Monday, January 30, 2017

Watercolor pastels,Bran Muffins and Pain Magique.







I am always in the need of good bran muffins..and I make all kinds because I do love them so:)

So you have read about all my faves..and this is another..a classico:)  The one on the Quaker Bran box:)

I add dates that I plump..chopped plumped dates..
it is one of the few times I use Crisco.
And très peu.
In some pie doughs I do also.



I do  confess.

Do you..

Remember that commercial?
About frying chicken and  Crisco? One of many!

I do.

And the one about being a good cook ?

The Easy Off one? LOL

Be a good cook mother said and you'll get a man.
What did I get?25 years in a dirty oven..

Oh how times have changed;)

Thank goodness.

This is a bit funny..I have had these watercolor pastels for over 10 yrs..I have played with them..the same way I do w/ my oil pastels,direct on the paper..all ridgey and ugly they looked....and then wet the effort..that was almost worse..
hated everything..until I saw someone on IG..using Daniel Smith stick paints..and I thought..I should try this with my watercolor pastels..
Guess what?
Now I know how to use them..for me..it may not be THE WAY..wet your brush and then go to the pastels..your brush will be imbibed w/ the pastel watercolors..I did a quickie quickie dress..it works!

I like all kinds of materials for painting..the PH Martins I have had for at least 15 yrs..they will outlast and outlive me..perfect for work like Danielle Donaldson's book.

Who else comes home from Paris w/ an empty cream bottle?
If I had had a regular suitcase and not just a carry one..so much more would have come home to my little town..
their cream is not like ours..well the ones we found.


So the day I decided to make this bread..it was dark and cloudy and I was trying a different setting  on my camera..w/ a different lens..and the photo was AWFUL..not the camera's fault.


It still is..but compared to what it was..anyway..

the purose is to tell you about this recipe..non bread bakers will..should love it..
Look at it..the holes..the rise..and good.

even easier than Ricardo's..that I still LOVE.



you still need a dutch oven type Le Creuset thing..that you don't care how it eventually ends up looking..like for Ricardo's.

I was smitten w/ the girl on  the Josée Di Stasio show..and she made this bread..plus I had made jams and marmalades..needed a bread with substance.


Now mine didn't have a indentation on top..nor did the one on the show..A nice round boule.

so how easy is this?

3 cups of flour
2 cups of water
pinch of salt
half a tablespoon of instant yeast

mix everyting w/ a spoon..in a large bowl until uniform and firm
Cover with an inverted bowl (I used cling)..12-24 hrs ..until doubled or tripled in size..

I brought mine into my craft room where Jacques is fermenting wine..

Preheat oven to 500 F w/ your cast iron lidded pot..
Turn your risen dough over into a well floured pan..or board..do not kneed..you just want the bread floured..well..then plop into the hot cast iron pot.cover..bake 25-30 minutes(30 for me) uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes..

or until a nice color.

PS I put parchment in my cast iron..fit in in prettily..

when it comes out it has a crunch top..It will soften..the same day it is wonderful..the next day we toasted it..still great..even a couple of days later..I had put mine in a banneton .
as you can see lots of nice air holes etc..

A winner.
Easy Peasy. 
Easy as Pie.

I have a sourdough starter starting..fingers crossed..it's in the wine room too..
Inspired by Lee-Ann
Susan..who sent me the starter for Xmas
And Linda..who I swear..it's her first time..and WOW.
(footnote..I put the starter in the oven w/ only pilot light on)
I have baked one loaf..not qute right yet..(the sourdough)
when I get it..I will share.

Fingers crossed.

Oh and the neat little program that made a photo less terrible?

COLOR STORY

On my Ipad..free..you can upgrade..but I like just the basic..unlike Lumyer that totally stopped on My Ipad..they said it does not work on an Ipad..hmmm..well..it did..
Enjoy...





