Monday, August 31, 2009

Soul Food 19

"A late summer garden has a tranquility found no other time of the year."
- William Longgood

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Vintage Dinner~

My friend and I went out for lunch last Tuesday..We had a delicious croque-monsieur w/ artichokes,ham, was divine! Au Café du Musée... a salad.. a little sweet for dessert..And a Griffon Rousse.. petit café..a little shopping..
I was not very hungry for dinner so decided to make an omelet fo my husband..

With prosciutto and cream and eggs and onion and herbs..It was really very good although the pan was too large:) So the omelet looks flat:( But it was stuffed with sautéed mushrooms and I can humbly say it was better than the one my friend and I had last week in a resto:)

It seems there is always enough in the fridge for an omelet:)
I thank " Brumes" for helping me age my workplace for our omelet dinner.

It would also make a good Sunday breakfast..
I make the omelet on the stove.. until almost baked.. add my fillings ..then finish baking in the oven.. flip to close and serve~ It's just easier for me that way.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Si Bonnes~So Good~

These "tartelettes" are delicious...

I served them for lunch for my daughter and son-in-law..and as an apéro for Jacques last night..:)

It is from here~Her creations are always beautifully executed.

I used my favorite H de P from one of my markets in France..

The onion confit is one of the best I have made~

I think it is because of the raspberry wine vinegar.:)

La Recette:

Store bought or home made puff pastry

Goat Cheese
Toasted Pine Nuts
Onion Confit
Salt and Papper
Fine Herbs.

For the onion confit..

500 g red onions
50 ml raspberry vinegar
2 tbsps EVOO
2 tbsps cane sugar
Salt and pepper

Slice onions into thin strips. Warm EVOO in a sauté pan and soften the onions
Sprinkle sugar, mix and add vinegar. Add salt and pepper and leave to simmer on low to become a compote.. confit... .It should become a deep color..mine stayed quite light..and it was still delicious.
Place in a hermetically sealed jar and keep in fridge..

Cut your puff pastry w/ a cookie/pastry cutter...preferably w/ scaloped edges.. prick w/ fork.. add onion w/ a nice rondelle of goat cheese..sprinkle with herbs and toasted pine nuts..Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at ap 375-400 until golden ..(About 20 mins)..
You can serve as a meal w/ a salad like I did w/ my daughter..or alone as an apéro..

Simple and flavorful.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tarte Tatin au Parfum de Rose~And........

Sometimes you read a recipe and you know you MUST try it..if only for one ingredient..that you would have never thought of~

At Les Gourmandises d'Isa..When I spotted this..

Rose Perfumed Tarte Tatin..Could you resist?

It is delicately perfumed..not overwhelming at all.. subtle elegant addition~
Rose Water can be found almost anywhere I think now..

I am certain there are different qualities.. but I have been happy with this brand..I also have Orange Blossom Water by the same company..The bottling could be prettier:)
I made the tart in a 5 inch cast iron skillet..It's tiny..But this is best eaten the same day..and really Jacques is the sweet lover.I admit to taking a sliver and it is out of this world.
I could have eaten the whole thing.So glad I made it small..I quartered the recipe.

See how small the pan is?:)

La Recette..Courtesy of Isa.


1 1/2 Cups of flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsalted chilled butter
6 tbsps cold cold water


8 apples peeled , cored and divided each in 6.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp Rose water

You will need a 10 inch cast iron skillet for this recipe ..or a stove to oven casserole.

Mix dry ings for the dough..add cold butter that you have grated or cut up in small pieces.. mix.. add a bit of water until it forms a ball..flatten and wrap in ref. at least 30 mins.

In your pan on med- high heat.. put sugar and water.. without stirring but occasionally gently moving the pan.. let become gold and caramelized ap 10 mins.Remove pan from source of heat.
Add butter and gently combine.
Place apples on top to almost cover the entire surface.. and sprinkle rose water between apples.
Cover with your pastry dough tuck in the edges..(I forgot!)It still was lovely but not as perfectly done as Isa's..and I have made these before..My mind was on the perfumed roses I am certain! Bake for ap 45 mins in a pre-heated 375 degree oven

Cool 10 mins and invert onto a serving dish.

