Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Painted Cookies Revisited for Easter~

I had stopped many of the Easter treats when my daughters moved out on their own..and there was just my husband and I..but as soon as the babies arrived..the Easter decorations resurfaced:)

And special cookies also came to light~

A little different than last years.. a touch smaller~

I love making these cookies..You need to set time aside though..
You make the cookies the day before.. and I let mine dry overnight~
The possibilities are endless..

Spring like designs in cookie cutters are easy to find.. when you have connections:) Or Sur La Table~(I love that place for cookie cutters..remember my hands and knees story?:) And my husband looking for me?

That was funny:)

It's no secret where this idea came from..many of us jumped on the painting cookies bandwagon thanks to Mary~ And her beautiful blog~ She's busy with chicks these days and many other activities..but I bet there are painted cookies there for Easter also.Magnificent ones..

Thank yo again and again Mary~

What a special idea you shared with us~♥

Again if you have time to make some before's fun for YOU:) Like an art class.. quiet..peaceful..relaxing~

Gearing up to the hunt~

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ricardo ~ Beet Marinated Eggs and Spinach Salad~

It is no secret that I admire Ricardo Larrivée..his shows..his magazine ,his recipes..My favorite cake for a special occasion was gleaned from one of his magazines~ I have mentioned him numerous times here ~

This one,from his most recent magazine,does not disappoint..I am posting a bit early to give you time to pick up ingredients you might be missing:)

You marinate your beets and hard boiled eggs in a pickling vinegar for 24 hrs..together in the same jar..this is what gives the eggs their beautiful color and fanciful taste.
It's a perfect Easter Salad..Plus how gorgeous are eggs and beets marinating in a clear jar in the fridge with mustard and celery seed swirling around?♥
This issue is packed with great and recipes~

He's going to have chickens again..Like Mary:)

La Recette~

First for the Beet Marinated Eggs

12 small beets
12 pee wee eggs
2 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tbs salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed

1.Cook the beets in a pot in water ap 30mins or until tender.
Put in cold water and peel.
Put in a glass jar..
2.In a casserole place your eggs bring to a rolling boil and cover..remove from heat and let sit 12 mins.
Place in cold water to stop cooking..Peel the eggs and add to the beets that you have cut and placed in the canning jar.
3. In a pot bring vinegar ,water,sugar salt and spices to a boil.Pour over the beets and eggs.
Temper,close and refrigerate 24 hrs.
Cut the eggs in half to appreciate their beauty when serving~
And now the salad~
1/4 cup EVOO
2 tbps white wine vinegar..(I used white balsamic)
2 tbsps fresh snipped chives
1 tsp Dijon
1/2 tsp honey
1 garlic clove minced
salt and pepper

6 cups baby spinach
6 marinated eggs
6 marinated beets quartered.
In a bowl mix all dressing ingredients.
On plates..pace the w/ beets and eggs..add the vinaigrette and adjust seasoning~

The vinaigrette is perfect~ I may add some nuts to garnish next time..

I think Spring is in the air~It's raining today..but this weekend..I did see green Spring~♥

Soul Food #48

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were--Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.
Beatrix Potter
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, opening words

Mine of course are named Lulu,Max Noah and Poodle~
What to do with an extra one?

Tucked it in a little basket with some daffodils and brought it to my neighbor~
I hung it on her front door while she was out one afternoon this weekend~ She was out doing nice things for people as usual.

..It's the Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Days~
I love to put them to good use by spreading the thought~

Graphics~ Courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

I had shown the little bag idea before..
Thank you~Little children's Easter bags could be so cute..more colorful w/ the other graphics etc..~
Even Easter napkins w/ her ephemera..go see.. so many cute graphics.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pâte De Spéculoos~

When I was a young girl.. about the age of 10...I had a best friend that was Dutch.
Her father was a pilot for KLM.. her name was Gwen.Gwendolyn..Her mom called her: Gvennie:) ♥

I loved going over there..not far..through the back yard... cut through... turn left..Onto Provence street:) At least I think it was Provence..
The very same street I babysat 4 little boys and one little girl for $0.25 an hour...:)Same family..all together!

Those parents were smart:)
Anyway they were so nice to me..Gwen and her parents..her sister was Erica....I still have a tiny sterling silver windmill charm they brought back from Holland for me..They treated me to Dropjes and Olliebolens..

