Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekend and 2 new keeper recipes~ along w/ old favorites~

Sunday aft..and the rain is pelting down in my little corner of the world..I kind of love that sound after  quite a few days of sunshine..
The weekend was nice..
Friday we  went to the market..Jean -Talon.. and Milano's.. we bought some goodies.. Blueberries.. cherries..apricots...corn..
It was a feast for the eyes..the market was alive with tourists..vacationers.. locals..

I had seen Heather Christo's recipe for a  Buttermilk Cherry Almond cake..and we were having friends for dinner~So for certain the cherries were coming home with me..

To me..this is a keeper recipe..So easy and so good..chock full of cherries..I may have added a bit more than her recipe called for..Un petit délice!
You can find her recipe here~
Save it.. when cherry season is in full force..for lovers of cherries and almond.. This one could be just right for you.

So many pretty faces in need to buy flowers for the table:)
My friends came with their hands full~

Cute cute packaging w/ wooden spoon and a Coffret Cadeau Cuisine /style that I appreciate so much..
Hachette.. 5 books..Macarons..Cocottes.. Verrines etc..Beautifully illustrated.
These types of books remind me of how excited I was to spot book gift sets..and in giving them..Remember Little House On The Prairie?I noticed my daughetr still has it:)
 These are for cooks:)♥Or  for people who love perusing coookbooks..
I had decided to make Kir Royales for my friend and I... Cassis.. w/ HT..
So cute to find macarons..with Cassis in the book when we came in and browsed..
They brought an appetizer..that we thoroughly enjoyed..I may make this for an upcoming birthday~

Caramelized Onion Dip~
From Real Simple~
I have to friend has such a gift for presentation..
No match was Real Simple's photo compared to  her presentation..Just wish my photos had been better.. but 4 hungry adults..:) You know how it is..I dove into that dip..:)
The caramelized onions..makes this dip a kick above the rest~
We had Gazpacho.. Overnight No Knead Parmesan Thyme Rolls,  Bobby Flays'  Thai Chili Lime BBq'd Shrimp and Scallops(his recipe calls for just shrimp..we like to add the large tender done this way.. I also marinated mine longer than they recommend..and adjusted the heat  factor..)..Rice with the preserved lemons.. there was corn..but we forgot to grill it..(I don't think it would have been fantastic anyways..:) ) the above mentioned cake ,and mini ice cream sunday tortes.

Have to take advantage of outside while so many pretty faces still abound..:)
They are happily soaking up this rain..
Clay pots and plants..these are a few of my favorite things for sure~
Have a good week~

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Christine Ferber's Jam~

The book itself is a gift in itself~♥
Different jams that I  am used to and by the Queen of Confitures no less..

I decided to make 1/2 of one of her recipes..

Strawberry~Mint~Cracked black pepper~
I loved the fact that you macerate for 2 day ..well overnight..with the srawbs ,lemon juice and sugar..cover with parchment..

I used a white porcelain bowl..and did just that..
the next day you bring everything to a simmer..cover again and return to macerate again overnight~
The next day..
You sieve your mixture through a fine sieve..I had bought this jelly/jam gadget more than 3 years ago and it was still new in packaging..
FUN to use and it works perfectly..patience ..when waiting for the juice to flow..every last drop..counts~
Return the juice to a a pot and bring to a boil.. when it reaches 221 degrees F..or 105 should be the right consistency..return the drained strawberries to the pot of hot syrup and add mint leaves and cracked pepper.. boil for ap another 5 minutes..check for set as she said:)

My recipe made almost 2 full Bonne Maman jam jars..1/2 jar is finished,already.
I would probably cook mine a bit longer or bring my thermometer to 230 F..or test it..:)
My jam is a bit runny..but Jacque's mom made hers runnier  and he loves that..
When he ate it with fresh scones the next morning he said..:"Il n'y a pas une confiture commerciale qui goûte  bonne  comme une  faite à la maison"♥
He's right!

When all was done..the apron and the jelly bag got washed and put to dry in the brilliant sunshine..The bag ..looked brand new..not one spot of berry.The sun:)

La Recette~
From the book Mes Confitures~ Christine Ferber~
Can be it's!

