Thursday, May 21, 2015

Those Parrots~Financiers ...and Rhubarb♥






















It has been Parrot Tulip time here..I planted 50 last fall..maybe 30 have come up..
they were a mixed bag..of pinks and yellows and oranges..
I am a white..pink and blue girl in Spring and Summer..
I only develop a love of orange..etc..in late summer..fall..I am not a red person either.there is not one red flower here..  except a rose or two..
So every photo I have taken of my clumps of Parrots..have screamed at me..They are show for sure..but next year just pinks I think ..if I am lucky.
These tulips do nort return for me..every year I have to plant the pretties..
The orange and yellow overshadow my pinks..
But.. I have adapted..
just not for photos..

Years ago I received a cute cute book from a friend..Gardening In Eden..
we all know..QC is far from Eden for Gardening..
yet..
at this time of year..
Eden rings true.
You can live anywhere and experience Eden.
It is the feeling of the moment..
the view at that moment..
how you are at that moment..
so when the pink parrots were dancing in the wind..and my humble rhubarb was staking it's spot..s..before I transplant for a bigger stalk..bigger stalks..
I picked some pink parrot tulips..my small rhubarb stalks..took out my jar of pralines roses..
some coconut..almond flour..beurre noisette was prepped..and I made small rhubarb financiers~
Some I made heart shaped..some true financier shape.
I adorned some w/ pink pralines..and some with finely sliced rhubarb.They are not cupcakes,nor muffins,nor cakes..
The beurre noisette..aka brown butter.. gives them a deep flavor..the coconut some sweetness..the rhubarb and pralines..some ♥ color.
They are minis in my books..and we are minis now.
If our family is not coming over..or we are not going there.

La Recette~ Coconut -rhubarb financiers.

Basically a financier is made with browned ,butter icing sugar ,almond flour,egg whites..flour.

2 small stalks of cleaned,chopped rhubarb..mine were very narrow..so if yours is big..don't use more than 1/3 cup of finely chopped rhubarb.

50 grams of butter that you have browned and cooled..

30 grams almond flour

35 grams coconut..I use sweetened.

20 grams of flour

65 grams of icing sugar

65 grams egg whites

almond or coconut extract to your taste.

Sift the flour,icing sugar,and almond flour togetherin a bowl.
Add coconut..mix

add the egg whites ..(not beaten)..
add cooled browned butter..
I filled 4 financiers and 3 hearts..so this recipe makes 7 mini cakes..
On top I added slivered thin rhubarb to some..and crushed pink pralines to others~
Bake in a pre-heated 400 F oven for ap 15 mins..
Cool..unmold..

sprinkle w/ icing sugar..
A financier mold looks like this~

They are great molds..I think mine is Silikomart

We visited their store a few years back ..maybe 5 years ago.. in Mtl..and I bought a few of their good quality molds.
The hearts were made in cheap silicone heart molds..the same ones I use for my beeswax .

For the pralines roses...pink pralines..

You can watch a video here..I keep mine in a small hermetically sealed jar~

40 grams of almonds whole

80 grams of sugar

70 grams of water

a tiny bit of red or rose food coloring.maybe two drops.
Place everything in a pot and bring to a boil..stirring constantly until the TEMP is 125,remove from stove top and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture caramelizes..see video..make sure to coat the almonds thoroughly..once the consistency is right return to stove top to remelt the sugar and recoat completely..Place on parchment..cool..break apart..store..
The video is perfect!

The peony heads are forming..I've caged them..early blooming clematis are doing their thing..
The apple blossoms have lost their panache.
The high winds ..made it look as if it was raining apple blossoms here..and in a heartbeat..they were gone.
A lot is fleeting..that's why I like to pick up a few annuals..geraniums..bacopa..cleome..cosmos..zinnias..dahlias..pansies.. salvia..not too many..
Thanks to The Graphics Fairy for my garden graphics~
I saw some oregami dresses on Pinterest..and wanted to make some..I found a neat tutorial on Youtube..
They are so sweet♥
Love them on packages.. I think a jar of pink pralines ..would be perfect wrapped this way..any gift really:)
Enjoy the long Memorial Day Weekend my American friends~






Sunday, May 17, 2015

Blanc de Blanc~


















Barbara's Tree~



It was ..is... a long weekend here..
Saturday was a bit of a curmudgeon day..humid..grey..heavy..
Sunday..today ..is absolute ..perfection.
The kind of day..where the outside looks as good as the inside..
The grass is green..the gardens are growing..
the house is sunny.
As is everything had been groomed for you..but you have groomed it..
so..effortless it seems.