And Speculaas cookies..that I craved!
They were a rarity..almost 50 yrs ago here..but they always had them..brought back from Holland with that salty black licorice~
These crunchy cinnamony little windmills etc..I just loved them..

When I peruse beautiful French blogs they often speak of Speculoos..I reasearched and indeed it seems to be the same thing..what I never tried at Gwen's.. was Pâte De Spéculoos..

I found a recipe..many.. because I have not found that product here..and made some..

It's fantastic.

In researching recipes..many said to add it to brioches..or muffins.. etc..think of peanut butter..or nutella.. but Speculaas..

I made 2 mini tarts.. I blind baked them for 20 mins..

Then I put some of the Pâte on the base.. and placed a pear I had soaked in a mix of water,honey,sugar and a vanilla bean ..(Pre-boiled..set aside then placed the half pear ..peeled ..and cored..) for 1 hr.

Sprinkled a touch of icing sugar..and put back in the oven to finish off..
It's so good:)

The Pâte rose and then settled..

I am so glad I found this recipe for special little treats..

Et Voilà~ La Recette~found many places ..I will link to this one..and say thank you.

125gr of butter
3/4 can of Eagle Brand..I used low fat:) As if that makes a difference here..
200gr of spéculoos cookies
1 sheet of gelatin
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp neutral cooking oil

Soak gelatin sheet in cold water for 10 mins.

Melt butter in microwave add the sweetened condensed milk and the crushed cookies and oil l'huile ..mix...
warm the lemon juice and add the gelatine.. until dissolved.., pour into the other mix and mix until homogenous.

I made 2 jars..this one ..and a small Ball one..

Great gift too:)If ever I find the real thing..I will try it.

Notes..I read many of the commentaries..some questioned the gelatine.. it was used to emulsify..I may try w/out next time and see..One chef wrote and politely said the recipe was not correct.. one said never melt butter in a micro wave..only a bain-marie..
Everything makes sense,,But this worked for me.I would not hesitate to put the whole can of Eagle Brand next time.I cannot see what difference it would make...if only to make it creamier.

Cinfully good~

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It all started with Costco~

I never buy frozen foods~The above is not frozen food:)

But last week while there for frozen fish:) Like salmon trout and cod ..etc..I saw a Sushi set..I thought would be fun to try it..

Just to see..

Cause you know how I love my little men..♥

And it was good..I know it's not real Sushi..but it was frozen and fresh and cute and good:)

We liked didn't taste wet frozen cooked shrimp..the rice was well flavored..the calories was superbly packaged and I will buy it again..
But I wanted it again soon:) and wanted to see if I could freeze them also~

So I made some again..this time..inverted they had~

and it worked..

The shrimp? well the rice worked..but I could not get my shrimp to cook flat and perfect even with a tray and a Le Creuset pot top on top..:(

Any suggestions as to how they get their shrimp to lie so dociley (Sp?) flat and pretty?

..All in all it still turned out tasty..But I would have preferred the shrimp flat ~

See? They are not well formed:(

Any tips?
Thank you~

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Soul Food #47~

This nodding white flower blooms in early spring and is often the source of poetic inspiration. ...
The Snowdrop~
It's been a while since a small hand held a small bouquet up to me as a gift~♥
Saturday was a bouquet way..I guess I am a very lucky girl.. 2 bouquets in a little more than one big gorgeous bouquet.. and one small gorgeous bouquet~
Texture courtesy of ...Les Brumes~
Bonne Semaine..
Posting Early~

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lego Cupcakes and Fairies~

We had 3 of the little ones Wednesday afternoon..The swings are up..the property is almost walkable now.. the grass is brown and cold still.. patches and heaps of snow remain.. but what a March~♥

A new little Fairy Garden at the base of the Swing Tree has been opened for the season..

I made these treats for the 2 older boys..

I think it's the first time when their dad came home to pick them up..they said: Come See:.. I had made 4.. they took 2 home..

Cute cute little Lego shaped candies..:)

I'm so glad spring is just around the corner~

The Mini Cupcakes are just my carrot cake recipe..~

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pouding Chômeur De Jacques~

Jacques loves Pouding Chômeur..It's one of his favorites ..I let him make it..My daughters like it also..I leave it to them..I'll grab the cookie..

But it's a great dessert..It means a poor man's pudding..which I don't like the translated name at all..but I can't change it:)

At this time of year.. with Maple Syrup so's a perfect dessert~

La Recette~
La Recette~

1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups brown sugar

Make a syrup w/ the above by first mixing the flour into the brown sugar..bring to a boil and pour your syrup in your casserole dish.