This is lovely she recommends with yogurt or even whipped cream infused with Eau De Rose:)

Ooh Ice Cream could be tasty too.
Her recipes are tried and true:) And delicious.

I have a confession:) She had 2 recipes that caught my eye that day perusing her wonderful blog..General Tao Shrimp:)We are huge fans of General tao Chicken..soo I knew we would appreciate shrimp too...

La Recette~

1 lb (454 g ) de grosses crevettes, crues, décortiquées(large shrimp cleaned and deveined)
2 cuillères à table ( 15 g ) de fécule de maïs(corn starch)
1 oeuf, battu(beaten egg)
3 cuillères à table ( 25 g ) de farine(flour)
1/2 cuillère à thé de poudre à pâte ( levure chimique )(baking powder)
1/2 cuillère à thé de sel(salt)
1/4 tasse ( 60 ml ) d'huile végétale(vegetable oil)

2 cuillères à thé d'huile de sésame(sesame oil)
1 cuillère à table de gingembre râpé(grated ginger)
1/4 tasse ( 60 ml ) d'oignons verts, coupés rondelles(spring green onions,sliced)
1/4 tasse ( 60 ml ) d'eau(water)
2 cuillères à table de vinaigre de riz(rice wine vinegar)
60 ml (1/4 tasse) de sucre(sugar)..I used maple syrup
1 cuillère à table de fécule de maïs(corn starch)
1 cuillère à table de sauce soya allégée(light soya sauce)
2 cuillères à table de sauce aux huîtres(oyster sauce)(i used Noc Chuam)
2 cuillères à table de ketchup
( Hot chili flakes and sezchuan peppercorns if you like.. we are used to very spicy GT is not for everyone..I would start w/ Isa's recipe.. then add..WE are hot lovers)
Oignons verts pour garniture More spring green onions for garnish..and toasted sesame seeds..I like using Yin and Yang:)

Enrober les crevettes de la fécule de maïs.(Coat shrimp w/ corn starch)
Dans un bol, mélanger l'oeuf, la farine, la poudre à pâte et le sel.(in a bowl mix egg flour ,baking powder and salt.(I doubled this)
Ajouter les crevettes et bien l’enrober de ce mélange.(Add shrimp and coat well)
Dans un grand poêlon anti-adhésif, chauffer l'huile à feu vif.(In a sauté pan heat oil on high heat)
Ajouter les crevettes et cuire pendant 3 minutes en remuant souvent jusqu'à ce que les crevettes soient dorées à l'extérieur.(add shrimp and sauté ap 3 mins..stirring frequently until golden on the outside)
Mettre les crevettes dans une assiette. Réserver.(Place shrimp on a plate and reserve)
Ajouter l'huile de sésame, le gingembre et les oignons verts dans le poêlon.(Add sesame oil,ginger and green onions in pan)
Cuire à feu moyen-vif pendant 5 minutes. Ajouter l'eau, le vinaigre de riz et le sucre.(cook med-high ap 5 mins..add water..rice wine vinegar and sugar..again I replaced the sugar w/ maple syrup)
Laisser mijoter jusqu'à ce que le sucre soit complètement dissous.Warm.. simmer until sugar dissolves)

Pendant ce temps, délayer la fécule de maïs dans la sauce soya.(Meanwhile mix corn starch with soya )
Ajouter le mélange de sauce soya, la sauce aux huîtres et le ketchup dans le poêlon.(add the soya mixture,the oyster sauce(I used Noc Chuam..less)..and ketchup in the pan..
Laisser mijoter pendant 2 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que la sauce épaississe(simmer briefly until sauce thickens).
Remettre les crevettes dans la sauce et mélanger pour les réchauffer(Add shrimp to sauce to warm and coat).
Servir sur un beau grand nid de riz et parsemer d'oignons verts émincés.(serve on a lovely bed of rice and garnish w/ spring green onions)

I thought I would see if French is easy for everyone to understand.. the volumes are similar:) The words?

My husband gave the whole meal.. 11/10.
I think that about sums it all up!
Merçi pour un excellent repas Les Gourmandises d'Isa.


Why didn't I think of this before?

