Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sweet Things ~

Last night my childhood friend Jojo and her Normie came for dinner.I made Josée di Stasios' Farfalle with peas and prosciutto..

Some munchies before.. some bread..the morrocan pepper salad I shared here a while away(I really really really like that salad..)
And for dessert I thought I would use the microwave lemon curd I made a couple of days ago to test drive it..

I give it a 2 thumbs up.The taste was delicious..the texture too..
I decided to make lemon tarts with Dorie's sweet tart dough that I enjoy so much.I used small 2.5 inch metal rings from Bulk Barn to make them .

I also hollowed out 2 lemons divided in half..reserved the juice and put my ice cream in them and froze.
The ice cream stays out of your tart and stays nice and chilled on the plate..

I've know Jojo since I was born on the top floor of this building.Her family and our family shared the upper balconies.. When I was 9 her family moved to the suburbs..My father bought the house across the street to theirs.. We both lived there until I married and moved a couple of years later.We still live less than 1/2 hour from each other.And have always been friends.I love that.

The white flowers in these photos are from a beautiful flowering shrub commonly known as Bridal Wreath Spirea.
Jojo was my maid of my very small very humble wedding.Fitting blooms!

Lemon Curd..Microwave Recipe..

* 1 cup white sugar
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup fresh lemon juice
* 3 lemons, zested
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted


1. In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the microwave, and pour into small sterile jars. Store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
There are a few versions of this recipe around..the above is the one I used from AllRecipes.

The Sweet tart dough is from Dorie's Book that I love and have ..Baking From My Home To Yours.Highly highly recommend it.

Sweet Tart Dough (Pâte Sablée)
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home To Yours

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.
Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in--you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas
Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses--about 10 seconds each--until the dough, whisk will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.
Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change--heads up.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and , very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
To press the dough into the pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked.
Don't be too heavy-handed--press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To partially or fully bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust.
(Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet to bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a coking rack (keep it in is pan).
To fully bake the crust: Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. (Keep a close eye on the crust's progress--it can go from golden to way too dark in a flash). Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

To patch a partially or fully baked crust, if necessary: If there are any cracks in the baked crust, patch them with some of the reserved raw dough as soon as you remove the foil. Slice off a thin piece of the dough, place it over the crack, moisten the edges and very gently smooth the edges into the baked crust. If the tart will not be baked again with its filling, bake for another 2 minutes or so, just to that the rawness off the patch.

Storing: Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months I (Dorie), prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer--it has the fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes to the baking time.

Sweet Things~ Lemon Curd,Lemon Tarts,Ice Cream..and Jojo.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Morelly Beautiful and Earthy~

One day at work this week..I found a morel at a client's home..I was so excited..she knew where to find more and found 2 others for me. would have thought I found the moon~

I brought them home tenderly and a clean paper towel.. and admired them..
Little marvels of nature..

Lilliputian trees:)

I read up on them and decided to soak them overnight in water w/added salt..To add to a Friday night omelet..:)

I only had 3..:)

Each one beautiful..each one different~

Don't you agree little fairy trees?

The end result was really good.. we like omelets..But i wish I had 23..not 3:)

I added a wonderful recipe ... a medley of peas I found at Sara's Kitchen..

and the medley is like a James Taylor medley:) Have I mentioned I love him?~

Sugar Snap peas,Snow peas and Butter peas..the symphony in the background is the bacon! Keeper recipe!

Thank you Sara..

Friday, May 29, 2009

Paper Roses:)

Remember that song?

I made Diane's/Marcella's Roses..Pasta Roses..before going to work a few days ago.. I had pasta cooking at 7:15:)

Worth every moment for me.

Diane..thank you for this recipe..I loved coming home to it all ready and waiting to be baked..
That's life.. a meal..waiting for you after a day out:)So many people.. don't have that~

This is their morning face and unfortunately by the time I came home it was very dark and drizzly..So no AFTER shots:)

The taste however.. was perfect for me..As if someone had made these for me before leaving:)Like a little dream.

And Abracadabra there they were!