1/2 Cup of butter
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
3/4 cups milk
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

Cream butter and gradually add sugar then eggs..Beat well..In another bowl sift flour .salt and baking powder..add to the butter mix alternating w. the milk,,Aromatize..Pour this dough over the syrup and bake at 375 ap 30-40 mins.

Make certain you use real maple makes all the difference~

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 17TH~ St-Patrick's Day~

I decided on Cabbage Rolls for this week..I am not sure these are Irish at all:) But they were green~:)And my part Irish genes were involved~
I rendered bacon..added onions and garlic..some red pepper flakes..some Bahamian Hot sauce..(How Irish is that?:) )
Let cool..added the beef(or pork..! I should have marked the portions I had frozen individually)..pre-cooked leftover rice and home made roasted red peppers..salt and peppper..The mixture smelled great..
I banched the cabbage and filled and rolled w/ the mixture..
I made a tomato sauce..sweet/spicy with the leftover bacon/onion..garlic.. Chili Sauce etc..And a vegetable juice.. poured over all and some at the bottom of the dish..The dish was lined w/ cabbage too~

And .. I had blanched Asian Garlic scapes To Tie Up~To Package:)

I like comfort meals like this..all done in the morning early..and then all you do at the end of the day is pop the casserole in the oven..
We both loved this dish..the cabbage had kept a bit of it's crunch..the smokiness of the bacon..the roasted red peppers and the sweetness of the chili sauce with the garlic scapes all played a major role~
Keeper here.

I wish you all a Happy St-Patrick's Day and leave you with a little anecdote and treasures~

When I first started working at my job almost 28 years ago..there was a silver haired lady that had been doing the same job forever~
You must know what I mean by forever~

We visited homes in our late 20's and 30's 40's..while she was in her 70's ..we in our flat heeled shoes.. realtors....while she previewed and viewed and presented in high heels~ With silver hair and a lifetime of memories~An Irish Lass~:)
I still remember a ring she wore.. It said MIZPAH..I still remember who she(L.O.) said it was from..:"K.W."

He was gone by then..but I had known of him..

She is gone now..but that ring and those words.. have never left me~
It was one of the most romantic moments I ever witnessed..the day I asked her what that ring meant..and what it meant to her~

Have a wondrous St-Patrick's day~
My grandfather was of Irish descent.. married a French Canadian maiden name is Irish~My mother tongue is French~My married name is French~

Confused? It's all good:) It works~

The spoons /Killarney~..are from my I don't know..who had them before her~:(
The napkins are from my great neighbor ..who met her husband in Ireland(another great love story~)..

And the small Shamrock/ rhinestone pin~ from my great great aunt~landed on my lap~ And I cherish it~

Monday, March 15, 2010

Soul Food #46~

No words needed~♥

I saw a movie once w/ a client that became an aquaintance that became an ephemeral friend~

One True Thing~

It is still one of my top 5 favorite movies of all my lifetime..(That is a long time:) )

When we left the cinéma.. My friend said to me.. :"My daughters would never look after me..take care of me.. care for me this way~ Never."

I was saddened by her thoughts after this movie..because I felt quite the opposite the whole movie.
I felt...That my daughters.. each in their own way.. would be the best caregivers like Renée... If need be~
Another Meryl Moment~♥
“Always keep that happy attitude. Pretend that you are holding a beautiful fragrant bouquet.”
Earl Nightingale quotes (US motivational writer and author, 1921-1989)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Une Joie~Deux Joies~

As if these sweet new things were not joy enough to look at:)

I think it feels like getting a new Barbie when you're little..She's always the prettiest at that time..especially if you don't have many like in my day:)
A new toy in the kitchen that you've never worked with or seen in person..
Is just so much fun.

I had wanted to make Ju proud and make the famous pineapple tarts..even a trip to my Asian store left me empty handed on the pineapple jam front..and no time to make it yesterday..

So I improvised..

And used fig jam..and orange pineapple marmalade.

They are so dainty..I would think perfect with tea..they are mini bites of cuteness in an elegant way.And like that charge card commercial me? Priceless♥

I gleaned recipes from here and there..:)

Basically butter ..corn starch..flour.. salt etc..I did not use the wash to brown them because I didn't want to mess mine up..I am not the best wash person for the attractive factor:)

Encore une fois Merçi Ju.