I was just about to type everything out.. and then Googled..and here it was..from another fave of mine:)

Her disclaimer about canning etc true..I always sterilize and 80% of the time..water bathe..
But for the little amount I was making..and honestly I don't know if my mother-in -law ever water bathed her preserves..
I threw caution to the wind.. and did what she said:) and what a good friend said..or said her friend's aunt in Paris does..:)
I did sterilize my Bonne Maman the oven:) the lids in boiling water..

Put the jam in.. and lidded and flipped..
The top caved in..and they were xtremely hard to pop open..and as I mentioned..:
Ces confitures vont disparaître dans le temps de le dire..~
Which means these perserves will disappear before you know  a heartbeat..etc:)In a blink of the eye..

Like a good summer..a good book..cookbook or other.. has no ending~

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Galettes De Framboises~

Marie's Raspberry Buns..  J'aime~
 One of Marie's dolls came to bake in my kitchen again~ I dressed  her in a sleeveless  gardening dress and cropped pants.. She decided on Raspberry French I call them Galettes De they remind me a bit og thick galettes cookies..
You probably have everything you need on hand..  self rising flour would be good..I think I started buying that again because of Marie..Only mentioning that because my daughter asked about it..but the rest? You have it all.
I had made them before so I knew they would be enjoyed..Maybe I even posted once before..
Noah was coming for lunch with his mommy and I had decided on letting him make our pizzas..I prepared the dough ahead of time and he made 5 small ind.pizzas..
For dessert I had made these galettes..he LOVED it..and his mom said mmm..part cookie/part scone..exactly I said!And she asked for the recipe..
Always a good sign..

You can find this keeper recipe at the Marie's Blog..
I used bought jam which was a tad dark..I found..after baking,
I am starting to make fresh jams again this season in small quantities.. so next batch will be with some of  that.
I am sure you could use any jam at all:)
In La Ferme De La Huppe..morning ..w/ the beautiful light..having breakfast outside overlooking the grounds and pool:) (Ohmygosh..really..♥)..they would bring along with the fresh Bodum Coffee.. each our own Bodums:) a basket filled with croissants,brioches etc..and a few home made jams.It was exquisite.
I have not been many places and I am not a fancy was just luck that got us to that beautiful place.And a recommendation from a friend's son.
I may never again experience such a charming place..But I will never ever  forget it.

The paper dolls are Marie's creations.
I ♥ them~

Meanwhile in le coin des petits marmitons..
Noah was busy with his pizzas.
His mommy took the pics..if you think I take a lot of photos..well I think my daughter beats me:)

He wanted to be handsome to come over and wore a tie:)

He is usually a superhero but was very Mario Batali ..with his long madrass shorts and polo shirt:) he took the tie off when it came to the sauce..he didn't want to get it dirty..Nothing else getting dirty bothers him:)
He really is his parents son..the other 3 alphabet boys..are all different and different.. this one is the spitting image of his parents..but then again I find the parents look like brother and sister:)They're not..
He is a little Alain   and a little Mylène~

If you love art.. and would like to learn..I had fun at Paris Breakfasts..  Carol had a tutorial..and I loved may enjoy it also..
Speaking of art..I treasure the art I have received as gifts over the years..this was so long ago!
At work we always had a gift exchange..I was so touched when I was given this by Claudia.
It was many many moons ago..but I still have it and love it~

It was of me gardening:) so darn darn darn sweet of her....♥
The weekend will soon be over..Today was glorious outside~
Have a good week~

Thursday, July 18, 2013


3 things I love together..I found a recipe at the  lavender ..Dijon..and a  nice marinade /dressing/sauce came up..
I had first tasted this dish..not this Gordes at Le Provençal..Poulet à la lavande..I could not get enough of it and ate it twice while on..bone in..delish..
I created one for Fifi's magazine which was good..
but this recipe  is 1-2-3..

