Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dried Cranberry and Walnut Bread~

I am quite passionate about baking~

But so is Passionate About Baking~

Many times..I have stepped into her beautiful blog to stop and admire..This time I stopped admired and tried~

La Recette~ Courtesy Of Passionate About Baking~

Dried Cranberry & Walnut Stick
adapted from Sour Cherry & Walnut Stick, Ottolenghi - The Cookbook
160ml lukewarm water (not more than 30C; I used a little extra)
2 1/4 tsp tightly packed fresh yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp active dried)
1 tbsp olive oil
40ml orange juice (from about 1 large orange)
200gm plain flour
50gm whole wheat flour
65g buckwheat flour
1 tsp salt
50g dried cranberries (or sour cherries)
50 gms walnuts, roughly broken up into pieces
Oil to oil bowl

Put the yeast into the warm water & stand for 10 minutes, then add the orange juice, olive oil & salt. Stir to mix well.
Mix the flours together in a big bowl, and knead with yeast mixture for 8-10 minutes into a smooth and silky dough, adding a little more water if required. Knead in the cranberries & walnuts. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap & leave in a warm place to double.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Trying not to beat too much risen air out, pull the edges so that they all met in the centre to form a puffed round cushion shape.Using a long object, divide the dough into 2 equal spheres.Press down a little & fold one half over he other. Crimp the edges with your fingers like you were making Cornish pastry. Now roll this on th floured surface to create a torpedo like baguette shape. Lay it gently on a floured tea towel, cover loosely with cling film, and leave to rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 220C, place a bowl of hot water on the base. Roll the bread off the tea towl onto the baking sheet gently so as not to lose air. Use a sharp serated knife to give it 3 diagonal slashes, 1cm deep.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, till the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. (I baked for about 30-35 minutes). Leave to cool on a wire rack.

I am very glad I did stop by..It's wonderful~

My Notes..I made the dough in my bread machine~ The is..

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Food And Drink's Cauliflower Soup With Spiced Pear Chips~

They always have unique..lovely recipes.. I collect the magazines when I can..we missed The Holiday Issue..but I found the recipe online~You can also find so many of their wonderful recipes there..The magazine is free..French and English publications.. offered at the LCBOs with purchase..I think I would be mortified to walk out without a purchase considering the quality of these books and the friendly people at the branch we go to~:)

I love looking at cauliflower:) A little marvel of nature to me~The cream..the green..the white..the shape..the bouquets:)

No matter how you look at's gorgeous..
I was happy to find a new cauliflower soup recipe in The LCBO's Holiday Issue online..

The pears did me in:)

They are sliced thin and baked between parchment and cookie sheets with paprika, salt,pepper and cinnamon sprinkled atop..... they crisp up..then soften in the soup..and the spices add a perfect soupçon of surprise flavors..

La Recette~
Courtesy of Holiday 2008 Food And Drink Magazine/LCBO

Dressed up with a touch of orange and
spiced pear chips, cauliflower
becomes fit for company in this easy
soup. Make it a day or two ahead of time
and you only need to reheat and finish it
with a fresh burst of orange just before
serving. The pear chips can be made
days ahead of time and stored in a cookie
tin but you might need to hide them so
they don’t disappear before it’s time to
serve the soup.
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 all-purpose potato, peeled and diced
4 cups (1 L) vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups (500 mL) water
7 cups (1.75 L) chopped cauliflower
(approx. 1 head)
½ tsp (2 mL) grated orange zest
1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 firm ripe Bartlett or Bosc pear
½ tsp (2 mL) sweet paprika
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 For soup, melt butter over medium
heat in a large pot. Add onion and sauté
for about 5 minutes until softened but
not browned. Add garlic, bay leaf, ½ tsp
(2 mL) salt and ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper and
sauté for 1 minute or until garlic is softened
and fragrant.
2 Add potato, stock and water; bring to a
boil, scraping up bits stuck to pot. Stir in
Reduce heat to medium-low,
cover and boil gently for about 15 minutes
or until cauliflower
and potatoes are
soft. Remove from heat.
3 Discard bay leaf. Using an immersion
blender in pot or, transferring soup
in batches to an upright blender, purée
soup until very smooth. Soup can be
cooled, covered and refrigerated
for up
to 2 days.
4 For spiced pear chips, preheat oven to
275°F (140° C).
5 Line a large baking sheet with parchment
paper. Cut pear lengthwise into
paper-thin slices. Combine paprika, cinnamon,
salt and pepper to taste. Lightly
sprinkle over both sides of pear slices.
Place on baking sheet in a single layer.
Place another sheet of parchment paper
on top and set another baking sheet on
top of paper to keep pears flat.
6 Bake for 45 minutes or until pears are
very soft and starting to dry around the
edges. Remove top baking sheet and
carefully peel off top piece of parchment.
Bake for 15 to 30 minutes longer, checking
often, until pears are dry and firm.
They will crisp more upon cooling. Carefully
peel pears from parchment while
still warm and place on a wire rack to
cool completely.
7 To serve, return soup to pot if necessary
and reheat over medium heat until
steaming, stirring often. Stir in orange
zest and juice and season with salt and
pepper to taste. Ladle
into warmed bowls
and float a pear chip on top of each. Serve
extra pear chips on the side.
Serves 8

