Sunday, January 30, 2011

Soul Food #75~

I love writing notes..and everything associated with writing notes~

From paper to envelopes,ribbons,seals,stamps,return address labels,ink,pens,pencils,monogrammed,or mom taught me to write thank you notes as a young girl.. it never leaves's a thrill to get a note in the mail..but I think an even thrill to send if not more:)
I have a few letters going of of sympathy..two w/ old photos in them~
I hope they all arrive to their destination..

The lost art of waiting..there is no instant gratification need the paper..the time to find a mail..then the journey~
Sometimes quicker than a wink;) sometimes slower than a snail..:)

But the pleasure is in touching and doing and thinking~
One of my daughters had a cute recent return mail stamp on her Christmas cards..I spoiled myself and ordered one..
You can find many on the net..I bought mine here.. ..
My Rubber Stamp~

So many cute stamps..I got one for J and I..w/ our was hard to chose~:)as you can see..

Her card is really cute came w/ the stamp and there's a calendar on the back~
Love Etsy.♥

Mine is like this one..This is a photo from her etsy shop:)

Do you still enjoy sending notes?

In French we have a saying:

Les paroles s'envolent..les écrits restent~

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I love this Preserved Garlic~

And I have Nisrine to thank..
What a great idea.. I have tasted bottled garlic before and quite frankly..blech.
When I saw hers I thought how could this not be good..our garlic..our oil.. for those times when already prepared garlic is a treat!

You just process your with oil..It can keep for 6 months in the fridge.
I say how neat is that?

While perusing her blog..her chickpea soup caught my eye also..
It's like Hummus.. but soup.. C'est bon!!

You must visit her blog.. great photography and wonderful recipes~

I added some buttered peas as a garnish because I saw a chef do it on a turnip soup:)Had to try!

La Recette~

Moroccan Chickpea Soup Recipe

4 to 6 servings

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 small potato, peeled and halved
1 small red onion, yellow onion or leek, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)

Lemon juice and paprika for serving (optional)

Place all of the ingredients in a soup pot over medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Blend the soup into a puree using a stick or a container blender.

Serve warm with a generous squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. Refrigerate leftovers for up to a week.

Click here to visit Dinners and Dreams ..Nisrine's beautiful blog for the recipes~

PS IMPORTANT note..please read the comments to this post.. re the preserved garlic.. and the potential dangers..I have added a whole lemon to my garlic just in case..and it is a small pot.. and it will be eaten within 2 weeks:)and it is stored in a cold refrigerator.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Soul Food #74

One kind word can warm three winter months. ~Japanese Proverb

Friday, January 21, 2011

Savory Pies~

At Christmas..I make several Tourtières.. so we can eat one at Christmas..and then during the year Jacques has a last minute dinner..

This year I was happy to use the little cutters I bought in Florida at W-S(I love that store!).. You just roll out the pastry and cut..
My recipe for tourtiere is Jehane Benoit' old old recipe..

Next year I will add a bit of potatoes..for a change..but imperceptible:)

La Recette~

The Canadiana Cookbook/Mme Jehane Benoit

1 lb pork -- minced
1 sm onion -- chopped
1 sm garlic clove -- minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c water
1/4 c bread crumbs -- up to 1/2 cup
Pastry dough of your choice

Place all the ingredients except the bread crumbs and pastry in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 20 minutes over medium heat. Remove
from heat and add a few spoonfuls of bread crumbs. Let stand for 10
minutes. If the fat is sufficiently absorbed by the bread crumbs, do not
add more. If not, continue in the same manner.

Cool and pour into a pastry-lined pie pan. Cover with crust. Bake at 400
degrees until golden brown. Serve hot. A cooked tourtiere can be frozen 4-5
months. It does not have to be thawed out before reheating.

I often start the pie on the bottom rack and move up..this year I blind baked the crusts first.
I love these in muffin cups..and I make the next size up..One portion sized smaller pie tins..

There are millions of tourtieres recipes..I have made several..but this is the one my mom close to it I think..
***I add cinnamon.. and believe oit or husband sprinkles sugar on top! This is served w/ a home made chunky ketchup..or refular ketchup..or chili sauce..I like mine when I eat it..w/ mustard..I do a mixture of meats..pork and beef.
Already the recipe is different:)

Another savory pie we enjoy here is salmon pie~ ( Warning*** Night photo:))

It is best with fresh salmon..but when none is on hand..a good canned kind can work well..
I use mashed potatoes that I make,garlic,butter ..and french shallots. then mix in the salmon and some salt and pepper..celery salt(a touch) and fish can use Old bay if you wish..
I sometimes use a short crust.. but I think I prefer just no crust at the bottom and a puff pastry makes a nice quick meal~

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Juice Bar~

Chez Nous.. nous buvons.... souvent...

We drink a LOT of these juices..

A juice machine was first recommended to me by Ju:) I know it's uncanny:)

Out of kindness she suggested this would be a great way to get more greens into our diet..
Our Breville has paid it's way many times over..All late summer the juices flowed~

We missed it while away..We're back on track~

You can put anything in these..
Most of the time..we put..

