Friday, November 27, 2009

Soul Food #32 and a Glittering Martha Craft..

The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination. ~Ward Elliot Hour

Before I know garden entrance will look like this until ..April..
Thank goodness for Spring:)

I just have a little wait..

But holidays and good cheer are in between..birthdays..and Valentine's..etc...x country skiing and fresh fallen snow..fires in the fireplace.. warm cozy meals.. dinners with friends..
They help a lot....

The above photo was altered with a Photo Editing program..It's fun to try different things...

I found a cute fun idea at Martha Stewart..for Glittering Photos..

This is a photo ready for glittering after I uploaded it to Martha's Site.. and it's now ready for glitter...

The possibilities are endless..

Have fun!

Go see.. you may want to make some Christmas Cards.. 2 yrs ago.. I made some black and white photos leaving just certain color and glittered those..

In her November magazine a friend shared with me.. she has that very idea there..I must have gotten it from her 2 years ago..and had forgotten..
But back then this handy little editing program was not online..

Hope you like it...

Glittered cookies will be great too:)

Je Voudrais Voir La Mer...

It is a song I just love in French..

I listen to it so different" auteurs-compositeurs"...


and here

It means I would like to see the sea..In all their interpretations.. I sing this song in my head when I miss it..and I often do..

The various birds... all of them.. the herons...the sandpipers..the "Chickens" as my 2 yr old darling grandson Max would say the first time he saw the shore birds:)..Jacques and I call all shore birds "Chickens" now..and laugh about it as only grandparents can do..

I love sitting by the ocean... listening..watching.. stitching.. reading..


My NBF sent me this book..It's so much fun to" feuillette" a book that has been "feuilletted":)by someone I have met through blogging:)And get to chat with:) We even met 2 years ago...

Julia is an Icon.. her words.. her photos.. I am enjoying every word..

Look at her in her kitchen in Paris bathed in that magical light.I am so glad she was blessed with such success! She loved buying kitchen apparatus like most of us do..She loved her husband..:) Cooking..Paris.. and shared it all w/ us!

Did you know they had a home in Provence for over 30 yrs? Built on land owned by her "collabolatrice" Simca..and Jean her husband?The Little Thing..It looks must have been hard to leave it.

I also read The Help this week..

We ate Jacques' most formidable asparagus and Italian sausage risotto for dinner but it was darkness by then.. we had however bought what seemed like large shrimp for a shrimp cocktail..

They shrank after baking in this way too hot oven if they had been in a dip in the cold sea!!
I will revert back to Tyler Florence's poached type shrimp...
Good though:)

Thank goodness for souvenirs like beach umbrellas that could be in Cannes.. or.. La Promenade Des Anglais.. in Nice.. or anywhere serve as gentle reminders of gentle sea breezes..

Les parasols de plage...

The beautiful sunset is for Mary..It's her birthday Saturday, November 28th ..Happy Happy Birthday Mary..

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little Teochew Treasure...

I wanted to make a dessert with very little on hand ingredients..
I remembered one of Ju's beautiful cakes..and thought..That's the one..

It is absolutely simply delicious.

It is her Moist Butter Cake..

You can click and find the recipe on her beautiful blog.

Jacques said..oh..this won't last long you know that:) He is eating now with a glass of milk alongside his delicious piece.

I am happy to have met such a lovely young woman..who teaches this much older woman..:) So much..Thank you Ju..

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Soul Food #31..

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…”

Ralph Waldo Emerson..and Noah.

How wonderful to run down the boardwalk in your pjs when you wake up..and see the sea...
I bet the sea was happy to see him too:)
Photo Credit: Noah's Mommy.

Friday, November 20, 2009


So busy.. I apologize for the lack of posts..

But we have been busy..I'll be back to a faithful routine soon..

Tonight was old standby...

So easy w/ staples on hand..

some eggs...

Some bacon..or pancetta..linguini..


Cooking liquid from the pasta and great Great Parmigiano...

Le tour est joué a blink of an eye..when Happy Feet keep us occupied..

Happy ..busy feet:)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Persimmon,Pomegranate,Apple and Chayote Salad

I was so fortunate to have fresh juicy poms,persimmons,lemons,apples and chayotes..

I searched the net and found a salad that contained a few of these ingredients..

And ended up with a fruit salad I truly enjoyed..

For 3..I chopped up..

3 persimmons
1 chayote
1 apple
Extracted the seeds and juice from one pom..
added lemon juice and honey to taste.. a touch of salt ..
and topped everything w/ baked persimmon frills.

It tasted fresh as a daisy:)

Soul Food # 30..One Day Early.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth...

It was just too appropriate:)..

Have a great day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shrimp Pasta In a Cazuela

She sells seashells down by the seashore..

Shellfish.. hard to beat.. we enjoy it so way we enjoy preparing it is simply in a cazuela..with garlic and EVOO..some herbs..chili peppers,and white wine if you wish..

9-10 mins at 400 in the oven..