Marcella and you are in my keeper more ways than one~
I did use my husband's prosciutto again..and only found the curly uncooked pasta at my 5 seconds away store..I added crushed chili peppers..many:) and I did not have as much fresh basil as you..:)
The basil kicks it up the lovely little taste bud notch.
Thank you Diane:)

Her beautiful recipe..
The Fresh Scent of Pasta Roses
As many of you know, I love roses....I'll make a rose out of anything. I love when life imitates art or nature. So twenty years ago when I saw a recipe by Marcella Hazan for Pasta Roses, I had no choice but to try it. Throughout the years, I've lightened it and adapted it to my taste. According to Marcella Hazan, the recipe originated in Romagna, Italy and is a stunning presentation of rolled pasta with a rosy cream sauce. It originated in a time and place where the gentle and yet robust art of cooking was more of a family affair. Engage a family member or friend while rolling your roses and you'll enjoy a meal made with love. Or you may make it yourself and dazzle them with your creation. This dish is an art and not a science. You may use long curly edged lasagna noodles, shorter and wider lasagna pasta or even fresh pasta. I used 3 x 7 inch flat lasagna pasta and cut it in half lengthwise after boiling. I even used any broken pieces to make "rosebuds". Just follow the basics and enjoy the fresh scent of Pasta Roses wafting from your kitchen.

Pasta Roses

1/2 pound lasagna pasta*, boiled "al dente" with 1 tablespoon oil
olive oil for coating pasta
1/2 pound ham, very thinly sliced
1/3 pound fontina cheese
1 1/2 cups red pasta sauce (use your favorite sauce)
1/2 cup cream or half and half
pinch of nutmeg
1/3 cup (about) grated Parmesan cheese

*use flat or curly edged lasagna pasta

You'll need a 7 x 11 inch baking dish.

Coat the boiled lasagna with olive oil so it doesn't stick together, and let cool. While the pasta cools, very thinly slice the fontina cheese in 1 inch strips. Mix the red pasta sauce, cream, and a pinch of nutmeg together. Coat the bottom of the baking dish with this sauce.

When the pasta is cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise. Lay a pasta length on a board and then add a thin 1 inch layer of ham and the cheese. It is not necessary to cover the whole piece, it should be somewhat sparsely placed. Then lightly roll the pasta, from the shorter side. Add the pasta rolls to the dish, with the open side of the roll at the top and bottom of the dish. Arrange the pasta so it is evenly spaced in the dish and loosen any rolls if needed. After adding all of the rolled pasta "roses" to the baking dish, top with the remaining sauce and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You may refrigerate it to bake later at this point. If you are baking right away, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top. If you are baking it from the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature before baking.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Painting Bread 101~

I have been admiring some painted breads on the net..
And wondering how can I do it too?:)

I pondered..
and pondered..
I came home from work early..1.30 and thought I would try what I thought may work..
I made a very simple bread recipe in the bread machine.. let it go through the dough cycle for 1.5 hrs..took it out..formed 2 "boules"~
And let them rise only 1/2 in QC.. in really cool temps..
So not nearly enough..but then I played..

And it works..

What I tried....

I took an egg white.. and mixed it w/ a touch of water and some brown gel food coloring.. next time ..I would use liquid coloring..then I painted.. time I will REHEARSE!!!

But still..I liked the result..

After the initial baking..I glazed the breads w/ beaten egg was glossy and speckled w/ Kosher salt:) But the light bounced off the glaze..:( And looked too shiny for my little blog:) Too glam:)
So these are the pre ~facelift pics...

I made honey butter to accompany it.. we had salmon trout and a really good Orzo salad w/ mint and tomatoes and cheese from the lovely blog I found here..

Because of this lovely blogger..

In my next life..I would love her last name:)

Flowers..Imagine that.

And to my artist blogging friends..imagine your possibilities~ Show me:)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This is so delicious~

Farfalle , petits pois et prosciutto..
Josée di Stasio is one of my favorite QC chefs..I have mentioned her quite a few times..
This recipe is no exception to her simple..great tasting pastas.
It is really nice to use our home made prosciutto :)

My friends Jojo and Norm are coming Sat. for may remember Normand invited Jacques to join he and Salvatore in the making of it~

It's a keeper here..