Swiss Chard
Sweet orange yellow or red~

When I remember Ginger

Really anything..But the above is our standard.
They taste good.. and are so good for you..

Thank you Ju..
A very good investment.

All year long~

Refreshingly healthy..A a natural way~
I appreciate Breville products very much.
We have the espresso maker and this juicer.
One day I may upgrade to the one Martha uses.. where the pulp is collected in a back container instead of the top part..Just less to do after..I saw her use hers one day..I think the one and only whole Martha show I ever watched.
I am not a daytime TV person and regret every episode I nevr well as Oprah.. and now she will be gone..
So try and get more greens in your diet..I just have to LOOK at Ju to be inspired to do so:)

Monday, January 17, 2011

♥Soul Food #73~

February is right around the I thought I would share this little idea as Valentine give you time..They are fun and easy to make and combine a few ideas..

Little puffed door ♥ hangers~
Cut jute to the size you want.. on the front..stitch a fabric ephemera you like to it.. add one of our handmade organza flowers(minis!)..stitch together inserting cord to suspend..leave an opening for stuffing~ and fill.. finish by hand or machine.. A touch of lavender inside is always nice:)


Friday, January 14, 2011

Jacque's Artisanal Sausage~

It's that time of year again..we have 7 lovely Prosciuttos hanging in our cold room..all salted .. infused with wine..then herbs.. they are prettily bundled up curing..~

That's not the only thing my husband has taken a liking for.. he started making sausage..and has now branched out~

I think they are beautiful!
He made Polish..Chorizo and Lunagega..Lunagega..are Italian:)

Brought back memories:)

He's a chemical enginner.. started with beer making as a hobby with one of our was a class at CEGEP for her....then he started wine making..and is an expert in my eyes:).. then the prosciutto (which 2 of our grandsons love..he even made it less spicy this year for them..)and now artisanal sausage..We had some Thursaday night and it's delicious.
He made patties also w/ no casings..

I love that he enjoys cooking etc..

He even cleans up:)

He is really really talented.. and organized!~

It's absolutely delicious~
They're all separated now and packed tight Food Saver way~ Air tight:)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So pretty~

I ♥ these hard boiled eggs~

We watch a French TV show...Kampaï.. every week ..and last week they featured these eggs..Dr.Richard Béliveau is an expert on Cancer and Nutrition.Lately he was on a team of doctors that invented medication that can penetrate the brain and cure~.. (brain tumors etc) It was very interesting to hear him talk about shows great hope for Parkinson's ,Alzheimer's.. certain types of cancers.. The medication is presently being reviewed by the FDA.
He is humble and so smart.. Just a pleasure to watch ..his co -hosts are a chef Stefano Faita .. the owner of Dante,(the son),a fabulous Italian Quincaillerie.. that features an eclectic mix of high end kitchen items in the heart of the Jean -Talon market area.. and other things:)And a well known "vedette" ,Mitsou..
They make an enjoyable team.. and their guests are always interesting..
These sounded a bit different than our regular tea stained eggs.. And I love the look of Star Anise:)

Boil your eggs ap 10 mins.. ..Cool... crack gently by hand and return to a pot ..
Cook in a mixture of black tea..soya sauce and star anise~I cooked mine for 1 hr..on gentle..When you peel them they are so pretty.. a hint of soya and anise.. dipped in a lime curry mayo..they're an added treat at lunch~Everyone turns out differently~ I omitted the salt in my mixture as my soya salt was salted.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Une Mignardise~

Oh I LOVE this chili recipe..
I found it at Karen's~ Mignardise..her new Le Creuset pot was really pretty too..but it's the chili that had me coveting:)
I just had a feeling I would take to it instantly..because I do like sweet in meat dishes..I've always really liked the chilis we have made in the past.. but this just a bit different and I know I will crave it again~
It's a keeper recipe for me.

La Recette~

From Karen's post.. Thank you!

Sweet and Spicy Chili

1/2 lb. ground pork

1 lb. ground beef (as lean or fatty as you like)

1 small onion, diced

2 Tbsps. vegetable oil

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 Tbsps. chili powder

2 Tbsps. ground cumin

2 Tbsps. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. dried thyme

1/2 cup molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 can Guinness

2/3 cup barbecue sauce (this is where you can go spicier or sweeter)

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in stock pot or dutch oven. Saute onion until softened.
Add pork and beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns. When the meat is cooked through (no pink remaining), drain off any excess fat. Add all the rest of the ingredients.
Stir well, and simmer for an hour. Season to taste.

Trust me..if you like spicy and will love her recipe~
I used QC Maple Syrup..Grandma's Molasses..and Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory BBQ Sauce~

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bons petits cakes gourmands and a good soup~

During the holiday husband had to go to Costco again..I am so not a big fan and crowds and shopping at those big stores during the holidays..but the outing does me good~
Remember I bought the Macarons set? Little boxes filled w/ goodies and a cookbook? All for such a reasonable price..We don't exchange gifts my husband and I get little things like this during the holidays when we go shopping and we both benefit.:)

Well.. getting back to Costco ..I found the last one of yet another boxed set..

But ..let me start at the beginning..for this post..

I had seen a soup at Kate's..