I only made one change to it..
I added 1 tbsp of honey~

I marinated my boneless skinless chicken breasts is some of the marinade.. for about 4 hours..
Jacques grilled them on the BBQ..and I warmed up the leftover dressing and poured a bit onthe chicken/potatoes..
I am not a creamy or saucy person..this is like a vinaigrette and works very well for me~

La Recette~

1/2 cup EVOO
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon ..juice of
2 tbsps Dijon
1  generous Tbsp Honey:)
2 tps dried culinary lavender finely ground in a spice grinder
(I used the mortar and pestle to make the whole dressing..starting w/ grinding the lavender)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp fresh groud pepper
fresh lavender flowers to garnish

1.In a jar with tight fitting lid  combine all ings
2.Shake well

I strated going through things I brought back from that trip..some Le Provençal one.. some journal.
I would never go anywhere like that without a journal.
It was a gift before we went..a big thick blanks journal w/ a chartreuse green suede cover and tie♥

Oh  the eye candy was everywhere..the towns..the markets..the restos..the food.. the buildings..gardens co-ops)~
The placemat from the resto is in the upper left hand corner..shouldn't have folded it up~:)
Have a lovely weekend..~
I have but one small go see if my gentleman at the flea market remembered my vintage pan paints:)
Very early Sat.. morning if the rain stays away..before the crowds arrive~
My friend Nancy owned a deux chevaux when she lived in France:)~like the one in the photo above~
Her favorite car ever~
Bonne Fin de Semaine~

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's true about the peonies~:) And a new to me cake~

About the peonies first~

I am almost certain you are tired of hearing about peonies..they have finished blooming outdoors here..but I have some blooming indoors..♥
A little  while back at Debbie's Blog..she mentioned that we could cut off buds..keep in the fridge.. and then just take them out ...of the fridge ,place in water...and they will bloom..I saved 5... I should have saved way more..3 have bloomed ...2 to go..And next time I will leave them even longer in the fridge..who knows ?..."if we could wait until Christmas?":)
I would save some red and white ones~
Althoug pink might be refreshing in December~
Thank you Debbie for this invaluable tip.

Sunday was extremely hot and sunny ..No dessert left ..and I knew I would be over the stove for penne and didn't really feel like making an elaborate dessert..
Who came to the rescue?
My friend told me what she was making for dessert and sent me a link:)You can find Linda's Blog and the recipe right here..
It's so good..and whips up in about 5 minutes..You can use any fruits..:)
It is a keeper!
I used tiny wild red...berries.. what I thought I had planted ... raspberries.. turned the color of blackberries..
Go peek and see what Linda recommends.
I am sure it will be on your go to dessert list for summer with   our abunfance of  fabulous fruits~

You know by now that gardens please me..and this may be the summer I wish lasted forever.
I love this heat..the rain..(   a lovely new word for me..: Petrichor~  the scent outside after it rains~)
I think I would rather be moist and have the opportunity to cool off a bit inside..compared to always freezing in winter..:)
Never thought I would say winter is beautifull here.
 the gardens please me..and they are pleased to have a nice new little deck to bake on:)

And all the little flying insects are that much closer to me..nothing that bites..:)

My olive tree..(no olives yet..:) )..attracts special wings in flight type:)I see the flutter with my lens~

The herbs are the best they have ever been~
Mon Jardin..  :) full of memories..
The lavender topiary is  from one of my daughter's 2 Mother's Days ago~ It has moved to a bigger pot twice!
The Olive Tree ..from Nancy~
A Rosemary Christmas tree shaped plant in terra cotta ..from Nancy too..~

Nasturtiums..unruly~But I love them..

Tomatoes..small:)I just like to watch them grow~:) Like Lucas..and Max and Noah and Oli~

I have a few planters ..per say.. that are very dear to me..

One of the nicest young women..that I met in my career..could not bring her planters to California..and left me her blues..and some terra cotta.
Sometimes people leave such an impression on you..
I wish she had stayed:)~
Like  I wish summer could stay..~:)
I am sure I will find many things to be grateful for this winter..~
Have a good week!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Days of Clems and Mads~

