Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Figalicious and a memory~

Remember this?



I am ahead of myself for a recipe post.. and I am being completely redundant by repeating..bread..in my Post title:)

...but I don't want you to miss the fig recipe:) and season... and the fresh sage bread remix recipe:) so 2 days early ..here I am:)

I have been making mini versions lately of this bread.. and like them even better for just J and I~

I did recently make the larger one again.. and accompanied it with butter.. flavored with edible flowers.. honey..and a touch of icing sugar..that butter goes so well with cornbread..
I tried linking the company that makes the Edible Flower mix..and I cannot get to it..I will modify when I can..the little jar is worth it's weight in gold...so..to follow...if I can.

Ahh.. so beautiful..so delicious.. This fig recipe..and the bread recipe~
They make the book a keeper.. They say that if you like 2 recipes or more in a book....that makes the book worth buying:)
It is from .. my friend's book..(I showed you that already..age makes me repeat myself..fortunately I know I am repeating myself and thank God for that..and I mean that sincerely.)..she recently made the figs for a dinner party she had and mentioned them to me..
...She is never boastful or braggy.. but when she said these are good..I knew in my mind it meant they are D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S..
I must learn from her restrain..

From the same book..A beautiful book..
The Herbal Kitchen~

I made them..



Tis' the season here..you should... if you can... make them also:)
"Tis' the season"..This is a figure of speech saying 'tis the season..
I mean this is the season when we can buy them readily:)at the market.. Imported from elsewhere of course.

Un Coup De Coeur~

Warm Figs Filled with Goat Cheese and Bacon



La Recette~
Jerry Traunfeld/ The Herbal Kitchen


Yield : 12 Pieces
Ingredients
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 ounces bacon, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped thyme, plus whole leaves for garnish
½ teaspoon salt
6 large ripe figs, at room temperature
¼ cup soft goat cheese or any comparable cheese
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet and render the bacon in it until it browns and is nearly crisp. Pour off half the fat and add the onion, rosemary, thyme, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 3 minutes, then remove it from the heat.

Cut the figs in half and press your thumb into the center of each half to make a small depression. Arrange them cut side up in a small shallow baking dish. Divide the filling among the figs, forming each portion into a small mound covering the top of the fig. Crumble the goat cheese and place a scant teaspoon of it on top of each mound of filling. Sprinkle with whole thyme leaves.

When ready to serve, bake the figs until just warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve while still warm.
The Sage Bread at the same meal would be a double herbal delight.I know my sage is lovely right now~
I did not slice my figs in half..or indent them..I like to quarted mine just a bit so they look like a flower~

Enjoy~

P.S.
My notes..

For the sage corn bread..I now like rubbing the pan and sides w/ garlic butter..
And I never serve w/out the sweet floral butter..It MAKES it.
For the figs..
I make 4 at a time.. for Jacques and I..
2 each.
Le bonheur dans la bouche.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Soul Food #104



In The Morning Light~
Things are soft and special..

Different from any other time of day~



The golds are starting to glow..
"The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf
shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marie's Beetroot Cake and a Birthday Wish~



It's my childhood friend's birthday Aug 26th..



Don't let that cute little uncertain face fool you..she is ..the most happy..positive.. grab everything in life that you can..including..Rock concerts..Sting..Paul Mc Cartney.. Rod Stewart.. cruises.. etc let's grab life by it's soul person:)
A great daughter..sister..spouse and friend to many..
Ever since we were young..she always had so many friends..and it's continued through life~..


..I was so anxious to make Maries' Beetroot cake..I made it..and iced it as if it was for her.

So here's to you Jojo~



It's a great cake..And Marie's recipes are always winning recipes at our home..

I enjoyed every aspect of making this cake..
I bought fresh QC beets at the market..
Used my mom's grater to grate them..Her Bake Rite round pans w/ the thingie that unmolds them..You turn it around..
I enjoyed making the NATURAL food coloring..I may freeze a few beets to see if it can be done..



The cake is a keeper..like a carrot cake.. and the little red flecks are so pretty..

Well there's nothing I don't like about this cake.
A perfect birthday cake..
I've been going through Pink withdrawal w/ 4 grandsons..So I did what marie said and Pinked it:)

Jacques didn't mind at all.
He said:" Wow c'est beau!" He's spent his life w/ pink..he's enjoying the blues.. so am I..too.

