Saturday, February 24, 2018


From Denise:
Hi Everyone! I’m just back from my winter break and I had the opportunity to eat a lot of fabulous meals especially on Norwegian Cruise Line’s ship the Epic. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. 😈

The Epic has six specialty restaurants—Chinese, French, Italian, Brazilian, Japanese, and American steakhouse—plus two main dining rooms and a special restaurant for Haven guests. We ate in all but the two main dining rooms and the food was amazing everywhere. Here are some pictures of the various dishes.

My husband's favorite the French onion soup at Le Bistro

My favorite cunard  à l'orange

Banana Cream Tartlet

Warm Espresso Chocolate BrownieMacadamia Nut Ice Cream, Caramel Brittle

Marinated Berries and MangoCrispy Almond Wafer

And I even persuaded the executive chef to share one of the recipes.

Mocha Mousse Coupe with Vanilla and Raspberry Cream and Hazelnut Butter Crunch
(I tried to order something different every evening, but I had this THREE times!)

Pastry Cream

Amount                                    Ingredients/Details

1 qt                                          Milk
232 gr                                       Granulated sugar
8 gr                                          Vanilla Extract
72 gr                                         Cornstarch
304 gr                                       Egg yolks Frozen

      1.  Combine 3/4 of the milk and 1/2 of the sugar in the saucepan and bring to a boil.
      2.  Meanwhile combine the cornstarch with the remaining sugar and the rest of the milk stirring with a wire whip
      3.  Add the egg yolks and the vanilla extract stir until the mixture is completely smooth.
      4.  Temper the egg mixture by adding about one third of the hot milk and return to the remaining milk in the saucepan continue cooking and whisk vigorously with the whip, until the pastry cream comes to a boil and the whip leaves a trail in it.
      5.  Pour the pastry cream into a large bowl and cover with a plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the cream and cool over an ice bath.


Name:  Raspberry Jelly

Amount                                    Ingredients/Details

290 gr                                       Fresh Raspberry
116 gr                                       Sugar
174 gr                                       Water
1 ea                                          Gelatin Leaves

      1.  Place in sauce pan, raspberry, water and sugar.  Bloom the gelatin leaves and add to the warm raspberry
      2.  Blend it with mixer and strain it to avoid raspberry seed.  Mold it in petit four flexipan and place in freezer for complete set.


Name:  Hazelnut Crunchy (pailletée feuilletine)

Amount                                    Ingredients/Details

1590 gr                                     White Chocolate Couverture
928 gr                                       Praline Hazelnut Paste
638 gr                                       Pailletée Feuilletine
290 gr                                       Vegetable Oil

      1.  Melted the white chocolate in water bath, add the oil and the praline paste and mix by hand to dissolve,
      2.  Add the pailletée feuilletine and fold it until completely coated.
      3.  On sheet pan linen with parchment paper, spray the mixture to arrived a thickness of 1/4 inch; let it set in the cooler.
      4.  Cut in little cubes 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch and reserve for build up


Name:  Milk Chocolate Mousse

Amount                                    Ingredients/Details

1 Qt                                          Heavy cream
232 gr                                       Milk Chocolate
174 gr                                       Egg White Fresh
174 gr                                       Sugar granulated
87 gr                                         Mocha Paste
261 gr                                       Praline Crunch cut in small pieces

      1.  Melted in water Bath chocolate and mocha paste, set aside
      2.  On a mixer whip the egg white with sugar to a soft peak, set aside
      3.  On a mixer whip the heavy cream to a soft peak and set aside
      4.  In a bowl, mix the chocolate with half of the egg white then fold in the soft whipped cream
      5.  Finish with the rest of the soft whipped egg white
      6.  Add 174 gr of the Praline crunch cut in small pieces

1.  In large Martini glass place a tsp of pastry cream in the bottom, pipe some dark chocolate mousse to one third of the glass, insert a frozen raspberry cream and with a squeeze bottle place around the glass a ring of coulis to make a ring of coulis.
2.  Pipe some more of chocolate mousse and sprinkle more hazelnut crunch on the top of it.  Finish with a spoon of soft whipped cream and a chocolate decor

     And speaking of chocolate delights, I’m giving away an advanced reading copy of my upcoming April book, Tart of Darkness. Just leave a comment for a chance to win. 
#Giveaway #AdvancedReadingCopy

Here's a bit about my upcoming book: Tart of Darkness.

Right when Dani thinks she's hit a dead-end in her career, she unexpectedly inherits an enormous old house in a quaint college town. This gives her the perfect opportunity to pursue her true passion—cooking! So Dani opens Chef-to-Go, preparing delicious, ready-made meals for hungry students attending the nearby university, as well as providing personal chef services and catering events for the local community. To help support her new business, she opens her home to a few students, renting them rooms and becoming almost like a big sister figure in their lives.