Add your cooked pasta and twirl..The dish stays hot and delicious..

The quickest pasta dish in our kitchen..

I add Parmigiano..and crushed croûtons..I know I know.. many people don't like shrimp and cheese but we do..

Did you notice..not even a recipe?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jana's Mousse..

Remember the lovely girl that gave me the edible blossoms? One day I left her home and she said "you have to bring some of this home..a chef I worked with shared the recipe with me"'s a mousse to spread on crostini..crackers or fresh baguette.
Jacques and I enjoyed it so much I aksed her for the recipe..

I loved the way the recipe was handwritten..with a note at the top..thanking the chef.. for everything he taught her..that she would always remember him and the faith in herself he gave her:)
I made the recipe with chicken..and it's wonderful..It made several pots..

I used nice mousse pots w/ lids.. mini tureens.. this one I had put cling wrap in the bottom..thus the uneven edges.. but it's not necessary and I did not on the others..I sprinkled festive peppercorns on top..This recipe freezes heavenly well..You will always have a pot on hand..If you can hold onto them..
For your no-knead breads.. your beer almost no-knead breads.. your 5 Minute Artisan Breads..or your
Ann T breads
On one of her boards:)

A true keeper recipe..

La Recette..

1 chicken breast..or pheasant:)

1 container chicken livers
3 cups heavy cream
2 packages Knox Gelatin(I will try w/ Agar2 also)
1/2 chopped onion
1-2 cloves garlic

The above is the recipe..but.. you add the spices you want..

I sautéed the onion.. a bit of garlic..cooked the cut up chicken breast and livers..deglazed with Porto.. seasoned with salt and pepper and rosemary and sage.. can add a touch of cayenne and allspice..I omitted the allspice.. parsley..
Fresh herbs are perfect..but dry will do..

Put everything in the food processor and process until smooth..add the cream that you have diluted your gelatin in..Whisk this time you can add some whole peppercorns..not before or they will be chopped to bits..
Taste your mousse before potting and freezing..adjust seasonings..always taste:)
Pour the mousse in all your pretty jars and sprinkle some color on top..Let solidify and freeze.

I only have a photo of my first little practice pot..But imagine in pretty white and see through pots..
Perfect for the upcoming Holidays..
With this recipe..Jana will be the one I think of..For her "AMAZING" recipe!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Soul Food #29.

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”
Anais Nin

Fly a kite so you have to look up!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Good Little Cake~

While perusing FWS..I came upon a photo of a cake that wet my appetite..I marched upstairs that day and made it:)

La Recette:

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Allrecipes

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Confectioners' sugar (optional)

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Remove 1 cup and set aside. To remaining crumbs, add baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add sour cream, egg and almond extract; mix well. Spread in the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan.
2) To make filling, beat cream cheese, sugar and egg in a small bowl until blended. Pour over batter; spoon raspberry jam on top. Sprinkle with almonds and reserved crumbs.
3) Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; remove sides from pan. Dust top with confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

The power of her photo..was just irresistible~
I had to see if it could be a keeper here..It's the kind of dessert I like to make.

Thanks  One Perfect Bite~
I would say this cake is more than just ok:) I added more almond extract and next time I would add more jam.I used Strawberry Jam 'cause that's what I had on hand~

It's un bon petit gâteau~

I loved the way it sat on one of my mom's dessert plates..Sometimes..that's all it takes for me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Almost "Cook's Illustrated Almost No Knead"...

This is my favorite bread to make when I have the least amount of anything.. meaning just a bowl and a corningware covered dish.
It's like Jim Lahey's a bit..but has beer and vinegar and I like those additions..
The fun part is I discovered I can put the risen dough in a cold corningware in a cold oven.. bake 30 mins covered at 450 and 30 mins uncovered at 425..and it comes out perfect..Crunchy crust.. beautiful interior..

La Recette..
This is the recipe as published..see my notes below..
Makes 1 large round loaf. Published January 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. (See the related information in "High-Heat Baking in a Dutch Oven" for information on converting Dutch oven handles to work safely in a hot oven.) Use a mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser (mild non-alcoholic lager also works). The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

* Again..I used a white corning ware.. and placed the Boule in the the cold oven..put the temp to 450 w/ lid..then took the lid off and cooked another 30 mins..425.I had previously combined all the ings. the night before it a big bowl.. the next morning..I formed my boule and right away put it in the Corning Ware..Just before putting it the oven I dusted and slit.
Parchment makes it come out perfectly.I oiled and used took a few minutes to come out:)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I was saving this..

Like I save nice pyjamas,new slippers..