66 comments:

  1. I have made that bread many times. I love how it turns out!

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    1. I do too..both of them..one a bit esier ..which is nice in a rush..the family was so cute making and eating it..I had to:)

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  2. Would love the magic bread as it looks perfect to me. And muffins? I love those too. I myself had a rice crispy treat for breakfast and cream of wheat for dinner last night. I am just not going to cook for myself. Your pictures are styled so beautifully; they look like a magazine shoot. I understand buying the pastels for another day. I probably have them stored somewhere, but haven't tried them. And my dear, I too came home with a yogurt pot from Paris in my luggage. Here all yogurt comes in plastic and I was shocked they used a clay pot to sell yogurt. They must be expert recyclers. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. You too have a wonderful week..oh my the things that are treasures to us on trips:)
      I had yogurt and honey for brekkie..these are long gone already:)
      Thanks as always Donna for your encouraging words..kinda makes a day sunnier..and it is shining at last.

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  3. Those muffins are making me hungry. Think I need to make some for tomorrow. And that bread so devine! Have a great week!

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  4. Thank you..happiness to you in your new adventure!

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  5. Dearest Nana, I'm going to try that irresistible bread!
    Thank you for sharing the receipt.
    xoxo
    Nina

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    1. You are so welcome Nina..from nana;) aka Monique

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  6. Oh, yes... the simple but out-of-this-world bread! I could live on bread and good butter. Well, almost. ;) I've gotten my box of watercolors opened and spread about... seems starting is always the hardest thing. Then, finding a STOPPING place on a painting... seems there is always one more little thing... on and on. ;) Beautiful post, Monique. Eye candy for me. Thank you. blessings and hugs ~ tanna

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    1. I for one cannot wait to see your beautiful paintings again.

      I have just organized my painting areas..I like order:)Difficult with art supplies.
      So so pleasant though..books..painting..all good.
      As you know gardening is out of the question right now.
      So nice to hear kind words in these troubled times Tanna.

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  7. I've been thinking I need to make your bran muffin recipe from Ricardo again :) I loved putting dates in his recipe too! So good. I may try this Pain Magique and use some sourdough starter in it! Your loaf looks so pretty and I love the big holes. With confiture - yum. I'm sure your starter will be ready soon. When you take it out of the frig to feed it and it sits on the counter at room temp, it should start to expand and bubble so you will know it's ready :) So interesting about the watercolor pastels too! I still make pie dough with Crisco :)

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    1. Crisco and pie dough a match made in heaven!
      I should make Ricardo's too..can you believe we still have some Christmas baking?
      It is bubbling..it is just so cold here..in winter..maybe I should put it in a microwave with warm water..I used to proof bread like that..it is bubbling..next feeding will leave out..it seems happy in my fridge thanks to you:)

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    2. I think it just needs time to live, grow and create those little micro-organisms that make sourdough so tasty. Some things can't be rushed :)

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    3. Patience is a virtue..:)♥
      That may be one thing I have:)
      It's just nice having it in the fridge from you LOL.

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  8. There's not much better than good bread and butter and your bread looks delicious! It sounds good and easy to try. I remember those commercials, and still use Crisco for a few things, one of them being their pie crust recipe. I never could master pie crusts until my aunt gave me the recipe many years ago that was on the back of the Crisco can many years before then. Take care

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    1. My mom used Crisco..I remember so many old commercials..and Art Linkletter and Ed Sullivan..etc:)

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  9. Your bread and muffin sound wonderful. I also love bran muffins.
    I don't hardly eat any bread, to many carbs for me. But if we are talking about Parker House rolls, I could eat a dozen. LOL

    Have a wonderful week,

    Mary

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    1. I love rolls too..give me bread and salt over sweets any day..You too Mary have a great week!

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  10. AQll look wonderful Monique Je adore your pictures and these lovely muffins !!
    Hugs!!!!

