Les Cinq Amandes – AKA delicious amazingness brought to you by BrandBacker

When Les Cinc Amandes popped up on my BrandBacker feed, I knew I had to apply. For those that don’t know, BrandBacker hooks up cool companies like Les Cinc Amandes with equally cool bloggers like me. We get sent product samples and are asked to give honest reviews. In return, you guys get to see great new products and get awesome discounts too!

Les Cinq Amandes was started by a mother daughter duo in 2007, I love that! Since the 17th century the 5 Almonds have been used to celebrate weddings and celebrations. They represent Health, Happiness, Long Life, Peace, and Love, which we can all use. The mother-daughter team has taken the old traditions and updated them in the tastiest of ways!

Anyway, the lovely ladies over at Les Cinq Amandes sent me over a variety of goodies that I could barely even photograph before digging in.

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A custom blue and white chocolate baguette, amazing Fleur De Sel Caramels, and a customized Renaissance box with Magical Meringues and Almond Dragees. It’s blurry because I was truly so excited to dive in and by the time I looked at the picture, I had eaten everything 😛

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Close up of the tasty Renaissance box.

Seriously, everything was SO good. I had to contain myself to not gorge everything and once. I even had amazing self control and passed the caramel onto my dad because he loves it. He ate all 4 pieces in 1.5 days so it’s safe to say they were delicious. I think the meringues may have been my favorite and I can’t wait to order from Les Cinq for not only myself, but my sister and mother who share my sweet tooth. I think these custom handmade confections make amazing gifts! Maybe a thank you for the relative who hosted Christmas so you didn’t have to or perhaps you forgot to send your grandmother something? Also, we may have just survived the winter holidays, but don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is coming up!!

Now, for the best part!! Les Cinq Amandes has extended my readers a sweet treat!! Enter code HOLIDAY10 and save 10% on an incredible, delicious, 1 of a kind treat. I do not think this code has an expiration date, but let me know if you can’t use it!

**Disclaimer, Les Cinq Amandes and BrandBacker supplied me these samples free of charge in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own and are in no way biased because of free treats!

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Caramelized Garlic Tart (Plenty #2!)

Another glorious recipe from Plenty and #2 challenge that we took on (see #1 here). This is actually also the second time Dad and I made the garlic tart. The first time, I wasted no time before eating and didn’t get a picture. It’s seriously out of this world delicious. So cheesy (goat cheese and gouda!), creamy, garlicky (3 heads worth!), yummness that I can’t get enough of. I also really loved the technique of caramelizing the garlic, it was fun!

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While not the healthiest of meals (literally you are inhaling cheese with a side of garlic), our salad balanced it out! I was so ravished at this point, I couldn’t slow down to snap a pic. Arugula/spinach mix with goat cheese (because clearly there wasn’t enough in the tart), raspberries, candied pecans, and cranberries with lemon and olive oil. Yoni suggested a green salad with lemon anyway, so we went wild with the toppings. As my dad said, “this is like an $11 restaurant salad!”

I want to make it all the time, but it is slightly labor intensive and you do need all the ingredients. I’d say the the trickiest thing is actually the puff pastry! Check out the recipe here. Our oven is a little off, so after the 40 minutes, I put it for probably another 10, just get that golden brown beautifulness you see above. Let me know if you decide to try this or if you’ve tried any other of Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes!

The ‘Plenty’ Challenge – Recipe #1

I rented the fabulous cook, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi from my local library.
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Image via NPR

I’ve been salivating over it for a few months now and jumped at the chance to pick it up. My dad, the die-hard meat eater (sidebar, we once got in a screaming match at a Persian restaurant when I told my parents I was thinking of going vegetarian), was drawn in by the pictures and proposed a challenge: we were going to cook our way through the book!

The first dish we decided to try out is Yotam’s Roasted Parsnip and Sweet Potatoes with a  Caper Vinaigrette.
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A snapshot from the cookbook, can you see why we chose to do it??

It was full of delicious flavors, heads of garlic, onions, carrots (my addition), and herbs. It was also simple to make! Just get all the prep work done first & then in the oven it goes. I think we’re going to make it again for Thanksgiving, but add the tomatoes a bit earlier.
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The tomatoes just looked so purdy I had to take a snapshot!

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The lemon caper vinaigrette! There’s also a hint of maple syrup & dijon mustard in there, tasty and unexpected!

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The finished product, TO DIE FOR!!

I’d give this dish an A++++! I went back for seconds, and thirds, maybe even fourths. We had it with lamb chops, my dad’s recipe, and totally delicious. I can’t wait to try our next recipe! You can find the recipe here.