My notes..I added some snips of fresh chives~
I halved the cauliflower..used one whole potato..and 4 cups of water~

Taste and season..Taste and season:)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spicy Pork Burgers With Honey Mustard Caramelized Onions~

Mise En Place:)~

We are already at posting about a recipe we have gleaned and made lately~
You can view more by visiting Ann and Lori~

Well The English Kitchen..More precisely Marie.. posted this ..and the onions..just got to me..not to mention the pork burgers.. we are not great ground turkey and chicken lovers..but pork? It works..

We both gave these burgers a 2 thumbs up..I e-mailed the recipe to our daughters and It's on our keeper list now..
Marie..Thank you again for a great recipe!!

La Recette~

*Spicy Pork Burgers*
Makes 6
Printable Recipe

Delicious, moist burgers flavoured with tasty spices and served with spicy fried onions. These are quick, easy and fabulously tasty!

1 kg of ground pork
(can also use equal amounts of ground pork and veal, just so long as
you have 1kg of meat)
1 heaping tsp of dried marjoram
1 heaping tsp of dried ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp celery seed
10 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground to a powder
(discard the pods)
1 20g packet of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 TBS olive oil to cook

For the onions:
1 TBS butter
2 large onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced into half moons
1 TBS dijon mustard
2 tsp runny honey

Combine the meat with all the spices and parsley. Mix well with your hands to combine thoroughly. Shape into 6 round patties, slightly thicker on the outside edges than in the middle. (This helps them to keep their shape better) Set aside.

Take a large skillet and melt the butter for the onions over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat, until they begin to soften and brown in places. Stir in the mustard and honey. Mix well. Set aside and keep warm.

Wipe the skillet out and then add the olive oil. Heat until hot over medium high heat. Add the meat patties. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through and nicely browned. Don't press down when cooking as you will press the meat juices out and end up with dry burgers.

Serve the burgers hot with some of the spicy onions spooned over top~

(Apologies for the night shot:))

My notes~

We used fresh ginger..Ever since Jacques learned that peeling ginger w/ a spoon is a breeze and that freezing it first before grating(RICARDO)..makes grating it in fact a snap.. we always use fresh ginger..
He BBQ'd the patties..that I prepared this morning.. and the buns.. I did cook down the mustard and honey a tiny bit for the onions.. I added some Honey Lime Chipotle mustard as a condiment to the burgers..very little..and some arugula on the bun for crunch~
We had home baked fries..and house Dills..
GREAT BURGERS..Courtesy of The English Kitchen~

Best in show of Caramelized Onions:)I'll never make them the regular way anymore~

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Soul Food #39~

A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind.
-Albert Einstein

This is a photo of my dad outside his summer home before he married my mom..
I love the photo and wonder who the photographer was..I think it's an amazing photo ~ The perspective..the people..the home..the car..I can feel what type of day it was..
I wish I had one million old photos of my family..
I know of someone who does great honor to her old photographs..If ever you have time.. Go peek at Celestial Charms..Mondays with Mother and Fridays with Father..I hope she never runs out of photos or words~♥

I had some time in the afternoon Sunday..I have a very old linen tablecloth that is in tatters and I am saving pieces..Trying to give them an extra breath of life~

I stitched a little bag.. kept some of the embroidery at the top to slide my ribbon through..Stamped on some Iron on fabric a small Carte Postale.. added a gem where a hole was at the back..and stitched a ♥ charm to the front~
I may keep treasures in it~

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Beautiful Dish~

I wish I could show you all done:)But you will just go visit here and see for yourself~:) The finished dish is there...IN all it's beauty!
When I saw Lori's Pomegranate and Avocado Chicken Paillards..I just knew I had to make them..