A funny little footnote..


A shout out to Staples/Bureau En Gros..is in order also..
Jacques and I each bought a computer last year from them..I took the prolonged warranty..

they had sold us a security program..that ended after one year..
We removed it this week..but could not get the computers to kick in to Windows Defender..I called them..and they said come in..

I did stop at a nursery;)

And we went..

Samuel..the young BRAINIAC ..I mean that in the kindest way..adorable ..sweet smart tech guy..took like 10 magic minutes to make everything right.
No charge..brought my computer back to the car and would not even accept $ compensation.
Kudos.. Staples /Bureau En Gros here in QC.
I already am in love w/ their print centre.."Isabelle".

Back to the gardens..

Some white is popping out ..here and there..Violas..Lilacs..Sweet Woodruff..Solomon's Seal..did you know that all these apart from Solomon's Seal  are edible blooms?Apple blossoms?
I have them here..so I know that there have not been any insecticides used at all.
I have  found a great site for edible blooms..
Lily Of The Valley is definitely NOT edible.. poisonous..but what a scent..my mom♥
It grows wild here..on the side/length of the driveway..the area is not a great gardening area so I have left the ferns..LOTV..Lilies etc..just grow wild~
I love white..so much so that if you look in my closet..my shirts and tshirts are white..  90% or black..the other 10%..I have very little color..
I like white furniture..white blooms..I have a Blanc Pinterest Board:)

The scent of lilacs..and lily-of the valley..are uniquely and individually intoxicating~

Lily Of The Valley has lovely meanings..The Return Of  Happiness..Purity..Sweetness..it is also said that they bloomed at the foot of the cross where Mary shed her tears..:(

I loved a book called The Language Of Flowers..may just read it again..I rarely do that..but I think I will..

Dans la cuisine~


I wanted to use the pans I bought at Amazon..5 ,small, 5 inch Wilton pans to make smaller cakes..
I halved my Gâteau Au Beurre recipe..but it only made 4 layers..will have to try and perfect a small 5 layer cake recipe..
The cake was as good as always..but because the cake is small..the icing was too sweet..next time I will up the cream cheese and butter and reduce the sugar.
But I must say..small is in when you are baking for 1 person.
Cuteness♥
I have shared  this cake recipe before..I'll do it again..this time..halved..

La Recette~

Courtesy of Denise Cardin..when I was a young bride of 21..and she was our back door neighbor..w/ 3 boys..in her later 30's..


 2 eggs
 1 cup of sugar
1 cup flour sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 /4 cups of milk that you have simmered  to melt butter the size of an egg yolk..1 tbsp is fine for this halfer recipe.

Combine eggs,sugar,flour,baking powder, salt then milk/butter mixture'until homogenous.

Place in 4 of the Wilton pans.. I measured..to make sure the same amount of batter would be in all 4 pans...bake ap 25 min..until a toothpick comes out clean.. check  after 20 mins..these are small pans..like playing w/ Easy Bake ovens almost:) at 350F.

Let cool..unmold..stack and frost and adorn...with violas..or cherry blossoms..or lilacs..etc..
For the full recipe..it will make 2 8inch round pans..and you would bake 1/2 hour.

Fresh is the operative word for our gardens this weekend..
nothing is burnt..the greens are vibrant and new still..
some of my garden ornaments are getting tired and old..
like..
a small flat garden stone I made..when we moved here.. that has these words on it..

In Search Of My Mother's Garden..I Found My Own~
Alice Walker

With thanks to Derek.
Some people you never ever ever forget.
A smile.. an act of kindness, a twinkle in their eye..compassion..dedication..artistry..kindness..
That..and more..  Derek~




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rose De Mai~


















Mai~May..
Rose De Mai~
May here in my small town is  all about pink..and white..rose et blanc..what's not to love?
I wish every post I ever posted was Rose De Mai~

Rose rose rose..
We have so many blooming apple trees..almond trees..
that pink is predominant .
A picture perfect little town in May..

After the rains..the grass is greening up nicely and the leaves are sprouting.