La Recette~

Courtesy of The English Kitchen~

*Pretty In Pink Polkadot Cake*
Serves 9

Marie's Intro to her perfect cake:)
Moist and spicy with intriguing pink speckles throughout. Your guests will be quite surprised when they find out where all that pretty colour comes from! I like to think this is quite healthy and a good way to have your vegetables and eat your cake too!

CAKE:
150g raw beetroot, peeled and grated (about 4 medium beetroot)
200ml sunflower oil (2/3 cup)
250g golden caster sugar (1 1/4 cup)
3 large eggs, separated
3 TBS milk
100g chopped walnuts, toasted (scant cup)
200g plain flour (scant 1 1/2 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg (I like to grate my nutmeg fresh)
1/2 cup really good quality strawberry jam for filling
FROSTING:
180g butter, softened (about 3/4 cup)
150g icing sugar, sifted (1 generous cupful)
450g low fat cream cheese (2 cups, or 16 ounces)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pink sugar flowers and pink glitter to decorate

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.. Grease two nine inch cake tins really well and dust with flour. Set aside. (alternately you can line with baking paper and grease it as well)

Remove about 1 tsp of the grated beetroot into a small bowl and cover with 2 teaspoons of boiling water and set this aside. (You will use this to colour the icing)

Whisk the sugar and the oil together in a bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks and the milk. Fold in the remaining beetroot and the nuts. It will look quite revoltingly red but don't let this alarm you in the least! (trust me!)

Sift together the flour, baking powder and the spices. Stir this mixture into the beaten mixture. Whip the egg whites until stiff with an egg beater and then fold them into the cake mixture in three additions, being careful not to over fold. Fold only to incorporate fully. Divide the batter evenly amongst the two prepared pans.

Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, only until the cake tests done and shrinks away a bit from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Run a knife around the edges and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the frosting by beating the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Blend in the cream cheese until smooth and then work in the vanilla. Add some of the reserved beetroot liquor a little at a time to help tint the icing a pretty pink.

Remove the cake from the pans and place one layer in the middle of a pretty plate. Spread about 1/4 of the frosting on top of this layer. Spread the strawberry jam over top leaving about half an inch border around the edges with just icing. Carefully sandwich the other layer on top. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides, spreading it evenly and swirling it somewhat on the top. Decorate with the sugar flowers and sprinkle on some pink glitter to finish.

Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to set. If not serving straight away, cover with cling film and chill. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to serve it.

I couldn't find the little sugared roses I made so I opted for a hand painted sugar cookie and fondant baroque embellishment..also a few sugar flowers and some pastel sprinkles..The magic wand..
Waving fairy dust on Jojo..Marie..and everyone visiting~


Happy Birthday Dear Jojo..

Monday, August 22, 2011

Susan and Blog2Print~ Un Gros Merçi~And a footnote~

Blogging.. I never thought I would do it.. never thought I would do it for so long:)
I have enjoyed the camaraderie.. the exchanges..the learning..It's the best online school for so many things..I have learned so much through the Web and blogging.

I think I made friends:) I think I learned new crafts.. many many recipes.. photo tips..I never even knew what Sharpen meant(EJ) before the internet and web friends.

One of my first WEB Friends..was Susan..

She has a beautiful blog..Just click here.. Savoring Time In The Kitchen~
And you will see..

She hosted a give-away a little while ago..from Blog2Print..and I must say I have entered some.. but few compared to the ones I see...
Many are not available to Canada.. Many have so many entries..I see the glass half full..many ..well ..I cannot bring myself to step out of the woodwork to win:)I always feel I have enough..too much..enough.

But I have been and she has been a constant with me..so when her contest was announced.. and available to Canada.. and I had heard how lovely these books were.I entered..All I had to do was leave a comment..I always do! With she..

How easy was that..plus my glass was lookin' half empty..Imagine my surprise..

When..

Tada..

I won~

Ta da..



The company was super to work with..
Blog2Print..

The quality of the book..the printing..the photos..EXCEPTIONAL!!!

I get books printed..Photo Books of my delicious grandsons..

and it's a feat..uploading every photo..high res..etc..
This was so easy..they grab your blog and print..
I use the lowest res for my blog..small sizes etc..
They printed up like HIGH res..and perfect!



There were 54 pages in my book and not one disappointed me.
The only difference I would make..is triage the page..the one page..that is all recipe..:) My fault..
The recipe was long and only 1 photo that appeared on the left hand side.. which is normal..but what a long winded recipe:)


I loved the ones that had many photos..:) Because they made them so nice!


