Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Miss You Most Of All My Darling~

When Autumn Leaves Start To Fall~

My mom LOVED Nat King Cole and that was one of her favorites..Autumn cannot happen in my mind without my thinking of that song simply because of her:)

This is such a wonderful cookie tool..

Easy to use..lovely quality and a yummy little light cookie~

Mary..recommended them to me:)

I love them~

Thought I would share them w/ you too~


Monday, September 28, 2009

Soul Food #23~

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
An eternity in an hour."
-- William Blake

I picked a huge bouquet for our dinner guest Thursday night~

..the asters..from pink to mauve to white.. my borrowed landscaped is painted in them~I am grateful~to nature and Joesistah~

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dinner For One Please~

And No Takeout Thank You Very Much~:)

I am never alone for dinner~
Wednesday night I was ..
In the morning..before work..I thought..I'll just have a bagel for dinner:) Or cereal~

But I cracked.. I was listless after a long day at work..and wanted to play..
The game I wanted to play..was cooking and baking of course~Too wet and too late for the garden..Too humid also!

So I spoiled myself by making a trial version of a meal I instantly had palpitations for when I saw it at Isa's..

Peanut Butter Ravioli Wontons~

It was a heavenly little dish..That I will do and do again.

I remember my childhood friend and I having this at a resto ..maybe 15 yrs ago..I loved it then..

You know what?

It's even better at home~

I used dumpling wrappers..that I had..but the recipe calls for WonTon wrappers..it worked..I tried some as Raviolis..some as wontons..Of course both taste luscious.
She mentions her little son ate all the sauce even:) He has my kind of taste buds~
He is a lucky little grenouille to have such a good cook mommy.
Merçi Isa~

La Recette~

1/2 livre (250 g) de porc haché 1/2 lb ground pork
1⁄4 tasse ( 60 ml ) de châtaignes d'eau, égouttées et hachées1/4 cup drained chopped water chestnusts
1 œuf 1 egg
2 échalotes vertes émincées 2 spring green onions thinly sliced
1/2 cuillère à thé de sel 1/2 tsp salt
1 cuillère à table de sauce soya ( allégée en sel ) 1 tbsp light soya sauce
1/4 cuillère à thé de poivre 1/4 tsp pepper

ap 50 Won Ton Wrappers

Mix all these ingredients and put ap 1 tsp in each wrapper/moisten the edges and fold the way you like to make yours making certain all edges are sealed.
I added a touch of sesame oil and some fresh ginger~

You boil them for ap 5 mins in water or in a chicken broth..This is the way to make WonTon soup also..

To make the peanut butter raviolis..follow the above method..but you serve in the sauce..

The sauce is in 2 parts w/ a type of thickened soya sauce and the peanut sauce..

La recette

La recette :
1/2 recette de raviolis won ton 1/2 a recipe of wontons

Sauce au beurre d’arachides :Peanut butter sauce
1 tasse ( 250 ml ) de bouillon de poulet 1 cup chicken broth..use less if you want a thicker sauce
2 cuillères à table de sauce Hoisin 2tbsps hoisin sauce
1/4 tasse ( 60 ml ) de beurre d’arachides1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
1 gousse d’ail hachée 1 minced garlic clove
1 cuillère à table de vinaigre de riz 1 tspb rice wine vinegar
Sésame blanc sesame seeds

Sirop de sauce soya :Soya Syrup
5 cuillères à table de sauce soya allégée en sel 5tbsps light soya sauce
1/2 cuillère à thé de sucre 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cuillère à thé de fécule de maïs1/2 tsp cornstarch

For the peanut butter sauce..

In a casserole heat the chicken broth with the hoisin..off the stove.. add the rest of the ingredients except the sesame seeds and blend to a smooth consistency.. add peanut butter if you wish ..

For the syrup

Ina small casserole mix all ingredients and heat stirring constantly until thickend.

I placed the warm sauce on my plate.. added the raviolis and dotted w/ the syrup and put a bit more peanut sauce on top..sprinkled w/ green onions and sesame seeds..We had the full version Friday night and my husband love it to bits too.Like Isa's little grenouille:)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pain Du Jour~

I made Oatmeal Sage bread..Just a regular oatmeal bread in the bread machine..From The Better Homes And Gardens Bread Baking Book~ But added sage leaves I received as a gift.. and painted some swirls with coffee..:)

I like to use the bread machine for mixing and kneading..I never bake in it~

The bread painting I have shown before..it was gleaned on a few sites on the internet~ This time I used instant espresso to paint it..and after adding the sage leaves I covered the bread in quite a bit of flour so the leaves would not burn during baking.. you just brush the flour off after baking..also this time I painted the bread maybe 10 mins before it was ready~ I love doing it and wished I had had more time..A swirl is done in a breath..imagine if you took your time:)

Well even if I took great time..it would look the same..I would just have more fun:)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Peter Piper~

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

They are HERE!

