French onion soup and French toast here, but thought it might elicit a few groans), so I wanted something that felt easy but also sounded semi-fancy.

Considering I likely can’t even pronounce gougères correctly, I thought they’d be perfect. :)

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The recipe called for simple ingredients – primarily butter, flour, water and eggs – but also gave me the opportunity to use some of our fresh basil, which we’ve been growing alongside cilantro, oregano and sweet mint in our kitchen.

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Another reason I was sold on making these gougères? Cheese is included both in the batter and on top. In fact, you can fill them with pretty much anything you want depending on the occasion.

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You do have to be a bit careful when they’re baking because if they are in the oven for a minute too long, the bottoms will burn. I learned this the hard way with the first batch and adjusted the time for the second. The result was delicious!

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Red Pepper, Basil & Parmesan Gougère Bites (adapted from Land O’ Lakes)

Ingredients (makes 36 bites):

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup (6 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place water and butter in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until mixture comes to a full boil. Reduce heat to low, then stir in flour and garlic salt vigorously until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat and place the dough ball in a separate bowl. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well with a whisk or hand mixer after each addition, until mixture is smooth. Stir in 1 cup cheese, bell pepper and basil.

Immediately drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle each with remaining cheese. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information (per gougère):

  • Calories: 60
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fiber: .1g

These ended up being a hit with both the ladies at book club and Bobby. Que c’est délicieux!

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Let me know if you give them a try and what ingredients you decide to use!

In other news, I received an outfit from Ellie recently and finally put it to the test.

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You may recall that I reviewed Ellie’s predecessor, pvBody , back in January. There has been flurry of both positive and negative commentary about the transition from pvBody to Ellie, and I’ll be honest – it threw me for a loop when it first happened. Less than a few hours after I posted my review, I learned exactly what Ellie was (after hearing the name but having no idea what people were talking about) and had to update my post to reflect the fact that the subscription service would be changing.

Instead of offering low prices on well-known brands, the company has now shifted to offer its own name brand, promising high quality and plenty of selection. I do wish I had been given the heads up about this change before I had posted about pvBody, but the team at Ellie has been very open and honest about the transition and still offers the option of canceling your subscription at any time, in addition to free shipping both ways if you aren’t happy with what you receive.

Combining Ellie’s good customer service with my own curiosity, I decided to keep an open mind and was excited when the Ellie workout gear arrived at my door. I received exactly what I requested: the “Just Like Heaven” t-shirt in pink and the “My New Obsession” leggings.

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I have to say, these met and exceeded my expectations. I can see why they call the t-shirt “Just Like Heaven” because it feels as soft as a cloud looks. It was incredibly comfortable to wear for a four-mile run and never once bunched up. It also wicked away sweat like a dream – usually I end up with a nice ring around my neck, but with this t-shirt no one can tell just how soaked I get in this 90-degree Arizona weather.

The “My New Obsession” leggings were also very effective and I never had to pull up on them – they fit like a glove. Although I may not be able to wear them much longer while working out – here’s hoping spring is here to stay – I fully intend to wear them normally, too.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a review from me without a ridiculous “action” shot…

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Despite the pvBody-turned-Ellie chatter, you can’t argue with Ellie’s commitment to quality. I will be sure to update you as I continue to wear the outfit, but both the shirt and pants have already survived a couple of washings. I’m giving them two thumbs up!

You can still receive a 20% discount on Ellie from my referral link if you’re interested in signing up.

20 percent of Ellie

Disclaimer: Ellie offered to send me a free trial outfit, but all opinions shared here are my own.

Hope you’re having a great week! Any big plans for the weekend?

We’ve got some family in town and are excited to spend time with them. My five year blogiversary is also coming up on March 16, so expect a post about that soon. I can’t believe how much time has passed – and how much has changed – since Eating Bender began!

Abrazos,

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