I ♥ Clematis.. never was able to grow them.. before a group of very talented gardeners helped myself and  so many other people out~ the time..Gardenbug:)  on Gardenweb..and then  Gardenbuddies.. along with a slew of other avid gardeners and clematis connaisseurs..gave us tips and tricks  .
I learned about the importance of planting deeply and well..of groups 1 2 and 3 and their pruning times..I gave cleamtis as gifts and received clematis as gifts..
A dear client built an obelisk for himself his clematis got so big:)I was so happy my gift to them thrived!
Derek had one at this home w/ Marlene..:)
My neighbor has grown fond of them..and believe me it makes for conversation with walkers by:)
Some I lose for one yr..and they return the next..some I have lost Blue Bird:(
Some do remarkably well and others not as well.
Huldine has always been in ginormous..this yr ..she is not even here?
Betty Corning is full of little bells and a workhorse..hundreds and hunfreds of bells..the white fargesoides..blooms at the same time..and I have both on the front arbor on either side..well we can't get through the arbor..still..they thrill me:)
I have a frame that is actually a vase..w/ many little burettes..every yr when I pick clematis I give them turns to be the spotlight by the kitchen sink~
Handy little thing..
Some are quite fancy..some big..some small..some climb..some trail..Arabella trails beautifully with roses and hostas..My blueberry bush has a clematis through it as well as Thérèse Bugnet~
There is so much info on the net..:)

This is a great source of info..

Brian Collingwood was one of the experts that also taught me so much..
At one point he was kind enough to name a Clematis with my name..I kept the certificate:) Unfortunately I have not found her here.I am not being was simply one of the nicest things to happen:)
Brian named a Clematis after a wonderful woman I had the chance to meet..and her husband..I still tear up~ Marlene..

So I encourage you to plant a Clematis...or 2 or 3..or more.. Dig deep..  when you come home w/ the plant in the pot.. bury the full height of pot plus 1/2:) To me that works..I am in Zone 5..They love alfalfa pellets too..I must renew!Mine don't look fabricated..and disintegrate immediately..keep them well watered..mulch..Group 3's..cut very short as soon as you can walk in  the melting snow of late March..
Group 3's are the easiest for me..Go have a look and see~
Planting 2 or more together can be a wonderful sighting in your garden.

The list goes on and can see pink even in Garden Queen starting to bloom~

Food wise:)

My son-in-law came to give my husband a huge hand in building a deck to accomodate our outdoor table..It was SO appreciated..I made madeleines in the morning for him..And I thought if he likes them I will post and share:)

He had 5..that's a thumbs up for me..
I had the curd..I made it previously..and the batter you mix up and refrigerate overnight.If you have not made maddies before..her technique is no fail for the bump:)
I loved the idea of encasing a juicy raspberry with a dollop of lemon curd..
You can find the delicious recipe right here..
I use a silicone mold on a small stand..It was purchased yrs ago at a Christmas Tree Shop and cost $2.99 I think..
It works perfectly.You do  not always need top of the line things to get perfect little results~

Have a great weekend~It starts tomorrow:)

I know there is a lot of info here..:)
I hope it may be of interest?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

♥'s Pain A l'Ancienne~

Little ♥ breads~
I used a recipe from the book my friend got for me from a reseller in the USA.. Rustic European Bread in the Bread Machine~  Still..thank you...It's a great photos but the recipes are great for bread machines..baking OUTSIDE the box like I like to do..

 I made small ♥s  and a large baguette.. it's impossible what 3 1/2 cups of flour..water salt and yeast can produce:)

Just like tending's amazing what time spent in the garden rewards us with..

White Fairy Roses..(not sure of their real name..but same look..prolific like the pink one..and grows exactly the same way and blooms at exactly the same time..HARDY..)From Heirloom Roses in the Maritimes..yrs and yrs ago..I have a binder w/ roses and clematis..but I showed it to someone..(not someone.. a dear friend:).. to help with a choice of clematis and ...I cannot find that binder..right now..
Feverfew and Hostas..Henry Hudson Rose..And Summer Snow Clematis..
I wish I could remember the name of the vased white roses..they were suggested to me by Jodi from Gardenbuddies about 10 yrs ago..I still think of her and even more when these boom..very antique looking w/ a touch of spring green around the petals..they look old:)♥Vintage.. even a dusting of a brownish hue here and there..

Bon..La Recette~
Courtesy of the book..

3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup rye flour
 1 1/4 cups water
 2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 tsps salt..

This one is trickier as there is a resting time..IN the machine..But it worked for me..

In the bread machine pan combine  half the flours with all the yeast an half the water.Process on dough setting and let rest 6-24 hrs..
I did 6..
Add the remaining flours water and salt to the pan..again dough setting

REmove..form into a ball. cover..let rest 20 mins..

