Monday, May 30, 2011

Soul Food #92

The Heart Knows How To Find Something Precious~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

I simply love Lily Of The Valley~ They are my mother~

They line our driveway in parts..and even grow in our driveway:)

But it's still an affair of the heart..I love the perfume.. Crabtree and Evelyn..Yardley.. Coty,Taylor of London..Woods of Windsor..etc..

They multiply almost as quick as dandelions:)

But there is no way someone can be indifferent to it's charm.

As I left my friend's home one day..I left with a small bouquet of Lily Of the friend said..Here:"Le Bonheur".. every 1rst of May when she lived in France,people gave each other bouquets of these.. and it meant.. I wish you..Le Bonheur..Happiness.
I loved that..I have some in our home right now..and as my husband walks by he says..They smell so good don't they?
I agree..

The lovely little Bonheur card in my collage to the left.. was found at Au Plaisir de Bien Manger~ A beautiful blog..with wonderful food..and crafts~
Had to get the Lily Of The Valley in here before June~ We are still May..

My wish..

Le all of us~

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tip Toe Through The Tulips ~ Ricardo Style~~

I don't even know if I ever posted this one before..but I just made it's the season..and I must admit it's one of the prettiest~
And very good too..Ricardo's Tulip salad~

I pick fresh tulips and remove the stamens and pistils..We don't use it's safe:)
Then I put the scallop/cucumber and clementine salad in them..
Just so pretty!
Pan sear your scallops with salt and pepper and refrigerate until tempered.. slice and toss with finely diced english cucumber and clementine slices.. add dressing ..see below..and place in Tulips..You can also place your tulips in individual verrines.. and then stuff..I did it Ricardo's way in his magazine from last year~

La Recette~
45 ml (3 c. à soupe) de vinaigre de vin blanc~3tbsps white wine vinegar
30 ml (2 c. à soupe) de jus d'orange~2 tbsps orange juice
30 ml (2 c. à soupe) d'huile d'olive~2 tbsps evoo
5 ml (1 c. à thé) de miel~1 tsp honey
5 ml (1 c. à thé) de moutarde de Dijon~1 tsp Dijon
Sel et poivre~ salt and pepper

6 gros pétoncles, bien épongés (environ 300 g)~6large scallops very well paper towel dried
30 ml (2 c. à soupe) d'huile d'olive~2 tbsps Evoo
1 petit concombre anglais, pelé, épépiné et tranché finement en demi rondelles
Les suprêmes de 2 oranges~2 prepared oranges
1 small english cucumber ,peeled,seeded, and finely sliced in half moons
4 tulipes, avec ou sans la tige et les pistils~4 tulips w/or without pistils and stem
15 ml (1 c. à soupe) de ciboulette fraîche ciselée~1 tbsp Chopped chives..finely chopped..
I used clementines instead of oranges..

Enjoy~ the season is so short~

Monday, May 23, 2011

Soul Food #91

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

This is a tree stump in the bramble of our garden..covered in moss I like to take photos of it's bark and moss..and tuck fairies there in early spring when it is quite visible..In looking at my LCD..I noticed the stump smiling at me..I thought I would share it with I smiled back~

There is something that brings an inner smile when we see nature unfold~

The cameras come to life again..

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dorie's Salted Buttery Break~Ups~

Sunny little break apart French Galette type cookie..I love these..they are like shortbreads..and the presentation is lovely~

The recipe is so easy.. Just keep an eye on them..

They are like French Provence~

La Recette~
Salted Butter Break-Ups

yields 1 5"x11" cookie, which can be broken into as many chunks as you desire
adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

1 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling if desired
9 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces
3-5 Tbsp cold water
1 egg yolk, plus additional water

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until you're left with pea-sized bits (in addition to some small flakes). Pulse the machine and add the water gradually, until it just barely forms a ball (this might not require the whole amount). The dough will be very soft.

Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, form it into a chubby square, and refrigerate for at least an hour (or a few days, if needed).

When the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment, or grease well. Let the dough soften at room temperature for a few minutes. Roll out (between plastic or waxed paper) into a rectangle that's about 5"x11", and transfer to the prepared sheet.
Beat the yolk with a splash of water, and paint it over the surface of the dough with a pastry brush (or, if you're me, a wadded up bit of the waxed paper you used to roll out the dough). Using the back of a fork, decorate the cookie in a crosshatch pattern by drawing the underside across in one direction, forming a series of tracks, then perpendicular to them. Sprinkle with additional salt, if you favor a pronounced salty-sweet flavor.

Bake the cookie for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is lightly golden (and slightly dark on the edges, if that's what you favor). It will be firm to the touch, but have a little spring when pressed in the center. Allow to cool to room temperature, then break it as you please, either before serving or at the table.