I heard the rain impige upon the earth~ James Joyce~


I have a few precious items in my post today..
not only have I planted the most beautiful French radish seeds..
but I have actually been in love with the way I have smelled lately..me:)

Cerisier En Fleur..

and

 Rose De Mai..

Fragonard~

 Sublime scents~♥


I have always loved flowers in brown paper bags..
so much so..in the 80's I made a ceramic paper bag;)
2 actually..I gave one away..and kept one..and still have it.

It never dawned on me back then..to put a vase..in a bag:)

When this bag arrived to me..as a gift ..
w/ 2 different sides..written on..(oh me and the written word..)
I knew.
I knew.
I knew a vase at one point would be settled in..this brown paper bag~
Be still my ♥
You know..the simplest things..bring the most pleasure..
the sight of your husband..a friend..children..grandchildren..nature..the sky..blooms..fresh produce..art..a kind word..an email..a snail mail..a pet.. a song ..a scent..a child.

Pink and white blooming in your town after the coldest winter you remember..



these are the important things..


gardens growing,flowers blooming..
health..happiness..
on your own..
or with someone..
cups of tea..cups of coffee..a great cookie..
 a piece of cake..
a smile,
a good movie..
a good show..
a good book..
a fantastic clematis ..a fantastic recipe..
a glass of wine..
the sea..
watercolors
pretty paper..
ribbon..

I talk way too much in May..
when our world turns into technicolor.



Enfin.. here is a GOOD cookie for you~

From..

Milk And Cookies Bakery..Vanilla Cookies and Variations..
this one is the classic chocolate chunk cookie.

2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
 2 cups flour
 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt(I omit because I use salted butter)
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temp(I use salted)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs room temp.(I used Alain's)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract(I use vanilla bean paste)
2 cups chocolate curls
2 cups chocolate chunks

Pre heat oven to 350F
In a food processor..process the oats until they are finely ground..
Add to the flour and baking powder..soda and salt..
Combine.
In the bowl of your stand mixer... cream butter ap 3 minutes until light..to soften it perfectly
with the motor running..add the sugars..one at at time until well incorporated..add the eggs one at a time..beating well after each addition..add the vanilla..keep scraping down the bowl w/  a spatula..as you add the ingredients*
Slowly beat in the dry mixture..
While the mixture is still a bit streaky..  scrape the paddle.. add to the mix and knead the dough with lightly floured hands..Do not overwork..just make sure everything is blended..
At this point you can add what you want..I added chocolate chips..milk choc chips the first time..
The author advises for choc chips..2 cups of choc. chips
2 cups chocolate shavings..
I added  enough choc chips until they looked exactly like I wanted them to look..
Place on parchment lined cookie sheets in a pre-heated 350 degree oven..scoop w/ a small ice cream scoop..into balls of ap 1 1/2 inch diameter..press to make hockey puck shape:)

Bake for ap 15 minutes..
This book has many cookie recipes..basic doughs..and add-ons..I think this book is really good..so many books go off on tangents..this one sticks to basics and adds~ons:)

PS..This is just me writing about the  book..they don't even know I read it..





Sunday, May 10, 2015

Forget-Me-Not~Myosotis~









Of course I won't.. never..ever ..ever.

Our Amélanchier never ever lets me down~
It always blooms on Mother's day~
I have had it for 10 years.
I told Lucas the story last week..that his mom and dad brought it over on Mother's Day when he was in his mommy's tummy..
It went right over his head..:)

The Forget-Me-Nots never disappoint either..
I have too many.
Can one have too many Forget-Me-Nots?
:)
Pas moi.

I was out yesterday, Saturday..in the company of my 2 favorite women on earth♥
The day was full..there is no one I am more comfortable with apart from Jacques ..and the boys.
That is the best gift of all I think..to be together.
While out,Mylène  showed me a stretched canvas she thought I would like..she was right:)
I pondered where I could put it..I have no more room..but I could not leave it there..so I came home..removed a frame..and replaced it with this..
Caroline loved it so much she bought the larger one.
Isn't it pretty?Picture it w/out the top and bottom white borders:)
Charlene Precious is the photographer and she has a website..so pretty!
It will be lovely to look at every day:)
See the heart..on the book also?
I have a whole Pinterest board..Heartbeats~
As a teen I signed my name with a ♥ on the i in my name:)

On Sunday..we were here and I had a quiet morning..so I decided to make a little dessert..2 actually for dinner.