Now I feel like I am on a holiday:)

In France:)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kate's Panna Cotta~

A velvety smooth creamy sweet summer treat!

Kate was gracious enough to share..I loved the little black vanilla beans specks ..I used my home made vanilla sugar because I am afraid I had no fresh vanilla beans left.Thank goodness I had that.This way the panna cotta stays white and stays vanilla~y:)

It was so sunny ..I had it in the porch for lunch before work on Tuesday~

Thank you Kate~
I just finished this light cute book..

Next..I will reread one of my mom's favorite books~ Bonheur D'Occasion.A timeless treasure here.

Kate's Blog is named: "Serendipity".. which can mean a surprise.. a happy times..I thought Ms. Roy's book.. in English could be called that..But it is really too fleeting and to me "Serendipity" remains,stays, not compromised...D'Occasion means ..on occasion.. So it is ..really happiness.. On Occasion.. or in opportune moments..or as a surprise, however so fleeting for the author and her book.
It just happened that the dessert:) And the book came together on the same day and worked in my mind~
On my is a favorite..w/out it's cover... along with Toi Et Moi de Paul Géraldy~..and a vintage collection of very pretty books of my mom's.

If you read descriptions of this will see that many thought the same as I..albeit for "On Occasion"..I still think it's the best translation..not proper perhaps..but for someone like me...on target.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This is as good as all the previous entries have shown~

A recipe I made as the appetizer for my friend's Birthday Saturday Night~

It is her REAL Birthday today~ Have a great day Jojo~

I had seen a photo at Foodgawker:)..and Loved it.. I saved the photo and the recipe..Then ..out of the Blue..My friend Jain made it !
I thought.."What am I waiting for?"

Oh que c'est bon!

I used pre-made puff pastry..cause I had it..:)

and used my marinated goat cheese:) The lemon..was a true little kicker..and I used Dijon Grainy mustard.. Herbes de Provence..and topped w/ pearl boconccinis:)

Honestly..I have made home made puff pastry..But in this heat..or even not..This one is just as good. Sinon.. better because of ease of availability at the last moment~

I will make this again and again.

We had Deviled Cornish Hens
Salata Di Carote et Limone
Baked Rice

The above I learned at my fun little cooking class I showed you earlier this summer~

Some sun dried tomato and rosemary buns

And Marie's Blueberry Tart~

We had a lovely lovely evening outside..One of the few this summer~

Tuesday, August 25, 2009



I was on a mission for large scallops:) None in my little town..But Jacques went to Costco while I was at work and found them there..
When I saw this recipe.. At NP.. I knew I had to make it! I looked through that beautiful blog one evening and this..(apart from beaucoup more).. probably because of my delicious champagne grapes in the fridge..struck a chord!

I could have caramelized them one iota more..:)I am careful and prudent and much too much so..but the last time I made scallops we ate Gumby.
I saw Jeffrey make his on the Next Food Network Star..I dried..and seasoned ..and warmed the pan..then the butter..but... still..I need one more practice:) Then added the most wonderful sauce in the world from Noble Pig..:)
We were in heaven the night I made these..we ate late.. later than usual..could that be why they were soooo over the moon? I don't think so:)

Run out and get champagne grapes..French shallots in a cute box if you can:)

... a lemon and scallops(JUMBO) and parsley:)

So worth the small endeavour:) Jacques said ..we must have a piece of bread somewhere for me to finish our sauces:)

Keeper~In a safe place to never lose~
Thank you..
I cannot wait to make them again..sweet pearls ..dans la mer~

La Recette~
Pan-Seared Scallops with Champagne Grapes and Almonds
adapted from Bon Appetit

16 large sea scallops, side muscles removed
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1-1/2 Tablespoons minced shallots
2/3 cup Champagne grapes (4 ounces) or black grapes, halved
1-1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
1-1/2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Salt and pepper

Melt 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the butter until it is browned, about 2 minutes. Salt and pepper your scallops before adding them to the pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side and transfer to a dish, covering to keep warm.

Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and grapes; sauce until the shallots are golden brown, about one minute. Stir in fresh lemon juice and any accumulated scallop juice from the plate of cooked scallops. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Stir in almonds and parsley.