My friend lent me her recent book that this recipe was taken from.. the photo in the book did me in..It's a beautiful book..well worth having~

Monday, May 16, 2011

Soul Food #90

I mentioned this last week~..Thich Nhat Hanh

I highly recommend it~

From.."It is a great joy to hold your grandchild"~ to" Flower insights~"

It is a book to have and to hold~

The Dandelion Has My Smile~Another great entry in this book.
Have you read it?
I would have never known of it..if not for a friend.
Sharing books is a good thing.
Do it~.If you can..if you have the opportunity..I know many people do~It's just such a nice way of gently sharing your likes..

A poem taken from this book~

I have lost my smile,
but don't worry.
The dandelion has it.

I also just read.. Those Who Save Us..and enjoyed it..and The Happiness Project..that my daughter lent me..That too was enjoyable..and has great food for first I thought it may be better suited for younger people:) But there are sage words for every age...~
I gave Those Who Save Us to someone..and now my other daughter will be reading The Happiness Project..
I read Room..and although there are great reviews..the book is sad and haunting.. sometimes that can be interesting.. but I found it too sad.That one went to one daughter now too..

The Forgotten Garden..was read also and I expected more..I love to be excited by a book... to want to turn every page in Sarah's Key..
Oh..Secret Daughter too I just read..from my daughter.... that was really good:)

Some different books The Brain that Changes Itself.. excellent..and My Stroke of Insight..another wonderful book~
Comes in waves when I read:) There is a Kindle in our family now..and so far my daughter really enjoys it..
I picked it up..held it and it's more enjoyable than I imagined.
I wonder if I would miss the pages? It's light..compact bright enough to read in daylight..
I was impressed.
I know I am late to talk about Kindle..I remember recommending it to my friend..a great reader..many moons ago... but never considered one seriously for myself yet..
Time will tell~
Do any of you own one? And do you enjoy it?
Do you miss holding a paperback..or a hardcover?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Forget~ Me~Nots~

My first loves at this time of year in the gardens..

They are found everywhere I noticed:)

Not much cooking or baking these days..

But soul food in the gardens~

C'est enfin le printemps~

Monday, May 9, 2011

Soul Food #89~

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth
Journals.. I like journals..wait... I love journals..
I have to say to favorite journals.. were the baby books..and later years books.. I kept for my 2 daughters.I loved writing down what they were doing ..what they liked etc..the last was a book about mother and myself..they have them now..
I made little welcome books with photos for the 4 boys when they were born(Such highlights in my life~) and they were fun to make also..

Journals.. are a great way of keeping memories.. now the web helps us chronicle and keep tabs..But I still love the feeling of paper in my hands....

A favorite journal also.. is from our trip to Europe ... a green suede journal..I added labels.. ticket stubs.. street maps of the little or larger European day..every day....It's a treasure for me look back on it..I loved taking it out and happily writing down all my thoughts..and my excitement of such a trip..

Not all journals are filled with joy and adventure..some are filled with different things..

But the beauty of a journal..apart from it's cover..are the blank pages.. ready to receive.. the NOW~
Everchanging.. with always the glimmer of hope..with faith and peace~

To quote the title of Thich Nhat Hanh's book that I appreciate so often~
The journal..the book..the candle.. are treasures~

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vanilla Oil~Scallops and Parsnip Soup~

This little oil is delicious~

First discovered at Zeste tv.. at L'Effet Vezina..

Simply bring your oil to a vibrant simmer and add two vanilla beans that you have scraped..

Let infuse and use..

I made his scallops.. served on a soup ,topped with a citrus reduction.. and drizzled this heavenly oil on top.. it is so can be used in salads etc..
It is amazing how well the scallops sit and taste in a rich sauce.. this was my second try..not as pretty as the first as I had no citrus reduction on these and rutabaga was added to the soup..I prefer simply parsnip..I did not use his exact recipe..But use your favorite rich soup..and topped with scallops..Make a nice citrus reduction..add grapefruit of course..and drizzle the oil~


Light and yet filling too~
His soup was made with Jerusalem artichokes..
We had watched the episode and it just appealed to me~
But I did wing it:)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Soul Food #88~

Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.

Anne Lindbergh (1906 -)

A little idea I got at my friend's home~ She entertained a few weeks ago and when I saw her that week she showed me what one of her friends/guest had brought..a darling tulip arrangement with a branch and garden gloves hanging from the branch~
It's funny both J and I said..we've seen those boots..Maybe CTS years ago?

Oh well..

Imagine my surprise in going into a Dollar Store w/ J and finding 2 little boots and matching gloves?

I thought I would share the idea..It's so cute as a hostess gift:)
I used Forsythia's from my neighbor/friend's garden and my first daffodil~
Hope this makes your inspiration flow as it did mine.. so many arrangements could be made..Also cheerful for just your own home.. as in my case.. or outside..or inside.

Forsythias welcome Spring here~ The first shrubs to bloom~

Yellow~ One of y favorite colors~And I did love this song .. Remember~?

My first daffodil is being seen everywhere:)It's traveled..the dining room..the kitchen..and then the front porch..