The Recipe..
Farfalle aux petits pois et prosciutto

Bow Tie Pasta with small peas and prosciutto


3 tbsps evoo
2 tbsps butter
1 large chopped onion
5 ozs of prosciutto sliced 1/8 inch then julienned
2 cups small frozen green peas thawed or fresh,blanched 30secs in salted water(I used frozen)
crushed red chili peppers optional but I did.

1 lb bow tie pasta
1 big pinch of mint or Italian parsley.I used parsley and added some basil.
Grated Parmesan cheese
Crushed pepper.

In a large frypan..heat butter and oil and cook onion until translucent,do not brown.
Add the prosciutto and small peas.Cook 2-3 mins..add crushed chili peppers.
In your large pasta pot cook noodles in salted water following maker’s directions.Drain keeping1/2 ½ cup cooking liquid
Add the mixture of onion,peas and prosciutto..and your parsley or mint..Some cooking liquid to coat the pasta well.

Serve accompanied w/ generous parmesan cheeseJ

It is so delicious!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Polka Dot Shortbread with Pink Lemonade~

They just look like summer to me together..
The book is adorable..a beautifil gift from Mary..Screen Doors and Sweet Tea..

The Polka Dot Shortbreads caught my eye in an instant!

I had just made lemon curd..and had the jam..we always love shortbreads..

It was a must make cookie.

Again I halved the recipe..used a smaller tart pan.. worked very well..
I just can't bake full quantities w/ just the 2 of us and we are careful.

Worth every little polka dot calorie~I gardened for 5 hours even:)

The Recipe~

Polka Dot Shortbread~ Martha Foose.

Screen Doors And Sweet Tea

1 ¾ cups unbleached all purpose flour
¼ cup rice flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter cold cut into small pieces
½ tsp vanilla
2 tbsps seedless raspberry jam
2 tbsps lemon curd
Preheat oven to 325F

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade pulse flours sugar and salt add the butter and vanilla and pulse to form a ball.

Press the dough into an 8 inch pan w/ removeable bottom.
Score the dough to make 16 wedges.
Bake 10 mins

Meanwhile fill baggies w/ the jam and curd..
Use a dowel(I used the end of a chopstick) and make divots.1/ way through the dough ..

Fill each divot w/ a bit of raspberry and curd..

Return to oven and bake ap 10 mins..Mine took a bit longer..

Don’t get them too dark..just edges.. golden..

Cool in pan on rack.
Remove and cut..
I used a pastry tip..the recipe says just snip the baggie..
They are just darling~

Southern hospitality in a QC home..via Oregon~Merçi!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Soul Food #4~

"There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 24th~ Rose Day~

Roses De Reims~


There are no roses blooming in our gardens for my Darling Baker Rose Sunday..I chose les biscuits "Roses De Reims"..I was able to find some at La Vieille Europe in Montréal..

They are the quintessential "dip me in champagne" cookie and have quite a little history to them~

I personally just love the way they look~

Fossier~ Roses De Reims..

I have since discovered that many talented bloggers make their own..but I have yet to find the perfect "Moule" to make them in..I hope to!

I opted for little Roses De Reims Charlottes.. w/ a Cassis flavored Mousse inside..
Topped with whipped cream..

I would have hoped for real roses to adorn the dessert but we are still in the apple blossom days of Spring here and I don't want to wish them away~

I hope Diane will forgive me..

Thank you Diane and little Rose Escapade!

I used my PVC molds..and sparingly dipped les biscuits Roses De Reims in a mixture of Cassis and a touch of water.. set them around the PVC mold and filled with my mousse..Refrigerated..unmolded and decorated.

I used a DR Oetker..yes.. light chocolate mousse and added some Cassis.I do use that mousse for lighter version desserts for just Jacques and I.I like those products.On of the rare pre- packaged things we use ..I don't even think Jacques knows...:) I only made's not a dessert that keeps well.It's for the moment..:)

Friday, May 22, 2009

What's better than a date square?