But just as Dani is relishing her sweet new life, the friend of one of her boarders is murdered, and Dani becomes one of the primary suspects! She'll have to scramble to clear her name and save her business before the killer reappears—perhaps to silence the new chef forever.

order form to receive the pdf of the cookbook
Tart of Darkness Pre-order

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Plus check out my website.


  1. The cruise sounds wonderful! What a great variety of restaurants! And thanks for sharing the recipes.

  2. I love to go on cruises! The new series sounds great! Thanks for the chance! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  3. Your book sounds great. suefoster109 at gmail dot com. Cruises are an opportunity to feel rich.

  4. Wow, sounds wonderful! moodiesmum(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. What a cruise! The new series looks fantastic, thanks for the giveaway. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. I’m looking foward to your new book
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  7. So glad you had such a good time on your cruise! ckmbeg(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Dessert was always the best part of a cruise meal! Look forward to reading this new series by Denise Swanson. I have enjoyed her Scumble River Series. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

  9. Cruises are so much fun! Looking forward to your book!

  10. The milk chocolate mousse looks divine!

    Alicia Holder Cole

  11. That cruise sounds wonderful!

    Cathy Honzik

  12. Wow all that good sounds absolutely amazing. I would definitely gain 30 lbs if I was there. (My husband would gain even more LOL) Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. I can't wait to hear more. ❤

  13. I love NCL. We have to rebook a cruise soon. Due to Hurricane Irma we had to cancel and they gave us full credit. I always try to save room for dessert and they have so many choices my husband and I get the 2 we both like and share. So glad you had a good time. Looking forward to reading "Tart of Darkness" Thank you for the chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

  14. My 'reading pal' and I can't wait to read your new book - she and I were just talking about it yesterday.

  15. Love trying all types of restaurants and food on our cruises.. Thanks for sharing recipes !!

  16. I’ve never been on a cruise but the food on yours sounds divine. (My favourite, too, would probably be the French Onion Soup.) lauraalbert(at)hotmail(dot)com

  17. Looking to reading your new series. It sounds very interesting. Your cruise food looks delish.Lois Rotella,

  18. I am certain that the food was better than what was found on the ship I was on in the Navy :-) Glad you had an enjoyable time. Looking forward to the new book and thanks for the chance to win. (

  19. Your trip sounds like it was quite the culinary adventure! I am glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the recipe and for the chance to win.

  20. We loved all the specialty restaurants on the Norwegian Star. The best part was being served and no dishes! cheer at MarjimManor dot com

  21. Food sounds great especially when someone else is cooking and cleaning up the mess. rmmoss2(at)gmail(dot) com

  22. The cruise and the book sound great. Would love to read the book on my next cruise.

  23. Six specialty restaurants! Sounds like a wonderful experience! Looking forward to your new book, thanks for the opportunity! Meanwhile I will “catchup “ on some of the other series!

  24. Thanks for the opportunity to win and thanks for the recipe also.

  25. I'm glad to hear about Norwegian Lines. We haven't tried that line yet. The food sounds wonderful!
    Ellen Kennedy

  26. So jealous, looks amazing! Glad you had a wonderful holiday Jan

  27. We were on the NCL Getaway in Jan and tried 3 of the extra pay restaurants and enjoyed them all, but did not see any of those desserts. I would only be able to have a couple of bits of any of them though.

    NancyB nlb1050 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  28. How good of you to "take one for the team" and research the cruise for all of us!

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  29. Thank you for the recipes! Tart of Darkness sounds delicious, too!

  30. Wow the food sounds sooo delicious. I have always wanted to try a cruise mostly forvthe variety of food. Thanks for the chance at your

  31. I’ve gotten cruise ship recipes before but have been baffled by them. I think the metric measures do me in!

  32. Great recipes, they look amazing. Looking forward to reading "Tart of Darkness". Thanks for the chance.

  33. So many food choices, not enough time! Thank you for the chance to win your new book!!

  34. I *love* these recipes! I have a feeling it will be hard to adjust to the food back home again. I'm so glad you had a lovely vacation, Denise!

  35. I do not do well on ships, so no cruises for me. My husband went on one with his family when he was 13 - he told me about all the different food he and his family enjoyed, including limburger cheese (he liked it, still loves "stinky" cheeses!).

  36. I became obsessed with the banana cream tartlet on the Breakaway. One day we had lunch in another restaurant and went to the haven for dessert.

  37. I've never been on a cruise. People always talk about how good the food is. Glad you enjoyed yours as well. turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

  38. Your book sounds great and the cruise food - always to die for!!

  39. What was your cruise's destination?

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com