Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pearls and Lace~

Bocconcini Pearls:)

And Arugula Lace:)

All kidding aside..Laura..Miss Flowers..first introduced me to the pearls..I finally found some..sooo cute!

You will love her blog..I have MANY recipes dogeared:)

I thought they would be a nice addition to an arugula salad.. w/ Anna Olsen's sugared pecans and caramelized onions..

I have never made an Anna Olsen recipe I have not thoroughly enjoyed~ Remember the sandwich cake? I loved that idea of hers..It was such a nice addition to Noah's Baby Shower~

Here is the pecan recipe..
Easiest I have ever made..

Maple Toasted Pecans

* 2 cup pecan halves
* 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
* 1 tsp ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Toss pecans with maple syrup and black pepper to coat. Spread pecans on prepared tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, without stirring, until toasted. Once cooled the maple syrup will caramelize onto pecans.
2. Store pecans in an airtight container for up to a month.

And the delicious onions~

Pickled Red Onions

* 4 cup sliced red onions
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/3 honey
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 1 tsp salt

1. Simmer all ingredients, uncovered, over medium heat until onions are tender and liquid has evaporated.
2. Pickled red onions will keep for up to 6 weeks, refrigerated

Jacques made his perfect balsamic vinaigrette.. and it was a great little salad.. we had grilled Mahi- Mahi.. broccoli and home baked fries to go with the salad:)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Soul Food #9

The most uncertain weather days in years.. a little sun..a lot of rain..never an even day~
mostly grey~

But much better than cold and snow;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

French Soup~

I mean Soup from French Word-A -Day~

I just love everything about her blog~

So even though we all have oodles of these kinds of soup recipes..I wanted to make hers:)

Her post title..Poireaux/leeks..

was just the incentive I needed to make the recipe all about her..
and leeks
.. diced..

And chopped..~

And mixed with favored veggies..

I had never been very generous w/ my Herbes De Provence in my potages aux légumes...

This time..thinking of her..
I added at least 1 tablespoon full(1 cuillère à soupe we say here in Québec:) )

It was delicious..

I was transported to a wildflower field in Provence~

Or a little resto in Tourrettes~

The colors are so similar!

And enjoyed every mouthful.

W/ a side salad .. what more could you want?

Thank you Kristin~


Noun 1. bonheur - (French) happiness and good humor
happiness - emotions experienced when in a state of well-being

Doesn't take much..Friday night even can be le Bonheur..We have J's pizzas almost every Friday Night.. different ways..last night was w/ the 5 Min Artisan Bread I keep in the fridge..he finds it more difficult to work with than his usual crusts..but I found it delicious..Linda had been using it and showing us and I suggested it:)

I love it.

Little things.. are often what brings us the most comforting Bonheur~

Like this bottle of wine also..I had no idea what it tasted like..I just had to buy it for a client to wish him happiness in his new adventure..and I thought I could pretty much stand to look at this label also.
I love wine labels:)
So artistic.. pretty.. I saved many when in Europe and glued them to my journal..
We still have one bottle from France from the Vineyard where the cute movie A Good Year was shot~

Marion Cotillard and Russell Crowe.Loved it!
Enjoy Your Bonheur this weekend.It's close at hand.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Delicioso and Bella~

I found this beautiful pasta in Little Italy..
I first spotted it at Lori's delightful blog~

Jacques had bought some unfiltered EVOO,here ..that came from Spoleto!We went to Spello.. but both are in the gorgeous Umbrian region of beautiful Italy.
I thought..Hmm..what do I make on this sunny... beautiful... early evening?

I decided on Shrimp pasta..
We baked the shrimp in the oven while I was cooking the pasta..
In a saucepan..I warmed some EVOO and butter..added fresh garlic,red chili peppers from Italy....some lemon juice and white wine.. ..Reduced it all .. then quickly added the cooked shrimp..loads of chopped fresh parsley from my little herb pots..and lots of grated lemon zest..tossed w/ the pasta..

and then.....

the skies became black and grey and our little outdoor set up for "al fresco" dining was rushed inside..to the sound of pelting rain and thunder!:(

My hope of getting a nice crisp summery photo was drowned:(

But it was DELICIOUS!

