Saturday, February 28, 2009

Je Voudrais voir La Mer~

One of my very favourite songs..I had it in my head while preparing for Jain's DB Beach Party..

He loves the beach too..

As much as I do..

I like the little individual butter bells..

For 2..they are perfect..

Just 2 have time to ponder old beach memories..

And create new ones winter!Where even here messages can be found in bottles if you like to play~

I love this's from Fifi.I mention Fifi because she is not on cooking forums..Just a fabulously nice editor/decorator.

Oops.. true..this is about food..
WFD on our beach party day?

Squid Ink Pasta and Shrimp..

I only like squid ink pasta freshly made..(not by me) not boxed.

I have wonderful memories of the two of us on the beach!And have pics to remind me .....

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fabulous Figs~

And Moût De Raisin~

My love affair with figs started a few years ago and was only enhanced this September..when we went here..

and stayed here..

We had figs on les lieux..To pick from trees and savour~

Peek through the entrance by the gourds..there it is~

I was overjoyed to find figs yesterday..perfect figs..

My friend had recommended Mout de Raisin for fruits and ice cream etc..I picked some up yesterday and decided to try it on figs..
A match made in heaven!

Wrapped in Prosciutto and served on mesclun and arugula was delicious!

A little bit of European heaven..on a terribly rainy bleak day here..
Sunshine and travel on a plate.
Saveurs de France et d'Italie~

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jacques and Mario's Fabulous Risotto~

Have you tried it? It is simply wonderful~
It's now a comfort meal to me and I look forward to it ..

Asparagus Risotto Adapted from Mario Batali

Time: 45 minutes

1 pound asparagus, peeled, trimmed and cut into one-inch-long pieces, tips reserved
4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 medium red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add half the asparagus stalks and cook until quite soft, at least 5 minutes. Rinse quickly under cold water. Put cooked asparagus in a blender or food processor and add just enough water to allow machine to puree until smooth; set aside.

2. Put stock in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add onion, stirring occasionally until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine, stir, and let liquid bubble away. Add a large pinch of salt. Add warmed stock, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring occasionally. Each time stock has just about evaporated, add more.

4. After about 15 minutes, add remaining asparagus pieces and tips, continuing to add stock when necessary. In 5 minutes, begin tasting rice. You want it to be tender but with a bit of crunch; it could take as long as 30 minutes total to reach this stage. When it does, stir in 1/2 cup asparagus puree. Remove skillet from heat, add remaining butter and stir briskly. Add Parmesan and stir briskly, then taste and adjust seasoning. Risotto should be slightly soupy. Serve immediately.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Family Celebration~

Saturday night..
It was busy and fun..
We decided to make raclette.Have you had it?
It's great fun..Lasts for hours.. cozy..warm..

My daughter brought a fabulous Turtle Chocolate Cheesecake.. That I did not photo because it was dark and we were in the middle of everything..
But it is sooo good..So good I am bringing the leftovers back to her tonight!

I had made a few cupcakes because I had adorable crowns from California..

and I had seen these Coco Chanel Cupcakes on the web..Such a cute post it was..

I just cut a template out and dusted the cupcakes with icing sugar..CC are also my dayghter's initials:)

I made Sushi Parfaits to begin dinner..

Forgot to sprinkle Nori bits before serving but they were still good.

My family said they liked them..From Food and Drink last year~

For just J and I..I add Wasabi to the guacamole layer.

They really are pretty and delicious.

We bought some wine that reminded us of our vist to Montepulciano(loved it)..

And now I like this wine..

I have kept a few corks from our trip..and have found many uses for them..Yesterday we identified the various sausages for the Raclette with them:)

They worked out perfectly.

I set the table with some favored dishes.. favorite napkin rings..:)a tablecloth from Tuscany..Fred's salt..some honey butter..our wine pitchers from Todi:)
It brought back lovely souvenirs..