I had all the ingredients..:)

It's DELICIOUS! AND beautiful..My only regret? Eating it in the dark..This dish.. screams light it's so pretty..I will definitely make this again.. as soon as we eat in daylight again..for the jewels to sparkle as they should..:)
Tnank you Lori!
PS..I could have never taken the time to get a good shot..we both could not wait..Lori..I appreciate all the finished dish photos you take:) How else would I know I would love it so?:)
This dish is offered as my way to have fun with Lori and Ann and the others today~

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Husband's Prosciutto~

Beau! Beau! Beau!

He planned this whole process~ As I mentioned he enjoyed making it with Normand and Salvatore last year..and was grateful they included him in the process..
He thought he would like to do it here on his own..
He planned everything..again..we made several little trips here and there.. to get the trays..the containers..

The twine..the nylons:)the netting..the spices..

..the meat!

We had the wine..the room..the desire~He bought his hooks..

And now we are all set until the pressing starts!

He started by preparing the pork.. then salting and sugaring it for a few days..then it soaked in white wine..then it was rubbed again with many spices..then wrapped in nylons..and covered with netting..twine at each end for hanging upside down and alternating..There will be pressing processes..and a curing time.. By May..Early May..we will have 6 prosciuttos..There's some for family too:)
I was very impressed watching him work..:) And to looks beautiful..I know how good it tastes already..having eaten some all year from last years' process~

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Josée DiStasio's Fennel and Sausage Pasta~

Oh que c'est bon!

Another one of my very favorite cookbook authors..

I was perusing the book yet again and came across her Sausage and fennel pasta..

We had the fresh sausage..I had the pasta..I had the Garlic..the red pepper flakes ..and the fresh chicken broth from last night's chicken~

I simply had to buy the fresh fennel and red pepper..

It was so good!
I served it in warmed Cazuelas..w/ lots of freshly grated Parmigiano cheese..a fresh frond of fennel..and we were in heaven~

I have..both these books..

And truly enjoy both...

In fact I cannot wait to eat it again~
La Recette~
Fennel and Italian Sausage Pasta
adapted from "Pasta et Cetera" by Josee Di Stasio
1 lb Italian Sausage casings removed
1 fennel bulb halved and sliced
2 chopped red peppers

crushed chili peppers
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 -1 tsp crushed fennel seeds

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
Remove casings from sausage..
In a large 2 tsps of evoo sauté the sausage for ap 5 mins..until no pink is visible.... Remove the sausage and keep warm..She mentions to discard fat..I had virtually none so kept whatever was left:) Add some evoo.. Sauté the fennel and peppers for 10 minutes or until the fennel becomes soft and caramelized. Add the garlic, fennel seeds,crushed chili peppers , salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile...In a large pot boil salted water and cook pasta until al dente. (Mine was a whole 20 minutes..)

Add the chicken stock to the fennel pepper mixture and the sausage..add a bit of pasta water.. add the pasta after the sauce has reduced a bit..mix all..add some cheese then more at serving~

Remember to taste and season!

I was contemplating using my new (old) dishcloths I recently found..I had taken all the old marks..small stains off..washed..and ironed..I love the handiwork.. but just couldn't bring myself to use I hung them up instead on my small washstand in the kitchen that houses my cazuelas..:)

Imagine ..they were made for us:) Without the artist knowing♥

My poor nightshots:(Into The Night Garden likes only the fronds..

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Different Polpettone~

Many years ago..italian friends made us Marcella Hazan's Polpettone..`From The Classic Italian Cookbook~ We loved it..the book was not available..but I found it online at a second hand bookstore in NYC I think..I wish I had kept the name..

So I continued to make Marcella's Polpettone and truly enjoyed it..
A little while ago.. I was browsing through my Maria Loggia book..and found a recipe for Rolled veal and spinach..which reminded me so much of Marcella's but more beautiful..more colorful~

I love making these.. like a rolled cake..but the main dish~

I didn't have veal and I know it will be even better with veal..but I did have lean beef..and made it with that..

You mix your meat with home made breadcrumbs..garlic, eggs.. parsley,seasonings..
Then you roll flat to a rectangle ap 1/2 inch thick.. and top~

~I used her suggested wilted,and squeezed dried spinach mixed with eggs and cheese
~ Our home made roasted red peppers sliced thinly
~ I reconstituted lovely dried flavorful
~ Jacque's prosciutto
~Thinly sliced marinated artichoke hearts..drained.
~ And should have added black olives but I was in a rush to get outside..

Top with fresh mozzarella..and roll..and pinch all seams..for the goodness to stay in..
I baked mine for ap 20 mins wrapped in foil to keep it nicely formed.. then unwrapped and continued baking for the total suggested time of ap 70 mins..
Broiled for a few minutes.. then lest rest for 10..I couldn't wait the 15.. and it's not 80 degrees here..what's the purpose of lovely warm plates if you put cold food on top?