Really these books are keepsakes..If you have a blog..do it soon..I wish I had started from the beginning..I have been doing it so long..I had to pick and chose..
I wanted each grandson in the book..so there are some Soul Foods:)

Not all recipes..

I am very happy to have this amongst my cookbooks :)
I can't believe it's me:)
Sounds funny..but it's true..
When you start.. you never think anything will look like who and what you admire..
In print..this Blog2Print..it's a miracle:)


Thanks so much Susan..and Blog2Print~
With Appreciation~
Monique.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part 2~My footnote..

I just want to add one thing..

Because this happened today.. I want it here today..

Jack Layton passed away today.
No one.. has inspired me more in the last year where optimism..and drive are concerned.
He wrote a letter to Canadians..just a few days before passing..
In my mind.. He Was and Is a great man.
God Bless Him.
I am not saying this to put a damper on a happy event..
Maybe.. some will Google and see..how GREAT he was.And be inspired to continue to have courage.
He had 1 grandaughter..Beatrice..and always spoke of her:)
I loved that.

See here.. a nice man..








Sunday, August 21, 2011

Soul Food #103



"A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us."
— Henri J.M. Nouwen




And another..



Imagine my surprise in starting an Anna Quindlen book and having this beautiful bookworm visit~

Friday, August 19, 2011

Our Tomatoes~Mini Quiches~



Our tomatoes are finally starting to ripen..I remember when we bought our 2 little plants this Spring..$0.99 each..a Cherry Tomato one and this one..they were so scrawny.. one tiny stem..and I had nowhere to put them..
I added them to Rose Cottage..the small garden there..and they grew..and grew.. the raccoons got the first batch..but I wisened up and corraled them.
So we are finally getting tomatoes:)A little love goes a long way~
I decided to make 4 tiny quiches for our weekend lunches..last weekend..



I used 3 eggs,some cream, a blend of cheeses,my real FRENCH, brought home in my suitcase ,Herbes De Provence,and our home grown tomatoes.
I like everything mini and these are no exception.
Phyllo dough is so much fun to work with and so melt in your mouth..
Anyways..these little treats work for us.. and the fact that it's our tomatoes..made me happy.

Phyllo dough makes everything look like it's just bloomed~It makes a star out of even the simplest ingredients~
These would be ideal made in bulk:) For a B&B..or where we stayed in Tourettes-Sur-Loup~



I had prepared this post before seeing Linda's..If you want to see another beautiful Tomato Tart recipe..Go visit Linda..Mouth watering..She has music with her meal too:)Go enjoy~

I so want to visit France again..I can almost taste it..
No..I can taste it.
I don't know if you can depict the wall ornaments..
But I regret not coming home..with one of them..:)
Next time!
A Cicada..is coming to Qc.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rose Cottage~La Maison Des Jardins~

I thought I would share my favorite home improvement project we did here..
I recently saw the Reader's Digest Website...
I grew up w/ a copy on my mom's bedside table.. or our coffee table~
I read Points To Ponder~How to Increase your wordpower..
All the little stories..

It was there with Jergen's and Pond's (which I just bought again to smell like my mother:) )


It's changed a lot now and they have Home Improvements.Tips..Ideas..etc..It makes me want a subscription again while I slather on the Jergen's.

I thought I could share one..of our home improvements..
My favorite..

Many of you know of my fondness for Small things.. Victorian Homes,Gardens etc..



When we moved here 10 years ago.. Jacques knew he needed another little garage:)

Garage..no no..A Potting Shed,..and with a name..

2 names.. La Maison Des Jardins...AND Rose Cottage.

Where he could keep his big John Deere tool..and I could keep..my smaller tools..



I found a photo in a book..and Jacques improved on it by adding the back section ..He drew all the plans and apart from having a cement floor poured and my darling son-in-law helping with the roof trusses..we built it ourselves.



He could store all the larger things at the back and enter through double doors..I could use the front..

He modeled it after our own home..



It turned out perfectly.To us..The boys like it too..I keep their smaller gardening tools in the front section and bubbles etc..



We've added gardens all around..

and I tend to change them ..



Most of the time.. it's a mix and match cornucopia of all things bright and beautiful..Tomatoes too!



The window box is beneath an old window we salvaged:)


I've grown all kinds of things in that box..some things grow well..others not~:)

But all in all it's a perfect meeting place for orphan plants..and veggies.. and children..