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    1. So fun to share all our recipes..I love going everywhere and learning:)

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  11. I remember the Crisco commercial well! Your pastels are gorgeous, and the muffins and bread look delicious! :)

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    1. Haven't times changed so much?Those were the Leave It To Beaver Days..I hope you had a great reunion:)

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  12. I love your little dress...and those ♥️ stockings!! Too cute!
    Your bread looks fabulous...made it a few times, with Chucks no-knead recipe...guess I shouldn't be so lazy....
    Wasn't that sunshine glorious today?? Loved it!
    Keep on doing what you do Monique...you are the best.
    Enjoy your evening...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Well that's funny because I find your pics awesome Linda..those beachrocks yesterday..and the close ups of your crochet work..the birds..the flowers..tack sharp!Suna gain today..so far..and yes it was brilliant..the blue skies make such a difference!

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  13. I bake that bread a lot! Totally love it! And now i need some bran muffins. YOu reminded me that I haven't had them in years!

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    1. They are good bran muffins..when I worked ..years ago..closed a long time ago..I would go out back and buy a muffin from her..I am not big on the huge Costco muffins..we had a pastry shop here.. Lafayette..so sad they closed..best muffins..:(Seems little muffin out of the way cafés don't stand a bit of a chance these days.

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  14. Your bread is stunning! Love your new header! Beautiful colors!

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    1. Cannot compare w/ yours:) I often wish you were blogging again:)

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    2. Awwww... but you get a private showing! ❤️
      Also Josey Baker Bread... gets the credit for my sourdough success!

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  15. This is all lovely, but that muffin pan is so different! So pretty. ♥

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    1. I like it too Val..all these different little baking things..luckily it was an opportunity..in your 60's you buy less...there is a chain of stores in the US..Christmas Tree shops..not at all strictly Christmas..you can find..great littles things at a fraction of the cost elsewhere..truth be said it was better years ago though.

      Thank you Val:)

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  16. I usually bake dinner roll a lot.. I love the watercolor pallet... I never tried watercolor.. it is very hard.. how this water color pastel... please tell me, I want to give it a try..

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    1. Watercolor pastels..look like oil pastels..in my case I could not get the watecolor pastel to look right..an oil pastel you can rub..etc..add color..I couldn't do this w/ watercolor ones..it was like sidewalk chalk to me..so now I wet my brush and then rub the pastel w/ the wet brush and apply on paper..it works better for me..
      I am not a watercolorist..I am a "wanto" be one..just start and try and you may find that you are making things that makes you happy inside.

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  17. Oh my goodness ... that is a beautiful loaf of bread! It sounds incredibly easy too. I could not stop at one slice (or hunk) of that bread, and butter, I would need to have butter too! We love bran muffins and I have not made them in so long. Your muffins are gorgeous as are all your photos. Have a lovely week Monique!

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    1. Thanks so much Tricia..as you know I have admired your photography skills since I found you.

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  18. That is my favourite bread also Monique. I love it. It always works for me and is so tasty! Oh, and those bran muffins, from the box of Bran, also a favourite! I can't get that type of bran here, but another. I have lost my recipe, any chance you could e-mail it to me? Peut etre? I would so appreciate whenever! Oh, I have never heard of those types of water colours, but they sound and look lovely. I will have to explore. You always share the nicest things! You are a magnificent photographer and sharer! Love you to bits! xoxo

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    1. PS Your muffin tin is ADORABLE. I know I have probably seen it before, but I must tell you again, how very beautiful it is. Plumped dates, my favourite.

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    2. PPS That line from the commercial about your head in a dirty oven. I remember! Thank you for the sweet reminder. xo

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    3. I knew you would remeber..you bring me back to so many memories Marie..the muffin tin has been seen here..not new..and I think you would have bought it also..I think it was $6.99..once in a while we find something..:)
      I will email you the recipe..for the muffins? Is the link not clickable or didn't I put it lol?:)Yes that Quaker Box:)

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  19. Love that ceramic muffin pan. I tire of the metal tins - so hard to keep clean.

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    1. Stays so new looking Ry..I think Anthro still carry some..and I have seen in Homesense also:)
      Thank you!