I did not need a me this was packed with deliciousness.. Serve whatever side dishes you think would go well~If you need a tomato sauce.. it would be nice also.Or a roasted red pepper coulis would be lush~

It makes a nice large roll with her suggested 2 lbs of meat.. I used ap 1 lb 5 ounces.. Jacques and I had it for dinner..I kept 2 slices..and there was enough to share for another dinner..Marcella's is still a classic..delicious unforgettable meal..but it's nice to have a different type~ Adventure!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Soul Food #38 me.

Missing here..his first real Chess game w/ grandad..our SuperSpy journeys with flashlights through the basement:)Cars..Dinosaurs..Legos..Lunch..
We were going to go out and build a snowman..but he had a cold and no snowpants..The snow is deep here..he needed snowpants....

These are the Days Of Our Lives:)Well some of the best Days Of Our Lives...:)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Sunny Disposition~

We went to one of my favorite grocery stores last week and I found Clementines that I could not resist:) And Chestnuts that WE could not resist..Is there anything better than roasted chestnuts and fresh clementines for an appetizer or bouche-trou:) or dessert in winter? Shelling the warm chestnuts does wonders for cold hands..
There is a saying:"Cold Hands Warm Heart"..I hope so! My hands are often cold~

Having the fresh clementines and a nice pot of yogurt..and several lovely lemons from the same store..I thought what better time to make little Lemon Yogurt Cake financiers? With Lemon Clementine syrup to be drizzled on the little financiers?
I used a Laura Calder recipe this time..
From French Food At Home~
I like that girl..and her show~

Just a little something to finish off a meal:)~They're tiny!

La Recette~

125 g yoghurt
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1½ cup Flour or powdered almonds, or semolina, or mix
1-1.5 teaspoons Baking powder
95 g neutral-tasting oil or melted butter

Heat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
Beat the yoghurt and the sugar together in a bowl.
Beat in the eggs and lemon zest. Sift the flour with the baking powder and beat in.
Finally, add the melted butter (or oil, although it doesn't taste quite as nice) and beat the whole mixture well.
Pour into non-stick muffin tins or a greased and floured loaf pan.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
To Make Syrup-Soaked Cakes
Heat orange or lemon juice with sugar, to taste, and cook until the sugar has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.
Prick the tops of the cakes with a fork, and spoon the syrup over so it sinks into the cakes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prosciutto and Sausage~

Today..January 13th was day one of our Prosciutto and Sausage making~

My husband got started very early this morning and prepped all the pork for his homemade prosciuttos that he learned how to do with Normie and Salvatore~

On our own this year..He was very well prepared..we did several little shopping outings for all the right trays.. containers.. etc..All the places Normand suggested..and a few more..

I am going to save the Prosciutto making to add more than" 1 day at a time"..(I loved that show:) )~

When he was done prepping that..we took our 35 yr old grinder out and set it up w/ our new sausage stuffer..while our casings soaked in water..Jacques ground all the meat..I think he would dearly love me to have the KA attachment:) One day!

That part was keeping everything extra cold.. kept us on our toes..thank goodness for our xtra cold..coldroom..AS soon as part was done..I would scurry to the cold room.. back and keep things at the right cold temp..It's easy these days here..Cold enough to keep the cold room at the perfect temps!

I really enjoyed making these!Of course he did all the hard work..

I loved the whole process..

We mixed our ground meat with fennel and special spices.. white chili flakes..
I know how it was all clean everything was.. how lean the meat was.. what amount of fat and real spices were added..

I know how bad the photos are:)But we are in a makeshift(albeit sterile thanks to my chemical engineer husband who thrives on equations and cleanliness) production factory in our basement with a time schedule:)So I threw caution to the wind and vanity of photography out the door in the snow.

To share our first experience..and actually to remember the day..
Tonight we had potatoes en petites casseroles de Mamina..for the second time this week because they are that good..

The potatoes are cubed..pre cooked ..then assmebled in little marmites or if you are lucky enough to find Mamina's adorable little wood boxes.. sprinkled here and there w/ an earthy heady cheese..scallions or chives..and baked until the cheese is melted..I pre ~cooked my potatoes in broth w/ garlic..I used Le Rustique cheese as I did not have St-Félicien..and added spring green onions and pepper..then baked them until the cheese was fondant:) with our new spicy,fresh..fenneled sausages and grilled bok choi for dinner~

Sublime..He braved the cold and grilled the sausages ..15 Farenheit!