I love it..I hope that doesn't sound bad..but I do.

Enough to try and paint it..in my journal..one of them..you know which one..by the way that little watercolor journal is getting fuller and fuller:)



I hope it looks a bit like it..I asked Lucas what it was and he said: " Your house!"

Well..close..:)



In early spring it looks a little less floriferous..but the flowering crab frames it well:)

I think all the boys have been intrigued and wandered in:)



It was fun for me to cath up on Readers Digest..

Go look for yourselves..and see if it brings back memories..

and new ideas~ and Home Improvement Tips~








Saturday, August 13, 2011

Soul Food #102~



I've been making a few gift/bookmark tags.. because I found new seam binding par hasard~
I am enjoying trying to scrunch it up:)

I like adding glitter and pearls and embellishments..It's more a winter craft for me..But the binding was vintage and so I just had to..
The latest proved useful to mark the pages in this lovely book..


It was recommended By Lila..Have you been to Lila's beautiful blog..?
Have you read this book?


There were passages that made me cry..not sob..but cry..at the honesty or tenderness..or sorrow of the words.
It's a great book.I would have never picked it up if not for Lila.
Thank you Lila..

Books..should be loved almost from the get go..This book got me in the first chapter.
I am going to read Shangai Girls next..I know..I will like it..I have read 2 from this author..and was not disappointed..
I have started..and so far..so good~
Thanks Jain~..


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pain De Mie~







Pain de mie
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Pain de mie is a type of sliced, packaged bread. "Pain" in French means "bread" or "loaf of bread" and "mie" means "crumb" in the culinary sense (not to be confused with bread crumb). In English pain de mie is most identical to pullman loaf or regular sandwich bread. This bread has sugar in it, which makes it sweeter than most French breads, and even with the sugar pain de mie is still not as sweet as most American breads. This bread is usually used for making sandwiches or for toasting. It can be baked in a sealed pan, which prevents crust from forming. If not baked in a sealed pan, the crust can be cut off (as done in factories before packaging). Pain de mie is sold in rounded or rectangular shapes.

I sometimes enjoy making small little loaves of bread.. they are ideal for tea sandwiches..fancy sandwiches etc..

I have a special mold from Paris.. a gift..I mentioned it before..
I discovered a new recipe..I must admit it mneeded tweaking..It's a different one and I could tell in the bread machine an adjustment in flour was needed..more:) You can just tell..

However I did want to share these molds.. and sometimes..you put a bit too much and get little treasures that pop out the seams:)



Just take them off and reserve.. when you take the lid of the pain De Mie mold..you are left with a lovely small perfectly shaped loaf.



You can also make Pain De Mie in shapes.. I am lucky enough to have a few of these and they were well used at showers etc..

They make cute cute sandwiches.


I used a recipe in a new little French recipe book I bought..but the flour was at least 75 grams off..

La Recette~

180 ml tepid water
30 ml tepid milk
350 g of flour T55 or T65
1/2 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
20 gr melted butter
20 gr sugar

Place all ings as directions for your bread machine..dough cycle..remove and put in pan..
When you see the blade kneading the dough in the machine it should pull apart from the sides as it forms a very soft dough.. when I followed their rceipe..it was wet and sat at the bottom like a pudding..I added flour as I wrote above as it kneaded..until I got the dough I wanted:) I wonder if it's because I used regular bread flour..





It's a lovely covered baking loaf to own.
I got lucky..
Grateful~


The Echinops and Echinaceas are in full blooom right now and the bees are buzzing..It's dry ..but earthy.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Soul Food #102~



Earth is here so kind,
that just tickle her with a hoe
and she laughs with a harvest.
Douglas William Jerrold,



My son-in-law grew a wonderful garden this summer~ Carrots,string beans,cherry tomatoes,regular tomatoes,onions ,lettuce,basil,cucumbers.
A great crop of wonderful colorful healthy food..
I am impressed and happy he is planning an even larger garden next year~


The children seem to love it too..
My hand model is princess Giuliana who is turning 10..on the 8th..xx
That's her pretty bathing suit you see as the background..she was also the artist that added the small daisy to the bowl of veggies.. she told me it added a certain artistic something:) She is right!Her brother Adamo turned 12 the day we visited..he starts high school soon....they are both so nice to the younger children..
Wonderful kids.Just wonderful..
All of them a delight to watch..to observe..to photo.
They really are God's little treasures to us.
My son-in -law gave us a bag of wee tomatoes.. cucumbers..onions and string beans..
The tomatoes were put to good use:)

So good..just cut your tomatoes.. add loads of fresh basil.. fresh garlic and Evoo..