We missed making our roasted peppers last year because we were in Europe..I know..it was tough..But we HAD to:)

Italian friends first introduced us to making these..this way..
after roasting..you skin and place in EVOO w/ fresh basil and garlic..
I have since learned that a paper bag is better than plastic for the resting part after roasting before skinning..and ROASTED garlic is better also~:)

I did not buy our peppers and basil there..we bought them at the market in Little Italy~

After they are skinned they are submerged..floating in this scentiful oil..:)

Then bagged..And frozen..for pizzas and sauces..and antipasto~

I did save some:)Unoiled:)

To make a special recipe~

From a lovely Food/Craft/Gardening blog I discovered~

Au plaisir de bien manger~

I made half the recipe..and less actually .. one full jar..Mason jar..it is in the fridge..occupying a place of honor~

I thought it looked beautiful in the afternoon's sunshine ..I have since had time to sample the jarred peppers and they are so good! Better.. even..they taste like something I had 100 yrs ago at home..w/ my mom..did she make these? I wish I knew and remembered~
I am not even rinsing them yet.. straight up:)

Thank you!


The only reason there is only one big jar..is that we were making so many roasted peppers to conserve..I erred on the side of caution~

Next time..I will come home w/ more peppers~After all..who needs shoes:)?

Nota Bene~

The leftover oil..after the hot peppers have bathed in it..is delicious! Liquid gold..Saved:)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Top Ten~

Of the meals I have tried this year~

Remember the plum tart? Found here..I saw this also..and knew it would suit our taste buds perfectly~

I am taking the liberty of posting the recipe.. make sure you read her post to find out more about the origin of the recipe..by seeing her blog you will once again see why I am and was inspired~
Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, Pancetta

adapted from Canal House Cooking

serves 4 (or 2 very hungry people)

3 ounces diced pancetta (if you can't find pancetta, you may substitute bacon)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pasta
2 anchovy fillets
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs*
4 tomatoes, tops sliced off, seeds scooped out
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
small handful fresh thyme, parsley or basil leaves, chopped
salt & pepper
8 ounces spaghetti

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fry the pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp around the edges. Use a slotted spatula or spoon to lift the pancetta out of the skillet to a plate. Leave the rendered fat in the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the anchovies to the same skillet. Use a wooden spoon to mash the anchovies until they dissolve. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until they are golden.

Put the tomatoes, cut side up, in a baking dish and slip some garlic into each tomato. Season the tomatoes with plenty of salt and pepper. Mound some bread crumbs onto each tomato, getting some inside the tomatoes. Scatter herbs on top. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of olive oil over all. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until they have browned a bit and the interior is supple but the tomatoes have not collapsed, about one hour.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain, but reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and remove the tomatoes from the baking dish and set aside. Stir the oily tomato juices and any bits of bread crumbs from the bottom of the tomato roasting dish into the pasta. Add a little olive oil and the reserved pasta water and toss.

Pour the pasta into a serving bowl, place the tomatoes on top, sprinkle the pancetta over all and serve.

* make your own fresh bread crumbs. Just tear bread, place in your food processor and grind.

My notes.. I used bacon.. I had no pancetta left in the freezer~
I added some red pepper flakes..and added freshly grated parmesan cheese at the table..
By the time the pasta ad cooked..my tomatoes softened as I transfered them to the plate..so maybe 3 minutes too done..nothing was lost on the taste.
The presentation is just lovely..I cut the tomato before eating and swirled it and the bread crumbs through the pasta.
Honestly..I would serve this to anyone!
I made the bread crumbs w/ day old bread baguette and Jacque's croûtons.
I call it a 10 for a simple colorful flavorful and beautiful meal.
Thank you again The Italian Dish.

Monday, September 21, 2009


"When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy. So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl."...From the book Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

Just a special souldfood congratulatory note to Susan at ... Savoring Thyme In The Kitchen..who just welcomed her very first little grandson.. a beautiful boy ..Little Mack:)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

La Vie~ In Blogland:)

To me..having a small blog ..and sharing with other blogs..well..it's like subscribing to many different haute gamme magazines..and never having to wait for their arrival~:)

Yet getting the very best content that suits my tastes..to a T~
And knowing the editors on a first name basis:)

A little while ago..... Cathe Holden at Just Something I Made~

Shared these wonderful black and white produce images..