Again..Lights? Right camera? Right exposure? Sorry..but soo good.I encourage you to try!It is fun!

My husband just said .."Je suis fatigué~" He is tired~:)

And my footnote..being so busy..creating..can take your mind off the affairs of the world..and worries..for just a few moments..but needed moments..I would never want a creative post to take away from our deep concerns over Haiti..and friends at the moment~

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Regrets and Appreciation~

They have such a great idea... Lori and Ann~

But I must face it~ I am not good at this at all..I am sure many of you could and will be:)
so I am late..

.....At posting a recipe I made ..gleaned from a blog I thoroughly enjoy~ I hope my link leads the way for you to see what a great idea Lori and Ann have..And I hope you can all be better than me..
So better late than never..I wanted another venue for my Confitures De Coings~

Diane's scones..are the perfect venue~ Thank you so much Diane.. from the heart....I've made many a scone in my day..these were as Goldilocks would say.."Just right"~

Merçi Diane et Bonne Journée..J'apprécie beaucoup tes billets!
I guess if I had a little edible chain.. this particular scone would be perfect jewelry for Peau d'Âne:)..since the hole is there and ready for such chain~

Monday, January 11, 2010


To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. ~George Santayana

I have been enjoying Kathy's Blog @ Sweet Up North Mornings for quite a while now..I am grateful to have found her this year.. I read her new entry..I wondered if you wouldn't share a visit there with me to send sweet thoughts..~♥

Friday, January 8, 2010


I often read on my favorite French blogs a reference to "Confiture de Coings"~

Coings? What were they? Funnily enough I had never seen one here..I guess until I looked:)

When we were in Provence our most memorable breakfasts were at La Ferme De La Huppe..and one home made jam they served..the taste was unfamiliar to us and we loved it on our croissants..
Well after finding mes "Coings"..I made some jam yesterday and assuredly..this was the jam we loved of course.. everytime we open the jar..La Ferme De La Huppe..Our beautiful table,the pretty decor..and good food..come right back to us..

It is here to stay with us..

I found a video of a recipe that I thought looked interesting here..

I modified the recipe by cooking it less it was not like a gelée..just a thick rich jam..The addition of the vanilla sugar works for us..Our home smelled like heaven:)

I used just regular cane sugar..
La Recette

My way..
3 beautiful large Coings..Quince
1 kilo sugar
2 envelopes vanilla sugar or home made vanilla sugar
I peeled and quartered and cut up the quince and put in in a prepared bowl w/ water and lemon juice to prevent browning..
I put one kilo of sugar and two small glasses of water in a non reactive pot on my stove..once melted I added the drained quince.. some lemon juice..big rinds of the lemon and the equivalent of 2 vanilla sugar packets w/ one cinnamon stick..I omitted the cloves..My husband is not en amour with cloves..and I have never quite been en amour with that spice in a jam either..

I brought everything to a boil and simmered covered for ap 45 mins.. I then removed the cover and continued to simmer until it looked right to ,orange~ish..but not like jelly..
I put it in my sterilized jars and hot water bathed it also....I like the new small jars I found in the states:) And I hope to make Diane's scones soon to try w/ this..:)they look divine..

It made 4 jars..

I know it is laden w/ sugar..this is a treat and we don't devour:) We are careful and a treat..
I love it~

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I came across this recipe a couple of weeks ago~

The photo was so stayed with me..I made them last week and I will make them again and again~

I found the recipe here~

Could you have resisted them? I got to them by means of Foodgawker..Pretty much the way I find myself traveling most days~And discovering great blogs..

The trick to these is a wonderful add-on to roasties.that I never thought of before.. but now discovered... through this great POLENTA~

I'll make it simple..

I pre- cooked my cut up and peeled potatoes..until a touch al dente~in broth..that's the way I like to boil my potatoes..
While they were finishing up..
I had placed some Evoo on my baking sheet..w/ garlic and infuse and warm the a pre-heated oven of about 350...
~I dried my potatoes by putting them back on the stove after draining them.. then coated them in the warm oil infusion..then one by one I coated them in polenta that I had seasoned w/ parsley..a little S and P too...
I then baked them on Convection at 425 for ap 1/2 hr-..until they were nicely browned..

The outer coating is crisp and tasty..the inside..perfect!

We had Poulet au Miel De Lavande w/ this..and some of the honey/lavender juices.. slid under the roasties on our plated meals..even better..
You really should try this grand nouveauté for me..polenta crusted roasties~

Un petit délice!

Perfect for this kind of weather~