Let marinate all day in a pretty bowl..summer is best as everything is fresh..and the warmth melds the flavors beautifully...

At the end of the day..dinner time..add your just cooked pasta.. toss.. and enjoy the aroma of summer:)
As an additional treat..I pulverized Jacques' home made croutons w/ additional basil and added..on top..a generous sprinkling of freshly grated Parmigiano on top of that ..and there you have it..Toss and enjoy. Outside if at all possible enjoying watching the birds at the feeders.~
An almost no cook delicious meal.
Adamo had asked me for an easy recipe..he said his aunt was a good chef and he wanted to cook also..Adamo..this one is for you~

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chocolat~

Madame Jéhane Benoit~

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jehane Benoît
Born March 21, 1904
Montreal, Quebec
Died November 24, 1987 (aged 83)
Sutton, Quebec

Jehane Benoît, OC (née Patenaude) (March 21, 1904 – November 24, 1987) was a Canadian culinary author, speaker, commentator and journalist.[1]
In 1973, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for her contribution to this art in Canada".[1]


When I married 37 years plus ago..I did not know how to cook or bake a thing..
Sadly..or gratefully ,I only had 1 cookbook from my mom..her huge Mme. Benoit book..
Of course I had never made anything from it..But my husband.. older than I was had made her sour cream chocolate cake and kept raving about it..
So I set off of course to make it 37 years ago..and am still making it~


He was a bit avant-gardiste to say the least ..as was she.. as lemon rind was added to the cake batter..:)

It works..He loves many different kinds of chocolate cake recipes ow..but when I want to step back in time..I treat him to this:)


It's different..

and delicious..



La Recette~

Ingrédients
2 carrés (2 onces) de chocolat non sucré /2 unsweetened chocolate squares..2 ounces
1 tasse d'eau bouillante/1 cup boiling water

2 tasses de farine tout-usage, tamisée/2 cups sifted all purp.flour
1/4 c. à thé de sel/1/4 tsp salt
1 c. à thé de soda/1 tsp baking soda
1 c. à soupe de zeste de citron râpé/1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tassse de beurre/1/2 cup buttersoftened
1 c. à thé de vanille/1 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 tasse de cassonade bien tassée/1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 oeufs/2 eggs
1/2 tasse de crème sure, commerciale/1/2 cup sour cream


Préparation
Chauffer le four à 325 F, et graisser un moule à pain de 9 X 5 X 3 pouces. Placer le chocolat dans un petit bol, y ajouter l'eau bouillante et laisser tiédir. Tamiser la farine, le sel et le soda, ajouter le zeste de citron râpé.
Mélanger le beurre et la vanille et mettre en crème avec un malaxeur électrique jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit crémeux, ajouter la cassonade et continuer à travailler la pâte jusqu'à ce qu'elle soit très crémeuse.
Ajouter les oeufs, un par un, en battant bien entre chaque addition. Incorporer la farine avec soin, en y mélangeant la crème sure et en dernier lieu.. le mélange du chocolat et de l'eau.
Verser la pâte (c'est une pâte claire) dans le moule préparé et cuire de 50 à 60 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que le gâteau soit cuit. Refroidir sur un gril à gâteau pendant environ 5 min, démouler et refroidir complètement.

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325..Prepare a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan(see my notes below)
Place the chocolate squares in abowl and pour boiling water over..let melt..and become tepid..
Sift flour,salt and soda,add lemon zest.
Cream butter and vanilla with electric mixer..add brown sugar and continue mixing until mixture is very creamy..ad eggs one by one beating well after each addition..
Gently add flour mixture and then sour cream..lastly..the chocolate warm water mixture..
Pour into prepared pan and bake 50-60 mins.. Let cool on a rack ap 5 mins and then unmold..

Many people leave it unglazed.. see my notes below..

My notes..I used a 9 inch springform pan..and I really went wild and used Penzey's chocolate instead of the squares.. a gift from a friend:)I have made the cake so many times I can improvise~
I combined the dry cocoa w/ melted butter and added separately.. and the warm tepid water after..together..they become like a statue:).
I add a ganache glaze and make the stripes w/ a neat gadget that looks like sharks teeth:)

Enjoy~ She was our Julia Child~