I wanted to savor every minute because I knew I would like it..
It's the kind of book you keep..and I really do give most of my books away..
You will share..or would buying another copy for the other person..
But you wouldn't give this one away.Well I can't..
I don't even know how long Molly has had her blog..I have read quite a few posts since I heard about this book..and enjoyed every one..
But they didn't prepare me for how much I would LOVE her book.. I am a little more than half way through..because I am reading it like I am eating a favorite food..savoring every chapter..enjoying every recipe...
I just finished the chapter w/ the Grotto Eggs recipe..
Mine had tears in them.
You cannot read this book if you have lost a beloved parent or two..and not become filled with warmth.
It evokes the memories you had. it makes you wish you wrote about your parent(s) like that:)
It made me happy I wrote a letter once to a radio station about my mother and she won "Mother Of The Year"one year at Mother's Day because of my childlike poem.
She was..over the moon:)

It makes you like Molly Wizenberg from the get go and want to make every recipe in her book..
I had made her tuna bouchons many months ago..

Last night I had to make the Banana Bread..Could be because of Nooschi's post too one day w/ the chocolate pouring over the cake:)

This one is polka dotted w/ chocolate..and crystallized of my miracle foods.

My husband loved it..and I do too..

With our morning was absolutely delightful.
I am so glad she shared all these recipes..

This would definitely be a cake I would bring to someone to share..

If you enjoy reading.. baking..cookbooks, chapters that are each a little book in themselves....and personal will LOVE this book!
If you enjoy writing about cooking and recipes and a bit of life in general to share will love it even more.
5 stars for me.My highest rating.
I cannot wait to buy Ranch Dressing and make her dad's potato salad w/ caraway seeds.
The banana bread will always now be Molly Wizenberg's Amazing Recipe in my recipe file.

La Recette..

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger
From “A Homemade Life” p. 26 by Molly Wizenberg

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or a chopped up bar)
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (not low or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9 by 5 loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.

In a small bowl, microwave the butter until just melted. (Be careful and do this over medium power in short burst because it can explode or splatter and that is a big mess.) Or melt it in the preheating oven. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to combine. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.

Bake into the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.

Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 mins. Then tip out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing (if you can wait that long).

The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to protect from freezer burn

I have to add a funny anecdote...I mentioned to Jacques as we savored the bread.."I could see cinnamon sugar on this.. or w/ this" and he agreed.. when I googled the lieu of typing it out w/ 2 right index and my left middle finger..I first found the recipe w/ cinnamon sugar which isn't in my book:)

I smiled.And loved that too!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sidewalk Shoes~ Wicker and Fifi~

It's squash time~

I knew I had to make that recipe~:)

The one from Sidewalk Shoes..and Tyler~Look at her photos to get the yearning!!!

I want you to "Knowte"..(my new word).. that I have all my recyclable bags in my car..But most days..I bring my basket in and out..and I love doesn't have wheels..I am still pining for that one..:)But it has the handles:)And... When they say at the registers...: "I love your basket:)"I am happy.

See what's in it?

And see what's on it?

I met Fifi one day..many Florida sunsets ago..and she gifted me with some hearts.. special is on our curio cabinet in the great is in the dining room..and one is on my basket..My Tisket My Tasket:)

I came home w/ the missing ingredients to SS's recipe and we had it for late!! So bad the good the taste. We love acorn squash..and cheese and tortellini..

J'aime.. I love..Amo...
Sa Recette..

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Cheese Tortellini
Serves 4

2 medium acorn squash (about 1 pound each)
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1 garlic clove crushed
1 sprig thyme
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 pound cheese tortellini (store bought)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated parmesan cheese for topping
fresh sage leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Split the squash in half (cut lengthwise from top end to bottom end) cutting right through the stem so each half has a piece of stem attached. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Cut a small piece off the rounded bottom to give it a base to sit on. Place the squash halves cut sides up on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile prepare the tortellini mix. Heat a large pot of salted water to cook the tortellini in. In a separate saucepan heat the heavy cream over medium heat with garlic and thyme and reduce until thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add the nutmeg and parmesan then melt over low heat. Cook the tortellini in the boiling water (3-4 minutes for fresh tortellini or follow directions of brand) and then strain and toss into cream mixture. some of the pasta water to thin out sauce if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and then divide amongst cooked squash cups.

Turn the oven up to 400 F.

Sprinkle the tops of squash bowls with grated Parmesan and a fresh sage leave and then bake in the oven for a further 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

My notes..I had recently purchased something that seemed incongruous to the USA.. Fat Free half and half and I used that..It worked..I wasn't quite sure what to use it I think this is the first creamy dish as in an alfredo sauce etc.. in yeras..We are usually tomato or light sauce recipe amateurs..

Thank you Sidewalk Shoes..if you have never so..There are even splendid wine reviews:)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Soul Food#28

Bonjour Tristesse~

November .. the least pretty month ~
To me~

It's when the days grow shorter..most of the leaves... if not all... have fallen..we've had our first killing frost and the days are often more grey than not~
The lovely days of swings and gardens in blooms and fruits on our trees or shrubs ..go missing for 6 months~

Many of those months are filled w/ white ...snow sports.. cozy hibernation hobbies..

But November~is different.

It's the first month that comes to mind when someone says melancholy~
I have often wondered what month would be that to someone living in a sunshine state?

Does it exist this month unlike the others?In a sunshine state?