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  20. Gosh! Love love the muffin tin too!
    Your bread is beautiful...
    Paris is so beautiful and the little cream bottle is adorable as they can only do!
    wonderful week to you! xx

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    1. To you too..funny we watched the season finale of The Affair yesterday..shot in Paris..brought back so many memories..all n all apart from our 2 misfortunes..it is an amazingly fantastical city.
      When you are no longer there you miss it..I have said..I have seen it..and that will do..but last night I wanted to be walking a long la Seine..if you remember it was flooded when we went:(
      Yes they do beautiful well.

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  21. Hi Monique, your bread looks like you spent hours on it, I will try this recipe and see how it turns out. I have an older cookbook and it has a chapter on how a good wife should set the table, lol! reminds me of the commercial you speak about. Take care!

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    1. I know those books:) So archaic..and actually funny now..
      Both breads are very good ..Ricardo's has a bit more work involved..yet really none..however the Magic one....well there's no excuse to not have good bread in the house:0
      You too..take care Cheri!That citrus salad was knock your socks off pretty.

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  22. I just noticed you changed your blog title page and it is beautiful! I love your watercolors, and your gorgeous photographs. They're so warm and colorful and welcoming, I feel as though I stepped into your kitchen.
    That bread looks stunning - though I am hesitant to try making it because of the smoke/fire detector right near the stove - and think I left my skillet in NH. Maybe I'll be brave.
    And as an ex-hippie, I am wary of using Crisco, except for greasing my muffin and cake tins - nothing better for that!

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    1. You made me smile..I think I was a wanna be hippie at one time:) It just didn't last long enough to really be one.Peace and Love sound pretty good to me..especially these days.
      I don't know why..I just kept thinking about changing something up..and I am not terribly HTML tecchie..etc..so with a little Photoshop help..I added the graphic from Etsy and added the font I liked.It was far easire than I had anticipated..

      just a little facelift:)
      Thank you Katrina..as always.

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    2. Oh, my - Photoshop is something I've never even investigated - ditto Etsy! I do love that font:)
      And I can't say I was a real hippie because I didn't smoke pot -

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    3. Me neither:)My mom would have..well not been very happy with me..
      PhotoShop I am a novice..Etsy..is lovely.

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  23. i've never heard of watercolor soft pastels, but they sound interesting, glad you were able to find a way to make them work for you. you always have such fun art supplies and then that bread looks wonderful especially with some jam it must be delicious and i agree with the comment above your photos bring us right into the kitchen with you

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    1. Jennie..a numer of years ago.. 6 plus..when I had to stop working..I had to find a way to play in winter..I know you know what I mean..nice little busy hands..peaceful thoughts..a very inexpensive getaway into calm:)
      I am witness to your creativity and I just know it is the same for you.
      Thank you:)

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  24. Bran muffins have not immigrated to Paris
    I miss them

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  25. Oh, this bread looks and sounds fabulous! I was all geeked up about the water pastels but now I want to bake!

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    1. I get so geeked up too:) Love that saying..can I borrow it? For life?:)

      OK..don't expect your hubby's baguettes!!

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    2. Expressions are free! Have at it!

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  26. Have fun with your sourdough starter Monique! :) I keep forgetting to tell you that I love your new blog look...!

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  27. That muffin tin is beautiful! So is that loaf of bread. Your photos look great!

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  28. I'm like you Monique. I love a good bran muffin and these look wonderful. It's funny though, I've kind of forgotten about them with lots of new recipes coming and going out of my kitchen. Thanks for the reminder. Pinning these muffins and that beautiful muffin tin.

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    1. I think we love certain recipes..but just like experimenting too much..not too much but a lot..I ..like you..enjoy trying new things..:) Big difference between you and I..I glean..you create:)

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  29. Good Morning Monique,
    How are you?
    I'm popping here after a while not visiting you (shame). And I discover your brand-new header, it is absolutely lovely! I like it.
    As per usual your muffins look so good! Same for the bread, I'd love to spread some hazelnut butter on top :p
    Have a lovely day

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    1. And you..a ball!
      Cannot wait to see photos of your trip..hope you share some..NO SHAME:):):):)

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  30. Un pan maravilloso Nana yo debo hacer este exquisito pan y comerlo con mantequilla es mi debilidad,abrazos y bendiciones.

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