The table is laden with trays of .. sausages..cheese,bread,small boiled potatoes,blanched asparagus, smoked salmon.. this time thanks to my friend Jojo..,dill, lemons, lots of small pickled things like beets and turnips and onions.. some red sliced onion.. sauerkraut..mustards.. It's a little grill on top and grill under in trays.One eats as much or as little as one wants..It's hard to eat little though.
It was so cute to see Lulu proudly accompanying me with his mommy's birthday cake lit..(That he helped bake)singing "Happy Birthday To You Mommy"!
He's 3.. and it must have been 10 pm by then:) He's our little Nite Owl~
The other two were fast asleep..

Friday, February 20, 2009

Preserving Lemons~

Oh I hope they turn out~!

I would love to always have a stash..:) For rice.. couscous..

They said Meyer.. No Meyers here ...I used what I found..and Orangette shared her leaves for the photos.I love lemons and oranges in the sun.. we actually had 2 minutes of it Friday and all day Saturday~

I'll keep you posted..

They are already vain..admiring their reflection in the glass~

Happy Birthday To You~

Happy Birthday To You~


Copycat Moi~ and FF~

I mentioned my nice dinner out with my daughter this week..One of the tapas was fried vietnamese Springrolls presented like the above..
I just made fresh rice paper rolls..

Cut one at an angle and place in a square glass.. 3 shooter glasses w/ different sauces.. a few petits points of hoisin or soya glaze.. chives..
I wish I had the orchid petals he gently placed about.Made it look like a romantic party on a plate~

I hope to post on Michael's FF.. don't know if it will work~

From Blogger Pictures

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Angel Wings and Other Things~

My daughters have very cute gift ideas..

One gave me American Eagle Outfitters house slippers/shoes that look like a fair isle sweater for feet with Birkenstock soles~ She had some and I admired them.
I live in slippers here in winter when no one but J and I are home:)

My other daughter gave me very cute Paris glasses that will go so well with a beautiful table setting for 2 my friend Jain sent me..(I really like all things French~I will share them all soon..:)
I wanted to show you these adorable cookie cutters my daughter gave me..
Thay are for very important people..special people..
They hang on the sides of your teacup..
Angel Wings for angels:)

I had rose bud tea this morning..I love it!..(Frédérick gave it to me a while ago..Little dried floral..perfect for the sugar cookie wings~)

Plse forgive the telltale lipstick~ :)

Lipstick marks always remind me of my mom.. who never wore make-up..but always had her Revlon Red on when she went out.
Did I tell you I loved everything about her:)?

Here are the darling:) cookie cutters for you to see..

Thank you~x

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pas Beau:) Mais Bon~

We had a long day~

But I had some fresh ..frozen tomato sauce I needed to use up..So I bought fresh eggplant and made eggplant parmigiana tonight..
Not pretty uncooked..but good..
I cannot tell you how many skillet fried medaillions I munched on while making them:)

Those over the potrack lights are frighteningly bright!~

Monday, February 16, 2009

I could hang my straw hat here..

And there~

For a while..if my family was near~

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Nite Tapas~

Saturday night we had a fabulous lasted all night~

I had to be at the office Sunday early and Jacques said..WFD?:)

We thought simple..easy ..quick..
Ann often makes a variation of this and her photos are to live for :)

Shrimp Tapas..

I love it..and Jacques loves it even more.. He made a fresh loaf of bread while I was at the office to accompany it..

Dipping the bread in the garlic/olive oil cooking juices is heavenly~
By candlelight..even nicer..

Soon the time will change and it will be daylight at dinner..

More time for friends~And Family... the garden..eating al fresco! Soon! Well soon enough..
But...I plan on savouring what is left of this restful winter time..
Believe it or not~

This recipe is a cinch.. nice little oven proof cazuelas..shrimp..garlic.. olive oil.. and whatever additional add-ons you love..bake until the shrimp turns pink..not long..and then just dip .. munch..and savour~
Another thing I love..postmarks~
On letters..on tags..on matches..on stamps.. on and now on candles~