And the shrimp married beautifully with this gorgeous pasta.

I will definitely buy it again~

We eat with our eyes first I think... At least I do:)And this pasta..is just so wonderfully appetizing~
Just want to wave hello to Soleil..who is an artist at eye candy ~
And who's blog is also so beautiful..you cannot go stop in for a visit:)

Martha's Strawberry Basket Cupcakes~

A friend's wife took ill this weekend and is on the mend !~:)
Yesterday was a National holiday as I mentioned so I made the petal jam..and tried my hand at a few of these to be able to send her one w/ some personalized cookies..and Nana Pinwheels~

It was our HOTTEST day yet..so my baskets started to wilt:) But I refrigerated them right after and they stayed crisp:)

Do you have this book?

Cute cute cute..lots of great info..I had loved her cookie one..the cupcake one is at par :)

Well illustrated..tips..tricks.. I love it.

Playing with Fondant is like playing with play doh.. when I have the time..and the desire..I find it a lot of fun.

C'est le temps des fraises~ It's berry season..so I thought the basket was the perfect theme..

She thought the cookies were sweet.I am so glad I bought that cuter..

It's fun to personalize~

The cupcakes were just a simple white cake recipe..and I used a buttercream icing w/ the number 47 tip f Wilton.
I colored the fondant red and green..shaped and toothpicked the small strawberry accents.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Precious Petals~

I have many roses in bloom right now..but all my white ones are being eaten alive~

Thank goodness..some of my bright pinks and fushias were safe:)

I made some rose petal jelly~
I always wanted some..and I know my roses are pesticide free:) No wonder 1/2 are eaten alive!

Can you smell it?

I love the scent..It's like when I bake or cook w/ lavender.
It works for me..

I found many rose petal jelly recipes and rose petal jam..
I opted for Rose petal Jam..But called it Jelly:)

Rose Petal Jam

1/2 pound pink or red edible rose petals*
2 cups sugar, divided
4 1/2 cups water
Juice of 2 lemons (approximately 1/2 cup)

Clip and discard bitter white bases from the rose petals; rinse petals thoroughly and drain.

Place rose petals in a bowl and sprinkle enough sugar to coat each petal. Let set overnight.

In a saucepan over low heat, place remaining sugar, water, and lemon juice; stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in rose petals and let simmer 20 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; continue boiling for approximately 5 minutes until mixture thickens and the temperature on a candy thermometer reaches 221 degrees F. or until a spoonful dropped onto a cold plate jells and holds its shape. Remove from heat.

After boiling, transfer the jam into hot sterilized jars. Fill them to within 1/4-inch of the top. Wiipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid, and tighten the ring around them. Cover, label, and store in a cool place.

Makes 1 pound of jam.

After selecting my roses carefully.. I found I only had two perfect ounces..so I quartered the recipe~

It's ok..It made one small Fairy Jar~ And I am the only one that will eat it here~

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vintage Couscous:)

I love this covered dish a friend offered me years ago..
I often use it for Couscous salads~

Today was no exception~

I got up early...I knew I had a busy day..and started with a Couscous salad..
I used one cup of couscous..
1 cup of broth..

I sautéed onions and a touch of garlic in one tbsp of butter..

Added the broth..brought to a slow boil.

Poured the couscous in..covered.. and let sit for 5 minutes..off the stove..
Fluffed repeatedly w/ a fork..Really good couscous.. every little couscous must be separated:)

I added sun dried tomatoes..chopped.. on whole tomato chopped.. one handful of chopped fresh basil.. same of parsley..chopped red peppers and a special little spicy salt I have:) A touch of ground pepper and a generous splash of EVOO.A few raspings of lemon rind~
Combined and vintage potted:)

Sooo good!

Just a dish can make the food taste better to me:)

Now just that could have been my meal..I could just eat it until I could not stop:)

But I was anxious to try Susan's new Chicken Recipe..so Jacques grilled 2 breasts..and I gently turned them over and over in her sauce..

and served w/ a splash of it on top of the breasts..along with the couscous..