Place scallops on individual plates and spoon the sauce over them. Serve immediately.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Soul Food#18~

The waning gardens of summer~
Flickr Texture..Apologies..I did not jot down the artist~

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jojo and Sushi~

What does one have to do w/ the other?

Jojo is my childhood friend and we went out to lunch and shopped:)Before and after lunch:)

In one store she spotted this set and said Oh..look how cute!!

I agreed.They pulled at my heartstrings for certain!
I like sushi..I say "I like" so that I will not be misrepresenting in making believe I am a connaisseur of real sushi.
What I LOVE..are California Rolls(I think I would like California too:) )

Caroline and Frédérick introduced me to this in their first apartment/home:)

I never even hesitated..I think.. and bought this darling set..and thought..I will buy rolls and serve to Jacques..and I..

But I had everything here..
So this Thursday a nice sunny kitchen..I made the rice..

and then the clouds rolled in..:(

But I continued..I made 2 long California rolls ..I enjoy making these..The Sheets.. the crab.. the wasabi.. the green onions.. the pickled ginger!:)

I sliced them up this evening and we had them as a pre-dinner~

I think I like them even more now.. w/ Tamari held by my sweet chefs:)

I can't wait to make them again..w/ Shrimp next time?

I am so happy my friend spotted them..
They make me happy..

Bye for now:)~Bon Samedi~

Friday, August 21, 2009


For my daughter's birthday dinner..I was excited to make the duck dish my friend had made us..
Why I made it when it was 180 degrees F outside and cooked it in the oven..and sautéed and caramelized the figs and pears on the stove top while the duck and I baked..I have no idea.
But I did.

I LOVED it at my friend's..from this book I showed you that I now have..

It's a grand little book w/ a red satin bookmark attached..That's pretty to me:) I think it's my first~

It's an exquisite little recipe..I hope you can make it out by clicking larger...Unfortunately I overcooked my duck..It was not tender like my friend's..I will make it again..I will practice on just J and I.. once more to get it right.It's served in the Tagine.. with Couscous..Buttery Couscous..

I probably should have served something like Naan bread.. but I wanted my family to taste Zurin's Yogurt buns:) This time I oubled the recipe like Zurin did..and they were all gone:)

So good! My daughter said Cloud Like:)!!

For starters..J had made 3 pizzas finished on his grill..the children munched on slices..

Olive,anchovy..and Margarita..

I love having that:)

We had the roasted pepper salad I had made before..from the same book..with the preserved lemons..
The weather .... well we are never happy here in QC ..we are weather malcontents it seems this summer..oh it's too's too's too's too hot..there is no sun..Oh lala..
At least it did not rain and the boys cracked us up running through the sprinkler after dinner~:)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cognac and Crostinis~

I LOVE how the web makes this world..A small small world after all~


I spoke to a friend:) From Afar~ From the web:)
It was so nice to put voices to emails~It made all the correspondence.. tangibly sweet:)
And I made a delicacy from again AFAR~

I said " Jacques.. these are from Little Teochew.."

Need I say more?:)

I saved the rest of the badigeonnage :) For Sat~Mine are not as deep and amber as LTC's.. my oven crisped the rims.. the middle was perfect.. but not as golden..I will try deeper..but then again..These were just right!!!!!It depends on the browning qualities of your oven:)

The added soupçon of Cognac..makes all the much so..I added another soupçon:)

Thank you Little One~

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bull's Eye~

I had to Google to see where I had found this WONDERFUL recipe and had printed it up way back when..

It was Here

I am so glad I kept it..Made it for my daughter's birthday last night..and Jacques says it's now his favorite!