And again gracious thanks to the Graphics Fairy for my vintage teapot~

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Mini Bundts~

La Recette~

Courtesy of Canadian Living Magazine~


1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely grates lemon rind
1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs
1/4 cup (50 mL) lemon juice
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (25 mL) poppy seeds
3/4 tsp (4 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream
1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar
5 tsp (24 mL) lemon juice, (approx)
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice

In large bowl and using fingers, rub sugar with lemon rind until fragrant. Beat in butter until light. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in lemon juice.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, salt and baking soda; stir into butter mixture alternately with sour cream, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of sour cream. Scrape into 8 greased and floured 1-cup (250 mL) mini Bundt pans or 5- x 3-inch (625 mL) mini loaf pans, or one 9- x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pan.

Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes for Bundt pans, 1 hour for large loaf. Transfer pans to rack.

Icing: In small bowl, stir icing sugar with lemon juice until smooth. Divide in half.

Glaze: Stir lemon juice into one half of icing; brush over hot cakes. Remove from pans; let cool on rack. Drizzle with remaining icing, adding a little more lemon juice to loosen if necessary.

My Notes..I halved the recipe and made 4 mini bundts~ I like the crunch of the poppy seeds~I added a bit more than 1 tbsp for the half recipe~
I served it with a dollop of lemon curd in the center on a squiggle of Strawberry coulis and a fresh fanned berry.M and N were here for dinner no time for serving photos:)..PS I have been forgetting to add the photo of the tool I used in one of my last lemon posts..

To make the spiral on the lemon.. see the little half moon(triangle) hook to the right of the peeler? That's it..

Monday, March 8, 2010

Soul Food #46

I've mentioned many times how much I enjoy The Graphics Fairy site~

She has a nice feature.. a Brag Monday..
I had the opportunity to look the last couple of weeks ..There is so much inspiration there for nice craft ideas.

I loved one of the ideas and had the right accoutrements apart from the wire.I used a coat hanger and it was a bit tough to shape the rim ..I didn't even add the time I will..with better wire~

My Basil is looking a little forlorn.. but it's windowsill basil:)

I enjoyed this project and I thank the Graphics Fairy and also..The Lost Bird Studio.. where I got the whole idea.I was infatuated w/ hers:)♥

I used Burlap..the printable fabric.. a graphic from The Graphics Fairy.. and some wire..I copied the graphic w/my HP copier on the printable fabric.I ironed it onto the burlap..sewed a bag..w/ a little hem at the top to insert the make a hard form..It keeps the bag open and stiff..That's it..added raffia and a clothespeg.
Fun project.. for potted plants..fresh flowers..clothes peg wrapping~

My soul food could have been our glorious weather..I have never seen a month of March like this..But I had prepared this in case any of you don't have great weather and want something fun to do..I knw Mary is creating.. this one's for her~

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's Ready~!

His homemade Prosciutto~
It's absolutely wonderful~
So good it makes me smile~

I posted about the preps here....

Last year he learned how w/ Normie..and I posted 3 threads on that:)

We had some of Normie's last weekend w/ a was as great as the first bite I ever had of theirs ap. 3 yrs ago..
We have enough for the year..and I love that feeling..something homemade that can be added to so many things..

and..this too..

I know what went in it was made.. ♥

They all look a certain way..
Some are spicy..
Some are Herbes De Provence..

Some are unique blends he made~

It's the naked eye..the small fatty lines are not really visible..In a photo they are~
I know..
I am so lucky..

He makes risotto..prosciutto..and wine.
Quite a few other dishes too..but these are the main ones.
I look forward to his's always good~

Never in a million years did I think 37 yrs ago... he would be making these things..
Granted he was a better cook than I was when we married..But I caught up..

And now.. I'd say we're even:)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

David And Jojo's Tea~

Have you ever heard of these teas? I love my coffee..but I love my "treat " teas too..My childhood friend Jojo.. made me discover these teas~

Different..infused teas..

I have the above skinny tea and I told her I was hoping to be exactly that by Friday:)..tomorrow.. when we have lunch together:)

But I have been enjoying the Nutty One too!

Actually both J and I have been enjoying them..The cute packaging..the aromatic scents..

It's been Tea For Two these days~

Magical Little Potions~

See the magic? Beetroot and Nuts~♥Forever Nuts? ..suits a small way:)
For certain..I will be looking into the different varieties soon~
First..The Provence one of course!~

Thank you Jojo:)~

And David's Tea~Love everything about it~