I am a salty ..not sweet person..But ask me what one of my 5 all time favorite dessert recipes is..
A date square.
I love Ann Lindsay's w/ coffee as an ing..
I love maybe 3 other recipes....and my friend Robert's aunt's recipe..:)

Her little tip..included using the freshest algerian dates you could find..what a huge difference to the usual supermarket ones that were packaged months and months and months ago..
Apples and,wait...dates and dates:)

Your usual crumble w/ the flour butter brown sugar and oatmeal..
But the freshest dates.. and simmered in water or 1/2 half with orange juice..

I used 450 gr. of pitted dates.. and 1 1/2 cups of half and half oj and water..(Original recipe one cup..)simmered till softened and almost jam like.. added a bit more water..

The crumb base..
was 1/2 cup of flour mixed w/ 1 cup butter..added 1 cup brown sugar and 2 cups oatmeal..

All my date square recipes vary and I can just tell what needs more or less of as I am making them:) A trade inner secret I guess:)

Regardless..once you get the knack..they are foolproof keepers..and faves~

Baked at 375 until golden.

The Ann Lindsay ones w/ coffee are equally as good..more ingredients though~
I love Ann Lindsays' recipes.

Seafood Caesar Salad~

One hundred years my ceramics class..I made this big bowl w/ 6 small bowls for my favorite salad at my favorite resto that many years ago..

We have continued to enjoy variations over the years..adding this..switching that:)

I always love it..Mondays'..had large jumbo shrimp..baked in the oven quickly.. crab..and lobster..Jacques' croûtons.. some very salty capers..spring green peppers and chives..I forgot the hard boiled eggs..too busy in the garden..Victoria Day:)

The dressing is easy..

3 tbsps lemon juice
2 minced cloves of garlic
2 tsps of Anchovy paste..I add smushed real anchovies..
a splash or 2 of Worcesterchire sauce..

s and p.. and I slowly drizzle in ap 1/2 cup of very good EVOO.

The capers I add last..

Kind of looks like Jaws in the last pic:) Same year I made the shells I think..saw it at a Drive -In:) I think Jojo was with us..:)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yet another General~

We are extremely fond of The General..I have 3 recipes I love..wait..make that 4 now!

Les Gourmandises D'Isa.. a site that always makes me want to get up and make what she is sharing:)I had lost the link and found it the nick of time.. inspired me to try her recipe..

Most of mine don't have batters per say..this one does..but it's light enough and not deep fried either..Very rarely do we fry..and never in winter..just outside in summer w/ the fryer..

Coconut shrimps.. zucchini blossoms..

Delicious.. but we are being careful..about fried foods and eat them seldomly.

So again..not deep fried.. and absolutely delicious if you like sweet meat like we do..

The Recipe~

Translated.. You must accept my apologies for my quick translations.I type so slowly.. w/ 2 fingers.. so..I translate quickly:)

For 6-8 people

2 lbs of chicken breasts cubed
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 beaten eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/cup veg oil

2 tsps sesame oil
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
3 spring green onions bias cut
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tbsps corn starch
1/4 cup light soya sauce
1/2 cup chili sauce.

Coat the cubed chicken in corn starch.

In a bowl mix eggs,flour,baking powder and salt..add the chicken cubes and coat well.

In a pan heat oil on high and start cooking the chicken a bit at a time so the pieces do not overlap and cook well.
Cook for ap 10 mins or until browned on the outside and no longer pink inside.
Keep warm.

On medium heat mix sesame oil..chopped spring green onions and ginger..sauté 3 mins ap.. add water and maple syrup and cook 1 more minute.
Meanwhile mix cornstarch ,soya sauce and chili sauce.. add to the pot and cook until thickened.Add the browned meat and coat well..

I served it with rice..
I also added Sechuan peppercorns and a touch of hot chili sauce,as we like our General to have a kick.
It was very very good.
I hope you enjoy it.. will both like this one:)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


We have strayed away from saucissons in the last 10 yrs.. but our trip to France..made us like seeing and enjoying them..all over reserve:)

every turn of the Marché.. every turn of life.. being back here..home..

Reminds us how we still love saucissons..even if they are.. here..from France:)

Avec une baguette.. du vin.. C'est la vie~ La Belle Vie~