On the deck~ After a long day..w/ the birds chirping and the flowers blooming..
It's just as good as it gets.
Thanks Susan for a nice treat.
Next..Lori's Chicken:)
I am a poulet lover~

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Soul Food #8~

June is fleeting~

In beauty and grace~

After quite a few dreary days..

The sun has come out to play~

Father's Day~My Daughter~ And Bakerella~

Today is Father's Day and Noah's Mommy invited everyone over for a BBQ..

The kids have so much fun together and I LOVE watching them:)

When I saw this post from Bakerella..I thought it was sooo cute I sent it to my girls..
Noah's mommy decided to make them for Father's Day dessert:)

The adults loved them as much as the kids..

and Lucas said they were the Best Burgers In The World~

This is Max though:)

And Giulianna~

They really are too cute..And M did a great job~ They made me smile..her husbands' parents loved them!
I adore Bakerella's site..Have you seen it? She seems to influence some of our party desserts:)
And her photography is stellar~

Friday, June 19, 2009

Côtelettes De Porc "Papillons" Farçies~

I couldn't wait until Monday..for Soul Food..
My roses are starting ~

And dinner last night was delicious..
Jacques stuffed butterflied pork chops with fontina cheese,rosemary and his prosciutto..after marinating the pork in EVOO and garlic and wine and Rosemary:)

Grilled on the BBQ..sooo good!
I made arugula mashed potatoes and garnished with a parsley coin..like our tattooed potatoes.. but 2 thinly mandolined slices..with a leaf in between..

How brilliant!And found here..LOVE that site!Thought I would share it with you..

Grilled asparagus.. lemon zest..salt and evoo..The potatoes look like stained glass..

And so are the peonies~starting!

This is my riot in the garden party time..where the showstoppers bloom.. the dainty Forget Me Nots are waning .. the lilacs are having their last hurrahs..

But the Roses and Peonies and Irises are stepping forward~

It would be so nice to have fresh bouquets all year long~

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ann Lindsay's Arugula and Red Pepper Penne~

And Black Olives~

I love Italian dishes..Once a week I crave pasta..
In Italy once a day:)

I had a lot of arugula in the fridge so I decided to make Ann Lindsay's Sweet Red Pepper,Black Olive and Arugula Penne..

What I like doing with this recipe is preparing all the ingredients beforehand..and letting the flavors meld..
When I come home..I cook my pasta..and add it to the already delicious mixture.. add a bit of the cooking liquid and some red pepper flakes and lots of freshly grated parmesan Cheese..Season.

La Recette~

2 sweet red peppers
8 ozs of penne
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbsps EVOO
3 cups of arugula..
12 pitted black olives(I use the good Kalamata Olives..not canned)
pepper(I add crushed chili peppers)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

Broil red peppers until charred turning frequently..ap 20 mins(Mine are all done in the fall on the BBQ.. the then sit in a brown bag..are peeled and put in Basil EVOO..then bagged and frozen) .We do it once a year...)
Let cool ...save juices... peel,core and seed..cut into strips.

Microwave garlic with oil on high for 1 minute..
In a large bowl add peppers ,arugula,garlic mix , red pepper flakes and olives,.
Add pasta..Toss... add reserved pepper juice and cheese..

Serves 4~

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tartelette's Cherry Orange Blossom Water Cake~

That's a Mouthful!~

I had this recipe in my to try file..since last year!

Finally made them..Halved the recipe and it made 4 of these little ceramic flower pot cooking vessels..

I added a dollop of yogurt.
and quite a bit of cherries..
They are delicious..like all her recipes I have tried so far..

La Recette..

Cherry - Orange Blossom Cakes:

Makes 8
Printable Recipe

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tb. olive oil
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp to 1 Tb orange blossom water
1 tsp. baking powder
grated zest of one lemon
pinch of salt
1 cup fresh (or frozen) pitted cherries

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, oil, milk and orange blossom water.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients. Fold in the cherries.
Bake at 350 F, for 20-25 minutes.

She mentions on that particular post that it reminds her of being a Child in Apt..a town I loved in Provence..
I would think that being a child there would have been magical..

This little Water Blossom Cake headed over to my sweet neighnour.