Preheat your oven and stone at least 30 mins at 450F
Shape as desired  this should make 2 baguettes..
Sprinkle a peel generously  w/ cornmeal..let rise until doubled..make deep diagonal slits..Mist w/ water ,,shake the peel to make sure the bread is not sticking..

Open the oven and shovel the bread onto the hot stone..Bake 10 mins misting 3 or 4 times..reduce temp to 375 and bake 30 mins more or unti bread is evenly browned..
REmove..Cool and store in paper bags..
You could use any of your bread recipes to make the ♥s I think.
I am just getting a kick out of trying new recipes from this book.

You can slice in half..and adorn w/ garlic butter to accompany Carbonara~ W/ Edamame and Pine Nuts~
Very quick dinner when you are ..
In And Out Of The Garden~♥
I even give it..*****
5 stars~
The books.:)
We are having an unusually murky summer here with not very much sunlight..but high humidity and thundershowers possible almost every day it seems..
Still compared to 5 months of long johns and flannels and socks and slippers..
Flip Flops are so much easier~ comparison~ For day in day out~

I rest my QC case~

PS I adorned with egg wash and sesame seeds.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lavender~ spray..talc..
A fragrance..and taste I love...Lavender..

I am  so sure it stems from my mom's parfumeries:)
Her bench ..with the make up area..(no make up..  )..but the round mirror and the carved front..a pale pale wood..I loved that set!!.The carvings almost looked like grapevines..Beautiful!
In the middle..where there was a flat space between the two sets of drawers.. she kept her Jergen's  almond scented hand cream..and  a Revlon Red lipstick.. Her eau de toilettes and perfumes.. her eyelash curler..( I have been doing thatt since I am 15!)..tis not true your eyelashe fall out:)

Oh lala..all this to say..Lavender and Yardley were featured there..

Our visit  to Bleu Lavande was a such a treat for me..Fifi..  putting some of my photos in one of her magazines..and  a few recipes..
I missed seeing it bloom in Provence..we went in September and the fields were not in bloom..
One day perhaps..
I've made many lavender cookies..but..
I found an older recipe from a 2009 post   at this blog..

What I liked ...was that the ingredients definitely said Provence to me..with the edible lavender ..the lemon zest and juice.
Ther are delicious little morsels.Tangy because of the lemon ..
The recipe was easy..the ingredients on hand..and my lavender..well let's just say I decided to transplant on one of the warmest days yet..3 of my plants..let's hope they still bloom and survive..
Luckily I still have my Bleu Lavande Stash:)

In their shop you could not take photos at that time:( I was told right away..
I did buy the cutest little tin of edible lavender and it seems to keep pour toujours..still fragrant..still delish.
I would like to go back there too..but honestly it took forever the day we went because of construction Jacques feels..once is enough:)
It WAS far.
Many artists had set up for plein air painting and I thought how lucky they were to be so brave!

But for me?  The long drive as a passenger was Oh so worth it..yes the apron came home with us..Have an apron love~

I said I would try and put a recipe to a journal page and was inspired by an older seed packet I

have of Marjolein Bastin..Inspired is a very broad word..I tried to COPY it..there are many differences and I am not out to market this:) I cannot reproduce any of her more elaborate work..but this seemed like it would be fun to try..:)
My KA is white..I made this one blue to go with the decor~

It was pouring rain and dark..Instead of using my newish light set up that still frightens me..I put it in my kitchen window:)
You can see right through to the previous watercolor..Oh well..c'est la vie~

They are really good..I would not even hesitate to add some lemon geranium chopped up leaves..That's how much I love lemon:)

La Recette~

Some footnotes..make sure you buy permanent ink  pens when you use them for watercolors..I thought mine were..but if you look at where I wrote:  Ordered David Dewey..  (thanks C)and tried to highlight..the black..shmeared..I know it's smeared..not a typo this time:)  It just really SCHMEARED.

But the cookies?
Perfect for cooking with flowers~♥
Footnote..The transplanted Lavender seems to have survived:)

I think I am crazy about lavender~

It is so pretty in little bouquets too..windowsill arrangements..smell so good~
Roses,Clematis and Lavender~

I hope it is not too obvious~