It looked so good I had to make it.. and it IS so good!

Soup is enough for me..but I know Jacques likes a bit more to munch on..I perused my little book and found lovely little bacon ,sage and cheese cakes.. savory..Oh they popped up beautifully and tasted delicious.

Easy as 1-2-3..

It makes 6 little cakes..

Sliced up..served w/ appetizer forks..just right w/ an appéritif too..

Or wrapped as little gifts..

I decided to add a dash of salt at serving..only because I had watched an episode of A La DiStasio and could have sworn they had made Christmas Tree Salt:)

It was delicious on them..Jacques thought it was Rosemary..

You just pulse your salt w/ Christmas Tree needles..Fragrant and delicious..
The funny part? She had served Christmas Tree Sugar on citrus..
I'm sure that's excellent too!
But the salt works:)
Plus I wanted to use the Graphic's Fairy darling girl~
The kits..look like this in case you missed the Macarons post..

This is Marabout Collection~
PS I added a bit of milk to my potatoes were HUGE..:)I cooked my bacon before making les cakes.. as I was doing the soup and cakes at the same time~

Thank you Kate and Karen.

Kate's Recipe~

Potato Cheese (and a spot of ale) Soup

Serves 6

1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 baking potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 bottle (12 oz) ale
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups cheddar, grated
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped chives or scallion tops for garnish

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate hear until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Retain about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. If there isn't enough, add enough oil to equal the amount. Reduce heat to low.

Add the onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another couple of minutes.

Add the potatoes and brown them a little. Then add the stock, beer, and water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.

Remove half the soup from the pan and puree it in a food processor or blender. Use a masher to mash some of the potatoes remaining in the pan. Return the puree to the pan. Over low heat, add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the paprika and apple cider vinegar. Stir until well combined. At this point the bacon may be added to the mix or it may be reserved to use as a garnish with the chives. (This time, I added mine to the pot!) Remove the pan from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve the soup topped with the bacon and chives.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Josée and Isabelle's Warm Milk Cake~

When I saw Josée's cake(I missed Isa's).. I knew Jacques would love it..So for NYE I made it as soon as Josée posted it I think:)

The white cake is similar to mine.. that I have made for 37 yrs..given to me by a neighbor when I was first married..Mme.Cardin:)

And the topping reminded me a bit of a recipe a lady I met in my pre-natal class 36 yrs ago gave me:)

So the 2 combined..I just knew they would work here..

A nice moist plain cake.. and you add the topping after it's baked..then broil for a bit..
I am glad I had the 7 inch Springform.. as it is perfect.
I had to bake mine longer than 30 mins..every oven is different..

La Recettte~
Courtesy of Isa and Josée~

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1 pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp butter

Mix the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy ap.3 mins..
add the dry ings that you have sifted and mixed together
add the milk and butter that you have warmed enough for the butter to melt..but not for the milk to boil..I do mine in the microwave..and watch..

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven.. in a prepared 7 inch springform pan..


Mix :

6 tbsps melted butter
1/4 cup cream 35%
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans(I was out..used walnuts)
1/ cup coconut
1/2 tsp of vanilla.

As soon as you remove your cake from the oven (test w/ a toothpick..I had to bake mine longer as I said..)add the mixture and broil a bit..

Just lovely..
Thank you ladies~

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Soul Food #71~

Random Acts Of Kindness~
That leads me to this post to start the New Year in Soul Food~
I think almost 2 yrs ago this summer husband and I were at Costco..and we liked a mattress..a Queen size mattress.. w/ a Toyota car:)

We were pondering this purchase ..and another couple was also.. but they had made their decision and was putting it on their trolley.. we said we were interested but no way to bring it home.. she said she had a pick up truck and was with her son also..One thing led to another..some smiles ..some laughter..and they said.. we will bring one set home for you..

(we had never met before)..Found out they lived maybe 15 minutes away from us..but they had a busy busy day..yet took the time to do this..The gentleman and the son took the mattresses us..and she and my husband and I came back in our car..

we chatted briefly.. we looked at the gardens and they left.
I thought it was so genuinely nice of them..

They went to India last winter.. and we met this fall Costco..
Different circumstances.. but the same kindness..

We have kept in touch a bit via email this fall..and she shared this about the new year with me in an email before Christmas..
It was uplifting to me.. and I know that's why she sent it:)

So in résumé..for everyone..this is what it was about~

For 2011~

On Siesta Key Beach on the winter solstice day..there was an event to mark it will not happen again in 36 years..prefect alignment of sun and earth..
Which she went to~

It was the 21rst(3) of the 12th month(3) of 2010(3) add them up and it's 9~the next number is 1..

So.. 2011 is to be ..
A year of New Beginnings..a Year of Illumination..To let our insides shine and let it show to others through our actions..

(To me this couple is the essence of that~)
I think this is a nice foot to start the New Year on..For all of us~

On a tender note..I want to share this.. I think of my parents so much at this time of year..Today would have been my mom's 92nd birthday~That's why I am one day early for SF.
This is a beautiful photographic tribute to this gentleman's dad..the letter to his so poignant.

Days With My father