Bulls Eye Cheesecake Recipe
32 oz cream cheese
1/4 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
2/3 c granulated sugar
2/3 c dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp instant coffee (powder, not granulated)
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c graham cracker crumbs
1. Adjust rack 1/3 up from the bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Carefully butter an 8 inch springform cheesecake pan all the way up to the rim and including the inside of the rim itself. You will need a larger pan to use as a water bath while baking. Wrap the bottom of the pan with one large piece of foil. Make sure the foil comes at least 2 inches up the sides of the pan to avoid water getting into the cheesecake.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cheese until it is soft and smooth, frequently scraping the sides of the bowl (with a rubber spatula) and the beaters themselves to be sure the cheese is uniformly smooth. Beat in the sour cream, then the vanilla and almond extracts, and the salt, then the eggs, one at a time. Keep scraping bowl occasionally and beat after each addition until it is incorporated.
3. Remove the bowl from the mixer. You will have about 6 cups of the mixture. Place half of it (3 cups) in another bowl that is large enough to allow you to stir in it. Add the granulated sugar to one bowl, and the brown sugar to the other bowl, stirring with a rubber spatula until incorporated and the mixtures have thinned out.
4. Remove about 1/2 c of the brown sugar mixture and add the cocoa and powdered coffee. Stir well to dissolve the powders. Add this mixture back to the brown sugar bowl and stir well.
5. Now you will have about 4 c of each mixture. The two mixtures will be placed alternately in the pan to create the design. Each segment will be about 1 cup of mixture. I use two 1-cup measuring cups, one for the dark, and one for the light mixture.
6. It doesn’t matter which color goes first. Pour one cup of one mixture into the center of the pan. It will spread by itself to cover the bottom of the pan. Then pour one cup of the other mixture directly into the middle of the first mixture. (That will spread out too.) Now pour one cup of the first mixture in the center. Keep continuing until all of the batter is used, four additions of each mixture.
7. Now handle the pan very carefully in order not to disturb the design. Place the cheesecake pan in the larger pan and place in the preheated oven. Carefully, pour enough hot water in the larger pan to come 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
8. Remove the cake pan from the hot water and set aside to cool at room temperature. When cooled, cover the pan with plastic wrap and then refrigerate for several hours (the longer the better, at least 8 hours.) Remove the springform sides and place a flat plate or large plastic cutting board on top of the cheesecake. Carefully flip the cheesecake and remove the bottom of the springform pan.
9. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the bottom of the cake. This will keep the cake from sticking to the plate. Cover with your serving plate and flip again, leaving the cake right side up. Dip your knife in hot water before making each cut.
Makes about 10 servings

The beautiful photos on the blog helped attract my cheesecake attention:)

Thanks ! Il est très bon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Soul Food #17~

The Beauties and The Beast~

Les Belles et la Bête~

You must know which of these 4 is not like the other~
Oy Prickle Beast that she is!!

How something so pretty can be so cruel~Ahh.. the bloom is pretty..the stem is not.

I loved that show many moons ago ..Beauty and The Beast..Linda Hamilton:)And Ron Perlman..
I could not wait for the next EPISODE~Vincent was .. just .. perfect.

And who can forget Jean Marais?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Remember these?

7 layer salads?
I made one for Lulu's party..It's been years..but made 2 little additional ones ..

They work well in small cups or glasses~

Same as 20 yrs ago..Lettuce.. celery..radish.. spring green onions....some peppers.. frozen peas a bit of sugar some mayo..hard bloiled eggs,bacon and cheese..Pea shoots.
Done~and another use for the large trifle bowl..:)

Market Morning and Dorie's Blueberry Cake~

This morning I made Dorie's recipe that I saw on her blog..I have a cheesecake in the fridge for tomorrow's bday.. but Jacques likes having a sweet .. not exactly cheesecake.. after a meal..I knew he would like it and he did.I made extra streusel that I froze..
It's a lovely cake..Feels like Home.

I then made a trip to my local adorable market..I wanted to order a new sign for the gate..

I love going to this market..Only in summertime it is open of course..I have been going for 30 yrs~ At least..:)

There's something for everyone~

Kathy Birdbaths.. Dressforms..Hats for watching Julie and Julia:)

And Vintage of course..everywhere!

Perfect Matinée!

I still feel funny saying ..just.. Dorie..It should be Dorie Greenspan to be respectful:) And I am.. but I always say Julia.. never Julia Child..So it is means just one name says it all:) for them.. Like Cher..Sting..Mario..Ina..Cleopatra , name a few..
So respectfully.. I say...enjoy Dorie's Delicious Blueberry Cake~

So easy too!