I had a blank canvas bag left over from 100 yrs ago..and knew I would put her gift to good use:)
I printed the gift on Inkjet paper.. after I flipped the photo w/ Photoshop..added La Table De Nana..and Bon Appétit for Julia~:)then used a gel transfer medium ..to transfer the gift onto my canvas bag:)

I love it!

Thank you Cathe Holden..You may remember the small nest I made because of hers:)

Every day..a new treat!Go visit!! You will always be inspired~

Thank you!

I had also seen at Tigress In a Jam.. a greengage plum jam I knew we would love~

I searched in vain for green plums..:( I only found Italian ones(I love those too!) but wanted green to bring me back to Provence and La Ferme De La Huppe:)..To no avail~:(

However..Jacques..loved it!So the recipe is a keeper here..

It is just so nice to learn so much at the waltz of a mouse~


Thank you!!Et Bon Dimanche~

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tomato Whipped Mashed Potatoes~

Friends..a dear couple.. dropped by last weekend generously bearing fruits of their labor~

I would have to say they grow the sweetest tomatoes and prettiest parsley and freshest lettuce:)

My daughters and I went out for dinner ..last month..
One had the tomato whipped potatoes mentioned above..
I Googled for the recipe ..To no avail of ours..

I found a recipe here.. they are delicious..

The recipe I had wanted did not have sun dried tomatoes.. ..but I added some for freshness..the ones my friends brought:) And it is a keeper recipe~

La petite recette:

Makes 6 to 8 servings

3 pounds thin-skinned potatoes
About 1 cup milk
1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated romano cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves or parsley
1/8 teaspoon paprika or cayenne
3/4 cup chopped drained oil-packed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 quart water to a boil.

2. Peel and rinse potatoes; cut into 1-inch chunks. Add potatoes to boiling water; cover and return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes mash easily, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over medium heat, warm 1 cup milk and garlic until steaming, about 5 minutes. (Or in a 2-cup microwave-safe container, heat milk and garlic in a microwave oven on full power (100%) until steaming, 1 to 2 minutes.)

4. Drain potatoes and return to pan. Add the hot milk mixture, oil, cheese, basil, and paprika. Mash with a potato masher or an electric mixer until potatoes are as lumpy or smooth as you like, adding a little more milk for a softer, creamier texture if desired. Stir tomatoes into mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional Information
307 (47% from fat)
16g (sat 3.3)

So good in fact I kept the leftovers~:)

There's part 2 to this soon and we had a wonderful meal in the country at their beautiful home Friday night..I hope some photos turned out well..
It was a wonderful evening ..a love drive into the country..great conversation and food...to be continued..:)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Soupe Du Jour~

And an apology~

I saw this soup at Foodgawker I am almost certain~

I have made many different butternut squash soups.. w/ Pancetta toppings.. and Shrimp toppings and herbs and croûtons toppings..but I had never see as pretty a presentation in my eyes..as the one I saw that I have tried to emulate~.. I have lost the link and I apologize~

But I thank the artist:)

It made me like this soup even more~

Fall is in the air.. and I crave soups in this weather~
I loved the addition of Turmeric..I had always put cinnamon and ginger..never turmeric..

the rest is basically the same..

Nice size butternut squash

3 potatoes

1 onion

butter or evoo to sauté the onion..

2 celery ribs..
chicken stock and milk..

salt and pepper I add maple syrup instead of sugar~

Just the way I usually make it..apart from her lovely green onion stem:)

With appreciation..

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

C'est si bon!

One day while waiting for clients at the office.. I was looking at beautiful blogs and found one.. that led to here~

Could I resist?

Mais non!

Straight out of the oven on one of my baking sheets(I really need new ones~)See the life? Lives? And these are not Old..like the old ones gone yrs ago.. and less yrs ago..and less...

I loved the look of hers.. w/ smaller plums.. And...I had looked for some.. To no avail...

These are 2 of my daughters plums..from her fridge I forgot to tell her I borrowed 2:)

Her plums were huge.. So I only used 2 and halved the recipe..
Friends dropped by today..a dear dear couple... and I gave them half~
We kept the other half..4 lovely portions in all~
I am now addicted to this beautiful delicious light cake~

It could not be more delicious if it even tried~

La Recette~

Plum Almond Cake

5 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup flour
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
6 Plums, halved and pits removed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour your tart or cake pan. In a large bowl, mix the egg whites and sugar vigorously with a wire whisk for a couple of minutes. Add the flours and whisk again and then add the cooled butter, almond extract and lemon zest and whisk until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place plum halves on top of batter.

Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown.

I really think you should try it:) When I halved the recipe..I used 2 egg whites~ The rest pretty much the same~ I did slice a small part off the bottom of the plums so they would lay flatter.. I like this type of dessert..

Monday, September 14, 2009

Soul Food 21~

"The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze."
- John Updike, September

Merçi Joesistah~

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Edible Flowers and Butters~

Imagine my surprise.. when earlier in the day..Hélène had shown her apple crisp with caramelized ginger featuring this company....And.. then I went to show a home..and my adorable client gave me a jar of these!


Oh I was so happy!
I had never seen this trademark before Hélène..perhaps in a magazine etc..but it was not a familiar label..

I looked at the make..then the label..and discovered..

I did not have to wait until I had a dish worthy of these as the finishing touch..I could simply make a flavored butter as I have in the past..but w/ a twist~

It's my very favorite now because it is prettier than the one I last made..I simply added a touch of the dried blooms..a touch of honey..and a touch of icing sugar..and then I had crackers and butter..:)

I love this brand..I am so happy to have discovered it~

This butter would be delicious on one of..Ann's scones~

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Tisket~ A Tasket~

A Blue and Yellow Basket~

I know..I am shameless~ But he is probably our last and I had an hour of adoration at lunch today~:)

And my herbs that I picked in our garden for dinner were in a basket too!

I love Josée Di Stasio~ You know that.. so does my husband and he mentioned this recipe in this weekend's La Presse~

It is DELICIOUS!I know..More pasta!! But when he golfs and I work we need quick some nights!

The recipe is sooo easy!! A processor.. Ricotta.. parmesan.. softened butter,lemon rind..juice.. herbs..the pasta water,salt and pepper..I added a garlic clove..

We will eat this again and again...

Bon Appétit!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Florence ,a Friend..and Flowers~

Sunflowers~ Be still my beating heart..

I am growing them along with basil(Jacques' is doing better than mine~)..and rosemary.. and garlic.. just because they all scream Italy to me~

A friend.. an accomplished artist..is in Florence right now~

Did I ever mention I loved Florence?.. we spent just one day..I could have spent more..I felt rushed in this city of artists..

And wished then and now..time would have moved more slowly..My friend the artist will LOVE it~

When I see these..I think of her..( and my mom of course..and Susan and Mary~ and now Chapot and Ronelle!) the palettes..all full of promise and wonder~

I hope she paints a dab or two..I know she has her Cotman pockets :)I love those!!!

I picked a bouquet of sunflowers late yesterday afternoon to celebrate Ollie w/ the bolognese sauce she left us before leaving..She bought it in Little Italy..I never buy sauces..It was great to try a good one:) I did add hot pepper flakes..but wow..this sauce coated the linguini to perfection~

We thought of her..Italy..sunflowers.. and Florence~


Thursday, September 10, 2009


Mon petit jardin suffered at the beginning of the year..but there is a renouveau..

Although drier now..more sun..

Doesn't it look like an edible southern Christmas tree? Little dangling decorations..
It brought my raspberries to life again!!

I have little fingers that love to pick..and I love those little fingers and the picking:)

But what I did salvage I put to use!:)

I was perusing blogs last week and found this at Kevin's~

Yes I did have blueberries..but store bought..~
I did though....have FRESH home grown raspberries and I love raspberries and lemon..Do you too?

It worked!!

I love the condensed milk with the lemon rind and juice..it's perfection.. I love oats and brown sugar and butter..I love raspberries..
I sound like I love everything..I almost do quite truthfully.

GREAT recipe..a keeper.. voted so by Jacques and I~

La Recette~

Blueberry Crumb Bars with Lemon Cream Filling
(makes 9+ bars)

3/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg (separated)
3/4 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups blueberries

1. Mix the butter, flours, rolled oats, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl until it forms crumbs.
2. Set 1 cup of the mixture aside for the topping.
3. Mix the egg white into the mixture.
4. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 8 inch square baking pan.
5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile mix the egg yolk into the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and zest and let it sit.
7. Spread the blueberries out over the bottom crust and top with the lemon mixture.
8. Bake until the lemon mixture forms a shiny skin, about 7-8 minutes.
9. Sprinkle on the reserved crumbs.
10. Bake until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.

I really could just keep picking and picking:)~

Like Lulu did..