I recently had seen many half-sphere desserts..either frozen..or mousse type..
So one day a while ago..I ordered the silicone mold..5 cavity is what I chose..
Basically..you melt your chocolate.. and brush a coat ..let harden..and brush another coat..I actually kind of swirled in the second coat and let harden.

I chose a recipe that has a small sponge cake on the bottom..brushed with jam....
So once the shell is hard..you fill with the recipe you have chosen..I chose a type of white chocolate ganache/with mascarpone..and added a few raspberries..  then you press your prepared sponge on top..and this one you froze.

So I froze it for a couple of hours.. let sit outside of it for 15..and unmolded.
I smiled when I saw the perfect result..
I had perpared fondant pansies to adorn..  I just followed the pictorial~and those gelatine sprinkles I shared a little while ago.
I think it makes such a pretty individual dessert.
A raspberry coulis would be super pretty too.
I will share the link to where I found the recipe for this,once I have tasted it:)..
To me it seems.. a bit sweet..and the sponge a bit different..
I don't want you trying something..until I know it is good:)
But just in case you want a pretty mold for pretty individual desserts..this is a heads up:)

The next one I will make will be a chocolate shell..w/ a chocolate mousse  filling I think and a cookie type base.
You can really play around with these:)
And of course w/ the adornments..etc..
Edible gold leaf on chocolate..chocolate pearls..I have mini piroulines type decorations I can add..
Lavender infusions?
Salted Caramel centres?
Yogurt based fillings?

You won't believe this..but my radishes are coming up..I planted them Wednesday..it's Sunday.
I think they are magic.

I read some sweet Mother's Day posts..

like here..
and here..
and here..


Tender to the bone♥
I love goosebump posts.


Footnote..I'll have to get back to you w/ a new recipe..although it was pretty..the sponge was tough.. the mousse not quite right..

I'll perfect and return:)


Friday, May 8, 2015

Potager~Salade..





















Notre jardin ..2015/Journal~

Another reason I have loved blogging is that it is such a great time line/journal of what's happening in the gardens..
We don't have year round gardening here..the season starts about now~
Blooming are the scillas..pulmonarias..anemones..daffodils,ferns,forsythia.
I have already planted a few things..geraniums..pansies..cleomes..herbs..
M.Daoust told me I could.
And I believe him.
Our baskets are hung..and some of the garden ornaments are out..not many..I find they stick out like sore thumbs w/ out greenery etc..
But it's all coming along.
I think I cried here about a huge tree I loved having to be chopped down,,200 yr old double headed fir.
The huge stump drove me crazy last summer towards the end..and I had no idea what to do with that spot.
One morning Jacques suggested a raised bed for veggies..certainly enough sun..
So he ordered a kit..and installed it for me..
Frédérick went to get a truck full of earth..brought it and put all the earth in for us..♥
OMG God bless our son-in-laws. Alain helped take down that tree.

Thursday morning I decided to plant in six sections.
I have 3 tomato plants..cherry..yellow grape..and Pineapple heirlooms.
A purple pepper plant:) Said Peter Piper;)
Victoria Eggplant~
2 Borages.
Basil.
Italian Spinach...seeds..
Regular baby spinach.seeds..
Swiss Chard Bright Lights...seeds
Chives.
And French Radishes♥ seeds.I am smitten.S-M-I-T-T-E-N..
See my giddy garlic?
I love it.
It will be fun to try and grow some vegetables..It's not a big garden..just enough as I have the others to maintain.
The dahlia tubers I saved from last year were freaking me out not showing any sign of growth so I bought another bag of tubers..2 colors only this time.

See that salad?
I cannot wait to make it again for family.
I ate it as my meal..Jacques added BBQ'd sausages for him.
You can find this salad..From the book What Katie Ate.....at Penny's House..  Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen.
It's rather delicious..Come on..Couscous,chickpeas,toasted almonds,lemon,mint,pomegranates.
What is there NOT to love..just hope I can find another Pom..this one was  sooo small..but the seeds were gorgeous.
I know you will enjoy this spectacular salad.I kept picking at it♥
Thanks Penny!

Bon Weekend..
Happy Mother's Day..♥ I always always think of my mom..but Mother's Day..well I just wish I had had her so much longer ...
God gave us lovely daughters..and I see bits of maman in both of them.
Oh she would have been nuts about the Littles too.♥

Sunday, May 3, 2015

"Qu'ils Sont Bons" cookies.! Etc..
















So..I have never had these   cookies at Ikea..apparently they are very popular.
I have not bought food there..just loveseats ,cozy chairs and dining chairs..kitchen gadgets..candles..but never food.
We did have lunch one day there..as our daughter came with her big car to pick up the dining chairs for us..so we just ate lunch there as she was working and we were in a rush.
And a loooong time ago..I pinned these cookies at La Cuisine De Bernard..
This  past week we had bus duty..I wanted a new type of cookie every day for the boys..
the last day I made these..
Don't do them on a day you have a million things to do..
because you need to first form many many little 8 gram balls of dough.
So I stood by the bowl and the scale in my jammies one morning(I made the batter the night before)..
the morning our friend dropped by ..lol..I was a pretty sight.
Anyways.. takes a while to roll and weigh..
BUT WORTH IT..not like hours..just not a scoop here and there..an 8 gram ball..always.
I used milk chocolate because I prefer it..Max only likes milk choc..and I think Oli too..Lucas..anything goes je pense.
I give these cookies..9.9:)♥ You can make them single..or double up..

So the willows are leafing out! the first here to show us the green..we had gorgeous blue skies..and very warm temps.
The maple trees are not far behind..we had shorts (pas moi) and capris..and light tops and flip flops all weekend.
The scillas are still in bloom ,the fern fronds unfurling,the trillium blooming.
Trillium is an endangered species..never pick..just find and photograph;)
I like that I  meet my neighbour in the secret garden and we I spy them.

Saturday morning early we went to the market..it opened.May 2nd..my summer pleasure on Saturday mornings EARLY.
Not as many vendors as later in the season..but still many many ..
then we went directly to the football practices..the littler Littles didn't have their uniforms yet..
but the 2 eldest did.
Fun to see the little guys..
wonderful parents..that bring their children..(one of our girls has 3!!) and wonderful volunteer parents..

hard to see..the last pic I took from the net..my eldest brother..long gone..25 years ago..was a football player.. top row..5th one♥
The year was 1962..I was 8..he was 18.
I must add that Frédérick..the boys dad played in high school too..but I don't have a photo:(
And Noah's bigger brother  Adamo played for the Patriots:)
The decks have been pressure washed..a raised bed built..some pansies planted..some weeds removed..
It's beginning to look a lot like Spring.
Jacques made me laugh this morning..Football football football..he said I never ever thought I would hear you go on about football:)
Well I said.."I never had an interest before the Alphabet Boys"..LMNO.♥


La Recette~

Refer to the visual method at the link above..

this recipe makes 100 single cookies or 50 doubled.
you need baking MARGARINE..not butter.I used becel.
He is a great chef..so trust him on this one..not butter.

200 grams rolled oats
300 grams sugar
180 grams specal baking margarine
70 grams flour
a few drops of vanilla
1 egg 60 grams..not more not less.. weigh it
1 pinch of slat
1/4 tsp baking powder..
chocolate for dipping I used milk chocolate morsels because we all like them..
350 grams of tempered melted chocolate

He mentions an ingredient called Cacao Mycryo..Mycryo seems to be the make..it is Cocoa butter but  powder form..I have not seen that here.Yet the link is from here;)

Pulse the rolled oats in a food processor..pulse about 40 seconds to obtain a flour that is not too fine.
Put the rolled oats..sugar and salt in a bowl.
Add the flour and mix well
Melt the margarine in the microwave or bain-marie
Add to bowl and mix well
Add the 60grams of egg
and the vanilla..very little he says.I put 2 drops.
when all is well blended  add the baking powder and mix.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Make 8 gram balls..and bake in a 200 celcius oven for ap 7.5  minutes..keep and eye on them and determine which cooking time is better for you..some have said 8.30 minutes..some less..mine took 7.5 minutes.
Depends on the ovens etc..
Do not flatten the balls..they do on their own.

Let cool..
temper..melt the chocolate of your choice and dip..leave like that..or double them up..
The only long part is rolling the balls..but look how many perfect cookies this recipe makes..100 singles or 50 doubles..
Enjoy!